A volunteer group has been overwhelmed by demand for its series of First World War lectures by a line-up of top speakers.
The Tynemouth World War One Commemoration Project has worked with Northumbria University to set up the series of eight lectures to mark the centenary next year of the outbreak of the conflict.
They were to have been held in the 150-seat lecture theatre at the university’s Sutherland building.
But after the plan was reported in The Journal, the demand for seats has seen the project forced to switch venues to the university’s City Campus East, opposite Manors Metro Station, which has a theatre with more than double the Sutherland building capacity.
The first lecture tomorrow by Professor Sir Hew Strachan, is fully booked.
Sir Hew is Chichele Professor of the History of War and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Through his numerous publications he has become recognised as one of the leading authorities on the war.
“Due to the unprecedented demand, the project has been obliged to transfer all the lectures,” said co-ordinator Alan Fidler.
“The speakers in the lecture series are all pre-eminent in their fields, but after the article in The Journal the response has exceeded what we anticipated.
“We never imagined we would get so many people but we are delighted with the response. We have obviously tapped into a great seam of interest in the war no doubt linked to the rising amount of publicity as the centenary approaches.”
People are asked to register interest in attending lectures on www.tynemouthworldwarone.org .
Between 225 and 265 people have already indicated that they want seats for each of the seven lectures.
There is a high level of interest in the next lecture by Professor Martin Pugh at 6pm on November 13, on Women and the Great War.
Dr Pugh was Professor of Modern British History at Newcastle University and his latest book is Britain: Unification and Disintegration, a Study of the Current Crisis of National Identity.
Other lectures in the series are being given by author John Lewis-Stempel, academic John Derry on Hindenburg and Ludendorff, Commonwealth War Graves historian Dr Edward Madigan, war studies professor Gary Sheffield, naval historian Andrew Lambert and historian Professor Joanna Bourke.