Pictures from the Past

North Shields Town Hall.
North Shields Town Hall.

THIS imposing building diagonally opposite the temporary library now houses the Saville Exchange restaurant and function rooms, but was once the hub of North Shields.

On March 6, 1906, J H Beagle, of South Shields, was sent birthday greetings in the form of this colour postcard of the Municipal Buildings.

A similar view was sent on April 18, 1908, to Mr and Mrs William Joel, of Westmorland, from Reggie Joel, to congratulate them on their diamond wedding.

In 1848, farmer William Joel married Ruth Jackson in East Ward, Westmorland, and went on to have seven children.

The 1841 census shows Ruth Jackson before her marriage, with her parents William and Agnes, as one of ten children.

Later census returns on Ancestry website show the couple as their family increases until in 1901 and 1911 they are on their own in the house in Westmorland.

Both cards were posted in North Shields, possibly at the post office further along Saville Street.

The 1901 Trade Directory shows Saville Street with Guardians’ Hall and offices, registrar of births, deaths and marriages and the register office for marriages, the rural district council meeting rooms, chamber of commerce and the town hall, police station and courts.

Howard Street was home to the borough engineer, school board, borough accountant and district rates office next to the Methodist United Free Church bearing the date 1856.

In 1930 an electrical showroom was opened on the corner of Howard and Saville streets – now occupied by Hadrian Estates letting agency.

If anyone has further information please ask for Local Studies in North Shields Library on (0191) 643 5270 or e-mail