Pub’s music event could be first of many, despite objections

SINGING THE BLUES ... Jim Douthwaite isn't happy about a music event at The Rattler pub.
SINGING THE BLUES ... Jim Douthwaite isn't happy about a music event at The Rattler pub.

A MUSIC event which has raised the hackles of caravan owners on South Shields seafront will take place this weekend – as councillors consider an application for more live shows.

Members of the council’s licensing sub-committee met yesterday to consider an application from Steve Ski, manager of The Rattler pub, for a premises licence to stage up to six events in a marquee at the venue’s car park between now and the end of October.

It followed representations from people living a short distance away at Sandhaven Caravan Park, who raised concerns at the potential for late-night noise and disturbance as a result of the application.

A petition against the plan, signed by 60 residents, was submitted to the committee, which decided to delay a decision until next Tuesday to consider all the factors involved.

But this Sunday’s Retro Radio Indie Festival, featuring tribute bands The Smiths Ltd and The Complete Stone Roses, as well as Tom Hingley, former frontman of The Inspiral Carpets, will go ahead regardless on a separate licence.

If agreed next week, the additional licence would cover such activities as boxing and wrestling bouts, live plays and film screenings until 10.30pm.

Mr Ski said the venue has been approached by a number of organisations about putting on events because of its attractive seafront location.

Coun Alex Donaldson said: “Events are going to be noisy, you can’t avoid noise. But have you given consideration to these times?

“In the caravans and chalets there are young people, and elderly people, there are children in the vicinity. The area is unlikely to be cleared until 11.30pm.”

Mr Ski said door security would be in place and that shows will end at 10.30pm, adding: “The sound will be controlled through the sound engineer and I don’t consider 10.30pm to be overly late. It is in line with other events in the area.”

Lead petitioner Jim Douthwaite, 70, a retired chief engineer in the Merchant Navy, who lives 25 metres from The Rattler, said noise from seafront music events is an issue for people on the site.

“It is as if you are in a car being driven along the road with the windows down, the music turned up, and all you can hear is thump, thump, thump.

“We have to take the ornaments down from the mantlepiece in our caravan, and this goes on for hour after hour.

“This event won’t end at half past ten, you have the slamming of car doors, you have people shouting and screaming. The disturbance is not acceptable.

“I am all for the working men’s and social clubs, but they are brick buildings. When I was at the Whiteleas Social Club you couldn’t hear a pin drop – because it was designed for that.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul