Sunniside Local History Society
 

Front Street Sunniside

 

Front Street Sunniside

There was once a country lane, traversing open common land. Two Acts of Parliament saw the beginning of a change to this rural simplicity:-

1) The formation of a turnpike trust in 1797, with powers to improve the Gateshead to Wolsingham road. A new route was chosen from between Streetgate to Maiden Law, which followed Marley Hill Lane up to High Marley Hill, then on to Crookgate, The Hobson, Flint Hill and Catchgate. 2) Blackburn Fell was enclosed by Act of Parliament and the enclosure awards were read out at a public meeting at Lamesley on 5th November, 1812. Five men were awarded plots of land which later came to form the site of Sunniside Front Street. a. John, Earl of Strathmore, who was allotted land where The Crescent, Sun Hill, The Potters Wheel. Bowes Close, Sunniside (Kindred's) Wood, and the Car Park for the newly built top shop now stand. At the three latter places, oak, beech, and fir trees were planted. b. Sir Thomas Henry Liddell, got land where Burdon Park, Alexandra Terrace, The Allotments and Sunniside Methodist Church now stand. c. Robert Thirlaway, was allotted 3 acres where Granby, Thirlaway and Ravensworth Terraces now stand, also what was known as Snow's Field. d. Martin Brown, Grocer at Old Sunniside, got the land where The Rising Sun Inn and Sun, Larch, Beech and Elm Streets now stand. e. Luke Brown, also of Old Sunniside, got the land where Dewhurst Terrace and Elm Street West now stand. The land now being in private ownership, and with an improved main road passing through it, could now be developed. A summary of the subsequent building is:- First to be built The Rising Sun, next came the old Chapel, then the Over 60's Hall, in 1837., Granby Terrace from 1841 – 1861, Dewhurst Terrace in 1902, the new Methodist Church, Sun Street, the new 'Travellers Rest', 1, Alexandra Terrace, 1 - 2 Gateshead Road followed from 1910 - 1914. and the petrol filling station site from 1919 onwards. The road was tar macadamed and steam rolled, as part of the road improvement from High Team Bridge to Crookgate, this was done by Whickham Council from 1919 - 1920.

Starting from the petrol filling station, we will cover the East side of the road, to Alexandra Terrace, then come back up on the other side to finish at the newly built top shop. The petrol filling station traded for many years but over the years residents had complained about the strong smell of petrol in their homes and on the street. In the early part of the new century things came to a head and the petrol station closed. It transpired that the underground tank was badly fractured and had been leaking for some time. To date October 2005 the effects of the stench in the residents homes has still not reached a satisfactory conclusion.


 

"The Potter's Wheel", started off as "The Blue Parrot" and was one of the first night clubs in the North East. It then became a Chinese Restaurant, known as "The Golden Palace". The Potter's Wheel, was opened by Billy Sherwin. In 1982, Derek and Pauline Armstrong were the proprietors. In 1991, it was closed due to damage by a fire and after refurbishment re-opened a year later.

"Sun Hill", was built in 1968, by George Wimpey & Co. Ltd. at a cost of £80,000, for Whickham Urban District Council. It contains thirty two self-contained flats for elderly folk. There is a Communal Laundry Room, Television Room, and a Resident's Lounge with a piano.. There is a Warden's Bungalow attached and a link up to each flat, by a bell system, so residents can summon the Warden for assistance. In 1992, a lift was installed, in the main block. Sun Hill, stands on the site of the village recreation field. In 1936, Whickham Council took over from Lamesley Parish Council, in paying a yearly rent of £8 to the Earl of Strathmore for use as a childrens playground. In the 1950's, there were swings and a football field. Sunniside Imperial (Imps) Associated Football Club used the field for their fixtures and Sunniside children spent many happy hours playing there and it was a sad loss when the field was taken away from them. There was no consultation with the residents, the Council made the decision behind closed doors.

A Methodist New Connexion Chapel (pictured above) was built in 1837, a relatively small branch of the Wesleyans. The exterior of the old Chapel had been significantly altered over the years. With the building of the present Methodist Church at the bottom of the village in 1910, the old Chapel became the Sunday School, for the following twenty two years, then was used as a meeting place for various social groups. Mrs. Lily Craig (nee Douglas), attended the Sunday School as a child during the First World War. Apart from learning the Holy Scriptures, she made mats for the Chapel funds and knitted socks for the Servicemen. Her husband Bob Craig, who worked as a bricklayer, was the Chapel organist for many years.

In the 1920's on Wednesday evenings, there was a 'Pleasant Hour' held. The young children listened to a class leader telling a Bible story. They were sometimes rewarded with a penny for remembering the story the following week. In the 1930's, the Sunniside Guides and Scouts assembled there. In 1940, a Youth Club was formed for boys and girls at the Chapel by the Reverend. Tom Sanders. After the War, Harry Roddam held woodwork classes for the lads. The Youth Club Soccer team also trained here. During the Winter months of the War, the Home Guard also assembled there. In 1952, an Over 60's Club was formed at Sunniside and this building is now widely known as it's 'Headquarters'. Sadly due to lack of attendance the over 60’s club ceased to exist and the building fell into a state of disrepair, despite the efforts of local people to use it as a Youth Club the Chapel was sold to property developers and was totally demolished in 2003.

Robert Thirlaway (1759 - 1831), of Streetgate Lane, was awarded the three acres of land between Sunhill and Alexandra Terrace, on the enclosure of Blackburn Fell, although it seems a Mrs. Wildegoose had some claim to this land in 1805. Robert also got two acres where Union Cottage (Carraig Thurragh) now stands. In 1821 he was awarded a piece of land near where Hollywell Lane is now, from the Whickham Fell enclosure.

In 1841, William Thirlaway (1787 - 1845), began to build Granby Terrace (pictured above), starting at the top end next to the old Chapel. Chapel Opening, was at this time, very narrow, due to a coal shed abutting on the side of the Chapel. The opening led to a garden at the back. This was before a lane was made, up to the top end of Ravensworth Terrace, in the late 1850's. William's eldest son, John Thirlaway (1824 - 1903), owned Granby Terrace in 1856, at which time, he was the victualler at "The Granby Arms", Low Streetgate. John, along with his brother Thomas Grey Thirlaway (1827 - 1907), also ran Streetgate Farm. Around about 1860, Streetgate Farm was taken over by James Swan. Thomas moved to Union Cottage and in 1865, John moved to Granby Terrace. John became a Coke Weighman at Marley Hill Colliery and he built Guthrey Villa in 1876, where,in his later years, he was the Sub-Postmaster for Sunniside and a Beer Retailer.

The top two houses of Ravensworth Terrace were built about 1860. By 1871, the lower end had been completed, all were made of stone. the five houses at the lower end, were demolished in 1959, they had 'T' fall roofs and 'stable doors' at the back. The top end of Thirlaway Terrace, was built in the early 1890's, they were originally flats. Home Cottage is dated 1889. Between here and 19, Granby Terrace, there was a short row of toilets and a pair of stone houses, which were back- to-back two by two in 1891. They were still standing in 1949. Towards the bottom end of Granby Terrace, the front of the houses were built with Colliery firebricks, on the site known as 'The Wash Hole'.

There has been a shop. where the 'Pot Pourri' stands now at 5, Granby Terrace, for many years. Tom Henderson (1817 - 1901), was a Grocer there for 40 years, before he retired in 1894. He was also class leader and Superintendent of the Sunday school at Sunniside. Tom worked at Marley Hill Coke Ovens and his wife and daughter kept the shop. His daughter Mary Anne married Walter Fenton of Lingy Fine (1850 – 1920). The shop became a Post Office in 1893 with Walter as Sub-Postmaster, then after a lapse of a few years, resumed again in 1904. Walter was a Sunday School Teacher at Sunniside Methodist Chapel and served for a number of years on Chester-le-Street Rural District Council, Chester-le-Street Board of Guardians and Whickham School Board. Mary Fenton continued to run the Post Office, Grocery and Drapery Shop after Walter's death. Number 14, was the last house to be built in the Terrace. Up until about 1860, there had been a gap in the Terrace here, to allow access to some of the rear yards. A narrow passage remained here and was used as a short cut from Holmside Terrace to the Front Street but this was blocked up in 1958. Next door at number 15, Tom Crawford had a Grocer's shop from 1850 to 1891. In the 1920's the Kehoe sisters, had a milliner's shop at Number 17. Around 1900, Doctor Arthur William Attwater (1847 - 1904) of Whickham, held a surgery at 7, Granby Terrace and in the early 1920's Mrs. Burns, let her front room at number 8, to Doctor Andrew Smith of Whickham.


 

A public Beer House was built of stone around 1858 (pictured above), where "The Traveller's Rest" is now, it was called "The Greyhound" - Robert Fenwick was the first Licensee and he also worked as a Cobbler. During the 1870's, Alexander Livingstone was the Beer House Keeper and he also had another job, i.e. at Marley Hill Coke Ovens. In 1891, the house was called "The Board", which was once a common name for a Pub, and was ran by George Stott. Public houses showing no Sign were commonly called the Board or sometimes the Letters. George had been a Butcher at Streetgate, his younger brother William, kept "The Rose, Shamrock and Thistle", as well as being a Butcher. By 1894, George had changed the name to "The Traveller's Rest". In 1910, Richard Dillon (1863 - 1948), was the Beer Retailer at the "Traveller's Rest". Richard was the eldest child of Patrick and Bridget Dillon, of Granby Terrace. He had five sisters and four brothers. In his younger days, Richard worked at Marley Hill Coke Ovens, along with his father and brothers. Around 1912, the stone house (pictured above) was replaced by larger premises - the present brick building. Around 1925, Richard's wife Lottie, opened a Fish and Chip shop, next door to the Pub, where "The Beauty Box" is now, then after the Second World War, she rented the place out, as a Ladies Hairdresser's, probably the first in the village. The cellars beneath the Pub, at one time, extended beneath the Hairdresser's shop (now blocked off). At the beginning of the Second World War, Charlie Dillon, strengthened this part, for use as an air-raid shelter. Around 1929, Tom Punshon came from the "Black Horse", in Burnopfield, with his daughter Annie. Some Boxing Tournaments were held at the rear of the Pub in the 1930's and later, Marley Hill Colliery Band practised here. On Durham Miner's Gala Day, they met and played outside, in front of the Pub.

