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23 happy Christmas memories for 1980s kids in South Shields

Tea towels, tinsel halos and Baby Jeez-az - the hallmarks of a 1980s nativity play.
Tea towels, tinsel halos and Baby Jeez-az - the hallmarks of a 1980s nativity play.

Binns toy department, toilet roll angels and wearing a tea towel on your head - Christmas was a magical time in South Shields if you were born in the 1980s.

How many of these things can you remember?

1) Going to see Santa in Binns

2) Being able to get all your Christmas shopping in Shields

Binns toy department, T&G Allan, Woolworths, Geordie Jeans for your Christmas clothes - what more did you need?

3) Being dragged round all the butcher's shops to find the best deal on a turkey

Remember when we had all those little butcher's businesses in South Shields?

4) Being dragged round the market for the Christmas Dinner vegetables

5) Being dragged round Hintons or Presto for the rest of the festive groceries

6) Being treated to a hot chocolate in the Baker's Oven, Carrick's or the Old Smithy

7) The giant Christmas pudding-style truffles in Greggs

Those things were so heavy they could have knocked someone out

8) Wearing a tea towel on your head in the school nativity play

Or getting a bit of tinsel to go round your head if your hair was deemed golden enough to be an angel

9) Hearing about the Baby Jeez-az being laid in a man-ja in said nativity play

10) Making a toilet roll angel, cotton wool snowman or some other decoration for the Christmas tree at school

How many Shields mams are still putting these on the tree every year?

11) Getting a pack of Christmas cards for your class at school, and making sure your best friends got the nicest ones with the glitter on

12) The school Christmas card post box

And getting chuffed if you were chosen to be one of the deliverers

13) Going to see the fire brigade nativity scene outside Woolworths in King Street

Then putting a pound in the collection box, and getting a sweet

14) Waiting for the Marine Park lake to freeze over, smashing the ice with your foot, and getting a wet sock

15) Getting a sledge and and being fed up that there was never any snow

16) Being left with your grandparents or aunts and uncles when your mam and dad went to "see Santa"

17) Seeing the Salvation Army band in King Street

Or marching round your street on Christmas morning

18) If you were musical, performing in King Street yourself - or at old people's homes - with the school choir or orchestra

19) Being taken for a walk along the seafront or up the pier on Boxing Day

And maybe getting an ice cream from Minchella's even though it was cold

20) Taking a present in for your teacher - and toys and games on the last day of term

21) School Christmas parties where everyone had to bring something in

22) Giving your new bike (or other outside toy) a twirl in the front street

You just had to give it a spin, even though it was cold and there wasn't enough time to give it a proper go.

23) Being allowed to try a snowball or Babycham and feeling like a grown up