Jacki Thew’s memories of shops in Roker Avenue are really impressive.
Last week, we told how she recalled everything from David Gilmore’s paper shop to Austin Brown the butchers, and Nelly Master the greengrocers.
This week, in our final instalment of her memories, Jacki focuses on the other end of the street.
The Value stores was one of my favourites.
It had a massive marble counter with ornate intricate tiles on the wall at the back of the counter. I used to wait in the queue with my mam for freshly sliced bacon, ham, cheese, butter.
All were hand wrapped and the bacon and cheese slicers used to fascinate me. My mam used to collect Green Shield stamps here.
Middlemiss the bakers, they sold lovely stotties. My mam used to hot butter them and take them to the beach with us where we would buy chips and have hot chip butties for dinner.Jacki Thew
I also remember all the ladies who worked there wore white overalls and added everything up on a piece of paper before ringing it into a massive ornate till.
Next shop up was on the corner of Ripon Street was a Hovis bakers. I remember two things in particular about this shop, the mini Hovis loaves and the frozen orange juice in a sort of cardboard.
You had to cut the top off with scissors to get the juice out.
Next corner Stansfield Street was a lovely greengrocer by the name of Marshall’s. My mam didn’t shop there as she said we were barred as we used to steal the strawberries and black berries as we passed the shop.
Across the road was a shop called Peggy’s. It was an open all hours type shop with pots and pans, brooms and buckets, cups saucers and plates all displayed outside.
I remember pan scrubbers were stored in metal buckets outside. These were sort of wire with a pink coated cleanser - another shop my mam didn’t go into with three young children in tow, as she was terrified what we might break.
Betty’s pie shop was actually a fish and chip shop but also sold lovely pie and peas.
Mam used to carry the pies in a cardboard tray and a big bag of peas and gravyin a cellophane bag with a plastic clip to tie it, all the way down Roker Avenue to Cooper Street where we lived!
Next to Betty’s was Henderson the butcher, a top class butcher which still trades today.
Over the road on the right hand side - where Charles Tait the funeral director is today - was a sort of bakers come sausage makers. I remember going in there with my aunt Jessie for lovely pies and I used to watch the sausage being made there on the premises. I think this was also owned by Austin Brown.
There was a shoe shop by the name of Smith’s. I remember spotting my first pair of platforms in the window and pestered my mam until I got them.
Further up on the next block, before the Navy club was a lovely florist, I think it was called Farquhars. I remember the lovely steel buckets filled with all sorts of lovely flowers, in particular carnations, something we could never afford.
Back over to the other side was a wool shop. It sold everything from buttons to ribbons, and dress making patterns.
Further up again was Middlemiss the bakers, they sold lovely stotties. My mam used to hot butter them and take them to the beach with us where we would buy chips and have hot chip butties for dinner. I also remember the lovely whole brown loaves and fruit cake all displayed again on lovely glass shelves.
There was another newsagent owned by Mr Docherty. We used to get our sweets for school here.
Where Fitness 2000 is today, was Carney’s Coaches. My mam used to put on trips for all the local families with kids through the six weeks holidays. They were very popular and known locally as Margie’s trips.
That’s about it really apart from one other small shop on the corner of Church Street and Roker Avenue known as Hafferty’s.
It was a tuck shop selling all sorts of sweets.
Past the Howard Arms stood Storey’s carpets and the post office.
So Roker Avenue was a very busy street.