Tom Kelly was born in Jarrow and now lives happily further up the Tyne at Blaydon.
He has had a varied career from his first job in a shipyard Time-Office including a publishing contract as a lyricist and a late degree. He worked for twenty-five years as a drama lecturer at South Tyneside College. He now writes full-time and works on creative writing projects.
He has had a great deal of work produced by the Customs House, a venue he regards as home, including musicals, plays and monologues. His most recently staged play I Left My Heart in Roker Park (produced by Cranked Anvil) toured the area in 2014, won the WOW award and was a finalist in the Journal Culture Awards. He writes songs and stories and performs in 'Men of the Tyne,' a multi-media show, incorporating film, stories and song which has had two recent tours of the north-east.
He has had seven poetry collections and 'Spelk,' his latest, will be launched and published by Red Squirrel Press in April 2016.
He has also worked on a number of films with South Shields filmmaker Gary Wilkinson, including Jarrow Voices, Little Ireland and South Tyneside at War.
Dr Matt Perry
Dr Matt Perry is a Reader in Labour History at Newcastle University where he has worked for the last ten years, before then he worked for ten years at Sunderland University.
He has taught widely on Modern European History. His research centres on British and French Twentieth Century History. His books include Jarrow Crusade: Protest and Legend (2005) and Red Ellen Wilkinson: Her Ideas, Movements and World (2014).
He has spoken at many events on these topics to a great diversity of audiences from schools to the University of the Third Age, from the Society of Antiquaries to local history societies.
He has appeared on BBC Look North, Radio Newcastle, Radio 4, BBC World Service and Inside Out. He featured in a GCSE film by Evans Woolfe Media for BBC on the Jarrow Crusade and social conditions in the town and provided text and materials for a set of teaching materials on the same topic for the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) in the Republic of Ireland.
Catrin Galt is the Community Librarian, Family History and Heritage at South Tyneside Libraries where she also worked as the Children's Librarian for 12 years prior to taking up her current post.
She is passionate about the history of the region and has worked with schools throughout the Borough to help children to explore their connection to their local heritage by using photographs, maps, artefacts and online resources.
Adam Bell is Assistant Keeper of Social History for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, based at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery. Adam's job involves curating and caring for the many fascinating artefacts at South Shields Museum, including the development of permanent galleries and special exhibitions, undertaking research, providing access to items in store and working in collaboration with many different stakeholders to bring history to life.
Adam has been responsible for dozens of exhibitions and displays at South Shields Museum, including 'Gotta Have It! You and Your Collections', 'Seaside Shields' and the award-winning 'Home of Heroes: South Tyneside in the First World War'.
From a young age, Adam has been captivated by the past and its so-near-but-yet-so-far allure. Originally from Ireland, Adam has been made to feel very much at home in the North East, and he enjoys continuing to learn about the region's wonderful history and traditions.