Thursday, November 30, 2006

Autumn in the park

picture of band stand, West Park, South Shields

West Park

Glorious swathe of autumn colours as leaves surround the Edwardian band stand in the West Park, South Shields.



Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The other pond

picture of Whitburn village pond, South Tyneside

Whitburn Village

Back in October I posted a picture of the village pond in Cleadon, and mentioned the fact that we only have two village ponds in South Tyneside. This is the other one in Whitburn.

Oddly, I found no ducks at either!



Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Watching the Tyne go by

picture of Dolly Peel statue, South Shields

Dolly Peel

This is the statue to commemorate Dolly Peel (1783 - 1857), she stands guard on the old ballast hills on River Drive, South Shields. She was known as a fish wife, but was also a smuggler, poet and story teller and served in the Napoleonic wars. She lived in Shadwell Street in South Shields and on numerous occasions hid her husband from press gangs. She was a great favourite of Robert Ingham, the town's first MP.
Billy Gofton was the sculpture and the statue was unveiled in 1987.



Monday, November 27, 2006

The train now arriving..............

picture of train, South Shields Metro Station

South Shields Metro Station

A rather dismal and damp scene at the Metro Station on Sunday as a few shoppers come to town, they weren't keen on standing in the rain. I found out yesterday that the day after Thanksgiving in the USA is known as Black Friday, a day when retailers traditionally go into the black (financially). This is because it is a HUGE shopping day, the first shopping day of the Christmas season, I wonder if we should have an "official" first day of the season here?



Sunday, November 26, 2006

After the match!

picture of Curly, South Shields Snooker Centre

Self portrait (ish)

After a long hard week in the Corner Shop, I decided to relax by going to South Shields Snooker Centre to watch my favourite football team (Sunderland) playing an away match at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The match was broadcast live via satellite and quite a few of us were there to generate a little atmosphere. Of course, we enjoyed a few pints of beer as well. My father took the photograph.



Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pan the messenger

picture, detail from South Shields Town Hall

South Shields Town Hall

This statue of Pan (the messenger) stands above his copper domed cupola directly above the Council debating chamber at South Shields Town Hall. Full meetings of South Tyneside District Council take place here every six weeks. We have 54 councillors representing 18 wards across two Parliamentary Constituencies (South Shields and Jarrow.) The chamber is one of the most ornate in the North of England with hand carved oak paneled walls, leather upholstered oak seating, and stained glass windows, and a canopied raised dais for the Mayor, who chairs the meetings.



Friday, November 24, 2006

The Lake

picture of lake, Hardiwick Hall, Sedgefield, County Durham

A peaceful country park

This is the lake at Hardiwick Hall Country Park just outside of Sedgefield, County Durham. There is a large stately house there and the park is filled with "follies" (fake ruined castles etc.) It's a great place to take the children, both in summer and winter with lots of adventure trails and playgrounds, there is also good provision of tables and chairs for a picnic.
Less than fourty minutes drive away too!



Thursday, November 23, 2006

The car park

picture of  sea Way car park, southshields, flooded

No cars today!

One of the problems with having a car park so close to the beach occurs in winter, North winds, driving rain, and high tides combine to cause this flooding. This view across the car park looks towards the South Pier and the Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House. It was taken late afternoon as the sun was setting, creating these wonderful warm colours.

You can read more about this car park in Curly's Corner Shop, the blog!



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bloomin' Bob

picture of flower seller, South Shields Market Place

Flower seller.

This chap is very popular in the Market Place at weekends and on Mondays. He sells barrow loads of flowers to passers by.



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Artwork Door

picture of South Tyneside Arts Studio door, South Shields

Colourful door.

This is the entrance door for South Tyneside Arts Studio in Beach Road, South Shields, pretty colourful huh?

They are moving soon to a new building, hope they decorate it just as well as the old one. The current building used to be South Shields' only Synagogue.



Monday, November 20, 2006

Sky Car

picture of smart car, south shields market place

Smart Car

I was rather amused to see this advertising stunt in South Shields Market Place. No doubt some of you will have seen these tiny little plastic coated "Smart" cars, but did they have this much "In Car Entertainment"?
It was complete with a plasma screen T.V. in the back, sub-woofer and associated speakers in the front and a sattelite dish on the top!



Sunday, November 19, 2006

Rocks and sky

picture of rocks, Graham's Sands, South Shields

Graham Sands.

