Your memories of seeing in the New Year at Chichester roundabout

A pedestrian dashes to cross the road at Chichester roundabout.
A pedestrian dashes to cross the road at Chichester roundabout.

This time a few days ago, many of you will have been busy getting ready to welcome in the New Year – whether at home or out and about.

But wherever you ended up, it would seem that going back to the past, there was only one place to be when the clock (cannon) struck midnight – Chichester roundabout.

That’s according to the many online readers who took to the Gazette’s Facebook page to talk about New Year’s Eve of old.

Agnes George took to social media to say: “Loved Chi roundabout at midnight. Loads of new year snogs. If we were lucky we’d be invited to a New Year’s Eve party. The walk home sobered us up. Happy days.”

Adriaan VandeLang talked about “South Shields in the 70s, Chi roundabout welcoming in the new year”, while Paul Taylor said simply: “Chi roundabout, legendary.”

Carol Olsen was also a “definite” fan of the location, saying how she recalled “people climbing the lamppost at Chi roundabout”, and Sandra Wilson remembering “all gathering at Chichester roundabout”.

Joanne Dry reflected how people “used to go from house to house in the street. Ending up back at the host’s house to play games. Doing or trying to play Twister when drunk was the best!”.

Steven Chippendale said: “We used to go through either Sunderland or Newcastle, but the public transport shuts down too early and there’s too many drink-drivers on the road. Once you get past 25, queueing two hours for a taxi at the end of the night just makes you wish you’d stayed in. Haven’t ventured out in a few years. We just drink in the house and have a little party for our kids now.”

Marian Brooks recalled the late 60s and “all the dads standing out in the street with the bits of coal waiting for the cannons to go off”, while Nigel Martin talked about “bringing a lump of coal in the house for good luck, does anyone still do that?”.

Meanwhile, music fans have been in touch following the photo spread we featured recently, showing a number of South Tyneside bands from over the years.

They included Official Secrets, New Rising, Athletes In Paris and The News.

The picture of The News rang bells for Colin Nicholson who kindly provided the names of those in the group.

He said they were: Dave Bunker, vocals; Tess Newman, bass; Martin Rooney, drums; Geordie Sanger, guitar and David Lawson, guitar.

Dave Wray also emailed to tell us of local group Kes.

“We rehearsed at the big YMCA in Fowler Street, great times.

“We played at different youth clubs then went on to clubs. We played with Bobby Thomson at the bus mans club one Sunday afternoon and we supported a band called Flintlock at the Gaumont cinema with the promise of getting noticed by someone – but they never turned up.

“Our times were good, wherever we went we got great feed back.

“Now I live in Yorkshire with my wife and son and grandson after being in a band called the Kickstarts and working the clubs and pubs and holiday camps with my wife as the duo Time After Time (spanning 30 years).”

What are your memories of Kes?