Riley Bros Boilermakers

This series of photographs show John Riley (who was the the joint owner of Riley Bros along with his brother, Bahzilla Riley) and a number of views from the works. Courtesy of Simon Trenholm.



60 thoughts on “Riley Bros Boilermakers

  1. I was born in Brookdale 189 Oxbridge Lane Stockton on Tees – a house built by the owner of Riley Boiler makers works in 1866. I believe Mr Riley died in the house. The house is a typical ‘gothic revival villa’ of the time. With ornate ceiling coving and light roses. A good staircase rises up with a large half landing square bay window in ornate stained glass with mahogany handrail with bronze statuette light fitting at the end – probably an oil lamp originally or a later addition.

    The house had a long conservatory to the side accessed via the hall at the bottom of the stairs. A detached coach house and coachman’s cottage.

    I have fond memories of my life there from 1953 until 1965 when the Spencer family bought it from my parents who then moved to Low Worsall on the Tees above Yarm. I believe the Riley boiler making works closed. My Grandfather founded Fred Kidd and on Engineers in 1918 then buying the propellor works of Rogers in Stockton who had suffered a collapse from the 1926 General strike. Their descendants going on to found Rogers Rose nursery of Pickering.

    In its heyday Stockton was a a now largely forgotten powerhouse of ship building and support industries.

  2. The Riley/McLauchlan connection led to Bruno Bragoli sending me a copy of the McLauchlan family tree worked up by a cousin in the USA. The A4 pages spewed out of the printer for what seemed an age. Eventually I managed to assemble them in order. The sheet was an A4 depth for the generations but 14 feet long!
    Thank you Bruno.

  3. The token found by Gary K sounds fascinating and very kind of him to offer it to the family. Patricia lives in York but sadly she felt unable to join the party last October for the Centenary of the Transporter.
    My wife PETA (Riley) is the Great Granddaughter of both Alderman McLauchlan and of Alderman John Riley the last family Director of Riley Boilers.
    We look forward to hearing what Gary does with the token and again good job finding it. There must be masses of such material still to be found.
    best wishes
    Ian Sutherland

    • Hi Ian, I’v just sent Patricia a message about returning the token to her/your family. I left my email address with the PictureStockton team if herself or you couldd pass on a forwarding address I’d be happy to post. Thanks. Gary

  4. Message for Gary Knowlson. Very pleased to read your information about the token with my Great Grandfather’s name on it. I am sure we would love to have it in the family. I see you wrote your message on 15th January. Have your enquiries taken you any further since that time as I have not been on this site for some months now. Thank you for taking the time to leave the message Gary.

    • Hi Patricia,sorry for taking so long to reply.I would love to send your great grandfathers token to you and your family, you can get my email address from the PictureStockton team. if you get in touch and leave a forwarding address I’ll post it to you, as it is a piece of your family’s history. Gary

  5. Patricia Mclauchlan – Just been doing some research on Alderman J. Mclauchlan, as I go metal detecting on weekends and I’ve just found a token for King Edward VI & queen 1902 with the name Alderman J. Mclauchlan, Mayor of Middlesbrough on it and would like to give it back to his family, be grateful if you could help. I found it today in a field next to great Aston.

  6. I’ve not been on this site for a long time and very interesting to read the extra input. As Ian was wondering if my dad, Harry Hutton, may have more information I’ll ask him soon what he remembers of Rileys. I’m sure at the age of 92 he’ll be very interested in seeing the photos and pleased to know there’s a Riley boiler still in working order! I remember going in the car with my parents around the country and almost every town we visited we’d hear him say ‘there’s a Riley boiler here!’

  7. Well, the Riley decendants and the McLauchlan family all met at the Riverside Stadium then over at the Transporter Bridge for the centenary celebrations,including Joseph Alderman McLauchlan, grand daughter,Ruth Wilson-Bigg,who came over from Canada to be here. I must give thanks to Ian Sutherland for organising the booking and food etc. It was a brilliant day for everyone and I am very chuffed as it was a little idea of mine which I mentioned on this website last year. Stuart Inkster has also been putting a lot of work into getting people together and digging up more info on the Riley works and family and that is still an on going project. We we’re all very happy to get together as for a lot of folk it was a first meeting. Thanks to everyone for making it a very special day and the starting of a few new friendship.

  8. MY SISTER CAROLINE AND I, BOTH GREAT GRANDAUGHTERS OF JOSEPH MCLAUCHLAN, ARE MOST REGRETTFUL THAT WE CANNOT ATTEND THIS CEREMONY. WE BOTH HAVE A PICTURE OF ALDERMAN MCLAUCHLAN IN HIS MAYORAL CHAIN WHICH WE TREASURE AND WOULD HAVE REALLY ENJOYED THIS ONCE IN A LIFETIME CELEBRATION. UNFORTUNATELY EVENTS HAVE OCCURRED WHICH MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO BE THERE. HOWEVER IN SPIRIT WE WILL BE PROUDLY RAISING A GLASS TO THE GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR ANCESTOR.

  9. More connections for the McLauchlan story. Rosemary Clews is a new name but the connection is well known to Peta. Richard Barker now has my email address so perhaps he would pass it to Rosemary Clews. I have made a provisional booking for a room near the Bridge for pm the 17th October. Waiting to hear from Middlesbrough how – if at all – they plan to include family in events. Earlier this year I was told they would formally invite direct descendants. I have told them people need to know now to make travel and accommodation arrangements. Will keep people posted as info emerges. Because of the link between McLauchlan/Riley families – Joseph’s Daughter Lucy married John Riley of Riley Boilers fame – I am keeping a few Riley connections informed and they may well join in.

  10. I am Rosemary Clews, another great granddaughter of Joseph McLauchlan. I am the granddaughter of Rose and Alfred and the daughter of Judith. Judith died in 2004. I was born in Canada but grew up in York, England. I returned to Canada in 1993. I heard about this site and the centenary celebrations from my cousin Richard just today. I was particularly interested to read about Peta. I remember Peta visiting us in York when I was a small child. At that time my grandfather and Peta saw what they thought was a flying saucer in York. They both wrote to the Yorkshire Evening Press about it. My grandfather was pleased that it was Peta’s letter which got published. I retired from my work as a social work professor in 2008. Peta may be interested to know that my son Aaron is a photojournalist who lives in Budapest. My daughter Miriam is a sociology graduate and lives in Canada.

  11. Have just caught up with the entry by Richard Barker. There is a Heritage day at the bridge on 10 September but the format is not known. On Sunday 16th October there is to be a pageant to the bridge. Then on Monday the 17th – the actual Centenary – there are to be events at the bridge but detail/timings not yet known. Peta and I will be around Sunday pm and during Monday. I have some e addresses but if folk want to get mine from Stockton Pictures please do and I will see if we can arrange a meeting point. At the least all Riley/McLauchlans should wear a prominent name tag and we can look out for each other.

  12. I am yet another of the greatgrandchildren and have only just found about this site after speaking to Patricia to arrange a meeting when we pass through York next. Marvellous there are so many relatives around with an interest and I would be delighted to meet up in October whether or not the Council have any plans. I am Maisie’s son and was brought up on tales of the McLauchlans. I in fact still have Lucy and Daisys’ house in Saltburn which my mother bought which we go up to once or twice a year. Saltburn currently has a Transporter Bridge centenary exhibition which we visited a few months ago and then used the Bridge to cross the Tees! Alan McLauchlan was my mother’s cousin and they kept in touch. I saw Margaret Erenst some years ago when in Toronto. Ruth Arrowsmith, Josephs granddaughter, is of couse still around at 90 and is off to Budapest (from Canada) next month for her greatnephews graduation. A few times we saw a Jim McLauchlan from St. Louis when they were over, who had a website with details of the family tree but he died in 2010 and the site seems to have vanished. I sent an email to the Council in June asking if there were to be any celebrations but no response. It does seem though there will be enough family around to fill a room on our own whatever the Council does or doesn’t so let’s agree some dates?

  13. Stuart Inkster has alerted us to the entry by Ian McLauchlan, a Great Grandson of Joseph. It would be good to know which of Joseph’s children Ian descends from. We understand contact can be made via the family member Fiona.

  14. I am a great-grandson of Alderman Joseph McLauchlan. My grandfather was Joseph (Josh) McLauchlan. Bruno Bragoli is one of my first cousins. I am now living in Devon and have three grown-up children and five grandchildren, the eldest of whom is called Lachlan. I myself am not on the internet, but can be contacted through my elder daughter, Fiona.

  15. Stuart Inkster has let us know that Pictures Stockton is trying to contact us about Transporter Bridge celebrations. I am writing to Sarah Sanderson with our details. Middlesbrough Council has been in touch and they have a plan for celebration of the Foundation stone laying in 1910 on 3rd August and then events on 17th October when the Bridge was opened. No doubt the two Councils are in touch – we hope ? – and look forward to being around then and to catching up with as many connected people as can make it. I have enquired of Middlesbrough if we could hire a room in the Bridge Museum for a couple of hours for a family get-together and waiting for a response. I guess it may be needed for official stuff but we will see.

  16. Good news! The Stockton Council team responsible for the Transporter Bridge Centenary celebrations are eager to involve anyone with a genuine connection to the bridge. Please contact us asap via email or telephone (01642 526470) if you would like to be involved. Ian & Peta – we have been unable to contact you via email, please give us a ring if you can…

  17. Have now completed – with some gaps – a family tree for Riley/McLauchlan/Sutherland/Gooding clans on to an A2 sheet. Been trying to make links with John Thompson who added the info he was descended from William Riley elder brother of Barzillia. William married Jane Lowes and their only (?) son John Edward married Elizabeth Dobson and they had 12 children! John Thompson is perhaps the grandson of John and Elizabeth and son of their Daughter. Coincidence presumably is that on the McLauchlan side James Mclauchlan married secondly Ann Thompson. Her Sister, Lily Middleton Thompson, married Carl Hansen of Denmark, a sea Captain and the start of the family Danish links.
    The info rolls on !

  18. Dave Allen has been in touch about the bridge centenary and the book he is writing. He has kindly sent us the piece about Joseph and some of it was new to us. He has asked for a photo of the trowel and mallet and they go shortly.
    I now want to contact Anthony Burton about his book on shipbuilding families.
    The note by Patricia McLauchlan Atkinson is interesting. Judith Swinburne looks to have been a handsome woman from the photo we have. She was also restless it seems and kept rushing back to Northumberland to ride her horse. We can not trace the Swinburne family link. Her father was described as a Contractor from Sunderland.
    Information is piling up so we may close all the gaps one day.

  19. Thank you to Patricia Atkinson for your information. I have found old photos and some old letters, dating to 1842. Bruno Bragoli helped tremendously with the family tree. I would love to meet up and share what information we have. The book by Dave Allen sounds most interesting. I am most grateful to this facility for helping our discussions and for finding each other! I am in touch with my father’s (Alan Mclauchlan) sister’s (Margaret) children (Richard and Anna).

  20. I have again written to Middlesbrough Council asking for plans for the centenary but I am not hopeful of an answer. Even if they do not want the family involved we might still, as suggested, arrange a get-together at the time.
    As Joseph laid the foundation stone and we still have the mallet and trowel we have suggested laying a centenary stone using the same tools. We would be willing to make a – modest ! – contribution to the cost.
    After Stuart Inkster visited us I have been working to incorporate his added bits and corrections eg to dates to the family tree for both the Riley and McLauchlan strands. Bruno Bragoli kindly sent me his work on the McLauchlan lot – very extensive and some of it disappears over the horizon.
    Wendy Waite of Norton on Tees wrote to us once but we lost that link on the Riley side.

  21. I have just come across this fascinating discussion. I am writing a book on behalf of Middlesbrough Council celebrating 100 years of the Transporter Bridge. A tribute to Alderman Joseph McLauchlan, pioneer of the Transporter, will certainly be included – but anything more any of you are able to tell me about his life would be very much appreciated. I will happily, of course, exchange with you everything I have found about him while researching the Transporter. Naturally, his name comes up quite a lot and I am treating him as a real hero. The Picture Stockton Team can pass on my email address – please do contact me! I am also confident that Middlesbrough Council would love to have descendents of Joseph at the celebrations that they are planning over the course of 2011.

  22. Three more helpful names of Riley/McLauchlan connections.
    Patricia Atkinson, Marianne Gilbert and Bruno Bragoli.
    Peta(Riley) and I visited Alan McLauchlan and his wife in Suffolk a few years ago and I think met Marianne then. Sad to hear Alan died.
    Margaret Erenst visited us in Washington DC in the mid-80′s when Marjorie Riley stayed also. We have lost touch with Margarets two children after Christmas cards stopped.
    My last letter to Middlesbrough Council asking what was planned for the Transporter centenary back in January went unanswered. A get-together in October could be fun. Can we assemble a family tree in time – there are so many connections to keep track of!
    You may not know about a Danish connection on the McLauchlan side. Lucy had a ‘half-sister’ who married a Danish sea Captain. We are in touch with our generation there – they live in Ribe, Kongs Lyngby and Helsingor.

