The classic car show at the Old Low Light North Shields was a show case of amazing classic cars against the stunning back drop of Clifford’s Fort.
My husband and son love going to car shows. When we saw there was going to be a classic car show at the Old Low Light we went along to discover more. We have been to many different car shows before, the vintage car show at Kielder water and the vintage bus rally at Whitley Bay are two worth visiting if you get a chance.
The vintage car show at the Old Low Light gave us the opportunity to get up close to an amazing range of classic cars. Cliffords Fort provides the perfect backdrop for the day of motoring nostalgia.
The town of North Shields is a fishing port on the mouth of the river Tyne. The Old Low Light is one of a pair of lighthouses that led boats safely into the mouth of the river. Navigation is tricky due to the Black Midden Rocks which have been the cause of many shipwrecks. They are difficult to see as they are below the water level at high tide.
The lighthouses have been there in one form or another since 1536 when Henry VIII gave permission to Trinity House to build them. Trinity House is responsible for training pilots on the river and is a really interesting place to visit. The historical building gives a great insight into piloting the River Tyne. You will find it on Newcastle’s quayside.
During the Anglo Dutch wars in the 17th Century the Old Low Light became part of Cliffords Fort, a coastal defence protecting the river Tyne. Today the Old Low Light and Cliffords Fort have become a museum. Inside there is an exhibit telling the history of the lighthouse, Cliffords Fort and the Fish Quay in North Shields. There is also a cafe inside and you can sit outside in warmer weather. You also get a great view of the beaches and across the river into South Shields.
The Old Low Light and the sea views make a perfect backdrop for the collection of classic cars huddling together inside the car park. The day was gloriously sunny with a gentle sea breeze cooling the air. It was the perfect day for the North of England Classic and Pre-war Automobile Club to show off their cars. Members sat on deckchairs beside the cars and were happy to tell you more about the car.
Walking around we found an incredible mixture of cars. Austins, Fords, and Bentleys and many more. Some of the cars would not have been out of place during the Prohibition era in the States. You could almost visualise the gangsters driving them. Others were more modern, we spotted a milk van and even Del Boys Reliant Robin from Only Fools and Horses.
The cars filled the car park, fitting into any space they could find. Some were even alongside a fishing boat which made an interesting backdrop. It was really interesting mooching round and looking at all the different cars.
Walking to the Old Low Light I saw a large statue of a man overlooking the coast. I went over to get a closer look. The statue is known as Fiddlers Green and is a memorial to lost fishermen.
North Shields is still a busy fishing port today, if you walk along the fish quay you can visit the fish market and see the fishing ships when they are in port. Fishing is the UK’s most dangerous peacetime occupation and many fishermen still lose their lives today. It is fitting that North Shields now has a memorial to those lost at sea.
The statue is made from the same material as the angel of the north and is the work of Ray Lonsdale. The inspiration for the statue came from an image taken by local photographer Harry Hann in 1959. The name Fiddlers Green comes from 19th Century maritime folklore. It is an afterlife for sailors who have been at sea at least fifty years where the fiddle never stops playing.
The inscription on the statue reads:
To the fishermen lost in the cold North Sea, and the ones who will be so, I’ll be seeing you all on Fiddler’s Green, be steady as you go.
“For Fiddler’s Green is a place I’ve heard tell, though no one really knows, where the fishermen go if they don’t go to hell, and no Arctic wind will blow.
It is a very fitting tribute in a gorgeous location.
Did you visit the vintage car festival at the Old Low Light? Have you ever been inside the museum? What did you think? Let me know below.