Inside Old St Mary's, Gateshead
176

In this blogposting...
*AGM IX
*Miss Simonova’s sand-painting
*Peter (again)
*Birthday Blog

NOT in this blogposting...

*that bird in South Shields
*the River Wear Treasure

AGM IX
Anthea Lang, Gateshead’s local history supremo, had the great misfortune to bump into us all while we were disturbing the peace of Saltwell Towers during AGM VIII. She then proceeded to compound her bad luck by inviting us to join her for our next AGM. The consensus amongst truckshunters (a contradiction in terms if ever there was one) is that we should gratefully accept her foolish invitation.

Which is why AGM IX will take place at 1100 on Wednesday 4 November at St Mary’s Information Centre in Gateshead.

Amongst Gateshead Council’s many inspiring ideas of recent years - the Angel, the Sage, BALTIC, the Millennium Bridge - one of the brightest was to take over Old St Mary’s Church and convert it into a Heritage Centre. I’ve been several times and can confirm that it’s an awesome venue. The conversion from church to exhibition and meeting areas is both sensitive and startlingly successful, and the exhibitions staged there are fascinating to both local history enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Although there is no cafe there, Anthea has said that she will lay on a cuppa for us. And even if she can’t (or has wisely changed her mind) we can pop next door to the Sage to slake our collective thirst.

Old St Mary’s is the church that stands proudly looking down at the Tyne Bridge, and between it and the Sage. There isn’t much parking nearby. Take a Quaylink bus from Newcastle city centre instead.

A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

UKRAINE’S GOT TALENT (continued)
Blog 175 featured an email I’d received from Maureen. She’d sent me a link to YouTube which showed a Ukrainian lass on their version of the unfortunate British tv show. Her breathtaking talent is ‘sand-painting’; using nothing more than grains of sand to draw constantly changing pictures on a flat, underlit, board. It genuinely stops you in your tracks.

Maureen has since sent me a copy of the narrative that accompany’s Miss Simonova’s performance. So do what I’ve just done: watch the clip again with a copy of the ‘storyline’ - see below - in front of you. It’ll move you even more, I promise.

‘Ukraine lost about a quarter of its population during the Second World War - about 20% of total fatalities. With the help of sand, Miss Simonova’s pictures show the Ukrainian loss of life during the German invasion in 1941.

The opening scene shows a couple sitting on a bench beneath a sky full of stars. Suddenly warplanes appear and the happy scene is replaced by sad faces. Then comes a baby, so the woman smiles again. But the bane of the war turns her into a widow. Finally, the sand picture takes the form of the Unknown Soldier of Ukraine.’

Thanks Maureen. And give Christine our love.

PETER (continued)
Peter, who also featured in posting 175, has given me permission to reproduce the contents of his email in full. So here are two colourful little snippets of Peter’s family history. Do you have any stories like this that you wouldn't sharing?

In an early posting, I mentioned St Rita. Peter says...
‘...my brother-in-law’s mother was called Margaret Rita but (and there’s always a ‘but’) she was supposed to be christened Marguerita. However, they couldn’t spell it in the registry office so she was called Margaret Rita instead!...
At her funeral service, when they close the curtain in the crematorium and play some music (like ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams or ‘You Raise Me Up’ or ‘Angel’ by Sarah Maclachlan) she had ‘Just Wanna Dance The Night Away’ by The Mavericks blasting out!'

How’s that for style!

BIRTHDAY BLOG
Thanks to Hildie for pointing out that the very first truckshunter blogposting appeared almost two years ago to the day - on October 31, 2007. As I sit typing here at home, those days seem like a world away and aeons ago. They do things very differently there now.

My aim from the beginning was to produce a posting about 5 times a week - a target which has, of course, changed since The Nightshift went off-air. Because I enjoyed doing it, and because listener reaction seemed to be so positive, I persisted with the blog until ‘official’ reaction at the BBC turned from total indifference to opposition. Last October, I was instructed not to mention the blog on-air as it ‘was not an official BBC blog’.

I was heartbroken and it seemed to me at the time that, if I was not allowed to ‘promote’ the blog during my programme, there was little point in continuing to write it at all. You, however, proved me wrong. The blog still has a gratifyingly large and diverse group of enthusiasts, many of whom leave no mark except perhaps an occasional comment or email.

Even more remarkable is the blog’s extension from the purely digital world into the real world of get-togethers, cups of tea and coffee, cakes, laughter and all the other stuff that happens when such an idiosyncratic group of people meet up.

I’ll never get tired of saying what an amazing community The Nightshift’s listeners turned out to be, whether or not they are able to turn up at an AGM. What has happened is probably - in its own small way - unique in broadcasting history. The credit for that belongs entirely to you: an immensely supportive collection of affectionate, innovative and charismatic listeners who simply refused to let The Nightshift die.

Thankyou.

CONTACT ME
Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com

24 comments:

Maureen said...

Aw shucks, thanks for the compliments Ian but remember that you are responsible for getting us Nutters together, so you aren't entirely blame-free, you know! I do hope that I can make it to St. Mary's. I wasn't aware of it's existance and it looks very interesting.
I'm pleased that you found the Ukraine's got talent entry so thought provoking ... a bit different to ours isn't it? The translation is well worth reading in full.
I know that there are a few photographers out there and those who are interested in wildlife. Take a look at the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year results on the Natural History Museum website. The Overall Winner's photograph of the wolf is amazing.
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/photo.do?photo=2554&category=56&group=4
Oh! and 3 cheers for Margaret Rita!

Sid said...

I can understand why people were in tears watching that young woman with the sand pictures. I had to pause for a little while and then go back to it. Shameful to say I wasn't aware that the Ukrain suffered so much in 1941.
Looking forward to the agm at St Mary's Church, hope to see some of you there.

Sid said...

Congratulations everybody, we made it to two. Here's to the next one..

Maureen said...

I'm thinking that I can possibly park at the Sage. Does anyone know if there's a time limit? You know how time flies when we get together ...

Sid said...

I'll do a recce Maureen and let folks know, I bet Vivienne knows, she is on the ball where things like that are concerned.
If Anthea does the coffee I'll bring the biscuits...

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks!

I'm sure there isn't a time limit at the Sage, but the charges are high. There are good free facilities for disabled people, up by the west door. I haven't been into St. Mary's so don't know if there are any better car parks near at hand. Recently I've parked on the main road east of the traffic lights which lead to the Sage car park and the Baltic. There are no parking restrictions on a limited stretch of road, but it's a bit further to walk.

How's Christine after her op? Any chance of her coming along too?

Maureen said...

Thanks Vivienne Sid was right wasn't he? I've googled St Mary's and moved the little man up and down the street so I know exactly where you mean. Brilliant technology eh?
I'm afraid that Christine won't be that mobile for a while, but I'll pass on the invitation and good wishes. She's making good progress by the way.

Leroy La Strange said...

Howdy Pardners,

I think I fall into the occasional comment and email Shunter of trucks, but I do read it on a regular basis......... I will one day make it to an AGM I promise.

Eeee us busy Bees Eh???

Bestest Wishes to all except the BBC who are a Load of Dingo's Kidney's.........

Loz said...

BOO! Yes I'm, still here having blown back from strawberry picking in the Ardennes.(otherwise known as following speedway in some climes..... so look out below - you never know where I may appear!

Hope everyone's well.

Lawrence

Sid said...

It's all Hildies fault...Ambient Sausage Rolls?

I had a thoroughly good time today at St Mary's Church and The Sage. Very pleased to meet Ada and Lawrence for the first time.

One of the big talking points today was something Hildie brought to the meeting. 'Ambient sausage rolls'. Mind you they were very tasty, but we couldn't decide why or what, made them 'Ambient'.
Google had the answer: Any Ambiant food is food that can be stored at room temperature.
I don't know about anyone else but I'm quite disappointed with that explanation. I had expected something rather more grand.
At the next AGM I shall have an Ambient Cheese Scone....

Maureen said...

I'd like to add my agreement to Sid's comments about todays AGM a good time was had by all, as always. Nice to meet Ada and Lawrence who I was beginning to think was a figment of our collective imagination!
Sid I think I found a more colourful comment on ambient food within a blog named Purple Passages:
Ambient food is food that can be stored at room temperature i.e: the ambient temperature of the food. Basically it's fresh food that doesn't need refrigerating but the use of the word 'ambient' makes it feel far more important and mysterious. So next time you buy an ambient sausage roll, take it home and if it fails to create an atmosphere march straight back to the Co-Op with your lacklustre processed meat filled pastry product and complain.

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks,

I thoroughly enjoyed my day too, and Hildie's ambient sausage rolls. Thanks Hildie, and Ian too for the coffee. I've posted some of my photos on M&D. (murphyanddorastravels.blogspot.com)

Hildie said...

Who else, other than Truckshunters, could make learning(about ambient food) quite such fun?
Today's was yet another jolly AGM ...
made all the better for seeing Ada .... and for the surprise appearance of Lawrence.
Sid, you're right, we do look an odd bunch! Thanks, Ian, for instigating the whole, weird and wonderful idea!

Hildie said...

Just a thought ....
are all sausage rolls ambient? x

Vivienne said...

Hi Hildie,

I'd be most surprised if they were. I wonder what is in the ambient sausage rolls to keep them safe at room temperature! Sounds like there can't be any meat in them!!! However, they were delicious, even if we were eating plastic!!! Only joking Hildie!!!

Maureen said...

BTW if anyone else is having an 'issue' with profile pictures not being displayed after the first five entries... It's not your fault! Blogger know about it and have their collective heads together apparently. Thought that I might save someone from wasting as much time on it as I have!

Sid said...

I hope everyone is ok after the agm, and all the fireworks yesterday.
Have you seen the few words under the TRUCKSHUNTER heading at the top of the blog. I wonder what they mean...

Sid said...

I would never have guessed...not even if you had counted to ten.

Maureen said...

Hi Sid, you just beat me to it! I was just wondering where everyone was tonight when you posed that question...you knew that I couldn't resist trying to answer it didn't you?

Maureen said...

Question that has kept me awake all night ...why? (If anyone hasn't been keeping up, the heading is the Basque translation of one to ten)

Maureen said...

We went to the Locomotion museum at Shildon (near Darlington)yesterday. I was talking about it to Ian at the AGM the other day. It used to be the Timothy Hackworth Museum and has received a lot of funding in the last 5 years. It's one of those places that I've been meaning to go back to and it was well worth it! It's now part of the National Railway Museum with York. It has a café, shop, loads of old engines and if you go nearer to Christmas you get a ride in the train and meet Santa in his grotto. A bit far for an AGM you reckon?

Hildie said...

Maureen, it sounds a spiffing place to go for Ian's birthday, he'd love it! Mind you, I dunno where Shildon is!

Sid said...

And to add to the suspense they sell Royal George Sausages in the Platform 7 cafe. How tasty do they sound...

Sid said...

But to be fair...I thought the group agreed on the Biscuit Factory for the next agm. Maybe after that eh...