Chester-le-Street Heritage Group
I have just been browsing your wonderful website and it has brought back some memories of a much-loved town where I spent the first twelve years of my life (1956-1968).
I moved to Chester-le-Street when I was 6 months old. I was a ‘top-ender’ who lived at Red Rose Terrace, and I went to Red Rose Infant and Junior school, before moving on to the Grammar School for a couple of years. My memories of Red Rose School were all fond ones. We had Les Kirkbride as headmaster and I can just about remember all the teachers who taught me. I still keep in touch with a couple of my former classmates even today.
My father was assistant golf professional for a time in the mid-1960s and my mother worked for a time at the hospital over the road. In no particular order, I have great memories of:-
• Getting the number 4 bus to Stanley baths on a Saturday morning.
• Wandering up and down the Front Street with my Mum, calling in at Johnny Healers (greengrocer), Johnny Loughlin (butcher), Wilson’s the chemist, O’Brien’s newsagents,
and T. Baxter Whites for cakes.
• Patting the old dog that lived at the High Crown every day walking back from the Grammar School.
• Nearly getting my fingers bitten by a caged ferret and a parrot in the pet shop on Front Street near West Lane.
• Calling into The Black Horse with my Dad to see the landlord (Tommy Stoddart).
• Trying to augment my pocket money by grabbing coins thrown out of the wedding cars at the Registry Office opposite my house on a Saturday morning.
• Listening to the buzzing from the Vespa Honda bikes in the bike shop opposite.
• Kicking the ball around for hours in the back lane.
• Getting up to mischief at the banks of the Wear – and getting scolded regularly for crossing the busy main road to get there.
• Getting my sweets at the shop on the corner (George Studham).
• Seeing the doctor (Miles Hudson) on a regular basis after many scrapes and scratches received.
• Getting my hair cut at Harry Jackson’s over the road from me.
• Badgering the drayman delivering barrels to the Relton Club for plastic blue star lapel badges.
• Standing on the railway bridge waiting for a steam train to go underneath.
• Shopping for toys at Woolworth’s and the Arcade on a Saturday morning.
• Fishing for tiddlers at Riverside Park (which also had the small and the big slides).
I could probably go on and on ………….it was a great place for me and my sisters to grow up.
Reminiscence by John Johnstone for the Friends of CLS Heritage Group January 2012.
Do You Remember ?