Holmside Terrace was built about 1905, for the Holmes family, who got the land from Mr. W. Snow, of Guthrey Villa. Matthew Holmes, was brought up at Granby Terrace and worked on the Tanfield Railway in the 1880's. His grandfather, Aaron Holmes, lived at High Green, near Old Sunniside, in the 1840's. About 1890, Matthew moved to Ravensworth Terrace from Granby Terrace and was by this time, a Mineral Guard, on the Railway. His two eldest sons also worked on the Railway. Alec, the youngest son, born 1886, was a Carter and had Stables on the end of Holmside Terrace in the early 1920's. Holmside Terrace overlooked Snow's Field, which was built over in 1988 and was the home of Patch, a bay horse, for many years. The path which leads from here to Lingy Fine, is at least 190 years old and before the Enclosure was probably a Bridle Way. At the top end of the strip of land on which Alexandra Terrace now stands, once stood Bracken House. Where the path is now, at the front of the Terrace, a public path led up to the house. By 1881, the house was divided into two households - Tom Dobson and Tom Davison's. In 1891, the place was called locally, Railway Cottage. Tom Davison was still there when Mary Ann Head moved from Old Sunniside Farm, where her late husband, Thomas, was the Farmer in the 1870's. The house was still standing in 1914.

A little to the East of the Bakers Shop (featured below), there was Boyd's-Cobblers Shop (pictured above) which was demolished in 1993 because it stood on a field bought by propert developers to build a housing estate. Robert Swann Boyd was only 21 year old when his back was injured, in an accident at Whickham Colliery. This resulted in him being laid off from heavy work . He lived at Askew Road and for a time found work as a knocker-up, to Miners living in Teams and Redheugh area.. He learned shoe-making and set up shop in his own back yard. He then opened a shop on Askew Road. His brother took over here, when Robert and his family moved to Sunniside and built his workshop (a wooden hut), in 1934, near the bottom of Alexandra Terrace. His son Ernie Boyd, began learning the trade, when he was 12 years old (around 1933). He helped his father by collecting boots for repair, using a sack slung over his shoulder.

Mr & Mrs. Ralph Bell, ran a General Dealers shop, at the end of No. 2. Gateshead Road, from the early 1920's to the late 30's. Their eldest daughter Margaret, married Bob Middleton and they continued the shop until 1960, when it became the Post Office under Mr. Smith.

Around 1913, Edward (Ned) Reed, established a Butchers Shop at No.l. Gateshead Road. He was brought up at Marley Hill, the son of Edward Reed, Engineman at Marley Hill Colliery. He was one of the Reed Brothers, who had shares in the Venture Buses. In the 1920's, Ned had a horse and cart to ply his trade, around the streets of Sunniside.

He also carted coal for his own house, from the sidings of the N.E.R. at Pennyfine Road. Beast were slaughtered on the premises, at first, led from local farms, on the hoof. Later they were brought in by lorry, the rear yard had a cattle stall, stable and hay loft.

Sid Clark began at Reed's in 1928, after leaving school. Joe Croft also served his time here, before he went to work for Burnopfield Co-op Society. By far the longest and best known worker for Reeds, was Jack Johnson, who came here in 1920, after serving his time at Swalwell Co-op Store. He retired in 1966. Ned Reed, bought Whickham Lodge, along with his brother Robert Michael Reed, Painter & Decorator, where they intended to develop part of the Estate in 1937. Money was to be made in the Butchery trade and Reeds had two vans out on the streets in the 1950's. The assistants found extra work for themselves, killing pigs for local people, also turkeys etc. at Christmas time. Michael Furness also worked here in 1974. John R. Reed was the proprietor in the 1950's and 60's.


 

Alexandra Terrace was built just before The First World War. The bottom half being built first, this was known as "Honeymoon Terrace", because the new occupants were nearly all newly-weds. Electricity was installed around 1933 and 'flush closets' in 1937. From 1914 - 1921, George Cook, Baker, Confectioner and Caterer, had his shop at 1, Alexandra Terrace (pictured above). About 1922, Robert and Elizabeth Appleby, took over the business and in 1928, was continued by their daughter, Sarah and her husband, Walter Greenhill, a New Zealander. The Bakery in the yard, behind the shop, had two ovens, both heated by coke. Here in 1928, a Baker and two Assistants were employed. Starting work as early as 3 a.m., the dough was mixed in a large wooden trow (trough), then cut and weighed, 2lbs 4ozs for a large loaf and l lb 2ozs for a small one. It was then shaped and put into tins, put on a hot-plate for the dough to 'prove' (rise), then placed in the oven to bake. Mrs Greenhill served in the shop with an assistant, while Walter delivered the bread and cakes, in a horse drawn van, in the early days. Molly, the grey mare, was stabled at Dene Farm. Walter then bought a Morris Oxford van. He was assisted by John Coulson Morton, known by some of the Miner's wives, at Marley Hill, as 'Sugar Morton'. Jack was 14 years old and he pushed a small cart, fitted with shelves, around Marley Hill, Byermoor, The Causey and Birkheads. He had to sell a certain amount of bread and cakes before he earned any money for himself. He sometimes rode over to Riding Barns on Molly, with two baskets of cakes and bread for Mrs. Bowman. In 1930, Jack was given a Morris Minor van, for the delivery round and the area was widened to include Whickham and Belle View near Tanfield .

Around 1932, Jospeh William Hall came from Leadgate, to run the Bakery (but not the shop). His son Havelock took over when he came out of the Army, after the Second World War. He was assisted by his wife Louise, also Jenny Leybourne. At Christmas time, Havelock cooked turkeys in the bread oven, for folk whose own ovens were too small to take a turkey. In 1959 Havelock gave up the Bakery and became a Bus Driver for Northern General Transport. Mrs Greenhill was widowed in 1930 and she became the Postmistress at Sunniside, in which capacity she continued until 1960, as well as running the Bakery Shop.

(The photograph was kindly provided by Yvette Gainsford of Christchurch New Zealand a direct decendant of the Greenhill family)


 

Up until 1908, the old Sunniside Methodist Chapel was administered by the Superintendent Minister, Secretary and Treasurer, after which, the Chapel was ran by appointed Trustees, who soon agreed it was time to set about building a larger Chapel. They tried unsuccessfully, to aquire a site next to the old Chapel, but eventually got the present site, from Lord Ravensworth, on a 999 year lease, the annual rental was £2. The new United Methodist Chapel, (pictured above) was opened on the 20th August, 1910. Built by William Hockey, of Whickham, to the designs of Karl B. Spurgin, Architect, of Newcastle, at a cost of £1,210. It took only seventeen years for the Chapel members to pay off this debt. A second hand organ was bought, for £275, and installed in 1922, replacing the piano, used since 1910. This in turn, was replaced by an electronic organ in 1955. In 1960 the Choir Vestry was enlarged, the cost being met from the sale of the old Chapel, to the Over 60's Club and a gift of £100 from Mrs. S. Liddle.

About the time of the First World War, the Douglas family, of Lingyfine, had private pews at the Chapel, for which use a quarterly subscription was paid. Also at this time, the annual picnic for the Sunday School Children was held in a field at Jacob Wright's Farm, Wasting Row. About 1935, Prinn's buses were hired for the children's annual seaside outing. Another momentous occasion for the children, especially the girls, was the Chapel Anniversary Day, for which the girls were fitted out with their best hat, dress and gloves, sometimes newly bought for the event.

In 1934 the Chapel had three Choirs - the Married Women's Choir, led by Miss Hannah Armstrong (Mistress of Sunniside Infants School), the Men's Choir, led by Harry Roddam, and the Junior Choir. The Ladies Choir sang the Operettas, i.e. "The Bohemian Girl" and "The Merry Milkmaid", touring the District, giving Recitals and raising funds for the Chapel. Leslie Fenwick painted the scenery for them. Leslie and his wife were leaders of the "Sunniside Revellers" who travelled to neighbouring chapels, using Dick Clarke's car for trans - port, giving variety concerts. The 10 strong group were mostly members of the chapel and included Lily, George, and Bob Wallace, with Walter Rouse.

In November 1935, Andrew Bateman was presented with a Westminster chiming clock, by members of the Chapel, in appreciation for having been their Organist and Choir Master for 30 years.

In the early 1930's a Social, would be laid on at Christmas Eve, when nothing stronger than ginger beer was drunk. Just before midnight the younger members of the party, went Carol singing around Sunniside and Streetgate and sometimes didn't arrive back home until 6.00 a.m. 'Uncle' Bill Patterson of Elm Street was Choirmaster in the 1940's.

From the late 1940's to the mid 1950's, John Blackmore and Doris Dinning, helped to run the Youth Club, which elected it's own Committee and ran a Canteen. Members had to attend Church Services once a month and on Festival days. They formed a Youth Choir. The club was a member of the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs and five members were selected to make the trip to London, for the Annual meeting, at the Royal Albert Hall. They stayed over the weekend, sometimes in hostels or with Londoners, who were members of the Association. About fifty girls and boys went to the Youth Club at this period. The Women's Fellowship meet on Tuesdays at the chapel.

In 1841, William Wilson was the Publican at "The Sun Inn". In 1850, Will Rutherford had the license, though the Pub was mainly run by his wife Elizabeth, as Will worked at Marley Hill Colliery. In 1856, Will Surtees was the Victualler. In 1861, Dorothy Storey ran the Pub, with the help of her daughters. Her husband Robert (1804 - 1880) was a miner at Marley Hill and the family came from Wylam, one of the many who came from this area to start up the newly opened 'pit' in the 1840's. They lived at The Hole in 1851. In 1866, the Sunniside Benefit Society met at "The Sun" and the articles of the Society were strict:- The membership was for women only, and on joining, she was to be in good health, as well as her husband and children. Each member paid 9d every fourth Monday, with thirteen payments per year into the general fund. Meetings for payments were to be held at the Sun Inn, from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. in a hired room, the cost of which was met by each member paying for one and a half pence worth of drink at the pub. A Secretary kept the accounts and the Society was run by elected Stewards. £3 Funeral money was paid out (once a year only) on the death of a member or her husband, or nominee (who had to be aged between 14 - 45 years and unmarried). 30 Shillings funeral money was paid out on the death of a member's child. An annual dinner was held, if approved by a majority of members. At the end of the year, after deducting all expenses, the remainder if any, of the years contributions, was divided equally amongst the members. This Society was similar to the Box Clubs in Durham, earlier in the Century, in which working class families paid regular instalments, as an insurance against sickness and funeral expenses.

In 1873, Robert and Reuben Storey kept the Pub, by 1879, James Davison was in charge. The Pub now being called "The Rising Sun" (pictured above). James had married Mrs. Margaret Brabban, the eldest daughter of Robert Storey. James died in 1888, and the Pub continued to be run by his wife. She was assisted by her son Will Brabban, a Miner, who also ran a Brake at weekends, for locals wishing to go to Gateshead. Margaret died in 1907, and the Pub was taken over by Joseph Davison. In 1907, the Pub was used as the meeting place of the Marley Hill and Sunniside District Unionist Association (newly formed), also the Loyal William Hutt Lodge of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, who met here as early as 1842, for their Anniversary supper. When Joe died in 1915, at the early age of 39, his wife Louisa, daughter of James Esson, continued at the Rising Sun. Her brother Charles Esson, kept the "Marquis of Granby". In 1934, Jimmy Davison was the Landlord. Arthur and Doris Scorer took over the tenancy of the pub in 1955, they had formerly managed "Marquis of Granby" at Streetgate, Arthur died in August 1983 and Doris retired later that month. During their time at the Rising Sun it was acknowledged that they had produced the finest pint of beer in Sunniside.

