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Old October 18th, 2009, 02:14 AM   #1
johnnypd
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North Shields Area - Developments

Info from the Chronicle: -

IT was once the heartland of our industrial past.

But the decline of shipbuilding on the Tyne signaled the end of one of the world’s biggest repair yards at Smith’s Dock in North Shields.

The 30 acre site closed with heavy job losses and the area became derelict suffering from fly-tipping and vandalism. But now a £200m regeneration scheme has begun which will create hundreds of jobs.

The site will be transformed into a modern development, including 1,000 apartments and 200 townhouses, with restaurants, shops and cafes.

The Chronicle’s images show how the site will be transformed from its hive of industrial activity to a 21st century riverside community.

Preliminary works are now underway by North East-based Volker Stevin, the company behind the construction of the Millennium Bridge on the Quayside.

Over the next 18 months Volker will build new highways, carry out major ground stabilisation, install new piling and works to the river walls and fill in five of the six open docks.

And engineers from the firm have this week lifted three huge original dock gates from the bottom of the river, resurrecting the dry docks which date back as far as the 1700s.

Volker Stevin brought in large crane winches, heavy military vehicles and underwater remotely operated vehicles to lift the 230-tonne gates off the Tyne riverbed.

The gates which date back to the early 1900s had been on the bottom for at least 30 years but now they are back in place.

Hayden Green, Volker Stevin's project manager on site, said: “There were a number of ways we could restore the dock areas, but by far the most sustainable was to resurrect the gates that had already been doing the job we needed to do for so many years.

“There was no guarantee that they would be able to hold back the river so we were pleased when they stood the test of time.

“Dock 8 is the largest dock on the Tyne, so that was by far the hardest gate to recover; proving to be a tense time for all watching the operation.”

A second trip down memory lane was when a ship carrying construction materials for the site became the first ship to dock there for nearly 20 years.

Contracts manager Steve Marshall said: “We have been asked to keep anything interesting that we find on the site so that it can be used as features on the development.

“We have uncovered some nice stone work already as well as mooring bollards which could be incorporated into the future works.”

The £200m regeneration to be completed in 2012 is run by Making Places, a joint venture between Places for People and Cofton. Mary Parson, major land projects director at Making Places said: “This is a very significant development. It will create hundreds of jobs through the construction, management of the site and the cafes and bars. We will be recruiting locally.”

In the mid 19th century, the Tyne was home to many shipbuilding yards, with Smith’s Docks being among the most prominent. The company’s roots go back to 1810, when Thomas Smith bought William Rowe’s shipyard at St Peter’s in Newcastle and went into business with his two sons as William Smith & Co.

They expanded the works to such an extent that at one time they had to lease Laing’s Dock at North Shields to cope with demand.

Thomas Smith died in 1836 and the new company of T & W Smith bought up the Limekiln Shore in 1849, opening a dock there in 1851.

Control of the company came to Eustace Smith in 1882, who began a new period of expansion in 1891 under the title of Smith’s Dock Co Ltd.

An advertisement in 1930 proclaimed the company as the largest ship repairers and dry dock owners in the world. The company continued operations until the 1990s.

Images:




The Dock in Previous Years

1973:


1930:
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #2
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I used to live in Dolphin Quay (just at the bottom right of the second photo) and the transformation of the whole area has been very well done. There is another development to the East of the quay called the Irving Building, and is a rare example of a historic building being sensibly converted to modern use. Also the fact that theyve kept the industry integral to the 'tourist' attractions really pays off...freshly caught fish, shellfish and crabs available both as takeaway or in several very reputable restauraunts, it really is a hidden gem.

PS I dont work for the local tourist board, i just really like the area!
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #3
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The Irving Building looks good, a Gentoo development iirc. It used to be the HQ of the north sea's biggest fishing fleet, or something along those lines.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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I must say, I technically live in North Shields, a few of my friends live there, and sometimes I have to visit the place *cries*, and this is one project that doesn't seem to get me excited. I heard about it a few years ago, nothing happend since, Shields just seems to be stuck in a time warp and always will be, North Tyneside Council are dare I say it, even slower with regeneration plans etc then what NCC are. Though since the Tories have came in, they seem to want to move things on.

I was in Shields town centre yesterday, and saw that on Bedford St they are now putting the new seating in place, and also seem to be putting some new pathing down, which looks cheap. I didn't get a good look at the seating though, it was all coverd up.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigchrisfgb View Post
I must say, I technically live in North Shields, a few of my friends live there, and sometimes I have to visit the place *cries*, and this is one project that doesn't seem to get me excited. I heard about it a few years ago, nothing happend since, Shields just seems to be stuck in a time warp and always will be, North Tyneside Council are dare I say it, even slower with regeneration plans etc then what NCC are. Though since the Tories have came in, they seem to want to move things on.

I was in Shields town centre yesterday, and saw that on Bedford St they are now putting the new seating in place, and also seem to be putting some new pathing down, which looks cheap. I didn't get a good look at the seating though, it was all coverd up.
Its under construction now Chris, the groundwork and infill of the redundant dock is complete. Mind you, i agree about the town centre, you'll struggle to find a more mismanaged shithole in the whole region...
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #6
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The area around the Fish Quay and further along inland is actually quite well done. I remember having a university project down there a while ago and I used to really love visiting the place.

As for Smith's Dock though, I'm not sure that I'd expect anything to happen down there for a while - and I wouldn't expect a great end result either (although I hope I'm proven wrong). From what I know of it, there was a few massive mistakes made regarding that site and I'd be surprised in one or two heads didn't roll. Someone somewhere stands to lose a LOT of money!
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #7
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I gather there was some issue with the old dry docks. can't remember exactly what it was. I put U/C in there because i know they've been doing a lot of work filling in the docks, securing the ground, putting down roads and so on. But yeah, i'm not that optimistic about the apartment buildings getting built any time soon.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BigLebowski View Post
Its under construction now Chris, the groundwork and infill of the redundant dock is complete. Mind you, i agree about the town centre, you'll struggle to find a more mismanaged shithole in the whole region...
So you haven't visited Middlesbrough then?

You know Shields is a bad place when Northern Rock don't even have brach there.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #9
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So you haven't visited Middlesbrough then?
haha good point well made! Shields is my home town, and every time i visit a little part of of me dies inside! You can walk from one end of the town to the other through cheap shit shops and never see daylight. Wilkos, B+Ms and Home Bargains is the new Holy Trinity down Bedford Street...
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Old October 18th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #10
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haha good point well made! Shields is my home town, and every time i visit a little part of of me dies inside! You can walk from one end of the town to the other through cheap shit shops and never see daylight. Wilkos, B+Ms and Home Bargains is the new Holy Trinity down Bedford Street...
Yeas, when you rather that a half empty indoor market stayed open rather then a fully opend shop bing in place, you start to relise that something is not right about the place. Currently they have Home Bargains, B+M's, and Wilkos all within a few feet of each other, those being probs the 3 biggest stores in the town aswell.
I don't have anything against Wilkos, as it happens, it's not somewhere I would get my furniture and such from, but it's somewhere I would be willing to buy my toiletries etc from, but the less said about the other 2 the better.

I'm not sure if my home town is Shields or Whitley, I was concieved in Whitley, but lived in Backworth for most of my life, with Shields being the shop place and Whitley the Beach place, and now I live in a village which on one side of the road is Whitley, and the other Shields. I can actually see the sea from my bedroom window.
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Last edited by bigchrisfgb; October 18th, 2009 at 08:39 PM.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #11
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I was concieved in Whitley
Wow, what frank parents you must have!
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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:33 PM   #12
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Am I alone in really liking North Shields, it has character and the fishquays (and the walk to Tynemouth) is one of my favourite places in the World. North Shields has so much potential, they've done a cracking job on the quays (and hopefully this development will continue that & bring more wealth & young professionals into the town, as well as linking the fishquays with the marina and royal quays better)... Now for some regeneration in the town centre. Northumberland Square is lovely and there is some really fine streets, just some small improvements like a few more upmarket pubs/restaurants in the centre could really make a difference.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #13
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Am I alone in really liking North Shields, it has character and the fishquays (and the walk to Tynemouth) is one of my favourite places in the World. North Shields has so much potential, they've done a cracking job on the quays (and hopefully this development will continue that & bring more wealth & young professionals into the town, as well as linking the fishquays with the marina and royal quays better)... Now for some regeneration in the town centre. Northumberland Square is lovely and there is some really fine streets, just some small improvements like a few more upmarket pubs/restaurants in the centre could really make a difference.
Northumberland Square is the only place in North Shields I like, apart from a small section towards the river.

Anyway, retail wise North Shields made a big error when they let Royal Queys happen, it took away so much potential retail, fair enough Royal Queys is only an outlet place, but for alot of shppoers who go to Shields, thats what they are after, otherwise they would go to Newcastle.

It's also worth noting that Shields, along with Wallsend and Whitley Bay took a big hammering from Silverlink, and still are, and maybe will forever. It's not until Silverlink is 1. Forced to charge for parking 2. Forced to close, that these town will ever get back the retail, even though the new Tory council are trying to give power back to the towns by rejecting the extension plans for Silverlink, and allowing free parking in the town centre's.

(Note the free parking is only for 2 hours though, and you can't revisit within 4 hours of leaving, and is only available on a limited number of parking spaces, which is no good if you want a good look around, or work in the towns.)
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Old October 19th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #14
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But If the Silverlink closed where would they get the floor space they needed in Wallsend or North Shields. There are really only a couple of shops which have big floor space and thats it.

I think North Shields needs the Silverlink.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #15
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North Shields

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North Tyneside Council is installing colourful new seating in North Shields ahead of celebrations to recognise the creation of Plasticine by its locally born inventor.

Twenty-nine seats and 14 bins, coloured red, yellow, green and blue, which have been made to look like moulded Plasticine, are being introduced along Bedford Street in the town centre.

This week the existing street furniture is being removed ahead of work to begin installing the seats next week.

The seating consists of modular curved benches and individual seats. They are formed from cast coloured concrete and have been constructed by Marshalls Urban Structures in North Shields.

Eleven of the seats will be in place at the southern end of Bedford Street in time for International Animation Day on 28 October. The remaining seats and bins will be installed by the end of November.

In addition, six paving stones will feature a story about a Plasticine roller coaster, The Plasta Blasta Coaster, written by Spring Gardens Primary School pupil Peter Dyers who won a competition among local primary schools.

An interpretation panel will also be installed later in the year and will display information about the life of Harbutt and the history of Plasticine.

Meanwhile, animation workshops are being held for youngsters at the nearby Saville Exchange on 28 October.

Cllr Jon Jo MacNamara, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: "The new seating and bins promise to be a really striking feature of North Shields town centre.

"We want to enhance our town centres for residents and visitors and believe this will be a colourful addition to North Shields.

"It's also our way of recognising the achievements of the William Harbutt and his roots in the borough."
North Shields always seems to get the short end of the straw.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #16
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North Shields always seems to get the short end of the straw.
Wait...the town in which i was born and raised was the birthplace of the inventor of Plasticine? And now we're getting Plasticine-themed street furniture??!! This is the surrealist stuff of Dali's daydreams, how have both these facts escaped my life!?!

Say what you like Chris, but as much as life in Shields is grindingly low and base, it never fails to surprise!
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Old October 27th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #17
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Wait...the town in which i was born and raised was the birthplace of the inventor of Plasticine? And now we're getting Plasticine-themed street furniture??!! This is the surrealist stuff of Dali's daydreams, how have both these facts escaped my life!?!

Say what you like Chris, but as much as life in Shields is grindingly low and base, it never fails to surprise!
True, it did create Sting aswell.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 09:05 PM   #18
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True, it did create Sting aswell.
I thought Sting was a Wallsend lad
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Old October 27th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #19
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I thought Sting was a Wallsend lad
Actually, I think he was born in Wallsend, but lived in North Shields.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #20
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Actually, I think he was born in Wallsend, but lived in North Shields.
Wasn't he a teacher somewhere in Newcastle? Or was it that he went to school in Newcastle (Gosforth High School, or something?) . . . Can't remember!
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