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News Article Search

Local History Month

29th April 2010

Categories: Latest News

Explore 2000 years of living history in Tyne and Wear this May

Attractions across Tyne and Wear are set to open their doors with exciting opportunities for
residents interested in local history this month.

Encouraging visitors to explore the historical skeletons hidden in the streets, buildings and
landscapes across the area, a host of attractions and organisations, including Tyne and Wear
Archives and Museums (TWAM), are delivering special events, including talks and workshops, guided walking tours and exhibitions, celebrating Local History Month throughout May.

From Bessie Surtees elopement with John Scott using the infamous Tudor windows of Newcastle’s
Quayside as their escape, to the indulgent history of the Bowes‐Lyon family at Gibside in Gateshead,
Tyne and Wear is a hotbed of curious tales and historical ghosts. 

Blue Badge Guide and local history expert Jan Williams said; “For local history with national importance then residents need look no further than the fantastic heritage found throughout Tyne and Wear.

“Whether you’re interested in the maritime history of the coastal area, the Roman heritage of South
Shields and Wallsend or the area's links with some of the personalities famous for shaping the
development of Early Christianity in the 7th century at Wearmouth‐Jarrow the UK’s World Heritage
Site nomination for 2011; Tyne and Wear has something to offer everyone curious to learn more
about our fascinating past. And this is no fossilised heritage; it’s 2000 years of living history.”

2010 couldn’t be a better time to investigate further with three of the region’s historical figures and
South Shields Museum and Art Gallery celebrating anniversaries this year. South Shields Museum & Art Gallery is gearing‐up to celebrate this year as it reaches its 150th birthday. History in the Making: Celebrating 150 years of South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, will explore both the history of the building at number 4, Ocean Road, and the memories of the people who have visited it –

Its 200 years since the death of Lord Admiral Collingwood and a range of events have taken place
already this year to celebrate his life’s achievements and affiliation with North East England. The
Discovery Museum is currently showing the exhibition Collingwood ‐ A Northumbrian Abroad. Using objects, paintings and extracts from his letters it explores not only Collingwood's long naval career, but also the influence of his lifelong love of Northumberland and the friends and family he left

Born in Newcastle Collingwood has a strong tie with Tynemouth where a memorial statue overlooks
the mouth of the River Tyne. Situated at the foot are some of the cannon from the Royal Sovereign,
which served as the flagship for Collingwood at the Battle of Trafalgar, where he took the lead after
Nelson’s fall. A bust of his head can also be seen at his birth place The Side in Newcastle, for more
information on the Collingwood celebrations go to

Live Theatre in Newcastle is celebrating the life of one of Cullercoats best known residents, Winslow
Homer, with Sheelagh Stevenson’s play A Northern Odyssey. September sees 100 years since the
death of the American Artist who made the coastal village his home during the 1880’s along with
other artists drawn to the tranquil setting which formed a small artists’ colony at the back end of the
19th Century. North Tyneside Council have developed the Cullercoats Art Trail which celebrates the
inspirational views and locations depicted by the artists, including Homer, at the time. A Northern
Odyssey is showing from 22 April‐22 May, to learn more about the Cullercoats Art Trail visit

Jesmond Dene is a popular escape for Newcastle’s city dwellers with its leafy parkland, animal
petting corner and beautiful waterfalls. Gifted to the city in 1883 by Sir William Armstrong one of the
North East’s most famous and influential industrialists, 2010 sees 200 years since his birth. His
successful hydraulics and armaments businesses have left their iconic mark on NewcastleGateshead’s Quayside with the Swing Bridge. Designed and built by Armstrong in 1878 using the hydraulic technology developed earlier in his career. Its movement allowed for larger ships to access the Tyne and transport guns from Armstrong’s own armament works situated further up
the river.

Together with the help of Joseph Swan, inventor of the incandescent light bulb, Armstrong created
in Cragside, Northumberland a home that was technologically advanced as water from one of the
estate's lakes was used to drive a dynamo creating the world’s first hydroelectric power station,
which in 1880 was used to power, amongst other things, Swan’s incandescent light bulbs. Cragside
will host a number of events throughout the year and a workshop will take place at Newcastle
Library this month hosted by Neil Tonge, chair of Armstrong 200 the organisation leading the
celebrations, called 'Hero or Profiteer?'

For further information on the events organised by Armstrong 200 visit
A listing of events taking place across Tyne and Wear is attached.

Media Enquiries please contact Shelley Ann Staines,
Media and PR Manager, Tourism Tyne and Wear 
0771 763 1109

Notes to Editors
• Tourism Tyne & Wear is the Area Tourism Partnership for Tyne and Wear.
• The partnership is made up of key stakeholders involved in delivering, developing and
promoting the visitor experience in Tyne & Wear and is supported by Newcastle City Council,
Gateshead Council, Sunderland city Council, South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside
Council, and NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
• Tourism Tyne & Wear is a key partner in the Tourism Network North East. Along with the
ATPs in Durham, Northumberland and Tees Valley and the tourism team based within One
North East.

Local History Month Event Listing
15 December 2009 – 30 May 2010
Swans of the Tyne
Laing Art Gallery New Bridge Street, Newcastle
Swan Hunter was responsible for some of the greatest ships of the 20th century and this new
exhibition will explore the history of one of the best known Shipbuilding companies in the UK. The
exhibition has been created by a variety of individuals and community groups in the North East, who
have worked with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums outreach team. On display in the exhibition are a range of photographs, technical drawings, film and video footage of Swan Hunter, as well as
recorded memories of people who either worked at or were in some way connected with the

23 Jan ‐ 27 Jun 2010
Collingwood: A Northumbrian abroad
Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle
An exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Admiral Lord Collingwood’s death at sea on 7 March 1810. Using objects, paintings and extracts from his letters it explores not only
Collingwood’s long naval career away from his home but also the influence on him of his lifelong
love of Northumberland and the friends and family he left behind.

22 April – 22 May
A Northern Odyssey
Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Newcastle
Winslow Homer is one of the most respected figures in American Art History. In 1998, Bill Gates
paid a record $36 million for Homer’s landscape Lost On The Grand Banks and the painting Inside theBar, Cullercoats 1883 hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 1881, Homer paid a visit to Cullercoats, then a fishing village, and minor artist’s colony. He stayed for almost two years. What brought him there, and why did he stay so long? Throughout May Locations across NewcastleGateshead NewcastleGateshead’s guided tours are free throughout local history month, themes include Newcastle’s Hidden Art, Seedy and Sophisticated and In Sickness And In Health. 

For more information on guided tours in Newcastle and Gateshead contact the Newcastle Tourist Information Centre 0191 2778000 or Gateshead Heritage @St Mary’s 0191 433 4699

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