Welcoming in the New Year by looking back at the past

The St John Boscoe nativity play in  December 1982.
The St John Boscoe nativity play in December 1982.
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Today we pay a final visit to Christmas festivities of the past – thanks to the Echo’s archive of vintage photos.

“It is supposed to be out with the old and in with the new at New Year, but people seem to love our old pictures,” said Echo archivist Susan Swinney.

The joy of Christmas - or perhaps not. The expressions on the faces of these ladies as they walk past the Binns Christmas window display in 1984 is not exactly festive.

The joy of Christmas - or perhaps not. The expressions on the faces of these ladies as they walk past the Binns Christmas window display in 1984 is not exactly festive.

“We’ve had a great response from readers to our fortnight of vintage festive fun, and I hope this final lot brings back some happy memories for them.”

Among today’s batch of blasts from the past is a snap of youngsters at South Hylton Primary performing in a nativity back in December 1981.

Also featured is a nativity by St John Boscoe in 1982, as well as nurses setting up a Christmas tree at Seaham Hall Hospital in 1974.

“Christmas just wouldn’t have been Christmas without the Joplings sale. Dozens of hardy people used to queue all night to snap up a bargain,” said Susan.

A nice Christmas tree was just the right prescription for patients at Seaham Hall Hospital in 1974.

A nice Christmas tree was just the right prescription for patients at Seaham Hall Hospital in 1974.

“But I’m betting that the poor Post Office staff of the William Street sorting office breathed a huge sigh of relief when the festivities were over.

“However, out of all these photos, my favourite has to be the ladies walking past the Binns Christmas window display. Not exactly a picture of festive joy!”

l Do these photos bring back memories for you? Email sarah.stoner@jpress.co.uk

Christmas is over - but here come the sales. This photo was taken outside Joplings in 1990.

Christmas is over - but here come the sales. This photo was taken outside Joplings in 1990.

The Post Office sorting office at William Street in December 1974 - when staff were almost buried in parcels.

The Post Office sorting office at William Street in December 1974 - when staff were almost buried in parcels.

Youngsters at South Hylton Primary School performing in a nativity in December 1981.

Youngsters at South Hylton Primary School performing in a nativity in December 1981.