With its extensive beaches, breathtaking limestone cliff s and thriving local industries, South Shields has been a hub of activity since the time of the Romans. Founded in 1245, South Shields quickly developed into an important fishing port, with industries such as fishing and salt-panning attracting workers from all over. In the nineteenth century, coal mining, alkaline production and glassmaking led to a boom, and South Shields population increased from 12,000 in 1801 to 75,000 by the 1860s. Despite suffering extensive damage during both World Wars, the resilience and determination of South Shields Sand Dancers has seen the town retain its bustling energy and unique character, which continues to attract visitors today. South Shields: The Postcard Collection is a fascinating collection of over 160 postcards showing the town in its coal mining and shipbuilding heyday, including beautiful scenes of its surrounding coastline and beaches.