There was a great deal of stormy weather during January and February, the Brigade was frequently on look out duty, but its services were not required.
8 January 1879
A long spell of still, frosty weather was followed yesterday by a gale of considerable force from the south-east, which still continues. Happily no disaster has occurred, although vessels have experienced difficulty in proceeding from the Tyne, and have in several instances put back. It is impossible to watch the action of the sea on the pier at South Shields without becoming aware of the extreme danger of its still being unprotected for a great part of its length. The members of the brigade and others are often in great peril in consequence. It would be a great boon, not only to the members of the brigade as means of safety in a stormy night, but the general public, if the Tyne Commissioners would carry on the railing to the full extent of the pier.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 8 January 1879
From an early hour yesterday morning, the wind blew strongly from the south-east, and the sea broke heavily over the piers and on the Black Middens. The wind increasing as darkness set in, several members of the Shields Volunteer Life Brigade mustered at their watch-house at the South Pier, and continued on duty during the night. At tide time this morning, at three o'clock, the wind blowing a strong gale, the sea was exceedingly high, breaking with such force over the South Pier that no one could venture far down with safety. Had any unfortunate vessel come ashore at this time, the chances of saving the crew would have been very small indeed. The night luckily was very light, the moon being at the full, and the few sailing vessels that came in all succeeded in getting into the harbour with safety. No screw-steamers made their appearance. Towards daylight the wind veered slightly the southward, though with undiminished force, and sea still continues very high.
During Tuesday, several vessels put into Shields Harbour for refuge. German brig Carl, sunk off the South Pier, after being in collision a fortnight ago, has become a wreck. One of the masts has been removed and brought into the harbour by Tyne Commissioners' men. The other mast will be recovered.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 9 January 1879
The bad weather produces more calls for improved safety measures at the pier.
The South Shields Pier
To Editor of the Shields Daily Gazette
SIR,—l was glad to notice, in your issue of yesterday, that you called attention to the dangerous state of the South Pier during stormy weather from the want of a sufficient rail on its northern edge. Already one life has been lost through it, and no surprise need be expressed if some wintry day should see other lives sacrificed in the same way. I am astonished that the more active members of the Life Brigade don't move the matter of having the rail put up, for to them particularly it is of vital importance to have every protection afforded them while in the discharge of their hazardous duty. The Tyne Commissioners may excuse themselves to the public for not having the work done, but no excuse can be expected by men who risk their lives to save their fellow creatures. They at least have a right to demand that all possible means should be given them to lessen the danger of their labour. True, there is a rail, but it ends where the greatest danger commences, and begins at a spot where it has long been formidable in strong easterly gale. To go beyond the gate at certain times of the tide would be madness, for the sea here makes a clean sweep over the pier, and certain death would await the unfortunate being who might be washed over its perpendicular side. I hope the Shields Commissioners will do their best to get a rail placed along the whole length the pier. It is so at Tynemouth, and why not here! — Yours faithfully,
10 January 1879
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 11 January 1879
Shipwrecks and Loss of Life
The south-easterly gale, which had prevailed since Tuesday, abated greatly yesterday, and several vessels, which had put into the Tyne for shelter, were able to resume their voyages. Last evening, however, the wind again freshened, and blew strongly, accompanied by frequent heavy showers of hail and snow. The atmosphere was intensely cold. This morning snow has again fallen, and the ground is covered to a depth of two or three inches. The workmen employed by the Corporations of Tynemouth and South Shields are engaged in clearing the snow from the main thoroughfares of their respective boroughs.
The gale which visited this coast on Tuesday has continued with more or less severity, and last night the wind, which was still from the south-east, increased, was accompanied by sharp piercing showers of hail and snow. Few vessels have ventured out of the port of Sunderland, in consequence of the state of the weather, and vessels arriving experience considerable difficulty in taking the harbour. The Volunteer Life Brigade men are and have been on duty since the gale commenced.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 11 January 1879
The snowstorm which commenced on Thursday is still prevailing, and during this morning there have been several heavy snow showers. The men employed by the Corporations of Tynemouth and South Shields continue engaged in their endeavours to keep the main thoroughfares open for traffic, and to far their efforts have been successful, Last night, the storm was very severe, and was accompanied by heavy squalls of wind from the south-east. The sea also was very tempestuous, and the members of the Tynemouth and South Shields Volunteer life Brigades were on the look-out for vessels entering the Tyne. Fortunately, no casualty occurred.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 11 January 1879
Storm on the Coast
During last night and this morning a strong south-easterly gale and high sea prevailed along the north-east coast. During last night the gale was accompanied by a heavy downpour of rain, which abated towards daylight this morning. The sea has risen considerably during the night, and this morning the waves were dashing over the piers at the month of the Tyne, and the range was felt for a long way up the river. The members Tynemouth and South Shields Volunteer life Brigades were on duty during the night, but their services were not called into requisition. A large number of vessels have arrived in the Tyne this morning, several of them having put in for shelter. Two or three vessels which went to sea yesterday have since put back owing to stress of weather. The gale continues, although somewhat abated, and the weather has still a very unsettled appearance.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 14 February 1879
The Storm on the Coast
Stormy weather continues to prevail on the north-east coast. A south-easterly wind, which repeatedly freshened into a strong gale, has been blowing for several days, and has been accompanied by an exceedingly high sea. There have also been frequent showers of rain and snow. In consequence of the tempestuous weather very few vessels have put to sea from the Tyne and the lower part of Shields harbour is now crowded with laden steam and sailing vessels awaiting a favourable opportunity to proceed on their respective voyages. Several laden screw-steamers left the harbour yesterday morning, but, with very few exceptions, they put back again. The passenger screw-steamer Warsaw, which trades between Newcastle and Leith, sailed from the Tyne last night, and has not yet returned. As she had to go northward she would run before the gale, and the wind would be in her favour. About dusk last evening the steam-tug “Express” attempted to tow into the Tyne a Norwegian barque, but, owing to the heavy sea, she slipped the tow line, and ran to the north. The barque was under sail, and, by skilful seamanship, the crew succeeded in running her before the wind, and so navigating her safely into the harbour. The steam-tug followed some time afterwards. The screw-steamer Mary, of London, which struck near the Spanish Battery, at Tynemouth, on Sunday night, and afterwards foundered, is fast breaking up. Her funnel and mast have been carried away, and her hull completely submerged. During this forenoon there have been several falls of snow, and a keen frost has prevailed since an early hour this morning. The members of the Tynemouth and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigades were again on duty throughout the night, but their services were not required.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 18 February 1879
Storm on the Coast
Yesterday morning snow began to fall on the coast. Early on, a strong gale was blowing from the westward. By ten it had changed to the north-east, and increased in violence during the forenoon. Heavy showers of snow fell, the wind rising to a hurricane by twelve o'clock. The fine weather on Saturday afternoon had tempted many sailing vessels to go to sea, and those going northward met the gale and had to turn back. The blinding snow falls that came at Intervals rendered entrance to the river difficult and dangerous. The North Shields and the South Shields Life Brigades assembled and remained on duty during the day. The storm reached its height at noon, and the weather in the afternoon became mild and calm.
During the time the gale lasted crowds gathered on the piers, and other points from which a view could be got of vessels entering the harbour. Between ten and eleven a smack was observed coming from the north, and as a squall, with a heavy fall of snow, was blowing at the time, the crew were evidently unable see their exact position, so that the vessel got dangerously near to the South Pier. Fearing that a mishap might occur, the members the brigade ran the van containing the life-saving apparatus along the pier to be ready in case of need. Fortunately, however, the little vessel was righted, and she came safely in before the wind. About the same time other two small vessels crossed the bar, but in doing so they were in very close quarters, and some misgivings were felt for their safety until all danger was past. A little before twelve o'clock a schooner running in during a squall got close to the South Pier, and was in considerable danger of grounding. But just at that time the snow clouds became less dense, and the sun breaking out her crew saw the danger. So extreme seemed the danger at one time, that the alarm was raised on the North side that the vessel would go ashore. But what seemed excellent seamanship and great presence of mind the schooner's head was brought round to the wind, her side being for a moment exposed to the sea, and shot into the channel again like an arrow.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 24 February 1879
27 March 1879
The bad weather returns to the coast.
