Areas covered


The layout consisted of 9 houses, then, 'Prospect House' with it's walled garden. The other 5 houses were set around a square, there was also a cottage.
The street of houses was surrounded by gardens, very pretty and pleasant, they could be seen very clearly from the main road, where the 'Potters Wheel' public house and Michael Reed's garage now stand.

Though the village has almost disappeared I still keep many happy memories of it - that which is left, is Old Sunniside Farm: at that time, occupied by the Routledges family, Jack Watson and Mary Ann - I often went 'tatie' picking for them, and remember clearly calling at their back door for a can of milk, still warm from the cow. Also the stone-built house at the end of Fell Close, was another farmstead. Polly and Wilson Bell lived there. There was a narrow path to this from Prospect House, down a slight incline.
THE HOUSES: No. 1. had 2 bedrooms and a living room. The remainder consisted of 1 living room, 1 bedroom, and long scullery (or back-end). The upstairs being reached by means of a long ladder. The scullery was used also as a pantry, where all the jobs, washing up etc; was done, all with the help of one cold water tap and a small window for light. Over the road stood 'the middens' (toilets), and a coal house. Two middens were shared by four families. Toilet paper was, newspaper cut into squares, 'The Sporting Man' was often used for this purpose.
FURNITURE: Most families had a wooden long settle and other items of furniture, sometimes a horse hair sofa. The wooden table was usually covered with oil-cloth, and meals were taken from that. When visitors came, a white starched damask cloth was used, and when the table was not in use, it was covered with an 'Old Gold' plush cloth.
FLOORS: Were flagged, covered with lino and 'Proggy or Hooky' mats
FIREPLACE: A large black iron fireplace which had a big oven. The fire had deep bars, and a large fireback, holding about 6 pailfuls of coal at a time. We used to use a long handled rake to pull the coal as it was, required. There was also a boiler at the side of the fire - where we got hot water from a brass tap. The fire stayed on all night.
BED STEADS: Were iron, with brass knobs, flock mattresses, sheets and pillowcases of white cotton and hand made valances. Some were lucky enough to have Durham Quilts. If it was a very cold night, a hot brick or hot oven shelf would be placed in the bed. Often father's top coat made a cosy cover. We also had a desk-bed  in the living room and a Harmonium.
LIGHTING: Street lighting was a single gas burner, and in the houses, gaslighting was obtained by putting a penny in the slot-meter.
THE POSS-TUB: Was at the front door, the 'whites' were always boiled to get them clean, and the 'blue bag' and 'Robin's starch' was used. Monday was always 'washing day'.
From the house you crossed the road to where we had a large garden, in which we grew a varied selection of vegetables. We also kept a few hens and a pig.
Around 1925 our family left the street, and went to live at the cottage near Old Sunniside Farm. The cottage had two bedrooms upstairs, a living room and sitting room.
ENTERTAINMENT: There was not a lot, but there were bus trips to Whitley Bay from school, or Sunday school, and we used to go to the cinema at Whickham. My dad played the accordion and liked us to complete competition crosswords. We went on Wednesday nights to the Old Chapel, to the Guild meetings.
When we went on bus trips, we always took a picnic lunch, consisting of : Egg/Tomato sandwiches, and home made meat pies. At Easter we bowled our paste eggs in Kindred's wood.
CHURCH: Some folk attended 'St. Cuthberts' Church at Marley Hill, others, Sunniside Chapel (now used by the 'over 60's' club).
SCHOOL: School was, Marley Hill Colliery school, headed by Mr. Bellerby and helped by Miss Western, Miss L. Cuthbert, Mr. Atkinson, Miss Richardson, Mr. Roddam and Mr. Joe Forster.
NAMES: Some of the names of people who lived in 'Old Sunniside' are as follows:- Pescod, Graham, Lowdon (2), Donnelly, Buglass, Pescod, Eltringham, Lowry, Brabban, Waddell, White, Mason, Brown, Spoor, Strong, Scott, Bewick, Dawson, Elliott, Bambridge.
I remember each evening I had the job of filling my father's carbon lamp, I also filled his 'baccy' tin and pipe. My mother used to make 'Ginger Beer' which was really delicious, she sold this and bunches of mint. Trade was very  good on Sunday mornings.
Sadly!, the houses were condemned about 1935, and people were re-housed in Council Houses, often to Kingsway, Sunniside, or they moved on to other places.
The other buildings still remaining today, are the houses in Granby Terrace and Thirlaway Terrace. Prospect Terrace built around 1850, and along the Sunniside Road, (a short distance from where the Sunniside Club (built 1936), is situated), four stone cottages and two stone Bungalows were erected between 1896 and 1898. At Hole Lane seven Bungalows and two semi-detached houses were built in 1898. The name Hole Lane is derived from a mine or drift marked on old maps as Gellesfield Hole.
Other buildings being:
Old Sunniside Farm built c1720 (Old Sunniside).
The 'Travellers Rest' Inn.
The Dene Farm (Hole Lane).
The 'Rising Sun' Inn.
The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. (Primitive Methodist). (now the 'over 60's' club). The Methodist Chapel.
It was a very friendly, happy, neighbourly place to live, everyone knew everyone, and nearly all that they were up to! I treasure many happy memories of living in Old Sunniside.
Mary Harrison. (nee Buglass).  6th July 1993.
A full history of Old Sunniside can be found on our alternative website: