Thorntree Cottages, on Front Street, is the site of the old Co op store. Villagers called the Co op ”The Store”. Such was its importance that nearby streets were called Store Row and Store Row West.
Apart from being the local Co op store, selling provisions, meat, and clothing, its upstairs dance hall was the social centre of the village. On 29 December 1941, German aircraft dropped bombs on the spot, possibly mistaking the glass reflections from the allotment greenhouses for the River Tyne. The dance at the Co-op was evacuated, and one bomb hit a house on Thorntree Avenue.
Two young brothers, Sydney, 6, and Cecil William Carr, 2, were killed. Three other people were seriously injured.