Enjoy bank holiday fun with Roman soldiers, falconry and famous artwork

Gladiators battle it out at Arbeia Roman Fort.
Gladiators battle it out at Arbeia Roman Fort.

People are being invited to step back in time with a host of bank holiday fun this weekend.

History buffs of all ages will be able to discover what life was like in Ancient Rome with two living history events.

Arbeia Roman Fort, in Baring Street, South Shields, is inviting people to discover life as a Roman soldier.

Visitors will have the chance to look at the kind of armour that would have protected soliders and the weapons they would have used to protect Hadrian’s Northern frontier against barbarians. People will also discover the Roman remedies that would have been used to treat soldiers’ injuries.

If you were a Roman solider, organised by Roman Antiqua, is at the fort from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday.

At Flight of the Romans, which also runs from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday, Historical Falconry will be showcasing a selection of birds and teaching people about the history and heritage of falconry.

Visitors will be able to handle some of the equipment used by the falconers and witness the skill of the birds during two arena flying demonstrations.

Both events are free to attend.

Over at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, this weekend offers people the last chance to see a painting by a world-famous artist.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s St Tropez is on loan to the museum, in Ocean Road, by Birmingham Museums Trust. The seascape is the first of two high-profile spotlight loans at the museum.

Geoff Woodward, museum manager, said: “We are delighted to have been able to showcase this stunning painting over the summer months. Renoir is such a high profile and well-loved artist in the history of art.

“As St Tropez shows, Renoir drew inspiration from the coastal landscape in the South of France, in much the same way as artists have been inspired by the South Tyneside coast, and we have taken the opportunity to show many of the coastal and seascape paintings from the South Tyneside collection alongside this Renoir.

“I’m sure visitors will not want to miss seeing this prestigious, internationally-significant artwork in South Shields before it returns to Birmingham Museums Trust next week.”

JMW Turner’s moonlit nocturne watercolour painting, Shields, on the River Tyne is the next spotlight loan. It will be on loan from Tate Britain in London.

The exhibition will open on September 8.