A NEWLY-elected politician put himself in the firing line yesterday as a community gathered at a South Tyneside school to enjoy some summer fun.
Less than two months since Lee Hughes was elected as an independent councillor for the Bede ward in Jarrow he was facing his electorate again – in the stocks.
He agreed to suffer a public drenching when he joined in a fundraising day at Simonside Primary School, on the town’s Scotch Estate.
Coun Hughes, landlord at the estate’s Red Hackle pub, was placed in stocks and pelted with wet sponges – for 10p a go – by some of the 185 pupils taking part in a host of activities.
After the experience, the new politician admitted: “I’m a big drip!”
He added: “I got a right drenching. The kids are pretty good shots, but I’m used to it.
“I go in the stocks every year for the fun day we hold at the pub in the summer.
“It’s good training for our next fun day on Monday, August 25.
“Now I’m a councillor, I probably should get used to being unpopular. It will be rotten eggs next!”
There was something for everyone in the school grounds. Fun-filled activities included a bouncy castle, a toddlers area, face painting, crafts, cakes and balloons and a steel band from Jarrow School.
The day was the brainchild of Natalie Thompson, a Year 1 teacher in her first year at the school.
She organised the event with the Friends of Simonside PTA.
It was a chance to bring children, parents and the whole Low Simonside community together.
Miss Thompson said: “It’s my first year at the school and I thought it would be great to do something in the summer which celebrated the end of the school year.
“It was also a chance to bring the community into school and break down some barriers.
“The response has been magnificent and hopefully this can now become an annual event.”