This afternoon, amid the aftermath of the first Urban Design night out in a long time, I decided to take a trip down to Byker to get a MacDonald’s! In less time than it takes to order a Big Mac through the highly inefficient drive through speaker system, the sky was covered in thick black smoke. It looked as though the fire was coming from within the Byker Wall, but fortunately the source was actually Shepherds Scrapyard next door. There was so much smoke that it was even visible from Jesmond. News reports stated that the blaze could be seen from as far as 30 miles away, whilst flames reached 50 ft and smoke billowed thousands of feet into the air. Events such as these pose serious threats to the environment and raise serious questions about land use. See the picture below to gain an appreciation of the extent of the blaze.
Byker on Fire19 05 2011