Department Stores

see also Shops

Title:  1-25 High Street, Gateshead, c1925
Photographer:  Unknown
Date:  C1925
iSee Gateshead Old Pictures Ref:   GL004047
Item Description:  This photograph shows the foot of Gateshead High Street just after the junction with Hills Street. In the foreground the tram lines are just visible as the curve round from the High Street to the tram terminus on Hills Street. On the right, looking at the photograph, is Snowball's Department Store. Snowball's opened in 1850. The premises occupied numbers 15-21 High Street and by the standards of the day were enormous, extending 400 feet back to Oakwellgate. The shop was founded by William Snowball and was very successful. By 1889 it employed over 200 people. It was one of the most prominent shops on the High Street and offered a range of household goods and furnishings.

Title:  15-29 High Street, Gateshead, c1925
Photographer:  Ruddock, E.
Date:  June, 1925
Reference Number:  GL003907
Item Description:  Showing premises of Snowballs Department Store and W. Younghusband.

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Title:  A Carnival at Shephard's Department Store, 1927
Photographer:  Unknown
Date:  1927
iSee Gateshead Old Pictures Ref:  SNO00083
Item Description:  Shephards boot and shoe shop moved to Ellison street in 1908. It was founded by Emerson Shephard and was originally situated in a house on Swinburne Street. By 1924 it had expanded to include 10 branches selling a variety of household goods and was one of the most popular stores. In 1934, an extension was added to the Ellison Street store which gave 3 floors and 30 departments.
18 Jan 1946 saw one of the worst fires on Tyneside which destroyed the shop. Shephards moved to Snowballs old Kent House premises returning back to their newly built store in 1949. In 1980, the store closed as Shephards & re-opened as Shopping City. It finally closed in 1986 after which it was demolished & Tesco’s car park was built on the site.


Title:  Birtley Branch of E. Shephard's Shoe Shop
Photographer:  Unknown
Date:  Unknown
Reference Number:  SNO00081
Shephard's Shoe shop at Birtley was one of a chain of several stores throughout the North East of England owned by Emerson Shephard. Shephard began in his business in Gateshead opening a small shop in Swinburne Street in 1906 and later transferred to West Street. In 1908 Shephard opened his first branch in Dunston and a year later opened a second in Whitley Bay.
Between 1909 and 1924 Shephard opened further stores in Ashington, on The Felling High Street, Coatsworth Road, Birtley and Hebburn. In 1934 the final extension was added to the headquarters in West Street and Ellison Street which gave the store a total floor area of approximately 100,000 sq ft.

The Shephards  fire in January 1946.
"After their store in Ellison Street burned down, Shepherd’s department store moved to Kent House next to St. Mary’s Church, which are now occupied, respectively, by Metro Radio and the Tourist Information Board. Shepherd’s sold food as well as the usual range of clothing and furniture, etc, normally associated with department stores. One amusing tale from the War years concerned a trip there to buy my brother, Dennis, a reefer coat. Cousin Davy, who would have been seven or eight years old at the time, was with us. He, too, walked out of the shop wearing a new reefer coat but, as Mother was walking ahead with us kids trailing behind her, it was only when we got back home that she realised what Davy had done. Her inclination was to return the unpaid for coat back to the shop but Dad, who was home on leave, said: “Poor little b****r, let him have the coat”..."  Mrs. Margaret Kelly (nee McGowan)

Shephards rebuilt. This is it in 1980. Proud of their name, being the biggest and the best store here on the front they say their name three times as well as 13 S's. But oh dear Emerson, look at the sign our friends from the North see when they cross the Tyne Bridge

Title:  Bottom end of High Street, Gateshead
Photographer:  Unknown
Date:  Date Unknown
  iSee Gateshead Old Pictures Ref: LS000120
  "Bottom of High Street"
How very odd. The sign says SHEPHARBS when it was SHEPHARDS after owner Emerson Shephard

Title:  214-218; 224-230 High Street, Gateshead, 1962
Photographer:  Unknown
Date:  December 1962
Reference Number:  GL004128
Littlewoods, City Lino Stores


Title:  241-251 High Street, Gateshead, c1904
Photographer:  Unknown
Date:  C1904
Reference Number:  GL003905
A. H. Higginbottom & Co
Park House A H Higginbottom 253 High Street

On Tyne Bridge looking South at Gateshead

         Department Stores brought to you by

                 The Felling Heritage Group