Queuing up for free mince in South Shields

Back in February 1991, one of the Gazette’s photographers was out and about snapping South Shields pensioners as they queued up for free tins of mince.

By Peter French
Friday, 5th April 2019, 9:47 am
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 9:49 am
Pensioners queuing up for free mince in February 1991.
Pensioners queuing up for free mince in February 1991.

If memory serves me right, it was one of a number of ‘giveaways’ aimed at reducing food surpluses and, at the same time, helping OAPs.

Reader Peter Watt was of the same mind.

Staff at the new NEEB showrooms in King Street, South Shields, waiting to greet customers in 1970.

Taking to social media, where the photo appeared on the Gazette’s Facebook page, Peter wrote: I think it was EU stockpile they were getting rid of, I remember my nana getting tins of it; it was nice.”

Stanley Stoker also suggested that the hand out was the result of an “EU mountain” with John Hallz saying: “Yep that was when they gave away stuff they produced too much of, now they burn it or feed it to pigs rather than affect the profits.”

Bernie Collins said: “My dad used to help to give it out, along with butter. Along with the SVP” while Lynn Henderson posted: “Churches used to hand it out, tins of mince steak and butter.”

Tricia Vickers made mention of the fact that she believed the location of the photo “looks like St Aloysius in Hebburn” while Graeme Ford spoke of “tins of steak being handed out in Hebburn, along with packs of butter”.

Finalists in the Black Prince talent contest pictured in April 1995 .

Nicholas Moyse reminded Gillian Moyse that she “remembers nanna Greensmith getting these” and Jenny Clements added that “they did butter too around that time. I received both pats of butter and tins of stewing beef”.

Meanwhile, a photo showing staff at the “new” NEEB showrooms in King Street, South Shields, waiting to greet customers in 1970, also generated a huge response.

Anne Newby said: “It used to be in Fowler Street before King Street” while Carole Shaw said: “I worked with all of them when the offices and showroom was in Fowler Street. I met my husband there 60 years ago ... happy days”.

Dorothy Welsh took to social media to say: “I used to go to pay the electricity bill, also bought a cooker and washing machine. My husband was an electrician there.”

Another former customer is Sue Burnet who recalled how: “I got my first fridge from there.”

Thousands of you also took to Facebook to comment about a photo showing the finalists of the Black Prince pub’s talent contest, back in April 1995: did you take part?

Crowds line the Groyne in 1970 to watch the departure of the Esso Northumbria; were you one of them? Did you or someone you know work on the ship?

Audrey Sanderson I was there with my 2 daughters. We were wrapped up well because it was freezing.

Stella Todd Remember that. The man who launched it came north and his chauffuer stayed with my family

Anthony Brew If i remember it was only single hulled not good in an oil tanker. Only lasted 12 years when it was scrapped due to the fear of a oil spillage if the hull broke up.

Paul Clark I was there and have cine/ video footage of it. My dad took it.

Kenneth Wood Yes was there .

Anthony Brew Yes remember it well as a 7 year old.

Dorothy Welsh Yes and it we really cold

Helen Harker My husband was a mechanic on this ship, but later on in it’s life.