This picture shows the former Guardian’s Hall and Town Hall situated on the corner of Howard Street and Saville Street, North Shields.
The Tynemouth Poor Law Union commissioned the building of the Guardian’s Hall to renowned local architects John and Benjamin Green in 1837.
On Friday, July 19, 1844 a meeting was called at the Guardian’s Hall for the ratepayers of North Shields to discuss plans for the construction of a town hall and police station in the locale.
John Dobson designed the proposed building in 1844-45 and it was constructed in two separate parts that enclosed the original Guardian’s Hall.
By 1849 the complex was home to the Town Improvement Commissioner’s Office, Savings Bank, Mechanic’s Institute, Museum, and police station.
The building was updated and refurbished on a number of occasions throughout the 19th century and it was reported in the Shields Daily News of October 11, 1894, that extensive alterations and additions had taken over 12 months to complete.
In 1904 the Guardian’s Hall section of the building was put up for sale and purchased by Mr Charles Cockburn, despite council interest.
In the early 20th century the ground floor corner plot was utilised for commercial lettings with the Corporation Electricity showroom, in the above picture, in situ by 1930.
The building was restored following the Second World War with the town clerk’s office located on the first floor.
North Shields Town Hall remained on this site until the Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside in 1974.
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