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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Listed pigeon loft in new honour
Listed pigeon loft

A pigeon loft which was granted listed building status has been included on a trail of important architectural and historical sites.

The wooden building, at Back Ryhope Street allotments near Sunderland, is one of 187 locations in the Tyne and Wear Heritage Open Days project.

The single-storey loft, which houses up to 80 birds, is open to the public on 6 September.

It was given Grade II status when it was threatened with demolition in 1998.

Builders wanted to bulldoze the loft and the surrounding allotments, owned by retired miners, to make way for new housing.

'Working class heritage'

But the government sided with a campaign to save the building saying it was an important piece of working class heritage.

Owner Maurice Surtees, 75, built it 1955 with his brother William using hand-made tools.

Other attractions included in the heritage scheme, running between 6 and 9 September, include Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend, North Tyneside, and Monkwearmouth Station Museum in Sunderland.

The event aims to give free access to properties which are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.

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