From cheap Levis to bespoke jackets – the vintage fashion trade.

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That Little Vintage Shop, Hartlepool

Walking into That Little Vintage Shop you are instantly thrown back into the 1980s. All sorts of patterned garments covering every inch of the Hartlepool store is enough to make your eyes ache. The dim lighting makes it obvious as to why neon clothing was so popular during this decade – it was the only thing you could see in shops!

Owner of the shop is Jo Johnson; wife and mother of two with a passion for live music and fashion.

Constantly bringing in new stock from the warehouse is what she loves most about having a vintage fashion business.

“I can go and get clothes by the kilogram, anything I think people will enjoy I can get at a knock down rate,” Jo said.

Hartlepool is admittedly not the most trendy town in the world, however there are a few regulars that are always popping in hoping to find a bargain.

Jo said: “Just the other day a woman came in for the first time and spent over £50 on everything from Levis denim shorts to Spiderman shirts, she couldn’t believe the clothes were genuine.”

Balancing being a mother and a worker is something that Jo demonstrates brilliantly, luckily both children are over the age of 18 so she has spare time.

Back to the subject of owning a fashion shop and Jo tells me that it isn’t as easy and enjoyable as it seems.

“We’ve moved shop twice in the last year and for months we had to trade from our own house,” She said.

“There are weeks when we might sell one shirt in five days, others we can sell ridiculous amounts, it is an unpredictable trade.”

But would Jo pack it all in? Absolutely not. Smiling she says: “When I see people coming in and looking like they’re found treasure it makes it all worthwhile.”

“Being able to make Hartlepool a bit more fashionable and driving past people knowing you’ve sold them their bespoke jacket always lightens my mood.”


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Inside the head of a world record ultra-runner

For some people the prospect of running down the street to catch the bus can be a daunting prospect. But imagine running from one end of the country to the other…yes running!

Just your own two legs and will power to fight you through the 837 miles, which covers the famous Lands’ End to John O’ Groats route.

Not many people can claim to know what this takes, but luckily enough for me the world record holder for the route was on my doorstep at Teesside University, Sharon Gayter.

Sharon has been running since her early 20’s, but didn’t become serious about it till she was 30. Since then she has

Sharon stands next to the van which followed her along the 840 mile route

Sharon stands next to the van which followed her along the 840 mile route

not looked back, winning gold medals at European and Commonwealth level, as well as breaking numerous world records including her run from Lands’ End to John O’Groats.

Her inspiration to start running came when she watched the London Marathon on television, one day dreaming of running and the completing the famous 26 mile course.

Of course she has long fulfilled this dream, and I was keen to meet up with to see how she conquered her world record attempt and how she gets into the mind-set to run for nearly 13 consecutive days.

“It was daunting even from my point of view, the furthest I’d ever ran before that was 140 miles,” Sharon said.

“You’ve told the world you’re going to run 840 miles, so when I got to the start I wished I wasn’t there! I did have big, big doubts.

“But I had written this down as a goal twelve years previously during my time at university, so I planned it extensively.”

I was amazed to hear how detailed Sharon’s planning was, as she really did have a clear vision of what was to come for her.

“I cycled and drove every mile of the route, I’d written notes like: left at this roundabout, right at the McDonalds, left at the bank.” Sharon said.

“So I had visualised all of the route in my head using these techniques. I wrote on the map where the steep hills were and whether there was a busy shopping centre ahead.

“I wrote every clue down to the point where I didn’t need any help navigating the route, as I knew every bit of the way!

“If I could take you back to some of them points I could tell you exactly where I ran even now, that’s how engrained it was in my head.

“In terms of running it I had mentally prepared myself for all the years building up to the run, especially the last two years where the world record had engulfed my mind.

“In terms of the physical aspect the preparation was easy, because at the end of the day it was just a four hour run. Because I did it in four hour blocks I just kept telling myself I’m only running for four hours then I can rest.

Sharon on her world record attempt

Sharon on her world record attempt

“So all I did was run for four hours, I stopped and had a break, had some food, changed my shoes and socks, then went out for another four hour run.

“Bit by bit you get closer and closer and I just didn’t think of the world record at all. It was actually very easy in real terms.”

I think ‘easy’ would be the last word 99% of the world’s population would describe that sort of run as, but Sharon Gayter belongs in the 1% exception.

Sharon beat the previous record by 17.5 hours in what remains the world record. A truly inspirational character.

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No Xcuses not to get out in Middlesbrough!

No Xcuses not to get out in Middlesbrough!

Local rock band No Xcuses are soon scheduled to be appearing at the renowned Pirate Festival Show in Whitby.

So tside took the opportunity to speak to band member Jack Thornton about the band and his view on music.

Jack, 20, lives in Eston, and also performs as a solo acoustic act; performing guitar and singing, as well as playing guitar and singing for his band.
Jack joined the band just over a year ago and he says that he has thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Music is his passion and he wants to continue performing for as long as possible.

Jack and the rest of the band have performed at the Merlin pub in Billingham, O’Connells bar in Middlesbrough, the Music Lounge in Stockton, and various other locations around Teesside.
They are scheduled to be appearing at Doc Browns bar in Middlesbrough, as well as the Whitby pirate show.

