Venues opening doors to visitors

Christ Church, in North Shields, which is taking part in the Heritage Open Day weekend.
Christ Church, in North Shields, which is taking part in the Heritage Open Day weekend.

A host of venues are opening their doors this weekend for visitors to get a special behind-the-scenes look.

Popular buildings are taking part in the national Heritage Open Days programme, as well as venues which are closed to the public.

And a host of organisations are also opening up between today and Sunday to show residents what they do.

More than 40 activities, including guided walks and talks, are taking place.

Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism at North Tyneside Council, said: “For this year’s heritage open days, we’ve organised an excellent programme of events and opportunities so residents can learn about the rich heritage of our borough. People probably don’t realise how much interesting history we have on our doorstep.

“I hope that people will take advantage of these events and get an insight into the history that is all around them.”

l The Geordie Lamp: Celebrating the Stephenson Legacy – Friday, September 11, from 10.30am to 11.30am, at White Swan Centre, Killingworth;

l Historic Tynemouth Local History Walk – Friday, September 11, from 1pm to 3pm;

l Linskill Life: A celebration of the school history of the Linskill Centre, North Shields – Saturday, September 12, and Sunday 13, 10am to 4pm.

l Christ Church, in Preston Road, North Shields, will be opening its belfry to the public on Saturday from 10.30am to 12.30pm then 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Bell ringers will be on hand to answer questions and put on a demonstration. The first six bells were placed in the tower 227 years ago, with ten bells rung each week for services, weddings and national celebrations.

l Records of 262 men from the Killingworth parish who died during the First World War will be on display st St John’s Church, West Lane, Killingworth, from 10am to 4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

There will be an exhibition of the memorials in the parishes’ communities of Benton, Burradon, Dudley, Holystone, Killingworth, Palmersville, West Allotment and West Moor.

l Cullercoats Community Centre is holding an Our Cullercoats Heritage Day on Saturday, September 12, and Sunday, 13, from 11am to 4pm both days.

Visitors can learn about the village’s history, the lifeboat crews and see hundreds of pictures. Entry is free while refreshments (a tea and a scone) are £1.

l St Peter’s Church, in Wallsend, has a selection of old records and items on display.

The grade II-listed building will be open on Saturday, September 12. As well as the largest collection of 20th-century Irish stained glass outside of London, visitors can also see records dating back to the 17th century plus items from the 16th century.

l Monkseaton Quakers will be welcoming visitors to look around their Meeting House on Front Street, Monkseaton.

The building will be open from 10am to 4pm on Friday, September 11, and Saturday, 12. Monkseaton Friends will be there to show people around the building and garden.

l St Augustin’s Church, in Washington Terrace, North Shields, will be open on Saturday, September 12, from 10am to 4pm.

The church was built in 1877, and visitors can see the war memorial, stained glass windows designed by Martin Tavers, and other stained glass which remember local families.

l Cullercoats Watch House, Front Street, Cullercoats, will be open on Saturday, September 12, from 10am to 4pm. The grade II-listed 1879 watch house was built for a Cullercoats volunteer life brigade and features in a number of famous paintings of Cullercoats, notably by leading American artist Winslow Homer. Refreshments available.

l St. Mary’s Lighthouse and Visitor Centre will be playing host to Lyricist G. F. Phillips and composer John Bushby. They will be reading extracts and playing samples of their folksong cycle ‘The Square and Compass’.

The free event will take place on Sunday, September 13 and booking is essential. There are two sessions throughout the day, at 11am and 12.15pm. For more information, or to reserve places, contact (0191) 200 8652.

l For more information on all the venues and booking details, visit