Next to the Public House, was the private house, built around 1860, for Will Rutherford and family. In 1881 Robert Walton, Butcher, lived here and in 1890, Will Stott, Butcher, occupied the place. Just before the First World War, the White brothers - Jimmy, George, Tommy and Stan - were brought up in this house. Jimmy (born 1899) as a lad, led a horse down to Lobley Hill, ready to couple it on to Will Brabban's Brake on it's return journey from Gateshead.

In 1890, the Newcastle Breweries Ltd., took over the "Rising Sun", the private house and the freehold land adjoining, amounting to 1 acre 6 perches, from John Barras and Co Ltd., Brewers. To the West of this, Mark Fenwick, Banker at Newcastle and William George Woods, Merchant at Newcastle, were tenants of a similar area of land.

In 1910, John Hutchinson, of Ivy Cottage, Sunniside, bought both plots of land covering 2 acres 11 perches, for £250, on condition that he would erect within five years, thirty substantial dwelling houses, with a general plan approved by the Newcastle Breweries Ltd. None of the houses were to be used as a Club or for the sale of intoxicating liquor. Will Hockey, of Whickham was the Building Contractor.

Beech Street was built first, the houses selling for £190 each. By the end of 1911, Elm Street odd numbers and Sun Street were built, selling at £200 each. In 1913, Elm Street even numbers were built and by the beginning of 1914, Larch Street was built, these cost £210 to buy. The materials for building the houses, came up the railway and collected at the siding at Pennyfine Road. Fosters of Felling, supplied most of the bricks and Lumley Brick Company supplied the glazed bricks used in the sculleries. The houses had wood gutterings and inside were lit by gas mantles, fitted on the walls. The kitchen had a fire range for cooking. The scullery had a tap, with a pottery sink and a set pot in one corner, with chimney flue, to heat water for wash day. Coal shed and ash closet in the back yard. The ventilation holes high up in the toilet walls, overlooking the back lane, were ideal nesting places for Starlings. Up until 1940, iron railings graced the front of Sun Street, these were removed to help make armaments for the war effort.

Up until 1908, the old Sunniside Methodist Chapel was administered by the Superintendent Minister, Secretary and Treasurer, after which, the Chapel was ran by appointed Trustees, who soon agreed it was time to set about building a larger Chapel. They tried unsuccessfully, to aquire a site next to the old Chapel, but eventually got the present site, from Lord Ravensworth, on a 999 year lease, the annual rental was £2. The new United Methodist Chapel, (pictured above) was opened on the 20th August, 1910. Built by William Hockey, of Whickham, to the designs of Karl B. Spurgin, Architect, of Newcastle, at a cost of #1,210. It took only seventeen years for the Chapel members to pay off this debt. A second hand organ was bought, for £275, and installed in 1922, replacing the piano, used since 1910. This in turn, was replaced by an electronic organ in 1955. In 1960 the Choir Vestry was enlarged, the cost being met from the sale of the old Chapel, to the Over 60's Club and a gift of £100 from Mrs. S. Liddle.

About the time of the First World War, the Douglas family, of Lingyfine, had private pews at the Chapel, for which use a quarterly subscription was paid. Also at this time, the annual picnic for the Sunday School Children was held in a field at Jacob Wright's Farm, Wasting Row. About 1935, Prinn's buses were hired for the children's annual seaside outing. Another momentous occasion for the children, especially the girls, was the Chapel Anniversary Day, for which the girls were fitted out with their best hat, dress and gloves, sometimes newly bought for the event.

In 1934 the Chapel had three Choirs - the Married Women's Choir, led by Miss Hannah Armstrong (Mistress of Sunniside Infants School), the Men's Choir, led by Harry Roddam, and the Junior Choir. The Ladies Choir sang the Operettas, i.e. "The Bohemian Girl" and "The Merry Milkmaid", touring the District, giving Recitals and raising funds for the Chapel. Leslie Fenwick painted the scenery for them. Leslie and his wife were leaders of the "Sunniside Revellers" who travelled to neighbouring chapels, using Dick Clarke's car for trans - port, giving variety concerts. The 10 strong group were mostly members of the chapel and included Lily, George, and Bob Wallace, with Walter Rouse.

In November 1935, Andrew Bateman was presented with a Westminster chiming clock, by members of the Chapel, in appreciation for having been their Organist and Choir Master for 30 years.

In the early 1930's a Social, would be laid on at Christmas Eve, when nothing stronger than ginger beer was drunk. Just before midnight the younger members of the party, went Carol singing around Sunniside and Streetgate and sometimes didn't arrive back home until 6.00 a.m. 'Uncle' Bill Patterson of Elm Street was Choirmaster in the 1940's.

From the late 1940's to the mid 1950's, John Blackmore and Doris Dinning, helped to run the Youth Club, which elected it's own Committee and ran a Canteen. Members had to attend Church Services once a month and on Festival days. They formed a Youth Choir. The club was a member of the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs and five members were selected to make the trip to London, for the Annual meeting, at the Royal Albert Hall. They stayed over the weekend, sometimes in hostels or with Londoners, who were members of the Association. About fifty girls and boys went to the Youth Club at this period. The Women's Fellowship meet on Tuesdays at the chapel.

In 1841, William Wilson was the Publican at "The Sun Inn". In 1850, Will Rutherford had the license, though the Pub was mainly run by his wife Elizabeth, as Will worked at Marley Hill Colliery. In 1856, Will Surtees was the Victualler. In 1861, Dorothy Storey ran the Pub, with the help of her daughters. Her husband Robert (1804 - 1880) was a miner at Marley Hill and the family came from Wylam, one of the many who came from this area to start up the newly opened 'pit' in the 1840's. They lived at The Hole in 1851. In 1866, the Sunniside Benefit Society met at "The Sun" and the articles of the Society were strict:- The membership was for women only, and on joining, she was to be in good health, as well as her husband and children. Each member paid 9d every fourth Monday, with thirteen payments per year into the general fund. Meetings for payments were to be held at the Sun Inn, from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. in a hired room, the cost of which was met by each member paying for one and a half pence worth of drink at the pub. A Secretary kept the accounts and the Society was run by elected Stewards. £3 Funeral money was paid out (once a year only) on the death of a member or her husband, or nominee (who had to be aged between 14 - 45 years and unmarried). 30 Shillings funeral money was paid out on the death of a member's child. An annual dinner was held, if approved by a majority of members. At the end of the year, after deducting all expenses, the remainder if any, of the years contributions, was divided equally amongst the members. This Society was similar to the Box Clubs in Durham, earlier in the Century, in which working class families paid regular instalments, as an insurance against sickness and funeral expenses.

In 1873, Robert and Reuben Storey kept the Pub, by 1879, James Davison was in charge. The Pub now being called "The Rising Sun" (pictured above). James had married Mrs. Margaret Brabban, the eldest daughter of Robert Storey. James died in 1888, and the Pub continued to be run by his wife. She was assisted by her son Will Brabban, a Miner, who also ran a Brake at weekends, for locals wishing to go to Gateshead. Margaret died in 1907, and the Pub was taken over by Joseph Davison. In 1907, the Pub was used as the meeting place of the Marley Hill and Sunniside District Unionist Association (newly formed), also the Loyal William Hutt Lodge of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, who met here as early as 1842, for their Anniversary supper. When Joe died in 1915, at the early age of 39, his wife Louisa, daughter of James Esson, continued at the Rising Sun. Her brother Charles Esson, kept the "Marquis of Granby". In 1934, Jimmy Davison was the Landlord. Arthur and Doris Scorer took over the tenancy of the pub in 1955, they had formerly managed "Marquis of Granby" at Streetgate, Arthur died in August 1983 and Doris retired later that month. During their time at the Rising Sun it was acknowledged that they had produced the finest pint of beer in Sunniside.

Next to the Public House, was the private house, built around 1860, for Will Rutherford and family. In 1881 Robert Walton, Butcher, lived here and in 1890, Will Stott, Butcher, occupied the place. Just before the First World War, the White brothers - Jimmy, George, Tommy and Stan - were brought up in this house. Jimmy (born 1899) as a lad, led a horse down to Lobley Hill, ready to couple it on to Will Brabban's Brake on it's return journey from Gateshead.

In 1890, the Newcastle Breweries Ltd., took over the "Rising Sun", the private house and the freehold land adjoining, amounting to 1 acre 6 perches, from John Barras and Co Ltd., Brewers. To the West of this, Mark Fenwick, Banker at Newcastle and William George Woods, Merchant at Newcastle, were tenants of a similar area of land.

In 1910, John Hutchinson, of Ivy Cottage, Sunniside, bought both plots of land covering 2 acres 11 perches, for £250, on condition that he would erect within five years, thirty substantial dwelling houses, with a general plan approved by the Newcastle Breweries Ltd. None of the houses were to be used as a Club or for the sale of intoxicating liquor. Will Hockey, of Whickham was the Building Contractor.

Beech Street was built first, the houses selling for £190 each. By the end of 1911, Elm Street odd numbers and Sun Street were built, selling at £200 each. In 1913, Elm Street even numbers were built and by the beginning of 1914, Larch Street was built, these cost £210 to buy. The materials for building the houses, came up the railway and collected at the siding at Pennyfine Road. Fosters of Felling, supplied most of the bricks and Lumley Brick Company supplied the glazed bricks used in the sculleries. The houses had wood gutterings and inside were lit by gas mantles, fitted on the walls. The kitchen had a fire range for cooking. The scullery had a tap, with a pottery sink and a set pot in one corner, with chimney flue, to heat water for wash day. Coal shed and ash closet in the back yard. The ventilation holes high up in the toilet walls, overlooking the back lane, were ideal nesting places for Starlings. Up until 1940, iron railings graced the front of Sun Street, these were removed to help make armaments for the war effort.


 

Around 1923, John Cadwallender of 12, Sun Street, let his front sitting room out, as a Barber's Shop (pictured above on the left), to Mr.Dunn and he also made a small counter, with shelves behind, to sell confectionery. His wife Margaret, kept the Sweet Shop until 1965. Bob Grieveson, of Streetgate, was the next Barber to rent the front room. A Barber's red and white pole was displayed outside, inside a fine pair of horns from the head of a Highland Bull hung on the wall. The busiest time was on Friday evenings and Saturdays, when the men sometimes queued to have a shave and a haircut. Inside the shop, there was only seating for about six customers and some of the men went next door, into the Pub, to sit out their turn. At the busy times, Bob employed a lather lad. Jack Morton, aged 13, worked here in 1927. He lathered the men's chins in one chair, while Bob was shaving a customer in the other chair. For hygiene purposes, some of the men had their own shaving mugs at the Barbers. Jack also swept the floor and listened to the crack - a real gossip shop! Doctor Stephen Boland, of Burnopfield, sometimes called in at the Barbers shop, where he had an arrangement for some of his patients to collect prescriptions and medicine. Ralph Jobson, of Burnopfield, was the Barber from 1948 - 1966. In the late 1940's schoolgirls had their hair cut at Ralph's. Unfortunately due to falling custom, the barbers shut in the late 1960’s.

Paul Johnson. B.D.S., started a Dental Surgery at 10, Sun Street (pictured above on the right) in 1983. A popular young man with an equally popular assistant, local girl Anne Kemp, he has built up a thriving practice.

Over the front door of No.9. Sun Street, was displayed the badge of Durham Constabulary and was the house where the Sunniside Policeman lived. P.C. Hugh Dodds was here in 1960, after which two Police houses were built on the site of Lottie Brabban's Cottage, opposite East Sunniside Farm.

At 8, Sun Street, Mrs.Bell, let her front room in the late 1930's, to George Wilkinson, Dentist, for use as a Surgery. His patients had to wait in the passage for their turn. Mr. Wilkinson had his main Surgery at Stanley and held a Surgery once a week at the Front Street, Whickham.

At 2, Elm Street, Mrs Nelly Rolf, had a Fish and Chip shop, in her back kitchen in 1925. At 4, Elm Street, there lived Mr & Mrs.W.Vickery, who celebrated their Diamond Wedding here in 1932. Will came from Somerset in the 1870's, to work at Marley Hill pit, one of about 34 families who came from the West Country around this time, to get work. Will brought with him an early 19th Century, long-case clock, made by Robert Gulliford, of Dunster and this remained in the family's possession until 1991. In the 1960's Eddy Hogg, Joiner at Marley Hill Colliery, tended a grape-vine in his back garden, at 22, Elm Street, from which he got about forty bunches of grapes each year. His wife Mary, was able to make red wine with them. The vine was a "Black Hamburg" and was a cutting from the greenhouse at The Grange, Marley Hill (the Colliery Manager's house). From 1950 - 53, Mrs. Jane Elliott, of 28, Elm Street, let her front room three mornings a week, to Doctor Michael Bell, when he first set up his practice at Sunniside.

Dewhurst Terrace was built about 1902. Some were flats. At No.18. Mrs. McAvoy had a Ladies Drapery Shop, in the early 1950's and was assisted by her daughter, Florence. There was an 'Off-Licence' shop here from the 1970's until 1993. Police Constable, Robert Shillaw lived at 14, Dewhurst Terrace in 1921. In the early 1920's and up 'till 1952, Jack Mason and later his daughter, Ethel, had a Newsagents shop, at 16, Dewhurst Terrace. Ethel married Benny Irwin, who had a Cobblers shop at Chapel Opening.


 

Some time in 1925, James Shorten, of Alexandra Terrace, (a Methodist lay preacher) started a Fish and Chip shop at 13, Dewhurst Terrace. James and Lilian Dunphy, took over in 1956 and retired in 1983. The fish shop eventually became a Chinese Takeaway (pictured above next to Tommy Whites shop). Around 1928 Larry Dunphy, had a Fish and Chip shop, in a wooden hut, at the bottom of the Store Bank. In 1921, Harry Ord, had a Drug Store at No.12. and by 1929 William and Sydney Blackburn had taken it over. They also had Chemist shops at Burnopfield and Swalwell. You could purchase Paraffin here also.

The shop next door to the fish and chip shop has been a Newsagents since 1952, when Tommy White established the business (pictured above). In his younger days, Tommy was an Apprentice Joiner to Dick Clarke, of Streetgate for a few years. The better wages to be made at Marley Hill Colliery, lured him away before completing his apprenticeship. The shop is snow a newsagents, post office and general dealer.

The shop at No.9. seems to have started as a Newsagents in 1925, after the war it became a General Dealers. Ralph Crowder and his children, Malcolm and Katherine, all qualified as Dispensing Chemists, they have run the Chemist Shop here since 1984. Prior to their arrival, people had to travel to Whickham for prescriptions. The house may have been owned by Burnopfield Co-op Society at one time.

The Co-op didn't arrive in Sunniside until fifty-three years after the first one in our area opened at Blaydon in 1867. The members in the Burnopfield area broke away to form Burnopfield Co-op Society in 1889. The first shop of Tanfield Industrial and Provident Co-op Society, was established in a Cottage at Causey Row, in the early 1860's it prospered, new premises were aquired within a few years, at White-le-Head, and in 1866, new shops were built at Tantobie.

In July 1911, Sunniside Branch of Burnopfield Co-op (pictured above on the right), was opened by Mr. J.W. Bell, President of the Society. At Nos. 1 and 2, Dewhurst Terrace, were Grocery, Drapery and Butchery Departments on the ground floor, above were, Billiard and Reading Rooms also a Library. No.3. Dewhurst Terrace, became the Manager's House. In September 1921, new premises, adjoining the top end of Dewhurst Terrace, were opened by Mr. Robert Heslop, President of Burnopfield Co-op Society. Built by Messrs. A.&.R. Davis, of Burnopfield, designed by John Eltringham, of Blackhill. The Carpentry, Shop Fixtures and Central Heating Installation, were done by C.W.S. workmen. The front was faced with freestone, from Heworth Burn quarry. The Grocery Department measured seventy-nine by twenty-six feet. The rear part being used for Packing, also had a Loading Dock, with hoist alongside. This communicated with the Flour and Grain Warehouse above, forty by twenty-seven feet in area. The flour and grain were conveyed by galvanised steel chutes, down to the packing room. A dry goods store-room, lit from the top, was next to the Packing Room. There was further storage in the lower ground floor, some 50 x 40 feet in area.

