Wednesday, November 05, 2008

John Grundy at Seaton Delaval Hall

A minor theme on this blog has been local architecture. In fact I reached the peak of my blogging career when I was asked to write a piece for the BBC website after writing an item about the notorious Gateshead carpark and why I thought it should be demolished.

Last night I went to the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead to listen to John Grundy talk on the theme of `Architecture and the Media` which was an account of how he moved from being an English teacher to working for the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (English Heritage) on the National Re-survey of Listed Buildings in the 1980`s, before becoming a broadcaster on local television making very enjoyable programmes on places of local interest. The talk was very entertaining and the hour flew by.

Since moving to North Tyneside I have developed an obsession with Seaton Delaval Hall whose future is up in the air at the moment. Here is John talking about the interior in this YouTube extract. The Hall has no Catholic associations but I always find it hard to separate the baroque and Catholicism in my mind.

Unfortunately the recent changes at ITV have meant that Tyne-Tees Television will be almost entirely devoted to only news programmes and so we will not be seeing anymore of John Grundy`s wonderful programmes for the short-term.


Fr Michael Brown said...

Madame Evangelista, I`m sorry I lost your comment. I noticed that the post needed editing but I can`t do that to posts from YouTube without losing the whole post. I thought I had copied it but hadn`t and so had to write the whole thing again. I`ll post your comment again below but feel free to send it again.

Anonymous said...

How funny. I've just googled for your article about the Get Carter car park and found it, and distinctly remember the piece catching my eye at the time! I'm ambivalent - not that I particularly think it should stay, but it's harsh to knock it down for a Tescos when there's one practically underneath it already.

I still haven't been to Seaton Delaval Hall and have probably missed my opportunity, as I think it must be closed now for winter (and unlikely to re-open unless renovated by either the National Trust or a private buyer). The Journal is running a campaign to fundraise for it, in association with the National Trust.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Madame E, I am not greatly excited by the proposed redevelopment of Gateshead town centre. It needs something doing but the last time I saw the plans they weren`t very exciting and not much better than what is presently there. I do, however, still think the town will be better off without that carpark.

I see that the National Trust is trying to take Seaton Delaval over. I wonder if they intend to restore the interior? Despite what John Grundy says I`d quite like to see it full restored. Maybe a private buyer would do this.

madame evangelista said...

The problem with a private buyer is that they are more likely to restore it and turn it into a golf club! However, if the National Trust can't buy it, I suppose the present owners might not find it that easy to sell.

I'm always torn by things like this, because I tend to feel that with heritage bodies the owners are getting a guaranteed sale at the price they set, and for entirely partisan reasons that just irritates me.