The last day of Binns in Hartlepool - and look how the staff went out in style

Binns staff gathered for one last photocall in 1992.
Binns staff gathered for one last photocall in 1992.

It was a sad day when Binns left Hartlepool but these staff ended on a high note.

Back in 1992, staff held a fancy dress farewell party to say goodbye to an era. Binns was to leave town for good but not without the staff having a blast at a party in the Staincliffe Hotel in Seaton Carew.

Hartlepool Binns was the first store I managed and I couldn’t have wished for a better staff. It wasn’t the House of Fraser that made the store what it was, or the fine building. It was the people who worked in it

Keith Montgomery

King Henry VIII danced with Marie Antoinette and Gipsy Rose Lee - alias Binns canteen worker Nancy Sanderson - read palms in return for silver which was donated to Alice House Hospice. An impressive £40 was raised.

Our story at the time said: “The Staincliffe Hotel resembled a film set as staff from Binns gathered to enjoy a final get-together.”

We asked if you remembered it when we posted a photograph on a social media.

The post reached more than 11,000 of you and plenty of you had something to say in recollection.

Lindsey Jessop said: “OMG yeah that was the end of Binns staff do at the Staincliffe.”

Janet Ann Mellen remembered working with colleague Jean Harmond, pictured back row on the right., and said: “I worked with her in the late sixties, on the linen dept. Lovely photo.”

Debbie Meadley, Karen Ward, Janny Mincher, Chantal Heron, Laura Phillips, Deb O’Connor, David Llewellyn and Kelsey Beddow all contributed to the thread.

So did JulienIan McNeil who said: “Omg remember this well. Happy days.”

Our story at the time said: “Anyone not in fancy dress looked decidedly out of place among the colourful costumes which were made to measure by the store’s window dressers.

“Henry Viii danced with Marie Antoinette while a peapod and a toadstool could be seen in animated conversation with a palm tree in the corner.”

Few of the staff had other jobs to go to and store manager Keith Montgomery said he was sad to see the store closing down. He said he hoped the staff would not lose touch with one another.

Did you keep in touch and what are your memories of working at Binns? We would love to hear more.

Binns closed in 1992 after a history of trading in Hartlepool for more than 60 years.

Among those who liked our social media post were Jean Liddle, Angela Stuart, Maggie Huntley, Pauline Willingham, Elizabeth Brown Collins, Ailsa Elbro Nelder, Shirley Donoghue, and Lyn Grzinic.

So did Joanne Harvey, Brenda Farmer, Debbie Kilby, Dotty Craigs, Mavis Davison, Janet Mann, Rebecca Davison and Adele Wilkinson.

We thank everyone who got involved. To share more of your Hartlepool memories, email