The “goths” of Newcastle’s “Hippy Green” in the early 2000s – in 10 photographs

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In the 1990s and early 2000s, Newcastle’s former Eldon Square was nicknamed “Hippy Green” after it became a magnet for the “goths” who flocked there on weekends. .

The people of Tyneside have enjoyed for decades the small oasis of green and calm in the heart of bustling Newcastle city center.

For the most part it is known as “old Eldon Square” – originally the gardens of a beautiful three-sided Georgian terrace, two-thirds of which were erased in the 1970s to make way for the mall eponym.

But for a generation, he has been known simply as “Hippy Green”. They aren’t that prevalent in 2021, but in the 1990s and early 2000s the plaza attracted, especially on Saturdays, hordes of young co-called ‘goths’ who mostly dressed in black, many of whom had facial piercings.

In October 2002, the Chronicle ventured into old Eldon Square to meet some goths and find out what was going on in Hippy Green.

We have usefully pointed out that the Gothics adhered to a certain style of “music and fashion and views on pacifism and general gloom” which had its roots in 19th century literature and architecture, and by the 1980s was manifesting itself. in the music and image of groups such as Bauhaus, Le Curé and the Sisters of Mercy.

Under the headline “Angels with Pierced Faces” we reported: “The ages of young people who meet every Saturday vary from about nine to 30 years old. Not to mention the toddlers of some of the older people who treat the area like any other playground for their children.

“Their mothers may be dressed in black with pierced faces, but the toddlers are dressed in respectable clothes out of nowhere more extravagant than Mothercare. While the children play, the older ones sit in a circle and talk. “

But just like in the old days, it seemed that the different youth movements still didn’t get along. For ’60s mods and rockers, and’ 70s skinheads and hairies, read 2000s goths and charvers.

We noted: “The kids on the green in old Eldon Square are tired of being lumped together as’ bad guys’ and they hate being labeled as goths. Even if they wear black they can classify themselves as n ‘. no matter what number of things, but are more likely just individuals.

“They speak eloquently and politely most of the time and blame the ‘charvers’ for most of the reported problems. These are the young people who hang out in sportswear and wear large jewelry. They are known to throw stones and eggs. on the young people in black from the balcony above.

A 16-year-old named Spag said: ‘We’re just standing. Charvers are those who smoke and throw stuff and throw wagons on the green “.”

The Goths we spoke to certainly came across as quite “normal” in our 2002 feature film.

We caught up with 17-year-old Ben Vineer from Haydon Bridge who said, “I’ve been dressing like this for four years and my parents are cool with it. They don’t mind me coming to the green because the buses come directly here and they think there is a lot of safety. “

Becks Harrison, 16, said she travels to Newcastle every weekend from Carlisle to meet friends, adding that her parents are happy to let her come.

“They like the way I dress, but we have heartache all the time and things thrown at us by charvers.”

And pink-haired Claire Daley, 14, a GSCE student who regularly met buddies at Hippy Green, even had the full support of her grandmother, Gloria Daley, 57.

Gloria told us, “I was a hippie and a mod at first and with the mushy face and black eyeliner, it’s not that different.

“Goths and the like are pretty peaceful, like we were in the 60s.

“Clare talks about being a lawyer, maybe studying EU law so she might have to change her hairstyle in court, but so far I don’t mind. “

Our 10 photos from the ChronicleLive archive are reminiscent of goths hanging out in old Eldon Square in the early 2000s. We hope the past 15-20 years have been kind to Ben, Becks, Claire and everyone else in our photographs.

Don’t forget to check out our The way of memory Local history website packed with archival photographs and an easy-to-use image colorizer.


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