Possibly the first occupant of 12 Saville Street West was William Graham Yeats, importer and commission agent. He had opened a fruit shop by 1875.
William emigrated to the USA in 1881 and continued as a fruit and potato merchant until his death in 1913. His body was returned for burial alongside his wife in Preston Cemetery.
The shop was acquired by John Kirkwood, who converted it to a draper’s in 1882, but he soon moved to Camden Street. By 1890, Henry Gregg had added the building to his growing grocery and cocoa room business.
This picture was taken in June, 1899. Next door was the Primitive Methodist Church, which became Woolworth’s. The café was demolished to be replaced by a larger restaurant.
If anyone has further information, please contact Discover@northtyneside.gov.uk