Fenwick’s at 140: Souvenirs from shoppers of Newcastle’s iconic department store

Fenwick’s celebrated its 140th anniversary this week.

Opened on March 23, 1882 on Northumberland Street in Newcastle, this iconic department store is now the most prestigious shopping attraction in the North East.

Readers of the Chronicle’s Facebook page shared their memories of Fenwick. Here is a selection:

READ MORE: Fenwick’s at 140 – 20 photographs over the years

MILLIE BALL: Six generations of my family visited the Terrace/Tivali restaurant for our Saturday morning coffee/breakfast. Each generation has brought from childhood. Always lovely staff and best coffee in Newcastle. Happy Birthday.

Veronica McKenna: My mother was a waitress at the Terrace and French restaurants in the 1950s. I still remember visiting the store as a child to see Santa Claus and buy clothes. I loved.

JOHN SMITH: Congratulations, my favorite department store. I loved taking my kids and grandkids to the toy department and cafe for delicious cheesecakes or strawberry pies. Nowhere has done better.

Lynda Taylor: I used to cut on my way to work in the late 1960s. The ladies in the cosmetics department taught me all about makeup. Fantastic for a 15 year old.

ELAINE PLAYFAIR: The Terrace Restaurant. We went there on Saturday afternoon with friends during our shopping sprees. We loved this place, even though we were only in our early twenties.

CHERYL KNOX: This is my mother’s, mine’s and now my daughter’s (three generations) favorite shop. It contains so many happy memories. Christmas time is my favorite.

Carol Moyes: Congratulations Fenwick. I remember working in the toy department around Christmas 1977.



Customers line up for the start of the Fenwick’s sale in January 1963

HEATHER RIPPON: I remember my mother taking me to ride the rocking horse. That would be during World War II. They also had a bird that sang in a cage – of course you had to put a dime in a slot to hear it. I loved it and have always associated Fenwick’s with this wonderful treat when there was so little to enjoy during those dark days.

DAWN EDES: Loved seeing Santa Claus after looking at Christmas windows. We met an aunt there on a Thursday and went to eat a strawberry pie in the restaurant.

RICHARD EMERY: I was taken there by a work colleague for lunch. I loved the place. That was 50 years ago – and I still love it.

DOREEN COCHRAN: Beautiful building. It’s always a pleasure to shop there, but the best thing is the Christmas window display – popular with young and old even during confinement.

LYNDSEY FENWICK: Nana takes me to Littlewoods for breakfast, followed by Fenwick’s window and the toy store on the third floor. Happy memories.

JAN REA: I used to work in the downstairs bakery when I was 17. Great place to work.

ANNE HENDERSON: I love Fenwick. It’s an old fashioned department store. It hugs you like a warm hug when you walk in, and I used to go with my mom in the 1950s and meet my grandma there. Mam continued to go there twice a week to meet friends.

ALISON MULVENNA: Lots of memories, but the one that stands out is being the victim of a bomb threat when I was little. I was with my mom and we were at the basement cafe and we split up from each other which was scary. I was taken outside and I was on the shoulders of a policeman when I saw my mother being dragged out of the store by the manager because she didn’t want to leave without me. Wouldn’t go back for years, but love it again now.



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