Digging up gems about South Shields jewellers

A busy scene in King Street.
A busy scene in King Street.

Sometimes, the most common-place of photographs can spark the memory or imagination and generate a conversation as to the when, the where and the who?

Take, this old photo, for instance.

Taken in June 1959, it shows Corporation workmen resurfacing the King Street end of Waterloo Vale, one of the oldest streets in South Shields.

The photo may seem fairly hum-drum on first inspection, but look closely and it reveals a wealth of pictorial cameos – the little boy watching the workmen (do you know who he is?) and the two women “gossiping” (do you recognise them?).

Perhaps you can put a name to the workmen doing such a good job keeping the town looking spick and span in those far-off days?

And it certainly got you posting when we popped it on Facebook recently.

Carol Smith said: “First of all, isn’t this little boy lovely watching the work men?

“Well I can remember Tissamens, the jeweller under the bridge,Stone Dry, all the shoe shops, Savilles, Carricks, Mason the chemist, top end, Hardys furniture, Dunns, oh loads.”

Beverly Olds recalls: “Grants the jewellers. My first engagement ring came from there! It was a lovely shop.”

Joyce Weir took to social media to say: “We had some good shops and jewellers then, my engagement ring was from the Curiosity Shop in Frederick Street, the lovely Harvey got it for us.

“My wedding ring was from Grants Bev, I loved it. Sadly both were stolen along with my eternity ring and a lovely three gold ring from Rachel.

“Memories eh, I suppose they last longer.”

Carol Smith went on Facebook to respond to Beverly: “Yes that was a really good jewellers Beverly, you felt special when you went in,loved it.”

Gloria Garland Davidson told how she “got my wedding and engagement rings at Grants the jewellers, 47 years ago, it was a wonderful shop. Much different now, shame”.

l Friday’s page centred around a new book, Long Road from Jarrow: A Journey Through Britain Then And Now written by Stuart Maconie.

Unfortunately we attributed the book to Stephen Lambert, who was commenting on it.

We would like to apologise to Mr Maconie for any confusion this may have caused.

Long Road from Jarrow: A Journey Through Britain Then And Now is published by Ebury Press.