Posts Tagged ‘Mouth of the Tyne Festival’
A weekend to remember in South Shields
I’ve certainly enjoyed this year’s Mouth of the Tyne Festival from the Saturday night sea front parade through the myriad of entertainment along the promenade yesterday.
Granted the crowds looked just slightly smaller on Saturday night but that was understandable considering the downpours which preceded the parade, but I think that overall numbers must have been up on last year when Sunday’s attractions were taken into consideration. I happily snapped away with my camera recording over 300 frames on the two days making it very difficult for me to decide which to share in here and at South Shields Daily Pictures over the coming weeks.
The great thing about the Saturday Evening Parade, which takes place at around 9:30 pm as the sun goes down, is not just the spectacle of colours, noise, lights, and pyrotechnics, but the “inclusive” feel of the whole thing as people join in behind the street theatre and move en masse from Gypsies Green to the large car park on Littlehaven Beach to watch the climax. It always reminds me of the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Many of those in the crowds were not Sanddancers but visitors from other parts of Tyneside and even farther afield, our summer events have become occasions when ex-pats return home to visit friends and family or when those from other parts of the UK decide to take “staycations” and make Tyneside one of their destinations.
The only thing that irks me now about this festival is that Tynemouth gets all of the headline acts, I’m pretty sure that South Shields could handle at least one of these concerts utilising either the Bents Park, or Gypsies Green Stadium (well, it isn’t exactly being over used is it?). Perhaps our councillors and officers might like to start lobbying for a small change in format for next year?
However back to this weekend and the picture above, for me at least, sums up one success story of recent years by allowing the operation of the caravan park at Bents Park to be privately operated. The recent investment in improved standards in the park is paying dividends and caravan owners visit South Shields or allow their units to be rented to visitors who come and spend here. We have to be open and say that we cannot guarantee good weather, but at least we can guarantee a good time in very decent conditions. In a couple of years time we will also be able to offer visitors a new swimming pool with a cafe and other indoor facilities right on the sea front as another reason to visit the town, and importantly a venue where they can take refuge from the rain!
Which all brings to mind the one and only policy initiative ever offered to us by Ahmed Khan and the South Tyneside Independent Alliance, their town green plan of four years ago was inept, poorly considered, inappropriate, and likely to have blighted our regeneration and jobs prospects for generations!
The picture above is one of the best reasons I’ve ever seen for rejecting such witless ideas.
Enjoy the slide show!
South Shields seaside spectacle
Not sure if we have ever witnessed such a spectacular show in South Shields, well at least not since the last time Malabar performed during the Saturday night parade. Last night’s parade must have been followed by one of the largest crowds of visitors and tourists that I’ve ever seen at these events, which create a kind of Pied Piper of Hamlyn atmosphere.
The 9 metre high mechanical praying mantis show was entitled Helios ll and Malabar’s performance was enhanced with techno music, lights, and fireworks that built into a pyrotechnical frenzy as they paraded from Gypsies Green to the Groyne harassed and ever so slightly menaced by a gaggle of photographers and the mass of humans in it’s wake. The show was designed to illustrate the birth of a mythical sun god and the French team certainly came up with the goods once again.
My family certainly enjoyed the evening as we took in two smaller side shows at the amphitheatre and Ghandi’s Temple, and by time we’d finished the children were packed off to bed and asleep in record time.
Hope you enjoy the slide show, and if you are around Tyneside today get yourself to South Shields where there will be another afternoon of varied entertainment along the sea front, Nexus are running extra ferries and free shuttle buses whilst the Tyne Tunnel is closed.
Keep your eye on my two photoblogs (see the side bar) for more individual pictures during the course of this week.