Photos spark memories of great South Shields meeting places

It's November 1966 and  Franchi's new bar opened in the Market Place.
It's November 1966 and Franchi's new bar opened in the Market Place.

When I posted online photos of Franchi’s bar and Dexter’s wine bar, in South Shields, recently, you were quick to recall the “lush” coffee and “fab” nights.

Here are some of your wonderful memories.

Dexters Wine Bar , pictured in April 1989.

Dexters Wine Bar , pictured in April 1989.

Sarah Harper remembered going to Franchi’s, in the Market Place, and “having knickerbocker glories as a little kid”, while Michelle Whale said: “Everyone loved that cafe, in a great spot and had great food.”

Elaine McCracken commented: “Loved Franchi’s”, as did Pamela Spour, who recalled: “Their savoury sarnies, proper messy, but lovely.”

Lynne Currie revealed: “My lovely mum worked there for years,” and Judith Payne got in touch to say her mam worked there too.

Lindsey Deanes explained: “I used to go every Friday with the girls at work when I worked at Woolworths.”

Mandi Adams said: “Yeah, big miss” while Susan Sinclair posted: “Loved Franchies, they served lush coffee, it was the place to be.

“Shields has lost all its character, such a shame we can’t go back to the glory days.”

Sheila Askew told us: “I used to work there on a Saturday, in the takeaway section,” and Melanie Percy remembered her mam and dad Raymond “taking me and our Linda for ice-cream here, yummy, and I can remember going with nana and granda a lot, great times.”

Chloe Golightly and Brian Limits said: “Lush coffee,” while Fiona Jeneson was also a fan, saying: “Used to take my late uncle in there for coffee, he loved it.”

Heather Ditchburn Curry was in agreement, saying: “The coffee was lush, loved the savoury sandwiches.”

Meanwhile, Donna Marie Henderson asked: “Didn’t they have bandits next door?”

Angela McIntosh took to social media to say: “My dad Al used to take me for a bacon or sausage sandwich on a Saturday morning, lovely memories.”

Judith Payne recalled how: “Mam worked in there, and I used to love the chicken sandwiches,” while Gillian Mckenzie said: “My mam and dad met there almost 49 years ago.”

The photo stirred more fond memories from Denise Graham, who posted: “I used to go there when I was only 17. Savoury sandwich was delicious!”

Nichola Collins remembered: “My mam worked there for a very long time. Mr and Mrs Franchi were two of the most amazing people I have ever met!

“Sadly she passed away years ago, but she will always hold a place in my heart, she was like a second mam.”

The photo of Dexter’s, taken when it was nearing completion in 1989, prompted Lynsey Freestone to post: “Those were the days,” while Paul Rogers remembered “worked the door, had some fantastic staff, and made lots of friends.”

Angela Nicoll said simply: “Brilliant times,” and Elizabeth Hyde recalled that in 1989 “you could buy a half pint of wine for 50p,” while Clair Tink Brennan remembered the “buy one get one free cocktails in the 90s/00s, pints of kangaroo, yum!”. Mick Hanney also recalled buying “trebles for a £1, including mixer”.

Lisa Campbell and Tracey Chapman said: “We used to go there,” while Gillian Young got in touch to say: “Me and my late husband used to go there in the ‘80s.”

Alison Campbell posted “Great bar,” and Gail Miles agreed, saying: “Great bar, great boss, Peter Edmondson, a great era.”

Melissa Rutherford posted: “Omg Deb Cornell, isn’t this where you used to work when you were younger? I remember dropping you at work xx.”

The memories came rushing back for Leeanne Pearce, who recalled: “Meeting my best friend Victoria Lee on a weekend so we could go to the match, as she worked there.”

Christine Constable took to social media to ask Dawn West “You pulled a few pints in there didn’t you?”

Meanwhile, Janet Traynor recalled: “I was a barmaid there when it first opened in 1985, working for Pete Edmonds.”

Lesley H. Eslop (was Topham), added: “The quiz night on a Tuesday was great,” while Joanne Bingham (was Rowlands), explained that in August 1987, “Dexter’s was the meeting point for the start of my hen party, happy times” and Deborah Garthwaite recalled “some fab nights”.