Catherine Cookson, shipbuilding and Muhammad Ali’s visit to South Shields to feature in historic film screening

People in South Tyneside are being invited to step back in time later this month.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 5:55 pm

North East Film Archive is visiting The Customs House – with two screenings of South Shields On Film – a new programme of historic film material of the area in days gone by.

South Shields On Film aims to take viewers on a visual journey through the town’s history, exploring the lives of people who have lived, worked and made their mark on its rich cultural history.

Highlights include films about Catherine Cookson ruminating on her Jarrow childhood; ‘When The Boat Comes In’ author James Mitchell reminiscing around town in a Tyne Tees documentary from the late

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Muhammad Ali in South Shields

1960s; Muhammad Ali’s visit to South Shields in 1977 and films documenting the working lives of the shipbuilders at Palmers, Hebburn and textile workers at Barbour.

The programme features films from the 1920s right through to the 1990s.

South Tyneside through time will be screened at The Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, on Thursday, January 30, at 1.30pm and 7pm.

South Shields On Film is part of North East On Film, a project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund that has ensured the preservation and digitisation of archive footage from across the region and which has provided opportunities for the public to see film collections cared for in the Archive’s vaults.

Catherine Cookson

Since the project started in 2018, it has screened material at special events to almost 5,000 people across the North East, and to almost 3 million people online.

The project ends in early 2020.

Ray Spencer MBE, executive director at The Customs House said: “We’re delighted to welcome the folks from the North East Film Archive for these amazing screenings.”

Julie Ballands, delivery manager for the North East on Film project said: “We’re delighted to present this film show at The Customs House. It’s such a great venue with a brilliant audience and we know that we’ll have a

Workers at the Palmers Shipyard in Hebburn in 1953

fantastic turnout for our two shows. We have some amazing films to share and they’re sure to spark a few memories within the audience!”

Tickets are priced from £8.00 and can be purchased at or from The Customs House box office.