9 thoughts on “Buses on Stockton High Street

  1. As a regular on the ’0′ bus from my home Mill Lane, just off Norton Green, to the North Ormesby market place and then down Moses Street where my grand parents lived, from being able to hold the coppers for the fare, I think the stops went something like this. Duck pond, Priory, Blandfords, Avenue. Kirby’s corner, Mount Pleasant, Danby Road or Lustrum Beck, depending on the Conductor, Tilery Road, Garbutt Street, Bishopton Lane or Maxwells, Town Hall, Empire, Bus sheds, Thornaby station, Five Lamps, Mandale Road, Harewood Arms, Wilderness or Erimus, Blind School (that would not be allowed today) Newport Bridge, Cannon Street, Infirmary, Middlesbrough Town Hall, Corporation Road, Wilson Street, North Ormesby Crossing, Cargo Fleet Road, Smeaton Street and into the market. The poor driver hardly ever got into top gear although they did manage to slip through the gears very well, having driven a couple of those vehicles I knew it was more an art form, the number of changes they did in a shift would be arm aching and with brakes that would not stop them in a hurry they had to be good at changing down as well. The conductors were full of banter especially early morning as we made our way to work and they would know most of their regulars which was most of us as the day of the car had not arrived, those buses were crammed going to work and crowded coming home. We quite often set off from the green, made the Priory and Blandfords, then a straight run through unless people wanted to get off. The Daimler buses had a preselector gear box, with a trigger on the steering wheel you selected the next gear then pushed down on the foot gear change, they did not have a clutch more like the modern automatic, they had problems on ice or snow and often had belt slip on steep banks. If I have this wrong someone out there will put it right.

  2. Irene would know the timings for the bus route as she was a clippie! My late father, Bert Beard, worked on the buses and when he was on the ‘O’ route. I sometimes used to be allowed to do the round trip with him, as our house was on Norton Road opposite the Malleable Club. I seem to remember the stop was called Kirby’s Corner and I could not understand why as the nearest corner was Hallifield Street. My grandad, Will Storr, also drove trams on this route, starting as a conductor in 1903 and becoming a driver in 1906. He worked on the trams until the last one in 1931, then transferred to the depot where he worked until 1949. I have a newspaper clipping of an interview he did for the Gazette when he was 79 in 1963, and in it he states that the run time for the trams from Norton to North Ormesby was 40 minutes!

  3. I thought someone might appreciate a bit of fairly useless information about the famous ‘O’ bus route between Norton Green and North Ormesby, and the stops in between; a nostagia trip down memory lane? Start: Norton Green, Norton High St, Modern Cinema, Stockton Dog Track/Tilery, Hills, Petes Snack bar, Stockton High Street, Parliament St [for Stockton Thornaby Hospital] St Johns Crossing [Job Centre, Camerons Brewery Vaults, Stockton Bus Sheds] Thornaby Railway station and Town Hall, the Five Lamps Mandale Road, the Harewood Arms, Stockton Racecourse [the Wilderness] Cleveland Park Dog Track, the Blind School and Newport Bridge. After the Newport Bridge no one from Stockton knew for certain what was there. It was rumoured the world stopped there and you fell off it into the river, whilst others claimed a new settlement had been built there called Middlesbrough, since no one knew how to spell Middlesbrough, it didn’t seem that important.

  4. Journeys by bus in the days of open platforms – bliss – how often would the conductor shout at we schoolboys to get off the platform (the rear open entrance) and sit down, or stop hanging on the pole… and as for jumping on/off while the bus was in motion! In my early schooldays in the late 1950s it cost 2d in old money to go from Hardwick to Stockton. I used to like sitting at the front either behind the driver to watch him wrestling with the controls, or on the other side to watch the road ahead. Who can remember the Christmas Bus – decorated up like a moving Santa’s Grotto? In the 50s & 60s the buses were often full up, standing room only, but so few people had a car then. Just behind the single decker in the picture was a bustop for Crowe’s buses, which my family used to go to Swainby on some Saturdays. Dad would then march we 4 boys up to Sheepwash for the day! I very much enjoyed those days out so the walk must have been worth it!

  5. No Ann, I lived in Pentland Avenue over the North side of Billingham, but had an uncle who lived in old Billingham. Also I believe there was another Charlton family over that way as well but not near relations.

  6. I THINK YOU ARE CORRECT KEITH ABOUT THE UNITED 67B BUT NOT THE TIME, IF MY OLD BRAIN REMEMBERS I WOULD PUT THE LAST BUS ON THE EVENING WAS MORE LIKE 10:45PM, MISSED IT MANY A TIME ON A SATURDAY NIGHT AND FACE THE WALK HOME TO BILLINGHAM – NOT IN A STRAIGHT LINE I MIGHT ADD.

  7. The bus in the foregound is, I think, the United 67B. If I remember rightly it was the last bus on evening leaving Stockton High Street. I used to catch this bus as late as I think 11.30 to get back to Norton. I could be wrong about the time but I would imagine the photograph dates back to circa 1959.

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