Remembering how you helped to feed the world in 1984

The lifeline of pennies at New Silksworth Junior School - with Chris Pickard, Sonia Sandow and Susan Crow keeping tabs on how it was doing.
The lifeline of pennies at New Silksworth Junior School - with Chris Pickard, Sonia Sandow and Susan Crow keeping tabs on how it was doing.
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It was the year when the world came together to help the starving of Ethiopia – and Wearside and County Durham was quick to get off the mark with its support.

What a response it was from the generous people of the area, and today we take a look at some of the excellent ways you got involved in 1984.

Pupils play computer games for 24 hours at Argyle House School.

Pupils play computer games for 24 hours at Argyle House School.

Chris Cordner reports.

What an incredible area of fundraisers we have in the North East.

And perhaps it was never better illustrated than 34 years ago when we the high-profile news – that Ethiopia was suffering from a famine which was the worst to hit the country in a century – was revealed.

Eventually, it would claim more than 400,000 lives.

We bought a box of chocolates, a Christmas pudding and a half bottle of brandy and we raffled them around the school and around the streets

Caryne Ranton, 4, in 1984

And when the suffering made the media headlines, the world began to respond.

Wearside was quick off the mark and here’s a reminder of some of the excellent ways in which you helped.

Pupils at Silksworth Junior School got in on the act by making a ‘lifeline’ of pennies.

They used their own money – and some that they had collected from passers-by, parents and shopkeepers – to create a line of pennies which stretched about 130 yards within the grounds of the split site school. They raised £76 between them.

The toy fair at Thorney Close School.

The toy fair at Thorney Close School.

The pupils pictured were Chris Pickard, Sonia Sandow and Susan Crow who were all eight years old and were all photographed charting the progress of the line of pennies.

Headmaster Mr Cuth Earl said at the time: “The youngsters have been smashing. They wanted to do their best to help a worthy cause.”

Just as generous were the children at Ryhope School who were on the right lines with their fundraiser. Pupils Clare Ashbridge and Andrea Fowler had the wonderful idea of getting 25 teachers to write outlines and be sponsored for doing it.

The teachers, including the head Dick Copland, spent half an hour putting pen to paper. Does anyone remember how they did and how much money was raised? Get in touch and tell us more.

Two Washington children were in the news as well. Gavin Ranton, 7, and his sister Caryne, 4, gave up eating sweets to raise money and Gavin said they did it after watching the television footage of the children of Ethiopia.

It made them realise how desperate the situation was in Ethiopia and they had to do something to try and make a difference.

Both were pupils at Usworth Grange Primary School and both won praise for their excellent efforts.

Their fundraising was really impressive and it was four-year-old Caryne who said in 1984: “We bought a box of chocolates, a Christmas pudding and a half bottle of brandy and we raffled them around the school and around the streets.”

They raised £104 and the school’s headteacher Don Drummond said: “I think it is really marvellous.”

Over at Argyle House School, pupils spent 24 hours playing computer games and 100 of them took part in a session which stretched from a Friday into a Saturday.

It led to more than £1,000 being raised. The idea of the fundraiser came from Bruce Wild.

In Easington Village, youngsters held a Halloween party to raise money. They held a penny-for-the-guy collection and one youngster donated the contents of his money box.

It led to the village’s Save The Children Fund branch chairman Mollie Kirk saying: “It is marvellous that they should help.”

A £175 donation where also came from the Easington Lane Central Methodist Church with another £93 from Shotton Hall Junior School in Peterlee where children handed over cash which had been raised at the harvest festival.

In fact, lots of groups got in on the act including Mill Hill Primary School which raised £920 by having a ‘sponsored spell-in’.

And well done to four pupils at Thorney Close School – Sarah Hilton, 13, Lisa Eccles, 13, Tracey Bewey, 12, and Michelle Laine, 12, – who organised a toy fair. They sold toys as well as toffee apples and toffee cakes.

But can anyone remember how much they raised? Get in touch and tell us more.

Who remembers the year when the world came together to back a global cause?

Email chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk with your memories.