Ho! ho! ho!

Xmas shops
Sat. 9th Dec., 2000

The Newcastle Christmas shopping spree has been in full swing for a couple of weeks. Here the families in Northumberland Street take in the spectacle of Fenwick's window display.

Every year this display is a magnet for young and old alike, with its festive mannequins and animated displays. This year the theme is Christmas dogs, suggesting but carefully not treading too close to the copyright of the festive Disney film, "102 Dalmations."

The throng fills the spaces in Northumberland Street. The city is gearing up for the New Year celebrations too.

This year will be the beginning of the new Millennium, 2001 is the start of the new century; don't forget, there was never a year zero, therefore all centuries begin with year one!

Visit the official site for a taste of the fun to come.

Notice "The Xmas Box". Several temporary seasonal shops have sprung up to cash in on the festive spending spree.

A troupe of carol singers battled against the city roar to bring some seasonal songs and religious awareness to the masses.

Their efforts were in vain, however, the lure of the commercial heart of the city was stronger than the songs, despite the trumpet and the clarion voices.

This little group came from Jesmond Parish Church, home of the most right wing homophobic bigoted group of Bible bashers in the north. Their leader is renowned for spouting the most reactionary tosh, attempting to impose some unrealistic sexually repressed rubbish on society in the name of Christianity. He does the case of Christ no favours, but provides a haven for intolerant, self righteous pompous people.

This is the covered market built by Richard Grainger in 1835 when he built over the older flesh and green markets in what is now Grey Street. It consists of a series of arched glazed sections in a gigantic square. The stalls are set out as permanent shops and the place is secure when out of hours.

It suffered a disastrous fire three years ago. It was alleged by some that it was started deliberately by a trader who was in financial difficulties. This was never proved in court, but the individual concerned fled the country on the night of the fire.

Below is a branch of Marks and Spencer, in the style of its original stall.

Tempting fare is here in abundance. It is possible to do most of your grocery shopping here, have a snack, grab some electrical stuff, a few records, a bundle of books and still have things to look for at the Grainger Market. It is a friendly place under cover, and provides a convenient link for pedestrians crossing the city centre.

Photograph copyright Turner's Photography

This 1976 aerial view shows the Eldon Square development, with Old Eldon Square in the centre. That cylindrical building at the top is a car park beside Haymarket Bus Station, just out of shot.

Gallowgate Roundabout is half way down on the left, Blackett Street runs left to right, Fenwick's Department store is next to the right hand side of Old Eldon Square and is in two sections, one on Blackett Street, and the larger section is the slanting bit above and to the right.

The road coming up obliquely from the bottom is Clayton Street, and the building to its right is the Grainger Market. Clayton Street used to extend to Blackett Street before the new Eldon Square Shopping complex was built,

Another shot of the Grainger Market. looking along one of the long north-south aisles.

There is still a preponderance of meat stalls in this market, reflecting the original relocation of the Flesh Market from its original location near the foot of what is now Grey Street.

This relocation was an opportunity to improve the hygiene of the meat market, a subject of some concern earlier.

Cross aisles link the main north-south passageways to form a rectangular grid pattern.

Stop for a cup of tea or coffee and a snack at one of the catering stalls. This is Sarah's Tuck Shop, and is popular with footsore shoppers.

Look carefully for the photographer!

Click here to see high quality album copies of these and other photographs from the same shoot

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