Percy Main memories
Early Years at Percy Main
My teen years were spent in Mindrum Terr (the buildings). I started work with Percy Couchman the local builder but left to earn more money at the Loco Sheds as a cleaner fireman.
Percy Main Village.
I was born in 1947, and lived at number 14, Blyth Street, Percy Main village, my maiden name was Bell. My mam was called Ethel, dad was Bob, and my sister was Iris. When I was a child my granda Joe Bell, his daughter Phemie and her husband Charles and their son Brian Poulter lived in Backworth Street. My aunt Beth, her husband Bob and son Foster Bell lived in St Johns Street. I miss the village greatly, but sadly do not have any photos and have not been able to trace any, not even in North Shields library. There have not been any books produced either, so I cannot wallow in its nostalgia.
Memories of Tyne and Wear
Hello, my name is Colin Cochrane and I used to live at 103 Bewicke Rd with my parents Alec and Anne, and my brother and sister John and Andrea. Like most kids in this area I suffered from asthma and one night I had a bad attack and an ambulance was called. I was put in the back gasping for air and as it drove off a door fell off and I burst out laughing, clearing my airways so didn't have to go to hospital. I now live in Germany with my wife and 2 grown up children.
Good Times in Willington Quay
I lived at 19 Church St, Willington Quay, just beside the ballast hills. My dad George worked at Cooksons, so we lived in company house - very big and quite grand. We had no electricity in those days but it never bothered us. We had a wireless, windy-up gramaphone, and the ability to amuse ourselves. It was a very friendly place to live - no one locked doors and I often used to visit the lucky people in the street opposite who did have electricity and had TVs when they came out. I would plonk myself down to watch for an hour or two. Then on Saturday we would go to the Pearl pictures. My brother Alan,sister Gillian and friends - clutching sixpence - threepence to get in and threepence to spend. We all attended Addison Potter school which was not far from our house. The teachers used to teach all our family. There were our older brother and sister, Billy and May. We used to go to Jarrow a lot... Read more
All my father's family (Talbots) lived on Armstrong Street. My dad and his brothers worked at the shipyards and later my dad worked at a small bakery in Willington Quay. I loved to visit him there and was spoiled having loads of wonderful cream cakes to eat, they were the best ever. I used to go with my dad on his deliveries and always ended up with a pocket full of money and a bag full of delicious goodies. The best time of all though was getting home, putting the kettle on and cuddling up to my dad with a nice cuppa. My Uncle John had an allotment and it was right in the middle of the houses behind Bewick Road, he grew the most wonderful vegetables. I loved to help him, I would sit for hours watching him pottering around. My brother and sister Norma and William used to go to dance school on Bewick Road, they won loads of cups and medals, unfortunately I have 2 left feet. I have... Read more
Happy Childhood, And Growing up in The Area
My father, William Westgarth, and his family lived in George Street, Willington Quay, for many years before moving to High Howden. My father worked at the slipway, then on to Swan Hunters ship yard; he worked there for 50 years - he has passed on now. He had sisters called Margorie, Jean, Lillian, Mary Ellen and his brother Jim who went to sea all deceased now. I was brought up in High Howden, went to the George Stephenson Memorial Girls School before that Bewick Infants and for a while the Richardson Dees in Wallsend. We lived at 37, Holderness Road before moving to Whitley Bay, I was 16 then. I used to go to Hammils Dancing School for a number of years with some good friends who I would love to be in contact with. I got dancing medals, and once won a cup in Wallsend...so many happy days. I remember going to the Lyric cinema on a Friday night, I believe that is now a supermarket - haven't been... Read more
North Shields Test Centre
The building which houses North Shields test cente in Cecil Street was erected in1848 as a chapel for people to worship. It remained this way until 1891 when it changed ownership and became a sauna and plunge baths although this was short lived and it closed soon after, just months later it reopened as the Alexandra Laundry, this was made easy as the boilers and pipework were all in place left by the previous owner. A photo of this is available with the staff proudly standing outside with horse-drawn carts laden with laundry. Shortly before World War 2 the building changed ownership and became Alexandra Engineering, making a variety of things and fabrications, this continued until 1950 when a local coach hire company opened up, trading as William B Kerr Coaches, later moving to bigger premses in Wallsend and changed the use of the Cecil Street building into an MOT testing centre, the first in the area following the introduction of manditory testing in 1960. Each test was 15 shillings... Read more
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