A MENTION of guns elsewhere on the page today reminded me of something I came across recently, being one of those rare occasions when a gun has been shot – officially – on the streets of Shields.
It happened just before the last war and the casualty was a monkey.
The animal had apparently been kept in an allotment near the seafront, from where it escaped one day and was reported as snarling at and frightening children on the Coast Road.
A man who tried to tackle it was attacked and his trousers torn.
The monkey then took off and was next seen climbing a drainpipe onto the roof of a house overlooking Horsley Hill football stadium.
A police fire tender was called but those manning it had to eventually give up trying to scale the 40ft-high roof to tackle the screaming (and obviously terrified) animal. Fearing for the safety of local children, a policeman eventually despatched it with a shot from a double-barrelled shotgun.
This may go back to the propensity of some seamen to bring monkeys back from their foreign travels, as a couple of years later, there were similar scenes when another monkey escaped in Ocean Road.