We step out on Newcastle's Percy Street in 1970.

Of all the major roads in the city centre, it's one that's arguably undergone the biggest transformation.

If you could step back in time 50 years to when our photograph was taken, you’d find a quite different scene to today.

Since then, in 1980, the new Haymarket Metro Station was opened.

The Haymarket Bus Station has had two major makeovers - in 1971 and 1996, the Farmer’s Rest pub is gone, and Marks and Spencer has dramatically expanded.

The venerable Haymarket pub, dating from 1833, has also gone, as has the cinema which was popularly known by the same name (although its proper name was the ABC) - both falling victim to a new Newcastle University building.

Eldon Square bus station and the Eldon Court office block, both part of the bigger Eldon Square retailing behemoth, are also additions to Percy Street since 1970.

And then, in our photograph, we see the now-vanished block which was home to the much-missed shopping curiosity, Handyside Arcade, and for several years in the 1960s, the fabled mod and rock venue, Club A’Gogo.

The Edwardian-built arcade was a spectacular, glass-roofed, horse-shoe shaped construction which, by the late 1970s, housed a range of popular quirky shops and outlets, and attracted Tyneside’s rock crowd.

You can see one of its two entrances in our picture between Fagelman’s and Henry Osborn Ltd.

Percy Street, Newcastle, as it looks today
Percy Street, Newcastle, as it looks today

During World War I, it had been used as a barracks; it became derelict during the Depression; and enjoyed a renaissance in the late 1960s, when it attracted Tyneside's hippies and beatniks of the time.

By then, at the height of the boutique boom, Handyside Arcade was dubbed ‘Tyneside’s answer to Carnaby Street’.

Look for it today and there’s no trace of it. To the despair of many, the arcade was knocked down and replaced by the Eldon Garden retail mall in the late 1980s.

Meanwhile, on the top floor of the now-vanished block of shops and offices was the Club A’Gogo.

It began life as a jazz club in 1962 but soon gravitated towards the newly burgeoning soul, R’n’B and rock music.

The Animals became the venue’s first house band, while punters - including a young Gordon Sumner (Sting) and Jimmy Nail - flocked there to see Jimi Hendrix.

Other major names who played at the relatively tiny club included Pink Floyd, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Cream, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, The Spencer Davis Group, Jeff Beck and Status Quo among others.

The Club A'Gogo closed its doors in 1968, and by the time our photograph was taken around two years later, the place was home to a prize bingo.

Explore more about your area's past by checking out our new Memory Lane feature at www.memorylane.co.uk