Blyth is the largest port in Northumberland. Its economy grew up around coal, salt, shipbuilding and fishing, much of which is now a thing of the past. Nowadays, new activity in the port has arisen courtesy of Scandinavia and the British Press, as large quantities of Scandinavian paper and pulp are handled by the port destined for the printing presses. Parts of the seafront are also given over to leisure, with South Beach being popular with watersports enthusiasts as well as walkers and sea anglers.
One of the oldest structures in Blyth is a lighthouse built in 1788 known as the High Light. The original height of 35 feet was extended by another 14 feet a century later, with another twelve and a half feet added in 1900. It no longer operates but is now a Grade II listed building. One interesting feature of the regenerated quayside in Blyth is a series of eleven “solar sound posts”, made of Douglas Fir and powered by solar power, which when approached play recordings of stories told by the local people about the area. All ages were involved in the project, from the very young talking about their senses and making sounds with props to the older generation sharing their memories of the war, of mining and other stories about the town.
Map of the area.