Ouseburn was recently named in a list of the top ten Coolest Neighbourhoods in the UK by The Culture Trip. This wasn’t news to me – I live here. This is what they had to say:
“Formerly a hive of activity during Newcastle’s industrial heyday, Ouseburn gradually fell into decline and as recently as 30 years ago was a shadow of its former self, blighted by derelict factories. Nowadays, however, thanks to the efforts of grassroots community groups, Ouseburn is hailed as the city’s cultural quarter. Revived historic buildings are now home to cultural organisations like The Biscuit Factory, a contemporary art gallery, and Seven Stories, the national centre for children’s books, and plenty of real ale and annual events – like the family-friendly Ouseburn Festival and the artist- and artisan-focused Ouseburn Open Studios – have the area pegged as one of the North East’s best places to live and play.”
Couldn’t put it better myself. Well, actually I could. This is what Zoe Popper has to say about Ouseburn in Chapter 4: Little Miss Ouseburn…
“With the skylight open, if I stood on my tiptoes, I could see across the valley to the scrap metal yard hidden behind the old flour mill, now called The Cluny and home to artists and creative types. To the left was the huge brick chimney of the old forge, and behind that, the farm with its grass roof and solar panels, and beyond to the three bridges: brick, iron and concrete. The whole area was an evolving time capsule, an oasis of animals and art in the centre of town.
We sauntered down to the river Ouse, navigating the lumpy cobbled pathways. Shaggy goats munched grass in an enclosure under the Byker Bridge, the tall brick archways vaulting over us, carrying the traffic away into the city.
‘Did you know, all round here used to be fields?’ I said.
Jonah grinned and leaned over the edge of the stone footbridge, watching the river bubble and swirl beneath and away to the Tyne.
‘I’m serious,’ I continued. ‘It started out agricultural, outside the walls of the city, then the industrial revolution happened and it was all barges and slums and shitting in a bucket, and now it’s gone creative.’”
Read Chapter 4 here
Or discover the 9 other coolest neighbourhoods in the UK here