“When I think of Christmas, I always think of my Great Aunt May, she was the matriarch of our family and much loved.  Every year I bought her ‘French Fern’ bath cubes from a little chemist on Wallsend High Street – I’m not sure if she liked them but that’s what she got and whenever I smell that smell I think of her.”

This is an extract from one of our memories that I was reading recently. It’s one of our older stories and rereading it made me think how some things have changed, especially the reference to bath cubes. It seems so quaint now but at the time it was a luxurious gift.  It also made me think about old fashioned chemists that sold beautiful things that you only bought occasionally.  Another thing that struck me was the sense that all of the Christmas shopping was done on the local high street.  In the days before mass ownership of cars it wasn’t always easy to get into Newcastle and places like the Metro Centre or Silverlink hadn’t been invented.  Here are a few more reminders of Christmas gifts: