Shoppers get a glimpse of the past

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A TRADITIONAL Morpeth shopping street will offer customers a glimpse into the past in a unique living history initiative.

Newgate Street will be turning into Memory Lane next month as traders give their own take on the town’s history.

Shops will display old photographs of the street from the 1920s onwards and some businesses will be making presentations about the history of their building and what it would have sold.

Traders will dress in traditional costumes and shoppers will also be given a taste of past times, with Cafe des Amis planning to bake cakes that people used to eat and Martins making a celebratory pie.

La Bodega tapas bar will present an evening of traditional local music, FH Hardy florist is planning to display blooms that were popular in the 1920s, and other businesses will also be getting involved in their own way.

Susan Bellamy, who hopes to display vintage clothing in her Stripes ladies fashion shop, said: “We thought this would be a chance to show off all the shops and businesses and show how Morpeth has changed over the years.

“It is highlighting the fact that Newgate Street shops have been here for so long because we want them to continue. Some people think the street is closing down because there are empty shops, but they are all being done up and we want to be positive about the street.

“This has been an area where independent shops have always traded, and traded successfully.”

The event will link in to the Heritage Open Days programme co-ordinated by the Greater Morpeth Development Trust, which runs from Thursday, September 8, to Sunday, September 11.

“A lot of the businesses have been here a long time, such as Tallantyre, the Sewing Box and my own shop, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to tie in with the heritage week,” said Mrs Bellamy.

“Hopefully, people will get into the spirit in all of the shops.

“It is trying to appeal to the kids so they can see what their town was like, while their grandparents might be able to remember a lot of the old shops.”

The traders will be borrowing old photographs from Keith Creighton at Craft Studio Gifts and the Morpeth Antiquarian Society, but they are appealing for more.

Anyone who can help should contact Christine at Secrets Lingerie at c1chr@aol.co.uk