Events 1890


1 January

The monthly drills continued to take place


THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday Afternoon, the 4th of January, 1890, at 3 o'clock. 

S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 January 1890

22 January


THE above CLASS will not MEET till FURTHER NOTICE.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 22 January 1890

23 January

The Annual Supper took place.

28 January

The brigade was represented at the Marsden Life Saving Company supper.

Marsden life Saving CompanyMarsden Life-saving Co.—A supper was held in connection with the Marsden Life-Saving Company on Saturday night in the ballroom at Marsden Grotto Inn. Mr L. W. Snowdon occupied the chair; and there was a large number of members and visitors present, including Messrs G. R. Potts and W. Ross, of the South Shields Life Brigade ; Mr Lorden, Chief Officer of the Coast Guard; and Messrs W. H. Douglass, T. Lumboy, R. Newton, and Marshall. An excellent repast was provided, to which ample justice was done, and a long and interesting programme was gone through, the evening's proceedings being enlivened by the vocal efforts of Messrs Brown, T. Snowdon, Grieves, Gibson and Young, all whom were heartily received. Altogether a very enjoyable evening was spent, and several expressed their desire that the supper should be made an annual one.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 28 January 1890

29 January 1890

SOUTH SHIELDS VOLUNTEER LIFE BRIGADE, THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday afternoon, the 1st of February, 1890, at 4 o’clock.

S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 29 January 1890


28 February 1890

The Brigade contributed to the Lifeboat memorial fund.

The Lifeboat Memorial.—The Hon. Secretary begs to acknowledge with thanks £10 5s from the members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade; also from Mr R. Ingram, 10s 6d, Mr Luke Mackey £1 1s, Mr J. P. Matherson £1, Mr John Hinde £1, and Mr J. Hodge 2s 6d. Further contributions will be gratefully received.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 28 February 1890



1 April

SOUTH SHIELDS VOLUNTEER LIFE BRIGADE. THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday afternoon, the 5th April, 1890, at 6 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM- Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 April 1890

5 April

The Brigade was involved in the rescue of the crew of the Abbey Holme.

28 April

The Ambulance Class was examined.

Ambulance Teaching in South Shields

The Ladies Class

On Saturday afternoon the ladies connected with the Ambulance Class taught by Dr. Crease met at the Y.W.C.A. Rooms, in Victoria Terrace. South Shields, and were there questioned as to their knowledge in various kinds of ambulance the examiner being Surgeon-Major Hutton, and they acquitted themselves a very creditable manner.

The Life Brigade Class

On Saturday evening the members of the St, John Association Ambulance Class, connected with the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade and taught by Dr. Crease, assembled the in the Watch-house on the South Pier, where they were examined by Surgeon-Major Hutton as to efficiency in bandaging, stretcher drill, and treatment of the apparently drowned, and questioned on the various subjects having relation to first aid to the injured as taught under the auspices of the association. The men appeared to acquit themselves with great credit in every respect, and Dr Crease was warmly complimented by the examiner on the general efficiency they had displayed, Afterwards Surgeon-Major addressed the men. He said he had come there with great pleasure to examine them in that ambulance work. He did not know any class he had taken greater interest in than the Volunteer Life-Brigade of South Shields. It was


of men he examined in that work, and he had listened on many occasions to the gallant deeds that they had done in saving life from shipwrecks there, and it had been his pleasing duty to place on record on many platforms, in speaking of first-aid work, the great services they performed from time to time there in South shields. That night they had gone through their exercises in a most creditable way. Their bandaging was exceedingly well done, and the stretcher work was equally well done. Those stretcher exercises in his opinion were the most important part of their work. The very term "ambulance* suggested to outside observers that their work was carrying injured men and in his opinion the stretcher exercise was the very foundation of their first-aid work. In the very manner in which they moved a man to his home or the hospital the public would judge to the practicability of their work. If he was carried carefully, ambulance men would gain credit the same was as they found lifeboat men gained credit for their gallant services in saving life. What he said to other classes, he said to them, that they were not to look upon the fact of having attended the lectures and passed examination as the end of their work.


from the time they took their certificates, and they were in duty bound, having taken certificates to have practices, say once month; He was glad to find they had kept up their interest in that work, and had come there for the examination. He believed there were only two new recruits there that night. He hoped, however, before another year had passed over, they would not only have two, but twenty fresh recruits. The fact was they could only keep their efficiency by every now and again getting fresh recruits. He thought they ought to be very much obliged to Dr Crease. He looked upon Dr Crease as a very old friend of his own. They had been associated together in that work for ten or eleven years and he had always found the classes he instructed in a high state of efficiency. Those of them who had passed their first examination, if they kept up their interest for another year, they would be examined again and they would be


of the St. John Ambulance Association. A member having kept up his interest for two years he would, especially if he was engaged in work where there were accidents in all probability have the opportunity of exercising his skill— not that they wanted opportunities, for they wished they could do away with accidents altogether-if they kept it up for two years, the probabilities were that they would keep it up all their lifetime. In whatever sphere of life a man found himself it was a work, if he went through it in a spirit earnestness, which would not only be a benefit to others but would make himself better man. He again expressed his pleasure of being there that night and was glad to say he should be able to make favourable and creditable report for the way in which they had gone through that examination. (The remarks of the examiner were frequently applauded during their delivery) —Dr Crease said he had learned of valuably service rendered by one of the members of that class, and he would like him make a short statement, as to the nature of the accident and the means he adopted to aid the injured man.—The member in question,


a joiner of South Shields, thereupon stepped ward. He said he was working at Heppell’s North Shields, when one of the labourers came running into the shop and asked if ambulance men were there. The foreman said there was, and on learning that an accident had happened on board a ship lying at the yard, (Thompson) ran down to the vessel. He learned that one of the joiners was working on the top of the hatches, when the "fore and afters" gave way, causing him to fall into the hold, the hatches falling on the top of him. He found the man lying in the hold with his left leg fractured, and bleeding fast. He ripped open his trousers and cut off his stocking and boot, and forming a bandage fastened it round the leg and stopped the bleeding. He then fixed some splinters to the leg. The man was then got out of the hold and taken to the Infirmary at North Shields. In reply to a question, Thompson said there was a great loss of blood before the bandage was on.


read the following letter on the subject, which he had received from Dr Harrison :—

20, Church Street, North Shields,
April 25th.

Dear Sir, I made inquiry this evening with regard to the case you mention. I found that the man is under the care of Dr. Mears.  Dr Mears informs me that he was exceedingly pleased with the way in which your pupil had treated the case. The injury was of a serious nature namely a compound fracture of both bones of leg, and had it not been attended by someone with thoroughly competent knowledge of the principles of "First Aid," the consequences might have been serious. Your pupil evidently understands how to put his knowledge into practice, and Dr Mears considers that he deserves every credit for his skilful treatment of the case. I may that the patient is progressing favourably and that he is very grateful for the kindness shown him when the accident occurred.

I am, Sir, yours very faithfully
James Harrison, M.D.

Dr Crease said such an instance as the above of the valuable service rendered by a member of the ambulance class almost repaid all the effort that had been made to impart instruction in the principles of first aid, for had fatal consequences ensued, as might have ensued but for the aid rendered by Mr Thompson, they had first to think of the sad loss to the bereaved relatives more especially if he was a married man and had family depending upon him. (Hear, hear.)- Mr G. R. Potts, one of the captains of the Brigade, moved a vote of thanks to Dr Hutton for his attendance there that evening. Being himself one of the first ambulance pupils connected with the Brigade he had a good recollection of many pleasant hours spent in the examinations conducted by Dr Hutton. The vote of thanks carried by hearty acclamation, and Dr Hutton having uttered few remarks in response, the proceedings terminated.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 28 April 1890


1 May


THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday Afternoon, the 3rd of May, 1890, at 6 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 May 1890

9 May

The Ambulance Class examination results were published.

