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Wanting to explore the seemingly quaint village of Low Fell before I settled into my hotel I requested that the taxi driver drop me off somewhere central. As I settled the bill with the perky Geordie I exited the car and immersed myself with the exotic inhabitants of Low Fell.
At first glance Low Fell appeared to be a normal village on the suburbs of a vibrant and exciting city; there was a Sommerfield filled to the brim, on the street corner a branded newsagents and even a currently thriving bank. However the rustic, traditional nature of Low Fell shone through on a number of different levels, prominently from the Butchers, which stood in the middle of all the Saturday-shopping mayhem. It was a small shop dwarfed by chain supermarkets and estate agents advertising and selling wealthy property dating back to the 1800’s. It was currently surrounded by the elderly nattering about international crises such as Sally sitting in poor old Mary’s seat in church. Their voices became louder and more aggressive recalling how the young priest, forty years their junior, failed to see the importance in this issue.
The inside was even more astounding than the exterior, I hadn’t seen a Butchers shop with this set up since I was a child, the meat hung on hooks behind the stereotypically fat baldy butcher. The walls were painted a startling white contrasting towards the blood red that was etched onto the meat. There was even box of bones in the corner, free to take, for your pet dog.
As time was getting on I decided it was time to be getting to the hotel, I made my further down Durham Road, absorbing the ambience that this rural town had to offer. I was about to give Low Fell my stamp of approval, well that was until I saw the big issue seller. You know how it is; downcast eyes, quickened steps, the heartbeat that’s faster than a formula one racing car? I hastened past the dirty looking women as she began to approach me. We got locked into a merry dance as she copied my movements precisely. However I was victorious on this occasion and left behind a woman who was far too young to be using such vulgar language.
I had booked myself into a hotel situated just outside of Low Fell, it was supposedly five minutes from â€˜the vibrant and thriving suburban town of Low Fell’, yeah what a load of crap, it took me 25 minutes to make the walk, I later found out this was a whole bloody mile, to the Angel View Inn. But what a view! We all know one of the most iconic features of the North East is the Angel of the North built in 1998 by Anthony Gormley, stupid idea, wonderful creation. It stood directly opposite my hotel welcoming everyone to the area, welcoming back returning residents.
Even if it is just a five second glimpse from a passing car the Angel of the North was defintely a sight to behold.
After getting settled into the traditional yet comfy Inn, I took the bus back into the â€˜centre’ of Durham Road. This road was so long it could give Route 66 a run for its money.
The difference from day to night was shocking. The sea of grey hair was replaced by exposed skin and a smell that could only be described as a 32p bottle of fake tan. The girls looked like toddlers compared to the â€˜mutton dressed as lamb’ older brigade.
Soon after I came face to face with some â€˜eighteen’-year olds that oddly resembled thee eleven year olds I had seen buying ice cream earlier that day. They were currently demanding; Alco-pops, cigarettes and anything else they could obtain illegally.
They approached me with the most courteous request of:
“Will ya buy iz some drink?” The voice became whiny, moany and all around pleading as I failed to respond.
“I’m not old enough” was my simple reply. It was an obvious lie but it was worth it to see the crowd of confused faces before me. I turned to walk away as I saw the light bulb go off.
“Yeah yuh are!” they screeched in unison in what would have definitely won the best comeback of the year award.
I decided to go wild and eat in one of the million Italian restaurants placed in Low Fell. Picking out what looked like a reasonably priced restaurant I entered The Latin Quarter and waited patiently to be seated. It was taking an awfully long time to find a single seat in a virtually empty restaurant. So, I began to browse the menu, only to choke in horror. I knew Low Fell was known for being a wealthy area but this was just being bloody ridiculous, a Margarita Pizza for £15, that’s just bread and cheese! I tiptoed back towards the front door to make a run for it, as I smelled the sweet scent of freedom. It wasn’t until I was halfway down the path, I saw the waiter staring at us with a slightly annoyed expression.
Deciding to catch up with popular culture I entered the busiest pub I could spot, The Cannon, the homely and inviting interior was put to shame by the rowdy bunch of people who were jumping around, thrusting and jiving to old disco classics. The barmaid was rushed off her feet, strands of hair sticking to her face as she rushed to get out the gallons of beer to the young and old. It was horrifying to watch but I pushed my way to the front of the crowd and ordered a beer; rubbing shoulders with the entire population of Low Fell was not the most appealing thing looking from the outside but I received a strange buzz as I became acquainted by the couple from Clement Street.
As the opening chords struck for Grease Lightning I realised I would need a lot more alcohol to be able to withstand such karaoke tunes, I quickly downing a few more pints, learning very quickly that this was the only Geordie way.
With my senses numbed, I found myself dancing with strangers in such a fashion it could only suggest my father. After the fond farewells and hugs and kisses I took off for my temporary home and danced my way out of the pub. The scene outside of the pizza shop was almost comical even in my intoxicated state. People were attempting to eat pizza while flailing their limbs to the unheard music. Bits of cheese clung to their chins and stained their shapes. Attempting to move forward the Butchers shop caught my eye as again, the lights were off and shadows were being cast over the covered meat. It appeared cleaner than a NHS hospital but yet still retained its rustic, traditional and homely nature. The box of bones were still balanced against the back wall, nothing was being wasted here this was the ideal way to live. I couldn’t stop my head turning back and forth between the Bulgarian folk dancers of Low Fell and the small one-off shop that stood tall within it’s centre.
Even as small suburb of Newcastle and Gateshead, Low Fell is definitely worth the visit. Even if it’s just for a days break from the exciting and fast city of Newcastle. I promise you won’t be disappointed with what the small village of Low Fell has to offer.