19th Century

The Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead began on the Gateshead Quayside in Oct.1854 and an explosion spread fire across the river to Newcastle. 53 were killed. 800 families homeless and destitute.
Later Newcastle organised a fire service making fire cover available to all.

Newcastle had suffered workers Riots and high crime. Policing was done by soldiers. Early 19 century a group of around 30 men were appointed to walk the town during the night. In 1836 a Police Force was established in Newcastle. With The River Tyne Police being formed in 1845.

DevelopmentIn the late 18th early 19th century new buildings were to be seen everywhere. New houses, shops, schools, theatres, river bridges, public houses, markets, arcades and a railway station. Theatre Royal. Grey Street. Blackett Street, Eldon Square, The Royal and Central Arcade were all built.

In the late 19th century the whole town had a horse drawn tram network. The early 20th century saw the horse being replaced by electric trams. Trams which ran from West to East some 7miles, as well as the introduction of the new electrified coastal railway.

The population increased from 28,000 in 1801 to over 215,000 a century later. People moved in to fill jobs. The Town was not prepared for this mass influx.
The rich merchants, moved either ‘up Town, or out of the old Town Walled area. Leaving family mansions in areas like the Quayside for poor families. Families moved in into small cramped filthy conditions. Disease was inevitable due to poor food, water and sanitation.
Parliament, in 20th century finally improved conditions. New housing estates were built outside the old town.In 1882 Newcastle was awarded City Status.


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