The little angels who lit up the nativity stages of Wearside

The Christmas Nativity at St Leonard's School, Silksworth in 1974 .
The Christmas Nativity at St Leonard's School, Silksworth in 1974 .

Aww bless!

There’s nothing quite like a school nativity to get Echo readers feeling all Christmassy.

All smiles on the stage at New Lambton School in 1974.

All smiles on the stage at New Lambton School in 1974.

And you certainly loved the archive photograph that we posted on social media of the 1974 St Leonard’s nativity in Silksworth.

We wanted your memories of it and you obliged in great style.

In fact, more than 18,000 of you showed an interest in the post and plenty of you left comments as well.

We loved the message from Yvonne Gray who said: “Having been part of the organisation of many school nativity plays, what would we have done without curtains and tea towels? And tissues for the many tears shed.”

Having been part of the organisation of many school nativity plays, what would we have done without curtains and tea towels? And tissues for the many tears shed

Yvonne Gray

Thanks also to Lisa Hudson who provided us with many of the names for the youngsters pictured.

She said: “I recognise – Stephen Roberts, Paul Downey, John Lanagan, Joanna Murphy, Diane Brown, Lesley Tansy, Wendy Giblin, Michael McKinney, Paul Mulvany, Angela Turner, Peter Chambers and Claire Norman.”

Gary Marrs said: “Some top lads there.” While Laura Wilson told us: “I’m at the back beside the bookcase.”

She also commented: “I recognise Claire Norman and Mandy Bond near the front.”

Redby Junior School in 1987.

Redby Junior School in 1987.

Her friend Lisa Hudson said she was in the second row from the back.”

Michael Kearney’s great comment started: “Holy cow I’m on this. Played the king balthaza.”

He also named some of the people pictured and they included: “Gary Marrs, Ian Bowden, Celia Domenech, Michael Outhwaite, Ivor Laidler, Ryan Forth, Dean Forth, and Loraine Borthwick.”

Michael Outhwaite filled in some of the blanks and said: “John Lanagan, Peter Chambers, Paul Downey, Steven Roberts, Ian Thompson, Michael Orr, Paul Inglis, David Brown, Wendy Giblin, Paul Mulvaney, Diane Brown (I think).”

Thanks also to Michelle McKinney who told us: “Tracey Mckinney played Mary.”

There were plenty of people who liked the post including Jordan Welton, Mary Smith, Lillian Gilmore, Norma Hannigan, Julie Pace, Dibs Lightfoot, Mitchell Jayne, Darren Welch, Rence Ignacio, Michelle Lundy and Pauline Reilly.

They also included Kathleen Burley, Marie Forster, Edith Mitchell, Michael Kearney, Sue Tyndale, Nicola Henderson Brown, Tony Norman and John Sproates.

The likes just kept on coming, from people including Doreen E Scott, Marie Pentland, Denise Parsler, Jennifer Daly, Pamela Jones Quinn, Ian Bowden and David Atkinson.

We loved your responses so much, we thought we’d share a couple more nativity photographs.

One shows this 30-year-old photograph from New Lambton School.

Are you in the 1987 shot and, if so, which one of these smiling children are you?

Do you recall the names of any of the other children who appeared on stage with you?

Or, going back a little further, how about this shot from the New Lambton School nativity in 1974.

Anyone know who was playing Mary and Joseph? Or what about the rest of the cast?

Perhaps we can get a similar response to that on the St Leonard’s nativity where others to like the post included Carol Glanville, Sue Douthwaite, Judith Wass, Nicola Stavers, Paula Outhwaite, Susannah Moon, Jordan James William Cliff, Steven Oliver, Dean Forth, Phil Dorian and Katherine Hammond.

Tell us your reminders of those great days. What are your memories of the school nativity?

Which school did you go to and which part did you play in the production?

Can you remember the names of your fellow actors and what were the highlights of the show?

Get in touch and tell us more.

Perhaps there is another aspect of Sunderland, Wearside and East Durham history that you would like to share. You might want to reflect on your favourite school, youth club, or your days in the Scouts or Guides.

Or is there a pub, club, nightclub or restaurant which you fondly remember and would like us to feature.

We are also here to help anyone who needs a hand in making progress on their family tree. Perhaps we can help you to get further back into your lineage.

However we can help, get in touch by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk and let’s look back on some great times.