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Gladiators do battle at Arbeia Roman Fort festival in South Shields

Gladiators battled it out on the field as scores of visitors attended an annual South Tyneside  Roman festival.

Roman characters and gladiators took over Arbeia, South Shields Roman Fort in Baring Street at the weekend.

The gladiators battling it out.

The gladiators battling it out.

Training exercises and fights were held in the arena, while poetry sessions, archery classes and jewellery work shops took place around the South Shields fort’s grounds.

Sadie Stewart, of The Historical Combat Company, said: “Once again we have had a brilliant turn out.

“Arbeia is one of our favourite places to visit as the setting is so lovely.

“The gladiators have been showing off their training exercises, this would have prepared them for fights and also taught them discipline.

Tracey Budett as Althea the Greek Apothecary

Tracey Budett as Althea the Greek Apothecary

“But we have all sorts going on, the cook is making thumb pots, we have archery lessons and leather workshops.”

Stephen Gatt from Leeds, had returned to his hometown with his daughters Erin, nine, Kaiya, six, and granddaughter Isla Porri, three.

He said: “We’ve come up to visit the family so popped along, the girls had a try at archery, it’s been really good.”

Blake Moore, seven, from Whitelease, South Shields, had the chance to dress up as a gladiator.

Erin Gatt, nine, trying her had at archery.

Erin Gatt, nine, trying her had at archery.

Mum Jayne said: “We love coming to the fort as much as we can.

“Blake is really into his Romans and has been asking a million questions, they will be sick of him, but he’s having a great time.”

Blake Moore. seven, dressing up as a gladiator.

Blake Moore. seven, dressing up as a gladiator.

The gladiators in training.

The gladiators in training.