Skip to main content

Got to give a mention to the Handyside Arcade in Newcastle's Percy Street, long since razed to make way for more of that stuff that fills up the centre of the town now. The Arcade itself, which was built around the beginning of the last century, was horsehoe shaped and stuffed to the brim with a bizarre array of establishments selling all the things you couldn't get anywhere else in town and, most importantly, home to a ramshackle shop known as the Kard Bar selling badges, t-shirts, assorted flotsam and jetsom and vinyl.
At the beginning of the 80s it seemed the only place (excepting mail order) where it was possible to get hold of music other than Rush/Yes/Van Halen, on the one hand, and Angelic Upstarts/UK Subs/GBH, on the other. I might be making that up a bit, but it's certainly the memory I have of what was available beyond the realm of Woolworths.

said:This is the first time I read the viz comic with the smell of hippy juice, MAGIC. (Nov 20, 2014)

(Aug 25, 2014) Sheila said:I remember the Kard bar in the arcade, I still have a poster on my wall that I got there. I also remember another shop that sold candles and hippy stuff and going in there to giggle at the Willy shaped candles (well I was only 15)

(Aug 14, 2012) Rob said:I'm off to Newcastle for the first time in 20 years. It's amazing how many of my old haunts seem to have been demolished.

(Jan 04,2015) Used to go to most Saturdays in the early 70, to get my Oz magazines from Ultima Thule bookshop as well as books such as JimMorrisons Lords and New Creatures. My wife used to buy handmade clothes from a shop on the first floor. It was a centre for what was Newcastles vestiges of the hippy generation. A special place at the time. What a shame it was demolished given the potential to develop as a historical location. Comment: Jeff Stubbs

(August 29, 2015) The arcade was an introduction to the punk scene for me. Saturday afternoons in the early 80s were colourful days amidst the incense, spiked hair, leather, studs, bondage jeans, viz and bottles o' dog. The Kard Bar was one of the first places I can remember to have Space Invaders arcade game - and there were always queues to have a go. A sad loss. Comment: rural rat

(November 5, 2015 )I loved this place , Early 1980s was buying old smelly 78s on Uk issue labels from the 1950s and other shops had clothes i could buy stuff from....Why do they call it progress when this has gone....Comment: Joe Beamonforse.

Name Kev King Comment: How I miss the arcade and often find myself reminiscing about wonderful days gone the late 70s,early 80s.Me and my friends used to make a weekend pilgrimage to Newcastle to buy our patchouli (hippy juice)and vinyl from Kard bar and even better Fynd..which sold groovy velvet tops and flares and REEKED or 70s bohemia! We just loved it.Turning over the posters in the kard bars swinging wall racks and ogling at the weird and wonderful images contained therein. Upstairs where few seemed to venture there was a great little art studio owned by David hinge and we loved to go and watch him work.His surrealist paintings were a real joy.Very Magri tte!I actually bought one and saved up for weeks to get it.Rivendell was a late addition to the handyside,but it was a treasure-trove of vinyl and tapes. Such a bloody shame that such a beautiful feature of Newcastle had to be erased. (Oct 3, 2016).

I remember 1978 79 buying grandad shirts in Little shop and a trilby hat with feathers in and at Fynd buying a long brown real fur coat.buying unusal music albums like Dan Hills and discovering choss sticks..i was an free spirit in handysides arcade .just a younge girl with alit of dreams..sad its gone.but my happy times live on for all time
Katherine Fraser

Used to go there on a Saturday late 60's as it was the place to hang out. On the left hand side of the photo there was a shop that sold hippy gear and accessories (no idea what it was called). Passing one time I spied a box of vinyl 45's (singles), they were advertised as ex radio 270 (pirate radio) stock, all 'advance promotion' copies. I bought 5 of them (either 6d or 1/- each). Sold 4 of them recently for very good money but kept one as a memory.
There was also a coffee shop on the upper level, very dark inside and a bit scary for someone mid teens.
As the previous person wrote 'Such a bloody shame that such a beautiful feature of Newcastle had to be erased'.
Paul Thompson

A once in a lifetime place to have been. Left to decay by a city council who couldn't recognise or understand the alternative elements of society and made a conscious effort to bring about the demise of their meeting places.. Eldon garden!! - ffs! Just died on its arse. On a par with the bus station where the Broken Doll was. Absolutely needless, but engendered to stop like-minded folk getting together. The worst pat is we're still being governed by the same sort of the self-serving fuckers who'd dominated 80's politics. It's a shame the Involuntary Euthanasia Society never went mainstream in the late eightties, we'd be rid of the shite we have to tolerate today, their progeny never having been born.
Paul Bamber

Hi Fi Opportunities in here sold some classy kit to play your records on.
John Stafford




Next in Tyne and Wear: Hitsville
A-Z prev: Handmade Records
A-Z next: Hanham Boutique