The Gale on the Coast
Yesterday the weather on the north-east coast was again very stormy, and during the evening the wind blew a gale from the SE, and the sea ran very high on the bar. The breakers were heavy, and they frequently broke over the piers. Owing to the gale a number of laden vessels are detained in Northumberland and Tyne Docks. The screw-steamers Lord Raglan and Countess of Aberdeen sailed yesterday. The screw-steamer Sentinel also sailed for London, but had put back, not being able to, contend against the gale. The members of the Tynemouth and South, Shields Volunteer Life Brigades have been on watch every day since the commencement of the storm, but fortunately their services have not been required. This morning the storm has quite abated. The wind has veered to the southward, and fallen to a dead calm, while the sea has likewise become comparatively smooth. A large fleet of screw-steamers have sailed from the Tyne this morning.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 28 March 1879
This article provide a rare first-hand account of the Brigade.
Local Character Sketches
Social Life on Tyneside
Short Sketches of Shields
II.-A Night with the South Shields Life Brigade
The Second of the Series of Short Sketches Shields will appear in the GAZETTE of Monday, and will be entitled A Night with the South Shields Life Brigade
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 29 March 1879
Short Sketches of Shields
II.-A Night with the South Shields Life Brigade
The most frequented walk South Shields is the road stretching from King Street on the one hand to the pier on the other. On arriving at the last-mentioned point the pedestrian observes to the south a long stretch of bleak, cheerless-looking sand and foreshore. To the north is the entrance to the harbour and the busy roadway of the vessels that in favourable weather are continually going and coming, laden with the produce of the continents between which they trade. On ahead is the pier stretching far into the sea, and forming one arm of the harbour so often run for by vessels in distress. And on this pier is the building tenanted by the South Shields Life Brigade. The wreck of Stanley stimulated the idea that had previously been entertained by many that the work of lifeboats must be supplemented by other means. The outcome of discussions on the subject was the formation of Life Brigades on the voluntary principle. The first of these brigades started was that at Tynemouth. South Shields soon followed the excellent example, and the buildings on the South Pier were erected in the year 1866. A more appropriate night could scarcely be chosen for a visit to the brigade house than that of Thursday last. Wind and water were both boisterous. True, there was not a fierce nor'-easter, with its general accompaniment of showers of blinding sleet. A steady gale was, however, blowing from the SE, and the sea ran high, and made it no means an easy matter to enter the harbour. On the pier were about a score of men who had gathered in the expectation of seeing some gallant vessel in distress, and who would have been ready at need to help the men of the brigade. These latter are housed in comfort, and will be waiting all night—or, at any rate, until daybreak—ready at a moment's notice to sally forth and to battle manfully, as only lifebrigadesmen or seafaring men can battle, to save life. Many are there who have been so saved during the 13 years that the brigade has been formed; indeed, no less than 200 persons, and probably many more, have to thank the men of the South Shields Life Brigade that they are now alive, and able to navigate their course, either on terra firma or on that larger portion of our globe which is covered by water./pr>
On the particular night of which we speak there is not large muster of members at the house on the pier. We must not suppose though that those who are not present are shirking their work. Should the danger signals be given the men quickly muster at the call of duty, and will do their duty manfully and well. Those who are attendance have evidently been placed in similar situations on many previous occasions. They set about the task of making themselves as comfortable as possible under the circumstances with promptitude worthy of emulation. A small knot of cronies describe a circle around the large stove in the centre of the members' room, and indulge in conversation on variety of subjects, both professional (nautical matter for the nonce is a professional subject) and general. One or two of the studiously inclined obtain books from the library in the room, and are soon deeply interested, it may be, in a sensational novel, or perchance they are poring over some occult work on the course of the Gulf Stream, or the wonderful currents which are ever at work in the depths of the mighty ocean. These studies are considerably aided by the weed for which we have chiefly to thank Sir Walter Raleigh. What the men of the South Shields Life Brigade would have done had they lived in the time of the first James is a problem which we will not attempt to solve here. Probably they would have thought, as some of that monarch's contemporaries did, that he was the wisest fool in Europe. To the noun at any rate they would have agreed, if not to the qualifying adjective. Other members again are indulging in that particular form of amusement said to have been invented for the delectation of a mad King of France. The same people of to-day, however, who are fond of one or other of the many popular games at cards, may, if at all troubled on this point, derive consolation from the fact that cards were in vogue some centuries before the king in question ruled over our neighbours on the other side of the silver streak. Chess and draughts are also provided, and by their aid many an irksome hour is whiled away which would otherwise hang rather heavily on hand.
