South Shields

From Academic Kids

Template:GBmap South Shields is a town in South Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England. It is on the south bank of the mouth of the River Tyne, and has a population of about 90,000. Several famous people were born in South Shields including Eric Idle, Catherine Cookson and Hollywood director Ridley Scott. Elinor Brent-Dyer author of the famous Chalet School stories was also a native, and wrote her first novels in the town.

South Shields is famous for its maritime industries, both building and educational. Many warships were built on the Tyne in both world wars. Pioneering Lifeboats were first built and launched in South Shields.

It is a town of many ethnic backgrounds. There is a large Asian population, including the long-established Yemeni community, the largest outside of Yemen. The renowned Ocean Road is famous for having more Indian restaurants per square mile than anywhere else in the World, including India. The slang term for people from South Shields is Sandancers, a term that derives in part from the fact that the town boasts an attractive beach, and in part from its Yemeni population. The Sand-dance was a popular music-hall act that parodied Egyptian and Arabic culture as it was understood in Britain at the time.

The town has extensive beaches and the Leas, part of South Shields' coastline, is a National Trust protected area. Marsden Bay, with its world-famous rock (part of which has collapsed in recent years), is one of the largest seabird colonies in UK.

The Grotto, a pub built into the cliff at Marsden, is the only pub/resturant of its type in Europe, having been dug from a cliff face.

A large Roman fort, Arbeia, has been excavated in South Shields. It was the maritime supply fort for Hadrian's Wall, and contains the only permanent stone-built granaries yet found on any Roman frontier. A Roman gatehouse and barracks have been reconstructed on their original foundations, while a museum holds artefacts such as an altar piece to an previously unknown god, and a Roman-era gravestone set up by a native Palmyrene to his freedwoman and wife, a Briton of the Catuvellauni tribe.

South Shields is also the birthplace of:

Transport

The Tyne and Wear Metro links South Shields to Newcastle city centre, Newcastle Airport, and Sunderland. There is a Metro station in South Shields town centre (on King Street), with further stations at Chichester, Tyne Dock and Hebburn.

There is a ferry service connecting the town to North Shields, on the opposite bank of the Tyne.


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