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September 12.

St. Eanswide, Abbess, 7th Cent. St. Guy of Anderlent, 11th Cent. St. Albeus, A. D. 525.


On the 12th of September, 1823, the inhabitants of Newcastle and Gateshead were gratified with a spectacle which in that part was novel and peculiarly interesting, although in London it is common. It was a procession through the principal streets, of the workmen employed in several of the glass-houses, each bearing in his hand a specimen of the art, remarkable either for its curious construction, or its beauty and elegance. The morning was ushered in with the ringing of bells, and notice of intended procession having been previously circulated, numbers of people crowded the streets. A little after twelve o'clock it moved forward along the Close, amid the cheers of the assembled multitude, the firing of cannon and the ringing of bells, and preceded by the band of the Tyne Hussars. It was composed of the workmen of the Northumberland, the South Shields, the Wear (Sunderland), the Durham and British (Gateshead), the Stourbridge (Gateshead), and the North Shields glass companies, arranged according to the seniority of their respective houses, and each distinguished by appropriate flags. The sky was clear, and the rays of the sun, falling upon the glittering utensils and symbols, imparted richness and grandeur to their appearance. The hat of almost every person in it was decorated with a glass feather, whilst a glass star sparkled on the breast, and a chain or collar of variegated glass hung round the nick; some wore sashes round the waist. Each man carried in his hand a staff, with a cross piece on the top, displaying one or more curious or beautiful specimens of art. These elevations afforded a sight of the different vessels, consisting of a profusion of decanters, glasses, goblets, jugs, bowls, dishes, &c., the staple articles of the trade, in an endless variety of elegant shape, and of exquisite workmanship, with several other representations remarkable either for excellence of manufacture or for curious construction. Amongst these were two elegant bird-cages, containing birds, which sang at periods during the procession. A salute was fired several times from a fort mounted with glass cannon, to the astonishment of the spectators; a glass bugle which sounded the halts, and played several marches, was much admired for its sweetness and correctness of tone. Several elegant specimens of stained glass were exhibited; many of the men wore glass hats and carried glass swords. When the procession arrived at the mansion-house it halted, while a salute was fired from the glass cannon; the procession then moved forward, passing along the bridge, through Gateshead, and then returned and paraded through the principal streets of Newcastle, to dinners provided at different inns.

Mr. John Sykes, in the volume of "Local Records" published by him at Newcastle, from whence this account is taken, says, "that a procession of this kind is highly commendable, not as a mere unmeaning show calculated for caricature, but as exhibiting to public view some of the finest efforts of human industry and genius."


Semilunar Passion Flower. Passiflora peltata.
Dedicated to St. Eanswide.