October 15th 2010
DOME GETS READY FOR NEW CHAPTER
Last month over 15,500 people flocked to the Spanish City Dome for a centenary exhibition.
And now fans of the famous landmark can discover even more about the building thanks to a new book being released next Friday.
'Spanish City – the Heart and Soul of Whitley Bay’, features stories from a range of local poets and writers, illustrated by photographs and artwork capturing the dramatic atmosphere of the site.
Northern Voices Community Projects, based in the seaside town, was commissioned by North Tyneside Council to produce the commemorative book, as part of the Dome’s centenary celebrations.
Editor and poet Keith Armstrong has lived in Whitley Bay for over 30 years and has co-produced the book with photographer and designer Peter Dixon.
Keith also has a number of his own poems about the Spanish City in the book. He said: “I’m thrilled the book is ready to be released.
“Myself and Peter are both extremely passionate about our local history, and the Spanish City is a major part of that.
“When I first heard about the project I knew it was something that we should get involved in. It’s such a significant place to so many people.
“Everyone has a fun story about the Spanish City, which provides a lot of passion and enthusiasm when they’re writing about it.
“Plus it’s a very atmospheric setting, which means the photographs and drawings of it are stunning and look fantastic in the full colour book.”
As well as looking at the history of the Spanish City, the book also has an eye on the future.
The council is currently considering proposals from two developers concerning the Spanish City Island, including the Dome.
It is anticipated that an announcement will be made before Christmas regarding the choice of preferred developer, and Keith is eager to find out what is in store for the area.
He said: “I realise plans for the site are still being decided, but I hope whatever the choice is, it’s something that everyone can enjoy.
“It was always a place where the community could get together and have fun, and this should be the case whatever the new development is.
“But until we find out, this book gives people the chance to reminisce about times gone by, as well as thinking about what the future holds for the site. It certainly is exciting times for Whitley Bay.”
The book will be on sale in a number of council outlets including libraries, tourist information centres, St Mary's Lighthouse and North Tyneside's museum venues. The recommended retail price is £5.
The new book builds on the large amount of work produced by Northern Voices over the years, including the popular ‘From Segedunum to the Spanish City’.
Notes to editor:
It was visited by 12,133 people and, because of its popularity, was extended to run on Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19. A total of 3,465 people visited at the weekend - bringing the overall total to 15,598.
Meanwhile, work is underway on a new road to the rear of Whitley Bay's Spanish City Dome, enabling the creation of a piazza area at the building's front.
Graeme Cook - Communications Assistant
North Tyneside Council,
Cobalt Business Park,
Tel: 0191 643 5076
THE SPANISH CITY:
A CELEBRATION OF WHITLEY BAY'S ICONIC DOME IN WORDS AND PICTURES
EDITED BY KEITH ARMSTRONG & PETER DIXON
FUNDED BY NORTH TYNESIDE COUNCIL
WHITLEY BAY PLAYHOUSE, MARINE AVENUE, WHITLEY BAY FRIDAY 22ND OCTOBER 2010 6PM
POEMS AND STORIES BY KEITH ARMSTRONG, STEVE BROWN, GEOFF HOLLAND, DAVE ALTON, GORDON PHILLIPS, CATHERINE GRAHAM, RACHEL COCHRANE, ALAN C. BROWN, TREVOR LEONARD, STAN GRAHAM, SHAUN PRENDERGAST, BRIAN HALL, CAROL NEW, MARGARET GIBSON, DEREK LOWDON, BILL MOOD.
FURTHER INFORMATION: NORTHERN VOICES TEL. 0191 2529531