History available at your fingertips

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A new historical guide has been made available on the go thanks to a former villager now living in mainland Europe.

After three years of research and development, former Newbiggin resident Richard Pyle has created an audio visual mobile phone app for people interested in learning more about south east Northumberland.

The new app means hundreds of historical sites and buildings are now available at the touch of a button.

As well as producing the pictures and text for the places of interest, Richard also delivers the audio descriptions.

And the commentaries will feature on a series of broadcasts on Synergy Radio when the station returns in August.

Richard, who now lives in Zurich but was born in Newbiggin, admits to being “a huge local history buff”.

The 53-year-old said: “I completed my masters degree on British history at Newcastle University a couple of years ago.

“I specialised on the history of south east Northumberland and my dissertation centred on Newbiggin.”

Richard’s interactive guide to 14 villages and towns includes 30 sites in Newbiggin, such as Church Point, The Haven and the old colliery site.

He added: “the app, which I call ‘Village Guides’ is aimed at visitors and residents alike and I hope it will contribute to a better understanding of the area’s heritage.”

Newbiggin mayor Coun Will Rogers welcomed the new app.

He said: “I think it is incredible. It is an excellent guide to the area. We want people to come and visit Newbiggin and this guide is a great and innovative way to sell the area.”

The guides are available on the iTunes app store priced 99p to £1.99.

For more information email Richard at villageguides@gm.com

Synergy Radio will be available on 87.7FM and online at www.synergyradio.co.uk