Byline: By Alison Dargie
The biggest free celebration of the region's architecture, history and culture takes place next month.
As part of Heritage Open Days 2003, there will be over 110 buildings across Tyne and Wear holding tours and talks to celebrate the region's heritage.
People will get the chance to step into the past and find out more about the 2,000 years of history that has made Newcastle and the North-East the vibrant place that it is today. Last year was hailed a success with over 20,000 visits to 84 properties. And with more places to see this year the figures are expected to be even higher. The event takes place between Friday, September 12 and Monday, September 15.
Highlights in Gateshead include a Blaydon Races and Joseph Cowen walk and a talk about Sage Gateshead.
A Shipley Art Gallery tour, Gateshead Millennium Bridge walk and the opening of places of interest such as the Gibside Estate, Tyne Bridge Tower and St Chad's Church are bound to delight.
In Newcastle, new additions such as the Moot Hall and Robert Stephenson's House will be opening their doors and unique tours of the city include a children's walk around Grainger Town and a tour around Grainger Market. And with attractions including the Black Gate, Castle Keep, Guildhall, Hancock Museum, Swing Bridge Motor Room, Victoria Tunnel and Newcastle Civic Centre on the list, there is plenty to keep people entertained. In North Tyneside the list includes Tynemouth Castle and Priory, the Tyne Tunnels and the Dove Marine Laboratory. Across in South Tyneside, the Customs House and Souter Lighthouse are taking part in the event for the first time. Arbeia Roman Fort, Bede's World and South Shields Town Hall are also on the list.
In Sunderland Fulwell Mill will open to the public and visitors can take part in a one-off Geology Roadshow.
A Tyne and Wear Heritage Open Days 2003 Guide giving details of all the participating buildings, tours and talks is available now from Tourist Information Centres and libraries.
Fiona Cullen, heritage officer for Newcastle City Council, said: "There are 40 new venues since last year. Guides will be on hand to give some of the history of each building."
Places taking part
1. Baltic The Centre for Contemporary Art
2. Banqueting House, Gibside
3. Bensham Grove Community Centre
4. Birtley Walk
5. Blaydon Races and Joseph Cowen Walk
6. Bradley Gardens
7. Bridges Conservation Area Walk
8. Durham Road Baptist Church
9. Gateshead Central Library
10. Gateshead Civic Centre
11. Gateshead Millennium Bridge Talk
12. Gateshead Quays Visitor Centre
13. Gateshead Town Centre Walk
14. Gibside Estate
15. Holy Cross Church, Ryton
16. Little Theatre
17. Path Head Water Mill
18. Ryton Village Walk
19. St Chad's Church, Gateshead
20. St Edmund's Chapel
21. St Joseph's RC Church
22. St Mary's Church and Graveyard Trail
23. St Mary's and St Thomas Aquinas RC Church
24. Sage (Music Centre) Talk
25. Saltwell Park
26. Shipley Art Gallery Tour
27. Tyne Bridge Tower
28. Winlaton Cottage Forge