Looking Back...at army blankets

High Street East Wallsend.
High Street East Wallsend.

The tram at the junction of High Street West and Station Road Wallsend began to service the area in 1902. On the corner is the Zion Methodist Church, which closed on August 2, 1903, and was soon demolished.

Outside Alexander Brook’s stationery shop is a billboard announcing War Office Scandal – Disease Laden Blankets. A search of local newspapers at Discover North Shields traced a story running from May 23 to May 27, 1903.

A huge quantity of army blankets had been returned from South Africa and sold around the country. When some boys on the training ship Cornwall came down with enteric fever, the illness was traced to their bedding. Three consignments of the blankets were sent to Newcastle, but none to Wallsend.

If you have further information, call 0191 643 5270 or email discover@northtyneside.gov.uk