Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Heritage Award for Industrial Landmark; THE LAST SURVIVING EXAMPLE OF STAITHS MAKES IT INTO TOP 10 NATIONALLY

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Heritage Award for Industrial Landmark; THE LAST SURVIVING EXAMPLE OF STAITHS MAKES IT INTO TOP 10 NATIONALLY

Article excerpt

Byline: TONY HENDERSON Heritage Reporter ec.news@ncjmedia.com

A MONUMENT to the North East's powerhouse past has clinched a spot in the top 10 most important industrial heritage sites in England.

Dunston Staiths on the Tyne, which are listed and a scheduled monument, is 1,709ft long and thought to be the largest timber structure in Europe.

At its peak in the 1930s, around four million tons of coal a year was being loaded from the staiths on to collier vessels for export to London and abroad.

Dunston was the last working - and is the only surviving - example of the series of coal staiths which once lined the Tyne and is the only substantially complete example in the UK.

Now the staiths have been placed in the Top 10 of the Industry, Trade & Commerce category in Historic England's campaign Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places.

The category was judged by Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, who said the staiths were "a reminder of Britain as the workshop of the world."

He said: "It reminds us that the coal and manufactured goods which came out of Britain needed railways, ports and docks to connect to the world.

"Surviving infrastructure like this is a very good example of what today we would call global Britain."

In the top 10 listing, Historic England said: "Staiths were landing stages for shuttling coal from the North East's rich coalfields on to ships, allowing the region to export its wares and trade globally. Coal was once the lifeblood of industry in England, fuelling industries like steel and heavy engineering. Whole communities were founded around collieries.

"In 1913, the Great North Coalfield employed almost 250,000 men and by the 1920s was producing over 56 million tons of coal every year. Dunston Staiths is still standing as a reminder that the Tyne was one of the most important working rivers in the world. …

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