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Preview: Janis Blower at South Shields Customs House

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An Afternoon with Janis Blower
South Shields Customs House
Sunday 24th January 2016

Former Gazette reporter and Cookson Country writer Janis Blower will be telling all at a special event this weekend. The much-loved historian will be looking back at South Tyneside’s history at The Customs House in South Shields at 5pm on Sunday.

The event, An Afternoon with Janis Blower, will include afternoon tea and will feature tales from across South Tyneside and through the ages.
Customs House Executive Director Ray Spencer said: “Janis is a legend and we’re thrilled to have her with us this weekend. “She has the most amazing knowledge of the area and I think this Sunday’s event will be extremely interesting.”

Janis retired from The Shields Gazette last year after 44 years with the newspaper. During her retirement Janis has written a book charting The Customs House’s 150 year history, which will also be available to buy on the day.

The book, which is called The Little Theatre with the Big History, was researched by South Shields Local History Group and is £4.
Janis said: “It was really interesting for the Local History Society and I to explore the origins of the Customs House and to chart how it evolved into, first, the heart of the town's seafaring community, as the Mercantile Marine office, and then of the borough's cultural landscape.
"For me, with the centre of Shields on the cusp of far-reaching redevelopment, it's also a timely reminder of how much we should treasure our historic buildings, and of how - with flair and imagination - they can be found new roles.

"I hope people enjoy reading about the building's fascinating history and its place in the wider narrative of Shields's maritime and cultural identity."


Tickets for An Afternoon with Janis Blower is £15.95 and includes afternoon tea. For more information or to book tickets visit or contact the box office on 0191 454 1234.

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