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Great North Greats Exhibition

Did you know that the inventor of the light bulb came from the North East? Or that Gateshead champion rower Harry Clasper would draw over 100,000 people to the banks of the Tyne to watch him compete against some of the greatest rowers in history?

This is an exhibition about world firsts and big ideas that have all come from the North East, focusing on the little known links between our sporting and industrial heritage with films, photographs, collections and archives, as well as brand new interactive and digital displays and exhibits.

 Great North Greats at the Discovery Museum is an exhibition celebrating the millionth finish of the Great North Run and Tyneside's incredible sporting and industrial heritage. 

Telling the stories of individuals and communities, everyday triumphs and groundbreaking achievements, it is a celebration of all of the Great North Greats – ordinary people, extraordinary achievements.

The exhibition features 5 of the regions celebrated ‘greats’ include inventor Joseph Swan, industrialists William Armstrong and Rachel Parsons as well as sporting legends Harry Clasper and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Presented alongside them will be a growing number of digital stories and oral histories, highlighting many of the regions unsung heroes and their stories of triumph against the odds.

Look out for Matt Stokes, GNR Million artist in residence, who has produced a newspaper containing a selection of images from the collections at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums as well as a brand new film, entitled Objects to See Further which screens exclusively at Discovery Museum every day. Read more about the film here.

There will be free, family friendly activities taking place at Discovery Museum throughout August, September and October, so check our calendar for more details.

Funders and partners

Arts Council England

Heritage Lottery Fund

Sports England

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Discovery Museum

Port of Tyne

Gateshead Council

Newcastle Council

South Tyneside Council

Related Events

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Great North Greats at Trinity Square, Gateshead

Trinity Square

Saturday 17 January - Saturday 28 February, free entry, open 24 hours a day from Monday to Saturday and from 10am-4pm on Sunday

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Audience with David Almond

South Shields Museum and Art Gallery

Tuesday 12 May 2015, 3pm - 4.15pm

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Great North Greats at Gateshead International Stadium

Gateshead Stadium

Monday 11 May - Monday 27 July 2015, Daily 7am-7pm

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And Let Us Run: South Shields

South Shields Museum and Art Gallery

Friday 29 May, 2:30pm

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And Let Us Run: Gateshead

Shipley Art Gallery

Tuesday 26 May, 2:30pm

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And Let Us Run: Newcastle

Laing Art Gallery

Wednesday 27 May, 2:30pm

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Great North Greats at Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum

Saturday 15 August - Sunday 18 October 2015, Mon - Fri 10am - 4pm, Sat & Sun 11am - 4pm

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Great North Greats Sports Day

Discovery Museum

Thursday 20 August, 11am-3pm

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Science Sunday & Monday

Discovery Museum

Sunday 30 and Monday 31 August 2015, 11am-3pm

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Go Run For Fun at Beamish

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Saturday 29 August, 8:30am

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3D Printing Workshop

Discovery Museum

Various Dates in August and October

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