New exhibition about Merchant Navy at fish quay heritage centre

New exhibition about Merchant Navy at fish quay heritage centre

A new exhibition has opened at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre on North Shields Fish Quay highlighting the big part that the Merchant Navy has played in the lives of people on both sides of the Tyne.

‘Merchant Navy – Tyneside Stories’ focuses on the service during the 20th and 21st centuries including local shipping companies and repair yards, the world wars, the support and training offered to visiting seafarers of all nations, a boarding school for children who had lost a parent in the service and the Merchant Navy of today and the future.

There are many stories from local people about their own experiences and those of family members.

Volunteer and trustee Nina Brown who coordinated the exhibition said: “This is the first time that we have had a full exhibition on the Merchant Navy which played and still plays a very big part in life on Tyneside. We have been overwhelmed at the response received from many individuals with seafaring connections who were keen to share their stories and those of their family members, as well as loaning us precious memorabilia.

“We have learnt so much about the involvement of local people in the service, past and present. These include fascinating stories of heroism in terrible conditions, including local seafarers who were part of wartime Arctic and Atlantic convoys and others who spent their entire working lives as part of his vital service, away from home and families for long spells at a time. Looking to the future of the service it was wonderful seeing enthusiastic young people starting off on their careers at sea.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to the exhibition in the coming weeks and months and hope that they enjoy this story.”

The exhibition will run until 30 April 2024. The Old Low Light Heritage Centre, Clifford’s Fort, North Shields Fish Quay NE30 1JE, is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm. Entrance to the exhibition is £4pp (free for Old Low Light members and children under 16).

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The Old Low Light is run by a charity. The exhibition has been researched, curated, and designed by Old Low Light volunteers and paid for with the proceeds of plant sales at the heritage centre and a generous donation from friends of the centre.

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