THE Olympic and Paralympic Games have inspired a fascinating exhibition called Home & Away at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.
Here, inspired by these global competitions, is proof that sport has always been an important aspect of North East life.
Here, too, is evidence that sports - like the competitors who take part - have their moment in the sun.
Potshare bowling, in which two men competed to bowl a stone ball over 800m (875 yards), was more popular than football until 1914, with thousands spectating.
Gambling was a feature of the event in which bowlers shared the ‘pot’ of prize money.
Each bowler had an assistant called a trigger who would mark where the ball landed with a 3ft stick called a trig.
The sport was popular in mining communities and men, for some reason, would often compete in their underwear.
Among the exhibits is a highly polished ball made from whinstone, a notably hard stone.
Potshare bowling went out of fashion - perhaps as football entered its pomp - as did bloodsports such as bull baiting and cockfighting.
Actually, they didn’t so much lose popularity in the North East as fall foul of the law.
Cockfighting was banned in 1848 but the last known cock pit in England, at Gallowgate in Newcastle, closed in 1874 and there are photos of a pit found in the basement of a building in Tynemouth.