Pictures from the Past

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THIS atmospheric photograph, taken in 1949, shows an area of the old village of Cullercoats called Back Row.

According to old title deeds, part of the land here bordered onto Sparrow Hall, formerly the home of the Dove Family, and may have been known as Arnold’s Close, or Morden’s Close.

Numbers 18 to 22 Back Row consisted of five cottages near to the cliff edge.

During the 1900s there were a number of fishermen and their families living there; some of the occupants of these buildings were John and Mary Wilson, Peter and Isabella Nicholson, John and Isabella Jefferson; James and Mary Storey, and their families.

From this group of buildings, just off Front Street and behind the old properties which consisted of Simpson’s Yard, Lisle’s Buildings and Bank Top, only Cliff House survives.

Cliff House was home to the Bainbridge Family between 1869 and 1904, one of whom, William Bainbridge was a prolific local author who gave lectures on a wide variety of topics to various organisations.

At the end of the row stood Bill Storey’s shop, and the space in the foreground was a house which was bombed during the war.

By the 1960s there were very few families living in Back Row, and electoral records for 1962 indicate that Isabella Adamson, David and Robert Turnbull, Helen and John Dodds were there at that time.

Granny Clarkson’s shop, which occupied numbers 12 and 13, may be remembered by older residents of Cullercoats.

Anyone with further information can contact Local Studies on (0191) 643 5270 or e-mail