Pictures from the Past

St Margaret's CHurch, Whitley Bay.
St Margaret's CHurch, Whitley Bay.
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THE Whitley Bay and Cullercoats United Methodist Free Church opened on July 4, 1878, and occupied a site on the corner of Whitley Road and Margaret Road.

The church formerly held services at a cottage, No. 12 Simpson Street, which had been acquired for £205.

The first minister of the new church was the Rev J Stuttard.

In 1903 a fire destroyed this building and after some debate whether to move to Monkseaton or rebuild, a new church was built in 1905.

The photograph shows this new building round about this time.

In 1920 a memorial window was unveiled to commemorate the fallen of the First World War and in 1921 an oaken tablet was commissioned to commemorate the safe return of parishioners from the war.

The interior of the church was spacious and was laid out in a modern style with ‘tip up’ seats, which some people likened to cinema seats, and sometimes the building was facetiously referred to as St Odeon’s.

With the Methodist Union of the various ‘Free’ churches, in 1932 it was decided to change the name to St Margaret’s.

There were a number of social activities sponsored by the church, including the Camp Fire Girls, the Junior Missionaries, and a dramatic society called the St Margaret’s Players, which put on such plays as The Housemaster and The Wishing Well.

During the Second World War, the premises were requisitioned by the military, but services still continued. It was demolished in 1989.

If anyone has any further information please contact Local Studies at North Shields Library on (0191) 643 5270 or e-mail