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Stories & Local History

The Natural History Society is nearly 200 years old. We have lots of fascinating stories to tell, especially about The Hancock Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Beluga Whale at North Shields Fish Quay, June 10 1903. NHSN Archives

Sparkie the Budgerigar (1954-1962)

Became famous after winning a speaking bird contest in 1958. He appeared on TV, radio, and in the press and even made his own hit records! After his death he was preserved and mounted and is one of the Great North Museum: Hancock's most treasured items. The heart-warming story of Sparkie and his owner Mattie Williams continues to fascinate the public and inspire artists and writers.

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The South Shields White Whale

The first recorded specimen of a Beluga or White Whale (Delphinapterus leucas) for the East Coast, south of the Firth of Forth was recorded on the 10th June 1903.

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The First World War

The Natural History Society of Northumbria has researched its history during the period of the First World War. Many of our members served at the front throughout the conflict, and we have compiled some of their remarkable and often poignant stories.

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The Hancock Museum and the Second World War

Find out how the Hancock Museum and its collections were protected during the Second World War.

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History of the Natural History Society of Northumbria

Time-line of some of the notable events in our 200-year history.

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A Day to Remember

Newcastle celebrates the opening of a the New Museum of Natural History in 1884

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