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New Homes on Tyneside


Several staff came from the CSW Mill in Dunston, but there was no recruitment of staff from Spillers, the rival mill in Newcastle. In the early years of production in Gateshead, Rank asked skilled people at its other mills to move to Tyneside.

Michael Condon arrived from Cork with his wife in 1951. They rented one of the 26 houses in Ventor Gardens, Low Fell, specially built by Rank because of the housing shortage on Tyneside in the early 1950s.

These houses were later sold to tenants, and several ex-Baltic workers still live there.


Social Life


The Baltic was a happy, lively place. Working conditions were good, and management realised the importance of the social life of their workers, ensuring job satisfaction.

The sense of togetherness at the mill was quickly detectable to visitors. Fork life driver Frank Charnock Jnr remembers the mill as a 'marvellous place to work'.

There were trips to Corbridge for picnics, notorious office parties, annual dinners and numerous award ceremonies. Norman Pinkerton met his wife at a union party. Arrangements were made for a swimming club, a family club and a football team, which was in the Sunday League. Michael Condon and many others played football on the roof of the mill in the 1950s.

Contact Us

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead Quays
South Shore Road
Tel: 0191 478 1810

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday 10am - 6pm
(Except Tuesday 10.30-am-6pm)