Demolition of Norton Board School

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Photographs of Norton Board School in the early stages of demolition. Unfortunately I have not recorded when I took these!

Photographs and details courtesy of Norman Hill.

Another sort of Hero

t13913The photograph shows my uncle, Dick Starr, who was invalided out of the Royal Artillery in 1942, after volunteering for medical experiments relating to tuberculosis, in which he was injected with the disease. I am not sure what happened next, but the TB caught hold and he became very ill.

He was sent back to his parent’s house in St Annes Terrace, Portrack. Because of the fear of infection, a shed was built at the end of garden to keep him away from me and the rest of the family. Unfortunately he never recovered.



The pages from his pass book seems to confirm that he was in very good physical condition when he entered the army in 1940, where he became a gunner.

The comments section state that his conduct was exemplary. But I suppose they would have to say that. I myself have no recollection of him as I was only about two years old when he died.

Photograph and image courtesy of Fred Starr.

Henry Doyleson of the Royal Field Artillery

t13909This photograph was donated by Lorraine Dayes whose Great Uncle, Henry Doyleson, is in the centre of the three men shown.

A copy of it was addressed, but probably not posted, to ‘Charles Malcolm, No. 77 Mess, HMS Queen Mary, c/o GPO London’, by his sister Mary Malcolm.  The message on the back of the card reads as follows…..

Dear Brother

Just a line to thank you for the PostCard you sent me but at the same time I thought you would have sent me one of your photos.  They have all got one but me so I hope you will send me one.  Mother got your photos Saturday morning.  Mother,  group and also the one of yourself.  Jane Garbutt got one and not Great Aunt (Fanan ?) so do not forget to send me one.  So don’t forget to send one (She repeats herself).

From Your Sister

Give Joe and Jock my best Love Mary


Charles was one of three Stockton brothers who were all stokers on HMS Queen Mary.  They were the sons of Mary and George Malcolm, 14 Union Street, Stockton-on-Tees. All three were killed at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916 while serving in HMS Queen Mary. They were: – Charles Malcolm, stoker, 2655S, RNR aged 22; John Robert Malcolm, stoker, 1430S, RNR, aged 25; Joseph Malcolm, stoker, 2681T, aged 29. All are commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. John Robert and Joseph were married. John Robert had a son John G. born 1915. Joseph had two daughters, Mary Elizabeth born 1910 and Janet born 1913.


Henry Doyleson was a Stockton man and a friend of the Malcolm brothers.  He enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery (regt. no. 34819) in the early days of the war.  He became a driver, responsible for driving a team of horses that pulled the big Field guns into and out of battle. His battery landed in France on 8th September 1915 in time to join the brigade as they prepared for what became known as the Battle of Loos or the Third Battle of Artois. The battle commenced on the 25th September 1915.  Henry was killed in action on the  26TH September 1915. He had only been at the front for 18 days before he was killed

Henry is commemorated on the Roll of Honour on plot/panel 3 of the Loos memorial, Pas de Calais.  The memorial commemorates 20,000 men who fell in battle and have no known graves.

t13908This is another photograph of Henry Doyleson.  It was probably taken shortly after he had enlisted and was posted from Salisbury Plain where his battery of the RFA was in training before going overseas.   The message on the back of the photograph has faded over the years but what can be read follows…..

One for Ike  and —-one for yourself.  Write back to the address we are at ——————— Salisbury.  Now firing the big guns for a week and then the  —– starts ——-with.  (Illegible words have been replaced with dashes).

Lorraine, who donated the photographs, would really like to find out more about Henry Doyleson.  He was her Grandfather’s brother but her grandfather changed his name to Dayes.  It is a big family mystery. Lorraine would also love to know who the other men in the photograph are…..  can anyone help?

Featherstones, Haverton Hill

t13872A photograph showing Featherstones of Belasis local shop, it is the equivalent of ‘Arkwrights’ from Open All Hours but based in Haverton Hill, you could buy almost anything that was used for day to day living from these shops, from bundles of firewood to light the kitchen fire, to a loaf of bread and a tin of beans for the kids tea and whilst you were there could also buy a tin of Mansion polish to buff up the utility dining table and granny’s mahogany whatnot, every community had a similar shop and I remember seeing rows of prams outside and young mothers inside having a chat, including my mother and her friends.

There was a similar shop in Cowpen Lane that may also be called Featherstones but I am not too sure of that, I’ve no doubt that someone will be able to set me straight…

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Steam on the St John’s Crossing branch

t13863Loco no 6 was the last shunter on this line working there from 1964 to 1966 but for a number of years before this, maybe 10 to 15, the shunting work was done by a loco called Kilmarnock.

Her name came from the fact she was built by Andrew Barclay Co. from Kilmarnock and the name just stuck. Being built in 1898 she was 66 years old when she was finally retired in 1964. The driver seen in the cab had the first name of Thomas.

