Striking a chord thanks to South Shields band

We certainly hit the right note with readers when we featured a photo on Facebook of Redwell Comprehensive School Brass/Wind Band.
The Redwell Comprehensive School Brass/Wind Band.The Redwell Comprehensive School Brass/Wind Band.
The Redwell Comprehensive School Brass/Wind Band.

The photo was taken in 1985 to mark the school’s success in the Wansbeck Music Festival in March of that year.

The school not only won the 18 and under competition (Butterworth Cup) and the 15 and under contest (Hollon Trophy), they also came away with the 13 and under competition (the St Mark Cup).

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The picture prompted Irene Todd to post: “I have incredibly happy memories of my five years in the band. Life-long friendships were made. Winning the Wansbeck Music Festival a few years in a row and a trip to France. Happy times.”

Graham Walton said: “Redwell always had a good band and produced some very good musicians. This photo was taken after my time. I played in the Redwell School Brass Band 1972-76. Happy memories.”

Moira Fletcher told how she was “Absolutely proud to be in the school band. Loved it. Happy memories.”

Liza Bannister joked: “Where did you get that picture from? My kids have just laughed at my style.”

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Beth Berry revealed how: “If I remember right I got wrong off Mr Chapman for not having the uniform on.”

Heather Scott replied, saying: “OMG, I don’t remember you getting told off! Those were the days lol”, prompting Beth Berry to add: “Yeah I had jeans on and had to put my white PE T-shirt on for the pic x.”

Heather came back, saying: “How on earth do you remember this stuff?”

There was a question too from Mark Steadman to Andrew Orr: “Were you on holiday the day they took this photo?”

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Sharon Yorston also took to social media to recall: “The days at Wansbeck and Christmas under the Metro bridge, not forgetting trip to Paris.”

Hew Chapster rightly pointed out that the photo related to “the Wansbeck Music Festival, we won the festival competition”.

He added: “Gillian – all those practices at home paid off! Check the headline out ‘award winning’. Show mam please – and pick me out.”

Tracy Davidson posted: “Happy memories” while Sharon Yorston adds: “OMG that brings back memories.”

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Paula Thorne also took to Facebook to say: “I was in the band, but I can’t see me”

Michelle Martin (was Dawson) said: “Fab! I loved being in the band!”, and Malcolm Daley revealed how: “I used to play the cornet at Redwell. Left 82.”

Karen Robson had a question for Glenn Rowe, asking: “Did you play your own trumpet?, while Mick Hearfield had one for Lee Leggett, wondering: “Is that you, top right corner mate?” The answer came from Sharon Yorston, who replied: “It is but, left.”

Meanwhile, Norman Dunn emailed me to tell readers about a project he thinks may be of interest to them.

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He said: “As you are interested in our local history I thought I’d let you see some South Shields slide-shows that I produced and put on YouTube.

“I thought that maybe your readers might be interested in seeing them as well.

“The first one came from a CD that I was given 11 years ago by Ian Glendenning, an ex South Shields policeman who retired to Northumberland.

“The clue to who the people are was a photo of a marble gravestone with the name ‘Hair’ on it.

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“Above it in smaller lettering was Emma Jane Gurr, died February 1919, aged 81.

“They must have been wealthy people as can be seen by the standard of living they had in the 1920s. The link to the slide-show is: available online at

A second slideshow of old South Shields is nearly five minutes long. Here is the link

The third slideshow is over six minutes long and the link to it is