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South Tyneside "Arbeia" Panel

South Tyneside Lifeboat Panel

South Tyneside Marsden Panel

South Tyneside Cleadon Panel

South Tyneside Jarrow Pane

South Tyneside Panel

"Stained Glass" effect panel on stainless steel mount

South Tyneside Wall-mounted Panel

South Tyneside Panel

Case Study/
South Tyneside Heritage Trail

The South Tyneside Heritage Trail was a large project we carried out in 2004. The Trail was seen as a key component of South Tyneside Council’s regeneration strategy which was based on the area’s incredibly rich culture and heritage. The Osprey Company was commissioned to carry out every aspect of the Trail's development, beginning with liaison and consultation with local heritage groups, then identifying and developing a suitable route and finally researching, designing, producing and installing a series of interpretation panels, to be spread along the way.

Although heritage provided the theme, the Trail was very much intended to look to the future. The installations also needed to be very distinctive. We originally came up with three potential styles, all incorporating a ‘stained glass’ effect which reflected the legacy of the Anglo-Saxon monastery at Jarrow, home to the Venerable Bede, and the area’s long history of glassmaking. We also featured a ‘ruined’ stone base using surplus stone excavated from the Roman fort at Arbeia to reflect the ancient remains.

South Tyneside Coastal Panel

After a period of consultation, a striking, modern format was chosen featuring a freeform “stained glass” effect panel, engraved with the Trail logo and mounted onto stainless steel supports. It was important that the construction was very robust and as vandal resistant as possible, so the graphics were sandwiched between two thick layers of clear PETG (anti-vandal glazing material).

The Trail was developed to follow a 26 mile circular walking/cycle route, with a total of 32 large interpretive displays along the way. These explore the rich diversity of local heritage from Roman times, through the Venerable Bede to the area’s proud industrial past and include panels on coalmining, shipbuilding, Catherine Cookson, the Jarrow Crusade, wildlife, the stunning coastline and many other topics besides.

Trail Waymarker

Many organisations helped source material for the boards, including English Heritage, Tyne & Wear Museums, the National Trust, South Tyneside Library and local newspapers but even more encouraging was the involvement of local history and residents groups and private individuals who contributed so much to the project. It was then down to us to sift through all of the material, develop the panel contents, write the copy, produce original maps and illustrations and design the layouts for the boards.

Educational PostersTrail Leaflet

Although all of the panels were produced in the same general style, there were variations between upright and lectern formats to suit particular locations and some, on the more rural sites, were given timber posts. In addition to manufacturing all of the boards and trail waymarking, we produced a leaflet and sets of posters for use in local schools. This whole project was carried out over a period of just 6 months but was completed on time and within budget. The Trail has been a terrific success and is very widely used by both visitors to and residents of the region.