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Shops in Saville Street and Bedford Street, North Shields

T Archer Lee must have dressed half of Shields in its time.

Saville Street

Jerome’s the photographer – everyone went there if a special photo was required – passports etc.

Marsh’s the music shop – you could buy all sheet music and records there. They would order things for you if they weren’t in stock. I got my Boosey & Hawkes Trombone Tutor from there.

Wood’s the Tailor – a gent’s outfitter which also specialised in uniforms for army and navy officers. All personnel who joined the merchant navy would buy their uniforms there.

Peirson’s – this was the shop where you obtained your school uniforms. Blazers, stocking tops, snakes belts, all in school colours. This shop had a system of payments where the money was put into a container which then shot up to the central cash office. Change and bill returned by the same route.

Burton’s the Tailor and the 50/- Tailor– imagine today that you could buy a three-piece suit, made to measure for 50/- (£2.50), it was amazing. I remember my father getting a suit there and they threw in a pair of matching plus fours as well. There was also ‘Weaver to Wearer’, another tailor.

Maynard’s sweet shop – specialised in Maynard’s Wine Gums, Coconut Ice and Raspberry Ruffles. They also sold Jesdene Black Bullets and Tyne Mints.

Globe Boot Shop – was on the opposite corner to the old library. This shop sold every kind of work boots you would ever need as well as solid leather shoes, plimsolls, sandals, hobnailed boots and wellingtons.

D Hill Carter, the biggest department store in the borough. It sold all sorts and had a café and a lift.

The Basket Shop – a specialist shop making baskets for use on the fish quay in the fish trade, for household uses and furniture making.

Bedford Street

Graham’s Furniture Store – sold all the good brands of furniture and kitchen units. It was an agent for Ercol furniture.

Clark’s Toys & Prams – where Poundstretcher is today. My mother and father used to pre-book our Christmas toys there.

W.E.B. Pyle, the Butcher – where we used to get our meat for the pub (Fountain Head). We sold hot beef sandwiches at weekends.

Hardy, Brown, Tinn & Co, painters & decorators – where a lot of people shopped for wallpapers, paint, whitewash and distemper (water paint).

Fairbairn’s for shoes – all types including ladies fashion shoes.

Todd’s the baby shop – all baby clothes, cot and pram sheets and rugs.

Rowell’s – ladies high class fashions on the corner of Wellington Street. Most ladies shopped there for ‘posh’ dance dresses and gowns.

Bell Brothers department store – had its own coinage and you can still find Bell Bros pennies today.

Bainbridge & Sons, high class furniture – including ‘Priory’ handmade furniture. You could also arrange to have furniture removals done here. In Bedford Street you can still see their shop by looking up for the distinctive decoration which shows Tynemouth Priory.

Tweddle’s haberdashers – you could buy anything here from a packet of pins to dress materials, curtain materials, tapes and ribbons. They also sold ‘bachelor’s buttons’ which didn’t have to be sewn on.

Barry Noble’s, fruit and vegetables – at the time the biggest shop of its kind in the town.

Williamson & Hogg, chemist & coffee grinders – the area around this shop always smelled of ground coffee, lovely!! They also had an industrial arm to their business. They used to do ‘gas freeing’ of ships so that work could commence without the danger of a ship’s tanks exploding.

Woolworth, the 3d and 6d store – you could even buy your spectacles there. 6d for the frame, 6d for the left lens and 6d for the right. You fitted them yourself. This was later stopped because people were buying lenses that were far too strong for them.

T Archer Lee – although not a shop this business was essential to local shoppers. It was a ‘ticket’ business, located above Martin’s Bank. Many people couldn’t afford cash for purchases so they would obtain a ticket from Lee’s, which allowed them to purchase ‘on tick’. Of course, the amounts borrowed on the ticket had to be paid back throughout the year, with interest. Lee’s had their own agents for collecting cash. T Archer Lee must have dressed half of Shields in its time.

For good measure around the corner from Bedford Street was Peter’s, they sold all sorts of foreign food; olive oil, Greek, Italian and other specialist items. Also, Polly Clement’s, an ‘open all hours’ type of shop. I vividly remember all the fly papers hanging up.

Gruber’s on Tynemouth Road was a pork butcher. During the war meat was rationed but offal and the like was not. I spent many a Saturday morning queuing for white pudding, black pudding etc – I hated the queuing!

The Tripe Shop – Southworth’s in West Percy Street. This shop specialised in all forms of tripe and was a very busy place. Ada Southworth became Mayor of Tynemouth Borough.

Gladstone’s – Ironmongers in Bedford Street. They sold all manner of nails, screws, hinges, tools, pots, kettles, pans, step ladders – in fact anything in the hardware line.

Cowell’s (or is it Cowie’s), opposite Christ Church on Albion Rd. sold leather goods. This is where you bought your leather for cobbling shoes, which everyone did. You could get ‘Philips Stick -on Soles’, we fitted them ourselves on a cobbler’s last. I remember this is where I bought my first football (twelve panels). They also sold ‘T’ balls and ‘Zig Zag’ balls.

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