Five pictures of South Tyneside in 1986 - and how you can see even more with the 'calendar gulls', as famous South Shields artist Sheila Graber releases special work for charity

Award-winning artist Sheila Graber has turned the clock back 36 years, and it’s all in the name of charity.

A whole selection of Sheila’s works from 1986 have been included in a new calendar which will raise money for three fantastic causes.

And some of you may even remember when some of these pieces first hit the headlines – because they all appeared in a link-up between Sheila and the Shields Gazette.

Hide Ad

The well-known artist and animator produced drawings of South Tyneside for the Shields Gazette and they included scenes such as King Street, the Town Hall, a seagull known as ‘Politi-gull’ and one of the groyne and piers.

Sheila Graber and her 1986 artwork.

She said: “I was the Gazette’s art critic in 1986 and the then editor Michael Blackah asked me to draw scenes of South Tyneside for a calendar. He also asked if I could do something with the “Splat the Seagull”.”

Sheila had created the creature from the stuffed seagull hanging from the ceiling at South Shields Museum and ‘had been drawing some weekly crazy cartoons’ of it.

Hide Ad

Since then, originals and prints from that calendar have been bought by fans and the proceeds have gone to Sheila’s nominated charities which are The Customs House, Seachange and the Willows Cat Adoption Centre.

Sheila added: “I thought it was a good time to reprint it and sell it off again to support these charities.”

Hide Ad
Sheila's 1986 drawing of King Street.

The artist’s outstanding creations will be known to millions of people as she has animated some of the best known’ programmes around.

Hide Ad

The South Shields artist also produced more than 100 films from her home-based studio.

Hide Ad

Sheila is also continuing to sell her entire lifetime’s work with all profits going to local charities.

The piers and groyne, drawn by Sheila Graber 36 years ago.
Hide Ad

The number of art pieces runs into ‘hundreds if not thousands’ said Sheila. More than 200 of them can currently be viewed by clicking here.

Read More
A salute to the Queen - South Shields animator Sheila Graber produces film tribu...
Hide Ad

Sheila’s superb support for charity has seen her raise more than £15,000 for the three causes so far.

Her aim is to raise much more by continuing to sell her life’s work of drawing, paintings and cels from animated films from the age of 18 to 81.

Hide Ad
A character created by Sheila.

Sheila, born in South Shields in 1940, trained in Fine Art and Education and began animating “just for fun” in 1970.

Hide Ad

Ten years later, the hobby turned into profession. She gave up her post as Head of Creative Studies at a comprehensive school to pursue animation full time.

Anyone wanting to buy one of the calendars, which cost £8 in the UK including post and packaging, should visit

Hide Ad

Two calendars can be bought for £14 and three for £20, or £18 for anyone buying abroad.

They are also sold at The Word, Sea Change and Coffey By Name in South Shields.

Hide Ad

People who are interested in buying some of Sheila’s other works should click here.

The Town Hall, as depicted by Sheila in 1986.
Hide Ad
One of Sheila's gulls from the calendar.
Sheila with the Lifetime Achievement trophy that she won at the Best of South Tyneside Awards.