Enjoying time in South Shields park

Marine Park on Whit Monday afternoon in  May 1971.
Marine Park on Whit Monday afternoon in May 1971.

With the weather becoming more benign, a growing number of people will be tempted to take a stroll in the spring sunshine.

Whether it’s along the coast or in the park, couples, families and individuals will be following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents in search of a little fresh air.

As our photograph shows, the Marine Park, in South Shields, was one of the places that people would, and still do, flock to for a walk around the grounds or a row upon the lake.

Taken on May 31, 1971 (Whit Monday), the picture captures young and old alike enjoying this green and pleasant oasis in the heart of town. And, when we posted it on Facebook, it prompted a number of readers to get in touch with their thoughts and memories.

Margaret Lowrie recalls: “Fishing for sticklebacks...those were the days” while Gloria Garland Davidson took to social media to post: “Loved taking the kids there to catch tiddlers.”

Michelle Whale said the scene: “Looks so lovely” and Sarah Pascoe added: “Good memories.”

Susan Sinclair happily recalls those “happy carefree days.”

Elizabeth Hyde, meanwhile, got in touch to reveal that: “My ex brother-in-law built the boats for the Marine Park. He worked at McNulty’s boat builders.”

For some, a day out in the park is not complete without feeding the ducks. But it’s not that easy these days according to Wendy Evans.

Wendy says: “Too many seagulls now, can’t feed the ducks anymore.”

However, Laurence Younger went online to add: “Too many people feed the ducks bread anyway,so that might be a good thing!”

Ducks, swans and smaller water birds, such as coots, have long been a regular sight in parks throughout the land, but what about the creatures lurking beneath the surface of park ponds and lakes?

Along with the commonplace species of fish, many a park became home to that most feared of fresh water predator – the pike. Did Marine Park or any of the other South Tyneside’s parks have pikes living in their depths?

What are your memories of spending time at Marine Park, and the games that you would play there?

Meanwhile, a photo, taken on April 3, 1975, showing a huge vessel being built at Readhead’s Yard, in South Shields, proved a good talking point, so here’s a few more details.

The unnamed ship (the biggest to be built at the yard, at that time) was the first vessel to take advantage of the berth extensions carried out at Readhead’s as part of the Swan Hunter modernisation of its Tyne shipbuilding yards.

The 32,000-ton tanker was the first of two being built for Common Brothers, of Newcastle. They were being chartered by the Newfoundland Refining Company. Did you work on either of the town ships?