Hidden histories and recovering cultures

Hidden histories and recovering cultures | University of Northumbria

On y’bike: cycling in postwar Tyneside

Following the Second World War, dozens of young Geordies got on their bikes and rode out into Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and beyond. Many of these cyclists joined clubs to ride competitively, while others took advantage of their bikes to get to work, socialise, or simply to see the British countryside.

Over 2017, volunteers have recorded the oral histories of older members of the Tyneside Vagabonds Cycling Club (est. 1937), and digitised their private collections of photographs, memorabilia and film, preserving a record of the region’s vibrant cycling history. With the support of the Vagabonds, Northumbria University and the Being Human Festival, this free exhibition will display the North East’s little-known cycling past. The event will also include a short talk by the project leaders, a screening of archival film, and an open discussion with participants.

The great knitting workshop: picking up dropped stitches

This workshop will include a talk from researchers on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century education and fashion and culminate in a knitted blanket collaboratively made by the group, using instructions from nineteenth-century pattern books. The workshop will be linked to the present-day rediscovery of the lost art of hand-crafting, leading to the coining of the term ‘New Materialism’ which has fuelled TV shows such as The Great British Sewing Bee. Over the past decade, pastimes such as knitting and sewing have become popular again, with hundreds of magazines dedicated to various crafts, and events held around the world. We owe much of what we can create now to the ingenuity and creativity of nineteenth-century knitters.