please empty your brain below

You couldn't have climbed the car park even when it was there, most of it was shut off because it was dangerous. A bad idea badly executed, just like the Dunston Rocket down the road.

No photos of the oil depot on the Gateshead quayside?

dg writes: Oil depot? Sure.
DON'T get me started on the Metrocentre ... my sister-in-law's all time favourite place ... my worst nightmare
The top ten largest shopping centres in the UK (in terms of retail area) appear to be:

Metrocentre, Trafford Centre, Westfield Stratford, Bluewater, Liverpool One, Westfield Shepherd's Bush, Merry Hill, Meadowhall, Arndale Manchester, and Lakeside.

It appears the Trafford Centre has more non-retail space, so comes at 60-something in the world, in a list headed by dozens of megamalls in Asia, with the Metrocentre and Westfield Stratford down in the 80s, and then a few from the UK just outside the top 100.

Deep retail joy.
Like many commentors here (and I think DG himself) I do not enjoy these retail monstrosities.

However, many people manifestly do, as us dislikers can immediately discern just by observing the queues to get into the car parks. As do the companies operating shops there. So good luck to them, say I!
I passed your blog details onto a Geordie acquaintance (Gateshead based).

"Trouble is he is waxing lyrical about three of the objects one has the least fondness for, the giant glass turd, that cardboard millenium bridge and yon bloody angel."

Can't win 'em all!
Ah Gateshead. The centr of my family origins, if now widely dispersed.

Frankly they ruined Gateshead town centre with various road improvements and other demolitions for new forward thinking tower blocks etc.

As the metro was built there was little reason for people to stop in Gateshead as getting to Newcastle from the South became so much easier.

The best bit of Gateshead is still the Middle class suburb of Low Fell, which surrounds the glorious Victorian Park, Satlwell Park (mazes, birds, rose garden etc). with the Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood to the North along the Coatsworth Road.

The nicer suburbs are to the West (Whickham etc) the east is old industrial and nearly one long council estate. It is grim in many places. I should know most of my family grew up there, many are still stuck there.
Enough of the MetroCentre!
The original shopping centre revolution was at Eldon Square which was built in the mid 70s+ and redeveloped a large swathe of the city centre.
It opened in phases (greenmarket to monument first) then over Blackett Street and towards Northumberland Street, encompassing major retail stores.
It has experienced much evolution over the last 40 years - I hope DG discovered this turning point in UK retail space.
@ Andrew R - Are you sure about the first phase of Eldon Square? I thought it stretched up to Percy St with an entrance beside the old Bus Concourse. Remember Don Miller's Hot Bread store on that section along with Habitat? I'm sure they were in the first phase. The bit down to Northumberland St including Bainbridges (John Lewis), Boots, the entrance to Fenwicks / M&S and Charles Clinkard shoe shop opened later as you say.

We then got Eldon Garden across Percy Street and, after I left Newcastle, the redevelopment around the Greenmarket and Newgate St. The interesting thing is that the extent of these plans was originally set out in a brochure for Eldon Square that I had dating from the 1970s. The owers eventuall achieved their aim of having the centre stretch over a wide area.

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