The department store was opened on the corner of Church Street and Whitby Street by Carter and Company of Stockton and West Hartlepool. In 1898, Carter joined business with Denis Hill and Company of North Shields and Newcastle who had originally made clothes for seamen. D Hill, Carter and Company then expanded the business to include upholstery and drapery departments.
At some point around the second world war, Blacketts took over the store and also owned shops in Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Stockton and Sunderland. Much like Robinson's, Blacketts was known for its Christmas Toy Fair which for a few years was held in the disused Lex Cinema. In 1970 the Blacketts store closed and in an era before 'pound shops' became the discount Dovecot Salerooms looking and feeling nothing like the original department store.
In 1997, the building was extensively refurbished as a hotel and bar and given its original name as The Hill Carter Hotel. The hotel boasts a large rooftop restaurant with panoramic views around the area.
On March 29th 1967, Hartlepool and West Hartlepool finally amalgamated after many years of deliberation and discussion. The Hartlepool Mail at the time carried a supplement and there were many adverts like this one for Blackett's Department Store which wished the new town well.More detail »
The photograph of Blackett's department store was probably taken in the late 1940s early 1950s. There are trolley bus wires evident so it will have been pre 1953 when the last trolley buses ran in the town.
The current Hill Carter Hotel is accessed through the door behind the van.More detail »
The building which was once Hill Carter and then Blackett's Department Store became Dovecot Salerooms in the 1970s and 1980s having first opened in 1960s Lynn Street next door to Robinson's 'Coliseum' building being demolished in the late 60s..More detail »
The fashions suggest the 1930s and these ladies are obviously awaiting some kind of fashion show in a department store. It could be Robinson's ? Hill Carter ? Gray Peverell ?
The photo has possibly been taken in a basement to one of these stores as the ceiling looks low and it could be a store room indicated by the stacked chairs above the ladies on the right. There also seem to be a number of mirrors arranged on the beams.
HHT+N 14More detail »