12 poignant pics as South Shields' streets fall silent to mark the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

The streets of South Shields fell silent today (September 19) as businesses closed and shoppers and workers remained at home as the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II took place at Westminster Abbey.

Ocean Road, Fowler Street and King Street were deserted as an eerie silence pervaded through the town on what would normally be a busy Monday morning of commuters making their way to offices and retail outlets at the start of the working week.

The hustle and bustle of the town’s market was replaced with tranquil calm with not a car or pedestrian in sight with the only sound the occasional seagull passing overhead.

Supermarket car parks remained empty with many leading chains opting to close for the day while empty benches and cafes – which would normally be full of people sharing a coffee and a chat – captured the sombre mood of a city in mourning.

The town centre was empty of both shoppers and retail workers but the tribute to Queen Elizabeth II displayed on an electronic advertising board provided a poignant reminder as to why South Shields had effectively closed for the day.

Here are 12 poignant photographs of the day South Shields fell silent as the nation marked the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s longest serving monarch.