Royal Visit to South Tyneside from HRH The Duke of Gloucester
South Tyneside was given the royal treatment this week when His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester came for a visit.
His Royal Highness visited Jarrow Hall where he unveiled a new exhibition which features a new artefact from its twin museum in Italy.
Last year, representatives from Jarrow Hall travelled to Abbadia San Salvatore to twin its Museum of the Abbey with Jarrow Hall. During that visit, Reverend Don Giampaolo Riccardi, pastor of the Abbey, presented a gift of a reliquary containing religious relics to Jarrow Hall which will form the focus of the new exhibition.
In return, the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick, today presented a 13th century amber seal from the Bede Museum collection to the representatives from Abbadia for display in the Museum of the Abbey as a symbol of the two towns' shared heritage.
The Mayor said: "While the two communities of Jarrow and Abbadia are separated by distance, we are joined by a shared, rich history and a sense of pride in the accomplishments of our towns and their people.
"It was my absolute pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness to officially open this exhibition and formally seal the twinning of Jarrow and Abbadia, consolidating our friendship across the miles."
During his visit, The Duke of Gloucester was taken on a tour of Jarrow Hall and shown a display of the replica Codex Amiatinus; the earliest surviving complete manuscript of the Christian Bible which was produced at the Wearmouth-Jarrow monastery around 700 A.D before being taken to Italy as a gift for Pope Gregory II in 716. One of only two full-sized facsimiles in the world, the other replica is displayed at the Museum of the Abbey in Abbadia San Salvatore. This stunning book is now on display at Jarrow Hall in a new world-class exhibition case donated by the British Library, transported to the museum with the support of the Friends of the World of Bede.
The Mayor of San Salvatore, Fabrizio Tondi, who was also in attendance, said: "It was beautiful to see the Codex which is the foundation of our culture and brings our two communities closer together.
"With a shared culture and heritage, our two towns have much in common. This gift of a seal strengthens still further the connections between our two towns."
Andrew Watts, CEO Groundwork South & North Tyneside said: "It was an honour to welcome The Duke of Gloucester and representatives from San Salvatore to Jarrow Hall to formally open the new twinning exhibition, meet our volunteers, partners and stakeholders who have supported us over the past three years, to enable us to further demonstrate the co-operative work between Groundwork and the Council, and provide an overview of our 15 year master plan for Jarrow Hall."
During his visit to the borough, His Royal Highness also planted a European Elm Tree in Jubilee Wood which was dedicated to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy project.
The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) is a project which aims to raise awareness within the Commonwealth of the value of indigenous forests and saving them for future generations. It also looks to create a network to share best practice and create new, collaborative initiatives for forest conservation.