In the North West of Newcastle, within the city walls, was Blackfriars, a Dominican Friary founded by a wealthy business merchant, Sir Peter Scott, in 1239. It is said that William III of England, and Edward Bolliol, claimant to the Scottish throne met here in 1334.
Blackfriars deteriorated and was neglected over the years until Newcastle Corporation acquired the buildings in the 1950’s. and between 1973 and 1981 the buildings of the cloisters were restored. A grassed area has been retained in the centre where an outline of the church can still be seen
Another view of Blackfriars
The surrounding stone buildings now house some very nice craft shops and a very lovely restaurant where we all met for a reunion lunch.
‘WE’ are a group of ladies who have, between us, spent many years living in Hong Kong where we all, at various stages joined an ex pat group which helped us to settle into a very different environment
We met on Monday mornings to listen to speakers, who talked about a variety of subjects, watch demonstrations, take part in activities, arrange outings and discuss various issues. We had a walking group, a book club, a Mahjong group, a supper club, supported various charitable events, and were of course ‘ladies who did lunch’. We visited many interesting places on group outings, and took boat trips to outlying islands to enjoy the food and culture away from the busy hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Island, so were quite a busy bunch of people.
Quite a few of us have now retired back to various parts of the UK and once a year we endeavor to meet up somewhere for a day, to enjoy each others company, reminisce and share all our news, photographs and views on life since coming back here
Some of the ladies travelled north the day before the reunion to stay with others of the group, some travelled from York and Edinburgh on the day and others were visiting from Hong Kong where they still reside but were back in the UK for family visits. We all met at the Central Station in Newcastle around 10.30. and headed for a coffee shop where the chattering of twelve ladies who hadn’t met for twelve months must have deafened everyone-----there was definitely an audible sigh from the staff behind the counter as we left !
The staff were very welcoming and showed us to our table where we made our choices from and extensive menu which catered for everyone’s needs. The staff were very attentive and served the tasty food with a cheery smile, and took great delight in explaining the content of some of the more local dishes like panackelty, or panhaggelty as we know it. The restaurant’s was a veggie version consisting of potatoes, cheese and onions but it would normally include shredded left over meat from Sunday lunch, or corned beef.
Enjoying our lunch
We sat and chatted over coffee---or wine ---until around 3.30. when we left to head to the station to say farewell to the first two ladies departing on their return journey to Kings Cross. The remaining group headed back up into the city centre to while away an hour or so until it was time to head back to the station to catch their trains to York and Edinburgh.