Having anticipated the opening of a new cafe on the Blue Carpet for some time (http://novumcastellum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/new-cafe-bar-for-blue-carpet-square.html) and, in particular, the opening of the Sustrans/ ColoorCoffee/Recyke Y'Bikejoint venture, I was pleased get the chance to pop in for a cuppa after work recently.
As I sat enjoying my coffee, I reminisced that it was in this very spot, about 35 years ago, that I bought my first guitar - a Fender FC20 Classic - when the cafe was once a music shop called "Kitchens".
Now, I have scoured the internet (well a couple of Google and forum searches) for images of this music store but cannot find any at all. I had begun to think that I was imagining it, when I stumbled on an article from a couple of years ago on the Evening Chronicle site. Not only am I right and there was such a store here, it seems I am in good company buying a guitar from Kitchens. The article containing an interview where Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler reveal that it was Kitchen's music shop where he picked up his first guitar. He revealed that the shop manager who handed the instrument over had some sage advice for the would-be megastar: “He told me to stick at it,” said. “I should have taken his advice!” He had bought the guitar was bought from Kitchen’s music store, in the mid-1960s, when it occupied the corner unit of Higham House, on New Bridge Street West, where The Journey is now.
Come to think of it, I wish I had stuck at the guitar as well.
Anyway, The Journey opened its doors a few weeks ago now, and comprises a cafe serving great coffee in pleasant surroundings - great decor with glass fronted exterior providing views on to the 'Blue' Carpet and the historic Lying-In Hostipital (and former BBC) building.
Not an entirely random name for a blog, but close. I am not a goat herder - in the usual meaning of that word; nor does the Urban Dictionary definition apply to me either (for a decade at least): an extremely drunk male who having lost all self-respect and standards, loses his powers of discrimination when pulling females. It is said that Gateshead derives its name from a settlement near an early Tyne crossing where goats once roamed. The goats are long gone, but me - I like to roam these parts - or rather run - exploring new places, rediscovering old ones in and around Gateshead and Newcastle when I'm out jogging. This blog is a collection of my photos, thoughts, observations, rants, loves and hates about Newcastle and Gateshead.