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  1. ITV Report

Celebrations for Tyneside hero Harry Clasper

He was a local hero who drew thousands to the banks of the River Tyne in the 1850s. Now the story of the World Champion rower and boat-building pioneer Harry Clasper is being celebrated once again.

A play about his career called 'Hadaway Harry' is showing at Newcastle's Theatre Royal (tonight and on Saturday) and a plaque commemorating his achievements has just been unveiled at the city's High Level Bridge.

The miner turned ship-builder turned sporting star also became a pub landlord in later life, running The Skiff pub in Gateshead whilst still designing racing craft. Some of his handiwork can still be seen there today.

When he died in 1870, around 130,000 people turned out to see him laid to rest at St Mary's Church in Whickham.