A lack of home comforts in South Tyneside houses of old

Terraced houses in South Shields.
Terraced houses in South Shields.

Over the years many of the old terraced houses here and elsewhere have been demolished to make way for more modern homes.

But did communities lose more than just bricks and mortar when the bulldozers moved in?

For some, the flattening of rows of terraced housing spelled the end of a much-loved community spirit, for others it signalled the start of a more comfortable lifestyle.

I asked readers what they thought.

“Laurence Younger said: “Going back to old housing is madness. I remember in Shakepeare Street, off Chi Road, when I was a kid, we had a outside toilet, no central heating and no gardens.

“I remember also in the winter, frost on the inside of the bedroom windows. The only thing better was the sense of community and everyone spoke to their neighbours, apart from that you can keep the ‘good old days’.”

Wendy Jackson Lee took to social media to post: “Our parents bought a pair of flats exactly like those in Thompson Street, myself and three brothers were brought up in the downstairs, one bed flat, outside toilet, no bathroom and no heating, but we still have lovely memories of growing up there.”

Susan Sinclair went online to post: “When I got married 42 years ago I lived in a one-bedroomed flat with no hot water no bath and an outside loo, we had no central heating, so the place was freezing. I wouldn’t want to go back to that, I like my home comforts too much.”

Doris Watling said: “If only we could have those lovely houses with modern facilities it would be great. There was a real sense of community in those days, everyone pulled together to help each other, they minded each other’s bairns and helped in times of sickness etc .

“It’ll never be like that again, as we say times change and so do people.”

Pauline Clouston had fond memories of the past, saying: “I was brought up in a terraced house. It was a very happy time” while Shirley Bardwell told how she “spent first five years of married life in a terrace flat, the netty was in back yard.”

Kathleen McConvill took to the Gazette’s Facebook page to add: “If we could have the community spirit with today’s house I’d be happy but because most family have two parents working ridiculous hours that will no happen.”

Zoe Lees said: “Think I will opt for the 20th century house with modern facilities thanks” while Christine Heslop recalled living in Edith street, saying how she “remembers it well, great neighbours.” x

Two readers who were definite fans of the old terraced houses were Sonia Worthington and Denise Houston.

Sonia posted: “Loved these houses” while Denise added: “they are huge inside and have more character”.

Jimmy Campbell revealed how he “grew up on the Deans. Great community spirit, you knew everyone.”