In reminiscences about his childhood in the mid-19th century, Tynemouth historian Jack Young recalled that Middle Street was the commercial heart of the village, with 18 places of business. Front Street was mostly residential.
Middle Street was still active enough to attract Charles Tombling to set up near the corner of Cross Street, between 1906 and 1909. He was the son of Robert Tombling, of Mill House, gardener. Charles died in 1920 at 1 Algernon Terrace. Directories suggest the business came under the management of John Robert Tombling.
The photograph is dated April 1928. At that time plans were under way to extend Hotspur Street south, through Cross Street. It was presumably this event which led J.&J. Tombling to open a butcher’s at 70 Front Street, which prospered, surviving a fire in 1952.
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