You were always guaranteed a “good night’s entertainment” when the Minerbirds were on stage in South Tyneside, according to a reader who got in touch after we featured a photo of the singing group recently.
In a letter to me, the person, (who sadly didn’t include their name or address) wrote: “My late mam and dad, Arthur and Norma Vickers, ran the Westoe Miners’ Social Club, at Armstrong Hall, in Stanhope Road, South Shields, where the Minerbirds were based.
“These ladies used to raise money for local charities, and once entertained the officers on H.M.S. Fearless when it was berthed in the Tyne.
“I can remember some of the ladies pictured. They are left to right: Diane, Muriel Hogg, Norma Vickers, Jenny Mann (centre), not sure of the next two ladies, then Edna, Glynis and Jessie McCann.
“You were always guaranteed a good night’s entertainment.”
The picture, taken in May 1978, shows the Minerbirds presenting a cheque to Mrs Joan Green, deputy head of Oakleigh Gardens School.
Another old photo, this time taken at the Derby Street Baths, in July 1971, featuring members of the South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club, prompted Enid Hetherington to get in touch.
She told me: “I saw your article in the Gazette, and it brought back a lot of memories for me.
“The lady in the photo at Derby Street Baths was my mam Mary Marshall. I think at the time she was either the Deputy Mayoress or the Mayoress, alomnside my dad Harry Marshall.”
Meanwhile, the question as to whether school children get too few or too many holidays continues to divide opinion among our online readers.
Wayne Gilliss posted: “Exactly the same amount of holidays we used to get when we were kids, and we didn’t complain then did we?”
Karen Parker Kirtley took to social media to reveal that: “I work in a school, and before this I’d moan ‘eee are the kids off again’.
“But when you see the kids coming to the end of term and how tired they get then I agree they get the correct amount of holidays.
“I would split the six weeks and give them one week of it over Christmas. As a mother of three myself, I know how expensive days out can be but there’s a lot of free things to do.
“Pack a picnic, there’s beautiful coastline and parks to explore. Like when we were kids; a bat and ball, a football, hours of fun on a beach or grass.
“I think today people think they need technology and money for a good day out, go back to basics, kids love it.”
Joanne Welsh points out: “They get the same amount now as we did when we were children” while Danielle Currer says: “I personally think they get too long off in the summer and not enough time off at Christmas. I think it should be four weeks summer holidays and four weeks Christmas holidays.”
Sandi Bastholm was of a similar view: “Maybe three weeks in summer and three in winter.”
Evelyn Dawson took to Facebook to state: “The school holidays haven’t changed, it’s the parents working hours that have changed” while Angela Harrison comments: “Children (regardless of age) need these regular breaks. Teachers are not baby-sitters and they work most of the school holidays too!”
How did you used to spend your school holidays?