Newcastle Libraries publishing manager Anna Flowers retires after launching 136 books

Newcastle Libraries publishing manager Anna Flowers calls it a day after launching 136 books

Anna Flowers, who is retiring as Publications manager of Tyne Bridge Publishing
Anna Flowers, who is retiring as Publications manager of Tyne Bridge Publishing

Publishing manager Anna Flowers has called time on a career spanning thousands of years of Tyneside history.

Over 24 years with Tyne Bridge Publishing, Anna has been involved in the production of 136 local interest, history and heritage books and has helped build up a comprehensive list of titles covering every aspect of the North East’s past by a variety of local authors.

Now Anna, who lives in Jesmond in Newcastle, has retired and handed over to new manager David Hepworth.

Anna joined Tyne Bridge Publishing, which is the publishing arm of Newcastle Libraries, in 1990 from city publishing company Avero.

Then, the libraries’ small publishing unit had been going for 10 years and had 15 titles in print.

Currently Tyne Bridge Publishing has 50 titles in print and introduces new ones every year.

Anna said: “Newcastle is very unusual among local authorities in having its own publishing house located in the library service.

“Tyne Bridge Publishing is self-sufficient and pays its way as well as providing a great way for local people to access the fascinating history of the area and the wealth of photographs, maps and information in the heritage section of the City Library.

“We have published books on everything from ships, railways and the River Tyne to inventions, ghosts, neighbourhood heritage, pubs and bridges.

“The books have made local history accessible to vast numbers of people in an area which is a cradle of the Industrial Revolution and invention.”

One of the biggest successes has been a series of books on life in Newcastle in the 1950s, 60, 70s and 80s.

They were created by inviting people to send in their memories and pictures.

She said: “The books span 40 years of popular culture. We said to the public that these books are by you and for you.

“They include all the small details of life at the time that are usually forgotten about.

“It is a people’s history and tell what it was like to be in Newcastle during those decades, and what happened to people.

“It would have been brilliant if those sorts of books had been written in Newcastle centuries ago.”

But through the series, future historians will be able to read what life was like for ordinary people in the city.

“My favourite book was the one on the 60s because I was a teenager then,” said Anna. who was born in Tynemouth.

She has started her retirement by keeping up with local history through enrolling on a Newcastle University on-line course on Hadrian’s Wall.

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