Above, the general scene at this conference. Below, Hall Two in readiness for the Lecture.
Friends of Red Kites were invited to display their Flight of the Red Kite Photographic Exhibition.
Harold Dobson, Secretary of Friends of Red Kites is happy with the mounting of our Flight of the Red Kite Photographic Exhibition. Several other people took the opportunity of a pre-view.
Gateshead's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Neil Weatherley and the Deputy Mayoress, Mrs. Weatherley, were escorted by Sarker Borsha, Chair 2013 Scientific Organising Committee and are seen here with Dr. Simon Elliott , who gave a very well-received lecture entitled 'From ducks to doppler'.
The attention of a delegate from Hertfordshire was caught by the two photos of local red kites.
A delegate from Shotley Bridge also perused the photographs.
Images courtesy of June Atkinson
Members' Evening Race Night
Wednesday 27 November 2013
Whickham Community Centre
This was a Members' evening with a difference. Arranged by Austin and aided by Brian and Edwin,
a very entertaining night at the Races was accompanied by excellent refreshments.
|Austin, Brian and Edwin - our organisers||All eyes on the horses!|
| You can't win them all!||Has my horse won?|
|A table full of lovely raffle prizes!||Harold cuts the delicious celebration cake.|
Friday 18th October 2103
The NeST Gallery, Barnard Castle, held a Promotional Evening for our Flight of the Red Kite Exhibition.
Images courtesy of June Atkinson
Sylvia Jones gave a short Presentation. The invited audience then had the opportunity to ask questions, chat and view the exhibition whilst enjoying the hospitality of The NeST.
Heritage Open Days
On Friday 13th September, a group gathered in Winlaton Mill car park to hear Friends of Red Kites volunteers talk about the local and natural history of the area. It was the first of three morning guided walks entitled "Hammers, Chains 'n Nails + Red Kites". From this point it is fascinating to learn about, but hard to imagine, the iron forges of the 17th century along the ridge in Winlaton.
A short walk along the pavement and past the Red Kite pub took us to a path leading in to the Derwenthaugh Park. This was the road through the former village of Winlaton Mill. It is interesting to find out about the housing, educational and medical provisions made by Ambrose Crowley and his son, John, when they set up and ran their iron works in the valley. Only the foundations of the houses remain now, but there are quite a few photographs which show the village before it was replaced in the 1930s by the present village across the A694.
After a short walk to the south through the Park we stopped by the River Derwent. It is on this bend that it is possible to see the traces of the "high dam" and the channel of the former mill race constructed by Crowley in the 1690s.
The water powered massive water wheels and forges which made this one of the biggest iron works of its time in Europe, producing chains, anchors and nails for ships, and later, precision steel-edged tools. Metal working continued until 1915 when the works were moved. A cokeworks was constructed in 1928.
A brisk walk around Kite Hill and up on to the Nine Arches viaduct always gives an impressive view of the Derwent Valley and the National Trust's Gibside Estate.
It is also an opportunity to walk along a short section of the Derwent Walk and to find out about the red kites. These magnificent birds were reintroduced back in to the area in 2004-2006 after an absence of nearly 200 years. They have settled in the valley and can usually be seen flying above the trees or rising on thermals. During the winter months many birds can be seen from the viaduct at dusk as they gather to roost.
We stopped by the Butterfly Bridge (so named after the naturalists who studied and collected the many butterflies in the area). The first bridge was constructed in 1842, replacing the chain-pulled boat, although the ford was still used. In 1950 a bridge replaced the first one but was swept away by floods in 2008. The present bridge was constructed in 2011 and forms a vital link from the ancient routeway of Clockburn Lonnen across the River Derwent.
This area has a fascinating history; we hope all those who joined us on this walk enjoyed it.
Report by Jackey Lockwood; images courtesy of Sylvia Jones Friends of Red Kites
Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland
A presentation about our Red Kites was given recently at Woodhorn Museum
by Harold Dobson, Secretary of Friends of Red Kites.
Although the group was small, the members were extremely interested.
Questions which followed reflected their knowledge and enthusiasm.
Images courtesy of June Atkinson
Image courtesy of Brian Tiffin, Duty Manager, South Tyneside Museums, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
14 - 22 May St. Mary's Church, Ponteland
Kaleel Zibe, the official professional photographer for the Exhibition visited the Ponteland display.
Image courtesy of Harold Dobson
Here, two visitors begin to look at the Exhibition..........................
and here Rena Holford, a Glass Artist, lends her red kite sculpture, which adds another dimension.
Launch of the "Flight of the Red Kite Photographic Exhibition"
Image courtesy of David Jones
Click HERE for Launch of our "Flight of the Red Kite Photographic Exhibition".
Image courtesy of Ken Sanderson
Peter and Jean Smith of Low Fell at the Exhibition with Anna Pepperall,Curator of Public Art, Gateshead.
Coverage of the Photographic Exhibition can be found on the Flight of the Kite page
A group of us set off from Swalwell Visitor Centre for a Scooter Safari in the Derwent Valley. The weather forecast was for heavy showers, and the temperatures were rather cool but that did not dampen the enthusiasm.
The Friends of Red Kites led the Scoot from Swalwell up on to the Derwent Walk, once a busy railway line but now a popular walking and cycling route.
The leaves on the trees were just showing shades of green, and the woodland floor had a variety of wild flowers. We had clear views over the Derwent Valley and of a soaring red kite overhead.
Once we reached the Nine Arches Viaduct we turned off the Derwent Walk, passed the "Stone Garden" and in to the Derwenthaugh Park.
The valley seemed to be full of bird song. We were able to listen to and watch many of the recently-arrived migrants such as willow warbler, chiffchaff and blackcap. A buzzard put in an appearance soaring overhead.
At Clockburn Lake we were able to watch a heron patiently stalking for food.
A swan was uncharacteristically friendly and stayed with the group for quite a while.
The new Butterfly Bridge is impressive, and many commented on how well maintained the Park and Walk are. By the weir at Damhead we had a chance to observe the nearly-completed fish pass which is quite a structure.
We watched a dipper on the River Derwent unperturbed by all the activity.
The promised showers arrived just before we got back to Swalwell but the rain did not spoil what had been a very enjoyable morning. Although the weather reduced the number of participants, those who came with us were amazed at what they saw. The company of FoRK volunteers was greatly appreciated and made the experience different to anything they had done before.They stopped frequently to enjoy the views and the wildlife.They wanted another 'scoot' as soon as possible and promised to bring their friends.We all gained a great deal from this unique experience.
Report: Jackey Lockwood, images:David Jones
Thank you to all who participated in this first co-operative venture between Friends of Red Kites and Gateshead Shopmobility. Let's hope we have a chance to repeat the event in the future.
Image courtesy of June Atkinson
Would you like to see the kites, but can't walk the distance? Become a member of Gateshead Shopmobility and then you can book a mobility scooter, collecting and returning it to Swalwell Visitor Centre by the required time. This is usually between 10a.m. and 3p.m.
A FoRK member by Clockburn Lake, Derwent Country Park
Annual Membership is £5 and the hire charge for a full day is £4.00. 2 Scooters are kept at the Derwent Walk Country Park. This is one way to get mobile and keep up with the kites!
images June Atkinson
Contact: 0191 4779888 or firstname.lastname@example.org