People from near and far get in touch with stories and requests, which I’m most grateful for.
One recent email came from the other side of the world, New Zealand, in fact.
It was sent from Sheila Nicholson, who lives on Waiheke Island, Auckland, and involves an appeal for information regarding the grainy old photo on this page.
I’ll let Sheila explain.
“I am in possession of a photocopied photograph from the Shields Gazette dated May 12, 1951,” writes Sheila.
“I’m interested in finding out who my companions are/were.
“The photo shows myself, aged six, and my late sister, aged nine. My two older sisters are currently in nursing homes for dementia patients and my only surviving brother of four, for whom I’m trying to compile a record of old photos, still lives in South Shields.”
If anyone can help Sheila with her search then please get in touch with me and I’ll pass on the information.
Another reader, Jenny Churcher, also got in touch, in the hope of tracking down photos of Rogers Milliners, and a visit by the Queen to South Shields shortly after her coronation.
Jenny, who lives in Kent, posted: “The whole of my mother’s side of the family are the Greens from South Shields, and now that she has Alzheimers, my sister and I are trying to gather together as much detail for the family going forward.
“Her memory is sketchy on the best of days, so we don’t really have that much time.
“One of the things we would like to find out more about is the former Rogers Milliners, on the corner of Charlotte Terrace/Crossgate, which I understood overlooked the Town Hall.
“There was a Royal visit back in the late 1950s soon after Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, and some of my family and workers at Rogers had a good viewpoint of her visit!
“However, since my great aunty, Cathy Ramsdale, passed away nearly six years ago, I have no information as to who actually owned the shop, nor do I have any photos either.
“I am hopeful that someone might have some photos other information that might be available to me.”
Again, if any readers can assist Jenny in her endeavour, please get in touch.
Next, is a wonderful piece of local nostalgia as supplied by Tommy Procter.
Tommy emailed me in connection with the Steamboat anchor.
He writes: “I am contacting you with reference to the anchor and chain that sits above the main entrance doors to the Steamboat, formerly the Locomotive, on Mill Dam bank, a frequent haunt of river workers.
“The history of how the anchor got to be there is this, though I may add that I am not 100% sure about the date.
“I think it would have been the summer of around 1981 that the Tyne Tug Cragsider was lying at anchor in Leith Roads, off the port of Leith, in the Firth of Forth waiting to go in to pick up a tow.
“When we picked up our anchor it was fouled by this chain around the flukes.
“When we eventually got it off, and got it on the foredeck, which took a great deal of effort I may add, it was found to be an old fashioned kedge anchor.
“It was very rusty so it had apparently been down there a long time.
“It was put down the hold, leaving it for a future date.
“When we got back to the Tyne I eventually got round to chipping it all.
“I then gave it two coats of red lead, which we allowed to use in those days, followed by two coats of gloss black paint.
“It was decided by the crew that we would see if either the Railway, (the other pub on the Mill Dam bank), or the Locomotive would buy it from us.
“The manager of the Loco’ at the time, a chap called Tim, I don’t recall his surname, bought it for £50, if I remember rightly, which was a lot of money then, and it has been above the door since then to the best of my knowledge.”
Mr Procter recalls that the crew of the Cragsider at the time were:–
Hylton Overton, Master.
Tommy Procter, Mate/relief master.
Maurice Spink, Ch/eng.
Albert Weightman, 2nd eng/relief ch/eng
Grenville Byers, deckhand.
Jimmy Carr, deckhand/cook
Stevey Brown, deckhand.
John Burn jnr. deckhand.
Ray Tate, might have still been the apprentice, though not sure.
“I have been meaning to pass this little bit of history on for quite a while now, while I can still remember most of it, so that should anybody ask about it in the future at least the Shields Gazette will have it.”
We’re very glad you.
Other readers have also taken to social media to comment on recent pages and Gazette Facebook postings.
Mention of the fairground/shows and, in particular, your favourite rides and attractions brought a wonderful response from Carol Smith who said: “Mine was the amusements, loved rolling the ball to get it into the holes to see if your horse could win.
“You came off with a headache as it was noisy,loved the helter skelter, and the side stalls, filled with candy floss and coloured buckets and spades fishing nets and floaters. Whimp I know, but the rides knocked me sick yet loved to watch them just the same.”
Denise Hubbard was a fan of the waltzers but admitted: “Although was often sick coming off.”
There was also a thumbs up for the waltzers from Viv Marley “happy days!” as well as Susan Sinclair “every time” along with Lynsey Freestone and Karen Ratcliffe.
Jackie Mcfadyen (nee Ward) also favoured the faster rides, saying simply “speedway”.
Which fairground rides did you like?