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Springwell, Gateshead

Springwell Co-Operative Branch

Last Updated:

19 Apr 2024

Springwell, Gateshead

This is a

Co-Operative, Shop

54.921019, -1.554767

Founded in 

1913

Current status is

Extant

Designer (if known):

Percy Lindsay Browne

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Still used as commercial units

To Springwell, and its lovely Cooperative ๐Ÿ˜

Lots and lots of villages, especially those with pits, had their own. Beamish has a very similar one from Annfield Plain - a one stop shop for general goods, supplies, groceries and services at prices affordable to the local populace.

This was in fact a branch of the Windy Nook Cooperative Society, established around the 1870s. This branch was first established in 1892, though the building we see today dates from 1913. It was rebuilt and enlarged at a cost of ยฃ2950 and designed by Mr Percy Lindsay Browne of Newcastle. His specialism was cinemas, and designed the Stockton Globe and The Wallaw at Blyth. The building likely utilises stone quarried in the village, as is the case for much of the settlement.

Upon the rebuild there was 500 members of the branch. The photos show below shows it was later enlarged. It incorporated a hall, where fundraisers and events took place. In 1922, the Womens Co-Operative Guild held a fundraiser for the RVI here, and the National Democratic and Labour Party held meetings in the hall in 1919. The hall was on the first floor. There was also a drapery, shoe department, general grocers and probably a butchers here.

Nowadays an upholstery firm and construction firm lease the units downstairs.

Listing Description (if available)

Both Ordnance Survey maps here depict the Co-Operative branch opposite Red Row Quarry, where the stone for the building may have been quarried. It was the centre of the fast expanding residential terraces on the north tip of the village, and was a hub of community life. The Perseverance Arms stood next door, since closed, as well as a reading room over the road.

The area is shown a couple of decades before the above Ordnance Survey maps, in the 1890s. This is before it was rebuilt, and was sandwiched between the Perseverance Arms and the Post Office, eventually demolished for the rebuild. The Red Row Quarry was yet to be excavated, though other quarries dotted the settlement.

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The Co-operative branch in 2024

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The branch in the early 20th century. Unknown original source, but uploaded by Raggyspelk http://www.raggyspelk.co.uk/washington_pages/selections5/john_robson_journal_02.html

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Before enlargement of the branch in the 1910s. The large arch window remains as seen on the shots above. Source: Unknown original source.

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