2010 Mouth of the Tyne Festival
South Shields picture special
I took Mrs. Curly and “Missy” down to Littlehaven Beach in South Shields yesterday evening to take in the spectacular opening parade of the 2010 Mouth of the Tyne Festival, along with thousands of other revellers on a a warm balmy evening, it ended a little late for young “Missy” but we all enjoyed it enormously. Mrs. Curly’s excitement was already in full flow after a certain X Factor winner from South Shields, Joe McElderry risked his life by stepping in front of my car in Mowbray Road as he made his way down to mingle anonymously in the crowds, the No. 1 selling artist was believed to have started his evening with friends in The New Crown before making his way along the sea front to see the fireworks.
Having used our local knowledge to park the car in a spot where we could access the beach and get out quickly after the event, we took a stroll along the beach and chatted to a few other families, including some from Durham and Teeside, before taking a break in the Littlehaven Hotel for refreshments. The parade had started at 9:15 pm at Gypsies Green Stadium and was making it’s way along Sea Road as the animated life sized mechanical/puppetry elephant played music and entertained the crowds with dazzling lights and pyrotechnics aided by a team of French and Indian dancers along the route, as it passed the Sea Hotel thousands of intrigued onlookers joined in the procession before it reached the large car park at Littlehaven beach.
Some time ago I had appealed to Tony Duggan, the South Tyneside Council officer charged with coordinating these events, to get us the Sultan’s Elephant by Royal de Luxe, well this wasn’t quite that but it came a pretty close second, maybe one year we might be able to host a giant spectacular that will really raise the bar as far as public entertainment goes. However, we ought to congratulate the organisers on both sides of the Tyne for coming up with last night’s show, and bringing a special touch of magic and enchantment that adds a well deserved slice of cheer in these tough economic times. The elephant arrived just as the final tunes from James Morrison drifted across the river from Tynemouth Priory, evidently the chart topper was a sensation and we could hear the cheers and applause, I only hope that they could decent view of what was taking place on our side of the river and could hear us too.
What followed was scintillating and colourful performance replicating the joy of an Indian wedding infused with the glamour of Bollywood movies, the dancers were exquisite and the hand movements graceful and expressive, the evening quickly progressed to a more thrilling and exciting finale as the music ramped up to full Bangra hip hop and the fireworks started to fill the sky in a crescendo of sound, light, and movement, it must have been pretty special if you were on board the Tyne ferry sitting in the harbour.
Unfortunately other commitments ensured that I’d miss the mass of free entertainment in the parks and along the sea front today, but evidently some people are here for the whole weekend and others will have travelled to South Shields today, one just hopes that as the summer season progresses that the weather stays kind for us and that the tourists continue to visit and spend (that extra hotel might well have been a boon, oh and news of progress on a new swimming pool would be welcome.)
Many thanks to one of our local councillors for contributing to the ice cream and candy floss fund yesterday, it was much appreciated and was a very generous gesture! (Well, it’s nice to get something back from your taxes, ha, ha)
Click the thumbnails for a larger view.