Itchy powder, fake chewing gum and pepper sweets – your Seaton Magic Shop memories

Doreen Atkinson shared this wonderful photograph of the inside of the shop, with her great niece Amy Cronin also pictured.
Doreen Atkinson shared this wonderful photograph of the inside of the shop, with her great niece Amy Cronin also pictured.

We certainly raised a giggle when we shared memories of a much-loved Hartlepool shop.

Twenty thousand of you took an interest in our recent reminder of the magic shop which started out at Seaton Carew and later moved to Church Square.

Doreen Atkinson with her uncle Philip Senior outside the shop.

Doreen Atkinson with her uncle Philip Senior outside the shop.

But what did you remember about it? It seems you all loved to buy itching powder, smoking cigarettes, pretend chewing gum, and sweets which had all manner of effect on the person eating them.

Julie Slaughter Walker remembered the blood capsules and “the fake chewing gum packets that nearly take the end of your finger off like a mouse trap.”

Elizabeth Corrigan reminded us of ‘buying sweets that made your teeth and mouth go blue. Sugar cubes when dissolved had a plastic spider inside. The little boxes that you put the shilling in one side, open the other it had dissapeared.”

Andy Nicholson said: “Loved this shop, the stink bombs were brilliant! As were the smoke bombs.”

Blue hard boiled joke sweets. Tasted OK but turned ya mouth blue for the rest of the day

Anthony Matthews

Gayle Audrey Williams said: “My dad bought me a matchbox with a hole in the bottom so when you opened it it looked like there was a finger in the box. I loved it.!!”

Gayle said she went in there every Sunday.

Lisa Burnett ‘loved the itchy powder’ and Alan Turner ‘used to by a few joke script books’.

We are indebted to Bob Alder who said the shop was also known as “Macs Magic. it was painted on the roof tiles of the shop.”

And to Mark Goodman who said: “My grandparents, Alan and Margo Goodman owned this shop years ago. I remember my granddad’s garage being full of old tricks and toys that he used to sell in the shop.”

Back to the tricks and Karen Foster said: “Loved the smoking cigarettes and the plastic poo.”

Malcolm Laking “loved that shop” and added: “still tell my son every time we go to Seaton how much fun we had. Great memories.”

Anthony Matthews reflected: “Blue hard boiled joke sweets. Tasted OK but turned ya mouth blue for the rest of the day. And Whoopi cushions. Good memories.”

The nostalgic story first made our Memory Lane pages earlier this month when we spoke to Doreen Atkinson who ran the shop, and moved it from its old home at Seaton Carew to Church Square in 1993.

Doreen re-lived the days when stink bombs, exploding cigarettes and hot sweets were all the rage.

Hartlepool Mail reporter Mark Payne was another who remembered the shop and said: “I used to go regularly as a child in the late 80s early 90s.

I was into magic and remember buying the classic trick the magic linking rings and one where a piece of rope turns into a handkerchief.

“I remember there was a 20p coin which was stuck on the underside of the glass counter that always caught people out who thought it was on top and tried to pick it up.”

To share your own recollections, email chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk