Tales of the Bigg Market - NE1 Needs your memories


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Did you ever visit the Bigg Market Zoo, Dance at Balmbras, get married at the old Town Hall or meet friends for coffee at Pumphreys?

Bigg Market

If you have any interesting stories to tell about your experiences of the Bigg Market and its history, NE1 Ltd, the Business Improvement District company for Newcastle City Centre would like to hear from you.

As part of the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of the Bigg Market – the project team at NE1 Ltd have commissioned Northern Stars Production to produce a people’s history of the Bigg Market in film.   To make this possible, NE1 is calling on the public to come forward with their memories, memorabilia and anecdotes about the Bigg Market and the local area, however small.

The team at Northern Stars are interested in hearing from anyone who has any interesting stories, quirky memories, photos or pictures.  In the first instance, people should send details via email providing a written account of their memories, or what images or memorabilia they may have.  The team will collate responses over the coming weeks and will respond to those whose memories are of interest.  The team is keen for people to come forward with material however small, or seemingly inconsequential – NE1 wants to hear from them.   

The idea is to build up a people’s history of the Bigg Market providing a living memory of the area’s hidden history, as well as its more famous and infamous historical elements. The film will be produced over the next few months ready to be screened by the end of the year.

Alex Slack, NE1 Ltd Bigg Market Project Manager said:

“Our HLF project is called ‘Giving A Historic Heart back to Newcastle’, and while the capital investment in the public realm is hugely important it’s also critical that we preserve the heritage of the area. We hope the film will capture people’s memories, tales and anecdotes for future generations. The Bigg Market has played a pivotal role in Newcastle City Centre for centuries now and we are keen to ensure that this history is not lost.”

“We want to hear from those who remember the Winter Zoo in the Bigg Market which spawned many legendary stories, like the one  about Pumas being taken for pints in the Old George pub, or giraffes eating visitors’ hats…or anyone who attended ceremonies at the Old Town Hall.   We know there will be so many fascinating stories out there and we want to collect and collate them.”

Anyone who has anything to contribute to the film should contact NE1 on admin@newcastlene1ltd.com

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