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Shopping on Chillingham Road

A Heaton exile, Mrs Fletcher,  has written to us with her memories of Chillingham Road. We hope that they and the photographs from an even earlier time will prompt other readers to add some of their own:

‘I grew up and lived in Heaton in a typical Tyneside flat from 1940-64. As a child living in Warton Terrace,


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Warton Terrace (Edwardian postcard)



I was only a ‘hop skip and a jump’ from Chillingham Road and I enjoyed shopping there with my mam or ‘going for messages’ for her. In those days ‘Chilly Road’ looked rather different – there were no trees, handy seats, estate agents, charity shops or supermarkets and a takeaway to us was fish and chips (taking newspaper for outer wrapping). There weren’t many cars but there were trams (later replaced by buses).


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Chillingham Road (Edwardian postcard )


There was however a wide variety of shops. Some that come to mind are – Burrel’s butchers where we bought such things as black pudding and ‘scrag end’… Pinder’s greengrocers for ‘half a stone of potatoes’…  Nesbit’s bakers for an ‘Edinburgh brown’ loaf… Sayer’s greengrocers where Mam first bought frozen food – a carton of bilberries. She’d have used them fairly quickly as we never had a fridge!  There was Law’s stores for groceries, Little’s Dairy, which sold wonderful ice-cream and Donkin’s toyshop which also had a lending library. Nearby was a drapers.
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Chillingham Road (Edwardian postcard)
Then there were several Co-op shops, Fong Wah’s laundry, a radio shop, Manners pork shop, two drycleaners, an off-licence, chemists, a wallpaper shop, fresh fish shop and many others.
At the post office I bought sheets of colourful pictures called ‘scraps’ to stick into my scrapbook. Next to the pillar box outside was a useful stamp machine. There was a newsagent who would deliver my  ‘Beano’ and ‘Dandy‘ comics and later ‘School Friend’.
At the tiny branch of Clough’s we used to buy our sweets, like my favourite sherbet lollies, on the way to enjoy ‘the pictures’ along the road at the Scala.
Scala, Chillingham Road c1936
 I also remember the ‘Tru-time Watch Company’ where I bought a necklace in the 1950s (I still have it). Happy days…’
Thank you, Mrs. Fletcher, for taking the time to write and share your memories and also to Hilary Bray (nee Bates) who gave us permission to digitise and use photographs of Heaton from her collection.
Can you help? 

If you have memories of shopping on Chillingham Road or you or a member of your family kept a shop there or you can tell us more about the places depicted in the photographs, we’d love to hear from you. You can contact us either through this website by clicking on the link immediately below the article title or by emailing



  1. Ah! Donkin’s! How could I forget about that wonderful toy-shop. There were no toy-shops on Heaton Road – two ice-cream parlours though – so I had to go down to Donkin’s, or up to Shields Road.
    Manner’s gravy-dipped hot savaloys with pease-pudding and stuffing far outclassed Robinson’s (I don’t remember if Robinson’s did hot savaloy sandwiches… help?) even if my appetite was sharpened by a half a day in the swimming baths or a few hours of Batman at the Scala. I’m afraid Subway doesn’t even come close.

    • I lived in the avenues from 1944 to 1958, I have fond memories of Chillie Road particulaly going to the Saturday matinee at the Scala.

  2. Does anyone remember a coffee shop passed the Scala. I think the man who had it was called Davy Flatman and he was a friend of my dad, Bill Salkeld. My dad and I used to go on a Saturday and I think we went through the front shop to the back room where the coffee machine and tables were. I lived on Warton Tce at the very bottom in the newer houses from 1953 till 1962 but my grandparents had lived there before us. My grandmother moving there from the refreshment rooms in Armstrong Park. I love the photos. Does anyone know where that huge chimney at the bottom of Warton Terrace was and what was on the site previous to the flats where I lived. We were at the very bottom next to the allotments.

    • Hi Richard, We haven’t researched the history of the shop but we do have some photos, which we’ll be publishing shortly as part of Eric Dale’s memories. Watch this space! But it would be lovely to hear what people know and remember. Chris (Secretary, Heaton History Group)


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