A piece of South Tyneside’s military history has been restored to its former glory by a group of Territorial Army soldiers.
Members of 205 (3DvA) Battery in South Shields spent two days cleaning and repairing the Disappearing Gun, which sits on Trow Point.
The historic landmark, designed by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, was first placed there in 1887 when the army was experimenting with coastal defences.
Although the gun fired with no problem, the water and air mechanism was too slow and it was never fired in combat. The original concrete housing remains and the gun in position today is a replica put there in 1987 to commemorate the centenary of the gun trial.
Over the years the gun has been vandalised and fallen into a state of disrepair.
The restoration work, which was spearheaded by Battery Commander of 205 Battery Major Geoff Blackborough.
The materials were provided by the National Trust.
Major Blackborough said: “It is an absolute honour for the soldiers from this battery to be involved in such a worthwhile community engagement project, particularly because of the historical links to the battery defending that area of the coastline in past conflicts and wars.”
The new-look gun was unveiled at a special event held at Trow Point attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse and his wife Patricia.
Coun Porthouse said: “It is great to see this historic coastal landmark given a new lease of life. The South Shields Territorial Army, the National Trust and volunteers have done a brilliant job refurbishing the memorial.
“It has a lot of potential in terms of a visitor attraction and we would encourage residents of South Tyneside to take the time to find out more about this local piece of military history on their doorstep.”
Mick Simpson, from the National Trust, said: “We are grateful for the efforts and the end product is fantastic. Without the soldiers’ hard work the gun would have continued to decay and may well have deteriorated beyond repair.”