Market Square memories from Sunderland Echo readers

The Market Square in 1983.
The Market Square in 1983.
Have your say

It might have been a wind tunnel but Echo readers had plenty to say about the Market Square and its shops in 1983.

C&A, Geordie Jeans, Littlewoods and Woolworths were among the Sunderland shops you remembered.

Shops in 1983.

Shops in 1983.

You responded in style when we asked you to cast your minds back more than 30 years.

We posted a photo of the Market Square, showing lots of shoppers.

More than 36,000 of you were reached on social media and many took time to post their comments.

Bazil Colla said: “It felt real back then, everything was real.”

Loved the old shops. C&A, Geordie Jeans, Littlewoods, Woolworths

Lisa M Wilkinson

Alison Markides Weikel commented: “It wasn’t the best town centre but it was Sunderland and it sure played a big part of my life. C&A to meet up with your mates, then shopping all afternoon at Van Allen, Durham Book store, and all the other well known haunts in the centre.”

And Mary Taylor added: “And don’t forget coffee at Noteriannies.”

Allassandra Elizabeth Richardson commented: “We were the pink rockers who used to hang around on the upper deck near Boots. Every Saturday and inside jack whites. Happy days.”

Lisa M Wilkinson “loved the old shops. C&A, Geordie Jeans, Littlewoods, Woolworths”.

Julie Latimer told us: “when you look at it brings nothing but good memories back x.”

And still the comments kept on coming.

Lisa Cuthbertson told us: “when we had proper shops not all pound shops and charity shops. Those were the days we could spend all day in town.”

Michael Crow said: “More people in this little snap of the town than what you see walking around the whole town centre these days.”

Christina Tsianta told us: “Yes,I was studying in the poly back then, wonderful days!

David Orr wasn’t so keen but mainly because of the inclement weather most days.

He said: “It was always freezing. Even in the summer. The wind howled through. I liked the Upper Deck pub however.”

Others agreed including Liz Embleton who said: “It was a wind tunnel ha ha.”

Peter Murray Snr: “Windy city.”

Hayley Kemp: “Never seen the town this busy before!!”

Jacquie Skelland: “Happy days.”

Kaye Sanders: “Meeting outside C&A, the Upper Deck.”

Dorothy Williamson:”83 was the year I left.”

Maureen Clarke: “Remember it well. Proper shops in those days.”

Christine Green: “Better shops than today.”

Lesley Mfon: “Fab picture!! Remember it well.”

Lynn Scurfield: “Used to meet the lasses outside C&A.”

Chris Williams: “Busy, wasn’t it.”

But some believe life for the Sunderland shopper has improved in more recent times.

Claire Morrey Armitage was a fan of the current Sunderland shopping experience and said the centre in the 80s was “ugly and concretey, always windy”.

She loved the fact that the Bridges was indoors.

“Nice to be able to shop in comfort when weather outside is awful, nice place for elderly and mums with young kids to go.”

Claire added: You can have a coffee or a browse or just a good walk around. Clean toilets, nice mix of shops, thumbs up.”

Those to like our photograph included Susan Graham, Trish Middleton, Gary ‘Nev’ Mackinnon, Leigh Sloanes, Valerie Mcknight, Gilda Gambacurta, Michael Phuprate, Joe Bell, Sharon Christie, Christine Waters and Mark Watson.

We got likes too from Derek Pocklington, Steve Lynn, Christine Kisby, Lesley Madden, Graeme Brewis, Brian Watson, Mark Longhurst, Jill Campbell, Angela Jones and Steven White.

Thank you to everyone who responded.

We would love to hear more about Sunderland’s shops of times gone by.

Which were your favourites and why did you love them?

And if anyone else would like to comment, email them to