About. Byker Lives
Byker and its population have been shaped through time. From hills, trees and marshes the land has been shaped by people through farming, wars, industry, migration, political changes and global events. Byker Lives began as a way to reflect on this history, and celebrate the architectural heritage and community life of this unique area of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne, and in particular the Grade II* listed Byker redevelopment of the 1970s. This has been achieved through the creation of a community history archive.
Initiated by residents, supported by Northern Architecture and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have gathered a wide range of material about the history of the Byker area, from prior to the 1970s redevelopment, through to the present day. Many of the photographs, oral histories and artifacts contained in the archive have been donated by residents past and present, and provide valuable insights into life in this unique part of the city.
Material from this archive is regularly uploaded to this website, where it is accessible to everyone. However, in addition to the material available on the internet, we have copies of journal articles, architectural drawings and films which we are unable to upload, but can be viewed on-site in Byker. It is hoped that this local resource made by people from the area will contribute towards the rich social and physical factors in an on-going Byker story. Do let us know if you spot something that needs amending, or would like to contribute new material.
The archive offers a rich source of material for those interested in the fascinating history of Byker and the recent housing development, whether from personal, professional or academic interest. As well as reflecting on the past, we aim to use this valuable archive to inspire ideas and inform debate about Byker’s future.
As a part of the project we have produced a ‘Discovery Walk’, which offers residents and visitors an introduction to the history of the redevelopment by way of a self-guided walking tour. We also offer guided tours of the redevelopment area. There is also a beautiful children’s book about the building of the Byker Wall.
We are always keen to share our passion for Byker, so if you’d like to learn more, please feel free to contact us. We are also looking for new supporters to help us manage and promote the archive, if you share our interest then do get in touch.