It must not be imagined though that no lookout is being kept, or that the brigadesmen are all devoting themselves to amusements. So far from this being the case two men are up in the watch tower keeping vigilant glances directed on the foam-crested waves that are dashing about the extremities of the piers. As vessel after vessel is caught sight of these men watch closely. From the time that the steamer or rig, as the case may be, is first caught sight of, a distance of a mile-and-a half or two miles, until she has safely entered the harbour and is waiting for her pilot board, she is under the watchful notice of our friends the tower. As each light is seen indicating an approaching craft the same attention is manifested, and all through the night is this kept up. With these men there is no relaxed vigilance. For the term during which they are set to watch they are ever on the alert.
In the course of the evening one or two visitors look in and are courteously shown round. One of these the other evening was a gentleman from the south of England to whom a life brigade was somewhat of a novelty.One of these the other evening had made the acquaintance of the keepers the Eddystone, had used the glasses of the men at both the North and South Forelands, had visited the lightships stationed near the terrible Goodwin Sands, and was generally familiar with the work of the ordinary coastguardsman. But a voluntarily supported body of men so efficiently trained for the special purpose was, already intimated, something new, and the curious visitor, to borrow the phrase which is supposed to be the property of the Duke of Argyle, "wanted to know, you know," all about the place, the men and the general fixings. The names of the many ships that have gone ashore close at hand, as exhibited on the walls of the long room, are pointed out and taken as conclusive evidence, if evidence were require d on such a point, of the services that have rendered by the hosts of the evening. The room in which shipwrecked persons can be comfortably berthed is next visited, the stores of clothing in reserve are displayed, and attention is drawn to some bunks designed for patients who may have had the misfortune to get broken legs or to have experienced other casualties in getting ashore. In the doctor's room are all the appliances for surgical operations. Indeed, throughout the establishment careful attention is given to the minutest detail, and everything required is in its place ready for use at the time required. Ascending the spiral staircase the visitor is ushered into the watch tower. This is in total darkness, owing to the fact that light in would probably mislead those out at sea. In the opinion of the watchman it a “very nasty night, sir," and a sharp look-out must be kept. From this tower one naturally obtains a more expansive view than from the pier below. The angry waves may be seen to the north and south ceaselessly heaving and rolling about and apparently anxious to suck men and ships into their depths. This is what their restlessness suggests to the men the tower. Descending again to the lower rooms, another guide takes the visitor in hand, and explains the working of the rocket apparatus, all of which must necessarily be kept in admirable order and ready for use at instant's notice. And that this is done is shown by the promptitude and celerity with which everything requisite is obtained on occasion of a vessel coming ashore. With all these things though, our readers are familiar, and description would be work of supererogation. It is also needless to say that the visitor we have accompanied expresses cordial approbation of all that he sees.