St. John Ambulance Association. - The following are the names of successful candidates at the examinations held on the 26th April:—Ladies' First Aid—1st examination: K. Isabella B. Bailey, Charlotte Cottew. Mary Dodds, Bessie Helyer, Jane Heppell, Isabella Hodgson, Elizabeth Morris, Elizabeth Newton, Ellen Price, Annie W. Purvis, Mary A. Reay, Annie Robson, Maggie Shotton, Alice M. Stuart, Annie Stout, Elizabeth Margaret Turnbull. Margaret Wallis. Volunteer Life Brigade. - 1st examination: Richard Gardner, Matthew Stainton. re-examination: David Cook, James Cook, Joseph Crisp, Charles W. Harrison, Benjamin Heron, Patrick Lordan, Joseph M. Middleton, James Page, Joseph Pride, John W. Swainston, John Thompson, Thomas Woodhouse. Both these classes were instructed by Dr. Crease.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 9 May 1890

31 May


THE CORPS (in uniform) are Requested to Meet in the Watch House, on Tuesday, June 3rd, at 7-45 p.m.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 31 May 1890


3 June


THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday Afternoon, the 7th of June, 1890, at 6 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 3 June 1890

The Brigade took part in a major event took place in connection with the opening of Lifeboat memorial and the Marine Parks

18 June

There was a good beat up of delegates last night at the Town Hall, when the ballotting for places in the procession on Wednesday next took place. It was unanimously decided that the pilots and volunteer life brigade should occupy the leading positions, and of course there was no ballotting so far as they were concerned. The volunteer life brigade is placed in front as a matter of convenience, as they are to form a sort of guard of honour at the monument. The pilots, however, were awarded precedence because it is a Lifeboat Memorial that is to be unveiled. The word “Jubilee" was eliminated from the discussion. Chief- Constable Moorhouse, who is taking a hearty interest in the proceedings, was very appropriately named by the Town Clerk generalissimo of the forces, as he has general superintendence of the marshalling arrangements, so that the men who take may not be in any way impeded.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 18 June 1890

24 June

South Shields to the Front
The Lifeboat Inventors
To-Morrow’s Celebration

The year 1890 will celebrated in the annals of South Shields for a dual event, which strongly marks the individuality and enterprise of the thriving seaside borough. The Lifeboat Memorial, which is to be unveiled, will, so far as human foresight can judge, for very many years to come, be looked upon with feelings of pride and veneration, as it calls up to the minds of Shieldsmen the gallant deeds associated with the history the lifeboat since the first craft of the kind was launched at the mouth of the Tyne. The parks, which are to be formally opened, testify to the spirit and practical commonsense of the Corporation, and to the efficient manner in which its servants have executed the work imposed upon them in connection with the beautifying of what, not many years ago, was a number of unsightly sandhills. It may not out of place here to glance back and briefly recapitulate a few of the more


in the history of South Shields. Incorporated as borough the 3rd September, 1850, when the population was some 28,000, has gone on steadily increasing in importance from that day to this, the population being now estimated 70,000, while the rateable value has risen in the same period from £42,000 to £250,000, speaking in round numbers. Amongst the principal events which have occurred in connection with the borough in the last 40 years may be mentioned the establishment of the Sunderland and South Shields Water Company in 1852, by which the inhabitants are supplied with an article of every-day necessity which is admittedly of superior quality to that which other neighbouring towns have to be content with ; on June 15th, 1854, the foundation stones of the piers were laid, and now that gigantic undertaking has furnished to the town one of the finest sea promenades in the kingdom on March 3rd, 1859, Tyne Dock was opened, from whence an enormous amount of tonnage is shipped every day in the week; in the same year the volunteer movement originated, and now there are two highly efficient corps of artillery and infantry, which are spending the present week under canvas, one at Newbiggin and the other at Morpeth; April 10th, 1860, the New Mechanics' Institution in Ocean Road, was opened, and, now known as the Free Library, is stored with literary treasures, and by its books, magazines, and newspapers, places within the reach of every burgess and his family means of enlightenment which were impossible to working men forty years ago; on March 26th, 1861, was founded the Marine School by Dr Winterbottom, an institution which is to-day doing splendid service in equipping those who are to have the management of our ships with the knowledge that is requisite for the proper navigation of the same; in 1862 the Swimming Club came into existence, and having been instrumental in hundreds of men and boys learning the art of natation still flourishes with as much vigour ever; on August 29th, 1862, South Shields was created a separate port, with independent Custom House, the limits of the port being from Souter Point to the east end of Jarrow Quay; on January 15th, 1866, the Volunteer Life Brigade was established, and has over the intervening course of years saved many a shipwrecked crew from perishing; January 1st, 1867, the direct railway to Sunderland was re-opened, and on March 1st, 1872, the Pelaw, Jarrow, and South Shields Branch line was opened; on June 3rd, 1873, the Ingham Infirmary, which has proved  an invaluable institution, was opened, and many other public buildings too numerous to name here have since been erected. With its largely augmented population the town received the dignity, such as it may be, of being included amongst the county boroughs on the 1st April, 1889. Having gone over these features in the growth of the borough let us turn to the reasons for to-morrow's celebration. First, then, dealing with the lifeboat memorial, it is no news to Shields people to be told that the town has the honour producing the inventor of the lifeboat.

Bust of William Woodhave

The question as to whether the greater credit attaches to William Wouldhave or Henry Greathead has been so often discussed without any satisfactory result, that it will not be entered on here. The gentlemen in whose hands the arrangement for the erection of the memorial was placed recognised this difficulty, and therefore have included the names of both in naming it. William Wouldhave, we may briefly state, was born in 1751 in an old house in Liddell Street, North Shields-. When he grew up, he served his time as a painter. He seems, however, to have been of an eccentric nature, and never would stay long one trade. He is said to have had a very inventive mind, and amongst other things suggested an improvement in the building of docks, and on one occasion weighed up a ship that had been sunk and abandoned the mouth of the harbour. One who knew him, writing forty years ago, said "He was tall, lathy, enthusiastic man. When he heard anything that pleased or touched him—anything very ingenious or new mechanics, or tender in feeling, he was wont to spring straight up a yard high, like a piece of lead-eater (India-rubber), such a mercurial, irrepressible being was he." When the lifeboat had been tested and proved the means of saving many lives, Wouldhave made an effort to enforce his claim of the invention, but, owing to his poverty, and his violence of language to those who opposed him, he failed. For many years he was clerk at St. Hilda's Church. He died, poor and neglected, on the 28th September, 1821, aged 70 years, and was buried near the north boundary wall of the churchyard, within few feet of one of the busiest thoroughfares of the town. His tombstone has the following inscription, which can be read by persons passing to and fro on the sidewalk:-

Woodhave Garavestone

No portrait of Wouldhave, as far is known, exists. There is however in the Free Library a bust of him, made a few years after his death by a South Shields sculptor named Rowe, and it is considered a good likeness. Rowe removed to London and the work was lost, but in June, 1887, it was recovered by the then Mayor of South Shields, Ald. Eltringham, by whom it was presented to the town. A drawing of the bust is as given the first of the illustrations in this article.

Henry Greathead

According to a biographical sketch in a book entitled "Public Characters of 1806," Henry Greathead was born at Richmond, in Yorkshire, the 27th January, 1757. His father John Greathead, shortly after that date, was appointed officer of the salt duties, and in 1763 was promoted, and removed to South Shields. He died on the 15th December, 1802. His son, Henry, learned the business of a boatbuilder. In 1778, at the age of twenty-one, he was employed as ship's carpenter on board a vessel that sailed to Dantzic and the Baltic. In the following year, while on board vessel bound from Shields to the Island of Granada, he experienced shipwreck on the French coast near Calais. He had several more exciting experiences at sea, one of which was the capture of the vessel he was sailing in by an American privateer. He was afterwards impressed on board His Majesty's sloop-of-war, the Scorpien, and was from this vessel transferred to another sloop-of-war. During his stay in America, he states in a manuscript account of his life, he paid great attention to the construction of vessels of every description, though he had studied marine architecture from his youth. In 1785 he commenced business for himself as boatbuilder at South Shields and was married in the following year to young woman belonging to Norwich, by whom he had six children, two only of whom were alive at the time his biography was written. He had a career of great prosperity as boatbuilder, at South Shields, and received many honours and rewards, but it is said that he died penniless, when or where it is not known. The following lines, by a "Shieldsman," have been forwarded us for publication:—

Auspicious day, on which a grateful people,
Honour the memories of the noble men,
Saviours of mankind, who first conceived.
The ennobling thought—that precious lives
Should be rescued from the storm-tossed,
Sinking, and the stranded wreck,
Snatched from the very jaws of death,
And Wouldhave, whose genius brought forth,
The buoyant shape, and then moulded into form
The Lifeboat, a God-sent blessing to human kind,
An ark of refuge to the despairing mariner,
The star of hope to the drowning sailor boy,
A priceless boon to mother, wife and child.
Also Greathead, whose rare ability and skill,
Was wonderously displayed in the building
Of the boat, so fitted to brave the storms
And tempest's of these northern seas.

