There's an old tried and tested Goldwater family recipe for a hobby that has been passed
on through the generations.
Not only is it fun, it's healthy for mind and body too! - the enthusiasm and passion for
going 'somewhere old.'
My dad got the 'buzz for the quest' from his father, during day trips to see Roman
remains on Hadrian's Wall and trips to Stonehenge.
It's now a running family joke that when I was younger I used to ask my dad - 'can we
go somewhere old?' rather than being dragged along unwillingly to stately homes,
castles and museums.
My quest began at an early age.
Dad was obviously delighted - sharing his own passion for history and local heritage he
had maintained over the years - quietly documenting the dramatic changes in
Newcastle's built environment over the 1950's 60's and 70's
I can now reveal the secret ingredients and equipment you'll need to complete the
'quest for somewhere old' recipe and develop the perfect experience...
Firstly, subtly surround yourself with old books, pictures, prints and maps from as early an age
as possible... you'll absorb information like a sponge.
Equipment - start basic, then progress to more complicated cameras as experience
Clothing - needs to be comfortable, waterproof - stylish for the times and reflecting the
fashion of the age...
Ideally the choice of vehicle for the quest should be old - my dad had a vintage morris
minor and a jaguar MkI. Even better to go somewhere old in something old...it doens't have to be a car either.
Places to go - start unambitious - then progress to
more ambitious sites - dismantled old bridges, derelict stations, ruined factories - places
generally inaccessible to the general public - as long as they're old.
A sense of adventure is also important - but
sometimes it's nice to return to familiar places...
Blend the ingredients slowly, then mature for at least twenty years - to allow for a
degree in archaeology, and simmer the hobby during employment at a local museum...
I was recently in the centre of Newcastle with my dad shopping for a suit for my
wedding. After purchasing the suit, dad turned to me and asked 'Shall we go
somewhere old.' The quest continues to this day... and it's interesting that looking back
out our record of places old, we were also recording the dramatic redevelopments on
the Newcastle Gateshead quayside. The new places then become the old places
tomorrow and we await with eagerness as to whether a new generation of Goldwater's
indulge in the quest for somewhere old....