Photograph find brings back memories of a century of town’s butchery business

John Martin, Mr Martin's Great Uncle, outside the butcher's shop in Newgate Street, 1910
John Martin, Mr Martin's Great Uncle, outside the butcher's shop in Newgate Street, 1910

A LONG-SERVING Morpeth butcher’s can look back to its foundations in these pictures from a century ago.

The photographs were shared with the Herald by former publican Geoffrey Martin, whose family founded the R. Martins butcher’s shop in Newgate Street.

In the picture, below, which dates from around 1910, Mr Martin’s great uncle John Martin stands proudly outside the shop.

Although the butcher’s still trades from the street, eagle-eyed Morpethians will see that it has had a change of premises in the last 100 years as this building is currently occupied by Newgate News and the butcher’s can now be found a few doors up the street.

The second photograph, below right, is of Geoffrey Martin’s grandfather Richard, who founded the business.

He is shown in his army uniform in 1915 and served in the First World War.

Richard Martin married baker Johnny Gebhard’s sister and was a keen horseman.

He had a number of horses and won many races at the Cottingwood Lane track with April Morn.

The final photograph, pictured right, shows pupils at the former St James’s School in 1913, including Mr Martin’s maternal grandmother Mary Hedley, fourth from right in the second row.

The school was on the site of St James’s car park.

Mr Martin, who previously owned the Dyke Neuk at Meldon and Chambers in Morpeth, said: “These are just old photographs I had. I was clearing some stuff out when I came across them.

“It’s amazing what you find when you have a clear out.

“The business was handed down and handed down again through the family, but it is leased out now.

“I was a publican by trade. I did a bit of butchery, but it wasn’t my forte.

“I thought it was quite interesting to look at the old photographs though.”