South Shields Local History Group

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Barbour, John

John Barbour was born in Dalry, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland in about 1849.  He opened a tailors and drapers business first in North Street then at 5 Market Place, South Shields in 1893 with a business partner called Telford.

By 1894 he is just trading as Messrs J Barbour & Co.

5 Market Place, 1920s (South Tyneside Libraries, STH0006215)

From 1907 they are advertising as Barbour’s Beacon Oilskins and a lot of their oilskins are being sold through mail order.

By 1901 John is doing rather well and lives in a large house on Beach Road near the present-day St Thomas Nursing Home, the house was called South View. 

1911 Census, South View House

John remained at South View until his death in 1918. His sons took over the business on his death and still used the premises at 5 Market Place. The Word occupies the site now.

5 Market Place, 1940 (South Tyneside Libraries, Flagg, STH0000568)
The Word – 2022

Today the 5th generation of Barbour’s are still involved in the same business John Barbour started 129 years ago.

Barbour website
British Newspaper Archives

South Tyneside Libraries
Terry Ford

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