A Miners Monday

by Steve Thompson

Johnny Haggan is pictured above on the left as a young man and on the right the older version. In the centre he stands with his wife Meg and part of his massive family. They are pictured in front of Number 10 Third Street, Crookhall: the house that Johnny paid for with his health.

Priority Services

Across the City of Newcastle we start right at the very beginning introducing literacy to our youngest citizens through Born to Read
We then accompany the young through every age and stage from simple story telling to young school children to bringing books and information to our older citizens in their own homes via the housebound reader service

This combination bringing together the wisdom and experience of older people with the enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge of the young has created digital memories.

Digital memories – what is it?

Text, Pictures, and Sound synchronized in a Multi Media approach to bring alive the rich memories and experience of our older citizens

Pictured above are year 11 students studying a Health & Social Care GNVQ at Benfield School. Harry Farrier, John Slone & Dorothy Poskitt, who live in Oban Court, Raby Cross, Byker were invited to share their memories of their younger days with the students. Priority Services devised and facilitated a 7 week programme.

Back In Oregon

Bill Macdonald
A Felling lad, now in Portland, Oregon, USA
My wife, Evelyn and I just returned from almost three weeks along the banks of the Tyne. A wonderful visit. The main reason for our trip to England was to celebrate my Mother’s 99th birthday. (pictured right) She continues to thrive and care for herself at her home in Felling, very close to where she was born in 1901, during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Evelyn and I landed at Manchester Airport after an overnight flight from Portland, Oregon. Rather than risk falling asleep at the wheel of a hired car, we took the train from Manchester to Newcastle Central with a change at York. The train was filthy and the scene alongside the tracks was one of dismal disrepair of railway equipment and facilities. The result of years of neglect by British Rail I am told. Afterwards, traveling all over the Northeast, we were pleased with the care and cleanliness to be seen almost everywhere else.

Among the many places we visited, it was interesting to drive through Ryton just as school was coming out. Kids, neatly dressed, scurrying home for tea, they sure are taller than in my childhood. Something to do with better nutrition than ever we had during the great depression and years of war-time rationing. Apples and bananas were like manna from heaven.

I took my laptop along and was able to keep up with the Geordie Discussion Group untill about half way through our holiday when somebody sent us a bunch of emails with massive attachments that wreaked havoc and cut me off. So, I have been out of circulation for a couple of weeks. Just now, I logged on to Newcastle Community News to review your most recent messages and bring myself up to date.

A Relative Of Coulson

A while back we published an article by Cy Laidlaw of Blackfriars Community Reporters about a statue dedicated to WLB Coulson (left) for full story and more pictures click here

We have just heard from Peter Coulson formerly of Newcastle now living near Boston Massachusetts USA

Peter had the following to say…

very interesting & informative article , I am a great great nephew of W.L.B.C & as a youngster in the 50’s I would visit the shrine at it’s Haymarket location .

Tribute to well known funny man Stan Laurel

By John Harvey
Today Laurel and Hardy are more popular than ever with their Films being re-released on video an CD- ROM. Back in 1975 Their films were seen more On TV. In the same year a song Was released from One of their films and got into the top 20. It Was called “The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine”, which got to No. 2 on the United Artistes record label. Stan Laurel lives on in his statue erected in Dockwray Square, North Shields, where he lived from 1897 to 1902. Born in Ulverston, Cumbria, the young Stanley Jefferson and his Family moved to North Shields and then to Bishop Auckland. In 1912 The young Jefferson went to America and changed his Name To Stan Laurel. He toured all over America as a stand-up Comedian and at one stage he understudied Charlie Chaplin. In 1917, Laurel was given the opportunity to star in silent films And over the next few years made a name for himself in Hollywood. By chance he played in a film called “Lucky Dog” With Oliver Hardy. Some years later they became a duo, with Stan creating most of the ideas and gags. Laurel and Hardy made nearly 100 films together, with the last one being released in 1945. They returned to Touring and made several trips to Britain, playing at Newcastle Empire in 1947. In 1952, along with the Sunderland Empire they played at Tynemouth Gaumont. Stan loved coming home to see his friends and people he Knew when he was a boy on Tyneside.

Stan Laurel died in Santa Monica on 23 February 1965 at the grand age of 74.