REHEASAL WBAY-7A converted waiting room at a North Tyneside Metro Station has been put to good use helping creative people to get on track for a career in music, performing arts or comedy.

Hot on the tracks of the success of the Station Masters’ Community Wildlife Garden, just next to the Whitley Bay Metro Station, another part of the building has been converted from its original use to help the community.

Ex Lindisfarne drummer Ray Laidlaw and Paul Irwin, Managing Director of EastCoast Taxis are also partners in Tyne Idols who provide guided rock and roll, TV and movie memorabilia tours of Tyneside in an iconic double decker bus as well as producing events for a wide range of organisations. Both are heavily involved in the entertainment world and felt that the unusual venue was the ideal place to help local performers learn their trade and practice in the right environment.

The space is ideal for anyone wishing to have a local base to practice either as part of a band or as a solo musician, dancer or comedian. The space has a sprinkling of communal equipment including a PA and piano to help artists along with new equipment being added along the way.

“We were impressed by the work done in the Station Masters Garden to protect and enhance local wildlife, enable food growing, and to restore the garden to a living part of the community,” said Ray. “When the opportunity arose with the waiting room, we decided to follow the excellent example of the garden and create a meeting room / rehearsal space for members of our community to use.”

Since the garden has opened, Mr. Irwin has noticed that the local community has grown closer together with a common bond.

“The Station project has brought the community together in many ways and inspired us to get involved. We want to take this positive community project a step further by providing a useful rehearsal space for bands, dancers, actors or solo performers.”

A rising star from Whitley Bay, 17 year old Olivia Devine who is working with some of the industry’s best writers and producers at the moment, visited to lend her support and to remind aspiring talent that anything is possible.

“We all know how difficult it is to find rehearsal space but with the TyneIdols Waiting Room it’s free and with trains stopping at the door commuting is easy, it doesn’t get much better than that.”