Man behind South Shields’ first nightclub awarded theatre honour

Sandford Goudie with and South Tyneside Mayor coun Ken Stephenson.
Sandford Goudie with and South Tyneside Mayor coun Ken Stephenson.

The man who opened South Shields’ first night club is taking centre stage after being honoured for his support for the arts in the borough.

Sandford Goudie, who opened La Strada nightclub in the 1960s, has been recognised as an Honorary Fellow by The Customs House, South Shields.

La Strada nightclub 'in 1962.

La Strada nightclub 'in 1962.

His venture was responsible for attracting some of the biggest stars of the time to the region.

The Honorary Fellows Award is bestowed on people who are from or have been associated with South Tyneside, who have gone on to make a significant contribution to the development of arts and entertainment locally, nationally and internationally.

Mr Goudie, from South Shields, has been awarded a Corporate Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his support for the cultural and economic vibrancy of the borough of South Shields.

As his business interests developed, he opened several manufacturing companies, most notably Be Modern and Academy Craft.

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer

Since his semi-retirement, Mr Gouldie has supported several good causes including Mission to Seafarers.

He has also funded The Customs House Gallery, and was a keen member of the South Shields Amateur Operatic Society for many years.

Mr Gouldie was responsible for founding South Shields Juniors in order to give a platform to young people hoping to have a professional career in the performing arts.

He said: “I’m delighted to accept this great honour from The Customs House, which is at the heart of the community of South Shields.

“My business interests have allowed me to travel all over the world, but I really would not wish to put down roots anywhere other than my hometown.

“I’ve built up many friendships over the years, and have so many happy memories entwined with the area I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else – we are in a very nice part of the world.”

South Shields born actor George Irving was also welcomed into The Academy.

Ray Spencer MBE, executive director of The Customs House, said: “I am very pleased that we are able to recognise the talents of two more people who were born in South Tyneside, both of whom I have admired for such a long time.

“It was fantastic to be able to invite Sandford and George to join our already illustrious role call of Honorary Fellows.

“They are indeed extremely worthy additions to the fold, and I’m very happy they agreed to come on board.”