The store with the best Santa in Hartlepool - unless you know better

A view from the roof of the old Hartlepool College of Further Education building showing the Central Co-op store at the junction of Stockton Street and Park Road back in 1974.
A view from the roof of the old Hartlepool College of Further Education building showing the Central Co-op store at the junction of Stockton Street and Park Road back in 1974.
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What a collective set of memories you all have!

We asked you to cast your minds back to the days when an imposing Park Road building was the Co-op Central Stores and 16,000 of you saw the post.

The photograph which got such a huge response on social media.

The photograph which got such a huge response on social media.

For Julie Turnbull Wilson, the best memory was “going to see santa there as a little girl.”

Julie Morgan told us: “Loved the children’s shoe department train” and others remembered the same thing. Lisa Kerridge said: “Remember getting shoes there, they had a big wooden train you could play in while you waited .”

Elizabeth Stevenson “always got a carton of milk out of the machine in the entrance way” while June Hansen said: “Remember going with my mum.”

For Sheena Smurthwaite, the best memory was just walking round. “It was massive, loads of different departments x”.

Bst Santa I’ve ever seen worked in the Co-op toy department, took my kids there year after year

Steve Gibbon

Ann Duncan said: “Loved going shopping there x” while Elizabeth Barnett remembers a special family moment. “My dad bought me a silver cross pram\pushchair in 1982 for my 1st daughter.”

Thank you to Iain Davison who said: “My dad worked there,” while Linda Butterfield recalled: “I had a Christmas job in the toy department, was still at school, loved it x”

Kathy Jones loved “going in the lift up to the cafe” while Jean Sanderson told us she worked there from 1969 to 1970 in the cosmetics section.”

Therese Allen described it as “One of the best shops in the town. You could get just about anything you wanted there!”

Jean Walsh recalled: “Got my high school uniform there” while Sandra Readman said: “I bought my pram for my first baby here on installments. Loved this shop.”

Steve Gibbon got all festive and told us: “Best Santa I’ve ever seen worked in the Co-op toy department, took my kids there year after year.” Margo Fairless said: “Love that shop. Home made scones beautiful xxx.”

For Maria Price, her family members worked there. “My Aunt, Jenny Wilkinson worked in the furniture department and my mam had her lunch every day in the restaurant during the 1950’s.”

Pamela Gouldburn said: “My uncle was the manager in the butchers shop” while Joan Graham said: “I actually managed the food hall there.”

We finish with Christine Paul who said: “Used to choose the kids xmas presents put them away in their store room and pay weekly for a year. When xmas came the kids had boxes of toys to open without the hardship. Yup happy days!”

In 1988 the store was put up for sale and by 1996 it was operating as a nightclub before becoming an apartment and business block.