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Shipyard communities are to get the chance to see the unique Songs from the Shipyards event - courtesy of the Port of Tyne, The Unthanks and the Customs House South Shields.


Songs from the Shipyards is a beautiful and powerful audio visual work tracing the story of the North East's shipyards. It is returning to venues across the region supported by the Port of Tyne as part of the Festival of the North East. There will be one performance especially for an invited audience bringing together the shipyard, port and riverside community of the River Tyne.

The story is told through a film created by director Richard Fenwick from historic archive footage, with live accompaniment from the internationally acclaimed band, The Unthanks. There will be performances in Sunderland, Teesside and at The Customs House, South Shields, on June 13th, 14th and 15th.

Susan Wear, Port of Tyne Director of Corporate Affairs, said: "The Port first supported Songs from the Shipyards when it was originally created in partnership with Tyneside Cinema and we are delighted now to help bring it to audiences in the three riverside communities of Tyneside, Teesside and Wearside. "For anyone with a connection to the heritage of the great rivers of the North East, Songs from the Shipyards is an unforgettable experience and not to be missed."

Adrian McNally of Mercury Prize nominated band The Unthanks, said: "Songs from the Shipyards is a moving and powerful piece of social history. It's invaluable for younger generations to understand the foundations and background of where they're from, and for older generations to remember and reconnect with what was once the lifeblood of their communities.

"We're really looking forward to our shows on each North East River for the Festival of the North East, but the afternoon show for the Port and shipyard communities past and present is particularly special."

The invited audience is made up of retired port and shipyard workers, local schools, community groups and others who have been involved in projects with the Customs House and with projects run by the port's writer in residence Michael Chaplin.
Ray Spencer MBE, The Customs House Chief Executive, said: "Songs from the Shipyards is a fantastic performance which will stir audiences and evoke the heritage and passion of the North East.

"We are really excited to be working with the Port of Tyne and the Unthanks to bring this performance to The Customs House and tickets are already selling fast."


For further information please contact:

Lisa Donohoe, Public Relations Manager

Tel: 0191 455 2671 Mobile: 07912 390777 Email:

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