Coffee bean aromas at Binns - and other Sunderland shopping memories!

It’s shopping time in Wearside Echoes and we’re heading back into the past for our Sunderland retail experience.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 12:53 pm
Binns was a shopping favourite.

We recently asked followers on our Wearside Echoes social media page for their memories of Binns, Mothercare, Sgt Pepper’s and Hylton Road in 1976.

It got some great responses from those who remember these shopping favourites in their heyday, and here is what they had to say.

Sgt Peppers clothes shop with the Melting Pot Indian Restuarant and Greenwoods Mens Shop in the picture.

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Firstly, we wanted memories of Binns and Isabel Armstrong said: “I used to go there for my dinner,” while Lorna Webster commented: “I worked on the cosmetic department, wish Binns was still there.”

Pauline Johnson gets our thanks for some great memories.

She told us: “I absolutely loved Binns. Mam always sent me to buy her butter and cheese from one side of Binns. On the other side, I bought my Christmas gifts there and paid weekly for my first sheepskin coat.

“The smells of the perfumes was gorgeous.”

Mothercare in Sunderland.

Pauline also recalled the Binns atmosphere and said it was “fantastic”.

Thanks too to Ed Thompson who remembered ‘the tunnel leading to the sports department’ and Amanda Meade who commented: “I loved the food hall. The smell of the coffee beans was amazing. Loved going through the tunnel.

“From a child to an adult, I loved every department – there was always the same man in the lift who’d worked there for years.”

Binns store finally closed its doors in Sunderland for the last time in January 1993. What are your memories of it? Tell us more by emailing [email protected]

Another photograph showed Mothercare and once again we asked for your memories of it.

Judith Loraine said: “I don’t think there’s any babywear shops left in the town, I think Risdons was hard to beat though Mothercare is a miss.”

Ann Storey said she “bought everything at Mothercare, just loved their stuff, and even for my own grandchildren!!!”.

Thanks also to Ann Porter who commented: “Used to buy so much from there, so sad they all closed now especially where I live.”

Thirdly, we also shared a view of Sgt Pepper’s and Greenwoods in a 1981 view of Sunderland and asked: “Bring back memories?”

Amanda Meade said: “Ah I loved Sgt Peppers. It looks better then than it does now. X”

Joanandjohn Allan commented: “2 great shops. Loved the jeans from Sgt Peppers.”

Audrey Brand reminisced: “Back in the day looks so busy, and lovely shops! You cannot blame online shopping, might be for the young ones but older people want to look, try on and buy.”

Our next appeal was for memories of Hylton Road in 1976. More than 40 of you liked the post on social media and plenty of you took time to share your memories.

Jed Carty said: “I can remember Delhi Durbar, Speedy Book Service, Gardeners bookies, Post Office and greengrocers on the corner.

“I think Thomsons DIY shop was there too.”

Steven Ross said: “My parents always talk about the Delhi Durbar,” while Ann Porter commented: “I used to have a shop there next door to the Italian ice cream shop.”

Janet Teasdale spotted the old bus depot while Barry Moon remembered a newsagent called Salmons which, he said, was “just on the opposite side down a bit”.

Chris Wilson said: “I’m wondering when the furnishing place changed to Hylton Road music centre,” and Brio Brown said: “Always hit the secondhand shops for bargains when I was a kid.”

Keith Middleton commented: “Was a really busy road. Through the day you had the shops. Quite a few second hand shops then on the evening you had the Delhi durbar and also chip shops further up and take aways.

“As well as all the pubs on Hylton Road. I lived at Millfield and it was heaving in those days.”

Our thanks go to everyone who has recently shared their memories of the Sunderland shopping experience in times gone by.

Is there an aspect of Sunderland’s past you would like to recall, perhaps an old shop, store, restaurant, pub, or nightclub? Email [email protected] and tell us more.