South Shields youngster’s Springboks protest

Carol Scarth pictured with her placard.
Carol Scarth pictured with her placard.

For years the apartheid system in South Africa was the subject of protests, particularly here in Britain.

And some of those protests and demonstrations against apartheid (a political policy in which people of different races are separated) took place here, in the North East.

Coal queen Rose McLachlan and husband Brian in Westoe Colliery in 1970.

Coal queen Rose McLachlan and husband Brian in Westoe Colliery in 1970.

One such demonstration occurred in Newcastle when the South African rugby team, the Springboks, were due to play a Northern Counties team at Gosforth in January 1970.

Interestingly enough, one of the youngest protestors on the day was from South Shields.

She was Carol Scarth, who was pictured in Gazette sister paper the Sunderland Echo holding a placard bearing the message: “One race, human race, end apartheid!”

What can readers tell us about Carol and her mission all those years ago to end apartheid?

Former South Shields police chief Bob Carruthers.

Former South Shields police chief Bob Carruthers.

As we know, apartheid legislation was abolished in the mid-1991, pending multiracial elections set for April 1994.

Did you take part in any of the anti-apartheid demonstrations or any other such protests, such as the ones at Greenham Common?

Meanwhile, another photo, which also appeared in the Echo in 1970, again had a South Shields link.

This time it involved a young couple who were pictured underground at Westoe Colliery.

The picture accompanied an article revealing that 24-year-old Rose McLachlan, of South Shields, had just been crowned Britain’s first national coal queen.

The article, which appeared in the Gazette’s sister paper, revealed that Rose was busy packing her bags for a dream holiday to East Africa.

The holiday, said the report, was the main prize Rose had won for taking the title in Skegness, the previous August, when she represented the Durham coalfield.

Rose is pictured with her husband Brian, a miner at Westoe Colliery, when she accompanied him down the pit.

There, she spent three hours underground after travelling two and half miles under the North Sea to the “fully-lighted” H1 face in the Maudlin seam.

What more can you add to the story?

It’s always good to receive feedback from readers regarding stories and pictures that have appeared in the page.

So thanks to Fred Dunmore, a retired police chief inspector, who got in touch following an appeal by Julia Brewis for information about her grandfather Robert Carruthers, a local police chief whose photo appeared in the Gazette in the 1960s.

Mr Dumore wrote: “With regard to the picture of Bob Carruthers in the Gazette, I served with Bob and was Sergeant when he retired.

“I am sorry to tell his grandaughter that he wasn’t Chief Superintendent but retired as Inspector Carruthers.

“The picture was standard when anyone was promoted and usually appeared in the Gazette.

“You can see his two ‘pips’ on his shoulder, which was inspector rank.

“Bob lived in Stanhope Road, opposite to the West Park.

“His favourite pastime was working on his allotment he had at Green Lane. He never lost his Scottish dialect and was a proud Scot.

“I hope this helps in some little way.”

It certainly does, and as ever it’s always good to hear from you all.