“All cities are places, but only a few are personalities.”
The Times (about Newcastle) | 2009 (x)

History of Newcastle upon Tyne

Established over 2,000 years ago, Newcastle is bursting with heritage. Originally known as Pons Aelius by the Romans, the name “Newcastle” came about after the Norman conquest of England when William the Conqueror sent his eldest son, Robert Curthose to the North to defend against the Scots. Curthose began to build a ‘New Castle’, of motte-and-bailey construction, overlooking the River Tyne.

Most of the architecture that can be seen in Newcastle today is owed to the architectural genius of Richard Grainger and John Dobson in the Victorian Era. Other innovators of the period include George Stephenson, reknowned as the “Father of the Railways”, and his son Robert who were hugely influential figures in the development of the early railways. Robert was also the designer of Newcastle’s High Level Bridge. Joseph Swan demonstrated a working electric light bulb about a year before Thomas Edison did the same in the US. Charles Algernon Parsons invented the steam turbine, for marine use and power generation. And William Amstrong invented a hydraulic crane which was installed in dockyards up and down the country.

Newcastle was granted city status in 1882.


The Davison Family Tree


The Davison’s in Newcastle

Davison’s have lived in Newcastle for over 150 years since moving from Ware, Hertfordshire. Hints of their lives can be found in every street and every corner of the city. The first Davison born in Newcastle was Robert Davison who became a master butcher and owned his own stall in the Grainger Market from 1896-1917 with his son, John. John took over the stall from 1918-1939 and it is presumed that John’s wife took over the stall during the time in which he fought in the war before he returned home. In 1947, John handed over the stall to his son, also named John, who owned it from 1947-1958 before the stall is then passed over to his wife. Davison’s butchers closed in 1962 after 66 years. The stall, number 166, still remains today in the market.

Robert’s brothers, James and John, both had shops of their own too. James owned a bakery in Jarrow and John owned a hardware shop by St. James’ Park. Another brother of Robert, Thomas worked at Robert Stephenson’s Locomotive Works.

Brothers, George, Norman, and Thomas, all worked at Vickers-Armstrongs building tanks.

Newcastle was their home, just as it is mine.

Existing Photos of the Davison’s

Francis Ann Rutherford - Great Great Great Grandma

Francis Ann Rutherford – Great Great Great Grandmother


George Davison – Great Grandfather

My Photos







For this brief I took to the streets of Lincoln in search of hidden treasures and interesting items to photograph. After spending an hour out looking, I had managed to collect an array of weird and wonderful things, including:

  • small glittery plastic fairy wings of a toy doll
  • a bottle of whisky which I had to pull out of a grate and pour away the remaining contents
  • a bottle of Cactus Jack’s
  • a bauble
  • a rock that had been spray painted green and white by the builders next to the university car park
  • three losing scratchcards
  • & numerous bottle tops

In the end I chose the items below to photograph and I am really happy with how this shoot came out.

Lights in a Bottle

Frosty Jacks

Spinning Bauble


My inspiration for this brief came from the photographer Dan Rubin, creative director of The Photographic Journal.

Rubin has created an Instagram account for a Barbie doll which he has named socalitybarbie. With over 1.3 million followers, the premise of the account is that Barbie herself is the one taking the photos and sharing them.

“It’s easy to say these clichés are a negative thing…but Instagram has opened up a new world of creative discovery for people who previously didn’t have access to it. For me, it gives people access to see, create and mimic. Ten years from now, we’ll have different patterns.” Dan Rubin (1)

For my own project I have appropriated the concept of this account and created touristken. My account is a parody of typical male hipster blogs on Instagram. I have attempted to portray a sense of vanity in Ken in the way that I try and post as many photos as I can, just as a typical owner of this type of account would.

To take the photos I have used both my DSLR and my phone camera. All photos on the account have been taken at various tourist locations around Lincoln.

The account can be found here: