29 things that make you a Sanddancer

The Marine Park train.
The Marine Park train.

We’re a proud lot us Sanddancers!

Whichever part of South Tyneside you were raised in, chances are you were born in South Shields at South Tyneside District Hospital.

A rare Mam card.

A rare Mam card.

But what is it that makes us who we are? Here’s a list of 29 things we think qualifies us as Sanddancers.

1. Riding the Marine Park train until your parents were sick of their lives.

2. The exciting shopping trips to Geordie Jeans.

3. Having a proper hearty meal of a Dicksons saveloy dip – or just a saveloy on its own in the wrapper when you were a bairn – followed by a knickerbocker glory at Minchellas.

A typical day in the Bede's World life.

A typical day in the Bede's World life.

4. Going on a school trip to Bede’s World and dressing up like a monk.

5. Spending your weekends visiting Sandhaven Beach and running in the sea and building enough sandcastles to build up a big enough appetite to scoff Colmans fish and chips on the way home.

6. Either going shopping at Binns – or being told by your older relatives that King Street hasn’t been the same since Binns closed down.

7. Either yourself or one of your family members was there the day that THE Muhammad Ali came to town. And Jimi Hendrix playing at the Cellar Club.

A busy day at Sandhaven Beach.

A busy day at Sandhaven Beach.

8. That endless search for a card that says ‘Mam’ rather than ‘Mum’ on the lead-up to Mother’s Day.

9. Going to Caxtons or Riddicks for your back-to-school shoes.

10. The endless joy of the wave machine, aquablaster and the diving pool at Temple Park.

11. Getting your copy of football paper The Green on a Saturday night.

Muhammed Ali in South Shields.

Muhammed Ali in South Shields.

12. Queueing up at The Focus or The ABC for the latest cinematic release – apparently Star Wars and Grease both caused quite a stir.

13. The sense of pride on Great North Run day when the eyes of the world are on the town.

14. Cutting your voucher for cheap rides at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park out of the Gazette.

15. Going to see Tommy the Trumpeter’s seaside parties every summer, then following it up with a trip to the Customs House pantomime at Christmas.

16. Feeling a bit sad for the homeless man who stood at the top of Mill Dam waving at the ships.

17. Getting excited the first time you rode the ferry over to “The North Side”.

It was a sad day when Riddicks closed down.

It was a sad day when Riddicks closed down.

18. Trying every curry house on Ocean Road and arguing with your friends over which one is the best.

19. Getting dragged to that curtain shop in King Street by your mam or nanna, and never understanding why they found it so interesting.

20. Going to see the acts at Bents Park every summer.

21. Calling everyone ‘pet’.

22. Having your sausage roll or bacon butty nicked by a seagull.

23. Being terrified of the lift at the Marsden Grotto.

24. Always wondering why Ghandi’s Temple gets called Ghandi’s Temple – did Ghandi really ever go there?

25. Buying your football boots from Rippons Sports.

26. Using the word ‘proper’ to like, show how serious something is.

27. Using the word ‘like’ in almost every sentence.

28. Remembering when Bros played at Arbeia Roman Fort.

29. Being carted round Shields Market as a child, only to find yourself going there voluntarily as an adult to hunt for bargains.

Tommy the Trumpeter plaque unveiled at The Ampitheatre

Tommy the Trumpeter plaque unveiled at The Ampitheatre

May Bank holiday fun at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park.

May Bank holiday fun at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park.