Growing up in the shadow of Tyne Dock arches, bombing around the streets on my Grifter, playing football on St Mary’s field and as a teenager, a member of Tyne Dock Youth Club in South Shields.
The club had a film night every Sunday. No matter what film was screening I’d get a chair and plonk myself down at the front. Three films stand out from those nights – Carrie by Stephen King, Monty Pythons Life of Brian and Duel by Stephen Speilberg. The films were projected from a room at the back of the hall. The pictures, colour and sound gripped me.
Around 2007 I started researching my family tree. The Local Studies Library in South Shields was a great resource to find information. Putting the story together I knew of a family connection to Ireland, but never realised the full impact that the Irish had on the North East and in my case, Jarrow. The research led to making Little Ireland. The documentary is available to watch on my You Tube channel.
Since then I have filmed a lot around South Tyneside recording stories by local people talking about memories of their home town. Skuetenders, War Stories, Home from Home, Westoe Rose and Secrets & Lies. It’s been interesting to uncover and record stories that would have been lost or forgotten.
The documentary Tyne Dock Borders filmed late 2011, includes interviews with local residents and features writers Catherine Cookson and James Mitchell who were born in Tyne Dock. Original running time was 70 minutes, but I have recently edited the film down.
To view the film go to the ALIKIVI You Tube channel and subscribe to watch more.
Gary Alikivi 2018.