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The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on South Tyneside

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Queen Elizabeth ll

How will you remember it?

I have some pretty vague memories of the Queen’s visits to South Shields, way back in the 1960s I stood with my classmates from Barnes Road Junior School along with a clutch of parents and teachers as we waved our little flags watching the Queen and Prince Philip opening the Marine and Technical College in St. George’s Avenue. I think it was my earliest recollection of what our monarch looked like, later in life I had a similar vague encounter at Gypsies Green Stadium in 1977 when she visited as part of her Silver Jubilee tour, I cannot quite remember how I blagged my way into that event, something to do with someone who I knew in the Conservative party no doubt. It was the highlight of the day and after several pints in the Vigilant she was hailed as the talk of the town. Somehow a few of us managed to get down to the North Marine Park to witness our beacon being lit. Strangely I recall nothing at all of the day we celebrated the Golden Jubilee ten years ago, if indeed we did.

Yesterday was more of a family event almost in an Australian style as we joined the in laws for a “Royal Garden Party” barbecue and a few “tinnies” in the sun, the children found the pageant along the River Thames very interesting and it was quite fascinating to watch their faces as the afternoon unfolded on one of today’s gigantic flat screen TVs, and today we will hopefully join hundreds of other South Shields and South Tyneside folks sitting in the South Marine Park watching a giant screen and enjoying this evening’s concert in London before moving up the hill to see one of the beacons being lit. I must congratulate and thank South Tyneside Council for staging this event and the little afternoon tea dance in the park yesterday, it would have been wonderful if the 1977 visit could have been beamed back to a giant screen in the park if only they’d had today’s technology available then.

I’m hoping to photograph the beacon being lit in the Arbeia Roman Fort with the reconstructed west gate as a backdrop, I just hope this new beacon is in a good location, don’t fancy showing South Shields to the world with a collection of “Coronation Street” back yards as a backdrop.

I like these occasions, they help create unity and spread a little joy, they transcend the politics of the day, and bring people together. Queen Elizabeth has helped to modernise the monarchy and make the institution that little bit more accessible, she stands as a symbol of stability stretching over sixty years, she has also managed to transform our thinking about the old Germanic values of her ancestors and portray a family that seems to have endured some of the same marital and economic problems of many others. As the years of economic parsimony have passed through her reign she has adapted the Royal household to meet the needs of Parliament and the British economy without severing that thin golden thread that stitches the tapestry of this island’s history.

Personally I’m now looking forward to the Platinum Jubilee in ten years time!

How have you celebrated the Jubilee weekend readers? What will your memories be?

 

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Written by curly

June 4, 2012 at 11:20 am

South Shields? It’s like Ibiza!

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Beach party, South Shields

End of school party

Is there more we can do?

South Shields is such a great place when the weather is warm and sunny, it is a magnet for visitors and tourists as I found out yesterday. I’d only intended picking up a few pictures of the pier and the beach for South Shields Daily Pictures when I bumped into this crowd behind the skateboard park on Sandhaven beach you could easily imagine that you were at a beach party in Ibiza! The sands were busy, as were the parks, and  funfair,  people of all ages just having fun in the sun.

This group were attracting a lot of attention purely because of their numbers, I’d estimate that there were about 130 of them in total, all aged around 16 or 17, they were a little bit noisy but not to the extent that they were annoying anyone else, some were drinking alcohol (just as we did at their age) but they certainly weren’t drunk at 5:00 p.m., they had no music with them but made up for it with their own singing and dancing. In fact I thought they’d been deliberately brought down here as some form of free entertainment. It turned out that they were all from the Gateshead area, many from the St. Thomas Moore school and were celebrating the end of their school time, they are now just hanging around waiting for exam results or college/job offers, so they got together on Facebook and travelled down to South Shields on the Metro to enjoy our beaches. A similar but more “organised” rave had been advertised on Facebook to take place in Tynemouth, but it was not this group.

I also found a group of elderly visitors who were staying in Jesmond, they were from Guildford in Surrey and they too had taken the Metro to see what we had to offer, they didn’t mind the kids at all but were very critical of the “Americanisation” of the end of school life with the introduction of horrendously expensive “proms” in the UK, arguing that some parents were spending almost as much om a prom night as they might for a daughter’s wedding! Curiously these four southerners were very surprised at all of the green open spaces, they revelled at the South Marine Park, they could see the Leas but thought they were a little too far away to walk, they had this horribly preconceived idea that South Shields was a dirty industrialised place, but had come along at the recommendation of the hotelier in Newcastle. Needless to say, once they were informed of our summer activities they are planning to return!

I couldn’t help thinking about the missed selling opportunities, if you were in Ibiza or some Mediterranean beach resort you would find lots of stalls and vendors along the sea front area, you might be offered cheap watches, jewellery, chilled drinks, chilled fresh fruit, beach clothing, surf boards, skateboards, sandwiches, toys, souvenirs etc. There is very little of these activities along our beaches in South Shields, apart from a few outlets in the Ocean Beach Pleasure Park. We have a lot of spare capacity in our Market stalls and I just wonder if there may be a demand on an ad-hoc basis to hire a stall to set up on the promenade behind Sea Road to sell wares to our visitors. I cannot help feeling that we don’t allow sufficient ice cream/chips/hot dog/drinks vendors to bring their vans down to the promenade for a small fee.

This is a seaside town we need to create the seaside “theatre”, visitors are transitory and we need to really strike out to reach them if we want them to keep returning.

Even the kids in the picture above have money to spend, they probably spent up to £25 each on their day out at the seaside, that’s around £3000 worth of trade, this is what secures jobs and livelihoods. Where is the entrepreneurial drive of South Tyneside businesses and retailers?

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Written by curly

May 26, 2012 at 10:40 am

So what did the porn star say?

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Cllr. Potts’ “personal friend” Mercedes Ashley didn’t seem very aware of who he is!

I was intrigued and curious, after all how many of our South Tyneside councillors count porn stars amongst their “personal friends?

From The Shields Gazette

“I have not encouraged former porn stars to contact my ward colleagues.

“I asked a personal friend, who is a former adult entertainment professional, to e-mail Coun Jeff Milburn congratulating him on his victory.

“I do not in any way judge people by what they do for a living.”

I thought it worthwhile having a little discussion of my own with Cllr. Potts “friend”,  it took a while to track down an email address, but here is the exchange:

Whats his twitter handle?

Love,
Mercedes Ashley
(your adult film star & friend)

WEBSITE & PICS: www.mercedesashley.com 
MY ONLINE PRESENCE: http://itsmyurls.com/mercedesashley
MY E-MAIL/BLACKBERRY: mercedes@mercedesashley.com 
TWITTER: www.twitter.com/mercedesashley 
PRIVATE SESSIONS/FEMM DOMM SESSIONS (L.A./VEGAS ONLY): 877-413-6085 
BACHELOR PARTIES (L.A./VEGAS ONLY): 714-448-8529 
LIVE TECH SUPPORT/PASSWORD HELP: 800-574-4757 
WEBSITE DESIGN: mercedesashleyfx@live.com
WEBSITE DESIGN WEBSITE: www.mercedesashleyfx.com

FYI: All emails are answered by Mercedes Ashley personally. I am my own webmaster.
I am the designer of my own site and I maintain it all myself.

-----Original Message-----
From: Curly <curly.ssh325@blueyonder.co.uk>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 09:57:48 
To: <mercedes@mercedesashley.com>
Reply-To: curly.ssh325@blueyonder.co.uk
Subject: David Potts

May I ask how well do you know UK/US foreign exchange dealer and UKIP 
politician David Potts?
He claims you are a personal friend
Have you met him?
Have you spoke with him?
Have you had any contact with him other than via Twitter as one of your 
followers?

Doesn’t look as though she knows him that well at all, cannot even think of his name on Twitter! Neither does it appear that Mercedes is a former porn star, her websites give the appearance of giving very current services and activities.

You have to feel a bit sorry for Conservative councillor Jeff Milburn getting his name dragged into this nonsense, I wonder if he actually received any congratulations from the American Adult Entertainment industry?

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Written by curly

May 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

A statement from Cllr. David Potts – Bunga Bunga?

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UKIP Cleadon and East Village councillor invited constituent to “social gatherings”

I have today been contacted by the Gazette asking if I invited a constituent to a “bunga bunga” party.

Whilst I admit that I did do so, I was entirely unaware of the potentially negative connotations the phrase may hold. It is a term used regularly in my company to refer to casual social gatherings. Not sex parties as has been alleged.

I will not use the term again as clearly some misunderstand its meaning.

David Potts
For further detail on the conversation thread please see Cllr. Potts Twitter stream

I’m so out of touch I thought it was a ship!

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Written by curly

May 17, 2012 at 9:17 am

Posted in Bloopers, Events, News, South Tyneside, UKIP

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Inflation busting pay rises are bad politics

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20% rise for South Tyneside cabinet members described as “slight”

OK, so the full amount in the pot has not changed, but this comment by Cllr. Iain Malcolm the Leader of South Tyneside Council is simply flabbergasting:

Because cabinet members are now expected to attend more meetings, their allowance rises slightly.

Slightly?

In these days where the average lucky employed person has to settle for a rise of 2% or less, and shareholders are at last rebelling against corporate pay rises as large as 4.8%, this award seems designed to cause an uproar with news being revealed just days after a strong election victory.  This is simply bad politics, a faux pas on the level displayed by the coalition government on almost a daily basis.

How on earth Cllr. Malcolm believes this will sit comfortably with the people of South Shields and Jarrow is beyond me, the independent panel appears to have taken some money from the leader of the (heavily defeated) opposition and doled it out to Labour’s favourite sons, I guess they are hoping that this will all be forgotten about over the next two years – the next time any councillors face an election around here.

I will forgive these cabinet members for accepting this grotesque increase in special responsibility allowance only if they can maintain their financial stewardship and deliver NO council tax increases before the next local government election, that will be fair payment for results don’t you think?

 

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Written by curly

May 13, 2012 at 11:13 am

South Tyneside First

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A new name to get used to.

Initial indications suggest that we ought to start getting used to the name “South Tyneside First” as tentative negotiations between three local opposition councillors proceed steadily towards becoming the “official” opposition to Labour.

Heaven knows how folks like Mr. Ahmed Khan will get along with folks like Jeff Milburn and David Potts. I cannot begin to imagine how they will begin to iron out the “creases” of recent piles of dirty washing! (Unless, of course,  someone is deliberately trying to have a joke at our expense and going to the extent of attempting to mask their identity).

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Written by curly

May 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Post election movements and rumours

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South Tyneside to get new opposition grouping?

Hearing some rumours this evening that a tentative deal may have been discussed between Independent Alliance Cllr. Jane Branley, Conservative Cllr. Jeff Milburn, and UKIP Cllr. David Potts to form a new opposition grouping on South Tyneside Council following Labours massive victory last Thursday. Possibly more news to follow after I try to seek confirmation tomorrow.

This could end up as the pottiest post I’ve ever penned, time will tell.

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Written by curly

May 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Former Mayor seeks end to “negative” politics.

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John Anglin looking for positive solutions in South Tyneside.

South Tyneside’s former Mayor Cllr. John Anglin won a handsome victory in South Shields last night when he ousted the Deputy Leader of the Independent Alliance Ahmed Khan in the Beacon and Bents ward of South Shields. Returning Labour  Cllr. Anglin gave this reaction to the Corner Shop:

As far as Beacon and Bents is concerned I am delighted that the residents have allowed me to represent them once more and promise that I will concentrate on positives and positive actions that are so necessary in these gloomy times. Enough of the continually negative attitudes. Lets see what can be done to improve our Ward and our town for the wonderful people who live in it.

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Written by curly

May 4, 2012 at 11:50 am

South Shields contributes to Darlington’s survival

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cast members of Alf Ramsey knew my grandfather

“Alf Ramsey” play to be used as fund raiser for ailing club.

Picture: Left to right (Back): Jackie Fielding, Adam Rundle (Darlington FC), Ed Waugh, (Front): Iain Cunningham and Wayne Miller.

It has pained me to see the plight of Darlington Football Club recently as they have fallen out of the Football League and have now been relegated from the Blue Square Conference Premier League, their 25000 seater ground, built at the behest of George Reynolds, is far too large for their needs and costs over £10000 per week to maintain, they are in one very big heap of financial trouble. Now they may be looking for a ground share arrangement with another local club, at least until they can find new ownership and a more stable financial base. So it is good to see local South Shields and South Tyneside folk doing something to help them out, and that is despite the fact the South Shields Mariners are also facing a little uncertainty over their own ground arrangements.

South Tyneside theatre people are rallying to the support of ailing Darlington Football Club.

The comedy drama Alf Ramsey Knew My Grandfather, written by Lawe Top resident Ed Waugh and his writing partner Trevor Wood, will be performed at Darlington’s 900-seat Civic Theatre in July to raise money for the club’s youth team.

Involved in the show about the team of miners from West Auckland who won the first world cup in 1909 in Turin, Italy, will be South Tyneside actors Wayne Millar from Jarrow and Iain Cunningham (South Shields) as well as stage manager Jackie Fielding from South Shields.

Adopted Sand-dancer Mark Wingett, for 21 years the star of ITV’s The Bill and the classic British film Quadrophenia, will direct the show.

Wayne, Iain and Jackie are well known to Customs House audiences and they are encouraging South Tynesiders to join Darlington footballer Adam Rundle from Hebburn at the show when he takes a step out of the footballing limelight to cheer on the actors.

Wayne, who was in the original cast for the play’s sell-out run at the Gala theatre, Durham, and at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal, where it received standing ovations, will be joined by Iain, who makes his debut in the show.

Alf Ramsey Knew My Grandfather has already been seen by more than 8,000 people in the region.

Wayne, a Newcastle fan, said: “This will be my hat-trick of appearances and it’s for an important cause. While the play’s backdrop is football it’s really a play about the men and women of a community overcoming adversity to win the top prize. I have no doubt the people of Darlington will fight to the end for the survival of their football club and this will be our proud contribution to that.”

A strong South Tyneside contingent has signed up for Alf Ramsey with 30 friends and family already having bought tickets for the show that runs from Tuesday, July 24, to Friday, July 27, at Darlington Civic Theatre.

Ian, a Sunderland fan, said: “This is a regional issue and we are urging all football supporter and theatre fans to come along and enjoy a great show.”

More details can be obtained via www.edwaughandtrevorwood.co.uk

Tickets cost from £10 to £20 and can be obtained from the box office: 01325 486555.

So, if you would like to support local non league football, and at the same time support local acting and theatre talent, you know how to go about it, and be entertained at the same time.

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Live election blog – South Tyneside

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Results as they come in

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Just keeping an eye on the local government elections here in South Tyneside as results are declared in South Shields and Jarrow.

  • First off a wrong prediction in the early declarations,  Labour’s Melanie Cartwright has taken Monkton from the Independent Alliance with a majority of 391 (didn’t see that one coming).
  • Labour holds Whitburn and Marsden as predicted, Tracey Dixon romped home with more than a thousand votes to spare.
  • Labour holds Bede ward in Jarrow, as predicted, welcome to Margaret Peacock.
  • Ann Walsh holds Biddick and All Saints with an 877 majority.
  • Alan Smith (Labour) defeats the Independent Alliance councillor Geraldine White in Fellgate and Hedworth (another prediction comes right).
  • Jim Perry holds Primrose for Labour with a majority of over 1000.
  • John McCabe holds Hebburn South for Labour
  • Gladys Hobson makes a return to South Tyneside Council as Labour wins in West Park (not looking good for the Progressives).
  • Just after midnight and Labour has already picked up an extra three seats on South Tyneside Council.
  • At 45.5% Cleadon Village and East Boldon has the highest turnout in the borough again.
  • HUGE win for Labour in Beacon and Bents, Ahmed Khan the Independent Alliance defendant has been beaten by former Mayor John Anglin with a good workable majority of 203!
  • Joanne Bell holds Boldon Colliery for Labour
  • Pat Hay wins Harton for Labour, driving another nail into the Progressive’s coffin.
  • Mark Walsh wins another seat for Labour, knocking out Gordin Finch (Independent Alliance) in Horsley Hill, if Westoe falls to Labour this could signal the end of the Alliance.
  • Westoe has gone Labour again! They must be jubilant as Sheila Stephenson records a 300 odd majority as the Independent Alliance is reduced to a solitary member. (is that right, just Jane Branley left?)
  • Former Conservatice Alex Donaldson (also a former Mayor) holds Cleadon Park for Labour.
  • Labour hold both seats in Simonside and Rekendyke
  • Just waiting for results in Whiteleas and Cleadon Village now, perhaps they are closer than expected?
  • Doreen Purvis eventually wins a seat on the Council as Labour takes Whiteleas from Independent Terry Haram
  • Jeff Milburn survives as the only Conservative councillor in South Tyneside holding his seat in Cleadon Village and East Boldon with a majority of only 249.
  • Mary Butler has taken Hebburn North for Labour to complete the evening’s bruising for the opposition parties.

South Tyneside Council now comprises 48 Labour members (a huge increase of nine seats) and a paltry six seats for the opposition, the real opposition must now come from within the Labour Party. Looks like my predictions yesterday were not far off the mark.

Biggest sweat must have been on the brow of Alex Donaldson who saw his majority reduced to only 21 as June Elsom came very close to unseating him, in total the Labour Party has won 18 of the 19 seats contested, a pretty formidable victory by any standards!

Conservative Jeff Milburn was unable to attend the count after being badly bitten by a dog during election day, he spent the evening being treated at the hospital.
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Written by curly

May 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm

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