Curly's Corner Shop, the blog!

South Shields premier political blog

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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