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Upon Tyne

On going project

'Upon Tyne’ is a North East defined neither by deprivation nor cultural investment, but by a people proud of their place.


Upon Tyne is a photographic journey along the banks of the River Tyne, the very heartbeat of the Tyneside region. The importance of the River Tyne to the region cannot be understated, from the Romans who occupied the area from around 130 AD, to the Vikings who sailed down the river during their first raids of Britain, the river has always been at the heart of North Easterly culture. To the modern day where it flows through hamlets, towns, villages and the city of Newcastle, and still is used by the people of the region day to day. This photo story looks to act as a document and celebration of the area, by using the river as the entity that connects the areas within the North East. A river which has given so much to a region through its industries and possibilities, a gift not forgotten by those of Tyneside.

'The people of Tyne, whether Wallsend or Wylam, Haltwhistle or Howden, Alston or Tynemouth are a people who strongly identified with the river as a symbol of the region. These are the disputed lands over which Kings of Scotland fought with Kings of England, or further back, the geography that Hadrian decided was the end of the Roman Empire. The Roman Wall runs parallel to the river and contains within it the ferocious industry of an independent people ignored and exploited by the powers that be. Thomas wants to show us: an aural history of lead and coal, of ships and horse-racing. There is a lilt and a bite to these North East images that is the fierce quality of the people who say: ‘we know beauty and sacrifice and we, with the work of our hands, will build something great.’

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