Honour and loving thanks to the gallant men,
The Pilots of our dear old town.
Children of the wild North Sea,
Cradled on the ever-heaving tide,
Heroes all! and "Always Ready,"
At mercy's call to man the Lifeboat,
And dare the wild and angry sea,
In winters' blinding sleet and snow,
To save the dear ones from watery grave.

Auspicious day, and highly-favoured town!
The full pleasure of thy sons is shared,
By joyful thousands who have been saved,
Natives of far off summer lands,
And generations yet unborn,
Will bless the memories of the noble men,
Who, with Wouldhave and Greathead,
Gave the waiting world, the Lifeboat.

Lifeboat memmorial

The monument which now graces the esplanade between the parks is the outcome of the step that was in 1887 taken to celebrate the Jubilee of the Queen. On May 3rd that year, a meeting was held in the Town Hall under the presidency of the Mayor, Ald. Eltringham.  It was attended by several members of the Town Council and a number of local gentlemen who take a prominent interest in public affairs. The form the celebration should take was not at the time decided upon, the Mayor remarking before they could do that they should first ascertain what amount was likely be obtained by subscriptions. A committee was appointed, which met on the 13th May, which meeting it was announced that £225 had been promised. A week later the amount had reached £304 11s 6d. On the 28th May a meeting of subscribers was held, and after resolutions had been passed with reference to the proposed entertainment of children, bell-ringing, &c, the Jubilee Day, on the 21st of June, the Mayor said they next came to the important matter of the erection of a permanent memorial. They had little in the shape of a statue in the borough and he thought that was a fitting opportunity on which to erect a memorial that would be worthy of the town. There were many things and persons to which they might dedicate it, but nothing commended itself them so much as a memorial to the founder of the lifeboat. They had nothing but a stone in the graveyard, and a model of a lifeboat, to remind them of their noble townsman, William Wouldhave. He thought it was a duty they owed to him to have some permanent memorial in their midst. He moved, therefore, that they advertise for designs and look out for a suitable site. Councillor Cottew seconded the proposition, and Councillor Bowman having remarked that the plot of ground in front of the Parks Restaurant would be a very suitable site, the motion was carried unanimously. It should be stated that Councillor Joseph Lawson had suggested previous to this meeting that the memorial should take the form of a drinking fountain, with a bronze statue either of Her Majesty or Willie Wouldhave, the inventor of the lifeboat, surmounting it, and should be erected on the broad thoroughfare between the parks. On June 2nd, at meeting the Executive Committee, it was resolved that the designs of a memorial to William Wouldhave be advertised for, the total cost of any proposal not to exceed £500. In response to this, twenty-eight designs, including a beautifully modelled plaster statuette of Wouldhave, by a London sculptor, were received, and it was decided that Mr R. J. Johnson, architect, Newcastle, be requested to examine them and communicate the result to the committee. On the 17th August, Mr Johnson's report was laid before the committee. Before proceeding to deal with it, it was unanimously resolved, on the motion of the Town Clerk, seconded by Ald. Mabane "that in consequence of the diversity of opinion as to who actually was the inventor of the lifeboat, the monument should called the "Wouldhave and Greathead Memorial of the Lifeboat." By this means it was remarked, the borough would recognise the connection each of these townsmen undoubtedly had with the invention and perfecting of the lifeboat. The report of the architect showed that the design marked "18" was considered by him the best and most suitable for the purpose in view. On opening the sealed letters it was found that Mr J. H. Morton, architect, South Shields, was the author of the design placed first. On the 17th February, 1888, a general meeting of subscribers was held in the Town Hall, Ald. Eltringham in the chair. The Secretary (Mr H. Chapman) submitted a cash statement showing the total subscriptions to the Queen's Jubilee Celebration Fund amounted to £387 3s 6d. The disbursements had been £247 18s 8d, leaving a balance of £139 4s 10d in the bank. It was agreed that the amount was so small it would be better to wait a little time before making appeal to the public on behalf of the Lifeboat Memorial Fund. On May, the 16th, it was announced that the Corporation had promised a donation of £150 towards the memorial, whereupon it was resolved to advertise for tenders for the work. Subscriptions were solicited through various channels. There were eight tenders for the work of erecting the monument, of which that of Mr R. B. Farbridge, of South Shields, was accepted. The work was commenced on May 20th, 1889, and was short time ago completed to the evident satisfaction of everyone who has seen it. The monument stands on the broad open space separating the parks, short distance away from the Parks Restaurant, and is visible from the top of King Street. The design of the monument is massive and in keeping with the surroundings. The first stage is utilised as a fountain, with surrounding basin twenty-two feet in diameter, the water supply being on the north and south sides, from large shells, placed in semi-circular recesses. The water flows into the bowls as shown in our view, and overflows again into the large basin. On the side facing Ocean Road, which is the approach from the town, is a tablet, bearing the following inscription:— “Erected in commemoration of the Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria (June 20th, 1887), and as a memorial of the beneficent work of the lifeboat, first designed and built in South Shields in the year 1790." On the side towards the sea are placed two granite drinking fountains, with the entrance to the interior of the erection between. The second stage contains on the west front, a large medallion of Wouldhave, with the borough arms beneath, and on the east front a medallion of Greathead. On the north tablet is a representation of the launch of the lifeboat for the saving of the crew of a ship in distress in the distance, and on the south side is the shipwreck, and the return of the boat containing the crew of the ship The third stage contains a clock with four faces, which has been placed there at the expense of the Corporation. The memorial is ten feet square at the base, and about forty-five feet high. The work has been admirably carried out Mr Farbridge, monumental mason, South Shields, from drawings, and under the superintendence of Mr J. H. Morton, F.R.I.B.A., South Shields. The stone carving has been executed by Mr John F. Scott, sculptor, also of South Shields. The clock is supplied by Messrs W. Potts & Sons, Leeds, the makers of Holy Trinity and St. Hilda Church clocks, and the clocks at South Shields Station and the Central Station, Newcastle. The clock is constructed on the solid horizontal cast iron bed frame and the top surface is planed perfectly flat, so that all the necessary fittings are properly adjusted on it. All the wheels are of gun metal, and pinions of solid steel, cut and polished on the engine. All the bushes or bearings are of gun metal, screwed into the frame, so that any wheel may be removed separately if required. The large going main wheel is of gun metal, cut and polished on the engine, with maintaining power attached on the bolt and shutter principle by Lord Gumthorpe to keep the clock going during winding up. The escapement is the three-legged gravity, by Lord Gumthorpe, with a 1 ¼ seconds compensated pendulum, so that the clock will not be affected by the weather, and has cylindrical-shaped bottom. The clock shows the time on four external skeleton iron dials to form the circles, figures, and minutes, fitted with white opal glass for illumination, with gas fittings and reflectors in clock chamber, with four pairs of copper hands balanced within, also an index dial to set outside hands by, automatic gas apparatus for turning on and off the gas according to the season of the year, patent steel wire cords, block pulleys bushed with brass and pivoted in weights cast in slips for readier adjustment, bevel wheels in iron frames, brass bushed and pivoted in, double and single universal joints of hard brass and connections, iron brackets, stands and everything requisite and necessary in a first-rate clock. The clock has been going for a few weeks, and has kept excellent time since it was first regulated by Mr Joseph Heslop, who has charge of the public clocks of the borough.

Where the parks are now, there was, not many years ago, a few barren sandhills, if we may except what was known as the old recreation ground, on the site of the present North Park. The first piece of land given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners consisted of 4 acres, 1 rood and 19 perches, which was conveyed to the Corporation on 26th of May, 1875. Two other pieces of land were made over to the Corporation about the same time, one of which was 6 acres, and the second, comprising the old wash-house hills, consisted of 8 acres, 3 roods d 38 perches. On August 8th, 1882, other 3 acres, encroaching on the ballast hills, was given. November 9th 1883, the Corporation were given 9 acres of land where the South Park now exists, which brought up the line to Ravensbourne Terrace. On December 15th, 1887, the Corporation purchased 14 acres north of the North Park, which comprised the ballast hills, and the whole space to the present oil works adjoining the river. This is intended for extension of the park at some future date. The parks have been laid out from designs by M. Hall, C.E., borough surveyor. Five years ago, Mr John Burns, who had been gardener at the Roman Remains, was appointed head gardener at the North Park and under his assiduous attention the place has gradually gained in attraction, planted as it is with a large variety of flowers, and healthy looking shrubs and trees, and intersected by winding, well constructed footpaths. In 1886 Mr Peebles was appointed landscape gardener at the South Park. The place had at that time more the appearance of a quarry than anything else, owing to the excavating that was going on. A good-sized lake was formed at the lower portion of the grounds, next to the sea and trees were planted thickly between the boundary wall and the side-walks, of various hues having also their due share of prominence. Fine grassy slopes were formed in the higher portion of the park, the top which are two splendid promenades, the lower of the two being asphalted, and having along the front ornamental palisading. By the Promenades are numerous seats and from these a splendid view of the sea, harbour entrance, and the lower lying portion of the parks, including the lake on which are to be seen numerous tiny craft, is obtained. In both parks the gardeners have done some fine ornamental work. In the North Park is an avairy containing pheasants, various kinds of fancy pigeons, thrushes, blackbirds, larks, and other singing birds, some rabbits, and a very interesting animal known as an East Indian fox. In the same park are three bowling greens, are largely patronised, and recently there been added an asphalte lawn tennis court. The two parks have cost £22,000. They are a great resort both of visitors and inhabitants, who muster in hundreds when the bandstand is occupied as it is during the summer two evenings every week, by one of the local bands.


The opening of the parks is to take place tomorrow, the ceremony to be performed by Sir John Mowbray, Bart, M.P., and on the same occasion the Memorial will be unveiled Ald. Eltringham, J.P. The following is programme of the proceedings:—

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.—Selection of music in the North Park, by the South Shields Borough Prize Band, Conductor, Mr J. Dennison.
12 noon.—Meeting of Town Council, to vote address to Sir John R. Mowbray, Bart., M.P.
230 p.m.—Procession to start from the Town Hall, Market Place, in the following order, namely:—
1. Police.
2. Band of the Wellesley Training Ship.
3. The South Shields Pilots.
4. The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.
5. The carriages containing Sir John R. Mowbray, Bart., M.P.; J. C. Stevenson, Esq., M.P.; The Mayor, Canon Baily, Aldermen and Councillors, the Town Clerk, and Corporation Officials.
6. Public Library Committee and the Lifeboat Memorial Committee.
7. West Docks Works Military Band.
8. Knights of Labour Society.
9. Railway Servants Society.
10. Bricklayers' Trade Society.
11. Ancient and United Orders of Free Gardeners' Friendly Societies.
12. Band of the 3rd Durham Artillery Volunteers.
13. Sailors and Firemen's Union.
14. Ancient order of Druids.
15. Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.
16. Oddfellows' Friendly Society.
17. Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners.
18. Shipwrights' Society.
19. The South Shields Borough Prize Band.
20. Boilermakers and Iron Shipbuilders' Society.
21. Catholic Benefit Society.
22. Tailors' Society.
23. Moulders' Society.
24. Band of the Greens' Sailor Boys' Home.
25. Members of Swimming Club.
26. Amalgamated Society of Engineers.
27. Smiths' Trade Society.
28. Temperance Societies.
29. Ancient Older of Foresters' Friendly Societies.
30. Band the St. Bede's Chemical Co.’s Institute, East Jarrow.
31. Police.

The Procession will then proceed from the Town Hall by way of King Street, Fowler Street; Westoe Lane, Ogle Terrace, Wellington Terrace, Woodbine Street, Ocean Road, and Seafield Terrace to the entrance to the South Park, at end of Eleanor Street.

The formal opening of the Park will then take place at the centre of the Terrace, in the South Park.

BAND.—West Docks Works Military Band.

At the conclusion of this ceremony, the Procession will re-form and proceed by the straight walk in the Park, passing Seafield Terrace, to the Lifeboat Memorial, which will be unveiled by Alderman Eltringham, J. P,

BAND.—Wellesley Training Ship.

3-30 p.m. to 5-30 p.m.—West Dock Works Military Band, Conductor, Mr John A, Moore, on Terrace of South Park.
3-30 p.m. to 5-30 p.m.—Wellesley Training Ship Band, Conductor, Mr W. Wigg, Mus. Bac., F.S.Sc., in the North Park.
6 p.m.—The Mayor's Banquet, at Public Library Hall.
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.—St. Bede Chemical Works Institute Band, Conductor, Mr T. F. Hope, in the North Park.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 24 June 1890

24 June


THE MEMBERS will meet at the Watch House on Wednesday, the 25th inst., at 1 30 p.m., instead of the Market Place as previously announced.

S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 24 June 1890

26 June

South Shields Marine Parks
The Opening Ceremony
A Great Demonstration

Yesterday will be remembered by the inhabitants of South Shields for years to come as an occasion when the general rejoicings were of a character to which there has been no parallel in the history of the borough. It can be truly said of the people, from the Mayor down to the humblest citizen, that they looked upon it in some measure a duty to testify how thoroughly they appreciate the completion of the Marine Parks and the erection of the memorial to the inventors of the lifeboat. Favoured with magnificent weather, the celebration for which such ample preparations had been made were carried out with a success only the most sanguine could have looked for. The principal thoroughfares, especially those adjacent the parks, were profusely decorated with gaily coloured flags and streamers, and many of the principal establishments were embellished with devices most tastefully arranged, including in a great number of instances collection of plants of the choicest kind. Shortly after noon


the place of assemblage, began to show signs the forthcoming demonstration. Crowds began to gather upon the sidewalks and approaches, and the police, whose arrangements were of an admirable character, were exhibiting some activity with a view to prevent any confusion. Between one and two o ‘clock the first of the processionists arrived, and took up their allotted position in the square. Members of the Council then began to put in an appearance and soon there was large muster of gentlemen identified with municipal affairs within the Council Chamber, from which a complete view was obtained of all that was transpiring outside. Amongst the earlier arrivals in the square was the band of the Wellesley Training Ship, dressed like miniature man-of-warsmen, and accompanied by their gifted conductor, W. Wigg, Mus. Bac. Then came the members of the Volunteer Life Brigade, garbed in their picturesque uniform and having with them drawn by horses, the rocket carriage. Next came the pilots, at the appearance of whom a truly British cheer was raised.


had now augmented to enormous proportions, and occasionally would show an inclination to press in upon the open space reserved for the processionists. Chief-Constable Moorhouse, who was on the spot, had, however, fully provided against this contingency, and three of his officers —Inspector Hume and two constables—who were on horseback were quite sufficient to prevent any invasion of the space beyond the pavement becoming general. Many of the societies carried beautiful banners, and as they marched up and fell into their appointed places, everyone must have been struck with the precision with which everything was conducted. The music of the bands and the gay appearance of King Street, which was now a mass of people from one end to the other, had a striking effect, and visitors to the town must have been very impressed by it.


