Planning battle victory for South Shields pub back in 1959

The site under debate back in 1959.
The site under debate back in 1959.

TO some, it was a battle between do-gooders and good-timers.

A Sunday school or a pub? That was the choice being considered at a public inquiry back in February, 1959.

Robert Adamson was firmly in favour of the former.

He was one of 12 people objecting to a proposal to transfer a licence from the High Station Hotel, in Laygate Lane, South Shields, to a premises to be built between council and private houses in the town’s Bamburgh Avenue.

“A waste of time and materials,” was how Mr Adamson described the proposal, adding: “The needs of the community would be better served by building a post office, a chemist’s shop or a Sunday school.”

Common sense prevailed in the end, and the Bamburgh pub, still standing on the site today, was built.

Nothing in the appearance of 148 Horsley Hill Road showed it to be any different to other two-bedroom bungalows in South Shields.

It had the distinction of being the 7,000th house built by South Shields Corporation since the end of the Second World War, however.

Just how much of an achievement that was could be measured by the fact that between 1921, when the first council house was built in South Shields, and 1939, only 4,413 corporation properties were built.

But after 1946, houses were built by the council at an average rate of 580 a year.

Meanwhile, the Gazette published a mysterious photograph taken in King Street, South Shields, in the early part of the 20th century.

It featured a suffragette lady bending down to scrawl in chalk on the pavement the announcement of a meeting to shortly take place in the town.

Our correspondent wrote: “It was an act requiring a considerable amount of personal courage,”

Back to 1959, and forthright footballer Jimmy Greaves, now 75, was speaking out, saying players “had little to complain about”, while calling for extra pay for long-serving professionals loyal to one club.

WHAT WE WERE WATCHING... The early 1950s saw a glut of epic costume dramas. One of the less successful was The Robe, starring Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, and, inevitably, Victor Mature. The only reason the movie is remembered these days is for it being the first Cinemascope production. It was showing at the Gaumont cinema in South Shields.

WHAT THEY WERE SELLING... If you were moving on in 1959 it’s quite likely you would have picked up the telephone to book a removal van from Pickfords at 188 Dean Road, South Shields. The company also had a base at Holmside in Sunderland.