Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Tag Archive for ‘gateshead’

Four Candles, Please

The 1972 Miners’ Strike introduced me, along with the rest of the UK populous of that time, to the joys of power cuts. Not to mention more frequent use of the query “Has anyone seen that box of matches?!” January and February’s frequent electricity shortages, caused by the Central Electricity Generating Board’s fuel saving strategy, hit domestic residences hard. My childhood home in Low Fell, Gateshead, included. Always a pragmatist, my undemonstrative […]

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Angel Contemplating My Fate

Recently, I’ve felt moved to pen a few unreliable memories from my upbringing on Low Fell. The Gateshead borough which on its southern border, shared with Low Eighton and Birtley, resides one of the countries most iconic sculptures, the Angel of the North. When I left my parent’s three bedroom semi-detached home on Dorchester Gardens in 1987 would’ve been only a twinkle in the designers eye. Like George Bailey’s guardian angel Clarence in […]

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As I recall, the Low Fell library was built-in the early 1970’s. Progress of its construction at the corner of Durham Road and Chowdene Bank something I witnessed during games of football on adjacent grassland on the cusp of a small dene. A near neighbour of the Thomas Wilson WMC. A club I’m told was named after an acclaimed Low Fell based poet. I didn’t ask the person who informed […]

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No Heavy Petting, Pet

Birtley Baths in the 1970’s, destination of my infrequent childhood swimming trips; the pool I’d venture to when seeking chlorine induced red eyes or veruccas. I realise it’s unusual to seek out those afflictions, but my mum had a strange approach to keeping up with the Jones’. Seeking not to miss out on anything the neighbours had acquired, good or bad. As indicated my sojourns to sample the joys of […]

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The Green, Green Baize of Gateshead

In October 1983 a brand spanking new snooker centre opened adjacent to the Springfield Hotel on Durham Road, Gateshead. Being a big fan of the game back then, along with a few mates, I signed the dotted line to become a club member. With the exception of a dimwit called Nadger***, who’d regularly chalk the wrong end of his cue, my buddies and me were all roughly of the same […]

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Fell Fridays – The Taprooms

Yesterday in Friday Nights On The Fell I wrote of the Low Fell pub route mates and I undertook on Friday evenings in the early 1980’s. Within this journal, relaying the order of service (at the bar, not from the pulpit) and some of the characters with whom I socialised back then. Admittedly, this meander on foot was barely the staggering achievement of Hannibal’s trek across the Alps – Mimicking that challenging route […]

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Friday Nights On The Fell

In the early 1980’s, when I was in my late teens/early twenties, Friday night drinking ordinarily took place with mates in Low Fell’s fine drinking establishments. Saturdays normally in the company of my partner in the centre of Newcastle. Although none of our group suffered from OCD, a habitual itinerary of public house patronising was followed most weeks :- 7pm – Meet mates at The Beaconsfield, followed by a pint […]

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