accompanied Mr J. C. Stevenson, M.P., drove up to the Town Hall in an open carriage, and was met at the foot of the steps, the leading members of the Corporation. When the member for the borough walked across to where the pilots and the Life Brigadesmen were mustered, a hearty cheer was raised. Captain G. C. Coates, chairman of the Tyne Pilotage Board, was in attendance as the representative of the pilots, and when the procession started walked at their head. At half-past two a move was made, the Wellesley Band leading the way. After the band came the South Shields pilots, then the representatives of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade. Next came open carriages in the following order:—(l) The Mayor (Mr C. F. Shotton), Sir John Mowbray, Bart., M.P., Mr J. C. Stevenson, M.P., and the Town Clerk (Mr J. M. Moore (2) Canon Baily, Aldermen Readhead, Donald, and Mabane; (3) Aldermen Eltringham and Scott, and Councillors Duncan and Bowman; (4) Councillors W. R. Smith, Imrie, J. Robson, and J. R. Lawson; (5) Councillors Cottew, Rennoldson, Davidson, and R. Readhead ; (6) Councillors J. Lawson, Gentles, Young, and Graham; (7), Councillors Moore Hedwith, Owen and W. E. O. Scott;  (8), Councillors A. Robson, Beattie, Cosans, and A. C. Munro; (9), Mr M. Hall (Borough Engineer), Mr J. T. Hedley (Borough Treasurer), Dr Sutherland, (Police Surgeon), and W. S. Coates (Deputy Town Clerk); (10), Mr J. P. Elliott, J. Martin, and C. Addison; (11), carriage of Mr W. Black, J.P.; (12), carriage of Ald. Eltringham, occupied by Mr H. Chapman, Rev. H. W. Farrar, and the Rev. F. Harley- Williams. Then came


in the order named -.—Public Library Committee and the Lifeboat Memorial Committee, West Docks Military Band, Knights of Labour Society, Railway Servants Society, Bricklayers' Trade Society, Ancient and United orders of Free Gardeners Friendly Societies, Band of the 3rd Durham Artillery Volunteers, Sailors and Firemen's Union, Ancient Order of Druids, Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, Oddfellows' Friendly Society, Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, Shipwrights' Society, the South Shields Borough Prize Band, Catholic Benefit Society, Tailors' Society, Moulders' Society, Band of the Green's Sailor Boys' Home, Members of the Swimming Club, Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Temperance Societies, Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Societies, Band of the St. Bede's Chemical Co.'s Institute, East Jarrow, and Police. The procession was of an imposing character and elicited enthusiastic cheering from the spectators. Every window on the route, and every available position for witnessing the demonstration seemed to be occupied. The procession was by way of King Street, Fowler Street, Ogle Terrace, Wellington Terrace, Woodbine Street, Ocean Road, and Seafield Terrace. Many of the inhabitants showed their interest in the occasion a display of bunting, but in Ogle Terrace and Wellington Terrace, the decorations were very sparse. In Woodbine Street one resident had erected an arch, composed of evergreens, in front of the door, and also the inscription, “ Honour to whom honour is due: Greathead and Wouldhave." Others,


especially in King Street, had over their premises inscriptions of a similar character to name which individually would take too much space. The spectators had thronged most at the corners of the streets, hence at the junction of King Street and Fowler Street, and the ends of Ogle Terrace, and Wellington Terrace, the bottom of Woodbine St., and the foot of Ocean Road, were hundreds of people congregated. reaching the middle gate of the South Park fronting Seafield Terrace, those taking part in the demonstration marched into the park and on to the terraces there, on the lower one of which had been erected a large platform. It took some twenty minutes before they had all assembled. The gentlemen on the platform had then in view one of the finest spectacles ever witnessed at a holiday gathering. In front of them, crowded upon the terraces and embankment, were the thousands who had taken part in the procession, while great masses of people were seen in the approaches to the park, upon the pier, and upon the ballast hill at the north of the North Park. East of them lay the open sea, lit up by the glorious summer sun. The parks never looked better, and it must have filled the heart of every Shieldsmen present with pleasure that his native town could present so noble a spectacle.

Canon Baily stepped to the front of the platform and having read the 24th Psalm, then delivered the following prayer:—O God, whose are the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land, who madest man to have dominion over the works of Thy hands, and who has granted him all things richly to enjoy; we thank Thee for the wisdom which has designed, and for the patient labour which has completed these Parks, and we pray Thee to bless them to the healthful recreation and refreshment both of mind and body of who shall now or hereafter use them; and to grant us in all good things a thankful remembrance of Thy manifold mercies, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Mayor said he welcomed Sir John Mowbray to the opening of their parks. Sir John had taken a great interest in securing the land that they had been building upon; in fact it had been through his influence and his alone that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners had kindly' granted them the land. He was sure it must be pleasing to Sir John, as he looked around him and thought of the barren and waste land it was at the time that he was the means of giving it over to the town, and saw that day what the ratepayers and people of South Shields had done. They had spent money and made the parks what they were. It was more than anyone could have expected, that the old inhabitants of South Shields could look round and see the beautiful parks that they were that day proud of. (Applause.) Undoubtedly they had spent a great deal of money, but he might say that the ratepayers of their town had never grumbled—or only slightly—or said that they had spent too much. (Hear, hear and applause.) The money they had spent had been spent to the best of their ability and for the benefit of the ratepayers. (Hear, hear.) They had held no selfish views upon the matter; they had been as economical as they possibly could be; but they could not make the parks and beautify the locality as they had done without the ratepayers' money. And the ratepayers had backed the Council up. After many difficulties they had been enabled to make the place as it now was, and Sir John, who saw the land in its previous state, must be gratified to know that he has been the means of handing over the land to the town. He hoped that he (Sir John) believed they were worthy of the gift seeing to what use they had put it. (Applause). After those few remarks of welcome to the town he had great pleasure in asking Sir John to receive address that had been prepared and which he had the honour to present to him on behalf of the Corporation of South Shields. (Loud cheers.)

Three cheers were called for the Mayor, and heartily given. The Mayor called upon


who read the following address :— To the Right Honorable Sir John Robert Mowbray, Baronet, M.P., one of the Ecclesiastical and Church Estates Commissioners for England.

The Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the County Borough of South Shields desire to offer you the warmest welcome to the Borough, and to express their gratification that you have consented to declare the Marine Park completed, and to formally open it for the purpose of a public pleasure and Recreation Ground for the use of the people.

The lands given to the Borough by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England, upon the various applications of the Town Council, since the year 1808, comprise in all 31 acres 2 roods and 9 perches, and to these have been added 14 acres on the northern side purchased by the Town Council from the Commissioners, making in all, 45 acres 2 roods and 9 perches of land, devoted to purposes of health and pleasure.

The Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses, by the Town Council, have expended upwards of twenty-two thousand pounds in the levelling, laying out, and adorning of these lands as public walks and pleasure grounds for the free use of the people with the result transforming the portion which was formerly barren waste sea shore of drifted sand, and stunted, broken herbage, into the beautiful gardens which are now before you.

These public walks and pleasure grounds situated as they are at the mouth of the River Tyne, intersected by and in communication with the public road leading to the magnificent breakwater and pier a mile in length, stretching far into the deep water of the north sea, constructed by the noble conception and labour of the River Tyne Commission, for the encouragement of commerce, and the refuge and safety of the seamen and vessels of all nations; is entitled, we believe, to be considered as the finest example of a Marine Park in England.

Although as the trustee owners of vast estates in the County of Durham, and especially in this portion of it, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners were from time to time appealed to as a duty, on their part, to offer these then valueless lands to the public authorities, it is now desired to record the gratitude felt by the whole borough for the generous and prompt responses, with which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners acceded to the statements laid before them. The anticipations then expressed to the Commissioners, as to the probable increase in the value of their properties in South Shields and neighbourhood, have been more than fulfilled.

The ambition of the Town Council in acquiring these lands and the expenditure of such large sums of money upon them, is to elevate and refine the lives and pleasures of the people, of the present and succeeding generations, so long as the Marine Park shall endure. It is believed that the study of botany will be encouraged, and that the enjoyment of beautiful and well kept gardens, in which are also liberally provided lawns for tennis and bowling, and a fine lake for the sailing of model yachts, cannot fail to give great pleasure to all who visit there, and to supplement beneficially the strength and energy, necessary to enable the people to take full advantage of the increasing facilities for education, which modern legislation has provided for all classes.

This is a day of unmixed rejoicing for the people of the borough, and the more so, seeing that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England, as generous donors and friends, have most acceptably joined with us, on the ceremonial completion of our park, by your personal presence, and to you, Sir John Mowbray, we tender our hearty thanks for the kindly and warm interest you have for so many years manifested in our efforts to promote the happiness of the inhabitants.

Given under our common seal in Town Council assembled this twenty-fifth day June, in the year of our Lord, 1890.

C. F. Shotton, Mayor. [Seal.]
J JOSEPH M. MOORE, Town Clerk.

Cheers were raised several times during the reading of the address, while at the finish there was much cheering.

The Mayor then handed the address to

SIR JOHN R. MOWBRAY, who in replying was greeted with loud cheers. The hon. baronet said if anything could add to the delight which he experienced, with the pleasing surroundings of that auspicious day, with the charms of the beautiful park, the bright sky above, and the brisk sea breeze around there, it was the kindly words that had been addressed the Mayor to him individually and the great corporation which he had the honour to represent, and the cordial words of welcome contained in the address that had been read by the Town Clerk. He did indeed join in congratulating the whole of the inhabitants of this great town that they had been enabled after so many years to carry to successful completion the work that has so long been contemplated and so much desired. (Hear, hear.) He recognised what the Mayor had told them, that however great might have been the intelligence, and spirit, and taste of the members of the Town Council for the time being, yet unless they had met in the cordial support of all ranks and classes of the ratepayers with it, it would not have been possible to carry out such a work, which had cost about £22,000. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners, as the Mayor had reminded them, were the owners of vast property in various parts of the country, and particularly in the County Durham, and the Metropolis. They had property of all kinds, and held by every variety of tenure. They had manorial rights, raining royalties, rental charges, agricultural charges, and land which had been developed for building purposes and was still being developed. And it was for them, with intelligence and care to consider how best they might discharge the responsibilities of their high office, because they were, as the address reminded them, trustees—trustees to apply all they could realise for the spiritual benefit of the people of the nation at the same time they were bound as landlords to regard the property committed to their charge, to be dealt with in no niggardly or illiberal spirit, and not with the view of making every possible sixpence out of it. There was probably no subject on which they had thought more or given greater attention and which he individually felt more strongly upon than the necessity, whenever they were able to do so, of providing open spaces—(loud cheers) —for enabling those who had to earn their daily living by their toil to have healthy homes and happy surroundings. (Hear, hear.) It had been their good fortune to be able to place at their (the Council’s) disposal 31 1/2 acres that magnificent park, and to this they had added 14 acres, which the Council had purchased at a reasonable price. They had been enabled thereby to produce on the space a combination of park and pier, a scene unparalleled in any watering place in England. (Hear, hear and applause.) He thought he knew them all pretty well, besides he had seen some of the finest watering places in America, and he knew of no place that could exibit such a combination of garden and magnificent pier—(loud cheers)—as the people of South Shields could now boast of. No doubt it was their duty to provide for the spiritual benefit of the people, and to show that their means were available for that purpose. He was one those who contended that though the object might not be so directly accomplished, yet it was indirectly accomplished by giving all those facilities for rest and enjoyment, by elevating taste and increasing happiness, and promoting in every way the comfort of the great masses of the community. (Hear, hear.) Proceeding, Sir John said he thought they (the Ecclesiastical Commissioners) might take some credit themselves for the position that South Shields now assumed, considering the great deal that they had had to do with its development. (Hear, hear.) Some 30 years ago it might have been said that the Church had the whole 1,400 acres extending from Marsden Rock to Jarrow Slake, which cut off the whole of South Shields from communication with the country to the south, which did not admit of its being enfranchised, which did not admit being built upon. From 1851 downwards, but more particularly from 1873 to the moment that they entered into the full enjoyment of the land held by the Dean and Chapter, the effort had been to make a great change in the tenure of the property. Leaseholds had been put an end to; property had been enfranchised; many persons had been enabled to acquire freeholds, while many others held property in a way that suited them as well—for years at a perpetual ground-rent. What was the consequence? The population which in 1851 was 28,000 had doubled itself in 30 years ending 1881. The rateable value in 1870 was £118,000, doubling itself in the 15 years ending 1885. He believed that the population, which at the last census was represented to be 66,000, was now estimated to be 70,000. It was sometimes said by their critics, particularly when they did in the Metropolis what they had been doing there, that they were not performing their duty to the Church. Well with respect to to South Shields, while they had done so much to promote the material benefit of the town, they were able to show that the property that they have given for spiritual purposes amounted to no less than £130,000. They had augmented the incomes of the clergy to the extent of £3,500, they had given £11,000 for the building of parsonages, &c, for the clergy, they had given £10,000 for churches and schools, besides which they had given valuable sites. He believed he did not over-estimate the spiritual gifts the community when he placed them at £130,000. Therefore he hoped he might claim for that great corporation, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, that they had striven to do their duties as landlords and as trustees for the benefit of the Church, and that they had not forgotten their duty to the great community. It was now his pleasing duty to perform the ceremonial portion of that day's proceedings. He was sorry in one sense that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, numbering as it did so many of the highest individuals both in the Church and State, should be represented one of its humblest members, but he could not forget that he had been among them several times, and had been over the very ground, and had pointed out to some of their townsmen what seemed to him the extraordinary attractions, charms, and capabilities the place, and he urged on them very strongly and also on his colleagues on the Commission, that they should accede to the Council's wishes, so that they might carry out their scheme with that spirit which might be expected to characterize the community. (Cheers.) He glad to see that the expenditure of the Corporation had been most liberal with the result that it was satisfactory in every way. Indeed he might say that it corresponded entirely with the estimate he formed beforehand, and which he had pleasure in noticing verified, as he was driven through the town by their valued and esteemed representative, Mr Stevenson, who had been his kind host on that occasion. (Loud cheers.) He had had the pleasure of enjoying Mr Stevenson’s friendship for many years and although in the "House" they looked at one another from opposite sides— (laughter—they did not regard one another with any feeling because of that, but were cordially friendly. Mr Stevenson had kindly driven him through the town, and he was pleased to see in the new houses, under the new system of tenure, how prosperous and comfortable everything seemed, and what ample means on the part of the occupants of these houses it betokened. Sir John then concluded by proclaiming the noble Marine Park open, not only to the inhabitants of South Shields and the neighbouring district, but also open to all the subjects of Her Majesty from whatever part of her vast dominions they might come, and, he might say, to all persons in the world who wished to find, perhaps as healthy and beauteous a scene as could be found in the world. (Loud and continued cheering.)

Mr J. C. STEVENSON, M.P., who was received with hearty cheers, said Sir John Mowbray had been so good to allude to his position as their representative for so many years in Parliament. He was not sure that in that position he enjoyed the confidence, politically, of all the members the community. (A Voice: "Yes, you do!") But he might certainly say this, that in the representative position allotted to him that afternoon, he was perfectly certain that he expressed the sentiments of every man, woman, and child, within the hearing of his voice, when he asked them to express their cordial and most hearty thanks to Sir John Mowbray for his kindness on that most interesting occasion. (Applause.) They had all been feeling and saying that that was the greatest day that ever occurred in the annals of South Shields. (Applause.) They saw this in the brilliancy of the scene, and the heartiness of all classes of the people in the common rejoicing in the accomplishment of the great public enterprise designed for the welfare, happiness, and elevation of the people. They had awakened in their hearts sentiments of joy, and they were very glad to have one who himself had done so much as Sir John Mowbray to promote that great end, and they desired to give him their acknowledgements for what he and the Commissioners had done for this great object. They (the Council) might have had to deal with some great grasping landowner, instead of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who had dealt with them with willingness. Most of them were old enough to know what used to be the state of affairs in the old Dean and Chapter times, when that body—which he did not say was not willing —but which was absolutely unable to do anything for the welfare of the estate from which they derived so great a revenue. Everything they had, asked the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, they had found that body ever ready to do, for they exhibited that spirit in reality, which Sir John Mowbray described, in doing what any public spirited landowner of ample means would be glad to do for those who reside upon his estate. The Commissioners acted in this way with respect to the enclosure of the Roman remains. He thought conduct like theirs—so intelligent, public spirited and in the widest degree creditable to the administration of that great fund which they had in charge—deserved the highest appreciation, and he therefore, had the greatest possible satisfaction  in asking Sir John to accept the hearty thanks of South Shields. (Loud Cheers.)

Ald. Eltringham seconded. As the chairman of the Parks Committee, he asked to be allowed to reiterate the thanks of every inhabitant of South Shields to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and to Sir John Mowbray in particular, for the invaluable gift that they had presented to the borough. (Hear, hear.) But for the Commissioners there would probably have been no parks. Perhaps some of them might recollect the small way in which they started: they commenced by spending about £22 in levelling two hills in the North Park; they had finished with the splendid result before them, and which the people were highly delighted with. (Applause.) He wished his predecessor, Mr Oldroyd, could have seen that red-letter day for he was the pioneer in the laying out of the parks. That was the first park they had done: it might not be the last. The West-end had claims upon them, and he believed they should be looked into as soon as possible. When the Ecclesiastical Commissioners saw to what use they had put their talents in the past, he hoped when they went before them again—(laughter)— that they would treat them as generously as they had done. (Applause.)

The motion was carried with three cheers.

Sir JOHN MOWBRAY, in reply, said he should indeed be most ungrateful if he did not say one word of hearty thanks to them for the kind way which they had received that vote of thanks which had been so kindly proposed by Mr Stevenson and seconded in such handsome terms. He would not say anything about the seconder. (Laughter). He (the speaker) came to talk about the past and the present: future must look after itself. Though the Ecclesiastical Corporation was indeed a Corporation yet it was composed of individuals who were mortal, not immortal, and therefore what he future might bring forth he could not say. When they mentioned the magnificent conversion of the place they must not forget one fact, and it was a great pleasure to him that the vote was proposed by the chairman of the Tyne Commissioners, because he supposed there was scarcely a single case in which three public bodies had cooperated so well together for the benefit of one town—he referred the Town Council, the River Tyne Commissioners, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (Cheers).

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 26 June 1890

26 June

Interesting Incidents

Amongst other items in connection with the demonstration, it may be mentioned that the Volunteer Life Brigade, while on the way to the parks were handed a beautiful wreath by Miss Whitehead, daughter of Captain Whitehead, and was afterwards placed over Wouldhave's portrait, in the Watch House, on the pier. An interesting feature to many hundreds of people, was the old lifeboat "Tyne," which has been used for the rescue of 1,028 lives. It was on view on the embankment at the rear of the Parks Restaurant. On the lake in the South Park, there was a large number of model yachts, and they formed a very pleasing sight indeed, and elicited many favourable comments. During the day the bands which performed in the parks formed a great attraction. From eleven o'clock in the morning until one o'clock in the afternoon, excellent programme was rendered by the South Shields Borough Prize Band, of which Mr J. Dennison is the conductor. Between half-past three and half-past five o'clock, musical selections were played the terrace of the South Park by the West Docks Band, under the leadership Mr John A. Moore, and in the North Park by the Wellesley Training Ship band, under the conductor-ship of Mr W. Wigg. In the evening, from seven o'clock until nine, there was more music in the North Park by the Bede Chemical Works Institute Band, led Mr T. F. Hope.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 26 June 1890


1 July

Instantaneous Photos

We have received from Messrs J. Downey and Sons, photographers, 19 Eldon Street, South Shields, some of the views produced by them by the instantaneous photographic process on the occasion  of the opening of the Marine Parks, and the unveiling of the Lifeboat Memorial, South Shields, on Wednesday last. There are two sets of views, all handsomely mounted. The larger includes pictures of the ceremony of the opening of the Parks from different standpoints, and a view of King Street. The smaller set includes a picture of the unveiling of the Lifeboat Memorial in addition to those showing the opening ceremony at the South Park, together with a view of the North Park, with Park Terrace and the ballast hills, and a view of the Park Terrace and Lifeboat Memorial, with the harbour and Tynemouth in the background. All the views are clear and distinct, there being no difficulty, even in the smaller of the two sets, in recognising the likenesses of those who took a leading part in the great demonstration. Of course, the figures in the larger photos are more easily distinguished. In the views the opening ceremony in the South Park, in the small as well as the large photos, the speakers, the members of the Volunteer Life Brigade, and the people in the immediate vicinity of the platform are shown with great clearness, and are in fact portraits. The other views are more extended, and show the crowd surrounding the platform and the banners as carried in the procession. The view of King Street is from the Market Place, and shows the decorations on both sides of the road as far as the railway bridge. The whole of the views are beautifully finished, and are handsome mementos of the great gathering held in South Shields last week.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 July 1890

4 July

The Annual Meeting took place.

SOUTH SHIELDS VOLUNTEER LIFE BRIGADE. THE ANNUAL MEETING will be held in the Watch House, on Friday, 4 July 1890, p.m. S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 2 July 1890

3 July

SOUTH SHIELDS VOLUNTEER LIFE BRIGADE. THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday Afternoon, the 7th of July, 1890, at 6 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 3 July 1890

9 July

The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, though not often called on now-a-days to rescue shipwrecked crews, still holds together as firmly as ever it did. Of late, several captains, who have seen a good deal of service in connection with the brigade, have retired and given place to younger men, who very properly esteem it an honour of no slight character, to be elected to such a position by the vote of their fellow brigadesmen. At the 24th annual meeting held on Friday evening last, a change of this kind took place, a deputy captain being elected to the place of a captain who had retired through ill-health, and the minor place was filled by a member who had entitled himself to the honour by the attention he had paid to his duties. The best of good fellowship prevails amongst the members of the brigade, and the men are always anxious that the efficiency of the institution should be at all times kept up.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 9 July 1890

26 July

The Ambulance Corps meetings continued and preparations were made for the Ambulance Review at Jarrow.

Triangular Bandage


MEMBERS of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade Ambulance Corps and any other Certificated Pupils instructed by Dr Crease are particularly requested to meet in the Watch House, South Pier, On Monday at 8 p.m. Bring Triangular Bandage.

Hon. Sec. Ambulance Corps.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 26 July 1890

30 July 1890

The proposed Ambulance Review at Jarrow, which is fixed to take place on the 9th of August, is being looked forward to by the members of the classes in South Shields with a great deal of interest. There is quite an enthusiasm amongst those who have passed through the various examinations to the satisfaction of their instructors, and I shall be very much surprised indeed if the demonstration is not a success, both as regards attendance and the way in which the men acquit themselves. It is very gratifying also to see that the medical gentlemen who have from time to time devoted so much attention to the classes are in hearty sympathy with the proposed review. I cannot conceive a more noble object to which men engaged in laborious duties from week to week the whole year round could give whatever leisure they may have than in acquiring a knowledge of how to render aid to the injured, and I am sure every right-thinking person must warmly approve of the effort that is being made to bring the St John's Ambulance Association and its aims more prominently before the public of Tyneside.

To Jarrow belongs credit of originating the proposal, and the gentlemen who took the initiative have laboured for some weeks pact in the most unselfish spirit. It is to be remembered that the work is of perfectly gratuitous nature. There is no fee or reward attached to anything that is being done by the members of the association, and therefore one has no hesitation in drawing the greatest possible amount of attention to the forthcoming display of efficiency in ambulance skill. The men identified with the several classes which will be represented on Saturday week belong to all grades of our industrial population— mechanics, artisans, miners, railway men, and clerks. The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, the Sunderland Life Brigade, and the policemen of the surrounding boroughs, will go to swell the muster, as will also the members of the local volunteer corps. Truly, it is an occasion in which every section of society is concerned, and one cannot but heartily wish the undertaking the success the most sanguine of its supporters are hoping for.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 30 July 1890

30 July


THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday Afternoon, 2nd of August, 1890, 6 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 30 July 1890


15 August

Two members of the Brigade give evidence in a trial cocerning card playing on the beach.

Playing Cards the Sands.—Peter Vinton, Somerset Street, William Bossom, Waterloo Vale, John Coxon, Cornwallis Street, and John Dryden, Franklin Street, young men, were charged on adjournment, with gambling by playing cards and wagering on the South Shields sands on Sunday the 3rd inst. Mr J. M. Smith defended. The evidence given on Monday last, which was to the effect that on the afternoon of the day named P.C. McLean and P.C. Swan saw the defendants through the telescope in the Brigade watch house playing cards and passing money. On that occasion the case was adjourned for additional evidence owing to the defendants calling a witness who said they had no cards and didn't game or wager on, the occasion mentioned.—Mr James Henderson, Berwick Street, vice captain of the Life Brigade, and Mr John W. Henderson, "the Borough Baker," Fowler Street, deposed to having seen card playing going on.—Mr Smith addressed the Bench for the defence, which was a denial the charge. —Defendants were each fined 18s and costs.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 15 August 1890


2 September 1890


THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday Afternoon, the 6th of September, 1890, at 6 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM. Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 2 September 1890

10 September 1890

The Brigade was praised for allowing the public to take shelter in the Watch House.

A good deal has been said of late as to a shelter somewhere near the beach, to which persons could resort in showery weather. The inconvenience to visitors and others has, during the summer, at times been very great, but on several occasions the Brigade House has been kindly placed at their disposal. It is now in charge of Mr Robt. Wells, who takes a great pride in keeping the place trim and clean. Visitors have not only found a comfortable shelter, but have evinced the greatest interest in the relics of shipwrecks which have taken place at the mouth of the Tyne, and in many of which the brigade has done noble rescue work. I think it was a wise step on the part of the Brigade officers to throw the Watch House open to the public under such circumstances, and so long as Robert Wells is entrusted with the charge of it no harm is likely to accrue thereby, though it may entail on him a little more labour.


3 October 1890


THE NEXT DRILL will take place A Saturday Afternoon, the 4th October, at 6 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM. Hon. Sec.

22 October

Reference was made to the drowning of five members of the public during a rescue.

The 28th October reminds me of a letter received a short time ago from an officer, of the steamship Black Prince, asking if he could be furnished with the date of a storm which he says took place eight or ten years ago, when number of people lost their lives in a pond at the back of the Brigade House at the South Pier. On looking up the circumstances of the sad occurrence I find that it took place exactly ten years ago on Tuesday next, namely the 28th October 1880, There were five persons drowned. Several people in South Shields have too much reason to remember that fatal day.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 22 October 1890

29 October


THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday Afternoon, the 1st November, 1890, at 4 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM, Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 29 October 1890


25 November

A period of stormy weather resulted in the Brigade being on watch on several occassions.

The Weather off the Tyne 

The sea at the mouth of the Tyne this morning had a wild appearance. A moderate breeze blew from the east and there was a good deal of broken water about the ends the piers, and along the coast a considerable distance from the shore. Very few craft were about. The pilot tug Great Britain, was outside, on the lookout for incoming vessels, it being the custom in stormy weather for the pilots to board steamers only from the tug, being less dangerous than doing the work from their cobles. A group of men patrolled the beach with the object of finding some trace of the coble from which the two pilots were drowned off the harbour yesterday, but the search was without result. At the Watch House at the South Pier, a number of the Volunteer Life Brigade were on duty, and the lifeboat crew were in readiness on the Lawe, in case any vessel should be placed in difficult circumstances, entering the harbour.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 25 November 1890


3 December


THE NEXT DRILL will take place on Saturday Afternoon, the 6th of December, 1890, at 3 30 o'clock.

S. MALCOLM. Hon. Sec.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 3 December 1890

4 December

Stormy Night

As darkness set in last night the wind came away from the east in heavy gusts, and developed in intensity till at one time blew with almost hurricane force. The clouds in the afternoon had an ominous look, and in the harbour boroughs at the mouth the Tyne, dirty weather was anticipated. There was the usual anxiety as to vessels exposed to the fury of the gathering storm. About five o'clock the rain began to fall, and was driven in blinding showers into the faces of the people who were out of doors. About six o'clock the gale had increased to an enormous degree, but quietened down later on, then came away again, rain falling at short intervals, Waterproofs and umbrellas were in universal request, but the latter had a bad time of it and in many cases came to grief. In the early hours of this morning the storm still raged, shaking doors and windows, and howling down chimneys in a way to make timid people feel uneasy. Strange to say there was comparatively little at sea on along the coast, and at the time of writing no damage of a serious nature has been reported. Several members and officers of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade made their way to the Watch House on the South Pier during the evening, but no risk to incoming vessels being anticipated on account of the sea between the piers, no watch was kept. When day broke there was a good deal of surf on the coast line and the water had a mere agitated appearance than before midnight, but the wind had weakened in force, and there was promise of greatly improved weather.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 4 December 1890

5 December

In the small hours of morning last week a member of the Life Brigade, who had been on watch during the storm was wending his way homeward. He had got nearly to the monument, in the Pier Road, when two ponderous figures loomed in view, coming towards him at break-neck pace. Although there was a thick coating of snow on the ground, these two men of weight and mettle had their coats off, and it was evident they were running a race. Tearing away like wild elephants—pardon the illustration—it was a sight worth seeing and the excitement kindled in the breast of the brigadesman at once rose to fever height. Neck and neck they came, the ground almost shaking beneath them, when one of the competitors put on a tremendous sprint, which so astonished his antagonist that the latter made a false step and went sprawling in the snow. The one who sprinted is now, l am told, open for engagements with any respectable man weighing not less than sixteen stones.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 5 December 1890

18 December

Officers and Members attended Mr Appleby's annual benefit.

Mr T. B. Appleby’s Benefit

No greater testimony to the high regard in which Mr T. B. Appleby is held by the public of South Shields and a district embracing even the city of Newcastle, could have been given than that of last night on the occasion of his annual benefit at the Theatre Royal, South Shields, when a house crowded from floor to gallery assembled to witness a programme in which amateur dramatic talent was displayed with the most striking results. Amongst those who occupied seats in the dress circle were the Mayor (Mr C.F. Shotton) and Mayoress South Shields; the Mayor (Ald. Whitehorn) and Mayoress of Tynemouth; the Town Clerk (Mr J. M. Moore), and aldermen and councillors of the South Shields Corporation; the worshipful masters (Mr J. H. Penny and Mr J. T. Henderson) of the Hadrian and St. Hilda lodges of Freemasons, together with the officers and brethren; the president and members of the South Shields Literary and Scientific Society; the officers and members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, and the presidents of the cycling clubs of Shields, Jarrow, and Tynemouth. The first portion of the programme consisted of performance "Pygmalion and Galatea," in which the cast was made up as follows: — Galatea, Miss Alice Doric; Cynisea, Miss Mary Davis; Daphne, Mrs T. B. Appleby Myrine, Miss Rose Renton; Pygmalion, Mr J. L. Neville Leucippe, Mr Horace Daly; Chrysos, Mr T. B. Appleby; Agesimos, Mr T. W. Gale; Minos, Mr Oscar Power. The very important role of Galatea had been allotted to Miss Augusta Tulloch, but owing to a combination of circumstances she was unable to attend, and a substitute was happily found in Miss Doric, who gave a most charming interpretation of the part. Mr Appleby of course was his best as art patron and, taking the characters as a whole, they were well portrayed, amongst which special mention should be given to Miss Rose Benton, who for a first appearance the stage, exceeded the highest anticipations. "Box and Cox Reet up to Date," concluded the bill of fare. Given in the Newcastle dialect it was the most laughable thing imaginable. The characters were represented by Mr J. B. Radcliffe (Box); Mr Edward Clark (Cox); and Mr T. J. Forster (Mrs Bouncer). The three gentlemen named crowded much fun into the piece as the most exacting critic could hope for, and many of their local allusions told immensely with the audience. During the interval there were calls for Mr Appleby, who eventually came forward and delivered a characteristic address. Owing to lack of space there is not room for it here, but it will be given to-morrow verbatim.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 18 December 1890

31 December 1890

Storm on the Coast

Stormy weather prevailed along the northeast coast yesterday, there being a strong south-east wind. The temperature was also very low. There was a heavy see at the month of the Tyne and shipping was considerably interfered with by reason of the tempestuous state of elements. The life brigadesmen were on duty and there was the usual lookout kept by the lifeboat men, in order to meet any emergency that might arise. Last night the storm showed no signs of abating. A watch was kept at the brigade house on the South Pier, Captain George Robson being in command. Very few craft were astir.  A steamer from the south came in about one o’clock after a very severe rolling off the piers. There was a good deal of broken water about and the wind kept very high, but the atmosphere was remarkably clear. For this reason no particular danger to incoming vessels was anticipated and in the early hours of the morning the bulk of the men on duty retired to their homes. At the hour writing there had been little if any cessation of the storm, which, together with the fact of it being holiday time, rendered local shipping movements of an extremely limited character.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 31 December 1890