The Memoir.

Reader : Bob Browell (1928-2009).

Reader: Bob Browell (1928-2009).

Bewick wrote his Memoir at the age of seventy-five so that his children, and especially his daughter Jane, should come to know more of their family history. In the late 20th century an audio recording of an excellent reading of the Memoir was made by Bob Browell, Northumbrian, Bewick enthusiast, member of the Bewick Society and early volunteer at Cherryburn.

The cassette tape was sold to raise funds for the Thomas Bewick Birthplace Trust. A copy of the tape is now held in the archives of the Natural History Society of Northumbria.

The readings takes us from Bewick's earliest memories until the end of his apprenticeship.

At Tynemouth, Bewick begins to write.

Earliest Memories

Games, animals.

Tales and songs

Mischief, birds and cruelty

Superstition, prejudice, ghosts and bogles.

Cherryburn House

Leaves for Newcastle, aged 14. The apprentice.

The Beilbys and Aunt Blackett.

Thomas Spence, one of the warmest philanthropists in the world.

1774, Love and Liberty.

You can read an account of the life and times of Bob Browell in the Cherryburn Times for Summer 2010. Click here and scroll to page 5

The original cassette.




Thomas Bewick with John Grundy.

Bob Browell makes a cameo appearance in the 2003 video presented by John Grundy. A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund helped provide a video on Thomas Bewick for the 250th birthday celebrations in 2003, hosted by local historian John Grundy and produced by Roger Burgess. In this 35 minute film John Grundy explores Bewick's life and ideas, the beautiful Tyne Valley where he learnt to love nature and above all, his wonderful engravings. The video includes cameo appearances from Bob Browell and Stewart Thirkell, footage from inside the Ovngham Parsonage and a pint drunk at the Blackie Boy, Newcastle.

We have made the film available on Youtube in 5 short episodes.

Click here to go to the Society's Youtube channel.