Dance school days on South Tyneside

Pupils at  Valerie Shepherd School of Dancing with the trophies they won in a competition held at Hedworthfield School in 1990.
Pupils at Valerie Shepherd School of Dancing with the trophies they won in a competition held at Hedworthfield School in 1990.

It was strictly nostalgia when we posted a photo of pupils from South Tyneside’s Valerie Shepherd School of Dancing with the trophies they’d won in a competition held at Hedworthfield School back in March 1990.

For lots of you took to Facebook to comment about the picture.

Pictured in  August 1989 is Frankies cafe.

Pictured in August 1989 is Frankies cafe.

Pauline Elleithy said: “Wonderful memories of such happy times with the Valerie Shepherd family! Had our up and downs, but mainly ups, with some great laughs. We should have a reunion!”

Jayne Roseanna Porthouse posted: “Awwww wow! This is amazing – Jacqui Holmes, Dom Porthouse and Kristian Welch. Such a huge part of my life at the best dance school ever ... Valerie Shepherd” while Tonia Kaid Mckie typed: “Love this, happy times Valerie.”

Helen Peart said “love it” something which both Beryl Johnson and Muriel Metcalfe agreed, when they shared the sentiment “great memories”.

Stacy McMullen was equally enamoured when she took to social media to say: “Oh my word this is a blast from the past” while Louisa Hodges added “Ah wow! This is lovely” and Cheryll Robison concurred, posting “what memories!”

The picture also stirred memories for Yvonne Richards who said “Wow, that’s a golden oldie” and Lisa Marion commented: “Aw, I started the year after, all my idols!”

Others to leave messages on Facebook included Wesley and Yvonne Scaife, Rachel Garvin, Pauline Elleithy, Emma Douglas, Julie Young,Simon Mills and Kirsty Clenn.

Meanwhile, another photo, posted on Facebook, showing the outside of Frankie’s coffee bar/cafe and so much more, taken in August 1989, also attracted lots of comment from readers.

Joanne Dry wrote: “A day out at the beach wasn’t complete without having fish and chips at Frankie’s! Brings back childhood memories.”

Denise King told how: “My Nana worked there for many years – fish, chips, bread and butter and a fab pot of tea – just as it should be” while Adrienne Arthur added: “My nana also worked there Denise, in the 50s and 60s.”

Vivienne Pascoe shared the memory that “it wouldn’t be a day at the beach without a trip to Frankie’s ... always a queue ....happy memories, happy days!” while Lesley Steadman recalls “going down to the beach with all the families sitting with a tray of chips and egg and tomato sandwiches and having a great time. Those were the days.”

Warren Elliott was another fan of the seaside, saying: “Fish and chips, sitting in a green tent, sand pockets to weight it down beach packed ... perfect summer day”.

Lesley Frankie revealed that: “This was my family’s business so I have so many memories – too many to mention. For me, the best one is of my Grandad Joe in his ‘office’ keeping watch over the comings and goings.”

Paul Strachan said he “loved that place” – something which struck a chord with so many other readers.

Michelle Gabriele said: “My mam and sister worked there in the 60s” while Anne Jewitt posted “and your auntie Anne Adrienne”.

Kerrie Montgomery also had close ties with the place, explaining that “my nana worked there” – a place where Barry Feetham recalls “queueing up for a teapot of hot water for a shilling”.

Mark Turbitt got in touch to say: “I used to stand in the huge queue hoping I would get served by Nanny so I would get extra chips.” What are your memories of Frankie’s?