Curly's Corner Shop, the blog!

South Shields premier political blog

Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Old friends

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Any sightings, please pass on to William Hague.

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Written by curly

August 24, 2011 at 6:20 am

Mr. Monkey found shock!

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Spotted in local supermarket

Oh no, don’t tell me it was South Shields MP David Miliband all along :-O

Yes, I know, childish humour NOT to be taken seriously, but it lightens the gloom a little as more bad news hits King Street.

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Written by curly

June 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Deputy Mayor speculation

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Who will South Tyneside’s new Deputy Mayor be?

I note that one commentator has picked up on my Tweet this morning about who our next Deputy Mayor will be , the installation will take place in South Shields Town Hall on 17th. May.

Traditionally the Deputy Mayor accedes to the chair the following year and becomes the borough’s first citizen, the thing is, so many of our councillors have already held this prestigious position, all amongst the ruling Labour group of course. This year’s Deputy, Cllr. Jim Sewell will become the Mayor for 2011-12  but councillors are busily considering who should be his Deputy.

One name that keeps cropping up is that of Whiteleas councillor Ernest Gibson, popularly known as “David Miliband’s spy in the camp”, now I don’t know if he is being seriously considered or if some folks are just talking up his chances for a laugh, I’ve also heard vibes that it could be one of the lady members perhaps a long standing Labour servant such as Alison Strike who has represented Boldon Colliery since 2002, or Anne Walsh who has served since 1996 with an eight year break (she would welcome the added publicity that the post provides in the year during her run up to an election). Front runners amongst the men include the popular Rob Dix (described as Iain Malcolm’s henchman by a commentator here) however I think his job might rule him out for the Mayorality in 2013, and Westoe councillor Allan West.

Of course all of these whispers and rumours may well end up being pretty wide of the mark, but sooner or later one name will break cover and be leaked from within the Labour group.

Shall we run a sweepstake?

Runners and riders in this thread please, no prizes, just for fun.

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Written by curly

May 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

The Tweets

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The Birdy Song

Sometimes you just cannot get a bad tune out of your head, can you?

I’ve been whistling this one most of the afternoon in South Shields today. (Not that I want to call attention to myself, you understand).

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Written by curly

April 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Does your email address express your personality?

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South Shields Labour candidate could perhaps have been a “Tiller Girl”

How does your email address sound and look to your friends? Must admit mine doesn’t exactly spark the imagination, and most other people just use their name(at)whoevertheispis(dot)com. However, every now and then one pops up that amuses, most of them are using Hotmail, Yahoomail, or Gmail and have some quirky link to their personality.

I recall that former Commons Speaker Betty Boothroyd used to be a dancing Tiller Girl, not sure how tall she is, and I wonder if a certain Labour candidate in South Shields for next month’s elections either knew her or had dancing or modelling ambitions of her own?

Joyce.longlegs(at)blahdeblah(dot)com conjures up all sorts of entertaining and strange thoughts.

Do you know anyone with a strange email address?

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Written by curly

April 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Flipping retailers!

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Pancake Race, South Shields

Come on folks, lend a hand!

The annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race took place in King Street, South Shields yesterday, always a laugh and it draws a half decent crowd as teams of four from retailers and South Shields businesses run a 100 yard dash along the town’s main shopping street in an effort to (a) win a small trophy, and (b) raise some pennies for a needy charity. The usual rules apply as the teams run in a relay fashion flipping their pancakes in their pans at the start line before being allowed to dash to the far end of the course, return and hand over to a team mate.

The event has been organised over the past few years by Mavis Maughan, the events co-ordinator at Asda in Coronation Street and this year included teams from the Shields Gazette, Specsavers, Slimming World, and Asda, however, (and here’s the rub) it seems that Mavis is having some trouble getting new participants, resulting in the same bunch of people taking part each year, and getting older it hurts the knees and hips. This is surprising because there are more than enough businesses in the town who could spare a team of four people for half an hour, perhaps some might even be persuaded to donate the half an hour on their day off!

It is a fun occasion and an opportunity to raise your business profile with the public, show your involvement with the community that you work in and make your profit from, and generally show that your organisation is a caring one when it comes to charitable fund raising. The sort of businesses that I have in mind that employ sufficient people to spare four might include the likes of Wilkinsons, Lidl, MacDonalds, Marks and Spencer, Greggs (who have four outlets in the town centre), M.I. Dickson, Superdrug, the Ocean Beach Fun Park, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Tesco, and a clutch of solicitor’s offices.

