Tomatos That I Grow

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Gardeners Delght seedlngs sown on the 23-02-18 seed bought from Wilkos

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Image of the aluminium greenhouse where I grow my tomato’s the greenhouse is very old and I have been using it for about fifteen years

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I was preparing the tomato’s for the coming season and you can see I have got about half of the greenhouse planted out the seedling are in the background amongst the chaos I have created

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The tomato’s in this image have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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Notice the grape vine growing on the right hand side

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Close up of the tomato’s which have been planted in their grow pots for about two weeks

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The tomato variety shown in this image are my favourite Gardeners Delight which to grow very well and are not suspetable to many growing problems or diseases

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The tomatos look happy enough and seem to be growing well in their grow pots I always use grow bags as the base component for gowing them in

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Notice the grape vine which is a strawbery tasting type in the back ground its looking really healthy and the main thing it tastes great and there are no pips

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It normally takes about a week to get all the tomato plants into their grow pots and the other containers I use

The Blue Bell Hendon

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Notice the new houses on the right of the Blue Bell these where built in the 1970s and are privately owned

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The roof of The Blue Bell was once a beautiful tiled structure but over many years of neglect sadly it is now nothing like it was in its hey day notice the attic window and the chimney pots and the TV mast

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The Blue Bell was situated in Zion Street Hendon Sunderland which was a street in the Jewish quarter of Hendon

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The Blue Bell looks very sad in its derelict condition and was pulled down shortly after I took these images

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My white Berlingo van can be seen on the left of the image

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Holy Trinity church can be seen in the background the church was opened in 1719 for the growing population of Sunderland as the ship building industry grew

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The attic window of The Blue Bell I wonder what history it can tell us about the pub

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Close up of the Blue Bells attic window now sadly looking very delapitdated after the pub closed shortly after the Blue Bell was pulled down and made into a car park

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Notice the broken windows the drain pipes and the Sky antenna on the wall

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Close up of the broken windows and the drain pipes and the size of the bricks these were the old style a lot smaller than the ones used for building these days

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This was the main door of The Blue Bell the windows are now sadly boarded up with chip board

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Grass and weeds are now growing freely around The Blue Bells main door and on the pavement

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The licence sign of The Blue Bell sadly now looking rather tired and old

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The front of The Blue Bell you can see Holy Trinity Church clock tower on the right of the image

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Notice the broken windows and the curtains hanging out they look vey old

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There is even an original Sky mast next to the drain pipe

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Me and my father Billy Bell often had a drink in The Blue Bell on an afternoon

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The windows of the attic and the first floor are all broken now and the pub now looks a shadow of its former self

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The Zion Street sign looks tattered and weary now is as if to say I have had enough

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In this image you can see nearly all of the boarded up front of The Blue Bell

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The chimney and the attic window can be seen clearly in this image and notice the seagull perched on the attic window

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This image shows The Blue Bells rear extension in Moor Street not quite sure what the function of the extension was but it has been suggested that it could have been the pubs kitchen

Asparagus That I Grow

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This image is of an asparagus plantlet called Sweet Purple I purchased about a dozen of these plantlets of a guy called Keith Wheeler in May 2018
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The roots of the asparagus plantlets can be seen just before I repotted them into larger plant pots

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I use different size pots when transplanting the asparagus seedlings and always mix perlite with the compost I use for transplanting the asparagus

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These images of are of asparagus UC 157 F2 the one of the most popular varieties grown in the world and was developed in the early eighties

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A view of the asparagus plantlets ferns they are looking very healthy and green all these plantlets were grown from seed in my unheated conservatory

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More images of the asparagus plantlets after they had been repotted by me in the conservatory on the allotment

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Image of the ferns of asparagus Sweet Purple planlets which are about seven months old I grew the plantlets from seed in my unheated conservatory

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Monday, 19 August 2019
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Gray Road Hendon

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This image is of the front room of 33 Gray Road in the image you can see a photograph of my late mam and dad celebrating their wedding anniversary also an image of my oldest daughter Lisa

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The fire side in the front room of 33 Gray Road when we were children this was a coal fire but in my mam and dads later life was replaced by an electric fire

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The famous green phone which all of my family hated but my dad loved

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The bay window was a typical type used in the mid seventies on property in Hendon and Sunderland

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Billy Bell my father better known as Hendons historian because of his slide shows and his knowledge of Hendon and Sunderlands history

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David Bell outside 33 Gray Road visiting his father Billy Bell at 33 Gray Road this was just after my Mam had died

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Notice my Berlingo van parked on Gray Road the new buildings on the left was once an old vicarage

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These houses were buitl in the late eighties and were typical of the houses built in Hendon and Sunderland at that time they where well built and looked good

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Image show the repairing of the gable end of the house after wind damage on a house in Gray Road Hendon

The Sportsmans Arms

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The Sportsman’s Arms now Known as the Scullery

The Sportsman’s Arms closed on the 05-02-2010 when it closed it was left empty for a few years until a plumbing business opened up a showroom and office in the premises the company owners decided as they were not using all of the building so decided to rent out the old lounge at the rear of the pub

