After serving in the Northumberland Fusiliers during the First World War, Ernest Wake can be traced as a boot repairer at St Ronan’s Avenue, Monkseaton.
Between 1928 and 1930 he expanded to include premises in Cauldwell Lane, Ilfracombe Gardens, York Road and Clifton Gardens, in addition to his home in Marine Avenue. One of them was a shoe repair factory.
In 1939 he took over the hairdresser Maison Gerald at 12 Park Avenue and converted it to a leather and fancy goods shop, which he retained after selling the factory. It is seen to the right, probably before 1967.
Before Maison Gerald the shop was R.N. Stephenson, hairdresser. Previously, it was the home of A. Hope, storekeeper, who was advertising as a bootmaker before the Great War.
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