Childhood Memories Of Shopping in North Shields

I remember one day a tram went out of control and ran all the way down Borough Road.

The earliest memories I have of shopping, was the distance we had to walk to get to the shops. The place we lived was surrounded with fields and we had to walk all the way in to Shields, about 3 miles. There was no bus or tram in those days. There were trams in Shields and I remember one day a tram went out of control and ran all the way down Borough Bank.

We would walk to the shops on a Saturday. I liked the Penny Bazaar. I don’t mean Woolworths, there was another one. We had a bakery in Prudhoe Street and we had to walk in to Shields on a Sunday to stoke the ovens up. Every Wednesday we were allowed to have a treat, we could pick a cake each. I always chose my favourite, a cream horn.

Other shops I remember were Brough Stores where they had overhead cash lines and Thompsons Red Stamp Stores.

We lived on the Ridges and my parents bought a Shop. It was a confectioners and tobacconists. They bought it from a young couple and when they got the books, there was a credit book. They didn’t have all the names of the people who owed money, one entry stated, “the woman with the red shawl”. When my parents took over, my father said no credit would be given. In those days we sold Woodbines (coffin nails) for two shillings for ten and four shillings for twenty. Men on their way to work would come in and ask for a newspaper and a double (twenty) Woodbine.

When I was 14, my father paid £10 for me to serve my time as a hairdresser. This was at Mr Harts Hairdressers in Bedford Street, above the TSB bank. It was a lady and gents hairdressers, a perm cost seven shillings and six pence, a shampoo and set cost two shillings and six pence and it cost two shillings for a shampoo only. One day a lady was having a perm, she had all the wires attached to her head and she had a fit, it was very frightening. There was a place at the back of the salon where Mr Hart mended umbrellas.

Margaret Kemp d.o.b. 25th Jan. 1924

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