When King Street in South Shields was king

King Strreet in June 1986.
King Strreet in June 1986.

The photo of King Street in 1986, posted on the Gazette’s Facebook page, certainly caught the imagination, with readers remembering the days when there were “plenty of good shops, always buzzing, and like a day out”.

Susan Sinclair posted: “Loved it, great memories, shame we can’t have King Street as it was”, while Cameron Brown said, “it was a great place to shop up to about 10 years ago”.

Lynne Owens enthused: “It definitely was a great place to go, plenty of good shops, always buzzing, like a day out, loved it.”

However, she went on to say: “Hardly ever go down the town now, only when I need to go to bank, sorry state it’s in now.”

Louise Tyson said: “It’s an embarrassment now”, while Tracy Blom asked: “How did it all go wrong, shame because we have the best seafront.”

Christine Young-Brown agreed, saying: “It certainly was a better place to shop then.”

Marian Brooks remembers those days: “It had every shop you needed” – “without a doubt” said Kevin Ball.

Yvonne Anderson went online to say: “Bustling shopping centre with a good range of shops”, something which Lianne Douglas agrees with, saying “I remember it was always busy and it had loads of shops”.

Shalina Ali posted: “Twenty years ago it was the perfect place to shop. I used to go to South Shields King Street from Newcastle to do all my baby shopping, everything was in one place, miss the place.” Anne Marie Ferguson got in touch to say: “I was manageress for Carricks, then opposite Woolies, it was aways very busy, we used to get all the day-trippers in during the summer, it was fab.”

Talking of Carricks, Michelle Wall said: “Best mince pie and gravy around!”

Ken Cowey took to social media to say: “Just look at the people walking around, no boarded-up shops, no car park fees, no charity shops, a good market, bring back these times, not today’s modern South Shields, don’t like it one bit.”

Jim Hodgson goes on to say: “King Street was a lovely place to shop, and now it is a dump” while Thomas Hind adds: “Lot more choice then.”

Eleanor Plant remembers the town having “best market in the area”, while Suzanne Allon states: “Loved it when it was like that picture.”

Joanne Denham asked Liza Brakner Truscott: “Do you remember King Street like this?”, while Karin Craig commented “I luved going to King Street”.

Leah Studley described how it “used to be amazing” but added that it’s “such a shame ... dump now”, which Allison Thornton mirrors, by posting “Loved it then, dump now”.

Alan Johnson pointed out: “That was in the days before the MetroCentre and other numerous retail parks and online shopping. Lower car ownership then too.”

Julie Craig joined the nostalgic debate, saying: “Great them days, Binns, got my sunbed there in 1981.” Paul Bradbury posted: “Remember like it was yesterday,1986.

“I was 18 and started working at the Lloyds Bank branch in the picture. There was about 50 to 60 staff over three floors, and we had a pool table in the attic which the lads all chipped in to buy. On your birthday you would order a massive tray of cakes from Carricks next door for the staff. Worked there about 10 years before moving on to different departments and spent 27 years with the bank until I retired.”

What are your memories of King Street and the shops that used to be there?

Did you used to work in the shops that are no longer there, and, if so, what was it like?

Please get in touch with your memories.