Council wanted to move town centre to Westoe

Cookson Country
Cookson Country

OPINION is divided over the proposed redevelopment of South Shields town centre.

But what about moving it altogether? You couldn’t imagine such a proposal now.

But I mention in the adjacent column that, back in 1946, in and around King Street was being re-planned.

But only after the council first threw out a proposal that had surfaced during the war, to actually relocate the town centre to Westoe.

It seems the plan was more that of the Government, which had passed Acts inviting councils that had been blitzed to prepare schemes for replanning.

The authority was pretty dismissive of the idea, one alderman stating that as long as the River Tyne ran its present course, then King Street would be the shopping centre of the town.

But how’s this for prescience?

Talking about removing traffic from King Street, which did happen 30 years later, one councillor said: “The north side of King Street will then become obsolete and unless the public transport runs down the main shopping centre it’s natural development will be impaired and the place will fall into decay.”