History buffs in South Tyneside are being given the chance to explore the area’s rich architecture and culture with the return of Heritage Open Days next month.
The days offer free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or charge for admission and 30 venues in the borough will be involved as part of the annual four-day event.
New to this year’s programme of events in South Shields is the 205 Battery, Royal Artillery Reserve Centre, with their collection of military vehicles, weapons and equipment, and South Shields Football Club, where visitors can meet the players and discover the club’s history.
In Jarrow both the historic Grange Road Baptist Church and the Muddy Fingers Pottery, where residents can make plates and bowls on the wheel, are new venues which will be open.
A number of church buildings are also taking part including St Paul’s Church and Monastic Site in Jarrow, Jarrow Christ Church and St Nicholas’ Church in West Boldon.
Others include St Mark & St Cuthbert’s Church in South Shields, St Hilda’s Church in South Shields Market Place and St Peter’s Church where people can learn about the history of Harton Village.
Other attractions include the borough’s sustainable business premises, The Eco Centre and One Trinity Green as well as The Customs House, The Mission to Seafarers, the North East Maritime Trust, The Westovian Theatre, Hawthorn Arts, St Hilda’s Colliery and Jarrow Salvation Army.
History enthusiasts can also enjoy a Victorian Heritage Walk around the Marine Parks as well as South Shields’ Riverside, view ancient pottery at Arbeia Roman Fort and reflect on the history of the River Tyne at the Old Town Hall, in South Shields.
This year South Tyneside is celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Jarrow Crusade and the 150th Anniversary of South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade with talks, tours and exhibitions in venues across the borough.
This year’s event marks the 15th anniversary of the Heritage Open Days in Tyne and Wear, sponsored by Port of Tyne.
Councillor Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “Heritage Open Days offer people a brilliant opportunity to delve into South Tyneside’s rich history and discover the spectacular architectural marvels on their doorstep.
“This year’s programme is packed full of activities that will bring the borough’s local history to life.”
Full listings are available at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/hod.
Copies of the Heritage Open Days booklet are also available at local libraries and the Visitor Information Centre at Haven Point, South Shields.