THERE is loads to catch up on from the Bishop Auckland selection of photographs printed a fortnight ago in The Northern Echo.

The Northern Echo:

Firstly, lots of people pointed out the pupils purporting to be from Bishop Barrington School in March 1982 were actually wearing old style King James I school badges and so obviously came from there.

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The Northern Echo:

Secondly, Gregory’s butchers – established in 1850 – in Newgate Street still exists but is half of the premises that we pictured, with Subway next door. In recent decades, Gregory’s has been a bakery and delicatessen, but Peter Gallagher of Norton remembered it as “an old fashioned butchers with meat hanging from the ceiling and sawdust on the floor – you could smell the sawdust when you walked in”.

Several people mentioned the tiles in Gregory’s, installed in 1895, and decorated with scenes of cattle and pigs happily grazing and rooting.

The Northern Echo:

Thirdly, TV dealer Mr Pederson apparently had a penchant for putting eye-catching posters in his Newgate Street shop window. Our 1981 picture showed a notice saying that he had wired the window with 15,000 volts, and would film “intruders dead or alive” on his video recorders. Another notice once threatened to use the window to name and shame those people who owed him money.

The Northern Echo:

Fourthly, the pictures of McIntyre’s boot and shoe shop in Newgate Street prompted Raymond Clarkson to say: “There was a leather workshop next to The Three Tuns pub, where Boots the chemist is now. When you walked past, you could see the cobblers working at their benches and l believe this was Mcintyre’s workshop.”

The Northern Echo:

Fifthly, we pictured the Market Filling Station when it was boarded up in 1982. It was in North Bondgate, near the top of Wear Chare, next to the Post Chaise Hotel, which still stands, and the Angel Inn, which doesn’t. The run of buildings to the top of Wear Chare, including the Angel, were demolished and replaced with a nightclub, which most recently was called Monaco.

“The filling station is now the JobCentre next to the nightclub,” said Ian Johnson, of High Shincliffe. “I believe it was where United Automobile Services started out.”

The Northern Echo:

And sixthly, we had a picture of Clarendon Motors in 1986 in North Bondgate. “Clarendon Motors started in Newgate Street behind the Clarendon Hotel, which had bow windows on its front and stables out the back, but has now been replaced with shops and offices,” said John Biggs in High Etherley.

The 1986 picture showed Clarendon Motors in North Bondgate squatting on a site that had obviously been cleared of a much more substantial building.

The Northern Echo: DOUBLE-DOORER: The North Bondgate Wesleyan Methodist chapel, Bishop Auckland. Picture courtesy of Tom Hutchinson

The North Bondgate Wesleyan Methodist chapel, Bishop Auckland. Picture courtesy of Tom Hutchinson

Loads of people knew it was an impressive-looking double-doored Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, which Tom Hutchinson has a picture of in his book, Bishop Auckland Past and Present. The Wesleyans had occupied this site since 1804 and built their big chapel there – large enough to hold 750 worshippers – in 1866. It still wasn’t big enough, and in 1914 the Methodists built a larger church on Newgate Street. This church is now the Four Clocks community centre.

This left the Bondgate chapel empty. We think it became an Elim church before being demolished and Clarendon moved onto its site. Today, there’s a hand car wash there.

Many thanks to everyone who got in touch about Bishop Auckland, with a special mention for Martin J Wood and Vera Barber.

MUCH of all this was known to Peter Panicca, of Catterick Village. “I was born at 45 Market Place in 1947, which was next to the Queen’s Head pub – our house was demolished in the early 1950s to extend the pub car park,” he said.

“My parents were Italian and came to England around 1920. They lived in South Shields and Stockton before settling in Bishop Auckland, and my father built an ice-cream factory down Durham Chare opposite Ferens Mill. It was next to the Barrington school’s cookery and woodwork classrooms.

“My sisters went out with ice cream vans, and later dad sold the factory to Frank Trapani, who was known as Frank Di Palma.”