Well, it was the autumn equinox yesterday and we had a lovely day riding up on Tyneside.
We started the day early , using a rack to fit 3 cycles on the back of my car and then driving up to Jarrow. We left the car near my brother’s house before riding down to the pedestrian tunnel , that goes under the river . We knew that it is closed for renovation but needs it after more than 60 years. Tyneside council have provided a small bus and trailer to take cyclists across to the other side with the service every half hour throughout the day with a few breaks.
It was a cool but sunny morning when we got on the 8.30am bus and after being dropped off , we followed route 72 to the start at Segadunum Roman fort at Walls end, meeting up with Sustrans organisers .
The tour started with a walk around the excavated remains and an interesting talk by Ben a professional guide and story teller.
This is a piece of the remaining wall which went right down to the river. The Romans even knew how to make concrete that would set even when wet. This was technology that was lost for over 1500 years. The fort held auxiliary soldiers both infantry and cavalry and we looked at the barracks and here is the strongroom dug into the ground.
After, this we headed off down river to the ferry at North Shields.
We had a very pleasant ride across to South Shields and then set off down river, to the coast. The promenade is being renovated but as it is so extensive, I felt my childhood had been demolished. Stupid I know.
However, at the south end, near Trow Rocks, the Lifeguard station is still there. During my teenage years, this was where I spent a large part of my time as a volunteer lifeguard. Our ladies team , won the lifesaving championship 3 years running, so a lot of time was spent training on the beach here. Awww, happy days.
We rode along the coastal path which is eroding fairly quickly with the cliffs dropping into the sea along the Leazes.
One of the other ladies had a puncture picking up a long thorn, but there were plenty of helpers.
We cycled up to Souter Lighthouse which we visited earlier this year, and I showed others how I make cheese toasties on my little stove.
We returned to South Shields via the road path and then through the parks. When I was a child , this was not allowed , so it is the first time I remember cycling through without being afraid of being caught. Then , we were soon at Arbeia.
I remember this building from childhood but inside it is so different. Here are a few of the exhibits.
They know this was a very cosmopolitan place in Roman times and some of the soldiers came from Libia and Syria. The Romans always sent army recruits away from their place of birth and after 25 years these soldiers would get citizenship, if they lived that long. They did have good conditions though compared to the civilian population.
This was a reconstruction of the west gate and the views from on the top were extensive,
The white building is a recreation of how the commanders house would have been and sits on the grounds of my junior school
I took quite a few photos of the interior which is based on other villas in the Empire. It was so interesting for me as I learned more about this fort which had extensive granaries to feed the troops along Hadrian’s wall.
We rode down to the ferry with the group but didn’t go over the water but rode up route 14 to Jarrow. I took this photo of fairly new artwork.
I think the lady is comedienne Sarah Millican, who hales from South Shields. By the way, I found out from Ben that Shields means collection of Fishing huts, a but like the Scottish word sheiling.
It wasn’t a long day, only 20 miles but a lovely day.