The ultimate views of Stephenson’s Newcastle revealed

ICE North East has announced the winners of a photography competition launched to capture some of Newcastle’s most important heritage.

High Level Bridge, by David Newbegin
High Level Bridge, by David Newbegin

Open to amateur and professional photographers of all ages, the 'Stephenson's Newcastle' competition sought images depicting locations associated with George and Robert Stephenson within Newcastle to be used in a special leaflet to commemorate the institute's 200th year in 2018.

After a thorough judging process, the overall winner of the competition was 'High Level Bridge from the Quayside' by David Newbegin from Wylam, the birthplace of George Stephenson. The image, which captured the bridge in an unusual light, landed the amateur photographer a £200 prize. David is a retired civil engineer who, as a Fellow of the Institution, has been a member for more than 50 years.

In second place was 'Lit and Phil', also by David Newbegin. The image, showing the library in all its glory, landed the photographer an additional £50 prize.

In third place was 'Dean Street Arch', by Ray McIver a member of the Whitley Bay Photographic Society. The image, which portrayed the intricate detail of the arch, landed the amateur photographer a £50 prize.

The winning images were selected from a shortlist of 14 photographs, judged by a an esteemed panel led by professional photographer Neil Denham, and representatives from ICE North East including Heritage Panel Chairman, Michael Taylor, Incoming Regional Chair, Alison Mee and Graduates and Students Chair, Laura Chatwin. The photographers were presented with their prizes at ICE's AGM on January 22nd, by the institution's Director General Nick Baveystock.

Entrants were encouraged to take photographs of specific locations, including The Mining Institute, Stephenson's Boiler Shop and Hawthorns works, to form the basis of a leaflet to promote the works and lives of both renowned civil engineers, as well as being used on the institution's website and associated exhibitions showcasing civil engineering icons.

On the competition, Penny Marshall, ICE Regional Director in the North East, said: "This competition helps raise awareness of a part of Newcastle's history that is often overlooked. George Stephenson, the father of the railways, is usually associated with the Darlington to Stockton Railway, the first ever passenger railway. But it's not commonly known that Locomotion 1, the engine that made that first journey, was built in the Stephenson's Works, just off South Street, right here in Newcastle. Producing this leaflet, which will act as a guide around the sites of Newcastle, will hopefully encourage more people to seek out our forgotten past, because it shaped the world we live in today."

On the entries, Neil Denham said: "We were blessed with some really fantastic entries to judge, with a series of captivating, technically accomplished and emotive shots ending up on the shortlist, which made the judging process extremely difficult. It's so pleasing to see so many talented photographers taking an interest in the heritage of Newcastle."

On winning the competition, David said: "I became interested in photography after I retired as County Engineer to Durham County Council 20 years ago. As a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers for well over 50 years, I was responsible for upgrading roads, railways and collieries as well as improving the environment and reclamation works in the North East, at the beginning and end of my career.

"I have been fascinated by the great engineers who have transformed people's lives during the last two centuries. I have been particularly interested in the lives and work of George and Robert Stephenson, especially as I now live a mile from George's birthplace in Wylam. Therefore I decided to enter the photo competition and was very surprised to be recognised with an award."

On winning an award, Ray said: "I am a local Geordie lad and a recently retired Civil and Structural Engineer having enjoyed 27 years at Arup Newcastle. I have been involved in numerous local projects including many on Newcastle Quayside.

"My career in engineering lends itself to appreciating the visual pleasure provided by impressive works created by our eminent Victorian engineers in the NE. Getting recognition for my photography from the ICE gives me great pleasure and provides the opportunity to share my passion for both engineering and photography with others."

ICE is an influential body representing the 91,000 civil engineers and technicians across the world who design, build and maintain our transport, water, energy, waste and flood infrastructure.