I am interested in history. I enjoy the North East Catholic History Society. I have been wondering about the history of St Joseph`s. The only history I had been able to find was the article in the book Down Your Aisle which gives potted histories of many of our parishes in the diocese. My interest was stirred at the NECHS this last season when we had a talk on reactions in the North East to the restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy in 1850 when Fr Betham, the first pp of this parish got a significant mention as his announcement that he was to be parish priest of Gateshead got much criticism and I thought I`d like to know more.
Yesterday while searching through a large cupboard for bank statements i found a few undistinguished looking folders. I looked inside and was delighted to find items relating to parish history. I had looked in the file in the filing cupboard marked `photos` only to find it empty. Now I`ve found where they are. There`s a lot of fascinating stuff. Here`s a taster. This must be the original design for the church, with a spire which was never built. Such a shame it never happened. I would have liked a bell tower.