The ghost shops of South Shields

One of the old shop signs recently uncovered at The Nook.
One of the old shop signs recently uncovered at The Nook.

“It’s not purely nostalgia, it’s an opportunity to make a comment on the sometimes soulless appearance of present-day shopping areas.”

Time will cover them over again, until they re-emerge to intrigue yet another generation.

This follows on from my recent piece on the old shop sign of Tisseman’s the jewellers, which has been seeing the light of day again in Dean Road in Shields.

The piece caused quite a bit of interest and I’ve had several readers recalling the firm to me.

But I was also pleased to have this picture come to me from a reader who snapped it at the The Nook in the town, showing former occupants of the Post Office there, now an Indian takeaway.

Says our reader: “The present double-frontage housed two well-known local traders - interestingly enough, Locks, who were newsagents and booksellers, and the other, Sayers, who were fruiterers and Boldon Nurserymen.

“I don’t know the vintage. Post-war perhaps?”

He adds: It’s funny how pleased we are to see these vestiges of former times. It’s not purely nostalgia, either: it’s an opportunity to make a comment on the sometimes soulless appearance of present-day shopping areas.”

Well I can only say, sir, that you’ve got a supporter there in me.

I can find Lock Bros, newsagents, in Prince Edward Road going back to the 1930s, when they also had branches in Stoddart Street, Slake Terrace and Sunderland Road; also Hudson Street and Park Avenue, where they also seem to have been tobacconists.

Going back to Tisseman’s, you may recall that an adjacent sign had also been uncovered, revealing the previous existence of a pork butcher’s shop.

Another reader suggests that this may have been Chidley’s.

“The shops were opposite Fred Coston’s and, of course, near to the roundabout,” he says.

“The fruit shop on the corner of Dean Road and Chichester Road was, I think, Quigleys (or if not, Robertson’s)

“A little further up from Tisseman’s/Chidley’s, would have been Firmstone’s shoe repair shop which has been mentioned in your column before.”

Actually, I’ve had it suggested that the pork butcher’s may also have been, at one point, Egner’s - this from a lady who recalled it from about 1940-1941