At midnight supper is provided, and at its conclusion the amusements of the evening are fallen back upon. The goddess Nicotine is again wooed by her faithful followers. And while these are enjoying forty whiffs some few others take the opportunity of indulging in forty winks. And so the time is passed away until morning, and for this night at least the services of the men have not been required.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 29 March 1879
The need to improve the rocket signals produces a new suggestion.
An interesting experiment was made at Tynemouth, on Friday evening, by the Volunteer Life Brigade with a new rocket signal. The Harbour Lifeboat Committee, it appears, have suggested, in case of a vessel getting ashore on the south side of the South Shields Pier, that an extra gun should be fired by the Spanish Battery, namely, four guns instead of three —the fourth gun to denote that the luckless vessel was outside the pier. The apparatus and lifeboat, could then be at once, taken to the outside, and much precious time saved. The authorities concurred with the suggestion, but could not see their way to recommend an alteration in the gun signals, which, as all must admit, are widely known, A private signal, to be used after the ordinary one, and which would be clearly understood by the parties at South Shields was thought of. The Board of Trade were communicated with, and a rocket, which would give loud report when in the air, was suggested. This was the kind of thing experimented with on Friday, with very favourable result. The explosions were very loud, and several persons, purposely stationed at various distances, heard them distinctly. The rocket differs much from the ordinary one, and has no stick. It measures six inches in length, and is about two inches in diameter, and is cylindrical in form. For firing it is placed in a strong metal socket, which has a hole in the side, close to the bottom, through which the fuse is placed. The top of the rocket contains a charge of gun cotton, or a similar material, and when at an altitude of upwards of 200 yards, this explodes with a loud report.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 26 May 1879
The Annual Meeting took place in the Watch House.
SOUTH SHIELDS VOLUNTEER LIFE BRIGADE.
THE Members are respectfully informed that the ANNUAL MEETING will be held in the Watch House, on Thursday, 10th inst., at 7.30 p.m.
S. MALCOLM, Hon. Secretary.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 8 July 1879
Henry Nelson was the President of the Eligible Building Society
The Treasurer of the South Shields Life Brigade begs to acknowledge, with thanks, the receipt of £5 from Henry Nelson. Esq., J.P., Westoe.
Source: Shields Gazette and Daily Telegraph 12 July 1879
Additional coverage of the Annual Meeting.
The annual meeting and supper of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade is always a delightful re-union. The report for the year just closed was not so full of the deeds of daring of the volunteers in the cause of humanity as many of its predecessors, the past winter, although an exceptionally severe one, having been got over with fewer casualties at the south side of Shields harbour than for some years previously. Only one vessel, the German barque Jacob Rothenburg, of Rostock, was driven ashore during a severe gale, and the brigadesmen succeeded in saving the lives of the crew, seven in number, and the English pilot, who was navigating the vessel from the Thames to the Tyne. The brigade has indeed done noble service; so have the crews of the Tyne lifeboats, to whom honour is due for their heroic efforts in reaching the hapless vessels driven upon our coast. It was mentioned at the Brigade supper that the Tyne—the "little Tyne” as she is more familiarly known amongst the pilots, and which belongs to South Shields—has been the means of saving 1,001 lives. Well done, "little Tyne," may you long float to be the pride of the birth-place of lifeboats and lifeboatmen
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 12 July 1879
There is no record as to whether or not the Brigade used the signals.
