11 Hartlepool and East Durham stories from Silver Jubilee Year - from the pet goat to the bean eating competition

What a year that was. Thousands of people celebrated the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 12:13 pm

But what else do you remember about the year? Let’s put your memory to the test with a reminder of these stories from 45 years ago.

l Shoppers got a Jubilee treat at Kwicksnax in Hartlepool’s shopping centre.

Mary Cannell, Betty Elliott, and Jean Walters planned to wear jubilee dresses for as long as possible.

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Hartlepool in 1977.

Mary, a housewife, made the aprons while creative Jean made the matching caps that had a Union Jack decoration.

l Mary might have a little lamb, but one Hartlepool girl is not going to be outdone. Joanne Bratt, 4, from the Owton Manor area, has her own special pet goat.

The kid, which was only eight weeks old, followed Joanne around and waited to meet her after school.

l The Buxted Chicken Co in Brenda Road was celebrating its 10th anniversary. In ten years, the firm had increased from a workforce of 44 to 490 workers.

The Buxted factory in Hartlepool.

l Julie Hart, 15, was chosen as Miss Throston in 1977.

l Beanz meanz fun in Peterlee where 8 competitors were preparing for an attempt on the world bean-eating record.

The Peterlee Department Store was the venue for the event where each competitor must eat one bean at a time, with a cocktail stick.

To establish a new record, they had to go for 2,000 beans in 30 minutes.

A production line at the Fisher Price factory.

l Hundreds of villagers watched Horden pensioner Jimmy Wallace, 67, race against a champion whippet - and win with three yards to spare.

For Jimmy, an ex-miner and fitness fanatic who runs miles each day and drinks a glass of olive oil every morning, took up the 100-yard challenge after a friendly argument over whether he could beat a dog.

l Around 7,000 fewer Cleveland pupils were having a school meal but the price increase from 15 pence to 25 pence was not the only reason, said Schools’ Catering Officer Maurice Grosse. School numbers dropped dramatically and this, he said, was 50 per cent of the reason.

l The 1st Hartlepool Boys Brigade was celebrating 90 years and hundreds of members and former members planned to celebrate by raising a toast in the Borough Hall, only yards away from the Brigade’s headquarters in the Morison Hall.

The pet goat which followed Joanne Bratt, 4, from the Owton Manor area.

l The 22-strong Hartlepool Prize Brass Band was in danger of folding for lack of funds and a practice venue - at a time when membership was on the rise.

l If music helps you to remember the year, perhaps you remember The Motors, a local band which took the spotlight in 1977.

l Peterlee was chosen as the European production centre for a toy company which will bring between 60 and 80 jobs to the new town as part of a £750,000 development.

The labour force was expected to rise to 400 in five years.

Fisher Price Toys, a division of the Quaker Oats company, took over two existing factories comprising of 57,000 sq ft on the town’s North West Industrial Estate, along with ten acres of land.

And a further ten acres was acquired for further expansion into a distribution plant in a year’s time.

A grainy photo of the team at Kwicksnax which got right into the Silver Jubilee spirit.

What are your memories of 1977? And will you be celebration the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee? Tell us more by emailing [email protected]

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Miss Julie Hart who was elected Miss Throston in 1977.
The Motors pictured in Hartlepool in 1977.