Beatrice remembers the joyful celebrations back in Newcastle after the FA Cup win in 1955:
“My elder brother said he would take me down to the town to watch them coming home and we stood in Collingwood Street and we watched them coming. He lifted me up on to the window sill of one of the banks on Collingwood Street so watched them coming along there. And you know it was packed, the whole town was packed. And then when they went past he said ‘come on’ and we ran to the ground because they were going to make their way around the town and then up to the ground. And we went to the ground and stood and watched them parade round there”.
Krystal remembers her grandfather taking her to see the celebrations after the 1955 FA Cup final win:
“Yes, grandfather took me to see, dear me, the crowds, absolutely, people had probably never been to a football match in their life, but there was crowds there to see them, my father couldn’t, he was at work, but my grandfather he did, kept me in front of him so I could see”.
Krystal tells the story of having to ask her boss to be allowed time off work to go and see the celebrations - but he was a Sunderland supporter so not overly sympathetic! It was all very close to the wire.
“So this friend, she said, “Are you willing to go over there if we can get off?”. Well I was a couple of years older than her and I said, “Oh, you want to go?”. “Oh yes”, she said, “Go on, ask the boss”. My boss came from Sunderland and was a Sunderland supporter. I said, “He’ll never let us off”. He used to sit in front, in an office all glass so he could watch everyone, horrible man, and so I said, “I’ll ask him but I know what the answer will be”. So I knocked on the door, I said, “`Excuse me Mr. Beadall, I know that we’ve got to work until 5 ‘clock, but they’re coming to Newcastle with the FA Cup, you know how very much I support Newcastle, please, I’ll work the half hour tomorrow, please”. He said “Your hours are 9 to 5, no”. So I went out, said to the friend, “The answer is no, do you want to have a go?”. She says, “Oh he’ll not do it”. I said, “You never know”. So we waited a little while, half an hour, by this time it’s about 2-2:30pm and they were going to be there for 4:30pm,. So she goes in, I don’t know what she said, I didn’t get it, but she came out, “He’s going to think about it”. I said, “Well that’s more than I got, I got a definite no”. She said, “Well say nothing”, never said a word, we’re both getting agitated, 4 o’clock, nothing.
So the third time we both went in together, he said, “I can’t let you go, we’re going to lose phones, there’s only two on, there’s four of you generally, I can’t let you go while it’s like that, if it slackens off I’ll think about it”. Well, so we’re sitting, I mean really I was churned up, I thought, ‘Good grief, it’s 4:15’, we were just across the road but even so. So at 4:25 there’s a knock on the desk, I said, “Quick before he changes his mind”, so we ran out, grabbed coats on the way out, ran across to the ground, got in, because they opened up what was the old Millburn stand, well it was the West stand which is the Millburn stand, they opened that up. So we got in there and we edged our way to the front, we couldn’t get right there, I mean there were large crowds, found a couple of seats together, we could have stood outside but it was better to be inside. They all did speeches and threw sweets to the fans, it was a real celebration and it was lovely.”
Celebrations in the city, 1955.
Image courtesy of the Newcastle Chronicle.
British Pathé film footage of the 1955 FA Cup win celebrations in the city can be seen at:
58 seconds in a large crowd of women fans are shouting ‘We want Jackie’, for Jackie Milburn!
There is further coverage of the celebrations in St James’ Park here: