Percy Main Social, Tyneside
Some more Club Reminiscences – Percy Main Social, Tyneside
Club Historians recently heard from David Wright who was once an honorary member of the Percy Main Social Club, North Shields, Tyne and Wear. ‘The club was just off the road traffic island opposite the Redburn public house’, David recalls.
He was the first person to be born in the club, in 1947, with his grandparents being stewards there at the time.
His father’s name was John ‘Jack’ Wright (so many men named John were called Jack, just like my own dad was, says Ruth here at Club Historians!). Jack Wright worked at Swan Hunter and went into the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of WW2. It was there he met David’s ‘Brummie’ mother and they went on to get married in Tynemouth.
David remembers being told one particular story of the war, about when an incendiary bomb fell on or near the club and all the lights went out. ‘My grandma got to the till first ha ha!’
After the war, they moved round the corner and lived at 29 Elsdon Terrace, a miner’s house as his grandfather was a miner as well. That was around 1948-9. His mum and his aunt (father’s sister) Sarah worked as barmaids in the clubs for a while.
Auntie Sarah married Jack Stenhouse, who was a very prominent cricketer for Percy Main. The Cricket Club still exists, David tells us. They lived in Howden behind the big pub The Bewick.
Our family used to go out all together and meet there on a Saturday night. My sister and I used to be out in the doorway with a pack of crisps and an orange juice. Sometimes the men would come out and ask me to fetch them fish ‘n’ chips from across the road. I’d get twopence or a threepenny bit.
(I bet those fish ‘n’ chips tasted lovely, says Ruth!)
David’s father Jack had returned to work at Swan Hunter after the war but was made redundant, with the company claiming that there wouldn’t be any more wars!
There was little reason to stay on Tyneside so the family moved down to Birmingham where his mother came from but they used to go up to stay with his Tyneside relatives every year in the 1950s for holidays.
He went up to revisit the club two years ago but sadly it had disappeared with a block of flats standing there in its place. He ventured into a shop on the opposite corner and spoke to a little old lady serving there, asking her about his folks and if she remembered them.
She did in fact remember him and his father’s parents who ran the club so that made the visit more worthwhile.
Thanks to David for sharing these precious memories!
If anyone else recalls the Percy Main club, then please get in touch!
Ruth Cherrington, April 2012
Percy Main Cricket Club, near St John's Terrace, North Shields, NE29 6HS, UK+44 191 257 2965
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