SOME people kick the of their birthplace off their heels and never care if they see it again.
But the majority, I think we've found over the years, still feel the pull of their roots, long after they've moved away.
Moreover as the years pass, home, as you remember it, becomes preserved unchanged - often a recipe for profound shock when you do return!
That was the experience of former Hebburn reader Vera Mazzetti, who tells me she gets great pleasure from Cookson Country articles sent to her by a friend up here.
"Reading them, memories I had completely forgotten about come flooding back," she says.
Vera was born in Hebburn 76 years ago [about 1919] but spent her teens and the war years in Manchester. Then, after the war, she settled in Folkestone with her husband, who belonged there, had a daughter - who is now married - and then moved to Sellindge, in Kent, 18 years ago.
Then, driving south from a holiday in Scotland a few years ago, Vera suggested to her husband that they make a detour to Hebburn, to try to find the house where she was born, in St Rollox Street.
"I had it all in my head how I remembered Hebburn," says Vera. "Tennant Street, and Hall Road where my best friend used to live, but what a shock, I couldn't believe it.
High-rise flats and shopping malls!
"After asking numerous people we finally located St Rollox Street. Fortunately it looked almost as I remembered it, as if it might have had a preservation order on it. I knocked on the door of what had been our house - but no-one was at home."
Vera still has warm memories of the whole area.
“We used to go to South Shields a lot. Every Sunday morning my father and I would walk down Ocean Road and, if the weather was fine, we would walk along the pier to the lighthouse, so that I could look at the doll embedded in the wall," she remembers.
"It must still be there.
“When the sea rough, the storm gates on the pier would be closed.
"I also remember ships coming in laden with pit props from Norway."
Vera hopes to re-visit Tyneside but as her health isn't too good, well, she can't be sure of making it.
In fact she tells me that they're hoping to move to Hythe, as their present house is now too large.
And here's something Says Vera: up for sale and a gentleman came to view. I knew at he was a Geordie - it turned out his father was born in of all places, St Rollox Street!"
* The doll is still there - if only just. It so badly worn to be almost impossible to find, the last time looked, but if you're patient you can still see traces of the outline.