  23. Marianne. My grandmother Rose Mclauchlan’s brother Ted was a household name with us. There were 2 pictures on our lounge wall when we were young of Ted and Jos. Did not know Ted had a son Alan. Rose, Lucy and Daisy Mclauchlan were the three sisters. Lucy married a Riley. Joseph did marry Judith Swinburne who was supposed to be a lovely woman according to my grandmother Rose. My mother was named Judith also. Bruno, lovely to hear about your family research. I know you are in touch with Aunty Ruth who lives in Yorkton Canada. We spoke once briefly on the phone. Do you have a family tree on line that I could view as I seem to remember there was one previously. The Mclauchlan family were well known in Middlesbrough. Alderman Mclauchlan did a lot for the community so I am told and him and his wife were well liked. I have photographs of Alderman Mclauchlan in his mayoral outfit. My sister Caroline and I would like to visit the town of Middlesbrough and view the Transporter Bridge. My grandmother Rose Mclauchlan (Joseph’s daughter)married Alfred Hodgson Arrowsmith who was from Shildon, Co Durham.

  24. I am the Canadian son of the Late Dorothy MClauchlan Bragoli Archibald. Her father was Joseph (Josh) Mclauchlan the son of Alderman and sometime Mayor of Middlesboro Joseph McLauchlan. She was a first cousin of Jack Riley, who I met about sixty-two years ago with his parents John & Lucy Riley in their home, I think in Redcar. I have put together a fair amount of information on the McLauchlan family in Crook, County Durham, from Joseph Mclauchlan the Scottish born local schoolmaster and his second wife’s forebears back to Whorlton and a Shadrack James born in 1736. Joseph McLauchlan was a coal dealer in his early life and this could be an obvious connection to the Riley family business. Joseph McL was married to Judith Swinburne the daughter of H.Swinburne a contractor of Sunderland.

  25. Patricia: Dr Alan McLauchlan was the son of Edward McLauchlan (Ted)who married Rose Fuguel. They had a son, my father Alan, and a daughter Margaret who emigrated to Canada and married Michael Erenst. My father talked of Maisie and I think she was his cousin. Perhaps you can put me right on that as I’m not sure where she fits in. So, I gather Rose McLauchlan (your grandmother)had a brother Edward McLauchlan (my grandfather) and a sister Lucy and their father was Joseph McLauchlan (of Bridge and Alderman fame), my father’s grandfather and my great grandfather! Can you tell me who Joseph married?

  26. Am wondering what relation Dr Alan Mclauchlan was to Maisie Mclauchlan. Rose Mclauchlan, my grandmother, was the daughter of Alderman Mclauchlan the innovator of the Transporter Bridge, who was my (and my sister Carolines) Great Grandfather. Rose Mclauchlan had two brothers Jos and Ted Mclauchlan, they were both in the Army (Green Howards).

  27. My name is Marianne Gilbert (nee McLauchlan). My father, recently deceased, was Dr Alan Mclauchlan whom some of you may remember. I am also the great grandaughter of Joseph McLauchlan whose portrait I now have on my landing! I well remember my father talking of Maisie and others. I do have letters and info on Joseph and the family but have not been able to sort things out as yet. I would love to know simple details eg the year Joseph was born and died and who he married, how many children etc. I looked at this site just by chance to find out more re the Transporter Bridge. I wish I had found out more when my father was alive to ask. When is the Centenary as I would love to come up?

  28. Regarding centenary of the building of the Transporter Bridge. Yes, it would be very cool for us Mclauchlans and Riley descendents to meet up. My sister and I grew up with tales about the Transporter Bridge.

    It is good to read info about my past I am sure my grandmother Rose Mclauchlan would have been pleased that this facility exists.

  29. I’m not sure if Daisy and Rose Mclauchlan are related to me, perhaps by marriage at least. I live in Saltburn myself and it is indeed a small world. As far as being related to Herbert Trenholm the cricketer, not as far as I know. As far as the centenary of the building of the Transporter Bridge, I don’t know what the local council etc are planning but as far as I’m concerned if there is a public display or gathering any Riley and McLauchlan desendents should be there with a sign (ie like poeple do at airports for pick ups) and we can all meet. I know it far fetched but it would be cool.

  30. Louise Amende – Sorry for mistake. My sister Caroline and I visited Lucy Riley and Daisy Mclauchlan in Saltburn not Middlesbrough. My great Grandfather Mclauchlan lived in Middlesbrough as did my grandmother, Rose Mclauchlan and grandfather Alfred Hodgson Arrowsmith.

  31. A message for Patricia Atkinson and Peta Sutherland in particular: we live in the house that was owned by John and Lucy Riley from 1903; they sold in 1946 so a)if you visited Lucy in Middlesbrough that might have been some time after 1946 and b)if you visited them in Stockton when you very, very young girls(!) you probably visited them in our/their house here!! Would be interesting to make contact with you.

  32. Facinating story about Riley’s the boilermakers and Light Pipehall Road. It is a well known Stockton firm of high repute. It is even famous in model railway kit as I have a 00 low loader truck I bought for my train layout many years ago. Unlike some it stayed on the line with its load. How good it is to know the Transporter bridge was also designed locally. Come on you young ‘local lads’ show ‘em what Teeside can do today and stop the rot! In my working life I had at least three inventions, one was the FIRST properly working electrically operated wax knife for Mechanical Dentistry it controlled the temperature from 36c to 250c in stepless control. None of the soldering iron companies were interested even Antex Soldering Irons, which was the perfect size to hold. I used their iron to use with my control and sold quite a number in this country and abroad in Holland and Germany that was a great feat to demonstrate it right opposite Krupps stand at the Munich Dental Exhibition in the 1960′s. My other inventions were a converted Kenwood food mixer for vacuum mixing plasters and investments this worked at 30mm vacuum. The compressed tests for plaster hardness showed increased massive improvements in physical testing and you had no blowholes! My final invention was a converted metal cenrifugal high frequency dental casting machine. This was the first in the world and I never made a penny out of it. Also I never did learn who it was that received the benefit. It was supposed to be handled by the National Research Development Council on behalf of Leeds University. I do not think they understood what it was all about! So much for those who are supposed to know. These machines are in use now by all desiring high quality metal castings.

  33. Stuart Inkster just called to alert us to the entry by Patricia McLauchlan Atkinson earlier today. Peta remembers that strand of the family. She used to stay with them in York. Maisie used to write the most amusing letters about her doings. Daisy and John moved to Saltburn and he died there. They first lived opposite the Church and then in a flat with Maisie.
    We understand Dave Allen is writing a book on the Transporter Bridge for the Centenary and hope to be in touch with him. We have material he might find useful.
    Peta Riley Sutherland would be delighted to be in touch with Patricia Atkinson.

  34. I am Patricia Mclauchlan Atkinson who is the grandaughter of Rose Mclauchlan whose sister was Lucy Riley. My great grandfather was the innovator of the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge and my grandmother and I used to visit Lucy Riley at her home in Middlesbrough where she lived with her sister Daisy (that must have been after her husband had died). They (Lucy and Daisy) were two victorian aunts, my Aunty Maisie was brought up by them. Anyone with any other family information I would be pleased to hear. My sister (Caroline) and I both remember Aunt Lucy and remember my grandmother mentioning the name Peta.

  35. Very interested to hear from Simon Trenholm who has photos and wills for Riley family.
    Stuart Inkster and his wife are coming to Alton for lunch this Sunday to exchange stories and info.
    More info from Sheila Nicholson would be good. Her father must have been a bright chap to make it to MD. Hope he is enjoying his 90th year – much has changed over that time.
    Is Simon Trenholm any relation to the Durham cricketer, Herbert Trenholm ?

  36. Judith, isn’t it a small world. In my early years, three members of my Family worked at Riley’s and three of my neighbours too, so I got to know some of the guys who worked there and most of their names. Sadly, my Uncle Frankie Mallam passed away in the early 80′s when he was only 49. I think he went to Ashmores after Rileys closed together with my Dad. Frank ended up at Foster Wheelers at Hartlepool as a welding inspector shortly before he died.

  37. Neil, Frankie Mallam! Haven’t heard that name for years, he was one of my dad’s friends, didn’t realise they worked together.

  38. Judith, I remember my late Father, Denis mention your Dad’s name in conversation with my late Uncle Frankie Mallam and my grandfather Tommy Mallam who also worked there.

  39. My late father John (Joe)Vettas was a welder at Riley’s, I’m not sure exactly when, could have been 50′s or 60′s. Do any former employees remember him? I think his father also named John might have worked there too.

  40. I was one of the last apprentices to work at Riley Boilers in Stockton. Being small one of my jobs was to clean all the debris from inside the finished boiler. My uncle Kenneth Ackworth also worked there as a welder for many years.

