Blooms Pawn Shop, Thornaby c1973

t14551One of the shops clustered around the famous Thornaby meeting place of the Five Lamps was the pawn shop, Blooms. Seen here is Tommy Thompson at the back of Blooms, and behind him are unclaimed suit pledges. In the 1960’s you could get ten shillings for a suit to help get through the week until pay day.

Photograph and details courtesy of Derek Smith.

8 thoughts on “Blooms Pawn Shop, Thornaby c1973

  1. I remember Blooms well… and Tommy Thompson but I never realised it was a pawn shop! There was a pawn shop called Birds on the next block I believe.


  2. One set of remarks which kept me on the straight and narrow was Mr Dee, Chemistry and Senior Maths Master at Richard Hind. Every now and again he would declare that the pawn shops in Stockton had disappeared. That was good thing. But he said, the date being around 1956, that they were back in the shape of shops selling things on hire purchase.


    • Fred had it not been for HP half the houses on the out of town estates after the war would have been empty. Wages were enough to feed and clothe the family by that date and you could save for a couple of years to buy cash most wanted it now pay later. It was a mind set after the years of nothing, the nice new houses from the council had to have new stuff, the old was thrown out well mostly and now comes up on the antiques shows worth a mint.
      As kids we all knew which mothers rushed to the pawn shop on Monday to get enough to feed her family then back Saturday morning to retrieve it all after the husband got paid on Friday night if he was lucky. The family mostly went to Church dressed up Sunday’s then the Sunday night parambulation up and down the High Streets, it was all the pride some people had left.
      The times make the circumstances, some of us were lucky in that we could afford most things though not all and now we see those times creeping back, people can afford the goods though not the houses to put it in.
      Mr Dee? Was that Mr Dawson who taught me during my time at RH. or actually a Mr Dee?


    • Fred, In 1956 the British population was slowly being delivered from 300 years of poverty, If your teacher Mr Dee had read the following he would have seen the necessity of pawnshops and appreciated better why poorly paid people, our forbears, relied on them. Writing about Victorian coal mines and their owners: Friedrich Engels wrote in 1845, a book named.The Condition of the Working Class in England: In this book Engels wrote, that children of four, five, and seven years are employed. They are set to transporting the coal loosened by the miner from its place to the main shaft, The transport of coal in mine passageways is hard labour, the coal being shoved in tubs over the uneven floor of the mine; and frequently dragged up steep inclines. For the harder labour, older children and half-grown girls and women are employed according to circumstances, both sexes are employed together in precisely the same kind of labour, and work for the same number of hours, the chief part of their labour consists in carrying the coals on their backs, it follows that their mental education is wholly neglected. Hence, few can read and still fewer write. The only point upon which most are agreed is the fact that their wages are far too low for their hateful and dangerous work with widespread poverty being common throughout the land. The Children themselves say that they have not enough to eat; and the Commissioners describe them as covered in rags; so, notwithstanding the intense labour performed by these children, they do not earn sufficient to buy food and raiment: When you cross reference this with the history of British workhouses you can become totally ashamed of this now forgotten part of British History and it’s pawnshops, a country once foolishly described in 1918 as a land fit for heroes to live in,.


  3. Our family lived in the nearest residential house to Bloom’s Pawnshop in George St, Thornaby, 1A Barnard St, Thornaby. Isaac Bloom’s pawnshop had a front entrance and a discreet and more popular back entrance for ‘pawners’ to be able to sneak into the shop without being seen. Bloom’s Pawn Counter closed for lunch each day at 12 noon, so at 15 minutes to One’o’Clock there would be a queue forming of about ten women clutching goods in parcels they intended to pawn, all stood in the back street waiting for them to reopen. Further up this back alley was Tommy Dunn the coalman’s horse stables where two Clydesdale horses were kept, later reduced to one. Mr Dunn got his coal supplies from the Co-op Coal yard in Thornaby Road 200 yards away, near to the National School, George Street, Thornaby. He must have kept the coal cart there overnight, and his unsold coal because there was no sign of it in the stables, Later 1952, these stables were sold to Albert Paleschi, the ice cream man, who demolished them and built an ice cream manufacturing centre there (actually a small store warehouse) On Coronation day 2 June 1953, it rained heavy so the intended street party celebration took place inside this warehouse on the trestle tables erected there, and not in Barnard St as initially planned. I can remember Tommy Thompson well, but always associated him with being the doorman at the Queens Cinema. I saw Mr Isaac Bloom often, but being a child did not know him to speak to. His shop window displays were pathetic by today’s standards, the front window contained clocks and watches, and the doorway was cluttered with carpets, mats and lino, lino correct name was Linoleum, bought from Nairns of Dundee, it lasted about a year as a poor quality floor covering, and many a schoolboy including me, had a piece inside his shoes to close the holes in the soles. In the late 1940s shoes were holy footwear if you get my meaning.


  4. Derek, I remember Blooms and Tommy Thompson in the 1960’s when I was a kid. When I only got sixpence a week pocket money, ten bob in those day’s was a fortune.


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