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Ice cream and the seaside go together like a horse and carriage (as Sammy Cahn never said) - and since we now live next to the seaside we have probably had more ice cream than we really ought to have…

Di Meos, and Longsands
Di Meos, and Longsands
Ciacarelli, and Cullercoats
Ciacarelli, and Cullercoats
Di Meos, and The Spanish City
Di Meos, and The Spanish City
Scoop & Bean and Ocean Beach, South Shields
Scoop & Bean and Ocean Beach, South Shields
Scorchio, and Longsands
Scorchio, and Longsands
Di Meos, and The Spanish City ... again
Di Meos, and The Spanish City ... again

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Newcastle City Hall
Newcastle City Hall

Between 1980 and 1986 I saw Motorhead pretty much every time they played at The Hammersmith Odeon - and they played there … a lot.

In 1982 Motorhead released the live album No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith - probably the finest live album ever released, and … Hammersmith in the album title - so … when it came out I thought “in amongst that roar is me”.

Turns out I was wrong - it didn’t take too long to find out becuase at the beginning of (We Are The) Road Crew a member of the crew introduces the song with the words “… come on Newcastle, let’s hear it for the road crew!”

Not the City Hall! Hammersmith Odeon, November 1980
Not the City Hall! Hammersmith Odeon, November 1980

So, things I (eventually) knew about the North East …

Most of No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith was recorded over two nights at The City Hall, Newcastle.

You won’t hear me in the roar.

This blog has some splendid snaps by of Motorhead at The City Hall on the Short Sharp Pain In The Neck tour that produced No Sleep - photos by Dave Curry, one of which I’ve lifted without permission - hope you don’t mind Dave (if you ever come across this).

Motorhead - (We Are The) Road Crew - Newcastle City Hall, 30th March 1981

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I’m pretty sure I’ll never get tired of river crossings by ferry so having the Shields Ferry on my doorstep is an absolute joy.

The Shields Ferry
The Shields Ferry
The Shields Ferry turns

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Panorama of King Edward’s Bay taken at low tide in early April.

King Edward's Bay panorama
King Edward's Bay panorama

Picture of the bay taken from Sharpness Point.

King Edward's Bay
King Edward's Bay

Postcard of the bay from pretty close to the same place as the one above.
(nabbed from the splendid TuckDB collection of postcards)

King Edward's Bay from an undated postcard
King Edward's Bay from an undated postcard

A clip from the OS Map surveyed in 1857 showing King Edward’s Bay as Short Sands and the Oxfauld gully.
(nabbed from the collection of The National Library of Scotland)

OS map from 1857 showing it as Short Sands
OS map from 1857 showing it as Short Sands

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I’m not sure what I like about football - pretty certain it’s not what most people like about it. But I do rather love non-league (and lower league) football, maybe because, as a Wimbledon fan, most of my football watching has been on sparsely populated terraces.

I had been to very few matches in the years before we moved North, just the odd Wimbledon match when Adam could talk me into it, but arriving in the North East seemed to fire something unexpected and found me spending a few weekends and evenings standing on sparsely populated terraces… here’s a very quick round up.

Whitley Bay FC

Hillheads, Whitley Bay
Hillheads, Whitley Bay

So… this lot will probably be my North East team because they’ll be my local team and that’s who you should support. So I guess it’s appropriate that they have treated me to a rather uninspired season.

Date H - A
20th August West Allotment Celtic 4 - 2 Whitley Bay FA Cup (preliminary round)
11th September Whitley Bay 3 - 4 Billingham Sythonia FA Vase (Q1)
15th April Whitley Bay 1 - 3 North Shields Northern League 1

My Whitley Bay FC record 2021/2 - three matches, three defeats

Gateshead FC

Gateshead International Stadium
Gateshead International Stadium

I love the FA Cup, particularly the early rounds - there’s something beautiful about lowly teams having dreams of cup glory. A lot of the games I went to this season were cup games, and Gateshead had a good run in the cup so I saw them quite a few times.

Gateshead reached the second round and put up a decent showing against Charlton

Date H - A
18th September Gateshead 6 - 2 Bradford Park Avenue FA Cup (Q2)
19th October Gateshead 3 - 2 Marske FA Cup (Q4R)
6th November Gateshead 2 - 2 Altrincham FA Cup (1)
3rd December Gateshead 0 - 2 Charlton Athletic FA Cup (2)

My Gateshead FC record 2021/2 - four matches, two wins, one draw, one defeat

North Shields FC

Daren Persson Stadium a.k.a. _The Morgue_, North Shields
Daren Persson Stadium a.k.a. _The Morgue_, North Shields

I guess if I were a glory hunter I would have chosen North Shields as my North East team but that’s not how it works, also their ground The Morgue is a charmless field whereas Whitley Bay’s Hillheads feels like it’s been lived in.

I headed down to the south coast to see The Robins play Littlehampton

Date H - A
7th August North Shields 3 - 1 West Auckland FA Cup (Q1)
12th March Littlehampton 1 - 0 North Shields FA Vase (QF)
15th April Whitley Bay 1 - 3 North Shields Northern League 1

My North Shields FC record 2021/2 - three matches, two wins, one defeat

The others

Purvis Park, Percy Main
Purvis Park, Percy Main

We went to Spennymoor Town becuase it was the FA Cup - turns out that was a mistake as it was a truly dreadful 0-0 draw - and annoyingly, becuase of that, it was the most memorable day!

I went to Percy Main Amateurs becuase … because why wouldn’t I want to see a team called Percy Main Amateurs.

Date H - A
2nd October Spennymoor Town 0 - 0 Southport FA Cup (Q3)
11th December Percy Main Amateurs 1 - 2 Newcastle Blue Star Northen Alliance Premier

There was one more match … Wimbledon’s first defeat of the season at Sunderland - things went badly downhill for The Dons after this - and they’re headed for League Two … and some sparsely populated terraces.

The Stadium of Light, Sunderland
The Stadium of Light, Sunderland

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