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Ontheway down to High Level Bridge.

WE turn back the clock 60 years and step out in West Street, Gateshead.

If you'd wandered down here around the time our older image was captured in the mid-1950s, you would have just passed the famous Shephard's department store, which closed in 1980.

On the right, just out of view and near where the clock still stands, is the Town Hall.

The impressive Victorian grade-II building was built in 1870.

Originally the Town Hall provided offices for the town clerk, surveyor, rate collector and nuisance inspector.

It was also home to the town's police station, magistrates and county courts, cells, fire engine house and drill yard. Today it houses a large public hall and refreshment rooms.

The bridge spanning West Street carries trains from the Sunderland-South Shields direction past the Ochre Yards housing development (which were former loco sheds) towards the Gateshead end of the King Edward Bridge.

Carry on underneath the West Street bridge and you'll quickly reach Wellington Street and the Gateshead end of the High Level Bridge, taking you across the River Tyne to Newcastle.

Wellington Street was also the location of the town's tram terminus from 1901, when trams ran to the likes of Heworth, Dunston and Low Fell.

Further back in time, West Street was known as Back Street, and also 'the Kings Way behind the gardens'. Early in the 19th century it was described as an "airy and pleasant road".

West Street sits west of the town's main thoroughfare, High Street, of course.

High Street was on the old Great North Road, the main route for those travelling to and from Newcastle.

Long before the modern Tyne Bridge opened in 1928, to reach Newcastle you would branch off High Street, head down Bottle Bank and cross the Tyne over the Swing Bridge, or one of its ancient predecessors.

CAPTION(S):

Looking up West Street, Gateshead, 1965 (Amberley Publishing)

The same view down West Street, Gateshead, 2018

The view down West Street, Gateshead, with the Tyne Bridge and Newcastle in the background, 1950s

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 15, 2018
Words:339
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