Miners and Mechanics Institutes, North East England .
As a means of promoting the elevation of the masses Joseph Cowen pleaded for the development of institutions and libraries and introduced a series of changes which greatly improved the institute at Blaydon as a source of learning and instruction, eventually due to his work these local institutions were united into what was known as the "Northern Union of Mechanics Institutes." and from 1859 to 1864 he was the secretary of the Union.
Photograph, D.J.Kane, 2002.
Dudley Miners Institute 1862.
Dudley Colliery - The second of two lectures on the American war and slavery, under the auspices of the Dudley Reading Institute, was delivered by Mr. W.E Adams, on Tuesday evening. Mr James Mcallister, surgeon, occupied the chair. At the close of the lecture, a long series of questions were asked and answered. Mr. Young then proposed , and Mr. Alexander Blyth seconded the following resolution :- "That in the opinion of this meeting, Mr. Adams has established his argument, that the South is fighting for slavery and that the policy of the North is to destroy it; that therefore the Federal Government is deserving of encouragement and sympathy." The resolution was carried with a single dissentient. Votes of thanks were passed to the lecturer, and the chairman.
Seaton Burn Mechanics Institute 1899.
Photograph, D.J.Kane, 2002.
Seghill Colliery Institute 1906.
Tynemouth Tradesmen's and Mechanics' Institute, 19 May 1857.
Foundation stone laid (Tuesday) by William Schaw Lindsay M.P for Tynemouth the architect was Mr. John Johnson. builders Messers. Scott and Read. This Institution was founded in 1833 and was an example of how these institutions where neglected by the class of peopple that they were origionaly intended for the membership consisted mainly of tradesmen and young men connected with the shops and offices of the town; there numbers rarley exceded 150 or 180 and never attained a higher dignity than a book room. About five years ago several members determined to raise the institution out of it's apathy and attract to it the support of the mechanics. the cost of the ground was £250 and the building with it's fittings would cost £1750. In his speach W.S.Lindsay said he hoped it would be an institution "wherein the rising generation may learn instruction and have their minds improved." The building of the new institute will be erected at the south west corner of the intersection of Howard street and Saville street. On the ground floor it is designed to have a news room and conversation room placed one on each side of the principle enterance and a large room with an enterance on Saville street. A spacious stone staircase with iron balustrade will lead to the library room there will be an arched glass roof, a classroom and a committtee room on this floor. Designed by John Johnson of Newcastle it will be brick with dressed stone facings. the contractors are Messers. Scott and Reed of Newcastle. During the laying of the foundation stone Messers. W. and D. Downey of South Shields took several photographic views illustrative of the ceremony.
30 May 1857, Tradesmen's and Mechanics Institution North Shields. (illustrated)
W.S.Lindsay M.P laid the foundation stone for the borough of Tynemouth on Tuesday shortly after 6 o'clock 3hrs. late due to the fact that the M.P had missed the mail train from London and had to wait for the express to leave. Tea was served for 600 persons in the Albion Assembly Rooms. A procession made it's way from the Town hall to the site headed by a band of music and the mayors of Tynemouth South Shields and Newcastle W.S.Lindsay M.P; Ralph Ward Jackson,; Corporations of Tynemouth South Shields members of the Committee and many of the principle inhabitants of the town. The site was decorated with flags and a large crowd of spectators had gathered the Rev. Mr. Thompson, senior curate of Christ church said prayers and Mr. T. Fenwick placed a brass box into the foundation stone containing newspapers and a number of coins.
Offices Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers erected 1870. photograph
Mechanics Institute Newbridge Street Newcastle.
1865 April 19, On this day, amidst great rejoicing, the foundation stone of a new building for the members of the Mechanics' Institution was laid by her Majesty's principal Secretary of State, the right . Hon. Sir George Gray, bart. The handsome silver trowel was presented to Mr Ralph Thompson, of the arcade, and the whole affair passed off with great enthusiasm. A procession was formed at the New Town Hall, consisting of the mayor, sheriff, and town council, the clergy various public bodies and members of the instirution were there etc. etc. which headed by the band of the first Newcastle volunteer Artillery, walked up Grey Street to the site (between Weavers tower and the Unitarian chapel) in New Bridge street. The Reverend and the Vicar read a prayer, and the usual ceremonies were observed for of the occasion. In 1879 A Carse was secretary.
References. Life of Joseph Cowen Wm. Duncan, Walter Scott publishing Co. 1904. Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 29 October, 1864. The Illustrated London News May 30, 1857. Local Records III, Fordyce, 1867.