Wearside Echoes: Life wasn’t black and white in the 1960s

SHOPPING HAVEN: A busy market day in 1960s Durham City.
SHOPPING HAVEN: A busy market day in 1960s Durham City.
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A COLOURFUL look at life in the Swinging Sixties is now on sale.

Dozens of archive photos featuring street scenes, historic buildings, transport and people have been packed into Durham City In Colour 1960-1970.

“This is the first time such a book has been published showing the colourful city of the 1960s,” said co-authors Michael and Michelle Richardson.

“We often think of this as a ‘black and white’ era, mainly because family photographs were almost all in black and white, but it obviously wasn’t.”

Some of the illustrations focus on “new” buildings, such as Kingsgate Bridge, Dunelm House in New Elvet, Milburngate House and Durham County Hall.

Others show roadworks in Gilesgate, Millburngate, North Road and Crossgate Peth, as well as candid shots of people at work and play around the streets of the city.

“Many will remember shops such as Greenwell’s grocer’s in Silver Street, Stanton’s chip shop in Milburngate and Earl’s confectioners – famous for its meat pies – in Saddler Street,” said Michael.

“There was also Dimambro’s ice-cream parlour in Claypath, now long gone. All of these premises had their own distinctive aroma.”

Many once-flourishing industries are featured too, such as Blagdon’s leather works in Milburngate, Hauxwell’s iron foundry, in Atherton Street and Mackay’s carpet factory, in Freeman’s Place.

And some of the most popular watering holes are pictured, including the Five Ways Inn, Volunteer Arms, Durham Ox, Maltman Inn, Wheatsheaf, King’s Arms and Royal Hotel.

“It is surprising how many public houses we had in the city when compared with the numbers today,” said Michael. “Some of these were lost in the 1960s.”

Other pictures include Durham Cathedral, Saddler Street and Durham Castle, as well as the building of Millburngate Bridge and scenes from Durham Miners’ Gala.

“As people peruse the pages, the pictures will no doubt stir memories and arouse interest in what was once there, and has now gone,” said Michael.

“We hope this collection will bring as much pleasure to readers as it has to us in putting it together.”

* Durham City in Colour 1960-1970 is published by Amberley Publishing at £14.99. Anyone willing to donate or loan old photos of Durham to Michael can contact him on 384 1427.