‘Pushing the Boat Out’ exhibition launched at South Shields Museum, proudly telling the story of shipbuilding and ship repair in South Tyneside

‘Pushing the Boat Out’ celebrates the importance of shipbuilding and ship repair to the riverside communities of South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn, where thousands of people were once employed in an industry for which the Tyne had a worldwide reputation of excellence.

A flotilla of extremely detailed ship models, including loans from the National Maritime Museum, are on display alongside the working tools of shipyard workers and many nostalgic photographs.

Works by Peter Burns, a former dockyard rig, will be paired with a new series by legendary South Shields artist Robert Olley, inspired by dockyard trades, being shown for the first time.

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South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, Ocean Road

The exhibition also shares the personal stories of people involved in shipbuilding and repair, following a major oral history project to capture memories of life on the yards and docks of South Tyneside.

Museum Director Geoff Woodward said: “This very special exhibition provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the proud history of shipbuilding, ship repair and associated industries in South Tyneside.

“We would like to express our thanks to everyone who contributed to the exhibition.”

Image © ‘The Rivet Cooker’ by Robert Olley

The exhibition was inaugurated on Saturday May 28 and will continue until November 12.

The museum’s current opening hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The South Shields Museum and Art Gallery houses extensive collections of local art representing the region by local artists.

The art collection dates back to 1873 when the old Mechanical Institute building reopened as South Shields’ first free public library.The museum now occupies the whole of the old library building and the art collection consists of approximately 500 items, including works by nationally renowned artists such as Charles Napier Hemy (‘The Last Boat In’), Thomas Sidney Cooper, (‘The Approaching Storm’) and Harold Harvey (‘Blackberrying’).

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