Recalling parking row in South Shields park

They’re like number seven buses; you wait for one, then two turn up at the very same time.
Cars parked in the middle of West Park, South Shields in  July 1969.Cars parked in the middle of West Park, South Shields in  July 1969.
Cars parked in the middle of West Park, South Shields in July 1969.

So seems to be the case with bank holiday Mondays.

For hot on the heels of the Easter Monday break, comes next week’s early Spring Bank Holiday.

Not that we’re complaining, of course, especially if we’re blessed with the sort of warming sunshine that made Easter-time so enjoyable.

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And if that is the case, then South Tyneside’s parks are sure to be a magnet for families and fun-lovers keen to get out in the fresh air.

Mind you, back in 1969, the green oasis of the town’s West Park, was being threatened by the number of cars and bikes being parked on the grass.

According to the Gazette of the day ”visitors to the park and bowlers using the greens, are casually driving along the pedestrian paths to park their cars and motorcycles”.

The writer of the article went on to say: “I’ve always been under the impression that the parks existed at least partly to let us escape the mechanised world of the motor car.

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“If no parking rules exits (and they should) it is time someone enforced them before West Park tranquillity is lost for good.”

Presumably the matter was settled amicably.

Controversy aside, readers were quick to comment on the photo that (unbeknown to them) accompanied the original article and appeared more recently on the Gazette’s Facebook page.

Barry Feetham said the photo was taken “just before I started working in the West Park in 1974.

“Great job, plenty of flower beds about, then also a crest which nearly all parks had.

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“Four bowling greens in the park then which got cut three times a week.

“Westoe, West Park, Brinkburn and Ashley were the names of the bowling greens.

“I think the clubs pay to have their greens cut. You can just see the top of the old caff on the right opposite the tennis courts where you could buy ice cream etc years ago. Also a putting green off West Way, up the steps.”

Other readers also commented on a recent article about bus trips.

Eileen Jackson posted: “My mam used to organise day trips for our street to Saltwell Park I’ve got a couple of Gazette photos taken at the time.”