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Metro Memorabilia is Donated to South Shields Museum

Metro memorabilia has been donated to a local museum following the permanent closure of a station.

Iconic items, including signage, and one of the famous yellow Metro station ‘cubes’, have been given to South Shields Museum and Art Gallery to keep for posterity following the closure of the town’s Metro station on King Street. Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, wanted to ensure that some of the former station’s most recognisable features were retained before the building is completely demolished.

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South Shields Metro station, which first opened in 1984, was closed to the public in July to make way for a new £21m transport interchange.

Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “We were determined that some of the most iconic features of the old South Shields Metro station were retained for heritage purposes.

“This station has been part of everyday life in South Shields town centre over so many years. Many people will have fond memories of making journeys from there, so it was only right that some of that history was kept for future generations.

“That familiar Metro station signage in the classic Calvert font and the iconic yellow station cube have both been passed over to South Shields Museum to keep hold of now that the demolition work has got underway.”

Adam Bell, assistant keeper of history at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery said: “The museum collection reflects the key moments in time from the South Tyneside borough and its people. We’re very excited about these new acquisitions, to receive such iconic memorabilia.

“The museum is planning a major exhibition charting the history behind public transport in South Tyneside for 2021. These items will make a great addition, not only to the Museum’s permanent collection, but also to the content of that special exhibition.”

Andrew Fairest, Project Director at Muse Developments, said: “It’s right that we take the opportunity to preserve some of the more iconic features from the former Metro station, which would have seen millions of people on their travels to and from home since it opened in 1984.

“We hope the museum’s transport exhibition, and of course the permanent exhibits are a great success.”

South Shields Metro station was closed on 8 July in what was the first permanent station closure since the Metro network was opened in 1980.

The station on King Street, was been used by more than 50 million passengers over the last 35 years including tens of thousands or Great North Run athletes and spectators every autumn. It also featured in the 2014 Franz Ferdinand song Stand on the Horizon, inspired by singer Alex Kapranos’ childhood in North East England.

The former South Shields Metro station is in the process of being demolished to create a new walkway into King Street, with extensive public realm improvements.

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