Scotswood Road Pubs

Mark (surname not given) | 15 September 2004
Shows a black and white photo of a view down a terraced street on a hill, at the bottom of which is an expanse of water. Past the water are the power station's six tall chimney stacks, which are billowing pale clouds.

Dunston Power Station, November 1955. The east end of Scotswood Road wasn't so bad, but as the streets ran towards Vickers-Armstrong's and the west, they got steeper. Clara Street was very steep. Now it's gone, and so has the power station.

This intimate memory of Scotswood Road in Newcastle was sent in by Mark, who used the City Heritage Guide's Storymaker program to input it.

Pictures, reproduced here by kind permission of Side Gallery, are from Jimmy Forsyth's wonderful photographic record of the area, made famous in his exhibition and book, Scotswood Road. All photos and captions, Jimmy Forsyth

Mark: "I remember the Vickers factory which stretched along the length and breadth of Scotswood Road, a familiar sight as you got the bus into town from Blaydon. The blackness and bleakness of it and the odd-shaped chimneys stick in my mind."

Shows a black and white photo of the street, which has a long row of terraced houses on either side. There is a dog crossing the empty road; the sky is overcast.

Looking up Penn Street, c. 1957.

"The smells and sights and sounds of the diesel trains which ran along the opposite side of Scotswood Road before crossing the bridge (which still stands) to Blaydon. I only remember once being on that train journey through town along Scotswood Road and across the bridge to Blaydon train station."

Shows a black and white photo of three men shovelling and sweeping an area in the middle of lots of debris. A fire smoulders behind them, just in front of some houses.

Laurel Street, 14 June 1959. They forgot that people left in the houses still standing had to get around using the cleared streets. Complaints were put in about the mud and the men began sweeping up.

"I remember watching the streets of Scotswood becoming derelict and eventually being pulled down street by street and I remember vividly all those little pubs at the end of every street slowly being erased from the landscape."

Shows a black and white photo of a lonesome chap standing with his back towards us, on a fairly desolate T-junction. A street of houses stretches in front of him and a shop awning on the corner to his right.

Suffolk Street, 1958. From Scotswood Road, the London and Newcastle Tea Company is on the right.

"The bus eventually arrived at Malborough Crescent bus station which appeared to be a 1950/60 style building then not too disimilar to the Haymarket which has also gone now."

Shows a black and white photo of some streets, hazy with fog. The ground is icy, tyre marks are drawn on the road and the house roofs have a thin sheet of snow on them. There is a solitary car parked on the right. On the left apears to be a pile of rubble.

Winter 1956. A quiet winter Sunday on Brunel Street looking up past McCormick's shop and car to Penn Street. Hardly anyone had cars except some of the better-off shop people.

"I remember standing freezing cold with my mam in those long bus shelter stands looking in awe at the huge amount of buses passing through, the strong smell of diesel and the trucker type cafes on the other side of the road."

Shows a black and white photo of a woman and child behind a shop counter. The woman has dark hair and is wearing a patterned dress. She is picking up/putting down a piece of fruit from a bowl on the wooden counter. Behind her, the shelves are stakced with tins, jars and other goods.

April 1957: Peggy Moore ran Jack Reay's shop on Scotswood Road, just to the west of Hare Street. That's her granddaughter sitting on the bench.

"Look at it now. The car showroom has gripped Scotswood road - BMW, Audi, Volkswagen to name a few. The railway has gone but the bridge over to Blaydon is still there. The Audi garage fills the spot where the last remaining pub - the Armstrong Hotel - once stood."

Shows a black and white photo of a small boy in school uniform sitting on a thick step in front of a wooden door. He has a very straight fringe, but apart from that he looks quite grubby as if he has been playing in mud. He is holding something - a sandwich perhaps, in his hands and is smiling.

Ralph Liddle, c. 1958.

"The Centre for Life and its bars and clubs have replaced the bus station, those long long bus stands and smell of diesel. The cafes are still there albeit they have been tarted up a bit!"

Shows a black and white photo of two elderly men sitting in front of an advertising sign.

Jimmy the Cooper and Mr Bryson, 1958.

"Of course it looks and feels better now but at least I can still remember the old factories, the old road, the pubs, sights sounds and smells of when I was a lad."

Shows a black and white photo of two men standing in the street. They are wearing suits and their hair is quiffed.

Gloucester Street, 1957. Ticket men, or talley men, came round the houses on Thursday nights collecting for the credit shops. People got tickets out for say twenty or thirty pounds to get themselves clothes.

Do you remember Scotswood Road? Send us your memories. Mark sent this to us using our easy-to-use Storymaker program. Do try to include your contact details!

Nick Pearson and Elsie C Thompson remember the area in their stories, The Next Train & Granny's Roots, also sent in using Storymaker.

Our thanks to Side Gallery, Newcastle, for the use of these superb photographs by one of the greats of post-war documentary photography, Jimmy Forsyth. Make sure you take the time to visit the gallery, and look at their website too, if you can't make it to the gallery.

Note: the full Forsyth collection is held by Newcastle City Libraries. Copies of Scotswood Road (Bloodaxe/Amberside, 1986 & 1988) are available from Amber.

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