When South Tyneside school staged ‘Amazing’ Joseph show

A programme of the production.
A programme of the production.

Songs and music often bring back fond memories of the past – and so it is with one reader, who shares her recollections of the time that Joseph brought his technicolour dreamcoat to South Tyneside.

I’ll leave it up to Mrs D. A. Wilson, of Whitburn, to explain.

“As you feature schools on your page, I though I would write to you about Whitburn Junior School 1974,” she says.

“The whole school did Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

“My son Leslie, aged 11 years, was Pharaoh, the star part.

“He was dressed in a silver suit, full make-up and came through a silver screen, and talked like Elvis. He was well coached.

“I still have his suit and programme. It was the talk of the village for weeks.

“Nearly every child was involved, singing, acting and playing music. All the costumes were made by the teachers.

“The school hall was chockablock with mams and dads.”

Was your child involved in the production? Were you able to attend the show, and what are your memories of this ever-green musical? Please get in touch.

Meanwhile, a photo of children doing woodwork at St Cuthbert’s Boys School, in April 27, 1964 (accompanied by the question what do you remember about woodwork and needle-working classes?) prompted a lot of comments on Facebook.

Vicki Milburn posted: “Made a letter opener in woodwork. Nothing else I turned my hand to was successful! Needlework was more fun until it came to using heavy Singer sewing machines that I could not ever remember how to thread.”

Ann Howes said: “Loved woodwork and metalwork at King George Comprehensive School” while Maria Wilkinson added: “I loved it, even opted for the metal class. I was one of only two girls in it, but loved it.”

By the sounds of it, there were plenty of items to take home, some practical and some decorative, as Maureen Wright explains.

“Made a fish plaque, then a wooden pencil case. Made a wallpaper scraper in metalwork. Needlework, made an apron then a wrap-over skirt.”

Shohidur Rahman went online to say: “Those were the days. Made a table at Westoe Comprehensive” while Neil Robinson told how he “loved woodwork. Made a computer desk in 1991.”

Beverly Olds got in touch to say she: “Won first prize at the flower show for my embroidered peg bag” while Glenys Bainbridge revealed how she “made a cookery apron and skirt, and a pair of knitted gloves, with wrongly directed thumbs.”

Talking of thumbs,Helen Embleton McKerill had a rather gruesome experience during her needle-work lesson at school.

She recalled: “Sewing my finger, the needle snapped off in my finger, and had to go to hospital, ouch!”

Other readers turned back the clock to recall the items they crafted from wood and material. David Barber took to Facebook to say: “I carved a bear standing on its hind legs, when I took it home me mam said ‘what a lovely penguin’.”

Karen Mccormick Thomas made a mug tree and boxer shorts while Robert McKay produced a poker and a coal rake “for open fires”.

And although Linda Wood post: “Loved it!“ Jennifer Hudson remembers “Hating it!”

What are your memories of doing woodwork, ironwork and needlecraft at school? Did you enjoy the cookery classes, and the dubious delights of taking home your cakes and bakes for the family to sample?

Finally, Colin Thornton got in touch regarding the greyhound stadium, off Horsley Hill Road, saying: “some people may remember the 10-pin bowling alley that was under the stand, though it was only open for a few years.”