Stepping back in time - The Dunston Staiths
I live next to one of the greatest pieces of Tyne history: The Dunston Staiths. I really couldn't live any closer, yet I've never actually been up to it to appreciate what a great piece of engineering it really is.
For those not aware what a staith even is, it is a large platform with a main purpose to load coal from rail to ships, mostly on journey to London. Building of the staiths started in 1893, and the last use of the staiths was as late as 1982. There were many staiths along the river, however the one that remains is currently Grade II listed, and is reportedly the largest wooden structure in Europe.
It may not look pretty, however to a Staiths resident (and I know many who will back me up) - it is a thing of beauty. Just last month, residents had a very rare opportunity (the first in 20 years) to take a guided walk up on to the top of the staiths to see what development is due to take place to restore this glorious structure. There was also the chance to see Wolfgang Weileder's 'Cone' up close - part of the Jetty Project. If you're wondering what on earth the structure is made of, it is 100% recycled waste plastics.
For anyone interested in finding out more, here are a few interesting links for you...