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. The films were projected from a room at the back of the hall. The pictures, colour and sound were gripping. Three films stand out from those nights – Carrie by Stephen King, Monty Pythons Life of Brian and Duel by Stephen Spielberg.
Around 2007 I started researching my family tree with the Local Studies Library in South Shields a great resource. 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’ve filmed a lot around South Tyneside recording stories by local people recalling memories of their hometown. 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 residents from this industrial part of South Shields. They remember the railways, arches and ‘colourful’ part of the town.
Also featured are two famous people who were born in the area – author Catherine Cookson and James Mitchell – creator of BBC tv series When the Boat Comes In.
To view the film go to the ALIKIVI You Tube channel and subscribe to watch more.
Gary Alikivi 2018.