It was full steam ahead for all your yesterday’s when readers climbed aboard the Memory Express after we featured a photo of a much-loved train.
Taken in August 1980, and featured on the Gazette’s Facebook page, the picture showed bank holiday crowds at the South Marine Park, in South Shields, watch as the “hard-worked steam engine takes another load of passengers for a trip around the lake”.
Keith Nye got in touch to say: “It is me driving and Don Proudlock as the guard.”
Cat Selby posted: “I spent a lot of my childhood here on a Sunday morning with my grandparents, watching the boats on the lake and riding the train. We still visit now as a family. I was three months old when this picture was taken, very happy days.”
Chris Barron told how “my Grandad put me on the train by myself when I was a bairn (I was only about four or five). I was leaning over the side of the carriage, trying to grab long grass behind where the cafe is now, and fell off.
“I remember walking back along the track to the station crying my eyes out. Might be wrong but that may be why the chains on the carriages and conductor was put on the back. Apologies.”
Simone Kneen went online to say: “Lovely memories of my late grandad taking me on that train.”
Travelling further back in time, we discovered a photo, taken in November 1967, of the “new” engineering shop of Peter Johnston and Co.
Sight of this busy workshop also prompted readers to get in touch with their recollections.
Beatrice Mills said: “My dad is in the front, the tall man” while Pauline Clouston posted: “My husband’s dad worked there for 50 years.”
Ray Whitfield took to Facebook to say: “I served my apprenticeship at PJs 1966-1971.
“I have many fond memories of Peter Johnston’s and it was without a doubt a good grounding to my career.
“Before I retired, three years ago, I finished my career as the EPCM Quality Manger for one of the world’s biggest LNG gas plants in Western Australia; Wheatstone, a $40 billion project.”
Heavy industry, as you know, played a hugely important role in shaping our past. Perhaps you worked in this sector? Please get in touch with your memories.