South Shields Crematorium to hold guided tours on open day

South Shields Crematorium.
South Shields Crematorium.

Residents will get a rare insight into the work of a crematorium when it opens its doors to the public next month.

The event at South Shields Crematorium, in John Reid Road, Saturday, September 9, will give visitors a chance to speak to staff from South Tyneside Council’s bereavement service.

There will also be an opportunity to look around the grounds and building, including behind-the-scenes areas, in "a relaxed and informal way" as well as to learn more about how the

service operates.

Councillor Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “South Shields Crematorium provides a dignified, sensitive and

respectful service for local people at what can be an extremely difficult and distressing time.

“This special open day gives visitors a chance to gain a better understanding of how our dedicated bereavement staff look after lost loved ones, from the service to their final resting place,

as well as learn more about the crematorium building, the cremation process, the tranquil grounds and the wide range of memorials available.

“It is also an ideal opportunity for people to ask questions about the workings of the crematorium to help dispel any myths or alleviate fears they may have about the service.

"I’m sure all those who come along for the open day will find the experience fascinating and enlightening.”

South Shields Crematorium held its first cremation in July 1962 and since then more than 74,000 cremations have taken place.

The bereavement service currently deals with around 1,500 cremations and 550 burials each year.

Tours will include the chapel, where bereavement staff receive all funerals, as well as the records room, committal room and the crematory.

Visitors can also explore the gardens and memorial areas.

In recent years the crematorium has undergone a series of improvements, such as the new glass canopy and extended parking facilities.

The guided tours will take place throughout the day from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

Contact the bereavement services team for further information on (0191) 4273190.