Fond memories of ‘lovely’ baby shop ladies

The two popular ladies outside the  Axelbands baby shop.
The two popular ladies outside the Axelbands baby shop.

Some shops and the people who work there or own the business are remembered with fondness.

Such is the case with the ladies who worked at Axelbands in South Shields. For when we featured a picture on the Gazette’s Facebook page recently, showing them stood outside the shop at the time of its closure in 1986, the messages of affection came flooding in.

Axelbands shop window pictured in 1983.

Axelbands shop window pictured in 1983.

Doris Watling identified the two women pictured, saying: “Auntie Iris, on the left, and Auntie Mary, on the right. There was also another, Auntie Mary, who worked at Axelbands. I always got a sweetie off Auntie Mary and Auntie Iris used to help me choose ribbons and slides. They were three lovely ladies.

Elizabeth Guttridge said: “The lady on the left is Iris, I worked with her sister, Margaret Rutter, at Cigarette Components in the 70s/80s” while Maureen Buckingham added: “The lady with the glasses is Iris Richardson, I knew her since I was a little girl, she was a lovely lady. I can’t remember the name of the other lady.”

Marion Scott Butler spoke with fondness of “lovely ladies, I got all my baby things from them. Alice Johnson was another lady who worked there” as did Marian Brooks who said: “don’t know their names but they were right canny women ... really friendly.”

Sandra Marshall was another fan of Axelbands, commenting: “I remember these two ladies and loved shopping there” while Diane Hart added: “Lovely shop, lovely ladies, mam bought near everything there.”

And what did people buy at the shop which sold “everything for the baby”?

Elizabeth Boyle emailed: “Great little shop, you could get just about anything there, proper a Aladdin’s cave” something Denise Souter confirmed when she posted: “Orange stockings springs to mind, and the shop was like Aladdin’s cave – fascinating” as did Carol Harrison who exclaimed: “Eeeeeh I remember this shop, like Aladdin’s cave.”

Margaret Elliott took to social media to tell how she “used to go there in early 50s as a little girl to buy patches of material from ends of rolls with no other use than to make tiny clothes for my little doll or blankets for a doll’s cot.

“I would also go there to acquire lace gloves at Easter time to wear with my straw bonnet in the Parade of Witness, from Bethesda Church to Market Place, on Good Friday. Such happy memories x.”

Denise Raine Jones told how she “bought my eldest daughter’s baby nighties from there, soft flannelette, white with little ducks on the front, I still have them and she is 33-years-old now.”

Agnes George would have bought “a yard of elastic, white socks and gloves for Easter and a liberty bodice? Ribbons too” while Catherine Martin revealed how: “My mam always got my lace gloves for Easter from there.”

Angela Armstrong posted: “Oh I loved it in there, was only little but my mam sent me to Axelbands for all kinds” while David Word told how “My mam loved that shop and the others along that side, Crackets included, and the material shops too.”

Not all recollections were so flattering. Beverly Olds told how she bought “my first bra came from there. It was awful” while Pamela Spour remembers “the horrible doll they had in the window”.

Louise Tyson “Everything for the baby”

Jacqueline Armstrong Loved that shop everything you wanted

Sharon Dykes I remember theses two xxx