The QT

Wednesday 19 June 2024
19/06/2024

My Heaton

This week’s Sunday Times named Heaton in Newcastle as one of the best places to live in the UK. Musician and songwriter Jack Arthurs celebrates with five of his favourite places in and around Heaton

The Shop on the Corner

There’s been a corner shop at 101 Addycombe Terrace since around 1908, when the properties in the northern part of Heaton were built. Omer Hayat and his family recently retired from the shop after serving the community brilliantly for 29 years. New owners Phillipa and Manjil are now developing it, with an emphasis on supporting the best local producers. The goodies from Pink Lane Bakery are a particular highlight — you can order their bread here too. There’s loads of other great stuff on the shelves to enjoy. Go and have a look!

Clough’s

Clough’s sweet shop at 88 Heaton Road celebrates its 90th birthday this year, a real achievement. There are not many shops left like this anywhere in the country. This is a proper old school confectioner. A visit here takes me back to my childhood in York and the sweet smell of sugar on the breeze from Rowntree’s factory up the road. This is the only place I know where you can still buy loose sweet cigarettes (‘candy sticks’ to younger readers). My dentist won’t approve, and neither will yours. Brilliant!

James the barber’s

There are plenty of places to get a haircut in the Chillingham Road area. James the barber at 41 Warton Terrace is my favourite and has been taming my locks for over twenty years. Not only is he reasonably priced, if there is a queue, you can read the latest Viz and have a laugh while you wait — good for the soul. These little touches make all the difference. As well as giving a consistently good trim, James is always a good craic.

Oxfam

Bargains are to be found at all the charity shops in Heaton, and the Oxfam branch at 252 Chillingham Road is really fun for a browse. I tend to head here first to look for second-hand books, music, and clothes. They also have a great range of new cards and gifts, including some delicious tea too! And when it is time to give pre-loved items a new home, this is a handy place to donate them.

The Dene 

We are spoiled for choice In Heaton with wonderful green spaces a short walk away. Iris Brickfield, Heaton Park and Armstrong Park are all lovely. Before Lord Armstrong enclosed it in the 19th century to create Jesmond Dene, the land on our side of this wooded valley was known as Heaton Dene. One of my favourite writers, Jack Common (see his blue plaque at 44 Third Avenue) wrote brilliantly in his novels about his walks around the Dene as a young lad growing up in Heaton. When the pandemic started four years ago, we were so lucky to have this same wild place to find freedom and sanity in the natural world. I especially love dawn chorus walks here in the spring with the sound of flowing water and the wonderful range of birdsong. And all this is free! 

Find Jack Arthurs online at:

Jackarthurs.bandcamp.com

@JackArthurs

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