A display commemorating the July 1977 visits to South Shields of legendary heavyweight world champion boxer Muhammad Ali, and Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh opens on Saturday 8 July at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery.
The Three Days…a Queen, a Prince and a ‘King’ display in the museum’s stairwell consists of memorabilia from both celebrations including photographs, a ticket from the personal appearance of Muhammad Ali and a pair of boxing gloves he autographed.
The display runs until Saturday 16 December; the museum is open Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 11am – 4pm and has free entry.
Geoff Woodward, Museum Manager said: “With the Queen and Prince Philip visiting on Friday 15 July then Muhammad Ali here the following two days, it really was a special time for South Shields. This display commemorates those momentous three days, 40 years ago, in the summer of 1977.”
At the time of his visit Muhammad Ali was the world heavyweight champion and a prominent civil rights activist; he and his wife also visited the Al Azhar Mosque on Laygate Lane in the town to have their wedding blessed as 7,000 well-wishers stood outside.
The Queen and Prince Philip were on their Silver Jubilee tour which prompted patriotic street parties and even ‘mini Olympics’, with an 8,000 strong crowd of local school children and older people from care homes greeting them in Gypsies Green Stadium.
Visitors to the museum can also see the L.S. Lowry exhibition on until 10 September, and the Little Landmarks exhibition which features ten South Shields buildings made in miniature from LEGO®.
The Three Days…a Queen, a Prince and a ‘King’ display is part of the wider Freedom City 2017. Freedom City 2017 is a city-wide programme marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University.
Taking place at venues and public spaces across Newcastle and Gateshead throughout 2017, Freedom City 2017 features a large-scale outdoor event, thought-provoking theatre, inspiring exhibitions, uplifting musical performances, world-class academic research and more.
Freedom City 2017 brings together international artists, musicians, filmmakers, academics and community groups for a city-wide commemoration inspired by the themes of Dr King’s 1967 Newcastle speech in which he spoke of three urgent and great problems ‘the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war’. For more information, visit www.freedomcity2017.com