South Shields market had it all

The Market Place in South Shields.
The Market Place in South Shields.

It would seem that you could buy just about anything you wanted at South Shields market, judging by the comments you posted following the publication of our photo on Facebook.

Lesley Meston highlights the material stalls, saying: “Made a lot of my own clothes and my daughter’s, material on special at 50p a yard. So disappointed with the market these days. Very sad.”

Judith Payne recalls: “Going down with me mam for material to make shift dresses and curtains, and the fruit n veg stalls, basically to have a good old mooch always found something to take home. Such a shame its gone the way it has.”

Angela Court Penn took to Facebook to say: “I worked there a few years ago and it was great when tourist buses came in but unfortunately local people wanted stuff at less than cost price so we had to call it a day.”

A favourite memory of Joyce Richardson was “going with my mam in the winter when they used to have lanterns lighting up the stall as it became dark early, and she could buy meat and vegetables cheaper then, loved it.”

Stephen Griffin was similarly nostalgic, saying how he treasured going there “in the winter evenings when the lamp lights hung from the stalls!”

Catherine Hartley remembers: “Going every Saturday with my mam and dad to buy a Noddy book. Would have been in the 50s”, while Marian Brooks recalls “buying winkles and crab nippers off the fresh fish stall”.

Talking of winkles and crabs, Wendy Donkin said: “My Dad had the fish stall in the market, I used to work there and his shop. Happy days xxx.”

Amy Riley went online to say she enjoyed “Going with my nana every Saturday and carrying her bags, God bless her soul xx” while Beverly Olds also went there on Saturday afternoons when the sweet stall was a particular favourite.

Nathaniel Bicker remembers it being busy as does Margaret Fletcher who states: “All that hustle and bustle, it was packed out so much you couldn’t see the ground!”

Bruce Perry explained: “Going to the markets with my aunt Amy is always a special memory” while David Midge Warren fondly recalls: “The dandelion and burdoch stall, my Saturday market day drink 60 years ago, lovely.”

There were similarly sentimental postings from Bill Binks who mentions “Duncan’s pet shop from the Chi”, and Tracey Readhead who “loved a Saturday market”, while Colin Lee simple said: “The commando.”

Lesley Matthews casts her mind back to “A full market, selling all sorts of things, and full of people”, while Alan Smith remembers “the pubs that surrounded the market and those nearby”.

Lindsey Deanes revealed that: “I had my photo taken in the old town hall by the Gazette, I was on my dinner hour.”

Susan Sinclair remembers there being “No empty stalls, and being able to buy almost everything u wanted, and the great atmosphere”, while Paul Anderson recalls “the stall with the wolf and tiger fleeces. Very classy”.

Melanie Percy said: “Used to love going there, nothing there now but I do love going to Jarrow market every other Sunday.”

And Donald Bell recalls “the Easter parade when I was a kid”, but the last word goes to Maureen Dowson, who posted: “Loved it then,love it now.”

What are your fondest memories of the market place?

Some of you have made mention of the fish stall there (did it sell tripe, or would that have been the butcher’s?). What types of “fast food” were available for the shoppers and the stall holders?

In the days before burgers and fancy sandwiches, what did people eat other than fish and chips?

As ever, please get in touch with your thoughts and recollections.