13 thoughts on “Ralph Spark & Son Shop Front

  1. Durham Road had many shops in the fifties, starting with the Chemist Shop on the corner of Appleton Road then the Golliwog Shop. Further down was Walter Wilson’s another corner shop opposite the Fish Shop run by Mr Llloyd, then the Sparke’s Bakery Shop. Then the Butchers Shop and the Fruiter’s Shop, then the Newspaper Shop, which I think was called Weatherspoon’s before it became Creasers. On the other side of the road opposite the Newspaper shop was the Post Office run by Mrs Bone. I cannot recall a sweet shop on Durham Road although there was one on one of the side streets. The place looks very run down now, a pity as it was a busy little shopping area.

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  2. In the late 1950s Mr O’ Farrel, the science teacher at St Bede’s R.C. Boys School on Green Lane, Newtown, would on a summer’s afternoon send a ‘trustee’ over to Spark’s on Durham Road to buy a strawberry flan. This he would proceed to devour with his afternoon cuppa while the class dutifully got on with their work! A kettle was always on the go in his lab over a Bunsen burner. Hard to believe now.
    Sparks made quality confectionery and for my relations from the south Spark’s cakes were one of the highlights of their visits.

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  3. I was a paper boy at Creasers – lived around the corner and used to go to the butchers and Sparks with my Mum. I used to love the Charlotte Russe cake thing! They also used to do a mini trifle with red jelly on the top – lovely!

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  4. It needs to be remembered with admiration that Mr Ralph Sparks who was abandoned by his birth mother and left somewhere in Stockton, so he commenced life as a foundling / orphan grew up to be a well loved multi-millionaire baker and local Magistrate. I presume he was adopted by a Mr and Mrs Sparks, can anyone add further information to this intriguing story?

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  5. I was a van lad with Spark’s in the 60’s. I was on the retail side just doing shops like the co-op and other shop’s, going as far as Haltwhistle and down as far as Scarborough, they were big in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I loved that job.

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  6. In the 50s and early 60s I remember going in and buying, vanilla slices, jam and lemon puffs. Their ginger biscuits were delicious. There was also Creasers the newsagent on the corner. Fond memories; wish it looked like that now!

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    • I remember Creasers, and Cleavers when it was the old style butchers. It had hand painted pictures of (I think) a cow and a pig on the wall below the shop window – I can remember seeing the painter doing them when I was going home from Newtown school. Then there was the post office & sweet shop on the other side of the road…..

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  7. I never thought there was a Sparks shop on Durham Road Terry.
    Do you have any photos of your last year at Hardwick Secondary Modern School?

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