Glimpse the past through old images of the Quayside at Newcastle upon Tyne, set against the River Tyne and facing across to Gateshead.
The commercial docks of Newcastle’s Quayside are long gone. People now gather there to enjoy leisure time at the many hotels, bars and restaurants, wander across the Millenium Bridge, peruse modern art at The Baltic, and enjoy all tastes of music at the Sage.
During the day, the area is busy with activity around the Law Courts and the many nearby office developments. Visitors can use office hours to visit The Bessie Surtees House (across the road from the Guildhall) for free.
Old Photos of The Quayside
Newcastle Quayside in 1970
It’s strange to see how much of Newcastle’s Quayside looks familiar, yet at the same time has changed so much over the past fifty years.
“Newcastle Quayside 1970” – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past on YouTube
The Quayside in 1983
This home movie shows us what the Quayside was like back in 1983.
“Newcastle Quayside 1983″ – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past on YouTube
Tall Ships at Newcastle 1993
A short home movie recorded on an old Sony Video8 tape captures the sights and sounds of the Tall Ships Race in 1993, as the vessels moored at the Quayside.
“Tall Ships – Newcastle Quayside – 1993″ – Quentin Field-Boden on YouTube
Usually just known as the Millennium Bridge, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge was the seventh crossing to link Newcastle and Gateshead.
It’s a pedestrian and cycle bridge, which closes to foot passengers and tilts into the air when taller boats and ships want to pass through.
Thousands of people turned out to watch the bridge being moved into place in November 2000. The following June, the first tilt of the bridge brought in 36,000 spectators. Then on 17th September 2001 people turned up in their thousands again, for the first public access across the bridge.
Queen Elizabeth II visited the Gateshead Millennium Bridge on 7th May 2002, during her Golden Jubilee tour, and unveiled a commemorative plaque. All in front of thousands of people, of course!
This first home video shows the first stage, when the bridge had been brought down the river and was being put in place.
“Millennium Bridge Installation” – Bill Halliday on YouTube
Next we have the Queen’s 2012 visit to the Millennium Bridge. It’s a very short and shaky clip, and the camera quality is bad (as were all mobile phone cameras at the time). But there don’t seem to be many home videos of the day.
“Gateshead Millennium Bridge Official Opening May 2002 part 3” – Jonathanwallace on YouTube
From 2007, when the Gateshead Millennium Bridge had been open to the public almost six years, this home video was made, showing the bridge tilt and close in a minute and a half.
“Newcastle’s millenium bridge FAST” – Richard Evans on YouTube
Zip Slide at the Baltic 2008
Both the Newcastle and Gateshead sides of the River Tyne provide plenty of entertainment for the public, including regular temporary events and attractions, and one of those was the zip wire in 2008.
“ZIP SLIDE FROM THE BALTIC… (bottom view)” – marthita007 on YouTube
Home movie of the Quayside in 2010.
“NEWCASTLE QUAYSIDE” – broadoak2006 on YouTube
Street Performer 2010
It’s not often that you see street performers along the Quayside, apart from the weekend busker. But here a street performer from the USA provided a show for crowds of passerbys, with the help of some members of the audience.
“Tallulah… Newcastle Quayside” – biglesleyc on YouTube
Evening Vibes 2010
In this next video, the picture shakes a lot, but the lighting makes it a lovely time of the evening to capture, as the sun disappears behind the horizon.
“Newcastle Quayside” – Alan Heath on YouTube
Quayside Flooding 2010
It’s not often that Newcastle’s Quayside floods, yet in 2010 and 2012 rainfall levels caused chaos in the area.
In September 2010, the fire brigade had to pump away the floodwaters, and this home movie shows how high the river levels had got.
“Newcastle Quayside Flooded” – Richard Shepherd on YouTube
A quick look at the Millennium Bridge and Quayside on a cooler summer’s evening in 2011.
“Newcastle Quayside” – Brian Sturt on YouTube
Light Show 2011
The summer evenings of 2011 were enlivened at the Quayside with a light show called ‘Walk the Plank’.
“The Show Boat festival…. Newcastle Quayside” – SUSIEPIP on YouTube
Millennium Bridge Stunt Rider 2011
World renowned freestyle trials rider and Red Bull Athlete Julien Dupont rode across the tilted Millennium Bridge on 23rd August 2011, at 10.30am.
If you’ve seen the tilted Millenium Bridge in real life, you’ll know what an achievement this was! There are also plenty of clear shots of the onlookers.
“Julien Dupont Vs The Gateshead Millennium Bridge | Bike” – Gagdetwear on YouTube
Olympic Torch 2012
To celebrate London 2012, the Olympic Torch was carried in relay through Britain. It arrived in Newcastle upon Tyne on Friday, 15th June 2012, which was Day 28 of the Olympic Torch Relay.
Bear Grylls was handed the torch, then he travelled across from the top of the Tyne Bridge across to Gateshead on a zipwire.
“Olympic Torch Zip Wire from Tyne Bridge, Newcastle Quayside” – GOFindChannel on YouTube
Quayside Flash Flood! 2012
On 5th August 2012, Newcastle experienced an astonishing flash flood, which caught everyone unaware. No long after the lovely sunshine disappeared from the skies above the Quayside that afternoon, a great stream of water descended down the hill from the city above, and quickly flooded the Quayside.
It was so bad, even cars started to be swept away, and people ran to find safety.
“Newcastle Quayside Flood, Must See !05/08/2012” – hamed198 on YouTube
” Newcastle Quayside Flood… 05/08/2012″ – Amie Buck on YouTube
HMS Mersey 2012
HMS Mersey departed from Newcastle’s Quayside on 12th September 2012 at 13.30pm. The Svitzer Sun was standing by.
“HMS Mersey leaving Newcastle Quayside 12th September 2012” – ALANSVIDS1 on YouTube
Olympic Rings on the Tyne Bridge 2012
The Olympic Rings were placed on the Tyne Bridge in honour of London 2012, and remained for the rest of the year.
“Newcastle, Gateshead Millennium Bridge” – Umberto Faraglia on YouTube
Scottish Independence Pop Quiz 2014
A Scotsman was interested to hear what people on the Quayside thought about Scottish Independence.
“Independence – Newcastle, Quayside” – meltedBettle on YouTube
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Photo at top of page by Shaun Darwood on Unsplash