FACTORY: A blot on the landscape

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A recent article requested former employees of the Fish Quay’s Tyne Brand factory to contact the heritage centre with any ‘relics’ they may have on what had been a historic industry, once a significant employer (News Guardian, February 21).

The Tyne Brand site has been the subject of some concern for 25 years or more.

The site appears to have a number of complicated ownerships, therefore the Tyne Brand umbrella description may not be totally correct, but it is largely used by officials and the public in any consideration of what should now happen there, hopefully in the near future.

People who have worked on plans for Fish Quay regeneration kept finding residents and visitors saying this total eyesore had been a blot on the landscape of a size making any regeneration seem futile in comparison.

The volunteers I know have worked hard to achieve what has been done at the Fish Quay so far, but we can only agree that this derelict building needs some explaining away.

The photograph showed a typical functional building, not of any great architectural significance and no way comparable to the nearby Cliffords Fort, or even the footbridge at Borough Bank not far away.

Housing was our main proposal.

I knew people who were employed at the ‘tin factory’, as it was known, in the 1940s and 50s. Teenagers leaving school would work for a while on the production line.

A large part of the production was small tins of fish or meat sandwich spreads. The paper label around the tin was checked by staff against the coded dimples on top of a tin before being packed in boxes.

After some years of prosperity, the Tyne Brand titles were absorbed by others.

AM Johnson

Cullercoats