National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Dolly Peel


Type Statue

     A life-size depiction of a well known local character, whose life story is engraved on each side of the rough pebble and concrete pedestal. The laughing Dolly Peel is shown holding a basket, with a fish lying at her feet.
     The fishwives of Tynemouth have a special place in local history and it was felt that there was no adequate memorial to them in South Shields. This sculpture of Dolly, a colourful semi-folkloric character, was commissioned by her distant relative Reg Peel, and unveiled on 29th April 1987 by Councillor Gladys Hobson.(1)
     According to her history as recorded on the side of the pedestal, Dorothy (Dolly) Peel was a South Shields fishwife and smuggler in the early 1900s. There are numerous stories about how she helped men evade press gangs, eventually going to sea with her husband where she worked as a nurse. She was famous for her wit and poetry, and died aged 75 from bronchitis.


Front and rear metal plates: [the life story of Dolly Peel] Lettering on metal plates on left and right sides of pedestal: DOLLY/ PEEL / 1782-1857 / THIS STATUE / WAS UNVEILED / BY / Cllr. GLADYS/ HOBSON / ON / 29th APRIL / 1987

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Gofton, Billy Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Pedestal Concrete 210cm high x 90cm square
Sculpture Cement fondu 180cm high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Fair
Surface condition
  • Accretions
  • Abrasions, cracks, splits
  • Bird guano
Structural condition
Road River Drive
Precise location Grassed area facing river Tyne near junction with Palatine Street
A-Z ref 35 5E
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1987
Unveiling details Unveiled 29th April 1987
Commissioned by South Tyneside District Council
Duty of care South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? No known risk

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