Trial of Distress and Alarm Signals at South Shields
On Saturday night, Mr T. G. Wells, on behalf of the Cotton Powder Company, Limited, London, exhibited their patent rocket distress and alarm signals at the South Pier, South Shields, Although only a short notice had been given of the exhibition, a great many persons were assembled, .including the representatives of shipping firms, shipowners, shipmasters, and others interested in shipping, as well as several lifeboatmen and members of the Volunteer Life Brigade. The socket is of bronze, and can be fixed the rail or deck of a vessel. The signals can be readily fired under the most adverse circumstances The distress signal is in the form of a small cylinder, and when placed in the socket from which it is to be fired by means of friction tube, is instantaneously propelled, to a height of from five to six hundred feet, and then bursts, giving out a bright light and immediately afterwards a loud report, throwing out stars. The alarm signal is in every way similar to the distress signal, but does not throw out any stars. This signal allows a vessel to call the attention of any other vessel approaching her, and apparently without keeping a lookout. It has been adopted by the Board of Trade for firing to collect the lifeboat crew at Tynemouth when their services are required. The experiments were highly successful, and gave much satisfaction to those assembled. With regard to the above distress signal the following appears in the October number of " Cassell's Family Magazine" :— "The want of an efficient signal of distress— that is, one giving out both light and sound— has long been felt by the mercantile marine; and it satisfactory to know that a very promising one was recently tried at Woolwich. It is seven inches long, and two in diameter, and is fired from small cannon (the socket) eight inches deep and two and half in bore, which is securely fixed to the bulwarks or the deck of the endangered vessel. The charge is cotton, powder, or tonite, and the firing is done by means of a friction tube and lanyard, so that no match, port-fire, or light is required to set it off. When launched it rises to a height of 600 feet and bursts like a rocket, shedding a bright light in the air which can be seen for seven miles, and emitting shrill report which can be heard at almost double that distance."
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 29 September 1879
The Brigade were on standby, but their services were not required.
The Alburtus, Hensen, from Hunsun, a small vessel of 89 tons, in ballast, was nearly wrecked about 4 o'clock whilst entering the harbour. A lull in the wind rendered steering almost impossible, and a heavy sea carried her right away to the southward. The steam-tug Friends ventured to her assistance through the rough water, and just managed to get hold of her towline in time to prevent her running against the south pier. It was an exceedingly narrow escape, and the Tynemouth lifeboat was got in readiness to go to the rescue, but happily their services were not required. The members of the South Shields Life Brigade, who were on duty at the Watch Tower on the South Shields Pier, also deemed it advisable to run the van containing the rocket apparatus along the pier, in order that all might be in readiness in case of need.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 3 November 1879
The alterations to the Watch House had put a strain upon the Brigade’s finances.
South Side Notes
By “Wanderin’ Willie”
One of the most humane of our public institutions is the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade. Its members are most self-denying. They leave their comfortable homes on stormy nights, and “muster for duty" at the watch house on the Pier. They expose themselves to inclement weather, and also to the danger of being washed from the pier, all for the sake of rendering assistance to the hapless crew of any vessel that may unfortunately be driven upon the shore. The service is purely voluntary, and the institution is entirely maintained by voluntary contributions. I am informed, however, that the finances are at low ebb. This is very unfortunate, but I sure that appeal to the public will meet with hearty response. The matter has been under the consideration of the committee, and they have decided to call upon their friends to represent the state of matters, and if possible to square their accounts. I only hope the committee will meet with all the support they desire,
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 29 November 1879
More bad weather on the coast.
Gale off the North-East Coast
Yesterday, and to-day, the weather in this neighbourhood has been stormy. Yesterday the wind blew a gale from the north-east, with blinding showers of snow. The sea was very high, and the members of the Tynemouth and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigades were on duty. The screw-steamer Alice, of and for Grangemouth, and the Danish screwsteamer Odin, with some sailing vessels, left Shields harbour, but the storm was so strong that several of them were compelled to put back, among them the screw-steamers Odin and Alice. The screw-steamer Camilla, Captain Smith, arrived in the Tyne, from London, and Mr Smith reports the weather at sea as most terrific. The wind blew violently into strong snow showers. The sea about ten miles off the land was much heavier than it was along the coast. A number of light screw colliers bound to the north are beyond their usual time of arriving, and several of them were compelled to run for and put into Bridlington Bay, where there were also several vessels stormbound.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 1 December 1879
The benefit was for the widows and orphans of T. Wells, Jacob Harrison sen and Jacob Harrison, nephew of J.H. senior, who went missing during a gale on the 14 October.
South Side Notes
By “Wanderin’ Willie”
The gentlemen amateurs of South Shields intend giving another performance in the Theatre Royal, kindly lent by the lessee (Mr Fred. Cooke) for the occasion. The performance will be given on Tuesday, the 23rd inst., and will be for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the pilots recently drowned off the Tyne. The amateurs will appear in Mr H. T. Craven's drama "Meg's Diversion," and will be assisted Mrs Fred. Cooke, Miss Edith Burton and Miss Nelly Harfleur. The concluding piece will be the late Mr J. B. Buckstone's farce "Dead Shot." The orchestra will be occupied by the South Shields Orchestral Union. Previous to the performance there will be a torch light procession by the members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, headed by the band of the Sixth Durham Rifle Volunteers. The entertainment is announced under influential patronage, and there is no doubt the amateurs will again honoured with a crowded house.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 13 December 1879
SOUTH SHIELDS LIFE BRIGADE
A SPECIAL MEETING of the Members will held in the Watch House on Saturday next, Dec. 20th, at 7 p.m.
S. MALCOLM, Honorary Secretary.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 18 December 1879
SOUTH SHIELDS VOLUNTEER LIFE BRIGADE
MEMBERS and PILOTS are requested to meet, To-Morrow (Tuesday), Dec. 23, in Ocean Road, near the Marine Hotel, at 6 45 p.m., to attend a performance in the Theatre Royal for the BENEFIT OF PILOTS' WIDOWS AND ORPHANS. 6th Durham Volunteer Band will attend.
S. MALCOLM, Honorary Secretary./p>
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 22 December 1879
Amateur Theatricals in South Shields
A large and fashionable audience assembled last night at the Theatre Royal South Shields, to witness another performance by the gentlemen amateurs of the borough. The entertainment was for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the South Shields pilots who were drowned at sea a few weeks ago, and was under the patronage of the Mayor and Mayoress, the Town Clerk, officers and members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, &c. Prior to the entertainment the members of the brigade, headed by the band of the Sixth Durham Rifle Volunteers, marched from the bottom of Ocean Road to the Theatre. The performance commenced with the drama, by Mr H. T. Craven, entitled "Meg's Diversion," in which the characters were sustained as follows :—Jeremy Crow (a Devonshire farmer), Mr T. F. Wilson; Ashley Merton, Esq. (of the hall), Mr G. R. Lyall, Jasper Pidgeon (a village carpenter), Mr R. P. Aitchison ; Roland Pidgeon (his brother), Mr J. N. Guy Eytem (an Exeter lawyer), Mr H. B. Buckland; Cornelia and Margaret (daughters of Crow), Miss Edith Burton and Mrs Fred Cook; Mrs Nutwell (of the Grange, widow), Miss Nelly Harfleur. The concluding item was Mr J. B. Buckstone's laughable farce, entitled “Dead Shot." The following artistes took part :—Captain Cannon, Mr W. McDowell; Mr Hector Timid, Mr G. R. Lyall; Mr Wiseman, Mr T. F. Wilson; Frederick Thornton, Mr H. L. Green; Williams, his friend, Mr H. Willis; Lousia Lovetrick, niece to Captain Cannon, in love with Frederick, Miss E. Burton; Chatter, her maid, Miss Nelly Harfleur. The amateurs were ably assisted by Miss Edith Burton, Miss Nelly Harfleur, and Mrs Fred. Cooke, wife of the lessee, who kindly granted the use of the theatre for the occasion. The orchestra consisted of the following:—Violins—Dr. Henry, Messrs Hetherington, W. Guthrie, J. W. Buckland, DeRedder, Lawrence, and Osborne. Violas—Messrs Stokoe and Townson. Violincello and bass—Messrs T. Guthrie and Scott. Flute and piccolo—Mr Hare. Clarionettes— Messrs Batey and Palmer, jun. Cornet—Mr Hall. Horns—Messrs Greenwell and Hicks. Euphonium and trombone—Messrs Sewell and Lam belie. Drums—Mr Buckham. Conductor —Mr Charles Palmer.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette and Telegraph 24 December 1879