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Memories from Arthur Lee, aged 85 years
Edited by Paul Lanagan, 2009
Memories relate to the 1930s

Newbottle Street in the 1940s

At the end of Hetton Road there was the Majestic Dance Hall, between the Grammar school and Westwick’s Corner. Copyright © Books of the North 2009.

Where Peter's Bakery is now, on the corner of Mautland Street, was at one time a 1d (one Penny) Arcade. Following that it became two shops - Wheatley's sweets and Fletcher's Fruit and Veg. Wheatley's moved further along that section of street, as did Fletcher's to what is still a fruit and veg shop. Copyright © Books of the North 2009.

Between Greenhow's on the far corner and the Robbie Burns pub there was Stewart General foods, and Timothy White and Taylor's Chemist.

Next to the Robbie Burns were Burton the Tailor, Riani's, Fletcher's, and Jones the Chemist.

Near to where Hodgkiss butchers is now, there was the Cash Clothing Company, possibly owned by Fairburn.

Corner of Newbottle Street, c1914

The betting shop on the west side of Newbottle Street was the Post Office, then a Bank.

The present Post Offiice site (opposite Woolworths and the Pottery Yard corner) previously had a black shed on the site which housed the horse drawn Fever Ambulance which took the fever patients to Dene House Isolation Hospital – in the upper Gillas Lane / Seaham Rd area. It was a large white house seen over fields to right going up to Warden Law, as far as I can remember. Copyright © Books of the North 2009.

Newbottle Street in 1949

The low side of Newbottle Street, next to Barclays bank, in what is now the closed shoe shop, was the 'Pork Shop' owned by the Stone family (originally Stein); they made the most wonderful pork pies, and all of their sausages were made on the premises. During the War this family had a very hard time, as many people turned against them, called them names and worse, said that the doormat was to hide their real name at the shop entrance (it was not). They had been German but became British Nationals many years previously.

An advert for C.Stone, Pork Butcher, Newbottle Street, Houghton-le-Spring, in 1954

The New Gaiety Theatre on Newbottle Street, early 1900s

In around 1930 the Gaiety theatre was demolished and the Grand was built (this is now B&M Bargains). A particularly large beam had been installed a few yards into the building to support the balcony. It is still there and that is why the front portion of the shop has a lower ceiling.

Located on Grey Street was Johnston's Sock knitting factory, which was semi basement; women could be seen knitting, and it was always said that Johnston's made a fortune during the War supplying socks for the Armed Forces. Copyright © Books of the North 2009.

Copyright © Books of the North 2009.

At one time there was a Carricks bakery in that area. I'm pretty sure that Savers was Hudson's the Bakers. This was a family firm living over the shop, producing wonderful breads, pies, cakes, and they even had certificates of excellence for Hovis bread.

Arthur Lee, 2009


Collected & Edited by
Article and research by Paul Lanagan, local historian

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Paul Lanagan wishes to place on record his thanks to the following:

This contribution from Arthur Lee is greatly appreciated. A note of thanks must be given to Joan Lambton for help in transcribing Arthur’s memories, and for continued support and help with all things Houghton Heritage.


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