Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Memories Inspired by the 'Esso Four'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Memories Inspired by the 'Esso Four'

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Morton Nostalgia Editor david.morton.editorial@ncjmedia.co.uk

OUR recent story about Leslie Street, Wallsend, and the pictures of the children playing outdoors as the Esso Northumbria took shape in the back-background sparked a massive response from readers.

We told how the four young friends - Paul Muir, Neil Stoker, Hazel McLean and Pam McAllister - had met as adults for the first time, and on the same spot, since the iconic picture was taken in April, 1969.

The street and Swan Hunter shipyard are both long-gone, but the "Esso Four" soon rekindled their old friendships as they met in the grounds of Segedunum Roman museum in Wallsend where Leslie Street had once backed on to the shipyard.

Julie Frater, from Wallsend Memories and Photographs Facebook group, was instrumental in re-uniting the former pals.

She said: "We've been thrilled at the response to the story.

"We are meeting with Segedunum again soon and hoping to organise a much bigger reunion next year for other folk who lived in Leslie Street - and other near-by streets. It's in its early stages, but we're hopeful.

"Meanwhile, the four have all met up in Newcastle and enjoyed a meal together - and they're planning another gettogether soon."

The story struck a chord with Chronicle readers, stirring fond memories of a lost Tyneside and a vanished way of life.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of messages posted on the Chronicle's Facebook page. We will print more soon.

| Rita Patterson: We lived |at no. 26 Leslie Street in 1963. Mr Bloxom was upstairs. Happy memories of times watching the big ships being built. I also remember May's shop. It was always open and seemed to sell everything. Happy days.

Kathleen Rothery: I used | to live at the bottom of that street when I was married in 1975. My first job in 1969 was at Swan Hunter.

James Bridgewood: |Marvellous, that's my auld street.

Davey Gauntlett: Great |photos. Shame there's no industry in our region now.

Louise Ramsay: This is |one of my favourite photos - and now with the reunion photo it's just fantastic Elizabeth Johnstone: |Wallsend. …

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