South Shields air cadets recall marathon march

Left to right: Wendy Miller, Michelle Monkhouse, Lisa Smith, Dawn Grundy, Margaret Gibson, Lisa Stephenson, Paula Monkhouse and Lisa Dale.
Left to right: Wendy Miller, Michelle Monkhouse, Lisa Smith, Dawn Grundy, Margaret Gibson, Lisa Stephenson, Paula Monkhouse and Lisa Dale.

Completing a 100-mile hike is no mean feat, so no wonder the members of the South Shields Girls’ Volunteer Corps (Air Cadets) were awarded medals when they did just that following a four-day march at Nimejen, Holland, in July 1988.

Pictured in the Gazette not long afterwards were, left to right: Wendy Miller, Michelle Monkhouse, Lisa Smith, Dawn Grundy, Margaret Gibson, Lisa Stephenson, Paula Monkhouse and Lisa Dale.

The 4th Jarrow St Peter's Church Cub Scouts' trophy-winning football team in June 1981. Do you recognise them?

The 4th Jarrow St Peter's Church Cub Scouts' trophy-winning football team in June 1981. Do you recognise them?

The appearance of the photo on social media brought back lots of memories for readers.

Lisa Tooley told how the march was “bloody hard work ... met some fab people ... great memories” while Mags Gibson said “it was hard work but good fun!”

Emma Davis-Burlison said: “One of my favourite photos. My nana and granda had it on their wall. My aunty was Lisa Stephenson and the rest of the girls are some of the nicest people you could meet – more like family.”

Lisa Foster posted: “RIP Lisa Smith and Lisa Stephenson. I trained for the march loads of weekends away, having so many laughs, but I never made the march unfortunately, happy memories” while Jo Rees “remembered Lisa Smith from my days in the GVC, lovely, lovely woman.

The Music Centre, in Frederick Street, pictured in August 1972. What are your memories?

The Music Centre, in Frederick Street, pictured in August 1972. What are your memories?

“When some of us were picked to travel to Sweden for an exchange trip, she designed T-shirts for us to wear.”

Alison Smith took to Facebook to say: “I’m Lisa Smith’s sister and remember all of the training that went into that weekend –it was really tough.

“Lisa used to harden her feet with surgical spirits so she didn’t get blisters! I was using the Body Shop’s peppermint foot lotion.

“We used to laugh about it, with me saying I knew which one smelled better!”

Wendy Macdonald posted; “We are looking good. This was one of the hardest, most challenging, most enjoyable and certainly the most memorable thing I’ve ever done!” while Margaret Garvock says: “All lovely girls, did brilliant on the march.”

324 South Shields Squadron ATC also got in touch to reveal: “Some of our cadets were on these marches last year and we have another four cadets trying out for this year.

“Four days at 25 miles, three quarter mph marching pace, not for the faint-hearted, but a very worthwhile experience.”