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Historical Buildings in South Tyneside Open Their Doors to Visitors

Residents are being reminded that they can uncover some of South Tyneside's hidden treasures this week as part of a national festival of heritage.

This year's 25th Heritage Open Days festival began on Friday 13 September and will run until Sunday 22 September.

Residents and visitors to South Tyneside have the opportunity to discover the history and culture of some of the Borough's oldest and most fascinating buildings during this 10-day event.

Especially for the festival, buildings and venues that usually charge for admission or are closed to the public, welcome visitors through their doors free of charge.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, said: "Heritage Open Days is a brilliant way for members of the community to learn all about South Tyneside's fascinating past.

"Visitors have already enjoyed the first few days of the event but there is still plenty more to do and see across the Borough with fascinating tours, exhibitions and activities on offer right up until Sunday.

"I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to explore South Tyneside and learn all about the history that's right on your doorstep. It is not one to be missed."

Across South Tyneside, there is a jam packed programme full of exciting activities and events on offer with over 20 venues participating in this year's Heritage Open Days including a good mix of churches, attractions and guided tours.

The owners of Wellesley Court will be opening their doors on Friday and Saturday to showcase the fascinating history of this Grade II listed former Tyne Pilotage Authority Office. As this is a private residence, booking is required for this event.

The North East Maritime Trust will be open this weekend for guided tours of the fisherman's workshops where visitors can see the traditional wooden vessels currently undergoing restoration.

The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House will also be open to the public this weekend. The Watch House has a unique collection of artefacts, photographs, records and equipment from its beginning in 1866 to the present day.

Visitors can also enjoy a tour which will explore the Mission to Seafarers building and see its beautiful chapel on Saturday. This is a special opportunity to learn about the unique history of the Mission.

There are lots of other exhibitions and activities taking place throughout the week. For full listings, specific opening times or booking information for events in South Tyneside, visit

Copies of the Heritage Open Days booklet are also available at local libraries, participating venues and the Visitor Information Centre at The Word, South Shields.

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