The late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1985. Paul Perry / Amberely Publishing /

By Liana Jacob

IMAGES illustrate the quintessentially Northern Old Jarrow of Durham during its radical post-war transition with special appearances from Princess Diana and Coronation Street star John Savident.

The endearing photographs show St Peter’s Church back in 1900, which is said to be the only one that exists showing the spire, which was demolished by a wandering barrage balloon, another photo shows the Arndale Centre in 1961.

Member of Parliament for Jarrow Ellen Wilkinson at the start of the Jarrow Crusade on 5th October 1936. Paul Perry / Amberely Publishing /

Other pictures reveal York Avenue which was officially opened by HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen’s Mother, in 1928, where the dual carriageway is said to be the first in the country.

The pictures make up a book, Jarrow From Old Photographs, written by Paul Perry, a well-known collector of old photographs and postcards of Jarrow, Durham, England.

He has over 24,000 photos of Old Jarrow and is also a professional photographer himself.

Park Road in 1899. Paul Perry / Amberely Publishing /

“As a result of the post-war redevelopment programme, much of Jarrow was in a transitional state. Plans had been prepared as early as 1952 for a traffic-free shopping complex,” Paul said.

“All that was required was somewhere to put it. The site chosen was central to all amenities. Building work on the Arndale Centre commenced in 1955, with phase one opening in 1961.”

Actor John Savident, who played butcher Fred Elliott in Coronation Street, attended the refurbishment programme of Arndale Centre during the ‘90s.

John Savident, from Coronation Street in the 1990s. Paul Perry / Amberely Publishing /

Another British sweetheart, HRH late Princess of Wales, Diana, unveiled for the first time a stained glass window designed by John Piper for St Paul’s Church, in 1985 to commemorate the 1300 anniversary of the dedication of the church.

“Jarrow has changed significantly during the twentieth century, so much so that parts of it are barely recognisable,” Paul said.

“Bede Burn Road, however, seems to have escaped the town planners. Apart from the introduction of a one-way system during the 1960s, the Victorian thoroughfare remains largely the same as it did when this photograph was taken in 1900.”

St Peter’s Church, c. 1900. Paul Perry / Amberely Publishing /

Since 1974, Jarrow has become part of the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear.
In the eighth century, the monastery of Saint Paul in Jarrow was the home of Bede, who is regarded as the greatest Anglo-Saxon scholar and the father of English history.

Jarrow From Old Photographs is out now and can be purchased on Amazon here: