But that is the South Tyneside reality and we would love to share it with you.
l First came the storms, then came the pong! Storms caused chaos in Sunniside Lane and Sunderland Road in Cleadon Village which were both closed to traffic after floodwater made them impassable.
And police were called to Fowler Street, South Shields, when water began to overflow into the road and seep under the doors of Mason’s and Riddick’s shoe shop.
l Immediately after the floods, South Tyneside was hit by a mystery smell. Nearly 400 phone calls were made to Northern Gas but the cause remained a mystery.
A Gazette story at the time said it had caused a ‘major gas alert’ which prompted a public response from as far as Sunderland and Blyth. Who can tell us if the cause was ever discovered?
l Steve Cram was confirmed as the world’s best middle distance runner in 1982, by a fellow legend. Sebastian Coe gave him the accolade after watching his rival destroy a quality 1,500-metre field in Zurich.
l Television host Eamonn Andrews managed to get Catherine Cookson on the long-running This is Your Life show in 1982 and what a poignant occasion it was.
Catherine’s old pal Anne Robson was filmed at South Shields General Hospital, where she had worked in the laundry with the best-selling writer when it was Harton Workhouse, decades before.
l Shirley Williams was in South Shields that year to officially open the Social Democrat Party’s new office which was in King Street. Did you get to meet her?
l Fans of The King, Elvis Presley, gathered to pay their respects, five years after his death at the age of just 42. Loyal fans gathered at Hedworth Hall, in South Shields. Were you among them?
l You could get the latest styles in jeans at Wood’s Bonton in Ocean Road where they even had a competition to win a £100 outfit for free.
l Or how about a suit made to measure from Gatoff’s in Fowler Street – or you could take a ready-to-wear option from £68.
l If you were planning to relax at home with a movie, you could buy a video cassette recorder from Derek Thorpe’s shop in Fowler Street. Yours for £599.95.
l Then you would need the films to go with it. Some of the hits at EB Videos in South Shields were Love Bug, The Shining, The Howling, Death Wish 2, and Kramer vs Kramer.
l And if you wanted a telly, you could always go to Thompsons in Fowler Street where you could get a 20-inch screen TV with Teletext for £11.25 a month.
What are your memories of South Tyneside in 1982? Which shops, pubs, clubs and cinemas were your favourite 40 years ago?
Which were the best shops for a 1980s bargain? Share your South Tyneside recollections.
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