YOUNG and old have come together to offer an insight into what life was like in the borough during the Second World War.
Blitz Project: Thomas Brown and the Enigma Code is a free exhibition being staged as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days event.
Staged by North Tyneside Council and Wallsend’s Monkfish Productions, it can be seen at the Saville Exchange in North Shields on Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11, from 10am to 3.30pm.
The exhibition will include wartime artefacts, talks with survivors and a poetry booth in which residents can record memories of the war.
Visitors will also learn about wartime hero Thomas Brown, of North Shields, and his role in cracking the Germans’ Enigma code.
Emily Tench, one of ten youth workers involved in the scheme, will be putting on a performance looking back at the destruction of the Wilkinson’s lemonade factory in North Shields in 1941.
The 19-year-old said: “It’s important that people get the opportunity to pass on their memories, so their stories aren’t just forgotten.
“I was fortunate enough to talk to a survivor of the bombing at the Wilkinson’s lemonade factory, which killed over 100 people, and my performance will be based on what I was told.
“I will try to get across what it must have been like for people living in that time and give people an insight into how terrifying it must have been.”
Emily, of North Shields, added: “The exhibition will be an excellent opportunity for families to come along and discuss their own experiences.
“People often have a lot of stories to tell, but it takes something to trigger them, which is what we will be hoping to do.”
The event is also part of the council’s inter-generational programme.
Kitty Brightwell, 89, of North Shields, has been involved with the scheme for four years, and she said: “The scheme is a fantastic chance for different age groups to come together, and this event is set to be the best yet.
“It’s impossible for teenagers and children to fully understand how different things were, but they get a better understanding when they talk about it with people who lived in that era.”
Claire Morgan, artistic director of Monkfish Productions, said: “We would like to invite members of the public to bring their own thoughts, memories and ideas along to the Saville Exchange.”
For details, call (0191) 643 7422.