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About

Newly refurbished Newcastle’s Jazz Cafe is a café, bar and live music venue. Owned and operated by Newcastle Arts Centre, this small and friendly venue has a lively programme of up to three gigs per week. including events by Jazz North East, Pink Lane Jazz Coop and Schmazz.

Westgate Road was named after the “West Gate” in the city walls. It is the oldest named street in Newcastle and runs along the course of Hadrian’s Wall. Indeed the Arts Centre itself stands on the site of a Roman Milecastle. Since Roman times, the road has played a vital part in the history and development of the city. The fortunes and functions of the street have varied widely, ranging from “a street more retired than any other in the town, there being no artificers or mechanics” (Bourne 1736) to a “centre of business and commercial enterprise” by the late nineteenth century.

In recent years many long-neglected buildings have been restored, and the historical importance and quality of this area is once more being appreciated.

In its heyday, Westgate was a street of wealthy merchants’ houses standing in orchards and gardens. It has also been a centre for merchants and craft guilds, recreation and entertainment, with Taverns, Theatres and Assembly Rooms. The transition of Newcastle from a feudal medieval town to a pioneering industrial city all happened around Westgate Road with the Castle, the Cathedral, the Parish Church of St. Johns, the Assembly Rooms, Stephensons’ Locomotive Works and the Literary and Philosophical Society all within sight of each other.

The “West End” is today an increasingly creative leisure and recreation area of the city where the arts, crafts and entertainment flourish side by side.

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