Life on South Tyneside as man first stepped on the moon

Ocean  Road School teacher Ron Thornton with pupils, left to right,  Neil Martin, Freddy Webb, Neil Blackburn and David Owen. They appear to be creating their own newspaper after 'a study of the Shields Gazette'.
Ocean Road School teacher Ron Thornton with pupils, left to right, Neil Martin, Freddy Webb, Neil Blackburn and David Owen. They appear to be creating their own newspaper after 'a study of the Shields Gazette'.

It was on this day in 1969 that US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin stepped out of Apollo 11 to become the first human beings to walk on the surface of the moon.

To mark this momentous event, I thought it would be interesting to print a couple of pictures, taken by the Gazette’s photographers, illustrating a glimpse of what was going on back on earth – specifically here on South Tyneside – during that year.

The Reverend James Bestford, chaplain of the 11th South Shields Harton Methodist Church Company of the Boys' Brigade, inspecting the company during their annual inspection and display, held in the church hall.

The Reverend James Bestford, chaplain of the 11th South Shields Harton Methodist Church Company of the Boys' Brigade, inspecting the company during their annual inspection and display, held in the church hall.

The photo of the two chaps with the TV set, snapped at the Modern Homes Exhibition in the Bolingbroke Hall, South Shields, got me thinking. How did you watch the moon landing?

I seem to recall that the TV images were vague and grainy.

What are your memories of this ‘giant leap for mankind’?

Winifrid Johnstone, youth leader at St Mark and St Cuthbert Youth Club, presents a cheque raised by the club to Dr I D Leitch, Medical Officer of Health for South Shields.

Winifrid Johnstone, youth leader at St Mark and St Cuthbert Youth Club, presents a cheque raised by the club to Dr I D Leitch, Medical Officer of Health for South Shields.