The Big City & the little town – Shops

First seen in Black and White Daft Issue Five.

This issue we take a close look at the difference between Newcastle and sunderland as shopping centres. When we visited sunderland we had to return immediately as we didn’t realize that all the shops close at 5.30pm, yes sunderland was closed! Anyway we decided to return the next day as we had a spare 10 minutes so that we could take a real good look at the place.


Shops are open 9am – 8pm Monday to Friday, Sat 9am – 7pm, and Sun 11am – 5pm.
If you drive then you can park at any one of Newcastle’s 10,000 plus, car parking spaces in the City Centre. Or alternatively you can arrive from the north, south or east by underground metro train link. Newcastle is a very popular shopping destination for the thousands upon thousands of customers who fly in to Newcastle international airport and those who sail into the River Tyne by ferry.

There are different shopping areas within the city centre such as Eldon Square which is the heart of shopping in Newcastle upon Tyne and features an impressive list of over 150 high street names and specialist shops including Fenwick, John Lewis, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, world famous brands including Apple, Guess and Hollister and flagship stores for New Look, River Island, Next and Topshop. Other shopping areas are the Grainger Market, Eldon Garden, The Central Arcade, Grainger Town and Northumberland Street (Which has the highest rents in the UK outside of London).

You will also be spoilt for choice when deciding where to eat, drink and relax during your visit with an exciting choice of cafés and restaurants including Esquires Coffee, Nando’s, Pizza Express, Starbucks Coffee, Strada, Wagamama and many, many more. The worlds largest Sports book shop ‘The Back Page’ is also in Newcastle.

Also on Tyneside is Europe’s largest shopping centre the Metro Centre on the banks of the River Tyne. Without doubt Tyneside is the number one destination in Europe for Shopoholics.


Shops in sunderland town centre are open 9am – 5.30pm Mon to Sat, & 11am – 5pm Sunday.

If you’ve got a car then sunderland allegedly has 3,599 car parking spaces within its 13 car parks. The shopping centre is known as The Bridges and proudly boasts high-street and designer fashions amongst Cafes, Confectioners, Bakeries, Charity Shops, Bakeries, Budget Shops, Discount Stores, Bakeries and Chocolatiers to boost your energy for even more shopping at their other jaw dropping, shopping venue – Jacky Whites Market which has been open for 80 years!!

Although Kentucky Fried Chicken had to close down due to locals feinting at their prices, Starbucks has surprisingly opened in sunderland but locals reckon that they won’t last long as the cost of a cuppa could actually pay for a pub meal elsewhere. (Newcastle City centre has 5 Starbucks). If anybody does actually visit sunderland they will find that 1 in 4 shops are derelict, whilst the other 3 are struggling. Many believe that it is Car Boot Sales that are threatening the future of sunderland’s shopping centre! The next few months will be crucial for shops such as Lava Towers Solarium, Mega Pound World, Robs Cooked Meat & Bacon, Amy’s Winehouse and Indian chippy, Harry Ramadans.

Yet officials recently boasted about improving the town; “The curved facade will create a light and airy unit, benefiting from views out over the activity and movement through Market Square.”

Below are some actual comments made by mackems about their own town.

“The views of the market square!!!!!! Why would we want any views of the market square? Please sunderland council – write off the market square, get rid of that godforsaken wind tunnel.”

“The only way to improve the town is to demolish the lot and start again.”
“It’s not that long ago that this council spent our money “doing up the market square. Great for scumbags to dump their fag ends, chewing gum and Gregg’s wrappers.”
“No surprise to see that the queue for Gregg’s is almost out of the door.”
We are going for title of fattest city in the UK that takes a lot of training and Gregg’s is the best place to train.”

“The whole area is a mess and requires huge investment to make the improvements required to stop Sunderland people shopping elsewhere, never mind bringing customers in from the surrounding area.”

“Jackie Whites has been screaming, absolutely SCREAMING out for a huge make-over the market is run down, cold, dank, messy and about as attractive as a drug den. Maybe find a way to control the stench coming from the butchers and fish mongers which hits you like …well a wet fish as soon as you walk in.”

“Today I went shopping with my good lady let’s as I thought I will have a closer look at our town centre. Well you don’t have to look too closely to see that the whole area needs re-generating, it is no better than Peterlee shopping centre. I had to agree with the Missus that to try and do shopping in sunderland is a waste of time. This was at midday and the city centre was like a ghost town especially High St West.”

No Shopping in Sunderland

Roy Keane once hit out against “weak and soft” players who wouldn’t sign for safc. “I don’t know, maybe I’m not a great shopper,” he fumed. “But if they don’t want to come to sunderland because their wife wants to go shopping, that is a sad state of affairs.”

About Gal

Belly like Mick Quinn, skills like Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman.
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One Response to The Big City & the little town – Shops

  1. Graham Smith says:

    What is the point? Support your team, enjoy the football rivalry, but what has car park spaces to do with football? Why do you need to justify your chosen team with childish “my dad’s bigger than your dad” type irrelevant comments. It is comments like this from supposed football supporters that cause unnecessary aggrivation. Live and let live. Wanker!

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