High Bridge, Newcastle has to be one of my favourite paintings of my home town. Over years it’s proved to be one of my best selling prints of Newcastle and yet it’s depicting a time of day and year that is not seen very often. Strong, late afternoon winter sunlight is about to disappear behind the distant buildings. Busy shoppers dart to and fro in and out of the dark shadows which are being cast by the low level sun. Despite me using a very limited palate, the painting has a strong feeling of colour and light which somehow seems to typify Newcastle.
High Bridge is named after the bridge which crossed the Lort Burn, a subterranean burn starting in Leazes Park which used to flow through the centre of the city into the Tyne. It was used as an open sewer which backed on to the meat markets until 1696 when it was put underground. In 1749 Dean Street (named from dene) was built following the course of Lort Burn as a continuation of Grey street.
Today, the street has an interesting collection of buildings, including 3 pubs, a barber, and various shops with Lorts Burn still flowing beneath your feet into the Tyne.