For the last few months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the North Tyneside Council team on a range of shoots to provide a bank of images for both their internal development team, their business team and others. Because as you know, areas change that much that banks of images always need a little refresh now and again. In this case, North Tyneside needed quite a lot doing with respect to business parks and businesses in key areas, all the way from Whitley Bay through Wallsend and Killingworth. To see so many different businesses and to see so many different fun activities going on in an area that I know pretty well; I’ve got friends out in the area and I’m there quite regular, to just go that little bit deeper into some of these businesses has been fantastic.
For example, the last shoot we did was with Wayne, one of the Business Development workers and we did around 10 businesses in Wallsend and about 10 businesses in Whitley Bay, both in streets and areas of other towns that I don’t know particularly well. So it was just great to hear little snippets of stories from businesses that are doing really well, they’re finding niches in markets and really trying their best to provide services to the local people. And I wouldn’t have come across them, certainly not in the ones I think, not specifically in the marketplace in Wallsend, which is an indoor covered market. Some of the people selling things in there and working in there, was just great to see. And the passion they have for their business was absolutely fantastic.
And then through to Whitley Bay. I know Whitley Bay at the kind of Spanish City-end, just because where we tend to go with family on the beach and that sort of stuff and up to St. Mary’s. But along Park View, there’s so many fantastic independent shops. I have walked along there a few times, but not really took in all of the different businesses that are along there and from the likes of Bagel & Bite and the Skate Shop, which is absolutely fantastic, Keel Row Books, which is absolutely brilliant to stick my head into and the butchers that’s been there forever and it was just really brilliant to see that little window into those businesses. I know I go on a lot about how much the pleasure is always mine that I get to see the other side of businesses a little bit that many others don’t.
It did just make me hark back to my days in Leeds, where the Shop Local campaign came in in Armley and Pudsey, where we were getting people to look at using their town centre more than the out of town shopping, which was a big thing back in around 2010/11-ish. And obviously it’s a significant time ago now, which is quite scary for me, because it still feels like yesterday. But to see those business owners with that same passion that they are making a difference and they are doing something that really benefits their local area, because they’re providing that direct service locally, is just great and fantastic.
So there’ll be a lot more pictures from North Tyneside coming out over the coming months, everything from yoga to surfing, to a bit more about some of these specific businesses. I can do a little showcase on some of these businesses, if you’d like to hear a bit more…