Do You Remember?

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: –

Red Rose School 1949

• Getting the number 4 bus to Stanley baths on a Saturday    morning.

No 4 Bus – Parked outside Northern Garage

• 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.

• 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.


Original Hand Painted Sign

• 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.