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From Northants to Oz - you love a trip down Wearside Memory Lane

Sea Road in the 1960s, as remembered by Vince Jones  from Australia.
Sea Road in the 1960s, as remembered by Vince Jones from Australia.
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Have your say

We always appreciate support and interaction from our readers.

So today, we are sharing some of the comments which have been sent in by the public - in letters and on email - in response to our trips down Memory Lane. As these responses show, Wearside Echoes is read by people both at home and abroad.

Sid Bicker pulls a last pint at the Brewery Tap.

Sid Bicker pulls a last pint at the Brewery Tap.

l Vince Jones, who lives in Australia, responded to our story about the shops on Sea Road in the 1960s. It was a great surprise to him to see a photo showing the very shop his relatives once had.

He said: “My Grandad and Gran owned the Jones the butchers shop.

“I recall going there as a child and watching my grandad making sausages in his old red machine. I would even eat raw ones.

“There was sawdust on the floor and gran would always give me two shilling for a treat.

My Grandad and Gran owned the Jones the butchers shop. I recall going there as a child and watching my grandad making sausages in his old red machine. I would even eat raw ones

Vince Jones

“Then decimal coins came in and gran gave me the equivalent 10p coin which was a lot smaller; I thought my Gran had conned me and asked for two of them.”

Our original story told of the delicious chips, sweets and 10 pence mix-ups you could get at the different shops in Sea Road in Sunderland.

Thirlaways, Hodgsons, Silver Grid and much more were open for business in 1987 and all were included in the archive photograph we posted online.

It brought back wonderful recollections for people and 26,000 of you spotted our social media post.

Fawcett Street  in the 1950s.

Fawcett Street in the 1950s.

l On a similar vein, Bill Blyth got in touch about our article on the changing face of Fawcett Street.

He told us: “My father was an opthalmic optician and worked in Fawcett Street for 15 years until 1969. His premises were Chalmers which has now become Greggs.

“As a boy I would often visit his premises which were a haven of peace and tranquility away from the noise of the traffic and crowds in the busy street outside.

“Fawcett Street in those days was of course one of the main shopping streets in Sunderland. I now live in Northamptonshire but occasionally visit Sunderland and I enjoy walking down Fawcett Street and thinking about how much it has changed in 50 years.”

The street featured in numerous articles in the last year including one which focused on the changing face of fashion.

It told how Dunns, John Dean, Hepworths and Alexandra were all based on the bustling thoroughfare that was Fawcett Street.

l One reader - a J.Anderson - wanted to tell us about their teenage memories of Blandford Street and said: “As a teenager, Geordie Jeans was the shop I remember.

“In the 80’s, the Blandford was always a stop off after the wine loft and on the way to the triangle (Beehive, Borough and Painted Wagon.)”

Blandford Street featured in a Wearside Echoes article in January.

It was a story in which we appealed to an older generation of Wearside shoppers.

We asked them to remember the great days of the 1960s when Blandford Street was a must visit place for anyone shopping in the city centre.

You could find, on its corner with Union Street, Blacklocks the Jewellers on one side and Swinhoe’s on the other.

Further up was Leadbitters the chemist, Bedan Fashions, Freemans and Arrowsmith’s which was widely regarded as one of Sunderland’s great book shops.

The north side of the street boasted Hector Grabham’s, the decorators, Leveys wallpaper shop and F. Stewart Brothers who, along with Cowper, Shaw & Co across the street, specialised in fireplaces.

l Howard Langan loved our recollections of the interior of a very popular Sunderland hostelry. He told us: “Enjoyed seeing the pictures of the interior of The Londonderry in the Echo feature.”

Our photograph showed the pub in 1980 after the venue had just undergone a refurbishment.

Howard added: “One pub I used to love was over the road, The Brewery Tap.”

He asked: “Do you know if the Echo has any pictures of the Tap interior in its archives? Be lovely to see some if there was any.”

We are happy to oblige Howard and here is the former landlord Sid Bicker pulling the last pint. The picture was taken in September 2000.

If there’s an aspect of Wearside history you’d love us to feature, email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk