Unearthing a photo of Alice Street, taken in South Shields in 1965, got me thinking: “Have we lost the community spirit so many fondly remember from those days? Are neighbours what they used to be?”
I popped the questions on the Gazette’s Facebook page, and here are your thoughts.
Gloria Manning revealed how: “I was born and lived in 231 Alice Street, loved my childhood days. Us kids would play for hours in the lane,our mams would all stand with there, arms rolled in there pinnies, while having a good old chin-wag.
“Good old days, without a care in the world,such a shame our children of today are being brought up with all this war and hatred going on.”
But there was a different viewpoint from Elizabeth Thompson who explained that: “Our first home was an upstairs flat, number 90, in Alice Street, 1959. Stuart was born there on October 7, 1961, left January 1969 to live on Sutton Estate. Hated Alice Street, all back to back, no views.”
Kathleen McConvill took to Facebook to say: “My nanna McGurk and her sister (great) aunty Mary both lived in Alice Street. When they knocked it down, nanna went Darby Terrace.”
Valerie Halliday said: “Our first flat was 52 Alice Street, no water or electricity, we paid £25 to have electric put in,but we never did have water ... oh and the toilet was down the yard.”
Raymond Martin posted: “I was approximately 13 when we moved into Alice Street, always found it a good street” while Audrey Holmes said her first home was “221 Alice Street, Mrs Yardley lived upstairs to us, lovely lady x 1970.”
Kathleen Dawson (nee Wright) got in touch to say that she was born at number 219 Alice Street and moved in 2015 “when I got married”.
Audrey Holmes said: “My first home in 1970, Mrs Yardley lived upstairs. Outside loo in those days” while Michelle Gabriele revealed how: “I was born in that street, in 1960, slept in a drawer lol.”
There were more wonderful memories from Ann Rumney (nee Richardson) who said: “I was born at 238 Alice Street, and our first home when I married was 198, next door to the Gospel Temperance Church” while Derek Hardie told how he was “born at 269 Alice Street. My mam still lives in Alice Street.”
Another reader got in touch with her Alice Street memories.
“Mam and dad (Lawrenson) lived in Alice Street when they first got married for a year,” said Linda Trotter.
Alison Bolingbroke spoke of her time there, saying: “This was my first home and neighbours were lovely” while Norma Bolingbroke added: “I remember these days, happy times.”
Karen Stidolph took to Facebook to reveal how: “I lived at 261 Alice Street for five years, happy memories” while Tracy Miller told how: “I was born here in 1966, I think it was number 265.”
Rosemary Thompson said “our first flat was 269 47 years ago” and Sharon Dykes “lived at 151 Alice Street.”
The photo prompted Bridge Greystoke to state: “The street looked so clean! Love the curved shape of the bricks around the windows” something which also caught fellow reader Kevin Flett’s eye.
He posted: “Never seen windows like that, unusual for Shields flats.”
Other readers had questions for family and friends, Julie Charlesworth asking Karen Bracey: “Can you remember what number we lived at, was it 71?” while Janet Robinson quizzed Karen Cossar, wondering “didn’t you live here? Terry Moody, I have great neighbours. And they are very lucky to have me.” and Paul Greystoke posting: “Anyone know who lived at 157?”
Tessa Fox told how she was “living at 143 Alice Street in 1975” while Robert Hambling recalled: “They were happy days, had nowt.”
Brian Johnson said: “I was two at the time, how people change over time.”
Jessica Norton added: “Loved it (Alice Street) my nana lived there then.”
Jane Mary Robertson was eager to share her thoughts about the community spirit in present day Alice Street, saying: “I have lovely neighbours.”
Kenny Elliott took to social media to look back at days gone by, adding how: “I lived at 249 Alice Street, downstairs flat, with an outside toilet and tin bath #hardtimes.”
How do you rate the “good old days”?
Tracey Stephenson said: “Eeee I’ve got this photo too.
“I like to imagine my great aunts out in the street gossiping and scrubbing the step.”
Joyce Bouk got in touch with the Gazette to comment on times past, saying: “rarely does anybody go outside their doors to chat with neighbours anymore, shame really.”
Have we really lost that community spirit? Share your views with us.