Monthly Archives: January 2016

Heaton’s Back Lane Mysteries and Memories

Jack Common wrote of the many traders who called at Third Avenue:

‘Greengrocery and fish and coal came to the back door… Down here came the Cullercoats fishwives crying ‘Caller herrin’ in that season and otherwise “Fresh fish, hinny, straight from the sea”…

Everybody’s washing hung across the lane so that the appearance of a tradesman’s cart meant a rush to tuck sheets and things round the rope and to raise the diminished bunting high over the horse’s head with a prop.’

'Co-al' by Mark James

‘Co-al’ by Mark James

 

Jean Walker of Cardigan Terrace recalled playing out:

‘We called for people at the back door. At first, it was cobblestones. We played races and hide and seek… But then they concreted the lane so we could skate and ride bicycles as well. We played tennis. The concrete was in sections. We used the middle section as the net.’

Olive Renwick told us that her mother ‘walked to Meldon Terrace everyday with a jug to collect milk from a woman who kept a goat in her back yard’.

Joan Sweeney remembered ‘a container for ashes attached to the back wall with an aperture so that the ashes could be tipped into the bath which was brought around the back streets’.

Young Joan in her back yard c 19932

Ash box in the wall behind young Joan c 1932

So much of Heaton’s history must have been made out back – and, although admittedly some are more attractive than others these days, back lanes are still very much a part of Heaton life, whether as a short cut to the shops or a place we chat to a neighbour while putting out the bins.

Heaton History Group member Michael Johnston is fascinated by them and wonders what unusual features others have noticed.  To start the ball rolling he’s sent us some photos and asks whether anyone knows the history of these doors.

 

 

The green one is in the lane behind the shops on Chillingham Road and the brown one
leads into the yard of a house in Alexandra Road.

image

And we’d love to hear your thoughts on this one, taken in Back Molyneux Street. Who were these men? And what were they up to?

Over to you

What can you tell us about the doors? What do you think was going on in the Molyneux Street back lane? What other interesting historic features intrigue you as you walk through Heaton? Send us your photos and comment either by clicking on the link immediately below the title of this article or by emailing: chris.Jackson@heatonhistorygroup.org

 

Ringtons’ Story

 

Ringtons is one of Heaton’s most long established family firms. The tea company was founded by Sam Smith and Will Titterington in Heaton’s Avenues in 1907 before moving to Shields Road and then, in 1928, to a magnificent new building on Algernon Road, which still stands today, with Ringtons’ head office now next door.

 

Fiona Harrison, Sam Smith’s great granddaughter, has been helping to organise the company and family archives. On 27 April, she will show us some fantastic photos and tell us how the firm came to be founded and take us through its history up to the present day.

Ringtons Tea

Simon Smith, son of Sam, and staff outside Algernon Road HQ, 1932

Early Days

Fiona has already supplied us with photographs and information about Ringtons’ early history for our article ‘S in Ringtons, Tea in Heaton’ and the display, still up in The Chillingham pub, for our ‘Heaton Avenues in WW1’ project. But her talk will tell the fascinating story of Ringtons from the birth of Sam Smith, the founder, to the present day.

To book

The talk will take place at The Corner House, Heaton Road, NE6 5RP on Wednesday 27 April 2016 at 7.30pm and is FREE to Heaton History Group members. Non-members pay £2. The doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm. Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org / 07443 594154. Booking is open to Heaton History Group members only until Wednesday 10 February.