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Elswick memories

Here are memories of Elswick and the local area. You can start now: Add your own Memory of Elswick or a Elswick photo.


Looking for anyone who remembers my husband's mother, Hannah Onion, she gave birth 27th March 1964 and my husband was named John.


Hi, I was in Hopedene in January 1968 till May of that year, my mum changed her mind and let me take my baby home which I was elated about. Two years ago I saw a name of one of the girls in there who also lived in my area; her son was looking for her. I scouted round my home town until I found her for him. It was a very happy ending for them both. I saw at least 150 girls come and go. about 80% had their babies adopted. It was a sad day for all when there was an adoption going on - some mothers were locked in cupboards so they couldn't see the parents they had for their babies and weren't allowed to leave for hours after. We worked up until we gave birth, scrubbing floors ect, I for one was scrubbing the labour ward floor when I took in labour. I was then examined, told I... Read more


I was in Hopedene in 1964, from late Febuary till June. My baby died in there before her birth in the town's main hospital. Won't go into details here. Have only unhappy memories of the place and I will never forget being in there. My maiden name was Pauline Sutcliffe and I was put in there by my parents who intended for me to have my baby adopted, and I would have had no say in the matter. Glad these places don't exist any more.


I would like to know if there is anyone out there that knows of the practise that went on in Hopedene. My partner was born there in 1965, his birthmother was also a domestic there, presumably to pay towards her keep while she was waiting to have her baby. We have now traced his birth mother but unfortunatley she died in 2002, but we have been able to get hold of a few records that were recorded at the time. Most of it does seem ok, but there is a bit in there that left us wondering. It states that she signed adoption papers two days before my partner was born, it does state that this was not normally done, but the social worker who was in charge of the case got his birth mother to do this, and it does say that this was questionable by the social services. Does anybody else know of any such cases where this has happened. We have heard a few things about Hopedene... Read more


I was born in Hopedene at the beginning of July 1960. I think it was good neutral territory as my father was Nursing at the General, and my mother was a Physio at the RVI. They had moved down to Corby at the start of the year to start new jobs. Thankfuly, by the Grace of God, I was born a Geordie. The only memories that I remember being given, was that there was a terrific thunderstorm and the coke boilers were almost flooded out - very little hot water available.

Hopedene Mother And Baby Home

Hi I am trying to contact any mothers that were in Hopedene, Elswick, in the 1950s and 1960s...what was it like? Did you have any choice regarding having your baby adopted if you wern't married? My mother was married but separated - did this make any difference in those days? I have read up as much as I could find regarding these places and what happened to the poor women and babies. You would think we were talking about the dark ages not merely 40 or 50 years times have changed. They say "Remember the good old days!!". Well, I think nothing good happened to these mothers back then. It breaks my heart as a mother myself how these women were treated, by these institutions and indeed their own family in some cases. Please inbox me. Thank you for taking time to read this.. xx


I was in Hopedene Unmarried Mothers' Home in January 1962, this place was run by the Salvation Army. I left in March 1962. I made a few friends but alas I cannot remember thier names, my daughter was born there, we were reunited in 2006. I would love to hear from anyone who was there at the same time. Marlene Carter.

Memories of Tyne and Wear

Greenhow Terrace

I married Helen in 1967 and the only property available to rent was in Benwell. As we were both far too young to know better we took a bottom flat in Greenhow Terrace. That's where it all went wrong, Benwell was being demolished and couples were being relocated at Newbiggin Hall Estate, a new estate on the outskirts of Newcastle....Eagerly we accepted the keys to number 48 only to find it had no electricity or hot water. We thought it won't be long till were rehoused, we can manage... After turning down a flat offered to us I can only assume we went down to the bottom of the waiting list...and waiting is what we did, three ghastly years of it. During those years we were burgled five times and no one would insure us. There is not much to do without electricity so we got on each other's nerves to the point of nearly killing each other. Poor Helen was on her own all day whilst I worked so... Read more

Image of Youth

Four Lane Ends c1955, Dunston
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I lived in Dunston from 1946-1964. This area of Dunston was a place I knew quite well. The lamp post on the left was almost outside a dental surgery. I well remember the experience of having a tooth extracted here, and the staff's struggle to administer the gas anesthetic to knock me out! I learned to dislike visiting the dentist from here. To the right there were the "bankyfields". There used to be a pond there where we collected frogspawn in spring, fished for newts and minnows in summer. In the winter, the bankyfields came into their own for sledging. That is all gone now due to the medical centre and swimming baths which now occupy the fields. The school dominates the picture on the right. The windows running off to the right were those of the infant section of the school (5-8 years). The block continues off to the right where the junior section was situated (8-11 years). Continuing straight ahead brought you to a gate entrance on the... Read more

Starting School

Four Lane Ends c1955, Dunston
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This is my first school, Dunston Hill Infant & Junior School, I started school the year the photo was taken, I fell off a small wall first day, I remember it vividly. Favourite teacher in the junior school was a Ms Hallgarth, my first love. I was born in Beech Drive only a few hundred yards down Dunston Road. Part of a gang ('snake belt gang') including Howard and John Smith, Peter and David Coxon, and the Brydon brothers. Always out and about, no WII's no X boxes, no videos just fresh air and 10 goals halftime epic games of footie in the park.

Dunston Board School

Four Lane Ends c1955, Dunston
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I am looking for anybody who went to the Dunston Board school in the 1930s. I want to trace friends of my father, namely Henry Preston Westwick who was born in 1923, or anybody who worked in the soap factory in 1935.

W Egdell Newsagent

At the tender age of thirteen I joined the other six paper boys working for Mr Preston at Edgell and sons on Fenham Hall Drive. For four years I braved all weathers at six in the morning, seven days a week, for one pound twelve shillings.I enjoyed delivering papers although winter mornings were cold. Mr Preston was a strict man to work for but his wife who worked in the shop was a lovely woman and would say hello and admire my dimpled cheeks. My only gripe was that on a Sunday morning the bells of St James's and St Basil's would ring out and as I hate bells they would go on for what seemed a lifetime. No lying in on a Sunday morning for the locals unless of course you were deaf. .... Kev

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