Just under five miles from Newcastle upon Tyne South Shields, with a population of some 83,000 residents, was founded in the 13th century and became known in the north east of England as a fishing port. Coal mining took over in the 19th century as did glass making and ship building, and the town got dramatically larger in size. Nowadays with industry decimated it's a different picture with the public sector a significant factor in local employment.
Places of interest in the town include the Customs House theatre, and the Groyne on the pier to protect the Harbour beach. Comedian Sarah Millican is from South Shields, as is former X Factor winner Joe McElderry, and so too is Sir Frank Williams, of formula one motor racing renown.