Our Friends in the North - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 9th October 2014, 20:51
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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Our Friends in the North

Leaving Smiths Docks (A&P NS) one night in the early 90s, I saw a film crew setting up around the pub outside the gates. Turned out they were filming a scene for a drama series and not crime-watch as was rumoured.

The Woolsington had apparently been selected for filming a 1960s scene as it seemed like it needed no alteration at all to depict a pub of that era. Allegedly, the Landlord only gave his permission for use of the pub so long as he was filmed behind the bar, and some of his regulars were used as extras. Also allegedly, once inside, the production crew found that they’d have to modernise the pub interior a bit, so that it mirrored the 60s rather than the 30s.

Anyway, anyone who saw the eventual production of Our Friends in the North would probably agree that it was a great piece of work - summarising life & political issues/scandals in the UK between the 60s & 90s.

I’ve not been to NS for a long time and Smith Docks are long gone. I just wondered if the pub has survived, given that the area is probably all housing now.
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  #2  
Old 9th October 2014, 21:07
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Wasn't that the Jungle (aka the Northumberland Arms) outside Smiths Dock?

John T
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  #3  
Old 9th October 2014, 21:11
George Rollinson George Rollinson is offline  
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Worked on a project in Smiths Sept 90 for seventeen months and used the Woolie regularly until Feb 92. Know off but not seen the programme but know what you mean. I often meet the landlord from the Woolie from that time and will mention the filming next time.
Had a memorable Christmas party there at the end of the job! Smiths has long gone but not sure about the pub. Being so close to the gate it may have dissapeared. Will make some enquiries.
George
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  #4  
Old 10th October 2014, 10:38
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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John - Come the 90s, I only recall one gate being in use for the yard which was at the top of the bank. I think you must be remembering an earlier time when there was a lower gate. That being the case you’d be quite correct - the quay road, ferry, Port Hole, Jungle etc, all being close to hand. However, the Jungle had already closed by the 90s & was converted into flats.

George – I always thought the Woolsington best on a Sunday lunchtime when it went all posh & the tabnabs came out. Slices of cold black pud on every table – you had to be quick mind!
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  #5  
Old 11th October 2014, 16:07
Waighty Waighty is offline   SN Supporter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilJiver View Post
Leaving Smiths Docks (A&P NS) one night in the early 90s, I saw a film crew setting up around the pub outside the gates. Turned out they were filming a scene for a drama series and not crime-watch as was rumoured.

The Woolsington had apparently been selected for filming a 1960s scene as it seemed like it needed no alteration at all to depict a pub of that era. Allegedly, the Landlord only gave his permission for use of the pub so long as he was filmed behind the bar, and some of his regulars were used as extras. Also allegedly, once inside, the production crew found that they’d have to modernise the pub interior a bit, so that it mirrored the 60s rather than the 30s.

Anyway, anyone who saw the eventual production of Our Friends in the North would probably agree that it was a great piece of work - summarising life & political issues/scandals in the UK between the 60s & 90s.

I’ve not been to NS for a long time and Smith Docks are long gone. I just wondered if the pub has survived, given that the area is probably all housing now.
It was a great series and is now available as a DVD box-set.
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  #6  
Old 11th October 2014, 16:25
WilliamH WilliamH is offline  
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I served my time at Smiths NS in the last five years of the 50's and I have never heard of the Woolsington. Coming out of the lower gate the first pub was the Phoenix, then the Crane then Northumberland Arms(Jungle) and at the end of the New Quay was the Golden Fleece and close to that was the White or was it Black Lion. I can only assume the name of one of these pups had a name change.
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  #7  
Old 11th October 2014, 16:49
Kevin Todd Kevin Todd is offline  
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Wolsington

Pub in question opened in 1902, just outside the main gate of Smith's Docks. Now derelict although still standing and structurally sound. For anyone interested photos easily found by Googling "North Shields Pubs", then "Closed North Shields Pubs" and there it is in all its glory. Incidentally, 100 yards from this salubrious establishment stood the "Clarendon". Way back in the 70's when home on leave I worked (on the fiddle) behind the bar for a few weeks. Landlords were Larry & Vera Sinclair. Anyone remember this place? It's long gone now .
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  #8  
Old 11th October 2014, 17:19
WilliamH WilliamH is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Todd View Post
Pub in question opened in 1902, just outside the main gate of Smith's Docks. Now derelict although still standing and structurally sound. For anyone interested photos easily found by Googling "North Shields Pubs", then "Closed North Shields Pubs" and there it is in all its glory. Incidentally, 100 yards from this salubrious establishment stood the "Clarendon". Way back in the 70's when home on leave I worked (on the fiddle) behind the bar for a few weeks. Landlords were Larry & Vera Sinclair. Anyone remember this place? It's long gone now .
Ah! the Main gate, I was thinking about the lower gate beside the ferry landing.
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  #9  
Old 11th October 2014, 19:22
Kevin Todd Kevin Todd is offline  
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Shields Pubs

Happy times! Many of my mates used to work in Smiths Docks as fitters. I spent 10 years from 1970 until 1980 in the MN. When home on leave we would frequently start Friday and/or Saturday nights at the Northumberland Arms (Jungle if you prefer!). Reason for this was that some of the lads were from the south side of the river (poor gits!). The Jungle was about 10 yards from the ferry landing and so an ideal meeting place to start an evening on the soft drinks. From there along to the "Wooden Dolly", thence past the Missions to Seamen to the "Dolphin" & the "Low Lights" on the Fish Quay. Then came decision time, to head up Tanners Bank and on to Tynemouth (posh) or double back into Shields (not posh)? Incidentally and apropos of sod all, two of the best fish n' chip shops in the whole of Christendom were on the Quay. Christiansens was one of 'em (bloody Vikings!). If we went back into the high spots of Shields (stop laughing, there were a few [OK, I'm fibbing]), we would pass through Dockwray Square. This was later renamed Laurel Square after Stan Laurel who lived there as a child after moving to civilisation from Cumbria where he was born. Sidetracking again, my Nanna (Mum's Mum) was his nanny. Closest my family has ever come to fame. Back to the Jungle, I have no intention of mentioning 'Big Martha'! On that point I shall take my leave, there's a glass of Bordeaux with my name on it.
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  #10  
Old 13th October 2014, 12:55
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Todd View Post
Incidentally, 100 yards from this salubrious establishment stood the "Clarendon". Way back in the 70's when home on leave I worked (on the fiddle) behind the bar for a few weeks. Landlords were Larry & Vera Sinclair. Anyone remember this place? It's long gone now .
Thanks Kevin. I found some pics on the “closed pubs” section of “Jim’s Website”. Well worth a look for anyone interested in Tyneside history (or ringing church bells).

I remember the Clarendon (New Clarendon?) well. Certainly worth the short walk past the Woolsington if you wanted a first rate stottie to see you through the afternoon. Don’t ever remember a bloke being behind the bar whenever I called in - always 2 ladies in their late 50s/early 60s (I thought were old girls at the time!). Whatever, they were very welcoming & made sure you were well fed.
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  #11  
Old 13th October 2014, 22:44
Kevin Todd Kevin Todd is offline  
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Smile Stottie Cakes!

By 'eck, it's donkeys years since I had a good Stottie Cake! Remember them with great fondness. Never saw one in the dear old Clarendon though, packet of crisps was the only thing on the menu when I frequented the establishment (mebbe salted peanuts for pudding).
Glad you found the photos OilJiver.
Don't remember exactly when I was behind the bar, sometime in 76/77 would be my guess.
As a matter of interest WilliamH, why is you flying the French flag? Just curious.
Funny innit, the things which come back to you. February 1974, sitting in the side room of the Clarendon with Brian Bentong, Adam Bishop & Willie Bowden. In walks Stan Wears. Have you heard the news he asks. Hadn't a clue. The Gaul's gone Stan says. Stunned silence. Our mate Ronnie Bowles, ex Smiths Dock ship fitter, was 2nd Engineer on the damn thing. Remember the incident as though it happened yesterday.

Last edited by Kevin Todd; 13th October 2014 at 22:48..
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  #12  
Old 14th October 2014, 12:01
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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Issues associated with the loss of the Gaul have been in the press again over the last few days. A dreadful tragedy which followed the shocking loss of three other Hull trawlers only a few years earlier.

On a less sombre note, (but not forgetting how the stuff is got), I have to disagree with your judgement on fish & chips Kevin! (#9). Christianson’s on NS fish quay? – OK not bad, and maybe on a par with what’s available down the road in Whitby. But in my opinion, nothing could be comparable with the fish served at Stanton’s on William Wright Dock in Hull. Regrettably, Stanton’s closed a couple of years ago after trading for about 100 years. The business had a really diverse customer base, inclusive of former trawlermen. A hard act to follow.
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  #13  
Old 14th October 2014, 17:00
Kevin Todd Kevin Todd is offline  
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Hi OilJiver,
Didn't realise Gaul was back in the news. I remember when the factory trawlers transferred from North Shields to Hull. They were known locally as the 'Ranger Boats' (Ranger Calliope, Ranger Calypso etc. if memory serves) but their names changed with the port transfer. One of them became the "Gaul". Where she went down was a bad enough place to be on a 'big ship'.

Unfortunately never had the pleasure of a trip to Stantons, sounds like another good 'un. But Whitby indeed, that's Yorkshire. Only thing they know about is cricket! With that remark I shall lower my head below the parapet and sneak off for my tea. If any of the good folk of Yorkshire are about, I'm only kidding!
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  #14  
Old 16th October 2014, 15:50
Kevin Todd Kevin Todd is offline  
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Hi there WilliamH. Just sent you a 'PM', hope you receive it.

We've just been exchanging messages in relation to the 'Wooly' outside Smiths Docks. I wondered why you were flying the French Flag, now I know! Saw your name in another posting (a bit older) where you say you had been (or still are?) living near Confolens. I live just outside Cognac, have done for the past 10 years+.

All the best
Kevin

Last edited by Kevin Todd; 16th October 2014 at 21:59..
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  #15  
Old 17th October 2014, 22:29
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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It was a great series and is now available as a DVD box-set.
Thanks for the tip Waighty. I remember the series being very good but didn’t realise that it had achieved such acclaim from Bafta.
Anyway, am now looking forward to seeing it all again on the DVD set that you mentioned. An abridged history of the UK from 1964 to 1995, spotlighting some of the major scandals within that timeframe. Fascinating stuff, (particularly with the N.E. focus).

Don’t know if you’ve acquired a taste for some of the continental delicacies in your present whereabouts Kevin - molluscs and amphibian’s bits and all that. Don’t think they’d go down too well in some of the hostelries mentioned earlier in this thread!

Rgds Jon
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  #16  
Old 18th October 2014, 08:50
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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I went to a conference where T. Dan Smith was the main speaker, he was a superb. Pity greed got into the way.
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Old 18th October 2014, 21:39
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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Never saw him speak myself but, as you say Chadburn, reputed to have been a very bright man & hugely charismatic. Not quite the same bloke after getting out of the nick so they say.
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  #18  
Old 18th October 2014, 22:01
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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He got himself entangled with Poulson and that was his downfall, a great pity. Everybody has choices in life based on their own moral compass, T. Dan's went adrift.
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  #19  
Old 18th October 2014, 22:55
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Erimus Erimus is online now  
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I went to a conference where T. Dan Smith was the main speaker, he was a superb. Pity greed got into the way.
Met him once pre-Coulson very dynamic...he introduced parking meters to Newcastle and was first man to be booked by a warden.....

Geoff
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Old 19th October 2014, 00:28
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Met him once pre-Coulson very dynamic...he introduced parking meters to Newcastle and was first man to be booked by a warden.....

Geoff
.... The start of his criminal career?

John T
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  #21  
Old 19th October 2014, 05:18
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.... The start of his criminal career?

John T
Sometime around 1960 i was approached, by a Dock Crane driver who was a local Councillor ,and asked if I wanted to work for someone who was going to change the face of the North East, I forger what the job involved but as I had only just changed employers I declined...The man would have been Poulson....

Geoff
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  #22  
Old 19th October 2014, 05:54
Succour Succour is offline  
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Streets in the Sky

Lived in one of those high rise blocks in Felling.
Nightmare...! Gypsy man kept a pony up on the 11th, took it up and down in the lift where it would leave a few nuggets for the residents to savor. Knocking shops on various floors. Hang your washing in drying room and come back to find it nicked. Freezing cold and damp in winter. the only form of central heating was hot fat on your head as you entered the main door, thrown from upper floors. Felling Elvis always hammered and one shoulder of his drape all worn threadbare as he went home by wall with a port list, plus all kinds of ex cons. One had a parrot and never ever cleaned the cage, the living room floor was inches deep in crap and feathers.
Cars covered in old oil and caretakers dying of heart attacks at regular centres trying to chase hooligans. They eventually pulled them down as nobody would live in them. Wonder why........

Our friends in the North.....? Dan Smith you will never know.
Succour.
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Old 19th October 2014, 07:00
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I have got the series on a USBS stick, great TV, aniel Craig plays the long haired loser, now the current face of James Bond.

Bob
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  #24  
Old 19th October 2014, 11:03
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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There was a bit of a Con that went on in regards to high rise flats of the type mentioned by Succour when the Councils decided not to knock them down. The Flats were renovated, new kitchens, double glazing, Reception Area complete with real flowers etc, etc and each Block had it's own Caretaker/ Security Man. To do this work everyone was moved out and after the renovations only selected people would be allowed to live there mainly the older people both single and couples to free up the Council Housing stock for those with families. It all went well barring for the odd incidents of Lift Breakdowns and then-----------the Cuts appeared, one Security Man was paid off leaving the one left to look after say two Tower Blocks, the CCTV broke down, no money to repair it due to the cuts and eventually the Council(s) realised that they had to put the Muppets ( Drongos) back into Flats to meet their housing shortage problem. Now the Elderly have to live with some of the problems Succour has mentioned until such times as they may and I repeat may be moved into a Council Care Home, that's if there are still any around by the time they meet the ever changing criteria.
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  #25  
Old 19th October 2014, 11:53
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Sometime around 1960 i was approached, by a Dock Crane driver who was a local Councillor ,and asked if I wanted to work for someone who was going to change the face of the North East, I forger what the job involved but as I had only just changed employers I declined...The man would have been Poulson....

Geoff
Dock crane driver, Councillor, Poulson - triple whammy! You made a wise choice, Geoff.

John T
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