Exhibition on Spanish City Dome set to open

Dome Sweet Dome exhibition at Old Low Light heritage centre.
Dome Sweet Dome exhibition at Old Low Light heritage centre.

An exhibition showcasing the past, present and future of the iconic Spanish City starts on Friday.

Preparations for the free ‘Dome Sweet Dome’ event, which will take place at the Old Low Light heritage centre in the Fish Quay, North Shields every day for two weeks, are in full swing.

Dancers pictured at the old Empress Ballroom.

Dancers pictured at the old Empress Ballroom.

The exhibition will focus on the Dome’s past, from when it was built in the early 20th Century to its heyday in the 1960s and 70s, through to its current state of restoration, before looking ahead to what lies in store.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a range of photographic displays, including historic images of the Dome in its various guises and pictures taken during the recent hard hat tours.

There will be a small recreation of the Empress Ballroom complete with music, mannequins and period costumes.

People can share their memories of the Spanish City by filling out special cards and placing them in ‘memory jars’.

Glass drinking bottles and poster found during Dome restoration.

Glass drinking bottles and poster found during Dome restoration.

Information displays showing the progress of the ongoing Dome restoration and the plans for the future will also be on show.

Meanwhile, organisers are continuing to appeal for Spanish City or Whitley Bay-themed memorabilia which could be used in the exhibition.

Pearl Saddington, centre manager at the Old Low Light, said: “We’d love to hear from anyone who has anything related to the Dome or the seaside at Whitley Bay.

“This could be old photos, posters, postcards, drinks coasters or sticks of rock.”

Electronic copies of any Spanish City-themed memorabilia can be emailed to SpanishCityDome@northtyneside.gov.uk and physical items can be dropped off at the Old Low Light at Clifford’s Fort during opening hours.

The event is part of the activity programme linked to the Spanish City restoration, which has been made possible thanks to £3.47m of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We’re immensely proud of this iconic building and its rich history but I’m also extremely excited about its future and this exhibition is a great way to tell its story.”

For more information about the Spanish City restoration project visit http://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/646/spanish-city-dome`1