MEMORY LANE: Church Street had the lot at Christmas

OLD NEWS: The Mail back in 1964
OLD NEWS: The Mail back in 1964

IT does not matter what you want – from chocolates to chickens, from whisky to watches – Church Street shops have them.

That was the claim in the Mail 50 years ago today and, unlikely as it might seem in 2014, the proof came in the following pages.

“Paints and paintings are always acceptable gifts,” suggested the writer, and these were available from Boanson’s, at number 57, which also offered marquetry kits and painting by numbers for children and adults ranging from 3/11 (19p) to 39/6 (£1.98).

Jewellers D A Scott, at number 37, could “solve the problem of what to give your wife for Christmas” with 9 carat gold eternity rings from £4 5s (£4.25) and watches from the likes of Rolex, Accurist and Ingersoll highlighted.

Chemist John C Dyer urged “add Spice to his life” with a wide range of Old Spice toiletries, from after shave to hair tonic and gift sets from 9/3 (46p) to 59/6 (£2.97).

More ideas for men came from Arthur Warr, at number 28, including smoking jackets, cummerbunds and a wide range of shirts, including by Hardy Amies for 45 shillings (£2.25) each.

Children weren’t left out, though perhaps less advertising was directed at them. The Square Sweet Shop had Triang’s Conqueror “all action” electric train set, with “synchrosmoke – the loco puffs real smoke”, a rocket launching wagon “the rocket really fires” and exploding car “a direct hit from the rocket and up she goes”, all for 87/6 (£4.37).

Department store Blacketts boasted a big selection in its toy department plus “anything from pins and needles to three-piece suites” in other departments.

Edgar Phillips had a wide variety of electrical goods, competing with the nearby NEEB shop, and women were urged to “give your husband a gentle nudge” towards furrier Mendoza, at number 29, with stoles starting at £25.

Andrew C Watt, at number 20, offered a “smoker’s gift guide”, ranging from lighters by Ronson and Colibri, to Meerschaum pipes at 105 shillings (£5.25).

Morelands, at number 19, claimed to have the town’s largest selection of purses and wallets, as well as leather covers for the Radio Times magazine and the local telephone directory.

Forward Fashions, at 45/46, claimed a “daily delivery” of cocktail dresses and Goldfinch Wines, at number 36, would “make your party go with that extra bit of swing”.

One restaurant advertised, the Princess Garden at 54/55, whose three-course luncheon was 3/3 (16p), and Casper Edgar Travel Service, at 49, urged shoppers to give the gift of winter sunshine.

Do you have memories of Church Street shopping you would like to share with other readers? Email or write to him at Hartlepool Mail, New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX.

Also in the news in 1964:

• A HARTLEPOOL headmaster told his pupils a paid job was a “necessary evil which should be put off as long as possible”.

W Georgeson, the principal of Henry Smith Grammar School, explained at the school’s speech day: “In this time of wonderful opportunity, no boy or girl who has proved his or her worth should miss the chance of a sixth form course.”

• AN eve-of-slaughter protest was planned at Seahouses as a last-ditch attempt to save 360 Farne Islands seals, due to be culled by Ministry of Agriculture workers as they were thought to be a threat to the local fishing industry.

The protest was organised by Reg Bloom, curator of the Flamingo Park Zoo, in North Yorkshire, who had already defied a warning by the National Trust, owners of the islands, to snatch six pups to save them from the slaughter.

Between 1962 and 1983 around 2,000 adult females and 3,000 pups were shot.

• THE Mail had a two-page feature previewing Pools’ second round FA Cup clash against local rivals Darlington, with Sentinel writing: “Now is the time to get those bells and rattles out of cold storage for the game of the season.”

The “game of the season” finished in a goalless draw at the Victoria Ground at the Victoria Ground 50 years ago, with the Quakers running out convincing 4-1 winners in the replay.

Darlington then pulled out the plum draw of Arsenal at home in the third round, though the fairytale ended there in a 0-2 defeat.

• HARTLEPOOL housebuilders Cecil M Yuill were advertising new three-bedroom homes on the Fens Estate for £3,085. Elsewhere in the Mail, Peter Merritt roadtested the latest Triumph 2000, costing £1,095, and was impressed by its 0-60 time of 12 seconds and 30 miles per gallon.

• WINIFRED West, writing in Women’s World, was concerned at being banished from the kitchen as new-fangled gadgets such as washing machines, electric mixers and fridges were a male preserve.

She wrote: “I haven’t the foggiest idea how it all works.”

• BROKEN gas and water pipes, cracked walls and buckled pavements were causing concern on Peterlee’s Acre Rigg estate.

Mining subsidence was blamed and residents were issued with leaflets saying what to do in the event of a gas escape, burst water main or power cut.

But a Peterlee Development Corporation spokesman said it was difficult to make permanent repairs until the National Coal Board could confirm all ground movement in the area had ceased.