Past Meets Present in Town Hall Heritage Tours
A fascinating insight into the historic South Shields and Jarrow town halls were just some of the activities that took place as part of Heritage Open Days in South Tyneside.
Heritage Open Days provided visitors with a unique chance to discover and enjoy, sometimes hidden and often curious architectural treasures, with free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.
The week included a series of guided tours of the civic buildings, led by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay and Mayoress Jean Copp.
Visitors explored Jarrow Town Hall where the famous Jarrow marchers set off for London in 1936. The building features stunning stained-glass windows, marbled steps and wood panelling throughout as well as showcases the Jarrow March memorabilia.
The tour of the Edwardian Grade II Listed South Shields Town Hall gave visitors the opportunity to learn more about the building's rich history and workings of democracy.
The Mayor said: "We were delighted to welcome people into our beautiful town halls to talk to them about the fascinating history of these buildings and the important role they have played in the area for more than a century.
"Jarrow Town Hall is steeped in history and houses a fantastic display of Jarrow March artefacts. Giving people the opportunity to learn more about the building and see this collection devoted to a key event in our history helps to keep the connection with our proud past alive.
"People are always impressed by the sheer scale and grandeur of South Shields Town Hall. They may pass it every day but are unaware of its importance and what makes it so special. There are so many interesting features to explore, from the oak-panelled chambers, marble corridors and sweeping staircase to the Coat of Arms, the clock tower and beautiful stonework.
"They really are magnificent public buildings. They are part of our rich heritage and embody civic pride. It was wonderful for people to get the chance to go behind the scenes to see for themselves and we were very proud to show them off. The feedback we have received has been extremely positive."