Whitley Bay's
first 3-Day
Reggae & Ska
Festival

May 13-15 2010
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A treasure to
be preserved,
restored
and enjoyed...

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"We'll be having fun
all summer long..."

Surf's up along
our shoreline!

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Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Guide 2009 Archive

Ray, of course, was a founding member and drummer for the highly successful folk rock band Lindisfarne. He is currently thumping the tubs with the Billy Mitchell Band.
"All mine, all mine..."
by Ray Laidlaw
I've lived in Tynemouth for most of my life and was born here, very close to my present home. To the locals, Tynemouth is known as "The Village". Dominated by the Castle and Priory, the surrounding streets are full of surprises — around every corner there are buildings with a schizophrenic quality suggesting some random architectural brief.

I spent most of my childhood summers on Tynemouth beach and the Village was a magnet for me and my pals during my teenage years. There was Matties youth club, the Calypso coffee bar, the Cave music café and, for a while, a record shop above the Rubber Soul Surf Shop, coincidentally the first place that I heard The Beatles' album of the same name.

When I moved back to the north in 1973 I decided to buy a house in Tynemouth. I looked at lots but couldn't decide, so I bought the house nearest to the Turk's Head, the pub where I met my wife and subsequently the scene of many happy events in my life, including a Lindisfarne video shoot, our wedding reception and the Motorettes album launch, to name just three.

Tynemouth retains a timeless, magical quality; in summer it exudes the same laid back feel that I remember as a boy when the first surfers were causing a stir on the Long Sands. It's now a favourite surfing location and a surprising number of internationally known surfers are locals who honed their skills on our coast.

As well as the healthy outdoor pursuits that the coast has to offer, Tynemouth also boasts diverse restaurants, pubs and shops with nearly everything you need within a hundred yards of Front Street.

On the cultural side, we have the Priory Theatre, the tri-annual Tynemouth Pageant and the Mouth of the Tyne Festival. Add to these attractions the many activities that take place in Tynemouth Station, the Sailing and Rowing Clubs and the terminus for the C2C cycleway and it's easy to understand the reasons for Tynemouth's popularity.

I'm writing this in mid-December. I'll now take a brisk walk around the Spanish Battery followed by a drink and a chat in one of the village pubs; where else would I want to live?
Lindisfarne photo by courtesy of Ray Laidlaw.
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