Remembering Chirton Shops

The dairyman took his horse and cart every morning to North Shields Railway Station to collect the churns of fresh milk

I was born in Chapel Street, Chirton, and I remember the shops at the bottom of Heaton Terrace.  There was the Hadrian, Howes and then the dairy.  You had to take a can to collect your milk and the dairyman measured out however much you asked for.  You went every day because there wasn’t any way of keeping the milk fresh for longer – no fridges or freezers.  The dairyman took his horse and cart every morning to North Shields Railway Station to collect the churns of fresh milk.

At the bottom of Wallsend Road, I remember little shops like Garretts, which sold newspapers.  It was just a little hut really, next to the Robin Hood pub.  I also remember Giles the butcher and Thompson Red Stamp Store.  Sampson’s, towards Wallsend Road, was a very good greengrocer and on Front St Chirton, there was a cake shop, a pie shop, a chemist, post office as well as Hadrian, Duncan and the Co-op.

I have special memories of a haberdashery shop called Peggy Smith’s at Chirton.  You could buy all sorts of things there, including buttons and clothes. I used to make kilts for her before I went off to college to take my City & Guilds qualification in dressmaking.  I also worked for a tailor in West Percy Street called Arnold’s.  He taught me how to draft patterns.  I’ve always been a dressmaker and ended up with my own business.

Sally Barber, born 1933

If you've enjoyed this memory and would like to share a story of your own why not go to our Contact Page to find out more.