SavaCentre picture sparked lots of shopping centre memories

An impressive 32,000 Wearside Echoes followers get our thanks for their amazing response to an archive photograph from 41 years ago.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 11:00 am
The image of SavaCentre which attracted so much interest.

It showed SavaCentre in the Washington Galleries in 1978, and we wanted you to share your memories of it back then.

You responded in style and here is what you had to say.

Another view from 1978.

Mary Hetherington was one of many who said: “I still call it SavaCentre.”

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Ronnie Coe, Bev Dave Beresford, Andrew Booth all agreed, while Paul Greenwell commented: “I absolutely still call it SavaCentre. I know quite a few people that do.”

Tanya Smallwood went further and said: “I remember going shopping with my mam and getting fresh donuts from SavaCentre x.”

Susan Mari said: “My little five-year-old calls it SavaCentre!! Thanks to her grandma.”

A 1973 view of the site.

Sonia Ramsey reminisced: “Worked in Presto’s when The Galleries first opened, three nights a week.”

Another person who worked there was Carol Whitfield, who said: “Worked on checkouts when it opened and then went to work on the butchery department.”

Margaret Bateman said: “I remember taking my mam. She loved to shop there. Was it SavaCentre, then Sainsbury’s, then down the escalator to Fine Fare, I think it was?”

Janet Mary Rundle said: “I remember Woolco as well.”

Princess Anne chats with the porters at the opening of The Galleries.

Jill Tyler ‘worked in the glass tower in background’, while Lauren Kennedy said: “I grew up with mam saying she’s going to SavaCentre and never new why because there wasn’t a shop called that. I’m 30 now.”

Juliea Ells said: “I remember Presto was where the In Shops is.”

Peter Hill recalled The Galleries Lambton Worm Clock, and others had similar recollections.

Caroline Wilkinson said: “I’d love to know what happened to the Lambton Worm hanging sculpture,” and Karen Dawson said: “There’s a lot of people would love to see it restored.”