North Shields had its humble beginnings on the north side of the banks of the River Tyne near the entrance from the North Sea. It was once a thriving fishing port, the entrance to the harbour which served Newcastle upon Tyne. Its name came from the 'shielings' or fishermen's lodges, which built up along the riverbank on the orders of Prior Germanus from Tynemouth Priory on the headland. The town is now a busy shopping area with the buildings on the quayside changing usage to elegant loft-living spaces and flats overlooking the harbour with its own buzzing community of fresh fish shops and restaurants. The Fish Quay is a conservation area with its own active group of residents campaigning to preserve the fishing and maritime heritage of the region.
Diane Leggett, Librarian, has researched and added information about each view, using our information files and local knowledge, both having grown up in the North Shields area. Local Studies, to be rebranded as 'Discover North Tyneside', has a large collection of images in various formats, some of which have been used to compile this book on the local area of North Shields surrounding the library. Joyce Marti, Team Leader, has taken photographs from the same or similar angle as the old images to show how the town has changed over time.