Christmas trees, tunnels and festive windows - your memories of Binns in Sunderland

A ‘class’ store which loads of you loved at Christmas. That’s Binns and you have shared your memories of the Sunderland favourite.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 4:55 am

We shared a photo of the store in a Christmastime photo from 1980. It showed the entrance with four Christmas trees attached to the wall above it.

The post was placed on the Facebook page of Wearside Echoes which is the nostalgia arm of the Sunderland Echo.

It reached around 15,000 people and dozens of you shared your memories.

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Memories of Binns.

Joan Eggleston said: “I was working there in the store then on the fashion floor” while Carol Ann Fish described it as a ‘class shop’.

David Bones Hair said: “As a young kid I used to run from one shop to the other via the underground tunnel’ and Denice Coates reminisced: “I used to love the guy that operated the lifts. Good memories.”

Our thanks go to Vivien Maris who said: “My Grandmother would treat me to morning coffee some Saturdays. That would be the mid fifties. She always shopped there for her clothes.”

Moira Horrox said: “Loved Binns. I used to meet Mam in the doorway to go shopping in the Town.”

The photo from 1980 which sparked so much interest among Wearside Echoes followers.

Lily Surtees said: “Great store loved it’ and Dorothy Berry commented: “I am pleased to say I worked there early 1970s. And as a child my Nana took me there to have my hair cut. Happy memories.”

Irene Anne Franciosi said it was one of her favourite stores while Julie Carole Smith commented: “I remember this and the restaurant on the top floor, the connecting tunnels across the street!”

Maureen Kavanagh Ne Todd said ‘loved this store’ and Hutchinson Michelle said: “Used to catch the bus outside of Binns with my mam. She’d queue while I looked in their big shop windows at their displays. Their windows at Christmas were mesmerising.”

Hilary Lamming said: “Loved Binns, my parents go-to store, especially in the sales. When sales were proper sales! Loved the tunnel underneath the road - what a big miss.”

Binns toy department in 1980.

And Ann Purdy said: “Wish i could just open that door... i would be standing behind the Estee Lauder counter selling the block buster eye box..and a bottle of youth dew... happy happy days x.”

More than 230 posted your approval of the post including Vikki Hopper Newall, Cris Watson Hope, Linda Brown, Gail Austin, Kay Thompson, Alex Gray and June Tipling.

Others to like the post included Frederick Cammack, Barbara King, Joanne Tait Bolton, Michelle Lundy, Vivien Maris, Sara Wharton, Maureen Harrison, Sam Cogle, Dawn Wright, Andrew Harris and Amanda Meade.

Our thanks go to you all.

Meeting Santa in Binns in December 1983.

The Wearside Echoes Facebook page can be found at and you could soon be joining the growing membership which currently stands at more than 6,000 people.

In the meantime, we would love more memories of your favourite Wearside stores from years gone by.

Which was the best for festive bargains? Which was best for a visit to Santa?

Get in touch and tell us more by emailing [email protected]

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Fawcett Street showing Binns on either side of the road.

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