Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

PS250,000 to Shine Light on Project at City Landmark

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

PS250,000 to Shine Light on Project at City Landmark

Article excerpt

Byline: TONY HENDERSON

THE frequency with which people's names reflect their jobs or interests sometimes seems to go beyond coincidence.

So it was with the 18th Century Newcastle-based press gangs captain.

The notorious press gangs dragged men off, often using violence, to serve in the Navy's warships. Many never saw home or family again.

And the regulating officer in Newcastle of the press gangs was none other than Captain John Bover.

Capt Bover is commemorated by a plaque in St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle.

"He was appointed by the Crown, and as far as the Crown was concerned he did a very good job. He was an important Government functionary, but he would not have been liked by the local population," says cathedral events manager, Pam Walker.

Capt Bover's story is just one of many behind the plaques, monuments and statues in the cathedral.

They will now be told as part of the PS250,000 Illuminating Stories project, which has seen the installation of a sophisticated new lighting and sound system in the cathedral.

A service of thanksgiving and dedication for the new system will be held on Saturday.

The project will highlight monuments which previously have been rather lost in the shadows. Around 70 volunteers have been engaged on tasks such as researching the stories, who paid for the memorials and why, and exploring their educational potential.

Pam says: "The project is illuminating in terms of the stories and lighting the cathedral itself. We have one of the best sets of monuments in a church outside London."

Anne Maddison has the distinction of appearing on two of the grandest monuments.

She is part of a monument erected by her brother Sir Alexander Hall in memory of his parents who died in the early 1600s.

Alexander as a boy is shown kneeling along with his five sisters, one of whom is Anne. …

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