The following events and visits are being arranged for conference delegates.

Included in the Conference Registration fee:

The Civic Reception in the King’s Hall, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University, which will open the conference on Thursday, 28 July, 17.30-18.30.

An entertainment of Northumbrian poetry and music on the Conference theme of ‘Debatable Lands’ on Friday, 30 July, 19.30-20.15. The BARS Biennial General Meeting will take place at 21.00 that evening.

An exhibition mounted by the Special Collections staff of Newcastle University’s Robinson Library in connection with the conference. It will feature in particular the work of the engraver Thomas Bewick, who was born a few miles up the Tyne at Cherryburn. There will be a conducted visit to the exhibition on the afternoon of Friday, 30 July; conference members are welcome to visit it at other times when the Library is open.

Additional Conference events, for which further payment is required:

A guided Walking Tour of the city of Newcastle, concentrating on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to be conducted by Dr Tom Faulkner. This walk will be available on both Friday and Saturday afternoons. Cost: £3. (Note: numbers will be limited on both occasions.) VisitNewcastle webpages

An excursion to Wallington will take place on Saturday afternoon, 30 July. Wallington is a Palladian house in Northumberland associated with the Blackett and Trevelyan families. Its gardens were laid out in the eighteenth century, and some features in the extensive grounds are the work of ‘Capability’ Brown, a native of Kirkharle nearby. Cost: £5 for the coach, plus entry fees of £7.30 for the house, garden and grounds, or £5.20 for the garden and grounds only. (Note: entry to Wallington is free to National Trust members.) National Trust webpage for Wallington

The Conference Dinner will take place on Saturday 31 July in Newcastle’s eighteenth-century Assembly Rooms, Fenkle Street, at 19.30 for 20.00. It will be followed by a concert of traditional and original Northumbrian music by the Kathryn Tickell Band. (This is unmissable) Cost: £30 per person. Delegates are welcome to bring guests. Assembly Rooms website

‘You and papa, and my sisters, must come down and see us. We shall be at Newcastle all the winter, and I daresay there will be some balls, and I will take care to get good partners for them all.’ (Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice). Clive Caplan comments, ‘Lydia, for once, was well informed. Newcastle did have a prestigious venue for balls and other elegant recreation – a very grand set of Assembly Rooms, which still exist. Second only to those of Bath, they had been built by private subscription in 1776 and featured an exceptional seven-chandelier system of illumination made up of ten thousand pieces of locally cut crystal’ (The Jane Austen Society’s Report for 2003, p. 56).

Other events and places to visit:

Tall Ships Race 2005 The last leg of the 2005 Tall Ships race will start from Newcastle on Thursday 28 July, the opening day of the BARS conference. 100 Tall Ships are expected in the Tyne, and there will be a Parade of Sail on the morning of 28 July as they gather for the race from Newcastle to Fredrikstad in Norway. The Tall Ships fleet will start to leave the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides at about 8am, the last ship leaving at about 10am. For up-to-date information go to the VisitNewcastleGateshead website

The Laing Art Gallery has paintings by John Martin, who was born near Haydon Bridge in Northumberland, including ‘The Bard’ (1817), and William Holman Hunt’s ‘Isabella and the Pot of Basil’ (1867). The gallery is open Mondays to Saturdays, 10-5 and Sundays, 2-5. Admission free. Laing Art Gallery webpage

The Museum of Antiquities in Newcastle University has an exhibition devoted to Hadrian’s Wall and the objects found along its route. It is in the Quadrangle (enter through the Memorabilia Shop) and is open Monday to Saturday, 10-5. Admission free. Museum of Antiquities website

Anyone wishing to take a walk to Newcastle’s most celebrated sights should set off down Grey Street, leading south from the Monument (to Earl Grey of the Reform Bill), a well-known local landmark. Carry on down the hill and you will finish up on the Quayside from which you can see the famous Tyne Bridges. The newest of them, the ‘winking eye’, or Millennium Bridge, takes one over the river to the Baltic – a former flour mill now a centre for contemporary art. For further information and printable maps go to the VisitNewcastleGateshead website