South Tyneside stories shine with National Lottery success

South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade
South Tyneside's heritage is set to be celebrated with funding success, workshops and free events for all.

From forts to folklore, four projects in South Tyneside are celebrating a £670,000 National Lottery funding boost.

St Hilda’s Colliery Headstock, one of the few remaining buildings associated with the mining heritage of South Tyneside, is set to be saved and given a sustainable future, thanks to a £548,200 National Lottery grant for Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust.Built in 160AD, Arbeia Roman Fort was a supply-base for Hadrian’s Wall and is one of the most extensively excavated sites in the north of the Roman Empire. Now Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives have been awarded £71,800 to carry out vital repairs to the fort wall and enable people to walk in the shoes of Romans.

Stretching from beyond the Tyne to the Thames, the East Coast War Channels protected ships taking vital coal southwards during the First World War. Building on existing research into shipwrecks which can be seen from Souter Lighthouse, the National Trust has been awarded £9,900 to enable people of all ages to will explore the vital – but often forgotten – role of people from South Tyneside who lived, worked and died to protect the channels.

Compact for Race Equality in South Tyneside (CREST) has secured a £39,700 grant to collect stories, traditions and tales from a diverse range of cultures before they are lost – from the Lambton Worm to folklore from Bangladesh.

The news comes as South Tyneside's heritage is set to be celebrated with workshops for prospective grantees and free events for all.

Follow the heritage trail: 14 June 

On Wednesday 14 June, there will be heritage activities for all and free entry for National Lottery players to some iconic landmarks. All the sites and projects have received funding thanks to National Lottery players.

Ivor Crowther added: “From creative inspiration in iconic Souter Lighthouse to a walk in the park with a heritage twist, these events offer a unique opportunity to see how National Lottery players’ money is helping to tell South Tyneside’s stories and a fantastic chance to get involved in those stories.”

St Aloysius Church

Begin at St Aloysius Church in Hebburn where you can take a closer look at vital restoration work to the 130-year-old church. Tours take place at 11.30am and 12.30pm with a performance at 12noon by organist Peter Kennedy.

Jarrow Hall

Learn about runes, riddles and Anglo Saxon crafts at Jarrow Hall between 10am and 3pm.

For all National Lottery players and their families, admission is reduced from £5 to £2 per person and free for under 5’s on Wednesday 14 June (10am to 3pm). Just show a valid National Lottery ticket for the period between 7 and 21 June upon entry. The valid ticket will admit up to six people at the reduced rate.

The Customs House

Speak to artist Jackie Sewell at The Customs House between 11am and 4pm about her giant clippy mat made entirely of recycled carrier bags – you can even have a go yourself!

The Word

Take a trip to The Word where three different groups are hosting activities:

  • Discover the stories of the 7,000 South Tyneside men who fought during the First World War and even research your own ancestors with South Tyneside Libraries (10am-3pm)
  • See costumed volunteers from Women’s Health in South Tyneside (WHIST) re-enact the lives of suffragettes and explore the role of women during the First World War
  • Hear forgotten folklore and fairy tales from different cultures, thanks to the women from Compact for Race Equality in South Tyneside (CREST)

South Shields Museum and Art Gallery

Take an exclusive guided tour of the art store at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery between 11am and 11:45am. Booking is essential, call 0191 211 5599.

Arbeia Roman Fort

Learn the secrets of the Arbeia Roman Fort with a guided tour between 4pm and 5pm. Booking is essential, call 0191 277 1410.

South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade

Celebrate 150 years of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade with a tour of the group’s base at Watch House on South Pier; look back at its history and see modern-day search and rescue equipment in action (10am to 4pm).

Age Concern Tyneside South

Explore the life and history of a South Shields town house at Age Concern Tyneside South’s base at 29 Beach Road (10am-12noon). Get in touch with your own past with a free taster family history workshop (11am-11.30am).

South Marine Park

Join the Friends of South Marine Park for a mystery heritage trail (10am-12noon). Space is limited so please book your place by contacting the Friends group

Souter Lighthouse

Finally, take your National Lottery ticket along to get free entry to South Tyneside’s iconic landmark, Souter Lighthouse. Admission is FREE on Wednesday 14 June (11am-5pm), to all National Lottery players and their families – just show a valid ticket for the period between 7 and 21 June upon entry. The valid National Lottery ticket will admit up to six people.

Or practice your creative writing skills at a workshop (10am-4pm), to explore the story of the people who protected the East Coast war channels during the First World War and the shipwrecks which can be seen from the lighthouse. Booking is essential, contact Kate Devlin, Lighthouse Steward

Come along to a workshop: 15 June

More than £12million has been invested into projects sharing and saving South Tyneside’s heritage.

However, with fewer National Lottery funding applications and awards compared to the rest of the North East, South Tyneside is currently a priority area for funding for HLF. This means that staff work closely with organisations to develop strong applications and to ensure South Tyneside’s heritage stories get the recognition they deserve.

On Thursday 15 June, workshops for current and prospective National Lottery grantees will be held at The Word in South Shields.

Whether you want to sow the seeds of a project idea, get top tips on how to apply for funding or take part in ‘heritage speed dating’ to meet groups who have been through it all before, the HLF team will be on hand to help.

Tickets are free and lunch and refreshments will be provided. Book your place on Eventbrite now! 

Share your South Tyneside stories

Do you have a favourite childhood memory? Favourite sight or site? Join the conversation on Twitter using #SouthTynesideStories.

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