Here's a complete change of scenery for today, a picture taken from Graham Sands, South Shields, situated just behind Trow Rocks and looking north towards Tynemouth. The weather was relatively bright but with a sharp biting breeze, winter is definately on the way!



Saturday, November 18, 2006

Catherine Cookson

picture of Catherine Cookson exhibit, South Shields Museum

Dame Catherine Cookson (1906 - 1998)

Catherine Cookson, the world renowned authoress, was born in Leam Lane, South Shields and wrote over 100 books which sold over 120 million copies and were translated into at least 20 languages. You can read more about her - here

This is a picture of a Catherine Cookson exhibit in South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, it is a reconstruction of the small terraced house in William Black Street, Jarrow where she lived in around 1912. You will note that there is provision for cooking, eating, and sleeping, all in the one room!



Friday, November 17, 2006

Abide With Me

picture of salvation army musician

Salvation Army

The band of the Salvation Army Citadel in Wawn Street, South Shields, provided the music for the hymns. If you look really close you might find a picture of me in this cornet!



Thursday, November 16, 2006

Old Soldiers Never Die

picture of war veteran, remembrance sunday, south shields


This old campaigner looks lost in thought during the service at the Cenotaph, Westoe, South Shields. The service was conducted by the Revd. Paul Kennedy, Vicar of St. Michael and all Angels, Westoe.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Mayoress

picture of Alice Malcolm, Mayoress of South Tyneside

Alice Malcolm

Alice is the Mayoress of South Tyneside, her son Ed is the Mayor, the two led the Borough's tributes to our war dead on Remembrance Sunday.



Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Old Sea Dog

picture of merchant seaman remembrance sunday

Merchant Seaman

We must remember that many lives were lost in wars, and amongst them were many merchant seamen in the convoys that kept Europe supplied. This veteran, Ken Elsy, wears his medals with pride.



Monday, November 13, 2006

Pipes and Drums

South Tyneside Pipe and Drum band

Remembrance Sunday

Last week I featured a series of pictures from Jarrow, South Tyneside. I started this week on the theme of the Armistice and Remembrance Sunday and I will continue to present a series of pictures from the event all this week, partially because of the importance of the event, and partially because I'm pleased with the quality of some of the pictures.

This is the South Tyneside Pipe and Drum band leading the parade up the incline of Westoe Road, South Shields towards the Cenotaph.



Sunday, November 12, 2006

Field of dreams.

picture of a field of poppies

Remembrance Sunday

Today in the U.K. we celebrate Remembrance Sunday, the closest day to the Armistice of 11.11.1918. A day to recall the sacrifices of our young men and women who gave their lives in the defence of our freedoms and liberty. This may not have been only in the two great wars fought mainly on European soil, but also elsewhere, and additionally in the major conflicts since 1945. The Suez crisis, Korea, the Falklands campaign, Northern Ireland, the former Yugoslavia, and more recently the two Gulf wars, as well as other regional conflicts around the world. We stand in silence for two minutes at 11.00 a.m. to contemplate their deeds, their sacrifice, and our loss.

We do not send our young men and women into battle zones lightly, we do it because, as a nation, we believe strongly in the value and correctness of the action, history will be the guiding judge of how right or wrong our decisions were. However, those who chose to pursue a career in the armed forces, and merchant navy did so of a noble intention, for Queen and country, none went looking for valour or heroics, just to do a job to the best of their ability in the belief that they were acting of the highest intentions.

We use a poppy now as the symbolic representation of the flowering youth who gave their lives that we may enjoy freedom of thought, expression, and liberty, without the threat of tyranny and oppression. A reminder that history has many lessons to teach us, if only we have the will to learn.

These poppies were photographed in a field near Malton in North Yorkshire. I think that the picture shows a representation of hope in the future.



Saturday, November 11, 2006

Red and Blue

picture of red boat on river tyne

"Star of Hope"

This little red boat is named Star of Hope and I found her moored along with a few others near the bank of the River Tyne close to the riverside park in Jarrow.
(The Ektachrome transparency was created with Photoshop.)



Friday, November 10, 2006

Yellow and blue

picture of yellow berries on tree

Autumn berries

Yes, we are now moving towards wintertime as these autumn berries on a tree in Jarrow's riverside park contrast strongly against the blue of a clear sky.



Thursday, November 09, 2006

Charles Mark Palmer

picture of statue to Charles Mark Palmer, Jarrow.

Jarrow's great benefactor

Charles Mark Palmer was born in South Shields and went on to become a merchant, a shipowner, shipbuilder, and social benefactor to the people of Jarrow. He became their first Mayor and Member of Parliament, and was responsible, also, for the building of two hospitals. You can see a detailed account of his life's work - here

This statue to Palmer is erected in Jarrow's riverside park and continues a small series of Jarrow pictures started yesterday.



Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ancient and Modern

picture of air vent, tyne tunnel, jarrow

Tyne Tunnel ventilation shaft

A reproduction gas lamp stands sentinel in front of the air ventilation shaft for the Tyne Tunnel in Jarrow. Ventilation is essential to clear away the exhaust fumes from the thousands of cars and lorries who use the tunnel every day.
The Tyne Tunnel carries the A19 trunk road deep under the bed of the River Tyne and motorists pay a toll at the North end for passing through, you can view the tunnel's webcams - here
This is the start of a small series of pictures taken in Jarrow.



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Have you got the time?

picture of clock at Manhattans, South Shields

Manhattans, Mile End Road.

This public house opposite the Scotia and a few yards up Mile End Road, used to be called The Sportsman's Bar, and the clock outside is a relic of the latter. I think they liked it so much they decided to keep it. Comes in handy when the bar staff have to call:

"Time ladies and gentlemen please!"



Monday, November 06, 2006

Guy Fawkes Night

picture of fireworks, south shields, beach

The big beach party!

South Shields staged it's annual Guy Fawkes Night fireworks extravaganza last night when thousands turned up to watch a pyrotechnics show on the beach. Set on the dunes behind the Sundial public house and with free car parking along the sea front virtually half of the town arrived. Needless to say, getting away was a huge problem!



Sunday, November 05, 2006

"The Lights"

picture of The Scotia Hotel, South Shields

The Scotia.

This public house has stood in this location for many years and is a traditional Geordie pub, selling a variety of ales, wines, and spirits. Why have I titled this post "The Lights" you may ask?
Well, many years ago when we used to allow cars, and buses to drive through the town centre, this was an important cross roads, right in the centre of town. Mile End Road, Ocean Road, King Street, and Fowler Street all meet here, and we had traffic lights at this point to control the flow of traffic. It was a popular place for pedestrians to meet each other, and to this day, if we want to meet someone down town we will say:

"Meet you at the lights!"



Saturday, November 04, 2006

Twin pieces

picture of naval guns, the Lawe, South Shields

Naval guns (part ll)

This is another picture of the two guns mounted on The Lawe, South Shields. In the distance we can see Knott's Flats in Tynemouth.



Friday, November 03, 2006



Naval gun.

This gun is mounted on the Lawe, South Shields, and is one of a pair looking out over the Mouth of the Tyne. They were not put there as defensive pieces but were mounted as 'prizes'. I went there today to refresh my memory about how these naval guns arrived in South Shields. There used to be a plaque describing their history, but sadly, it is no longer there. They were either captured in battle, or salvaged from a wrecked ship that floundered at the mouth of the Tyne.
I'm sorry but I can't remember the history of them.



Thursday, November 02, 2006

Water works

picture of Cleadon water tower, South Shields

Cleadon tower.

Although we are in an urban environment we still have a small smattering of farms and agriculture here. This farmer's field on the southern boundary falls from Cleadon Hills where there was an old water works, the former pumping station was housed in the tower in the distance.



Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hallow'een in South Shields

picture of scream mask, Hallow'een 2006

Hallow'een, breaking the rules!

It is only in the last two or three years that we have, in this country, followed some of the American traditions associated with this festival. It seems, that it is no longer celebrated as the Christian Feast of All Hallows, but has become yet another 'commercial opportunity'. Pumpkins have only recently been used to make lanterns with, in the past we always used turnips (or 'snadgies' as we called them). Trick or treat is now the norm with hosts of children, supervised in most cases by parents, trawling the streets knocking on doors in the hope of collecting masses of sweets and confectionery (candy). Personally, I'm beginning to think it makes for lots of greedy little gluttons.

I'm breaking the rules today to show you a small collection of images of how yesterday evening went in South Shields, - and to show off my prowess at carving a pumpkin! Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.


My Photo
Location: South Shields, Tyne Wear, United Kingdom

Born in 1956, I'm a retailer, father and husband, with two young children a son born in 1997 and a daughter in 2001. I am also a former borough Councillor who has had his passion for people and politics reawakened recently.