Next door was the Drapery Department, thirty-eight by twenty -four feet, with a Warehouse at the rear, with access to the Loading Dock. A handsome staircase, with stained glass windows, led from the Drapery to the Millinery Showroom and Boot & Shoe Department. At the rear of the premises were Stables, Harness Room and a covered Shed for vans. (Now being used by Lowdon's buses).

Total cost, around £13,600. It must have been the talk of the village for weeks. Only a few months before, in April, the Employees of the Society, were on short time, due to the shortage of spending money, resulting from the coal miners strike.

The Butcher remained at 2, Dewhurst Terrace and the Greengrocers was begun at No.l. In the early 1920's, Tom Anderson was in charge of the two tables in the Billiard Room, later, in the early 1930's Gilly Cruddace took charge. Above No.2. Durham County Council rented the rooms, for use as a Library.

In 1933 Edith Campbell worked in the Drapery Department, her Manager was Albert Price. The Hardware and Shoe Department had a staff of two, and Margaret Young was an Assistant. Over the Christmas period, toys were sold.

Mr. R. Stonehouse was in charge of the Grocery Department, assisted by Frank Nichol and Cecil Kendal. Cecil went to Hookergate Grammar School at the same time as Edith Campbell. He later went on rounds in a store van, to Marley Hill, selling groceries and taking orders. Fred Armstrong and Janet Bell, worked in the Greengrocers. Tom Brabban and Mary Pattison also worked at the store. Edith moved to Burnopfield store in 1937. Around 1950, Mary McConnen came to work at Sunniside, shortly after, the Greengrocery moved into the main building and a Chemist Shop moved into No.l. Dewhurst Terrace, people still had to go to Whickham to get Doctor's prescriptions. Joe Croft was the store Butcher. The store's Abattoir, was behind Fell Terrace (owned by the Co-op), at the top of Crookbank, known locally as Shield's Abattoir.

About five worked in the Grocery, two in the Hardware, and two upstairs in the Drapery. Mary went round the houses taking orders and a man from Gateshead Co-op did the same. Members of Gateshead had a better choice of goods and a better dividend. There was a Door Club, in which Co-op members were given credit, based on the amount of dividend they had in their books and whether they were reliable payers. For doorstep milk delivery, the Co-op operated a milk token system, different colours for various types of milk. Due to falling trade the Co-op closed in 1987, the building was to see a few changes of ownership after that date.. On the night of 12th March 1992 a fire destroyed the building, a super-market was built in its place.

The National Spiritualists held meetings in the home of James Bell, at Cuthbert Street, Marley Hill, circa 1920. Meetings were then held at Wilson Bell's home at Sunniside House, Fell Close. In 1925, Harry Kindred built Elm Stret West houses and Joseph and Hannah Bell moved in to No.8. "Belmont". A Spiritualist Church made of a timber frame and corrugated sheeting, was built next to the house. In the 1930's regular meetings were held in the Church, known by some locals as the Spuggies Hall. Mrs.Mann, of High Row was a Medium. The building was licensed as a place of worship and could not be removed without proper authority. In the late 1960's the Church was subjected to damage by vandals and was eventually dismantled, sadly no photographs of the hall exist.

About 1976, Gateshead M.B. Council placed a Porta-Cabin on the site for use as a Library. This was removed in 1982 when a Mobile Trailer Library was introduced and this is parked next to "Sunhill", from Thursday to Saturday.

In the 1950's, Cuthy Bell and his wife Emma, lived at "Belmont". Cuthy was an Engine Winderman at Marley Hill Colliery and owned about a dozen houses at Sunniside and half a dozen at Belle Vue near Tanfield.

On July 25th 1934 Mr Joseph Casson of Glenrosa, Elm Street West died at his home after a heart attack at the age of 51. He was the. workmens representative for Marley Hill colliery on the Court of Referees at Gateshead and had the previous day attended a meeting of the Board of Assessors at Dunston Employment Exchange. He was for the past 16yrs check weigh man at Marley Hill and Secretary of the Miners Lodge for 18yrs. His other duties included being a County Magistrate (since 1931), Secretary for Marley Hill Labour Party, and a Labour member on Chester le Street Rural District Council. As a local Preacher he served on the Gateshead Methodist Circuit for 14yrs and was a much loved member of Sunniside Chapel.

Over the years front street Sunniside has witnessed many changes and this will no doubt continue, not always for the better.


 

In the 1940/50's a great source of entertainment was our local football matches played on the field off Sunniside front street (where Sun Hill residential flats now stand) and alternatively at Marley Hill football pitch. Of course the local lads supported their own team, 'Sunniside Imperials' pictured above.

Back Row Left to Right: Harry Heads, John Cooper, Harry Fothergill, Jack Henderson, Mervyn Nelson, Danny Tinnion, Freddy Sims, George (Geordie) Spraggon, Cliff Holt, John Berry, John Delap.

Front Row Left to Right: John Heads, Ken Williams, John Greener, unknown, Les Ging, Joe Porter, Bob Lumley, Mr Spraggon Snr.