One biographer of Gertrude described her own impressions of the city in the same period (the late 1800s), when for the first time she visited an aunt who lived there: The district round Middlesbrough and Tees side to the sea was caked with grime…For twenty miles the air smelt of chemicals and ash and soot, as the crowded houses smelt of cabbage, cheese and cat. Basements…were covered with black, gluey mud whenever it rained.’ The term ‘day-darkness’ was coined to describe the smog of industry; and in particular, Middlesbrough and Cleveland were said by a contemporary to succeed in almost excluding daylight from the district.
Daughter of the Desert. The Remarkable Life of Gertrude Bell.
Georgina Howell. 2007
An otter in the Wear you may find but once a year
An otter in the Tees you may find at your ease
Denham Tracts. 1891
In its simplest form I understand psychogeography to be a straightforward acknowledgement that we, as human beings, embed aspects of our psyche…memories, associations, myth and folklore…in the landscape that surrounds us. On a deeper level, given that we do not have direct awareness of an objective reality but, rather, only have awareness of our own perceptions, it would seem to me that psychogeography is possibly the only kind of geography that we can actually inhabit.
The Redcar Memorial Clock tower was designed by John Dobson and erected in 1913 in memory of King Edward VII. It is built of red engineering brick and concrete. The plinth is made of Whinstone, making it one of the few buildings in the area that utilises this local stone.
Grey Towers in Nunthorpe, built for William Hopkins, and the former home of Arthur Dorman, is also faced with Whinstone.
I took a trip, with my friends Emily and Martyn, to Scarth Wood Moor today to look at the Seven Stones. Unfortunately we all assumed that someone else would bring a map, which none of us did.
I tried and failed to convince Martyn that it is possible to navigate a moor using Rowan trees. Emily demonstrated her pareidolic skills, collected some bones and told us tales about hunting Warthogs.
The Seven Stones were discovered by Frank Elgee in the 1930s, The stones are the most visible part of a number of orthostat walls. The moor has been a busy place in the past, there are recent stone quarries, small enclosures and burial mounds. Flints have been found on the moor that are characteristic of the late Mesolithic. All of this within sight of a popular tourist spot for Teesside day trippers known locally as Sheepwash.