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Berwick Civic Society was treated to a fascinating lecture and visual presentation on Berwick's Commercial Character by Dr Adam Menuge, of the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art, at Cambridge University.
Unusually, the lecture was delivered on the evening of Saturday, July 7.
The lecture centred on certain commercial facets of Berwick’s past, including how Berwick fitted in with Peter Borsay’s classification of towns in the early 18th century.
Dr Menuge compared Berwick with Norwich, Bristol, Newcastle, Exeter, York, Shrewsbury and Chester, which have similar profiles in terms of population, trade and significance in their areas.
He expanded on the theme by defining activities within Berwick, such as having a market, military garrison and port, together with other facets such as being a parliamentary, postal, trading, fishing and manufacturing town. The values placed on these activities significantly contributed to Berwick’s financial and commercial profile.
The visual presentation that ran alongside the lecture was comprehensive, showing a well-known engraving of a scene at the top of Hide Hill at the intersection of Marygate and Church Street. The dated back to circa 1799.
Views of modern-day Berwick were also shown. Bridge Street, Hide Hill and Church Street featured, together with explanations of their design.
Dr Menuge also commented on the use of the then popular window designs and installations of the type used in the frontage of the King’s Arms Hotel in Hide Hill.
Internal layouts of buildings were also shown, with particular emphasis on preserved staircases.
John Webster, vice-chairman of the society, gave the vote of thanks.