When nightclubbers helped South Tyneside’s needy

Customers at Banwell's nightclub collected tins for the elderly and needy.
Customers at Banwell's nightclub collected tins for the elderly and needy.

Sad to say that some things have moved on little in the 32 years since this photograph was taken.

It illustrated a story featured in the Gazette back in 1985 which told how Banwell’s nightclub, in South Shields, was asking customers to donate tins of food in exchange for admission to a fancy dress Boxing Day bash being held there.

Hardy and Co.

Hardy and Co.

The story went on to reveal that some 1,250 cans were collected for the local needy and elderly. They were handed over to Coun Mary Chenery, chairwoman of South Tyneside Social Services Committee by Mr Billy Walton, licensee of the club.

Though it was a sterling effort on the part of those who contributed, unfortunately, we are still collecting for the needy today, with foodbanks playing a vital role in helping those who cannot afford life’s basics.

When we posted the photo on Facebook, this was your response.

Wendy Price said: “What a great idea” while Peter Watt/Angie Comerford added: “not a bad idea if you could get a nightclub on side for it” and Samantha Hodson commented: “that’s a decent idea for this age of loads of food banks.”

The venue itself also caused readers to take to social media to add questions and comment.

Lianne Douglas asked: “Where was Banwells? Was before I went out but can’t ever remember hearing about it.”

Karen Major/Lianne Douglas answered: “It was underneath the multi-storey carpark, at Mile End Road. Went on to become Limelights.”

Michelle Whale also asked: “Was it later called the Ranch Night Club?” while Lynette Jones also posed the question: “Wasn’t it the Ranch in the 60s/70s?” to which David Ord responded by saying: “Yes it was the Ranch. Great days it was also called the Rum Runner.”

Shirley Miller posted: “I loved the place, even had my 21st birthday party there” while Elizabeth Guttridge said: “South Shields night life at its best, what happened?”

What are your memories of Banwell’s and the other clubs mentioned by readers?

Meanwhile you had answers galore when we posted a picture of Hardy and Co, in Grange Road, Jarrow, in 1961, just before the Viking statue arrived, and asked who remembers what was between Stylo and the supermarket?

Pauline Smith told how she “bought our bedroom suite at Hardy’s in 1968” while Denny Symington told how she “worked for Hardy’s.”

Paula McPheators also took to social media to reveal how “my dad used to work at Hardy’s”.

Sylvia Holder, who worked in Lambs Baby Shop (“it was very posh”) recalls Dobsons, saying: “ My mam would buy our hair ribbons. It was a big treat, but I always wanted pink and was never allowed.”

Andrea Barker Syed answered the Facebook question by saying: “Dobson’s, lovely old shop!” as did Shirley Convery, who told us how: “me ma used to buy my socks and knickers there lol”

Barrie Donnelly also recalled Dobsons while others plumped for Woolworths, including Moira Pirzad, Bill Boldon, Alma Lazy Spa Webster and Jane McConnachie who said: “Woolworth, had a Saturday job there.”

Brian Carruthers added: “I’m sure there used to be a car accessory shop along there somewhere” while Michelle Whale said of the area: “Such a great place to shop and real friendly people, so many happy memories, love Jarrow.”

How do you think South Tyneside’s shopping areas have changed over the years? Which shops in particular do you miss and why?