I’m sometimes asked by readers to help track down an old photo of a family member or special occasion that was held here on South Tyneside.
However, one reader already has the picture in question – it’s just that it is in very poor condition.
In fact, the photo has been so badly damaged that it is difficult to make out the faces of all those photographed. And that is where you come in.
For Derek Hare is keen to get a “clean” version of the picture that includes his mam and dad.
Derek explains: “The photo I am trying to trace is the Westovians Dinner Dance, circa 1955. My mother, Jessie, is seated with a bouquet while my dad, Charles, is at her left shoulder.
“The young Angus McGill, later of the London Evening Standard, can be seen at back left.”
Despite owning the attached copy of the photo, Derek would really like to trace another that has stood the test of time better than his own.
“I’d be most grateful if you were able to assist with finding a good copy of the dinner dance photo,” added Derek, whose father was a prominent businessman.
“My father was the managing secretary of the Tyne Commercial Building Society from 1945. Their head office was in Grange Road West, Jarrow.
“He opened the Shields office, opposite the Town Hall, in around 1970. Later, of course, this became the North of England Building Society, before the spectre of Northern Rock loomed.”
As part of his appeal, Derek dug out some other pictures from his dad’s scrapbook, which I’ve included here.
“Apart from other Westovian picture, I’ve found one or two programmes, advertising such as Ann Shepherd, Milliners and Rippons, all names well known to Shields men and women. The programme for “And No Birds Sing” dates to 1949.
“Another for “Pretty Polly” was written by Heather McPhee, later Ging (my second cousin). She became a Tyne Tees producer.”
If you can help Derek with his quest, please give me a shout and I’ll pass on the details.
Meanwhile, I’ve been asked to let you know about an art exhibition which features the work of artist James Williamson Bell.
After briefly studying art at The Linskill School, in North Shields, Bell began his career in the shipyards from which he drew inspiration for his work.
The exhibition, which is being held at Gallagher & Turner, in 30 St Mary’s Place, Newcastle, runs until March 10.