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Tyne Walk nearing completion28 Jul 2011

Port of Tyne Writer-in-Residence Michael Chaplin has been trekking the entire length of the tidal reach of the River Tyne, walking almost 50 miles from pier to pier.

The finish line is in sight and the walk is expected to end on Friday 29 July at Tynemouth Lighthouse.

Apart from a few rainy days the walk has stuck to schedule and taken 10 days to complete. The walkers started at South Shields Pier, slowly made their way along the south bank to Wylam, where they crossed the river and headed back for the sea.

Along the way doors have been opened, cups of tea and cakes served, long forgotten buildings visited and thriving riverside communities found to be alive and well along both banks of the Tyne.

"Everyone has been very welcoming and I've been amazed by the generosity and hospitality we've received in so many places.  We've met some fantastic people - often literally on the river path - and heard many evocative stories of riverside life."

Michael has been accompanied on the Tyne Walk by artist Birtley Aris, photographer Charles Bell and poet Christy Ducker, and they've all been recording their impressions of the tidal Tyne and its past, present and future for a book which should be published next year.

"We've followed our noses all the way, exploring overgrown paths and chatting to dozens of people for whom the river remains a central part of their lives.  I've filled up two notebooks, Charlie's taken hundreds of photos and Birtley and Christy have been inspired by what they've seen. I can't wait to see the end result", says Michael.

Tyne Walk is expected to reach Tynemouth Pier at 3pm on Friday with champagne celebrations as the walkers cross the finish line at the Lighthouse at the end of the pier - everyone is welcome to cheer the walkers to the finish.

A big thank-you to East Coast Taxis for providing daily transport and to all of the many businesses and individuals who have showed their support for the project. For a flavour of the Tyne Walk please visit to view the gallery of images and catch up with Michael's Twitter messages posted en route.


For further information please contact:

Lisa Donohoe, Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager

Tel: 0191 455 2671 Mobile: 079 123 90777 Email:

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