The Jetty Project is an Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project led by Newcastle and Manchester Universities. It has created a temporary large-scale architectural artwork, “The Cone”, on the wooden structure of Dunston Staiths in Gateshead, a landmark Scheduled Monument and Grade II structure on the south bank of the River Tyne. The Staiths are the biggest wooden structure in Europe and are undergoing restoration. I was able to visit the Staiths to look at the restoration work last week though at the moment they are not open to the public. I filmed the above video whilst on the visit. Photos will follow in a later post.
If you visited the Gateshead National Garden Festival in 1990, you may recall walking along the Staiths which formed a significant feature of the show. Restoration has had to take place because of vandalism. A significant section of the Staiths was lost to arson a few years ago.
The Staiths are part of the coal mining heritage of the North East of England. They were built in the 1890s to load coal from the North Durham coalfield onto colliers to export from the Tyne.