Interview: Rob Kilburn (Tyne And Weird) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Documentary filmmaker Rob Kilburn runs the Tyne and Weird Facebook page which looks at Strange History, Urban Legends and Folklore in the North-East . He releases his first book, also entitled Tyne And Weird, an eclectic collection of local characters and historical oddities, of short (and tall) tales that perfectly illustrate just how weird Tyne and Wear can truly be. If you want to know about Sunderland’s brush with the greatest liar on earth, or the widespread mesmerism of the Victorian era, then this is the book for you. 

We catch up with Rob to find out more…

Tell us more about your new book. What inspired you to write it? 
I have always been interested in trying to highlight the North East in different ways. I’ve done this through working with artists to create unique artwork, directing documentaries on different cultures and communities up here and now looking at strange history from the area. The book was a logical progression for some of the stories I have shared online that are more historic in nature and perhaps harder to make a documentary on but still fascinating enough to share. We have a lot of history and culture that we should be proud of but often it gets overlooked.

What is it about folklore and urban legends that we find so appealing? 
People have been telling stories since recorded time began for a number of reasons and I think there is something about the unknown that still captivates people today. From aliens to ghost to god I think everyone wants to believe in something even if that thing is cold hard facts.

Which was your favourite of all the tales that feature in the book and why? 
It is hard to pick a favourite from the stories in the book there are so many that were a pleasure to come across and learn. One that I particularly found interesting was the ship named The Jesmond ,who was captained by a man from Jarrow, which allegedly discovered Atlantis. 

Who did the illustration for the front cover? 
The artwork and illustrations were created by Dan Underwood, a phenomenally talented local artist who I had worked with for a number of years. His work is definitely worth having a look at on Instagram under @UNDERVVOOD

How do we get our hands on a copy? 
You can grab a copy from me directly on my Etsy page here:

Or alternatively they are available via Waterstones from the 17th of November.

Do you think there are enough stories left for a volume two in the future?
This is something I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately and I think there just might be!

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