Travel back in time by bus to a department store in Darlington

Let’s board a bus and take a trip back in time through the streets of Darlington to a department store with a strange name.

A bus advertising Baum’s department store in Darlington Market Place in 1971. Photo courtesy of Richard Barber

In Memories 562 we have featured many photographs of vintage buses with advertisements for The Northern Echo on their sides.

The 1950s and 1960s were a golden age for bus advertising and in Darlington many adverts were hand painted by Arthur Hughes of the Art Shop in Bondgate – his son, Ian, now runs the shop.

Our bus expert Richard Barber says the main bus advertisers at this time were, along with The Northern Echo, Vaux Beers, Rediffusion, Valley Street Motors, Cracknell’s, Cox & Falconers, Players Weight cigarettes, Sparks for Quality Cakes, Littlewoods, Findus Frozen Foods, Winterschladen’s for Wines, Murray’s Bread, Double Maxim, The Prudential, Risbey’s photography, Motor Delivery Austin and John Neasham for Ford, Thornley’s the pram shop of Northgate and Baum’s department store.

Most of these names are still familiar to us, but we have never encountered Baum’s before.

The Northern Echo: A Darlington Corporation Transport bus passing the Baum store in Bondgate.  Photo courtesy of Richard Barber

A Darlington Corporation Transport bus passing the Baum store in Bondgate. Photo courtesy of Richard Barber

It was originally a sports store, but obviously it has become a department store. It was on the corner of Bondgate with Commercial Street – the map shop at the entrance to the Queen Street shopping center is on its site today.

The Northern Echo: Baums sports store in Bondgate, Darlington, in 1960

Baum’s sports shop in Bondgate, Darlington, in 1960

Baum’s was on its corner throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s. Can you tell us something about that, and what about some of those other unknown advertisers: Cracknell’s quality cakes and of Sparks?

The Northern Echo: The entrance to Queen Street Shopping Center in Darlington in 1977 where Baum was located

The entrance to Queen Street Shopping Center in Darlington in 1977, where Baum was located. In this photo, his position is occupied by Radio Rentals. These are interesting circular windows