The 28th June 2012 will be long remembered in Newcastle upon Tyne and long remembered by all of us who were under the great storm. There is a photo taken from an aeroplane coming in to land of the great mushroom cloud that was that storm and had I known I was under that I would have been terrified. As it was, the day began with the expectation that Nathan Rosen would be performing that night at Take Ten at The Cumberland Arms Byker and that we would be in Newcastle all day until then. So we met cousins Claire and Andrew and headed off for a bit of culture at The Baltic Flour Mill (modern art exhibition centre).

neat bit of kit

We listened to the sounds of the Tyne translated, amlified and delivered to the roof of the Baltic by this ingenious apparatus

the bit of kit in the Tyne that picks up the resonances

We listened to The Janet Cardiff 40 part Motet for ages. I could have sat there forever. It was just as well to have had such relaxation before the storm which despite the calm around us

Kitiwakes nesting on a ledge of The Baltic Mill

was about to disrupt the day.

We were pinned down by the storm in the relative comfort of The Sage where water was pouring inside and out and you couldn’t see the city any more across the river. That was the actual colour of the sky! and lightning struck the Tyne Bridge with such a thunderous crack that my hair stood on end. The camera shook a bit…I usually like a good storm! Mmm – bit close for comfort! and a bit eerie really.
And then there was the rain.
Buses were disrupted. We eventually got from the Sage to the Station but found it was closed due to flooding. So we waded over to China Town for a meal. We were so wet you could have rung us out and still it continued to pour down. We managed to get to the Cumberland Arms. God knows what we thought was going to happen there… But the gig was cancelled! Naturally!
The city was in gridlock. Traffic was at a standsill. The road to the coast was flooded. All roads out were blocked with traffic. Trains, buses, taxis, emergency sercvices, all gridlocked! Thankkfully we didn’t have to get all the way home becasue we were with family and after two hours travelling 4 miles to their house, and after a cup of tea and a rest, Andrew conveyed us home after midnight. We are so grateful!!!
It was stressful but there were people a lot worse off than us! who’d lost power or were flooded out. And a storm of great ferocity was about to hit Baltimore too! (Seems no matter where they were, Nathan and Jenesta were going to encouter a storm.)
So the Cumberland Arms didn’t happen that night BUT it did happen eventually – not at Take Ten but more later. All’s well that ends well.