Blyth, Northumberland: History in Old Images

Old photo of Blyth, Northumberland, England, circa 1914

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Blyth, in Northumberland, England, UK.

Blyth Charter Day in 1922

On 20th September 1922, Blyth gained its Royal Charter, becoming a municipal borough and adopting the motto ‘We Grow by Industry’.

The short, silent newsreel of this occasion includes the town’s dignitaries, and a show of the large crowds with some buildings behind them.

There’s also a shot of the crowds standing in front of what may be a theatre or cinema – we can see the word ‘PALACE’ above the door.

Blyth Charter Day (1922)- British Pathé on YouTube

Blyth Carnvial in 1925

In 1925, Blyth’s Fancy Dress Parade raised money for the Thomas Knight Memorial Hospital.

Dr Gilbert Ward had been born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1805. He was in medical training with Dr Andrew Trotter in North Shields in 1832, when a cholera outbreak hit Blyth. The young doctor came to help, and became a local doctor, treating people through two further cholera outreaks in 1848 and 1853.

In 1863 Dr Ward was French Vice-Consul for the port of Blyth when a French sailor was sick with typhoid. He was placed in a lodging house, and whilst the sailor recovered, the lodging house keeper died.

Sir Matthew White Ridley subsequently provided a rent-free cottage, at the Park Road end of Ridley Avenue, for the isolation of infectious patients, accidents, and other cases. ‘Dr. Ward’s’ was Blyth’s first cottage hospital.

Self-made Blyth businessman Thomas Knight died on 28 March 1878. His widow died in April 1879, leaving £6000 in her will for ‘the sick and lame poor of the townships of South Blyth, Newsham and Cowpen’ – as long as a hospital was built within 10 years named after her husband, and without any of her legacy used to built the hospital!

Dr Gilbert Ward was one of the key figures who fundraised the £2,500 needed to build the hospital, and he persuaded Sir Matthew White Ridley to donate both the hospital site and a generous gift of money.

The Thomas Knight Memorial Hospital was officially opened on 28 December 1887.

Blyth Carnival (1925) – British Pathé on YouTube

Breaking Up Ships in 1927

A silent newsreel shows men ay Blyth breaking up an old ship in 1927.

The metal went to the furnaces, and wood such as teak was salvaged for funriture makers.

Some of the wood from H.M.S. Lion is shown being made into garden chairs, tables and benches.

Out Of The Past (1927)- British Pathé on YouTube

Is this Blyth?

This piece of edutainment from 1956 is labelled as Cramlington in Northumberland, but when you see the street and buildings it is clearly filmed in a much larger place.

I think the Cramlington reference may have been the location of the engineering firm that invented the dye-spraying cosh.

The footage was probably filmed in Blyth. Do you agree?

Criminal Detector Aka Cosh (1956)- British Pathé on YouTube

The Post Office Directory of Durham and Northumberland

by Kelly and Company

Published in 1879

More Pictures of Old Blyth

Old Blyth in Northumberland, England, enjoyed through historic photos, vintage pictures & archive film. Browse history in these fascinating old images of a bygone era on my Pinterest Board.

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