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Shopping in North Shields in the 1930s

On the way home I would have a peas pudding dip and my mam and dad would have a pork sandwich each.

I remember going shopping on a Saturday night; this was because the perishables were all reduced. We would go to Briggs on the corner of Elsdon and Lawson Street. On the way home I would have a pease pudding dip and my mam and dad would have a pork sandwich each.

I remember being sent to buy treacle which was sold from a barrel. They would draw the cup round in a circle and scoop the treacle out. It would drip down the side of the cup and I would lick it all off on the way home. I sometimes got homemade cinder toffee.

I remember Easton’s fish and chip shop on Howdon Road and asking for lots of batter with the fish and chips.

Woolworth’s was like fairyland where I spent my penny pocket money there.

My Grandmother had the bakery in Millburn Place, she would bake sly cake in a large tray and cut them to size, then she would let me have the side pieces to eat.

We would go into Barry Noble’s in Bedford Street and ask for a pennyworth of pot stuff, this was carrots and turnip and things, and then we would go to the butchers and ask for a bag of bones. These would make stock for soup and potted meat.

During the war we were given whale meat, it was horrible. We also had horse meat. After the war we had bananas, and this was the first time some people had seen them, and they tried to eat them with the skin on.

The best ice cream shop was Lopez.


As children, whenever we saw the district nurse carrying her black bag into a house, we knew there would be a baby. One day we saw the nurse carrying her bag into a neighbour’s house and I ran in to tell my mam that Mrs (can’t remember her name) had a baby. She asked how I knew that, and I told her I had seen the nurse carry the baby into the house in her black bag. Everyone laughed as the neighbour was a very old lady who probably had a bad leg.

I started work in Alice Heckle’s drapery store for six shillings a week. I had to scrub the floor, wash and dress the windows and do the polishing. I took my first pay home and was given sixpence back for my pocket money.

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