Our heritage in the news December 2013

The Dunston Staithes dominate the River Tyne in Gateshead.

They used to lead coal trains out over the water to pour their loads into ships moored alongside.

As a powerful reminder of our mining heritage they stand proud over the landscape.

Dunston Staithes in Gateshead

But since they were abandoned with the demise of the coal industry they’ve been sadly neglected and have fallen victim to vandalism and two fires.

For the most part the 120-year-old wooden structure has survived.

In the next few days the group hoping to save the Staithes will hear whether its grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund has been approved.

Long term, the aim is to turn the Staithes into an inland pier.

It could be a real attraction, especially if it proves as popular as New York’s High Line – an aerial park created out of an old elevated freight line.