Longbenton in the 1930s and 1950s

There were only green fields between Four Lane Ends and West Moor.

I started work aged 14 in 1936 as an assistant on a Co-op mobile butcher van.  We covered a wide area on a regular basis and two calls we made were farms on Benton Lane.  Henzell’s was on the east side and Whiteleigh’s was on the west side.  Other than that there were no other buildings or signs of life between Four Lane Ends and West Moor, only green fields.

After being demobbed from the army in 1947, I married and was living in a 3 roomed ground floor flat in Heaton, which was old and damp, with high ceilings and an outside toilet.  Fortunately, around 1955 we acquired a new flat in Longbenton and though pavements weren’t laid it was marvellous.  The novelty of decorating on sound dry walls that weren’t too high, and having an inside toilet where we didn’t need an overcoat to wear in cold weather was luxury indeed.

After almost 50 years I still appreciate it wholeheartedly.

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