Happy 170th birthday to the Shields Gazette: South Tyneside’s newspaper looks back on covering events across three centuries

Two world wars, the Jarrow March and the loss of our mining and shipbuilding industry, your triumphs, your tears – the Gazette has been there to cover it all.

We have charted the triumphs and downfalls of the borough across three separate centuries.

Tomorrow marks our 170th anniversary and scores of readers, community figures and stars, have been sharing their well wishes, gratitude and memories.

Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields said: “In times where we can access media 24 hours a day from around the world, there is still something special about being able to pick up a local newspaper to catch up with what’s happening to people we actually know and in the place where we live.

“In some ways it’s really the original ‘social media’. The Gazette also helps me to get important messages out to my constituents, especially those who do not have access to the internet. Happy Birthday to the Shields Gazette.”

Joe McElderry.

Stephen Hepburn MP for Jarrow said: “I can remember the Gazette growing up as a young lad, and as MP I know we are lucky to have such a strong local newspaper, championing all that is great about South Tyneside and our area.

“Celebrating 170 years is a wonderful achievement and I hope it’s around for many more years to come!”

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson said: “Congratulations to the Shields Gazette on this milestone anniversary.

“Though the newspaper industry has undergone much change over recent years, the Shields Gazette remains right at the heart of the South Tyneside community, playing a vital role in informing local people about issues that affect their everyday lives and campaigning on the things that matter most to South Tyneside.

Chris and Sarah Cookson

“It also does a wonderful job in recognising the true heroes in our communities – celebrating the simple acts of kindness that contribute to the borough’s strong community spirit through the ‘Best of South Tyneside Awards’ and supporting good causes and local groups.

“Each year, we can count on the Gazette’s support to help showcase the great work going on across South Tyneside and to spread the word about key achievements. Long may it continue.”

X Factor winner, popstar and star of the stage, Joe McElderry from Westoe, South Shields, said: “Happy 170th birthday to the Gazette. It has always been such a wonderful support to me – way before I started professionally – and has carried on to do so through out my career!

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck

“Local news is such an important part of community spirit and is one of the many reasons why my home town is such a strong community.”

Ray Spencer MBE, executive director of the Customs House in South Shields, said: “In a world of so much change, constants are so important.

“For 170 years the Gazette has been that constant for the people of South Shields and beyond, independently reporting, reviewing campaigning and challenging.

“It’s there to celebrate our community’s triumphs and successes and in times of sadness be the conduit for our collective grief. It acts as community champion giving voice to those who could go in heard.”

Sarah Cookson, who founded a charity in her sons Charlie and Carter’s memories, says she has turned to the Gazette many times over the years and knows just how kind our readers are.

She said: “The Shields Gazette has played such an important part in our lives.

Stephen Hepburn MP.

“We know the reporters will continue to support us as we try our best to carry on, raising awareness of the newly named charity The Charlie & Carter Foundation.

“The paper has always been very supportive of the pleas we announced for our Charlie, his foundation and more recently his little brother Carter, who heartbreakingly lost his battle to find a heart last month”

Deborah Roberts, co-founder of Cancer Connection in Harton Lane, South Shields, said: “It’s been absolute privilege to work with the Gazette’s reporters and photographers over the years. They have all been so supportive of what Cancer Connections is all about.

“We wish the Gazette every success for the future and hope it continues to play such a vital part in the community.”

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer