Sydney Street in the 1950s

Photo:The Cooperative Clothing Store had been at No 24 Sydney Street for many years (this photo was taken around 1900)

The Cooperative Clothing Store had been at No 24 Sydney Street for many years (this photo was taken around 1900)

Photo reproduced with kind permission of 'Step back in time'

We could do most of our shopping there

By Eileen Hudson, North Laine resident

How times have changed. I can remember when it was a pleasure to go out and do your shopping - all in Sydney Street, with personal service, a chat and a smile. The butcher shops had all their meat on display (no pre-packed meat like today), with rabbits and chickens hanging up. The butchers wore white aprons and straw hats. On Christmas Eve one could get bargains with 'extras' thrown in, such as some sausages or chops.

No queues at the checkout

At the grocery shop one could get ½ lb of butter, ½ pint of milk, a small piece of cheese, just 2 oz, whatever one could afford as wages were low. There were no trolleys or baskets filled to the brim like today. There were no queues at the checkout, no junk food and the price was right. We were a lot healthier in many ways.

Day old bread at the bakers

We could buy an ice cream cornet for 1d or 2d for a wafer. At the bakers children would sometimes buy bread or cakes that was a day old for just a few pence.

We did most of our shopping in Sydney Street

These were the shops in Sydney Street in 1959 (taken from Kelly's Street Directory for that year), showing how easy it was to do most of our shopping there:

No.1 & 1A Burt & Smith (greengrocers)
No.3 Ashby (grocery)
No.4 Tip Top Bakery
No.5 Southwell Butchers
No.9 Green Dragon (public house)
No.10 Surgery (Dr Misken)
No.11 Ann Logan (children's outfitters)
No.12 Donald Logan (R.T.)
No.15 Frank Shares (butcher)
No.17 Southdown Meat (c/o butcher)
No.18 Victor Valve Ltd (grocers)
No.19 Gunn's Florist
No.20 Harringtons Bakers
No.21 Marshell Butchers
No.22 & 23 Smith Leather Merchant
No.24 Coop Clothing
No.25 Greengrocers (Berrystone)
No.26 Newsagent & Tobacconist
No.27 Wool Stores (Elizabeth)
No.28 Kettle Café
No.29 Sunderland G.O. (shopkeeper)
No.30 Martin Boot (dir)
No.31 Gibson & Son (outfitters)
No.31A Hazelgrove Jn V
No 32 Rayford All Electric Fridge (washing machine shop)
No.33 Shares (keeper)
No.34 Rolf & Son (fishmonger)
No.35 Smith Fancy Goods
No.36 Nolan (greengrocers)
No.37 Moules F.E. (butcher)
No.38 Gorwood L (confectioner)
No.39 Electric & Radio
No.39C Winnyboorne Ltd (turf commission agents)
No. 40 Coop Laundry
No.42 Café
No.43 Roberts Arth. Leslie
No.44 Jackson (fancy goods)
No.45 Alf May (boot repairer)
No.47 Thiro & Dunelm (Dental Surgeon)

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 199, July/August 2009]

This page was added on 01/08/2009.

What an interesting list: 5 butchers, 2 grocers, 2 bakers, 2 greengrocers and 1 fishmonger, but none of these today (well, Forfars sells mainly sandwiches and snacks these days rather than bread). However, some things haven't changed: Gunn's florists is still there and in fact is now back at No 19; what was once the 'Green Dragon' is still a pub but is now called 'The Office'; No 47 is still a dental surgery; and Nos 28 and 42 are still eating establishments. This is often described as 'continuity and change'.

By Jackie Fuller, North Laine resident
On 02/08/2009

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