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The Sportsmans Arms Silksworth was once one of the most important buildings in Silksworth

Images taken by Dave Bell

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I took these images from the bottom of High Newport Allotments in May 2010 when the Sportsman’s Arms sadly closed and ended one of the last places that was used and built for the miners and their families of Silksworth very little remains of the miners heritage in Silksworth nowadays

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The once proud sign of the Sportsman’s Arms now looks tired and weary

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Notice the boarded up windows and The Sportsmans Arms sign still swinging as if everything was ok image taken on a wet and windy very cold day

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Close up of the sign on the rear wall of The Sportsmans Arms which closed in May 2010 because of lost revenue caused by very few local people using the public house

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The Sportsmans Arms puplic house built for the miners of Silksworth in 1871 as Silksworth Colliery grew new houses were built for the miners and their families and not forgetting why The Sportsmans Arms built for the miners when they had finished their shifts and to socialise when not working

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Silksworth Colliery shaft was sunk in 1869 In 1871, according to the Census there were approx 800 people living in the Silksworth and Tunstall areas, the local area was mainly farmland and where most people worked on the land.

The Co Op store Sunderland

  • Category: Sunderland
  • Published: Tuesday, 13 August 2019 20:52
  • Written by Administrator
  • Hits: 88

 SUNDERLAND CO-OPERATIVE STORE and its history

Although the Sunderland Equitable Industrial Society no longer exists in the city there is still a generation of Wearsiders who can still recite their divi number from a business that was known locally as 'the Co-op' or 'the store.'

The Society began as a grocer and provision dealership on 17th March 1860 in rented premises at 75 High Street West employing a staff of three, one of whom was a delivery boy. Members were to be given a refund on their purchases in the form of a dividend which could be collected from the store. Trade on that first day amounted to only 19/6d but this quickly improved and sales from the first quarter of the year totalled £929.

   In 1862 the Society purchased property in Matlock Street and introduced hosiery, footwear and 'the thousand and one wee fancy things which make ladies and children look so attractive.' It was growing into a department store.

   One of the main priorities of the Society was the education and welfare of its members and written into its rules was the use of two and a half percent of its net surplus to fund education. A library was established in 1865 and a stock of over 2000 books was quickly built up. This continued to the extent that by the end of the century the Sunderland members had access to over 8000 books and a reading room which provided 26 daily newspapers and magazines.

   Prosperity continued and,by 1880, the dividend was 1/9d in the £ from annual sales of £54,298. In 1887 spacious new premises were opened in Green Street and by 1890 the sales had reached £137,000 with the divi being increased to 2/2d. The store organised a gala in 1896 with over 10,000 people attending with the events including a horse procession, sports and a band contest.

   At the turn of the century the Society began building houses for members to rent and purchase, the mortgage being provided by the business for a number of properties being built in the Roker area. It was at that time that competition from the neighbouring Ryhope & Silksworth Co-op began to have an effect - the problem being that the divi from that Co-op was three times that of Sunderland, 4/- compared to 1/4d.

   However, by 1920 the expansion of the Society continued and in addition to the central premises in Green Street there were 21 branches in Sunderland and one in South Hylton covering food retail and a wide range of non-food departments. It was also involved in building, baking, upholstery, tailoring, footwear, hosiery, dressmaking and millinery. In 1922 a new branch was opened in Stockton Road bringing the total to 22. Wallpaper and paints as well as coal distribution were introduced shortly aftewards.

  Although the improvement continued through the 1930s, the Depression affected the store and falling sales began to cause problems. In 1935 the sales were actually lower than they had been in 1895. The Society managed to come through that period with only one branch having to close and, by 1940, it had opened a dairy and the divi rate had at last become comparable with that of the Ryhope & Silksworth Co-op.

   However, by 1950, the overall financial situation had deteriorated to the extent that The Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) assumed control with a local advisory committee remaining in place. Recovery was gradual and by 1960 sales were £1.5m with the divi being 1/1d in the £. During this period funeral furnishing and a chemist department opened but the Stockton Road grocery store closed. At this time a site which had been purchased in High Street West was developed and the main trading departments transferred there from Green Street. However, sales fell and in 1965 they were only £1.2m with a dividend of 2d in the £. In an attempt to address this, an aggressive sales policy was introduced with many foodstuffs being sold below cost price in order to attract customers into the store. These were only possible on the basis of having no delivery, no credit and the non-payment of divi on purchases. Price reductions on non-food items were also introduced.

  The decline continued and, by 1967, nine branches had closed. The impact upon its neighbour, Ryhope & Silksworth, led in November of that year to the merging of both Societies. The combined stores faced aggressive competition and this led in July 1970 to the transfer of the Society to The North Eastern Co-op. Even this could not arrest the decline and eventually the store closed its doors for the last time and Argos moved into the premises.

   Many people of Sunderland will have happy memories of their 'store' but how many can actually recall their old divi number and the days when they struggled up the stairs in the Green Street offices to receive it.

         The Co-op Store offices in Green Street look at thos old fantastic cars


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