The day we said goodbye to Binns in Sunderland

The Binns closing down party in 1993.
The Binns closing down party in 1993.
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They were sad times when we said goodbye to the Binns store in Sunderland.

After all, thousands of you shopped at the city centre favourite.

The last customers at the Binns store in 1993.

The last customers at the Binns store in 1993.

We shared two photographs on social media of the final day of the store where there were sales galore, and of the party for the staff which was held at around the same time.

We asked for your memories and dozens of you helped out.

Margaret Crosbie was first to get involved and told us that she used to work in the store in the “lamson room where the pods came up the tubes. .They had the cash in we stamped the bill and sent the change back .Happy days they were.”

The store shut for the last time in 1993 but it certainly left an impression.

Me mams favourite shop. She was there that much she got invited to the staff xmas party.

Stuart Heatlie

Stuart Heatlie said it was “Me mams favourite shop. She was there that much she got invited to the staff xmas party.”

Julie Tasker worked there in the early 1990s and “loved it.”

Similar comments came from the following:

Brenda Carmody said: “Sad day, I liked Binns and Joplings x”

Bob Doran commented: “Shame start of Sunderland downfall.”

Susan Smith told us: “Loved Binns” and Ayleen Kelly Was-Gascoigne said: “Loved this store.”

Linda Thompson described it as a “sad day for Sunderland. I worked at the store twice in my working life and loved it both times.”

Maureen Dagg said: “Mam worked in the hardware department in Darlington and Sunderland. Loved going to work each day with lovely people.”

Alyson Coates described how stores were still going well elsewhere in Britain. “In Edinburgh, they have House of Frazer, as well as Jenners, massive department stores and absolutely packed with lovely items.”

Others responded to the photograph we published of the party which was held for staff at the time of the store closing.

Karen King said: “I was made redundant from Binns Advertising Department in 1984 our manager waa Miss Joan Macdonald we were situated directors office all staff transferred to advertising agency in Newcastle.”

John Anderson was the chef and said: “Happy days.Think that picture was in the old Roker park.”

Sharon Smith worked there for nearly 15 years and said: “It was a great place to work.”

Heather Westgarth is hoping Echo readers can help her qith a Binns query. She asked; “Didn’t they have a man attendant who worked in the lift with a full uniform plus hat? Or have I totally made this up?”

Can you help?

Send us an email to explain more.

Phil Cowley didn’t work at Binns but he said; “I remember shopping there with mum and dad in the 70’s when visiting family in Sunderland.”

Pat Carney said her mum worked as a waitress and his auntie Mary was in haberdashery for many years.”

Lots of people pointed out relatives in the picture including Emma Launder, and Lisa Kelley.

Mandy Templeton Farrer said: “Yes i worked there. Was there right until it closed.”

Mary Smithson Hewison was another former employee and so were her in-laws, she said.

Alan Vierow said he also worked for Binns from 1955 to 1962 in the menswear section at Holmeside.

Kim Phillips Fox said her mam worked there for 19 years until the store’s closure in 1993.

The party photograph attracted views from more than 26,000 people while another 12,000 took a look at customers on the final day of trading.

Thanks to everyone who liked our stories including Jill Lowthian, Shirley Wales, Mandy Stoker, Sheila Hoggin, Daniel White, Gillian May Donkin, Brenda Harrison, Barbara Burn, Craig Miller, Jean Bainbridge Brown and Linda Thompson.

Others who followed the thread included Barbara Remmer, Alan Pittilla, Sharon Cleminson, Glenda Burdon and Janet Sullivan.