We had a bumper response from readers when we posted a photo of workers outside the J&J Fashions factory on Facebook, and asked if you worked there?
More than 30,000 of you viewed the picture and over 200 of you posted a comment on the Gazette’s page.
Here are just a few of the words you wrote, which together, make up a marvellous snapshot of the place and the people who used to work at J&Js.
“Diane Carruthers got in touch to say: “I worked there, miss the laughs we had.”
Lynn Boak told how she “worked at Howdon” as did Julie Findlay, Valerie Fielding and Angela Smith who said: “I worked at the Howdon factory from 1983-92, great bunch of lasses.”
Lynne Revill told how she was at J&Js “from 1979 till 1985, I was union girl with Denise Bond” while Debra Mitchell posted: “Awwww man, what memories, I did my YTS here.”
Debbie Greatrex took to social media to let readers know that she “worked here from 1986, for about nine years. Great memories” while Tracey Bell said: “I worked at Laygate J&Js. Was there 11 years.”
Maureen Stenhouse Wafer revealed how she: “Worked at Howdon bottom factory, then the top factory from 1988 to 1999, fantastic times, fantastic lasses. Still got some true friends Hazel Summerson, Debi Nichols, Marie O’Brien, Trisha Watson, Brenda Norvell, Eileen Slack to name but a few xx.”
Christine Burdis revealed how “I did my school work experience here, started on the shop floor then went to work in the office xxx” while Kevin Wilkins said: “I worked as storeman there in 1990, temporary job. Nice lasses, even though I was stuck in building 2.”
Julie Macdougall (nee Richardson) posted: “I worked over the water in Howden in the bottom factory for about three years then on back-shift in the cutting factory in Shields.”
Janice Stobbart got in touch to say: “Me mam, Maureen Elliott, was supervisor and I worked there in 1979, was only 17, I was the one that always sang at the top of the line lol xx”
Betty Clark also remembered the factory with affection, saying: “Great memories and laughs!” as did Debbie Mcfarlane who said: “best job ever. Great lasses” while Sharon Wilson added that she worked there from “1979-1991, great times with a great bunch of girls xx.”
Meg Richardson was another ex-J&J girl explaining that “I worked there for over 20 years, I was supervisor there, had a great time with the girls there, brings back memories. I worked with great lasses.”
Christine Heslop took to Facebook to say: “I worked at J&J Howden. I remember Linda Coutts, Joan Bainbridge, a lass with a long curly perm, sure her first name was Val. I remember a lass called Pat, think her second name was Boak. I have photos of us, we used to have Friday nights in Jarrow ,and I remember a trip to Bridlington, would love to hear from you all.”
Margaret Walker said: “I worked at Howden, and my three sisters worked there too, Maria, Maureen and Christine. I loved it, it was brilliant, wen we broke up for Christmas we had a party at Howden Social Club for all the staff xxx”
Stephen Johnstone told how “Me and my pal Dougie Wilson were mechanics, unit two Howden, 83/85” while Allison Thornton said: “Had some good times there. Met some lovely people who I still see today.”
Many of you recognised people on the photo or went on line in an attempt to put names to faces.
Angela Lumsley said: “My sister is on this photo. I also worked there from 85-94, great bunch of lasses.”
Ray Chessher got in touch to say: “I worked there from 86 to 91. Spent time in all the North East facilities but started at Wallsend!”
Lorraine Greaves also contributed, saying: “I worked there with Denise Bond and Joan Gofton, Hilda was our supervisor, some great times, Ozzey was the mechanic.”
There were more recollections from Sharon Hoy Odix who recalled “Christmas break-up day, class memories, worked there 19 years, class girls, great friends, fond memories” while Mandy Wright said: “I remember lots of these girls also worked at Contracts on Commercial Road. Saturday morning sales of French Connection, Principles and Laura Ashley, also Bukta Connection for the lads rugby tops.”
Karen Futers revealed how she worked at J&Js for 13 years. “Loved the two-week break at Christmas, all got dressed up, then down street, some brill memories never forget them. Also our days at Blackpool and Flamingoland.”
Kerry Ann Elliott added: “Omg, Cristmas parties, trips to Blackpool etc, I’ve got some brilliant memories working there with a brilliant group of lasses, I’d do it all again.”
Valerie Costella said: “Worked there when I was 16/17 years old, from 1979/80, great set of lasses/lads” while Auriel Neilson told how : “I worked there when it first opened, had only two lines of machinists to start with.”