St. George’s church, Cullercoats sits like a beacon immediately across the road from the beautiful sandy beach of the Long Sands, Tynemouth. It’s 180 foot spire can be seen from miles away, is the first to be seen by visitors arriving by sea and welcomes passengers in the air arriving at Newcastle Airport. It is an integral part of the Coastal Heritage Trail stretching from the mouth of the river Tyne to Whitley Bay.
It is an iconic, grade I listed building dating from 1884 built by the Duke of Northumberland in memory of his father. The architect was John Loughborough Pearson, one of the great architectural geniuses of the 19th century, who built in Gothic revival style. His churches are noted especially for their vaulted roofs. The greatest of his churches is undoubtedly Truro Cathedral, but other great examples are St. Augustine’s, Kilburn in London, St. Alban’s, Birmingham (where Paul makes all the recordings with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir) and St. John’s, Upper Norwood in London. Partly because of the stone he uses for these buildings, but mostly because of the high brick vaults, the acoustics for singing are always outstanding, and St. George’s is no exception. The church also houses a world famous Lewis organ (which we will not be using but which Paul might demonstrate).
It is wonderful that we are adding another North Eastern venue (we had two courses in Durham Castle) to our variety of locations around the UK and we hope that this course will prove very popular as an alternative to the French course which is simply too risky to contemplate this year. We very much hope to return to France in 2023.
Included in the course fee: teas/coffees and biscuits for break times and individually boxed lunches (which we have found to be so successful at Orford and Winchester) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. These will include a sandwich, savoury, crisps, fruit and cake, plus a drink. All people’s dietary variations will be accommodated as usual.
We hope to find places where we can all eat together in the evenings, but it will be optional as it is not included in the course fee.