When I asked our online readers which was their favourite shop in Frederick Street, South Shields, the response was overwhelming.
From shoe shops to pet stores and more, the appeal of this busy street still stirs wonderful memories, as people who went on Facebook were eager to prove.
Scores of people took to social media to make their choice, with names such as Masons, Shanes and Marr Bros sprinkled throughout the list of favourite stores.
Susan Sinclair posted: “All the shops in Frederick Street were my favourites, the atmosphere in the 60s and 70s was brilliant and you could get everything you wanted from the street.”
Micky Cheevers said: “For me, it would have to be the Hobby Shop and the army surplus shop over the road on the corner, don’t recall the name. Got all sorts of bargains from them as a young-un.
“Everything from camping gear and military fatigues, badges, buttons to air rifles (used respectfully, of course) to model tanks and planes. They were like little Aladdin’s caves for me at the time.”
Jackie Ullah recalled: “I worked at Marr Bros from 1981, we sold all sorts, including the big china cats to mirrors with pictures of Elvis being the most popular.
“There was a toy bit upstairs and my grandad was Santa at Christmas. It also had a bag section.”
Who else remembers this particular store – and does anyone still have one of the Elvis Presley mirrors?
Elsie Majeed also got in touch with her favourite selection of shops and entertainment “hot-spots”.
She said: “Shane’s, with a provey ticket,ha,ha, the old cinema, were Herons is now, Masons shoe shop, OPP, Herons and Porretta’s cafe, with sausage and stuffing in a bun mmm.”
Deborah Patterson took to Facebook to say: “When I used to live in South Shields I went to Frederick Street nearly every day, wouldn’t say I had a favourite, I shopped in nearly every shop.”
Les Richardson remembers: “Around 1967, as a school boy, I delivered newspapers for the paper shop at the west end of Frederick Street. A very busy street, with every shop you needed at that time.”
Heather Blewitt states: “Mine was the shoe shop half way down. I can’t remember the name cos I was only four, but the window was very low to the ground so I could see all the shoes. We lived in Garwood Street round the corner, and my mam tells me I would stand for ages with my nose against the window. Still love shoes!”
Mike Blewitt happily recalls that his favourite retail venue was “definitely the record shop. When I was 17 (back in the day) I worked on Templetown Road Cails Bitmo. I used to buy one cassette a week from there.”
Steven Robinson says: “I used to love the old pet shop at the bottom. It used to have a huge python that I always wanted.”
Who else remembers the snake? And what other pets did they used to sell?
In days gone by, pet shops used to be noisy places to visit, with cages full of budgie, canaries and finches.
As well as selling rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and rats, there were also fish, and lots of tortoises for sale – for just a few bob!
Thankfully, tortoises are much more treasured these days.
Which pets did you used to keep?
Back to your favourite shops, and Liz Gillen revealed on Facebook that: “My gran worked in the shoe shop – spent all my Saturdays there – loved it!”
Stephanie and Lynne Alderson stated: “Worked at Moores in the early seventies, loved Shane’s fashionwear and Olsens pet shop, always there in my dinner hour.”
I will be sharing more of your memories in coming pages, so please keep reading.
In the meantime, why not drop me a line with your suggestions for the “top ten” shops in Frederick Street.
As ever, thank you very much for your feedback.