Young photographers put the Shields Ferry in the frame

Christchurch C of E pupils on board the Shields Ferry
4 April 2019

The Shields Ferry has provided the backdrop for youngsters to put their photography skills in the frame.

The iconic cross-Tyne service, which is operated by Nexus, has hosted a documentary photographic project which gave kids a chance to learn about taking the perfect picture.

The project has been funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which is one of the UK’s largest independent grant making foundations in the UK.

Year five pupils from Christchurch C of E Primary School in North Shields used digital DSLR cameras to capture stills and video of the Shields Ferry, its crew, its customers, and some of the River Tyne views that the ferry crossing offers.

A stunning archive film called ‘Maybe’, which chronicled life on the Shields Ferry in 1969, was used to inspire the pupils. Amber, the film and photography collective which shot the original film, were back on board the ferry to make their own video about the project.

The children worked under the careful instruction of a professional freelance photographer and artist, Jo Hislop, in a series of sessions on board the ferry and at the South Shields ferry landing.

She said: “This is a ten week documentary photo project featuring the Shields Ferry. The pupils have been learning all about the history of the ferry, meeting the crew and interviewing them about what it is like to work here and why they enjoy is so much, and really learning about the community that surrounds the ferry.

“All the kids got to use a digital DSLR cameras. I taught them how to use the cameras and helped them to create their own documentary project. They have taken portraits, landscape, learned technical camera skills, and learned so much from the community at the ferry.

“The crew shared some great stories and it has helped the kids to learn a lot and it got them out and about, away from the classroom, connecting the community and school together.”

Shields Ferry Manager, Carol Timlin, said: “This was such a brilliant community project for us to be involved in. The pupils had a great time and learned so much using the Shields Ferry as the backdrop for their photos and videos.

“Our crew and our customers really engaged well with the pupils, who took some excellent photos and were undoubtedly inspired by the visit. We’re all looking forward to seeing the results.”


Jo Hislop, freelance photographer and artist

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