With many thanks for the following to Edwina Thewliss who contacted us regarding her mother Mary Gargett (1917-2014) via the North Shields Nostalgia Facebook group.

Mary was employed at Wilkinson’s from, we believe the 1930s up until the bomb destroyed the factory in 1941. Mary worked on the bottling operation, washing returned bottles and crating up for deliveries. We do not know if she was in the shelter at the time of the raid. Unlikely, probably, as at that time she lived in Little Bedford Street. Mary died in 2014 aged 97.

One of the big holes in our understanding of Wilkinson’s is that we know very little about who actually worked in the factory. Any staff list held by the company was presumably lost in the bombing. Whilst the mortuary forms of those killed records their occupation, none state Wilkinson as the employer. This is contrary to a couple of reports we have which state several employees were killed that night.


We’d love to know more.
Did a family member of yours work at Wilkinson’s? Please get in touch: info@northshields173.org
Do you remember Mary Gargett? Please contact us and we’ll pass on any messages to Edwina.