Turning the clock back on a South Shields jewellers

editorial image

AFTER mentioning Grant’s the jewellers in King Street in Shields the other day, known for their clock, here it is!

Moreover, the time is just before 3pm – though it took Kevin Blair, whose photograph it is, to tell me that.

This is a nice picture from Kevin, looking down King Street from the Market. Grant’s is on the right-hand side. This is as the street was in the late 1880s, before the advent of the electric tramway system.

This was the town centre at its Victorian height, I suppose - a mix of department stores, theatres, restaurants, offices and small shops that offered a huge range of goods.

One from this era was the Tyne General Supply Stores, at No 20 King Street (the numbering has since changed) which was owned by a Percy Percival, and of which there were also branches on the north side.

I love the Stores’ eclectic stock, which included freshly ground coffee for 10d a pound and fruit salt (used in baking but also taken for indigestion in those days – Eno’s is a name you might recognise); as well as Nubian blacking (for polishing fireplaces and stoves), potted meat, Spratt’s dog biscuits and Allen’s hair restorer.

What a deli ght to the nostrils it must have been to step inside that.