12 thoughts on “Ralph Spark & Son Shop Front

  1. 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.


  2. 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!


  3. 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?


  4. 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.


  5. 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!


    • 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…..


  6. 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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