The Thermal Syndicate


I found the above map of the Tyne via the Tyne & Wear Archives on Twitter. It dates from the 1960s, and it caught my attention because it shows the area where I was born, between Walker and Wallsend.

I remember  the Shipyards very well, especially the famous Neptune Yard of Swan Hunter. In the early 70s the huge ESSO Northumberland loomed above the terraced streets like a monster but now shipbuilding has all but vanished. So have most of the other industries lining the river, for that matter.

The other thing this map jogged my memory about was the Thermal Syndicate building. This was the site of a glassworks and the source of large quantities of silver sand, which my Dad used to buy and sell on to schools and playgroups as part of his educational supplies business, before it went under in the 1980s. The name always intrigued me as it made me imagine it was run by gangsters pushing winter underwear.


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