© 2018 Greg & Sylvia RAY

Travelling Through Time, dedicated to our Dads

Our 10th book, Travelling Through Time, will always be associated in our minds with sad endings and joyous beginnings. That's because for much of 2018 as we worked on the book, we were painfully aware that both our fathers were dying and - at the same time - we were awaiting the birth in Sweden of our first grandchild. As it happened our fathers died within a week of one another last October, just as the book was being printed, and little Elsie was born on November 1. Naturally we had to make our pilgrimage to…

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Our Town Revisited: Newcastle in colour with a focus on the 1970s

This is the Newcastle that I remember from my own younger days. And this is the most personal of our books to date, peppered with fragmentary anecdotes of my memories of growing up in Our Town. My unrequited wish to go on Romper Room, for example. And of course my still-jarring memories of the 1989 earthquake - the 30th anniversary of which coincides with the production of this book. Newcastle's East End, late 1970s. Photo by Ron Morrison. For the past decade, Sylvia and I have produced a collection of historical photographs each year. It started…

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Read more about the article When the dead travelled by tram
A coffin being carried to Newcastle Railway Station from a tram hearse, circa 1934.

When the dead travelled by tram

In years gone by, the dead were frequent patrons of Newcastle's public transport system. As a matter of fact, the city's tramways offered a unique service, taking deceased folk from the homes of their loved ones in specially made hearse trailers to connect with trains to cemetery. One of Newcastle's old hearse trailers, made to be towed behind a tram. Visitors arriving at Sandgate Cemetery, Newcastle, by train on Mothers Day 1939. Ideally, the body would - after having been farewelled in the family home - be carried to a tram stop where, by arrangement, the…

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