20th February 2021
Life in Lockdown
We are currently closed due to the Covid-19 Lockdown and we are not sure when things will get back to normal. We hope to resume the programme of activities that was planned as soon as we possibly can. This includes art exhibitions, theatre performances, music gigs and concerts and the array of activities that were originally planned for the annual festival.
We have been lucky, though, in managing to secure a Restart and Recovery, Kickstart Tourism grant from the Growth Hub. Sound Ideas have been commissioned to produce a series of videos to publicise the Centre and Newbiggin by the Sea. You can see the first three by clicking on the links below. They will ultimately appear elsewhere on this website as well as on our Facebook page.
3rd November 2020
Additional Panels Added
Next job (after Lockdown) to paint the concrete wall.
15th October 2020
New Ceramic Art Trail panels installed under the Sail at the Centre.
12th September 2020
FREE ART CLASSES FOR THE OVER 50s
Creative Arts Northeast in conjunction with the Maritime Centre is running a series of free art workshops for the over 50s in the Mary Joicey Hall each Saturday. The first one concentrated on silk painting. There are other techniques yet to come, including the use of an iPad for drawing and painting. Because of the Covid-19 restrictions places are limited but if you are interested details are available from the Reception desk and extra classes may be arranged to accommodate demand.
3rd October 2020
Ongoing Art workshops for the over 50s run by Creative Arts Northeast in conjunction with the Maritime Centre.
10th September 2020
ADDITIONS TO COURTYARD MURAL
Members of KEAP Creative put further touches to the mural in the courtyard. Two new ceramic panels produced by pupils attending the after school pottery class at Duke's Secondary School, Ashington and residents from Keir Hardie House, Newbiggin are now installed. There are two more panels to come. Watch this space!
28th September 2019
We hosted a wedding reception in the Latimer Room but what was interesting was the way it spilled out into the Courtyard which was decorated with lights, newly painted tables and chairs and a gazebo. Fortunately the rain stayed away.
19th September 2019
A team of enthusiastic volunteers spent the day painting our fences, our railings, our outside furniture and a significant number of the Art Trail frames. We are deeply indebted to them!
26th August 2019
THE BIG DRAW
This year's Big Draw captured the outline of the Mary Joicey. We are grateful to Francesca who joined in and made a significant contribution.
2nd August 2019
NEW COURTYARD MURAL
Work is in progress on a new mural in the Centre's Courtyard. The main image depicting a symbolic representation of the Mary Joicey Lifeboat which is housed behind the mural in the museum has been painted by members of KEAP Creative. There are yet to be produced four ceramic panels depicting aspects of the locality by members of the community. Watch this space.
Wednesday 19th June 2019
New Signs to record ships in distress and requiring help from the Rocket Brigade & the Lifeboat were installed outside the Rocket House.
Saturday June 8th 2019
MEET THE ARTIST - ANDY HULL
Andy was available to answer questions and generally talk about the work on display. His current exhibition is mainly an exciting collection of very large giclée prints produced with sophisticated technology and a depth of references to keep you thinking for quite a while.
The meeting was well attended and provided a focus for visitors from a variety of backgrounds. Drinks and nibbles were provided by the dedicated Maritime kitchen staff who always put on a good selection.
Saturday May 25th
New Gravestone in St. Bartholomew's Church Yard
A recent visitor to the Maritime Centre enquired about the new gravestone that had appeared in St. Bartholomew's graveyard. She was intrigued by the wording on the gravestone and wondered if there had been a tragedy that led to its arrival.
Enquiries have been made and it has been established that the local undertaker (A.J.Gascoigne & Son) has funded the making of the gravestone and its installation as a mark of respect for all children of Newbiggin who have passed away.
Saturday 6th April 2019
Meet the Artist - Sandra Rutter
Sandra Rutter was available to answer questions and generally talk about her work on display in the Latimer Room. Light refreshments and a touch of alcohol were available for all interested parties.
Friday 8th March 2019
International Women's Day
MP Ian Lavery unveiled Wansbeck Labour Women's Section newly completed banner before representatives from each of the five branches of the constituency explained the symbolism behind their imagery.
To cement the occasion "Deeds Not Words", a moving and energetic piece of dance theatre highlighting and commemorating women's suffrage in the UK was performed by Abbott Dance Theatre, supported by Choir by the Sea and a group of enthusiastic young schoolchildren to mark this special women's day.