Photograph and details courtesy of Martin Birtle and John Hardy.

White Rose Day, Teesside Park c1967

t13803A photograph of my parents Eric (Chairman of Teesside Park) and Jeanne Wilson as they exchange pleasantries with the Duchess of Kent during White Rose Day, Teesside Park. The Duchess had officially opened the new National Hunt steeplechase course there.



This photograph taken on White Rose Day shows Eric Wilson on the right of the Duchess of Kent and Jeanne Wilson second from the left, November 14 November 1967.

Photograph and details courtesy of John Wilson.

Man of War c1942

t13873A view of my late father Tom Birtle in his Home Guard uniform. He joined the Thorpe Thewles detachment at the age of 16 in 1942. He looks very young in this photograph so I have to assume it was taken in the same year. By the end of his service he was a lance corporal.

The photograph was taken at Norton Junction cottages.

Photograph and details courtesy of Martin Birlte.

Oxbridge Lane Level Crossing

t12423The Oxbridge Lane level crossing c1890. After a ten year campaign because of a number of fatalities, the Oxbridge underpass we see today was built in 1893.
The original intention was to give this bridge a 16 ft 6 in height clearance, but because of the Oxbridge Lane school which opened three years beforehand in 1890, it was not possible to have a longer incline because of the school railings and the close proximity of the school to the Leeds Northern line which was erected in 1852.  This shorter incline meant that the bridge height was reduced to 15 ft 6 in. This was to cause problems many years later for firms like Riley Boilers. On one occasion in the early to mid-1950s a boiler became wedged under the bridge. The pneumatic tyres were let down to enable its clearance from the bridge. After this incident large loads were transported along Marlborough Road, Hartburn Avenue, Yarm Lane and then along Stockton High Street. Does anyone recall this incident and what year it happened? If so could they contact me via the Picture Stockton Team.

Photograph and details courtesy of Stuart Inkster.

Haverton Hill School Choir c1957

t13869A photograph of the Haverton Hill School Choir in 1957. Judging by the apparent age of the people in the photograph I think they will be about my age, that is born in the mid 1940s..

Does anyone recognise themselves or their friends? Some of you may recognise parents or even grandparents in their younger days.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Riding of the Fair, Yarm 2012

t12969This now takes place on the Saturday morning of the mid-October Fair at Yarm when the High Street is closed to traffic.Yarm Town Councillors slowly parade the length of the High Street in the steam-engine drawn wagon and are followed by the ‘show-people’, or ‘travellers’ on horseback. After which, informal ‘races’ between all manner of single hoses and others pulling ‘buggy’ carts are held along the length of street for the entertainment of the gathered crowds.

Photograph and details courtesy of Chris Bailey.

Malleable Works Electrical Department c1910

t13867The first photograph shows the Malleable Works Electrical Department c1910 the person stood on the far left of the group is my grandfather William Hepple (1886 – 1966). His family moved from Birtley Co. Durham late in the 19th Century where from around 6 years of age my grandfather had been working in the pit. The opening up and expansion of the South Durham Iron & Steel Works gave them the opportunity to at least work above ground but in another very physically demanding industry. He became a self taught electrician going on to be foreman.

t13868His four sons Herbert (Bert),William (Bill), Joseph (Joe) my father John George (George) Hepple and his brother Herbert all followed him into the industry. Collectively these family members even before retirement had clocked up over 200 years of service a remarkable achievement, an era never to be repeated sadly. From left to right : Bert, Joe, George & Bill.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Hepple.

The South Durham Hunt c1952

t13861The South Durham Hunt met in the grounds of Wynyard Hall for the first time in 26 years. The Marquis of Londonderry (centre) is chatting to the huntsman Jack Wood. My father, Eric Wilson the Master is on the right.



In this photograph members of the Wynyard house party are seen befriending the hounds. On the left is Angela Eric Wilson’s daughter, who took part in the hunt. In the middle is Jeanne Wilson, my mother and wife of Eric Wilson.

Photographs and details courtesy of John Wilson.

Georgian Building, Smith Street – Stockton, 2014

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I was in Stockton on Thursday 16 October and came across this sad sight or perhaps it should really be site?

It would seem that the end is nigh for this once magnificent Georgian building which has featured on Picture stockton several times in the past. I was told by the site foreman that they are making the building safe and trying to preserve what they can on the advice of English Heritage who are due to make another visit soon.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Stockton Unitarian Scouts c1956/7

t12390 t12391 t12392 t12393The Stockton Unitarian Scouts at camp, the year must have been 1956/57.  I would be interested if names could be put to these faces as there are only two that I’m sure of and those are myself Peter Fletcher and Ian Price. Others may possibly be Alan Sudron and Alan Wier, but I am not 100% sure…

Photograph and details courtesy of Peter Fletcher.