Sunday 12 May 2013

Gateshead on the change...

Remember When: Images of a changing town - Gateshead
6 May 2013

The Town Hall clock
The Town Hall clock

These never-before-seen pictures will spark the memories of folk in Gateshead.

Photographer Steve Wood recorded the demolition of the town centre during the major redevelopment years of the 1960s and 1970s.

Saturday saw the first showing of photos taken around the Riverside, High Street and West Street areas – in a talk given by librarian John Boothroyd.

They formed part of a presentation called ‘Central Gateshead disappears’.

John is in the process of restoring hundreds of slides that were discovered almost by accident – and hopes in the future to present them in book form for the people of Gateshead to enjoy.

Central Methodist Hall, Gateshead

Senior librarian at Gateshead Libraries John said: “Steve Wood’s work is similar to that of Jimmy Forsyth’s iconic pictures of Scotswood in the 1950s.

“But whereas Jimmy took pictures of people, Steve took photographs of places.

“Plus, they’re in colour and they show a town centre in the middle of an intense period of change.”

Steve Wood was a Whickham resident who managed Turner’s photographic shop near the Central Station in Newcastle.

His work covered the transformation of the townscapes he knew both north and south of the River Tyne.

Shephards in Gateshead

As well as the planned book, John is hoping to host a major exhibition of Steve’s work in November.

The pictures here show Shephards, the vast department store which attracted generations of shoppers until the late 70s when the new Metro system’s easy access to Newcastle saw the store fall out of favour with shoppers.

The Central Bar has recently been renovated and is attracting a whole new clientele after decades of decline.

The view down towards the Tyne Bridge with the Town Hall clock remains unchanged, apart from modern shops and Gateshead Interchange on the left.

The view of Central Methodist Hall, High West Street and Regent Terrace from the Regent Court Flats is, alas, no more.

Central Hotel and Half Moon pub

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