Category: Culture

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Five great summertime films

Phil Coghill

What time is it? Summertime. From romantic dramas to rousing adventure stories, many a film has used the season as a backdrop. Here are five of the best: Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953) French comedian Jacques Tati directs and stars as the clumsy Hulot (cited by Rowan Atkinson as an influence on his Mr […]

Dear Gareth

Anne Greaves

Dear Gareth, I’m not a fanatical football fan, I got into it fairly heavily during Euro 1996 and afterwards, then gradually lost interest again, partly because of all the money to be honest and then other things just took over. But every time a big competition comes round you find yourself getting interested again, and […]

Poetry Corner

The last poetry

Yiran Qin

The last poetry is the second in a series of four poems written by international students at INTO Newcastle University On an ordinary night Everyone thought I was dead But I wasn’t. My New Year’s wish didn’t come true   My friends keep me My parents cry every day My doctor said that not everyone […]

JournalPART 4

Covid and me: a year of shielding

Peter Lathan

Day 369, Saturday, 6 March, 2021 : A most unwelcome anniversary of shielding    One year to the day since my self-isolation/shielding/incarceration/call it what you will began. Could anyone in early March 2020 have imagined that we would be in a third lockdown a whole twelve months later? Could anyone have conceived what lockdown would mean for […]

Football has come home: my Euro 2020 adventure

Chris Humble

My Euro 2020 adventure – and why football HAS come home… ‘Where it began’, as Neil Diamond croons in the opening lyrics to ‘Sweet Caroline’ – adopted as an anthem by England fans this summer – was back in 2018. The England Supporters Club My mate Andy and I joined the official England Supporters Club, […]

Poetry Corner

Me in your eyes

Yi Yu

Me in your eyes is the first in a series of four poems written by international students at INTO Newcastle University You ask me, What colour is the cloud? Between breathing, clear transparent blue, white and grey. Me in your eyes, What colour is it?   I don’t want to It’s just the grey, yellow […]


Football and politics: 1966 and all that

Richard Henson

I read somewhere last week that the England World Cup win led to Harold Wilsons big election win. Really? I thought… so I thought, and thought. 1966: football and politics I was at primary school and on holiday with my parents when the 1966 World Cup was on. This was the Summer holidays, probably late […]



Ursula Troche

My status is settled, or
seems that way, what
a state we are in, to need
a declaration for living
in this state of mind-
– the-gap Britain, mind
you, is that great?

Happy birthday North East Bylines!

Scott Hunter

One shrewd editorial policy at the outset set the tone which was that, while those involved in setting up the project shared an interest in politics, Bylines was interested in everything. No boundaries were set on the scope of its content. As a result, Bylines publishes a range of material much more diverse than any regional newspaper: poetry, international affairs, profiles of local sporting legends, it’s all in there.

Rooting kindness in 2021: the year of the tree

Anya Cook

I have a friend who declares she is apolitical.  She is intelligent, well-read, always learning something, active in community groups and environmental campaigns.  Decisions are made that she does not agree with, yet she still declares she is not political? This outward projection of neutrality doesn’t make sense, or does it?  Neutrality serves only to […]

Time must have a stop: the ongoing relevance of Huxley

Dylan Neri

I was reading through the essays of Aldous Huxley recently, creator of our notion of a ‘brave new world’, when I was struck by a piece entitled ‘On a Sentence from Shakespeare.’ Allow me to share the opening paragraph, “If you say absolutely everything, it all tends to cancel out into nothing. Which is why […]

Poetry Corner


Harry Gallagher

Sweetheart; a poem by Harry Gallagher about sexual harassment and revenge


Quo vadis

Ursula Troche

I’ve now got Indefinite
Leave to Remain!
What are you
leave or remain?
I mean what do you think
Leaver or Remainer
what’s left, what remains?

The Two Fridas in Ushaw, County Durham

Jane Neville

“We are just bursting with anticipation and excitement with the prospect of bringing The Two Fridas to such a breath-taking array of cultural venues this Summer starting off with Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens.”

I am waiting

Ailise Lamoreux

There’s a poem I think we should all read as soon as we can. It won’t take much time out of your otherwise very busy days of waiting/hoping for the world to jump back up on its axis and start spinning again.

Poetry Corner


Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

Remembered rhymes whispered on winds,
with tradition and superstition skimmed,
Morality forged in iron-aged bones,
where Smithys extract swords from stones.

JournalPART 3

Covid and me as 2021 begins

Peter Lathan

Day 305, Friday, 1 January, 2021 : New Year 2021 It was midnight, the last midnight of 2020, and Covid 19, clothed in black drab, mystic, horrible, spoke. “You don’t think I’m going to go quietly, do you? That I’ll just scuttle off before a flurry of fireworks and the singing of Auld Lang Syne? […]

#WeDemandBetter rally at Grey’s Monument

North East Bylines

“When Brexit is done or undone, we all have to live together and individual friendship and experience will always triumph over politics… I hope.the right wing will always be better at playing the divide and conquer game; we need to trump that with what we’re good at. Friendship.”


This land

Ursula Troche

Here I am, with my sordid status symbol, settled status, now set in my place and this land that isn’t mine   this land is your land, it isn’t my land, in Cumbria and all over the island from the Epping Forest to the North Sea Waters this land wasn’t made for all of us, […]

Poetry Corner


Harry Gallagher

In Happyland we sing our song of pride in riches from squalor, we read our press and nod along while worshipping the dollar.   Take pride in our irrefutable past, mansions built from sugar and cotton, take heed of that flag, pride of the mast and keep saluting till you have forgotten.   So sing […]


One Britain One Nation: nil points for sentimental forelock tugging

Julie Ward

The OBON song was created by school-children in Bradford and there are certainly a lot of cute children waving Union Jack flags in the official video. Whilst I love a good sing-song and I do go all dewy-eyed at the thought of primary school choirs I simply can’t get excited by the crassness of the whole thing.

Poetry Corner

Ribbon of dreams

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

Scalloped pink-velvet rises,
Dolby surrounds and amplifies
Widescreen expands,
the trailers begin,
children prattle,
folks shuffle,
couples conjoin in love-seats,
and the stranger in C7 is not alone.

Home Time with Wideyed in County Durham

Julie Ward

Home Time is the collective’s latest community photography project, bringing together images of life in lockdown from across County Durham, captured on disposable cameras by a diverse range of people, some of whom live in care homes. The results of this crowd-sourced project are now being exhibited in large-scale format on exterior walls of public venues. This is nothing if not innovative!


Raiders of the Lost Ark: 40 years on

Phil Coghill

Ford does not play Indiana (or Indy as his friends call him) as an invincible superman. He gets hurt, is physically outmatched by his opponents, and barely gets out of some situations by the skin of his teeth. Indy is also far from a clear-cut hero.

Live Theatre is re-opening in September

Daisy Windsor

“Being able to open our doors again to audiences is a truly emotional moment. Live Theatre is so much more than just a building. It’s a place where people share stories that matter to them and connect with one another. It’s people that make this theatre what it is, and that is why it is so important to be able to get Back to Live.”