We spent a few days in Newcastle earlier in the week. I wanted to go back to visit the place of my birth and then go on to another town where I spent my teens.
The photo shows me standing next to my sister (in the pram) I must have started school as I am wearing a gym slip. My hair is in ringlets and note the large bow of ribbon - how could you miss it?
It was good to go back, but the street wasn't at all how I remembered it. It was longer and wider back then, at least that is how it seemed at the time.
We had a large back garden complete with a hill, where we played Cowboys and Indians or whatever else we had seen at the Saturday morning matinee. It was fun running around on make believe horses or jetting off with Flash Gordon to stop Ming the Merciless taking over some planet or another. Do children ever do that anymore?
When we moved to Whitley Bay on the North East coast in 1953, we only had a back yard. But that didn't stop us. We had the beach to play on, though as I was reaching my teens, cowboys and Flash Gordon were a thing of the past.
This was the street I lived in until I was married. I took this photo on Monday, when we stopped off to take a look at what they had done to the place. The street hadn't changed at all. However, it's a pity I can't say the same for the rest of the town.
In its heyday, Whitley Bay was a lovely seaside resort. The golden sands stretched for miles until they reached the lighthouse. People came from Scotland and Yorkshire to spend their summer holidays there. The beaches were always packed. Cafes selling food or ice cream, were dotted along the Promenade, while the Fun-fair was a great attraction to the youngsters.
Today all that has gone, A school now stands in the grounds where the fun fair was. It replaced the one I went to, as they pulled it down - I'm not sure why as they haven't built anything else on that piece of land. And the shops that are left look as though they could do with a good coat of paint. The whole place needs brightening up. It's all so very sad. Best I leave it at that.
The Quayside - Newcastle-on-Tyne
On the other hand, the changes they have made to the Quayside have been for the better. At one time it was like almost any other shipbuilding area - dirty and dismal. However, today, the place has a Continental feel about it.
People were sitting outside in the sun enjoying a glass of wine or beer, while others were wandering around the market, something which has been held on a Sunday morning forever!
Opposite is the New Sage building and the Baltic Art Gallery - once a Flour Mill.
Isn't it amazing how something so ugly could be given a new lease of life, while Whitley Bay, which was such a lovely, thriving town, could be allowed become so... tawdry and lifeless.
I think that is my rant for the day
I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine