Remembering Christmas 1960 in South Shields, when La Strada opened and Masons offered a special gift

Nightlife in South Shields was about to step up a notch just before Christmas in 1960.

La Strada was about to open for the first time and there was plenty of excitement surrounding it.

The Commercial Road club was described as something superior for the borough.

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It was described as Shields’ first nightclub and regulars at the club would have often danced the night away to The Crusaders who were the resident band at one time.

Christmas in South Tyneside in 1960.

La Strada had a cocktail bar and an over-21 rule.

But it wasn’t the only big news for South Tyneside in 1960.

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Bill Harcus (right), manager of La Strada, and his assistant, Mr Bernard McKie. Who remembers which year this was?

Imagine how delighted a worker must have been when he turned over a broken marble slab at the town hall in Westoe Road and spotted a Merry Christmas message written into it.

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It was thought to have been penned when the corporation moved from its previous home in Market Place decades earlier.

Gifts from Masons and Wiggs

Tis the season for enjoying yourself and a trip to the pictures might have been on the cards.

Wiggs was the place for your top tape recorder purchases in 1960.
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The Apartment, starring Jack Lemmon, Fred McMurray and Shirley Maclaine was on at the Odeon for one week only in December 1960.

Max Factor gifts for the man in your life could be bought from four different branches of Masons including King Street, Ocean Road, Mile End Road and Westoe Road. You could get a tube of lather shaving cream, after shave lotion and a cream hair dressing in a gift set for 14/9.

New HMV tape recorders were all the rage and you could get them from Wiggs in Ocean Road for £50.

Or how about a new television with free valves and tubes? All yours from Mile End Road Stores for 2/6 weekly.

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A gala night at La Strada in 1985.

If LPs were more your thing, Elvis was riding high in the charts with It’s Now Or Never closely followed by The Drifters with Save The Last Dance For Me.

Nina and Frederick’s Little Donkey and Peter Sellers with Sofia Lauren – singing Goodness Gracious Me – were chasing hard for the number 1 spot.

What are your childhood Christmas memories? Which was your favourite shop. Where did you go for a top night out?

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Three stars on one bill in The Apartment at the Odeon in December 1960.
Grabbing a Christmas bargain from Masons.