Jack Thornton performing with No Xcuses at O'Connells

Jack Thornton performing with No Xcuses at O’Connells

No Xcuses perform rock covers of various rock and roll artists from the 70’s to the present.

Jack said that  Australian bandACDC started him off, but he loves all kinds of rock music and always liked Alice Cooper’s style.

However, his major inspiration is closer to home.

“My dad has always been a musical hero of mine, since I was very young. I’ve never heard anyone play as well as he does when he gets on stage,” Jack said.

Jack says his father taught him the basics of guitar and he got interested in singing simply through wanting to try.

You can check out No Xcuses at Doc Browns – check out Doc Browns Thursdays on Facebook for more information and dates.

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Introducing Geordie Shore newbie Nathan Henry


Nathan Henry: Geordie Shore Newbie

Nathan Henry: Geordie Shore Newbie


I first met Nathan Henry when we worked together at Saks Hair and Beauty Academy in Darlington.

We were helping to organise a show for the Saks Art Team and Nathan had just joined us at the time.

It’s fair to say he has natural charisma and is immaculately dressed and groomed at all times. Saks was definitely a good place for him to be.

Now, at 24 he is one of the newest members of MTV’S Geordie Shore, I wanted to find out more about what he is up to now.

He is the first bisexual member of the group and recently hit back at criticism of his sex scenes with a man via his Facebook account saying: “Last night I provided a stepping stone for things like that to be shown in aspects of media because like it or not the LGBT community DOES EXIST and we have no intention of going anywhere. Therefore I’m proud of what I did and who I am as I achieve something, have you?.”

Nathan Henry 2

Nathan and the Geordie Shore boys

I asked Nathan how life has changed since appearing on the show, he said: “At the moment life is still the same, nothing too crazy has happened, a few people have asked me for photos and how it’s going. I have a few personal appearances coming up, so that will be exciting. In fact me and Chloe presented and award in Edinburgh on Thursday for the Young Scott Awards and I’ve done an interview for a massive radio station in Australia”

Nathan has started to gain lots of media attention including features in OK Magazine, Now Magazine and The Daily Mail. He is motivated by his ambitions for success and hopes to have his own fashion and jewellery lines in the very near future.

The loveliest thing about Nathan is that he is extremely grounded and he told me one of his biggest ambitions is to be able to provide for his family. He would like to pay for his mum’s and dad’s houses, so they never have to struggle, as he appreciates everything they did for him growing up.

He said: “The most important people in my life would be my immediate family and best friends they have literally been and still are my foundations in life, without them I can stand. They were there before this crazy career choice, during it and I’m certain they will be there afterwards.”

The things that make him happy in life are: the sun, swimming pools, music, food, kissing and cuddling, spooning and memorable moments in time.

Nathan Henry and the cast of MTV's Geordie Shore

Nathan Henry and the cast of MTV’s Geordie Shore

His positive and humble outlook on life is sure to take him to amazing places.

Nathan says: “I regret nothing in life, I see this as an experience and we get one shot at it, so rather than regret anything I see it as a learning experience/curve that makes me into a better or stronger person.”

To watch more of Nathan in Geordie Shore, tune in on Tuesdays at 10pm on MTV and follow Twitter.



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Buskers brighten up Middlesbrough

Imagine a sunny day in central Middlesbrough.


Phil Green (left) and Shaun Richardson (right) plan to continue performing and creating new songs for as long as possible.

The people are rushing from one shop to another while trying to find the best deals on various items but they walk at an almost robotic pace with a facial expression to match.

However one thing that is helping to inject some colour back into the streets is busking.

Shaun Richardson, 19 and Phil Green, 22 are a busking duo who occasionally perform in Middlesbrough.

They have been performing together for two years now. They met when Shaun’s college band needed a new guitarist.

When Phil joined the band, he and Shaun quickly became good friends.

“I’ve had an interest in music for as long as I can remember, I started out playing the keyboard and learnt new instruments later on,” said Phil.

About six months after they met began to hang out together more frequently.

When asked about how they started their duo act, Shaun said: “We were just having a drink and then we started jamming. We weren’t too bad.”

As they became better and better, they eventually decided to take their act to the public when Shaun went out busking one day and asked Phil if he wanted to come along. Phil accepted and the pair soon became regular buskers.

The duo perform mash-ups of chart songs on their guitars along with their vocals.

When asked about how they managed to make these musical combinations, Phil responded: “When we listen to music we sometimes notice that two songs sound almost the same.” Shaund added: “Phil will play some chords and if we like it we try and make a full mash up piece.”

Busking has its negative side however which has made some reluctant to give the pair any money.

“We have seen some people come out and busk until they raise enough money for a bottle of gin and then go home.I guess that’s why the public sometimes has a negative view on us but we have to define the line between begging and busking,” said Shaun.

The duo have begun to slow down their busking activities with Shaun juggling his job and a heavily pregnant girlfriend and Phil hoping to start a course in audio production at the University of Liverpool. Later on in life, Phil wants to start his own professional audio production studio.

“We still come out every now and then” said Shaun, “If my gas meter has run out and I’m not being paid for another few days, a busking session with Phil is needed but winters can be very harsh for a busker, especially if you are not making much money.”

A shopper who had been watching them said: “They could go far, I mean look at Oasis, they started in their garage.”

As she left, the shopper remarked: “The UK needs more people like them. They really brighten the place up.”





from Tside