Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Heading to North Shields


Thanks for popping in.

We've one more trip to Tyneside before heading back home on the train, so we'll make the most of an enjoyable walk along the edge of the River Tyne from Tynemouth to North Shields.

Leaving the steps and canons flanking Lord Collingwood's monument that I showed you in my last blog post, we'll head down over the grass to the wide path below.

Across the river, to the left we can see a few rocks at the end of the other bank followed by the grassy mound of Marsden with the red and white Souter Lighthouse, along past Marsden Rock and Grotto to the Leas towards South Shields beach and pier which juts out towards the Tynemouth pier, both with lighthouses.

Mr CK's panoramic photo which I hope you can zoom into.
As the ships enter the River, you can see them proceed slightly off to the left between North and South Shields, which get their name from the Anglo-Saxon 'sheels' or shelters referring to fishermen's huts that were in the area, on their way to Newcastle City and beyond.  There's a ferry between the two.

Before you know it, the Quay of North Shields opens up on the walk.   To protect ships from the notorious Back Middens (rocks) and the treacherous South Shields Bar and help them navigate safely to the River, North Shields has a number of Lights (white towers) - there's the Old Low Light (now a museum and cafè) and Old High Light (now Trinity Buildings) as well as the New Low Light and New High Light - which the ships would line up and get through without problems.

The Fish Quay is still in use these days, full of small fishing boats and the whiff of fish.  There's a poignant memorial to fishermen lost as sea by  Ray Lonsdale entitled Fiddlers Green looking out to sea.

You can imagine the sailing ships of the past, the busy ship building and coalmining industries all passing by this now peaceful area.  How things change.

You can find a memorial sculpture to Stan Laurel in the town, though I didn't see it on the way back to the Metro.



  1. What a super walk with an interesting history to learn along the way. I like Ray Lonsdale's sculptures and have seen them in several places, the fisherman is wonderful:)

    1. It was smashing! I have only seen the one at Seaham on the TV but the fisherman was fantastic, so detailed and perfect for the position. 🙂

  2. Anything to do with Northumberland tugs at my heartstrings, but especially the fishing and mining. Love the panoramic photo, the sculpture (the textured face and clothes) and the ironwork of the women preparing the fish for the barrels. I remember my Grandma singing 'Ye shall have a fishy on a little dishy' and using Geordie dialect from time-to-time.

    1. It was all very atmospheric and conjured up all the past industries and the hard working people of the area. That song is so familiar from When the Boat Comes In with James Bolam.

  3. Another lovely stroll with you, reminding me of time spent with my own family.