When James Bond caught up on his Shields Gazette headlines

Actor Roger Moore, the new James Bond, reading the Gazette during a break in filming the latest film, Live and Let Die in 1973.
Actor Roger Moore, the new James Bond, reading the Gazette during a break in filming the latest film, Live and Let Die in 1973.

Look closely at today’s wonderful photo and you will see that former Saint (Simon Templar) and James Bond star Roger Moore is happily flicking through the pages of the Shields Gazette.

It was taken in August 1973, when the star was enjoying a well-earned break during the filming of the latest 007 movie, Live and Let Die.

Winston Churchill leaving the Civic Hall with Mrs. Churchill in 1945.

Winston Churchill leaving the Civic Hall with Mrs. Churchill in 1945.

When posted online, the photo prompted the question as to why the debonair actor would have been reading a daily newspaper from the North East?

Well, don’t tell anyone, but similar pictures appeared at the time, showing Mr Moore reading other local titles, including the Hartlepool Mail – part of a publicity initiative that certainly got readers talking.

Meanwhile, today marks the birthday of a man voted recently as the “greatest Britain of all time” – Sir Winston Churchill.

Born at Blenheim, in Oxfordshire, in 1874, Churchill is best remembered as the Prime Minister who led Britain through much of the war against Germany.

Through his “bulldog” spirit and rousing rhetoric, he helped the Allies defeat Hitler’s Axis powers, and free the world from Nazi tyranny.

Despite being a controversial and, among some, a disliked member of the aristocracy, Churchill remains an enigmatic character who helped to shape the destiny of this country of ours.

So I was delighted to take up an invitation to visit Blenheim Palace (a World Heritage site), during a recent visit south. And what a fascinating place it is too.

Set in extensive grounds, the palace is a treasure trove of historical artefacts and artworks that offer visitors a glimpse of the wealth and privilege of the landed classes.

For anyone interested in the past, or simply curious about the Churchill/Spencer family, there are exhibitions aplenty to educate and enjoy.

So if you’re planning a trip to Oxford or nearby, make sure you spend a day at Blenheim, it really is worth a visit.

A week ago today, we featured a photo, taken in March 1964, showing crowds awaiting the arrival of the Duke of Edinburgh at the South Shields Marine and Technical College.

As a result, Tim Hudson got in touch to say: “I was in the new gym at the Marine School in 1964 when the Duke came in and looked around.

“I was just completing an engineer apprenticeship with a British shipping company. If I remember correctly the new planetarium was installed and opened about this time.

“Also, I remember well, in early 60s, the building and opening of the Red Duster and White Ensign pubs, both Newcastle houses.

“The first pint was free so many students took advantage. The White Ensign, of course, was where the buses turned around at Ridgeway as that’s where King George Road ended.”

Please get in touch with your memories; they can be of anything at all.

You can write to me, email me on peter.french@jpimedia.co.uk or phone me on 0191 501 7476.