Then & Now
To get bearings, look at what's the same on the skyline..the High Level Bridge, the roof top chimneys and the Castle Keep
Bottle Bank and Bridge Street, together with the north end of the High Street originally formed the main business and shopping streets of Gateshead until their demolition from the 1930s onwards. Bottle Bank took its name from the saxon word ‘botl’ meaning settlement or dwelling, although it is sometimes erroneously called ‘Battle Bank’. Behind the shops were narrow courts and alleys, such as Ruddam's Court, which housed many families in crowded tenements.
Under the Housing Act of 1930, the Council was given much greater legal power to deal with slum housing. The worst housing was around the High Street and Quayside areas of the town. Four and five storey tenements in the Pipewellgate and Hillgate areas housed muiltiple families and huddled narrowed courts provided accomodation in the High Street and Oakwellgate areas. The Housing Act meant that whole areas of housing could be demolished and between 1932 and 1935 Barn Close, Pipewellgate, Hillgate, Bridge Street, Church Street, Old Fold and many of the High Street courts were acquired by compulsory purchase order and demolished. (Manders, 1973)
Bottle Bank Pics & Info brought to you by
The Felling Heritage Group