Gateshead 20th Century

Welcome to the Gateshead 20th Century page which brings you bits and bobs about Gateshead in the 1900s

Shephards of Gateshead, the biggest and the best store
Shephards of Gateshead have what you're looking for
There's so much to see, and the car park is free
Come shopping at Shephards for the whole family

The 'Get Carter' Multi Storey Car Park, a Sixties pile of sh..concrete.It is so bad it was nearly good
...traces , still, of the "dirty lane"

And finally, after TESCO disgracefully held the town to ransom, in July 2010, the eyesore is finally being nibbled away to oblivion. In no time at all we'll start getting nostalgic about if

Here's a scene from 'Get Carter' arriving at the Las Vegas Boarding House, actually, 25 Coburg Street, which is the next street due south of Gateshead Civic Centre.

Go visit 25 Coburg Street, preferably in a red jag

West Street

Here's a poem  I wrote back in the 70s. It's about the rubbish blocks of flats and concrete abhorations that were built, often with a bit of corruption thrown in, before common sense prevailed and old 2 up 2 downs were replaced with modern 2 up 2 downs, like those

Rows and rows of terraced houses
Nebody here ever grouses
We diven't mind wer sooty flues
We diven't mind wer ootside loos
Slums decayed with neglect
That what he says... the bloody architect

He says they're slums, he's ganna pull em doon
He says we diven't want wor two-up, two-doon
He says "We'll give you modern flats to occupy"
Aye, little boxes in the sky
Wi waalls of plastic glass
And lawns of concrete grass

His borth was pre-destined fate
His faatha had a big estate
And he may have been a porfect fool
But he went to public school
Where he was taught te decide
Where the people should reside

Ye knaa, his mansion's Edwardian style
His garden stretches half a mile
His missus wears a posh mink for
And ne surprise, she's a Cooncillor
In chamber waalls of wood veneer
She helps to forther his career

Does he like coloured plastic
Concrete and bitumastic?
Would he swap his silk and lace
To live in a place
That he says with aall his pomp
It's what the people really want

Noo, the Cooncil aall applaud
They've won a Civic Trust Award
Ne more pop-in neighbours, passers-by
We've got concrete walkways in the sky
Who cares if the rents have soared?
Who cares if the bairns are bored?

Balmoral Drive Towers being demolished in 1987

The plastic faded, the work was shoddy
And now, ye can't find anybody
Not from the Cooncil, nor the folks roond here
Who thought them flats were a good idea
They've all var nye disappeared
With a huge Cooncil debt, uncleared

We've got wor hooses back, ne sooty flues
Wi' centrally heated inside loos
When I think of aall that condensation
We got ne money, but the compensation
Is that the Architect that screwed this toon
Was still banged up... when the flats came doon

Jon Bratton c 1973-1993

Left click to enlarge

St Cuthbert's Village flats...just like the Newbiggin Sea Life Centre...a turtle disaster