South Shields’ family’s happy coincidences

Postal workers in South Shields.
Postal workers in South Shields.

During the past few days, I’ve featured a look-back at the old Horsely Hill Road Stadium, where South Shields football team used to play and greyhounds raced, and photographs of local postal workers working in the town.

Not much to connect them you wouldn have thought. But for reader, Bill Foley, Wednesday’s Gazette provided his family with some amazing coincidences.

I’ll let Bill explain more.

“I was reading through the Gazette, mainly for the South Shields FC story, as my son David plays for them (his photo was on Page 36 with Andy Stevenson).

“But how strange is this, my wife Jan’s photo was on Page 7 buying our tickets for the semi-final of the FA Vase, while the story about Time Of Our Lives (on Pages 18 and 23) have a photo of my wife’s dad John Wharton.

“In the photo, he is the third guy on Page 18 (on the first photo). How bizarre is that – half the family in the same paper, ha ha.”

Bill went on to reveal that he used to work in the post office, and so recognised quite a few of the faces which appeared in that edition’s centre page spread.

“The second man from the right in the right-hand bottom picture is Vernon Pearson.

“In the photo on Page 23 (on the left, under the big photo) shows, the first guy on the left hand side is Dennis, sorry can’t remember his surname, but a really nice guy.

“Opposite him, the little guy looking down is Ronnie Anderson. He was a nice guy too, and also a good football referee on a Sunday morning.

“Next to him, the bloke with the beard is Trevor Auty, always very funny, the ‘jack the lad’ character. He came in late one morning, and typical Trevor, couldn’t slip in quietly, entered the sorting office and shouted ‘they’ve named the ripper’. Someone shouted who is it? and Trevor answered ‘Jack’ ha ha, funny lad is Trevor, and good footballer too.

“Next to Trevor is Geordie Hickman, another great guy, loved his cigarettes.

“To Geordie’s right, the lad with a tache is Michael Ford, his dad Stan Ford was the union man. What Stan said was the law.

“Terry Greenwell is the lad second from the front of that photo and right at the back, on the left hand side near the door, is Ralphy Heron.

“The copy of the Gazette was a great paper, great memories and plenty of family included ha ha

“Thank you I’ll keep this paper forever.”

Other readers took to social media to comment about the Horsely Hill stadium.

Anne Clarke said: “They used to have dog races there, I remember our neighbour Andra Price being lucky many times, going back over 60 years.

“When Ede Avenue was built, 70 years ago, we lived at number 54, what a different world we live in now.”

Michael Jacobson took to Facebook to say: “Way back when, a veterans’ football match was staged every Good Friday.

“It was there that I saw Len Shackleton and many others. Great memories of my childhood in South Shields.”

Graham Slesser reveals that he was too young to go when the stadium was in use, “but it was our playground as a kid, playing in the derelict dogs bowl,and playing hide and seek in the air vents. Had some fun over the years.”

Allan Love said: “Loved it, wish it was still there.”

What are your memories of the stadium and the footballers who used to play there?

How lucky were you when it came to betting on the dogs? Did you used to own a winner?