I find it pretty embarrassing that Mavis has approached some of these and been rebuffed, come on guys give it a second thought for next year, half an hour out of your working week is not going to cripple the business. There may be other ways in which you may be able to help the event without actually taking part in the race, for instance the printing of plenty of A4 posters to decorate shop windows in the week leading up to the race would help generate a larger crowd and a bigger footfall in King Street, I’m sure one of you could produce a poster on a PC and have it printed on your office laserjet printer!

So come on, give it some thought and get in touch with Mavis Maughan at Asda in Coronation Street, South Shields to offer your help for next year – please!

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Written by curly

March 9, 2011 at 9:47 am

William and Kate

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Prince William and Kate MiddletonEd Waugh’s satirical look at the Royal Wedding at The Customs House

Many think that the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29th will be one of those events not to be missed, I know that Mrs. Curly will be sat at home with the children watching the proceedings on television, the world will be agog as the signals are beamed from one satellite to another and hopefully there will be tremendous tourism and business spin-offs as a result of the wedding. Naturally, we all hope that there will be far greater success in the future for the couple and that the marriage will not suffer the bedevilments of William’s parents’ relationships.

However, and I accept this, for others the hype is just too much – already. Unlike myself, there is a sizeable minority who do not support our Royal family and cannot get themselves excited about the event, so for South Shields and South Tyneside people there is an another type of entertainment on offer. Veteran left wing South Shields playwrite Ed Waugh has penned a satirical script for your enjoyment based around Cinderella and it will be presented at The Customs House at Mill Dam, South Shields on the day of the Royal Wedding. Ed tells me:

We will be staging a script-in-hand read through of a play that highlights the problems the pantomime heroine Cinderella has after her marriage to Prince Charming.

Cinderella 2, which was written by myself, (Ed Waugh) and Trevor Wood – who previously killed off Margaret Thatcher in the hit play Maggie’s End – will be staged as a one-off acted read through in the Customs House community room on Royal Wedding Day, Friday, April 29.

Our back catalogue of plays include the international hits Dirty Dusting and Waiting For Gateaux, and we wrote Cinderella 2 after seeing a pantomime in which the put-upon Buttons has to stand back and watch as Cinderella, the love of his life, is swept off her feet by a wealthy prince. But the royal marriage isn’t a happy one and Cinderella turns to her best friend Buttons for help.

Gareth Hunter, who is producing and directing the show, explained: “As you can imagine, coming from the pens of Ed and Trevor it is very, very funny. It will offer light relief to the saturation coverage of the real royal wedding.

“The show will feature professional actors reading from the script and doing some moves. There will be very little set but lots of audience participation, so we want people to come along and have a great time.”

A similar read through of  our controversial play God Only Knows – about the teaching of creationism in state schools – attracted 110 people, so Gareth is urging anyone intending to come along to buy tickets as soon as possible as seating in the Customs House community room will be limited to around 100 people.

Cinderella 2 begins at 6.30pm. Tickets cost £4 (£3 concessions) and are available from the Customs House box office on (0191) 454 1234.

So there you are, if you are not a fan of “the Firm” there is an alternative to the day long television coverage for you.

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Written by curly

March 8, 2011 at 9:26 am

Andy Gray

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Andy Gray

“Offensive” Scot……

….Sacked by Sky Sports after failing to arrange to get his tongue tucked in (watch the video if you are in the UK).

Reported by the same BBC who hung on to the equally offensive Jonathan Ross for two years and even aired the even more offensive Russell Brand as recently as January 19th this year!

At a press conference about the offside laws Kenny Dalglish asked if it would be OK for a Scot to remain in the room, he also asked if any of his colleagues were uploading videos to YouTube, just to be on the safe side.

Curly thinks that MOTD would be much improved for half of South Shields’ footy fans if the equally balding Alan Shearer was replaced, along with the old groaners from Liverpool.

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Written by curly

January 26, 2011 at 6:59 am

Peoples’ Party to have new Leader!

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Ed Miliband

Younger brother leapfrogs over ambitious elder sibling

Full story here, (or is it here?)

Sorry folks, it’s the only piece of news to have excited me in the past few weeks, I guess it could get more exciting if Miliband Major makes a momentous decision which might lead to South Shields looking for a Member of Parliament with stronger local roots!

