Great memories and great shops. That’s what many of you thought when we posted a 1970s photograph of a popular Sunderland shopping area.
It’s 46 years since our main photograph was taken and we asked what you remembered of the C&A store and the rest of the retail district. It prompted a real mixed bag of responses but it led to more than 35,000 of you taking a look.
Jane Jones said she “loved meeting my friends at C & A but my Lord it looks desperately grim.”
Clare Michelle Parker Brown added: “Loved life in those days” while Lesley Mfon commented: “What a great picture!!”
Pauline Hughes said C&A was a “great store” while Simon Parry-Jones added: “Look how busy it was, not like that now.”
Lisa Kerr said she still had a “Georgetown Hoyas jersey that I bought from C&A when I was 12. Being that it was the 90’s, this was bought a couple of sizes too big and it’s still big on me today haha. Talk about a good investment!”
I spent many Saturdays wandering around town with friends playing at being grown up in the 70sTracy Watson
Anneliese Hartley said she “loved C&A...or Coats n ‘ats, as my first hubby called it!!”
Comments also came from;
Lynne Carter: “My summer coat is from c& a , still looks brand new x”
Kev McCoy: “My sister worked there for years until they closed.”
Margaret Ann Ritchey: “How many of you remembered the fish on the corner.”
Hutchinson Michelle: “Loved that place!”
Paul Hodgson: “The most used meeting place in the world...”
Sue Potts said: “Always a meeting area plus I worked there too loved it ♥ also a great company to work for.”
Keith Mullen said he “bought a ski jacket there in the ‘late ‘90s and just threw in out a few months ago..A great store & missed.”
Tracy Watson reminisced as well, and said: “I spent many Saturdays wandering around town with friends playing at being grown up in the 70s-never visit the place now although I only live 10 miles away!!”
Ian Foster commented: “The architecture in that is fantastic, much better than the bland bridges we have there now.”
Suzanne Ridley said: “I used to work at C& A on Saturdays. 1970s.”
Those to respond also included Doreen Thew who said: “I absolutely loved C&A. There’s still one in Paris.... bit far to go.”
Joan Sutton commented: “Everybody met at C&A. My hubby still has T shirts from there!”
But there were plenty of people who reminded us that C&A has not disappeared altogether and can still be found in plenty of European venues.
Patricia Worthy told us: “Loved C&A. I’m lucky cos out in Geneva. We’ve still got them.”
Stella Holt chipped in with: “I only said to my Sister yesterday I really miss C&A. There is one in Malaga Spain.”
Valerie Olley: “C&A are still open abroad. I have been in at Koblenz, Germany, Gran Canaria and Malta.”
It also led to a debate on whether Sunderland’s retail scene was better today or back in the 1970s with lots of supporters in both camps.
Lynda Jackson-Mills commented: “What a dreary place it was. Much better today.”
Ian Naylor said: “There were no classic anything in that area, it had been bombed and was a complete tip before they redeveloped it.”
But Shirley Parker said: “I would rather have my old town back from the 1970’s, at least we had shops and bustling town.”
Sandy Smith loved C&As and “spent ages in there trying all the hats on.”
Billy Potts said: “Should of been left like this the architecture actually looks great now.”
Paul Bewick added: “C & A still going strong in Europe. Shame they pulled out of the UK.”
Yvonne Playle said: “Loved C&A there’s a one in Prague !!!
And Angie Hammond told us: “There still is a C&A in Berlin”
David Penman said: “Still going in Madeira!”
And Yvonne Wilson commented: “Still got one in Malaga.”
Thanks to everyone who gave us their memories, and to those who liked the social media post including Alison Mason, Peter Henderson, John Lay, Christine Ahmed, Christine Ashberry and Karen Plunkett.
They also included April Dickinson, Laura Butler, Tricia Hownam, Vasileios Xynorodos and Leanne Waterson.
To share your memories, email firstname.lastname@example.org