Your 1980s memories of your youthful days

Our 1980 photo showing preparations for the Gang Show at the Empire Theatre.
Our 1980 photo showing preparations for the Gang Show at the Empire Theatre.
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It’s amazing how many people love to take another look at their youthful days.

Take this 1981 photograph, for example, of St Aidan’s School in Sunderland. We posted it on social media and it reached more than 22,000 people.

That 1981 photo which attracted so much interest. It shows class 3E at St Aidan's School.

That 1981 photo which attracted so much interest. It shows class 3E at St Aidan's School.

And when we asked for some names of the people pictured, quite a few of you came up trumps.

Donna Gibson and Martin Barkes both identified Stephen Common and Martin added: “There was a David – top, sixth from right – and I’m sure a lad went on to Blockbusters there I’ll have a p bob.”

Damian Slee identified the class because it was the one he belonged to. He added: “That’s 3E, my class. I recognise everyone. Only one missing is me!”

And he also told us: “Andrew Watson is on the far left, back row.”

I was in every Sunderland gang show including this one. Its the best time ever great laughs, and i’m still in scouting today in Sunderland

Andrew Robinson

Gary Stubbs was another former pupil and said: “Recognise some faces but can’t remember any names!”

Dave Hedley said: “Mr Roddy. Teacher.”

Andrew Duffy commented: “I started 1983 remember a couple of those lads.”

Mark Barker added: “This was 3E class of 3rd year in 1981.”

Neal Davidson knew a few faces but he said: “Can’t think of their names.”

Barry Murphy chipped in with: “Mr Roddy ...Class.”

Claire Jacob Ratton said: “Dennis Roddy x” while Alan Marley suggested: “Bound to be a future Sunderland footballer in there.”

His suggestion prompted a reply from Mark Barker who contributed: “None but a few SRFC players ha.”

The photograph attracted likes from dozens of people including Kieron Walker, Joanna Jackson, Claire Jacob Ratton, Sean Hodgson, Suzie Murphy, Darren Timby and Roger Wilson.

Others to like it included Norma Gowland, Toni Carr, Dom Smithson, Kath Smith, Lisa M Wilkinson, Marjorie Laybourn-Helgert, Wendy Richardson and Bernadette Mary Foreman.

Can anyone else put names to faces and tell us more. If so, email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk

In another reflection on Sunderland youth, we asked who remembered this scene of the 1980 gang show. More than 8,000 people were reached on this one and most of those who replied had the same answer.

The lady sitting at the piano was music teacher Mrs Donnen and she was a lovely person.

Linda Worrall said: “Yes she was my music teacher at Pennywell. Mrs Donnen. Don’t know if I spelt it right. She was lovely woman.”

Jacqui Marshall said: “Lovely lady. She was my music teacher, Lovely lady, great teacher, amazing singer xx.”

The messages of love kept pouring in including from Janice Richardson who said:”Ann Donnan. Such a lovely lady” and Aly Forster Carson who commented: “She was so lovely, I remember her from school.”

Bill Edward Meeks said: “These were great times” and later added; “All the hope in our young faces.”

Andrew Robinson loved the photo and said: “I was in every Sunderland gang show including this one. Its the best time ever great laughs, and i’m still in scouting today in Sunderland.”

Mike Hutchinson called it a “Brilliant pic” while Dorothy Laing Dowell and Jean Thompson were others who also remembered Mrs Donnan.

Thanks to everyone who liked the social media post including Melanie Turnbull, Jane Nicholson, Jo Rowe, Elaine Dunning, David Charlton, Julia Charlesworth, Andrew Robinson and Heather Clow.

We want to hear from more people who would like to share memories of their childhood.

Do you have a photograph you would like us to feature.

Or perhaps there is another aspect of Sunderland history you would love us to feature.

It may be a favourite event, or a particular street, pub, restaurant or shop from times gone by.

We would love to hear, as well, from people wanting to share the fascinating findings of their family tree.

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk