Finding a suitable site took some time. The railway was important as it would transport the finished goods, and a large, easily accessible piece of ground was essential. Negotiations for a site were conducted from Newcastle.

In 1896 The Ecclesiastical Commissioners agreed to lease 3.75 acres of land between Heworth and Bill Quay for 999 years at 2d per square yard ground rent. It lay conveniently between Shields Road and the North Eastern Railway, near Pelaw Junction, where the N.E.R. crossed the older Pelaw Main Waggonway. The Cooperative Society, understandably, called its works by the name handiest, Pelaw. Before the factories were built, there was nothing between Heworth village and Bill Quay but fields, the odd cottage, a stream called the Catdean Burn, bridle paths and the waggonway. Within ten years a whole new community grew around the works, using the name Pelaw.

Before the first factory could function, a workforce had to be found and trained, and skilled men came from Lancashire to start this process. There are still families in and around Pelaw today, whose grandfathers came and settled down to work for the rest of their lives in the C.W.S. works. These are some of their surnames:

Crowther; Slinger; Howard; Ducker; Slowther; Humble; Walker; Punshon; Lownes; Wiley;Dodgson; Shaw; Ford; Eckersley; Sturrock; Routledge; Smiles; Hazelby

The first factory to open was the Drugs and Drysaltery in 1902. At the same time as training went on, houses were beginning to go up across Shields Road in the former fields. Terraces in red brick one after the other straddled the ground from Heworth to Bill Quay. Fronting onto Shields Road, most were stone faced in the Heworth Quarries freestone. The bricks almost all came from William Foster’s Pelaw and Stoneygate brickyards. Indeed Foster also built many houses.
Here for Pelaw Shirt and for Printing Works

Found in the attic of the Gym, formerly Felling Co-op's premises

A reflection of the times. The Felling Co-op in 1904, bought 4 Cow Chains from this Butcher Supply Company..for just 4 bob


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