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Working and shopping in post-war North Shields

At lunch time I used to go out to the YMCA, which put on a good meal on the top floor.

I worked for Tynemouth Borough Council and later North Tyneside Council in their offices at the bottom of Howard Street North Shields. If I was involved in the Census I would have to walk up and down the streets in North Shields identifying the correct address of every house. When you got to the streets that had shops in them you had to be very careful that everything was recorded properly in case you missed, for example, a flat above a shop.

At lunch time I used to go out to the YMCA, which put on a good meal on the top floor. There was also a British Restaurant on Albion Road, where the Jubilee School was. I also remember we had an enterprising office boy who used to take orders from people in the office and then go to the Cornish Pasty Shop (that was its name) in Rudyerd Street. He charged everyone a penny for going, on top of the price of the pie.

Howard Street was very central for an excellent selection of local shops. I remember all the gent’s outfitters that were in North Shields; Bolton’s for shirts and knitwear, John Davidson’s for all kinds of gentleman’s hats.

It was my wife who liked shopping really. Her grandfather had been a Master Confectioner in a shop at the end of Saville Street West and could make all kinds of sweets and chocolates. It was a very skilled job. When we were married we bought some of our furniture from Graham’s and they were very helpful, making sure we got exactly what we wanted.

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