Our Gateshead

The North East Coast Exhibition 1929

The North East Coast Exhibition

This exhibition was held at the Exhibition Park from May to October 1929 and was opened by HRH the Prince of Wales on 14 May 1929. It was a symbol of pride and industrial success of the region and at the same time an advertisement for local industry and commerce.

It was the biggest show to hit the city, it was an attempt to showcase local industry and boost the local economy during a time of depression. Attractions included a Palace of Engineering, a Himalayan Railway, and an African Village! During its six month life 4½ million visitors passed through the turnstiles, and when the pavilions were dismantled the area reverted to a public park. The Palace of Arts was built on a steel frame to protect the exhibits, and was the most substantial of the buildings. It was left intact when the rest were dismantled. It now houses the Military Vehicle Museum. The 1870 Town Moor Improvement Act determined that 2 x 35acres of land to be developed for recreation one would become Leazes Park and one at the Town Moor. The original location of the park was to be the Bull Park where the City’s bull was penned for stud. The site was the wedge of land at the corner of Claremont Road and the Great North Road. Later this land became the Hancock Museum. The committee realised that the Bull Park was too small for the Exhibition and requested Town moor recreation ground. This is where the current park is now. The Royal Jubilee Exhibition was duly held in 1887 and proved a tremendous success and attracted 2,000,000 visitors. The name Exhibition Park was first used during the Jubilee Exhibition of 1887 but the old name of Bull Park remained for some time. The only remaining item from the 1887 Exhibition is the bandstand.  The Main Entrance The main Avenue From the Entrance The Empire Maketing Board and Main Avenue Exhibition Festival Hall & Fountain The Bridge Exibition Viewed From The Great North Road  The area benefitted from the exhibition financially, the LNER sought to capitalise as the above poster demonstrated.Produced for the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) to promote rail services to the North East Coast Exhibition, held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne between May and October in 1929. The poster shows a male worker gesturing towards the buildings of the exhibition, which are seen beyond the Bridge, coalmining apparatus, and smoking chimneys, representing the traditional industries of the area. Artwork by Septimus E Scott (1879-1965) who studied at the Royal College of Art and also designed posters for London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). Dimensions: 1050 mm x 1255 mm.  

A postcard of the carillon tower North East Coast Exhibition Newcastle upon Tyne taken in 1929. The boating lake is in the foreground with the carillon tower in the centre. A flight of steps in front of the carillon tower leads down to the boating lake.

Maling Ringtons Tea Caddy created for the 1929 NE Coast  Exhibition. 

_______________________________________ During the 24 weeks operation a total of 4,373,138 people attended Gold watches were given to each one-millionth visitor. Only seven criminal offences recorded (six drunken offences and 1 pick pocketing) Although the great depression was underway around the world, The Exhibitors felt that taking part in 1929 event had resulted in increased interest in their products and services, if not orders. It remains in folk memory of Tyneside as one of the most enjoyable events in regional history. It closed on 26 October 1929 with a massive fire works display.


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