Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Northern Heroes to Be Celebrated Alongside the Run

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Northern Heroes to Be Celebrated Alongside the Run

Article excerpt

Byline: Sam Wonfor Reporter

ATOURING exhibition celebrating the North East's finest triumphs and achievements begins its journey at the weekend.

Organised as part of the Great North Run's cultural programme, Great North Greats, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Achievements opens on Saturday in South Shields as the countdown to the half-marathon's historic millionth finisher milestone continues.

In case you hadn't heard, on September 7, 2014, the Bupa Great North Run will become the first sporting event of its kind to achieve its one millionth finish, and a suitably impressive programme of cultural celebrations to run alongside it has been scheduled, including an opening ceremony spectacular on Thursday with a bill including Sting, Mark Knopfler and Ant and Dec.

The Great North Greats exhibition will feature five of the region's celebrated 'greats': inventor Joseph Swan, industrialists William Armstrong and Rachel Parsons and sporting legends Harry Clasper and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Presented alongside them will be an ever-growing number of digital stories and oral histories, collected at a number of ongoing community events and sessions, which will highlight and celebrate many of the region's unsung heroes and their stories of triumph against the odds. Beth Bate, director of Bupa Great North Run Culture, explains: "September 2014 is a milestone, not just for this great region, but for the world.

"The region's sporting triumphs and industrial achievements should be seen side by side and the Great North Greats event is a shining tribute and example of this.

"Behind all of this success is a shared set of characteristics that have shaped the identity of a region and the values of its residents.

"In less than 35 years, the Bupa Great North Run has become one of the most recognisable sporting events on the planet and far from being something new, greatness in the North East is a result of centuries of achievement and innovation that have played a role in the lives of anyone that has ever lived or worked here."

The opening event of the exhibition, at 105 King Street in South Shields, will run from 11am to 4pm and will be thoroughly family affair, offering a host of fun activities held both in the exhibition space and a short walk away at the South Shields Museum & Art Gallery. …

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