Norman J Smith, 1925 - 2020

Norman was not a North-Easterner but in a long sojourn here he became an ardent enthusiast for our area right up to his final illness when attempts were made to repatriate him to Cheadle Hulme where his roots were.

Norman was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took a degree after a wartime 2-year course.

He was directed by the government into the aviation industry (Hawker Aircraft, Kingston) but the government decided he would be better employed nearer home working on town planning. Wythenshawe was a huge council estate near Manchester and some of its planning was down to Norman.

Norman’s work eventually took him to local authorities (notably Norfolk), Sunderland and finally Gateshead.

He was a keen walker and after meeting up with myself (a rambler) he joined Gateshead Camera Club (early sixties?)

Norman enjoyed slide photography, indeed all his pictures were on slide film (Fuji) and he steadfastly resisted any attempts to convert him on to colour neg or (horror of horrors) digital photography.

N.J.S. became President of Gateshead Camera Club in 1966 and did duty as a Federation Representative.

In conversation with other friends of Norman it is noticeable that one phrase is frequently uttered – “Norman was a gentleman” – and so he was. We shall miss him.

Raymond Rayner