Paying tribute to South Shields’ alternative historian

ALTERNATIVE ... Dave Walker as Erasmus Bottle.
ALTERNATIVE ... Dave Walker as Erasmus Bottle.

A TRIBUTE is to be paid later this year to a much-loved “alternative historian” who died last August at the age of 70.

Former BBC North East editor Dave Walker, who lived in Spohr Terrace, South Shields, created an alter-ego known as Erasmus Bottle.

Erasmus’s monologues, often performed at The Steamboat pub on the Mill Dam, shed comic light on events from the region’s past.

For each of his talks, Erasmus maintained that “all the facts are true – except for those that aren’t”.

His life and career is to be celebrated at the Wednesday Heritage Club in South Shields Central Library Theatre, on May 13, from 2pm.

Appropriately, it will be his cousin, Alan Walker, of Sunderland Road, South Shields, who will be passing on his memories of a “lovely, honourable gentleman”.

Mr Walker, speaking of his cousin after his death, said: “He created this alter ego of Erasmus, the broad Geordie with a scowl, but the reality was that David was the complete opposite of that.”

After being diagnosed with cancer, Mr Walker was treated in the borough’s district hospital, but fulfilled a final wish of dying at home – “in the bunker”.

Tickets for the talk are £1.

For more information call 424 7864.

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul