Funding boost sees £10k World War One project launched at Souter Lighthouse

Souter Lighthouse is set to host a series of workshops on the First World War.

Souter Lighthouse is set to host a series of workshops on the First World War.

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Visitors to a South Tyneside tourist attraction are set to learn about the impact of the First World War in the borough this month.

As part of the centenary of the war, the National Trust at Souter Lighthouse has been granted £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Souter Lighthouse, as it was in 1910.

Souter Lighthouse, as it was in 1910.

The money has gone towards a project which explores the North East’s links with operations in the North Sea during the war.

It will focus on East Coast War Channels which helped to protect ships that took vital supplies southwards.

Kate Devlin, National Trust lighthouse steward at Souter Lighthouse, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be working closely with marine archaeologist Antony Firth on this project.

“His enthusiasm and knowledge have really fired the imagination of staff and volunteers here at the lighthouse.

This is a great chance for everyone to be involved in building a clearer picture of a fascinating period in wartime history

Kate Devlin

“Some members of the team have even discovered family links with ships involved in the War Channels themselves.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re looking forward to continuing this journey with our visitors and the local community, learning more as we go.

“This is a great chance for everyone to be involved in building a clearer picture of a fascinating period in wartime history.”

The project will start with a series of free workshops at the lighthouse, starting with a family history workshop on Tuesday, June 13.

Those who attend between 10am and 12.30pm will learn about the impact of the First World War at sea in the local area and look into family or personal links with the war.

A family history drop-in will be on the same day at the lighthouse, between 1pm and 3.30pm, with the session to highlight local connections to the wrecks lying offshore.

On Wednesday, June 14 between 10am and 4pm, a creative writing workshop will be on at the lighthouse, exploring the shipwrecks of the war and their human cost in poetry and prose.

The workshop will include a guided walk and the chance to perform and hear pieces written during the day.

All of the workshops are free, while on June 14, a series of other events will take place across South Tyneside to celebrate the borough’s heritage.

For more information, or to book a place at one of the workshops, call 0191 529 0905 or email kate.devlin@nationaltrust.org.uk.