Saville Stores destroyed by fire

Saville Stores, Camden Street, North Shields (from 1976-86).
Saville Stores, Camden Street, North Shields (from 1976-86).

Camden Fisheries and Cresta Club were on either side of the North Shields Co-operative Society Ltd head office building at No. 8 Camden Street, while it was occupied by Saville Stores.

The original Co-operative was established in North Shields in 1860.

The new frontage of the Camden Street headquarters was added in March 1931 and was home to grocery and butchery departments, furnishings and hardware store selling paint and wallpaper.

The first self-service Co-op store was in Bedford Street and opened in August 1949.

Saville Stores were manufacturers and wholesalers of camping equipment – listed as Saville Surplus Stores at 64 Saville Street in the 1970 Trade Directory – they also sold tools and work-wear.

Their Howard Street premises was destroyed by fire in 1976 and they moved into the old Co-op, where Manager Ziggy’s 25 staff redecorated and set up the building within three weeks, to open again in Camden Street after 15 years of trading.

He was born Zigmunt Edward Kurek in Poland on July 24, 1922.

He fled during the Nazi regime of the Second World War and came to the north east.

He married local girl Sheila Ellis Merelie in 1949 and by the 1970s they lived in Percy Gardens in Tynemouth.

Mr Kurek was instrumental in setting up regional caravan and camping exhibitions, and the annual one is advertised in the windows.

Saville Stores closed in November 1986 when Mr Kurek went into voluntary liquidation.

He died aged 69 in December 1991 and his wife died in July 2004.

If anyone has further information please ask for Discover at North Shields Customer First Centre on (0191) 643 5270 or email