2002 – 9
Ray Spencer the director of Customs House is also known as Tommy the Trumpeter. He performed at Tommy’s picnics for 20 years until 2013. The Customs House was part of the South Shields Council’s Artistic programme and through it various circus initiatives were delivered. In 2002/3 A circus club was started in Hebburn at the Community Association. This was taught by Karen Bell, Dafe Bullock and Helen Averley. Later Helen taught with Sophie & Jacob McGrath and then with Steve Cousins until around 2006. The Customs house also supported artists such as Fidget Feet, who taught aerial dance to young people and skill shared with local artists and brought international Circus to South Tyneside eg Retournament, France.
The Customs House then delivered in partnership with North Tyneside Council the Find Your Talent Programme, this enabled Let’s Circus to deliver Circus Zone sessions in the building from 2008 – 9 and was also important match funding for the Five Ring Circus which developed out of the Let’s Circus project in 2010. This club ran until December 2011 in Boldon.