Having started as a small town near the quayside, one of the physical boundaries that stopped Blyth from growing into a larger town was the 'Flanker' or the 'Slake' as many of the local people knew it. It was not until the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of this century with the filling in of the 'Slake' that Blyth was able to grow in size. The Blyth we know today is the result of many local authority boundary changes. The main one was the amalgamation of Blyth Urban District Council and Cowpen Urban District Council in 1906, before that date these were two separate and independent local authorities. With the closure of the railway at Blyth in 1964, Blyth Shipyard in 1967 and the end of coal working at Bates Pit in May 1986, more than one hundred years of industry that had helped to shape the town of Blyth came to an end. These industries had dominated the local economy and helped to develop the shops and other institutions in Blyth. This collection of over 200 pictures brought together by the Blyth Local Studies Group reflects not only the shops and streets of the town, but also gives an insight into the lives of the people, their work, leisure and sporting activities.