NEWS: Heritage Open Days | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Wallsend Shipyard by John Kippin, exhibited at Bessie Surtees House for Spirit of the North during Heritage Open Days

The always popular Heritage Open Days provide an opportunity to take a peek behind closed doors, and venture into spaces not ordinarily open to the public. Taking place between Thursday 6th-Sunday 16th September country-wide, the North East has a whole heap of exciting experiences in some of the region’s most interesting buildings, most of which are free of charge.

Particular highlights include Bessie Surtees House’s exhibition of photography celebrating the Spirit of the North, with images by John Kippin; The History of 36 Lime Street, which dates from the 1840s, promises a fascinating insight into local artists’ work (Thursday 13th & Saturday 15th); Great North Museum: Hancock provide an opportunity to view rare first editions of illustrated books on the heritage, archaeology and natural history of the region not normally on display (Friday 7th); there’s a final opportunity to enjoy the SEAM exhibition at the historic Mining Institute before its closure for refurbishment until 2020 (Thursday 6th-Sunday 9th); Art Stop is a new bus stop on the Go North East 333 bus route, with unique works by artists installed in the timetable cabinet; a ‘psychedelic perambulation’ around publishers IRON Press is on offer in Cullercoats (Sunday 16th); and there’s another opportunity to see Asunder at the Customs House, telling the story of the North East during the Second World War (Friday 7th & Friday 14th).

The centenary of some women getting the vote is a prevalent theme, highlights include a local history talk at Gateshead Heritage Centre (Friday 14th), which looks at the noble women of the area; a talk on the life and times of Emily Davison at City Library (Thursday 13th); The Exchange in North Shields celebrates the stories of amazing women, plus there’s music from Whitley Women Community Choir and a specially commissioned play by Blowin’ A Hooley theatre company (Saturday 15th); University of Newcastle open their special collections and archives to display unique treasures by inspirational women like Gertrude Bell, Jane Loraine and Marjorie Robinson (Thursday 6th & Thursday 13th); while the fascinating Washington-born Gertrude Bell gets her own event on Saturday 15th at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, the writer, traveller and archaeologist is widely credited as writing the history of the modern Middle East.

There are also tours of the urban pier of Dunston Staiths, Gateshead’s Little Theatre, Jarrow Hall’s Anglo-Saxon farm and Bede Museum, Newcastle’s All Saints church, the Grainger Market, Newcastle Castle, Victoria Tunnel and many other historic buildings.


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