Alex McGregor (1900-1974) of Swalwell had draper's shops in Swalwell, Whickham and Winlaton Mill. The Swalwell shop was next to the Highlander in Front Street and the Whickham one was in the block of shops below the park in Front Street. Alex McGregor lived in Swalwell and ran that shop, his wife ran the Winlaton Mill shop until the mid sixties when it closed. When Alex retired his son Alec took over the running of the Swalwell shop about 1966.
The Swalwell shop closed in the mid-seventies and the Whickham shop was the last to go being then run by Alec McGregor. By that time it had ceased selling draperies and concentrated on selling wool.
Alex senior was a strong Methodist and attended the church in Market Lane. He was a keen gardener while his wife was involved in the Women's Institute. Both attended Swalwell community centre.
Thanks to Stephen McLean, Alex's grandson for this information.
In the late 70's I bought safety pins and zips for punk attire. Wasn't it next to Armstrongs sweet shop?
Posted by: Anonymous at July 8, 2010 10:41 PM
My first job after leaving school in 1976 was at Whickham Mcgregors wool shop, i loved it and have happy memories of it.
Posted by: Anonymous at August 15, 2010 12:28 PM
I used to buy my stripey socks there and my mam made me buy knicker elastic from there - most embarrassing experience ever for a 9 year old!
Posted by: Anna Dawson at June 23, 2011 5:32 PM
I was born and brought up in Blaydon and my Aunty Molly and Uncle Arthur [Nicholson] lived in Swalwell, Axwell Terrace, I think. Every Saturday between 1966 - 1973ish I went to their house and we would go to all the shops in Swalwell including McGregors. Aunty Molly was the cleaner for 2 churches there and I remember polishing the wooden seats!
Posted by: Pauline Wallis [Johnson] at August 10, 2011 11:08 PM
Thanks for the memories Pauline.
Posted by: Whickham Web Wanderers at August 11, 2011 2:03 PM
When I was very young, McGregors had their shop where the telephone exchange now is. I lived in Rose Avenue and my mother would take me down to the steps at the bottom of Rose Avenue,and McGregors was just along on the right hand side. I can still envisage the shop, quite dark and full to the brim with everything a drapery shop needed. My mother was a wonderful knitter and was I would think one of the best customers that Mcgregors had, I was frequently sent to the shop for wool when it changed to wool only and was situated next to where Bairstow Eves is now.
Wonderful memories. Bairstow Eves was then a hairdressing shop.
I can see in my mind the whole of Whickham Village starting from Mordues Coal Merchant on Fellside Road past Thompsons Red Stamp Stores and further on past Lily Butlers and the Post Office to the Butchers who had an abattoir at the back of the shop. Then George Thompson newsagent and Charlie Young Butcher, George Stevens Hardware and plumbing. My aunt lived above Charlie Youngs
I could go on for ever, such happy memories.
Posted by: margaret cawthorne at December 11, 2011 4:45 PM
I was told from my uncle that Selby McGregor was involved in the ownership of Swalwell shop before my Grandfather Alec I think he was one of my Grandfathers brothers. Who was Selby McGregor I also got told by my uncle that Whickham McGregors shop closed about 1997.
Posted by: Stephen Mclean at September 12, 2012 2:50 PM
Thanks for the comment about Alex McGregor's shops.
Posted by: Whickham Web Wanderers at September 14, 2012 2:39 PM