Objects | Art/Craft/Design


Sid Chaplin’s Typewriter

Robinson Library (Special Collections), Tyne and Wear

Literature and Music

1946 To Today

This Olympia typewriter was the favourite of local writer Sid Chaplin (1916 – 1986), one of the North East’s most important literary ambassadors.

Born in Shildon, County Durham, his family background and early experiences in pit mining led him to shine a light, through his prose, on the industrial heart of the region and its working class values.

Over five decades of writing produced short stories, novels and works for television with the history and culture of the North East a common theme, perhaps most famously The Day of the Sardine.

Just as importantly, Sid’s impact on others contributed to a local creative renaissance, becoming an inspiration for writers from the industrial North such as Alan Sillitoe, David Storey and Stan Barstow. A theatrical adaptation of his book The Thin Seam, led to the popular Alan Plater play Close the Coalhouse Door.

Sid is pictured using the typewriter in the early 1970s

On display at Robinson Library, Newcastle University (on level 1 near the entrance to the library)

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