15 May 2017
by

For almost a century, the Old Post Office, at St Nicholas Street, was at the heart of Newcastle’s city centre - a major employer, handling parcels and letters and facilitating money orders and telegrams, for residents and businesses alike.

And now its new owner, NBS, which provides technical information to construction industry professionals, is bringing the past to life with a gallery packed full of memories.

The gallery space, created as part of a major £5.8m redevelopment of the building, houses a special ‘Memory Box’ exhibition that will open to the public on Saturday 20 May between 7pm and 11pm as part of The Late Shows; a two night culture crawl of galleries and art venues across Newcastle and Gateshead.

And NBS are asking any former Post Office employees who have memories or memorabilia to come along on the evening and share what memories they have with staff and fellow visitors.

Among the items currently on display will be old letters and telegrams along with archive footage of the Old Post Office, which was built in the 1870s and shut its doors for the last time in the late 20th Century, following Royal Mail restructuring.

All the exhibits have been donated by members of the public and former employees such as Elsie and Alan Vardy, both 90, from Felling, who met at a dance at The Old Post Office, St Nicholas Street, Newcastle in 1942.

NBS are asking any former Post Office employees who have memories or memorabilia to come along on the evening

All the exhibits have been donated by members of the public and former employees such as Elsie and Alan Vardy, both 90, from Felling, who met at a dance at The Old Post Office, St Nicholas Street, Newcastle in 1942.

Alan joined in 1940, as a 14-year-old telegraph boy and Elsie a year later as a probationer clerk in the telegraphy department.

Although the pair, who have been married 68 years, both left in 1953, they returned to the Grade II listed building last year as guests of honour at a party to celebrate the renovation.

“They both had such fond memories of working here and really helped the gallery get off the ground,” said NBS chief executive Richard Waterhouse.

“When we re-opened the building last November we put out an appeal to the wider public to get in touch with their memorabilia and mementoes and it has been fascinating to see the items they have loaned to us.

“The Old Post Office wasn’t just a building, it played a huge part in the day to day lives of hundreds of people.

“And we hope that, by opening it as part of The Late Shows, those who remember it – and those who don’t – will come along and see just what made it so special.”

The Late Shows, organised by Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums, take place on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May and entry to the NBS Memory Box exhibition, which is only open on the Saturday, is free.

Anyone who would still like to donate Old Post Office memorabilia to the Gallery is invited to come along on the evening.

For more information, interviews, or images, please call HFPR Ltd on 0191 285 7100.

About NBS

NBS, specialist provider of technical information for construction industry professionals, offers essential, innovative products and services, highly valued by those working in architecture, construction, design and engineering.

The premier source of construction-related information, NBS has produced the recognised national standard specification system for the UK for more than 40 years. It provides solutions for a broad range of new build, refurbishment, retrofit, landscaping and domestic projects for construction professionals. Delivered within a powerful software package, NBS’s specification products continue to develop, leading an evolution of the specification and procurement process for buildings in the UK and overseas. NBS also provides solutions for contract administration and project information management.

NBS Create is a ground-breaking new specification tool that ensures all documentation works together intelligently throughout the entire project timeline, from concept stage to completion and beyond, to save time and money. More than 5,000 offices across the UK subscribe to NBS products, including 96 of the top 100 AJ practices.

The award winning NBS National BIM Library is also the primary source of free-to-use Building Information Modelling (BIM) content in the UK. It contains thousands of generic and proprietary BIM objects authored to the trusted NBS standard, all of which are data rich and are integrated with the world leading NBS specification software.

NBS is part of RIBA Enterprises Ltd, the knowledge management company of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). RIBA Enterprises employs 250 staff and has offices in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and Newark.

RIBA Insight offers a unique range of services with multiple routes to product specification which no other organisation can match. It helps deliver the right level of information in the right place, to the right people, at the right time and in the right format.

RIBA Insight is part of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

www.theNBS.com