Floods, laughs and pranks galore .... your memories of Littlewoods

A view of Littlewoods.
A view of Littlewoods.
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Was this the most popular place to work on Wearside?

It was if the comments of Echo readers are anything to go by.

The former Littlewoods site in Commercial Road, Sunderland.

The former Littlewoods site in Commercial Road, Sunderland.

We asked people for their memories of Littlewoods and we reached more than 41,000 people.

The common factor was ... most of you had a great laugh and made many fantastic friends.

And you kept on laughing even when not everything went smoothly, as some former workers pointed out – such as the time when the building flooded, said some Echo followers.

Sharon Tatters said: “Fond memories, worked with my sister in law Susan Reavley. I remember the floods and water pouring in had to wade through.”

Met my husband Alan at Brian Mills in the warehouse. I was an order picker and he worked on the monorail. July 10th 1978. Been married 34 years this year. Fantastic memories. Great place to work

Margaret Thompson

Pat Freeman agreed and said: “Ee yes I remember that. We were sitting with the rain dripping in.”

Rachel Hardy was another who remembered battling through the inclement weather and said: “And the carpet smelt like Barnes Park pond for months.”

Littlewoods was back in the news earlier this month when the Echo told of a hybrid planning application to create four new plots on the Commercial Road site.

It prompted us to ask you of your memories of working there and lots of you shared stories.

Many told of the section they worked on, including working for the Brian Mills catalogue brand.

Shelley Lloyd said: “I worked there for 11 years until it closed ... best job I ever had. Met some great people and have the best memories.”

Veronica Begg worked there from 1976 for 14 years on accounts and then stationery and said: “Left with an illness. So many good memories and lovely people.”

Pranks, it seems, were very much a part of tradition and Veronica, whose surname was Wilson at the time, added: “Remember being sent for a long stand on me first day.”

Gavin Dickinson said: “Was there till close for 4 years, made it up to management level! Had some reet laughs!”

Laura Robinson said: “Class times in the yellow room,” while A-J Poulton commented: “Best job ever loved working there xxx.”

Tracy Lee thought it was the best job she ever had and had particular memories of the great laughs and the smoke room.

Romance blossomed for Margaret Thompson who said: “Met my husband Alan at Brian Mills in the warehouse. I was an order picker and he worked on the monorail. July 10th 1978. Been married 34 years this year. Fantastic memories. Great place to work x.”

Karen Butler had loads of family connections to tell us about. “My mam Jean Smith and my sister Elaine Smith worked in Brian Mills. My nana Irene Kendray and her sister Betty Robins worked in Janet Fraser their other sister Rose and her husband and their daughter Jan worked at Brian Mills.”

Jo Spoors worked there from 1996 to 2004 and said: “Loved the breakfasts and the fag room.”

Janet Fleming won’t forget Littlewoods in a long while. She said: “Left school on the Friday started there on the Monday. It was fab pay at the time.”

Christine Cowell said she worked at Brian Mills and it was her first Saturday job.

She was 15 years old at the time and said: “Was there over the Christmas period. Enjoyed it. 1973-74.”

Kathleen Lynch Jackson worked at Brian Mills on the tea time shift in 1974 and said: “Great working there.”

A big thanks to Gemma Potts who shared the names of lots of people she worked with. She said: “Amazing bunch of people. I worked with Mandy Campbell Carr, Gemma McLaren, Chérie Chantelle Donaldson, Maria Morrison, Ursula Smith, Lindsay Nixon, Shelley Lloyd, Barbara Soulsby, Joanna Kirsty Etheridge.”

Debra Stokoe commented: “I loved it! I was gutted when the redundancies came.”

There were too many comments for us to share them all, and dozens of likes for the post which we shared on social media.

If you would like to share more memories of Littlewoods, or any other aspect of Wearside history, email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk