Author’s love of the park leads to a book

Author Michael Coates from Whitley Bay who has published 'The Story of Northumberland Park'.

Author Michael Coates from Whitley Bay who has published 'The Story of Northumberland Park'.

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A WHITLEY Bay author has seen his first book celebrating the history and splendour of a borough park published.

Mike Coates has written and illustrated The Story of Northumberland Park.

With a wide range of photographs and maps, the book describes in detail the early history of the park, which was established in 1885 in the valley of Pow Burn, or Spital Dene as it was known locally, situated at the eastern edge of North Shields.

Mike also explores the local bowling clubs and nearby places of interest, including the Master Mariner’s Home, Tynemouth Mill, The Dolphin pub, and other historical buildings.

The 64-year-old also shares his love of nature, especially birds, with nearly half of the book being given over to the natural history of the park.

Mike’s final chapter covers the park in more recent times, from the 1960s to the present day.

Mike, of Nevis Way, Whitley Lodge, said: “My interest in Northumberland Park arose from the fact that I lived in Park Avenue overlooking the bowling greens from the age of four until 22 and spent the majority of my childhood when playing out in Northumberland Park.

“This book was very much a work in progress.

“I started it in the Seventies, just keeping notes of it.”

The Story of Northumberland Park is priced at £8.50 and is available to buy at most local book shops and post offices or by visiting www.summerhillbooks.co.uk