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Written by curly

September 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm

My first love

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maggie thatcherThe summer is here, so share your sunny secrets

Yes, it’s recess season, MPs, Meps, MSPs, AMs, councillors etc. all take a big break from spouting hot air and head for the hills, beaches, and the sunnier climates of the world to read a book, fulfil outside business interests,  or write their memoirs as they re-engage their first love – lucre! The rest of us can enjoy a political hiatus and witness South Tyneside’s Labour Council undergoing a chameleon like change as they rediscover their very own first love, a hatred of all things Conservative, spiced up with a little Liberal bating too. Having followed the right wing path described during the Blair/Brown years and forsaken all things socialist, they can now transform themselves into dogmatic lovers of political rivalry and proceed to cock a snook at measures proposed by the coalition government in Westminster, and so it comes to pass that choice in education and financial probity are the first topics to undergo a radical change in direction – it is all their fault, and we just love telling you that!

We all tend to try and return to our first loves, they were character forming events in our lives which gave us emotional direction and perhaps, not unnaturally, remain with us forever. We retain a fascination over what might have been, or question ourselves over where it all went wrong.

I’ve had an exciting life with a wonderful husband, wonderful children, wonderful grandchildren and wonderful great-grandchildren but every day I think of my first love; He was killed in the war. –   Mary, 1944

I messed my first love around and lost her. I saw her recently in Newcastle. She looked really happy. Three young children were calling her grandma. I was a fool! –   Martin, 1976

I met my first love at a school dance.  He proposed two years later and we’ve been happily married ever since. -Janet, 1981

I never forgot my first love. When my marriage ended I contacted her on Facebook. She’s single so I asked her out. She told me to stop living in the past. -  Roger, 1991

Curly’s first love was a girl called Denise (surname perhaps Miller), wonderful slim figure, full of life and happiness, playful and funny, with a smile that should have been used by Colgate. He last saw her clambering over the rock archway in South Shields’ North Marine Park, she was really everything that I wanted in the female species back then but I just didn’t have the “bottle” to tell her! I’d hate to think when that moment occurred, she was a fellow pupil, albeit in a different class, in Barnes Road junior school and we were both around seven or eight years old – never saw her again in my life after I passed the eleven plus and went to the Grammar School, that’s the way the cookie crumbles! I just hope she didn’t fall for a Newcastle supporter.

So what/who was your first love?

Bosses at The Customs House want you tell them, names, dates, places, experiences, thoughts and feelings.

The idea came about because of the forthcoming play called Good To Firm, which asks the question: Do you ever forget your first love?
Written by Tyneside playwrights Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, whose comedy hits include the international successes Dirty Dusting and Waiting For Gateaux, Good To Firm will evoke memories of first love for everyone who attends. Tim Flood, Customs House marketing and programming manager, explained:

“Everyone remembers their first love. Some of the experiences may be happy, some not so happy.
“Others may be of unrequited love. Some people may still have their love letters. We want to hear them all.”

The idea is to display these first love reminiscences on a wall during the course of the play, which runs from Wednesday September 8 to Saturday 11 at the 450-seat venue.Mr Flood continued:

“What we’re after is a brief account of your first love, up to a maximum of 32 words, with your first name and the year of your first love. They can be straight accounts or poems. They can be a happy ending or a sad ending. There will be many, many individual stories about first love and we aim to use as many as possible in the display.”

The winning entry will win a pair of tickets to the opening performance of Good To Firm and a two-course meal in the Green Room.
People can either email their stories to (subject: FIRST LOVE) or post them to the Marketing Department, The Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields, NE33 1ES, marked First Love.

Mr Flood added:

“Good To Firm is a great comedy about first love viewed from 27 years later. It is guaranteed to make everyone who attends laugh and to think about their first love.”

Good to Firm runs from Wednesday September 8 to Saturday 11. Tickets cost £14, £12conc and are available by calling the Box Office on 0191 454 1234 or by visiting

I wonder if they’d be interested in Curly’s first love, or whether they might be more excited by my story of a dance with Maggie Thatcher when I was a Young Conservative at a conference at the Spa in Scarborough back in 1978, yes I loved that woman too. Oh yeah, and whatever happened to Margaret Humby?

Do let them have your stories at The Customs House.

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