Appeal for information on former North Shields factory

Former workers at a North Shields factory are being sought to help a forthcoming exhibition.

By David Sedgwick
Wednesday, 06 March, 2019, 11:29
The former Tyne Brand factory on North Shields Fish Quay.

Officials at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre at North Shields Fish Quay are looking for former staff of Tyne Brand.

Tyne Brand used to be one of the area’s major businesses, and the heritage centre is planning to stage an exhibition, It’s In The Can – The Story Of Tyne Brand, in April and May.

Centre director Guy Moody said: “The company has long gone, but stories about it are still told by local people.

“We want to make sure its history is not lost and we’re hoping to find people who used to work there or who had family or friends who were Tyne Brand employees to help with our exhibition.

“We would be delighted to hear from anyone who has photographs, artefacts, or most importantly, a story to tell.”

Anyone with information is asked to email thetynebrandstory@gmail.com or drop into the Old Low Light.

The origins of Tyne Brand go back to 1901 when local trawler owners established the Shields Ice & Cold Storage Company, building an ice factory for the fishing industry and the public.

In 1903 the company began experimenting with canning fish, and during the First World War the company was directed to begin canning meat, soup and jam.

The firm became Tyne Brand in 1942, with tins of stuffed pork roll and jars of potted meat staple items in larders up to the 1960s.

The North Shields Fish Quay factory was a major local employer and was converted to produce pet foods in 1973. It finally closed its doors in 1976.

The Old Low Light, which stands with the walls of Clifford’s Fort, is the oldest surviving building on North Shields Fish Quay. Once one of two leading lights guiding ships through the mouth of the River Tyne, the building largely dates back to the 18th century.

In 2015 it opened as a heritage centre, run by a charity called The Net, with a café, gift shop, gallery and space for community groups.

It has a full programme of events, including exhibitions, talks, walks and concerts. Further information is available at www.oldlowlight.co.uk