The 1970s shopping experience gets our attention today.
We’re putting the spotlight on 1977 and a Sunderland Echo spotlight at the time on the Blandford Street, Maritime Terrace and Holmeside areas.
Shops which were in the area back then included:
l Da Vinci which offered ‘international clothes for father and son’ and said it offered the top names in junior fashion.
l Reed and Company jewellers which offered a great range in pendants. You could have them in the shape of hammers, claws or bolts.
l Lermans, the discount sports shop, where real leather footballs were only £2.99 at the time. Or how about a size six cricket bat for £1.65. Did you love to shop at Lermans or the other shops mentioned above? Get in touch and share your memories by emailing email@example.com
The block of ultra-modern shops in Sunderland’s Holmeside are both a pleasure to look at and to look around. Each unit has taken on its own characterSunderland Echo reporter, 1977
l How about a trip to the Leadbitters shop in Blandford Street for the latest in fragrances, eyelash dyes, perfumes and bags.
l Marcelles was an option if you were on the lookout for childrens’ clothes. The Blandford Street boutique offered dungarees, jump suits, waistcoats and skirts for children aged from one to 15-years-old.
A Sunderland Echo feature at the time said: “The block of ultra-modern shops in Sunderland’s Holmeside are both a pleasure to look at and to look around.
“Each unit has taken on its own character.”
There was Saks the hairdresser with its ‘sleek tinted windows and plush interior’.
There was Skincraft selling hundreds of garments.
Postman’s Knock, said the Echo, was ‘a witty title for a greetings card shop’. It had 10,000 cards to choose from and their prices started from eight pence. It offered ‘service and friendliness’, according to an advert.
And there was Hayes Bartlett the jewellers.
It had ‘gleaming windows’ and a glittering array of dress rings, watches, chains, bracelets and necklaces.
The article added: “The shops and salon have certainly brightened up a corner of Holmeside and can offer the services of a small shopping centre.”
There were lots of other options as well such as toy shops, printing works and a motor cycle showroom with a ‘compehensive range of machines on show’.
There was a dry cleaners, a greengrocer’s, a florist, and a shoe shop.
What do you remember of them all.
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Our 1977 report added: “Holmeside and Blandford Street have remained important to Sunderland shoppers and have retained something of their identity.
“With both streets near the bus stations, it enables shoppers to get whatever goods they want easily since most things can be bought there.”
The report also said: “Blandford Street is one of the most pleasant in Sunderland in which to shop.
“Free of traffic, noise and fumes, the street has remained much as it was since it was built.”
Other shops in the area at the time included Suzanne in Maritime Terrace and it offered beautiful maternity and holy communion dresses as well as leading stockists ain children’s wear.
Sgt Pepper’s in the same street boasted that it was ‘cool in casuals’ and had denim jeans in all leg styles.
There was the Fleur unisex boutique, Goodwins jewellers where you could buy ‘a gift of lasting beauty’.
Sunderland at the time boasted plenty of other retail options such as Bergs Sports which was offering table tennis sets at £2.20, darts from 69 pence, Dennis Lillee cricket balls at £4.95 and squash rackets at £10.45.
After all that retail therapy, it was nice to ease off with a bit of leisure time.
How about watching wrestling at the Mecca Ballroom. You could see Les Kellett take on Bobby Graham with ringside seats at £1 and with Lee Sharon and the Jamaica Kid also on the bill.
Or maybe you fancied a visit to the Hylton Castle Arms where the Adam and Eve disco was in full swing.
On at the movies were Rocky at the Odeon, Two Minute Warning at the ABC and Bullitt at Studio 1.
Or you could settle down for a night in front of the box to watch Nationwide and Top of the Pops on BBC1, or Crossroads and Northern Life on Tyne Tees Television.