An important Roman settlement, the coastal town of South Shields is perhaps best known for its mining and seafaring past. It is also notable as the only constituency never to have elected a Conservative MP since the Great Reform Act of 1832.
After the mines and local shipyards closed South Shields went through a period of economic decline with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
Today the town is going through a process of regeneration with South Tyneside Council’s 365 project investing £100m in redeveloping the town, harnessing the advantages of a beautiful location and welcoming community to make the town a year round attraction with new retail and leisure venues.
South Shields is well known for its market and famous fish and chips. It is also home to Souter Lighthouse, the first to use an alternate electric current, the Church of St Hilda, which dates back to 1790 and the remains of the Arbeia Roman Fort, the food store for Hadrian’s Wall.
Did you know?
- St Hilda’s Parish clerk and Emma’s great great great grandfather, William Wouldhave, invented one of the earliest Lifeboats in South Shields.
- The second Prime Minister of New Zealand was born in South Shields in c1812.
- Muhammed Ali’s marriage was blessed in the Al-Azhar Mosque in Laygate in 1977. This was also the first purpose built Mosque in the country.
- The world’s second largest half-marathon, The Great North Run, finishes in the town.