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Viewing messages 51 to 60

Eric Moyse | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
Is no one interested in Loppakitty? Oh well -- Sandancers.
A few years ago I was at the Roman Fort and asked the guide why we were called"Sandancers." His explanation was and,he must of course be right,that in the 60s the pits in the west of Durham were closing, so the miners from there were bussed into Westoe Colliery. Banter ensued: the locals called the incomers "Hillbillies" while the incomers replied by calling their hosts "Sandancers." I always thought this was appropriate, considering South Shields' miles of golden sands and the Arab community of which we were pretty proud (I remember Harry Said as a grand lad). The sand dance performed by WK&B strengthened the idea, even though it was meant to be Egyptian while our Arabs had originated in Aden, Yemen. WK&B was a brillianty funny act, which I had the pleasure of seeing at the Sunderland Empire at least once.
Sun 20-Feb-2022 11:24 - Reading Berkshire
Neale Backhouse
Hi Bruce,
I know I said I was done with this subject, but here I am again with another nugget.
I just discovered, in a drawer in my bedroom,a whimsical little volume called "Passport to South Tyneside" by Scott Dobson,(1980). I'd forgotten I had this.
In it he reports in an article called The First Shields Ferry, that the Romans brought in a special unit from the Middle East to man this military ferry, who could well have been the first Middle Eastern people to settle in South Shields and subsequently become the oldest and best integrated community of that origin in Britain. Since 600 or thereabouts it became Muslim and indeed the oldest Muslim community in Britain, which has today a fine little Mosque in Laygate. I'm not sure whether this information is still current (the pamphlet is dated 1980) nor do I know whether Scott Dobson's research is accurate.(I must admit it does sound a bit hairy). Anyway, more grist for the mill.
Cheers, Neale.
Sun 20-Feb-2022 01:15 - Victoria BC
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Since "Sandancer" is mentioned on Wikipedia as being associated with South Shields that must be the case. Wikipedia can't be incorrect, can it?!!

"Why yer b*****r man" as they used to say. Whatever connection there may have been with a music-hall act (how tenuous can you get) I join the club of those who are totally unfamiliar with the term and have difficulty associating it with the Laygate area.
Sat 19-Feb-2022 16:21 - ruskington lincolnshie
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Good Morning, Mike & Everyone,

The origin as a `Wild-Goose Chase´ but can confirm watching their performance at the Sunderland Empire.

God says to Gabriel, " I´m going to create a wonderful land called Canada. Its people will be renowned all over the world and particularly in `Geordieland´.
Gabriel says to God, "Wow"! "If it´s going to be so great won´t it make all the other countries in the world jealous"? God smiled and said "Norway"!
"Wait until you hear the accent I give them"!

`Sandancer´ `Geordieland´.

Mon 14-Feb-2022 10:30 - south Shields
Mike Todd
Just to add my 2p to the story ...

I commented on Facebook a couple of days
ago that, despite looking into it on and off over the past 30 years, I can't find any evidence that Wilson Keppel and Betty performed in South Shields.

As my grandfather was musical director at the Queens Theatre, but there's nothing in his papers with any reference to them at all.

However, they definitely appeared in Sunderland on a couple of occasions.

They didn't even have any connection with Shields - one from the midlands, one from Ireland and one from the USA if I remember rightly.

"Sanddancer" acts were very popular in the 19th and early 20th century all over the UK - and some of these did appear in Shields.

The earliest reference I can find to a "Sand Dancer" act was an American act called "Cobb & Chapman" in 1862

How people from South Shields got this nickname is a total mystery - nobody really knows.
Sun 13-Feb-2022 09:22 - Rothbury
Neale Backhouse
First things first.
Happy birthday Alex. Eighty seven today and hell bent on a hundred and five! Go for it old boy. I wonder how many of our 1951 VUA are still around. Any idea anyone?
OK, now back to Sanddancer. I'm surprised that after living 26 years in Sanddancer territory you are unfamiliar with the expression Alex. Nevertheless I feel obliged to revisit what I said earlier.
I have heard the term used in a derogatory fashion but now methinks by outsiders to describe residents of South Shields in general.The obvious reference is to people of Arabian descent.Who else dances in the sand.I will rest my case there.
Finally to Alan. Way to go old chap. I sense sixth form stuff here. We have a linguist in the camp!
Cheers, Neale.
Sat 12-Feb-2022 15:28 - Victoria BC
alan wightman
Buenos Diás, Neale

Creo que ya estás enterado que el Himno Español no tiene letras ¡Ha sido un `chiste´de mí parte!

`PartiSandancer´, ^Geordieland´.
Fri 11-Feb-2022 09:33
South Shields
Good Morning, Alex and everyone,

Despite the report that they never performed in the North-East this might not be true, but I don´t believe at the Pier Pavilion where we went to support our local drama group. However, I seem to recall watching their performance at the Sunderland Empire?

I´m sure you are aware that the origin of the term is contested. People who come from South Shields, now `Geordies´.

If you are really interested then you can refer to:-

and a prize-winning book by Alan Stafford.

`Sandancer´ `Geordieland´.
Fri 11-Feb-2022 09:18
Alex Patterson, 1946-1951, VUA | ad1935ap~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hello Mike,
I refer to Neale”s comments a couple of weeks ago regarding Alan’s pseudonym, “Sandancer”. I lived in the Laygate/High Shields neighbourhood for the first 26 years of my life then on the Lake Top for another two years and I can honestly say I never heard the term “Sandancer” being used in a derogatory fashion; In fact, I can’t remember ever hearing it at all, except when discussing Wilson, Keppel and Betty, (WKB) the comedic Egyptian style dance group. By the way, I always spell it ‘sanddancer’ with 2 d’s.
I’m sure I saw WKB at the Pier Pavillion at some time in the 50’s or 60’s or it may have been the Newcastle Empire. However I thought they were duff then, but I didn’t realize how popular they had been in their comic routine. They performed at two Royal Variety Shows and were on the same bill as Frank Sinatra at the London Palladium in 1950 and toured all over Britain and the States. Wikipedia gives them two separate entries, one of which refers to sand dancers and claims they never performed in the North East and the other has more details but no mention of South Shields.
So Alan, seeing that you are still in good old South Shields, could you find out if they ever appeared there and was it at the Pier Pavilion, if they did? Thank you in advance.
Alex Patterson,
From a cool but dry North York

P.S. Neale I’ve just finished reading your latest response to Alan and am dismayed that you’re talking about your demise…and in a couple of years. I think we’ll both be doing this correspondence well into the 2030/40’s. We’ll only be 105 by then and Newcastle might be top of the Premier by then.
Fri 11-Feb-2022 05:57 - North York, Ontario, Canada
I'd like to take you up on that Alan, but it may take a year or two before I learn sufficient Spanish and by that time any delivery might have been preceded by my demise. So the best I can do, in the meantime, is to pen the immortal lines of Guy Mitchel(circa 1950);
"Columbus say to the Spanish King
I'll let you in on a mighty fine thing
I aim to prove that the world is round
United States ain't never been found."

"Now gimme ships Columbus say, I'll
Sail to China in a shorter way.
King he say This world is flat
Sail too fur and where you at?"

OK not exactly Manuel Cervantes but the best I can do. It sounds better with the music.
Oh by the way, check your weather almanac for Victoria.

Cheers, Neale.

Fri 11-Feb-2022 03:05 - Vic BC

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