Hartlepool’s open market hit the headlines four decades ago when it was voted a total hit.
The Hartlepool Mail devoted a full page tribute to a market with the headline ‘One Year Old – Hartlepool Open Market’.
Our reporter at the time commented: “They said it wouldn’t work. The town didn’t need an open market and the crowds wouldn’t come. Traders in the shopping centre may suffer badly as a result of unfair competition ... and it might even be a drain on the rates.
“But it worked. The critics were proved wrong. The crowds poured into the small market place and subsequently into the covered market and into the shops. We were in business!”
And what a success it was with everything from fabrics to fashions and foundation wear up for grabs.
Today, we turn the clock back to look at some of those early traders, as well as some of the other outlets which were doing a roaring trade in Hartlepool at the time.
Who remembers Paul Mountain’s acrylic curtains stand?
Ready made products and well known brands were up for grabs on the stall near the gate and prices were often a third of those in the shops. It was a veritable hit and one example of the attractions at Hartlepool’s newest 1970s venue.
There was Ken’s Baby Stall, Joe’s Shirt and Tie Stall, Watson’s selection of handbags and leather goods and, for the sweet-toothed among you, Heald’s cake stall with a “large selection of cut price cakes”.
Khaliq’s Ladies Fashions had dresses from £2.95 and trousers from £3.95.
There was Rose for men’s, ladies and children’s underwear; MWC Blackford for ‘top quality fruit and vegetables’ or Andy’s for ‘A1 ladies’ knitwear’.
Who remembers Redmayne and Turner for fabrics, haberdashery and trimmings, or P&P Handbags for a fine range of cases and purses?
But the open market wasn’t the only place for a bargain in Hartlepool.
Delta Cash ‘n’ Carry in Park Road had beef dinners for 25p, plastic tablecloths for 25p, or toilet soaps for ... 25p.
Anyone remember The Chicken and Egg in York Road? You could get ten mince and onion pies for £1.20.
Grieveson’s, also in York Road, was selling girl’s pyjamas for £3.15, and on the same street, Dawson’s Furnishing had five-seat corner units up for grabs at a bargain £179.50.
Over at the Dovecot in Church Street, they were having a ‘pre-stocktaking sale’ where bunk beds were £59.95 and crying boy pictures were £3.99 each ... or you could get a bar stool with a cushioned seat for £2.75.
And at Joanne’s in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, they had the latest spring fashions including knitted three-quarter coats.
But what are your memories of the 1970s shops in Hartlepool?