Buying Famous Five books at Binns in South Shields

Shopping in Binns electrical goods department, in South Shields, in June 1979.
Shopping in Binns electrical goods department, in South Shields, in June 1979.
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Our articles on Binns, in South Shields, has certainly revived fond memories for so many readers.

Here Jeanette Walker recalls the store that would seem to be a big loss to the town and its shoppers.

Working in the ladies fashion department of Binns, in South Shields, in February 1970.

Working in the ladies fashion department of Binns, in South Shields, in February 1970.

“I could say so much about Binns,” says Jeanette.

“I started work above what was then Martins Bank (now Barclays) in 1956, and Binns was the very heart of the shopping centre of South Shields.

“Everybody shopped in Binns for something because it had everything.

“It had clothes, furniture, cosmetics, decorating materials,bakery green grocery,deli and electrical goods.

Demonstrating a Hotpoint freezer in 1979. Do you recognise the salesman and the shopper?

Demonstrating a Hotpoint freezer in 1979. Do you recognise the salesman and the shopper?

“It also had a large menswear department, haberdashery, not to mention the cafe, though I have probably missed things out of that list.

“Then, as a young married person setting up home, I made good use of the wonderful 12 months for cash scheme they had on furniture and white goods.

“I used the in-store hairdressers, and my mother and I met friends every Saturday morning for coffee (their Rambouts coffee was delicious not to mention the free biscuit!).

“I could go on waxing lyrical about Binns, it was a very sad day when they closed. My mother never fully recovered, and as a shopping centre neither did South Shields.”

What do you think?

Another reader to get in touch regarding one of our old photos of shops in South Shields was Lorraine Bremner.

Lorraine wrote: “Seeing a picture of T&G Allan’s shop, in King Street, in the Gazette, brought back many memories for me.

“In the mid-sixties I used to save up my pocket money and buy Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books for the costly sum of seven shillings and sixpence each!

“I still have the full set at home now, all in mint condition. Also when I started the Girls Grammar School, my Mam bought me my first Parker fountain pen from the shop together with a bottle of blue Quink ink.”

Which are the shops, from across South Tyneside, that have since closed and that you particularly miss?

Please get in touch with your memories about the area’s retail past – the places and the people.