A question and answer session was held after the performance.
Wednesday January16th 2019
Our new storage space takes shape.
We have always been desperately short of storage space so work has started on adding a lean-to in the courtyard. Progress so far...
Saturday 12th January
Meet The Artist - ALAN O'CAIN
We have started a new venture. Instead of holding a Preview for the exhibitions held in the Latimer Room we have decided to hold "Meet The Artist Sessions" when members of the public as well as invited guests can come along to look at the work and ask questions. The first of these was held on Saturday 12th January and was attended by a small cohort of dedicated people who enjoyed the work on display, the wine and the nibbles.
Wednesday 19th December 2018
Northumberland Theatre Company
A fantastic performance in the Latimer Room that appealed to children and adults alike. There was such a good response to the performance that we have booked the company again to return in May to perform "Dracula The Travesty" which promises to be light, funny and daft with some scary moments and featuring Wolves, bats and brides of Dracula.
The fantastic set built by the company in our Latimer Room ready for the performance.
The audience very rarely sees what goes on behind the scenes and in the preparation and dismantling of the performance. Here are a few shots taken after the show.
6th October 2018
Highlights Craft Tour 2018 - Official Opening
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck and Chairman of the Labour Party, officially opened the 2018 exhibition here at the Maritime Centre. He thanked all those involved in putting the exhibition together and made a plea for greater sympathy, understanding and help for all displaced people such as those accommodated here in Northumberland at Cramlington and Blyth and whose work features in the exhibition alongside that of the professional artists and craftsmen.
17th September 2018
Five new ceramic panels have been installed as part of the Hidden Gallery in the courtyard. The colours and designs are derived from studies of the Icelandic Haukadalur Plateau containing the famous geysers which deposit amazing sulphur patterns.
14th September 2018
Tea by the Sea.
Fifty pre-NHS Babies of Newbiggin by the Sea, booked their places at a wonderful Afternoon Tea Party to celebrate the 70thBirthday of the NHS held Friday 14thSeptember at Newbiggin Maritime Centre. A fleet of taxis collected the guests from De Balliol and Keir Hardy Court, others arrived with family members or friends. A volunteer welcomed everyone and memories were shared about ‘the Neighbourhood Midwife’ who used to deliver babies at home as most families were unable to afford a bed in a Maternity Hospital or able to leave their family duties 70 years ago.
A glass of Bucks Fizz accompanied a delicious tea served by volunteers from Newbiggin Traders Association and Newbiggin Maritime Centre then an hour of superb musical entertainment delivered by talented members of the ‘Choir by the Sea’ and NMC Buskers directed by Gillian Storey.
The entertainment continued with a game of bingo under the direction of volunteer caller Harry who distributed the donated prizes and a fruit hamper for each guest.
The enjoyable afternoon was made possible by a generous grant made by the Ballinger Charitable Trust and Marc Johnson from NCVS came along to meet the guests and take photographs on behalf of the Trust.
Thanks go to Trustee Andrew Ballinger, Newbiggin Traders Association, Choir by the Sea, Newbiggin Maritime Centre, Harry and all our guests for an enjoyable, successful afternoon.
25th, 26th & 27th August
Newbiggin Festival - Fantastic Beasts
These Fantastic Beasts were produced by Alnwick Lindisfarne Centre; Parkhead Day Centre, Ashington; Hazelmeade Residents, Broomhill; Blyth Riverside Centre; Pottergate Centre, Alnwick & Amble Outreach Groups; and Earth Balance Art Group, Bomersund under the guidance of Jan & Simon Terry.
27th August 2018
Newbiggin Festival - Raku Event in the Courtyard
The weather was more amenable than yesterday when "The Big Draw" had to be postponed although the wind caused us some problems. A large number of people participated to produce their own glazed and decorated raku pots.
7th July 2018
Giant Cactus Zone Show - A spectacular display that filled the Latimer Room
30th June 2018
"Digital Manifestations - Prints & Boxes" An Exhibition by Leighton Clark - Preview
A fabulous finger buffet prepared by our hardworking kitchen staff with an extensive selection of savoury and sweet nibbles, wine, and soft drinks was available for invited guests to this afternoon preview. Leighton Clark's work is completely different to the work that was previously on display and remains open free to the public until October 3rd.
26th June 2018
News we would prefer not to have!
During the night of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June the Centre suffered a serious break in. The most disappointing feature of this was not so much what was stolen (although this was quite considerable) but the malicious damage perpetrated by the mindless intruders who damaged seven years' accumulation of donation recognition on the 'Fish Wall', smashed CCTV cameras, fire warning lights, ordinary lights (including street lighting on the promenade) and the charity donated defibrillator. All the telephone lines were cut and much of the IT system was disabled. All this complemented by trashing the office and completely smashing a window in order to remove the safe!
We had to close on Sunday but we were up and running again on Monday albeit with a much curtailed service. We are slowly getting back to normal but cannot proceed any further without the go ahead from the insurance company.
7th April 2018
"Broadchurch" - An Exhibition of Paintings by Dave Tweedy - Preview
A superb buffet supplied by our hardworking kitchen staff with a plentiful supply of wine and soft drinks provided the backdrop to this well attended afternoon preview. We have extended the viewing area to accommodate Dave Tweedy's enormous paintings which attracted much interest and comment. The exhibition is open to the public until the end of June.
6th January 2018
Twyne Exhibition Preview
An extremely well attended show at the preview of Twyne's textile exhibition - probably the most well attended since exhibitions in the Latimer Room started some three years ago. Surprisingly this is the ninth major exhibition and will run until the end of March.
3rd January 2018
is now a regular feature of Newbiggin's activities and takes in the Maritime Centre. You might want to have a look at this page on their website.
12th December 2017
Northumberland Theatre Company Performs The Princess & the Goblin
A well packed Latimer Room saw a superb performance in the Christmas spirit.
11th November 2017
2 Minute Beach Clean
Thanks to the 2 minute beach clean team for getting a sponsor to pay for our newly installed beach cleaning apparatus.
2nd September 2017
The preview of "Past My Sell By Date?"
a retrospective exhibition of ceramics by Peter Seddon
27th August 2017
KEAP Creative's 'Big Draw' on the beach. This year's image is a lighthouse.
27th August 2017
Young visitors to the Rocket House try out the gadgets!
Rocket House Preparations
Stan Green (one of our respected volunteers) who has so generously built a half sized replica of a rocket cart for display delivers it to the newly restored Newbiggin Rocket House.
5th July 2017
Afternoon Tea for Newbiggin Residents
The Coop donated a significant amount of money for us to host an afternoon tea for those Newbiggin residents living in sheltered accommodation or by themselves. The afternoon went down very well with background music, bingo and a slideshow, Thanks to Newbiggin Coop!
25th June 2017
Heritage Skills Initiative
The North of England Civic Trust organised a series of Heritage Skills Initiatives where traditional craftspeople demonstrated their crafts. The Maritime Centre, on behalf of Newbiggin Heritage Partnership, was pleased to host a number of these as part of its contribution to the community. Below are a number of examples of what was happening on Sunday 25th June.
4th June 2017
MGB CLUB MEETS AT NMC BEFORE DRIVING TO DURHAM
31st May 2017
STONE CARVING IN THE COURTYARD
28th May 2017
KEAP Creative Raku Event
in the Courtyard
Saturday 6th May 2017
Preview of Morris Manson Exhibition
in the Latimer Room
February 3rd 2017
Preview of "Rock & Ritual"
An exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Gordon Highmoor
December 14th 2016
Buskers Night hosted by Sam Gibson.
This free event continues on alternate Wednesdays.
November 13th 2016
RAKU EVENT with KEAP Creative
The weather wasn't promising; it was threatening to rain all afternoon but we managed to continue through the drizzle with a cohort of keen and enthusiastic participants thoroughly enjoying their experimental pot glazing and raku kiln firing.
November 10th 2016
November 10th saw a fantastic performance of contemporary dance by the Eliot Smith Company and a worthwhile question and answer session after the performance. Very well attended and greatly appreciated. We will have to have more of these!
November 10th also saw Chris Ord's book launch "Becoming". Chris gave a talk about the background to the book and read some passages.
Heritage Lottery Fund grants substantial figure for the restoration of The Rocket House
MEET THE ARTIST
To coincide with her exhibition in the Latimer Room Maggie Hickman Smith gave a very interesting talk about her background and her influences before going on to demonstrate some of her techniques and answer questions.
Images from the Tall Ships Regatta weekend when the Maritime Centre in partnership with other community groups organised a Fringe Festival to coincide.
Two large billboards produced by the Maritime Centre for the Blyth Tall Ships Regatta were installed in Blyth.
The newly refurbished Courtyard
The courtyard has now been tidied up, reflagged and used as extra "Hidden Gallery" space. At present it contains a series of ceramic panels depicting 'Sea, Rocks & Mary Joicey' which was inspired by the video in the Mary Joicey Hall. There is also a series of ceramic panels depicting the return of Jonathan Livingston Seagull to Newbiggin Maritime Centre. These were originally in the Latimer Room but have moved to make way for art exhibitions by invited artists. There are also two 'Marine' panels produced by pupils of Windsor First School in 2008.
We are still considering what else to do with the new space but in the meantime you can look forward to a Raku Event in November. (Details on the Events page)
The Windsor Marine Panels
These two panels were produced by pupils (and staff) of Windsor First School in workshops run by KEAP Creative and were originally installed at Windsor First School in 2007. They were rescued from the school before its demolition and reinstalled in our courtyard in 2016.
John Eric Rothwell
Two new permanent Paintings by John Eric Rothwell have been installed in the Breakwater Café to complement the changing monthly exhibitions. There is a brief description of them to be found on the side of the blue cupboards.
The Hunkleton Stone revealed 25th July
Another successful night for our community with the delivery of the iconic artefact on our shoreline.
The stone is an erratic a boulder which was rolled to Newbiggin during the last ice age; ie it is not native in its geology to us - probably from north Northumberland/Scottish border. There may be other such boulders in Newbiggin and the district but these may be buried. This one was exposed because it was lying on the clay on the beach. The stone has been a part of Newbiggin for hundreds of years and has been a landmark in the many maps and notes since Newbiggin as a seaside community discovered itself in the 1800's.
The stone was always a popular spot for courting couples or persons wanting somewhere to sit and also somewhere to climb onto when the tide came in and dive off it into the sea.
As the level of the bay began to sink from the 1950's the stone became less visible between tides and it was only the Spring tides when some of the stone appeared from out of the water.
A significant effort was undertaken by Tim & Richard Martin to locate the stone in 2005/2006 as it had sunk below the sand - destined to be lost forever. With the use of measuring tapes and steel pins driven into the sand the stone was located and its chart position recorded on a GPS instrument.
During 2007 negotiations were carried out with Wansbeck District Council to arrange to have the stone lifted onto the new sand during the Bay project of that year. With permission given the stone was lifted and the GPS position noted. Once the sand importing was completed the stone was placed back in its original (higher) position.
In recent years the rise of the high water sand level has caused the stone to disappear until it was lost. Tim Martin spent some time on the beach with pins but despite his best efforts nothing was found. Undaunted further discussions took place with NCC and a chart position given for the stone but this had to be located using satellite technology to get a target area on the beach. Michael Ross duly came along to help with his Smart phone and a box was set out on the beach around 50 foot square. Again coordinates were placed on the sand and a night of knocking a long pin into the sand followed. After 2 hours nothing was found and with the light fading Keith Shirley offered to try a few random hits of the pin. On the third attempt the pin hit rock with a drastic scramble with shovels the stone was located some distance under the sand. With the stone located and coordinates set up it was not going to be lost.
Richard Martin began discussions to find a machine to lift the stone and Newbiggin Heritage Partnership agreed to pay for the costs of transporting and deploying a machine on the beach to expose and lift the stone. Local company Hubbway Plant Hire of Cramlington came along and after a preliminary site meeting the large excavator arrived tonight and after around 2 hours of skilful manoeuvering of the massive stone the erratic was aloft again and on show to the community.
Thanks to everybody who enabled this project to be delivered where skill, resourcefulness and determination delivered a massive result.
The Opening of Maggie Hickman Smith's Exhibition in the Latimer Room on July 1st
Our Party - Celebrating the Queen's 90th Birthday
Thank you to all our guests for coming to celebrate the Queens birthday with us. We loved having you. A huge thank you to Crossroads for making and donating the fabulous cup cakes & Doddingtons for gifting the delicious ice cream. Both went down a treat. Harry you were the best 'Bingo Caller' - volunteers, Mick, Trevor and Alan thanks.
Our D Class Inshore Lifeboat
We have been restoring the D Class lifeboat and we are now approaching completion. We have discovered its name and will be displaying some information about it in the near future. Watch this space.
Mary Joicey Engine Room
We have recently installed lighting in the engine room of Mary Joicey so that you can now see inside more clearly.