  41. I am decended from William Riley, elder brother of Barzillia Riley(1839-1929) and John Howcroft Riley(1845-1928)see picture. Their father, also John, was a Master boilermaker who brought his family to Stockton in the late 1850′s from the Leeds area. The works photographs appear to have been taken before the First World War whilst the photo of John H Riley looks to be more 1920′s.

    0

  42. My father, Harry Hutton started work at Rileys when he left school – think he was an estimator? He went off to the second world war then back to Rileys. He eventually became managing director and when the boiler works closed (I remember going in there to watch and it was so noisy!) and men laid off the office was moved to Middlesbrough with just my dad, my mum doing the book keeping and Gordon Rowland.
    Dad retired in his early 60′s and is now 90 years old!

  43. I was always lead to believe that Ann Street was named after John Riley’s wife, Ann. Being a Riley descendant we have family trees and old wills.

  44. I have never ceased to be intrigued by some of the articles that appear on this site. One of these that has cropped up on several occasions is the origins of the name Light Pipe Hall Road. From the Ordnance Survey Map of 1856, the only notable feature on the landscape was Light Pipe Hall Farm. This was accessible from Oxbridge Lane along a grass track until around 1890, when it became known as Light Pipe Hall Road, paved and with houses built for the workers of the Moors Iron Works and Riley Boilers. Edward Street ran off Light Pipe Hall Road towards the railway line with Alexandra Street and Mary Street running down towards Oxbridge Lane. Edward Street became Riley Street in 1898. As for the name Ann Street and its origins, I have no information on this. Is it possible that this is one of the many streets that have changed name or disappeared completely with boundary changes over the years?

  45. Simon, I’ve got quite a few Riley’s photo’s which I can pass copies to the site if anyone is interested. These belonged to my late Father, Denis. I’ve also shared these with Stuart Inkster who is/was writing a book about Riley Boilers – I believe he is a Family member too.

  46. This is amazing I didn’t expect so much feedback when I uploaded the photos of the Rileys etc. Got in touch with my second cousin Anthony Burton and also Peta (Riley) has cropped up, who I was unaware of and is obviously a relation. I am so chuffed this has snowballed.

  47. I am also a Riley direct descendant – Simon Trenholm’s father is my cousin. I have recently written a book, published this month by Pen & Sword, called “Tracing Your Shipbuilding Ancestors”, which uses one of the photographs shown on the site to accompany a brief description of my own tracing of the Riley Brothers connection.

  48. The steam traction engine that is pulling the boiler is a “McLaren”. It was built at the engineering works of John and Henry McLaren in Hunslet, Leeds, about 1900.

  49. My wife Peta (Riley)Sutherland is the Great Granddaughter of Barzilia Riley, Granddaughter of John Senr and daughter of John (Jack) Riley. Barzilia and John were partners with the Peacocks of Middleham in a string of about eight horses. We still have the oil painting of one of them. Barzilia is mentioned in the racing memoirs of Fairfax-Blakeborough of Wensleydale.
    John Senr was a caring employer and kept men in employment into the thirties until the bank pulled the plug just as orders began to pick up after the depression. A businessman in Hove bought in and added the name Stockton Chemical Engineers but they did not innovate and folded.
    John Senr married Lucy McLauchlan, the Daughter of Alderman Joseph McLauchlan of Middlesbrough. He was the promoter of the Transporter Bridge celebrating its centenary in 2011. We still have the ivory mallet and silver trowel used by Joseph to lay the foundation stone for the bridge.
    Peta’s father retired from ICI in 1962 and lived in Middleham for several years. We married in 1959.
    Peta started as a Reporter with the Evening Gazette in 1955 when she was 17, moved to the Newcastle Journal and did work for the BBC. I started a Student Apprenticeship with Ashmore Benson Pease of Stockton in 1952. Got a company scholarship to Constantine College and then the company sponsored me to Kings College, Durham University. A Director of Ashmore’s was Tommy Riley, a cousin Of John Jnr. Tommy was most put out when I moved on to Shell-Mex/BP in London “..as I was almost part of the family”. A Riley of my generation worked with me at Ashmore’s but sadly I lost touch.
    We have some photographs we will now offer to the Archive. We managed to buy a Riley plate for Boiler 6406 from a shop in Whitby.
    One story more then enough. John Senr and Lucy visited Patty Peacock, a spinster and sister of Harry the Trainer, in Middleham. Sitting by the fire Lucy commented on the wrought iron fire irons and said she had ones just like them at home. Perhaps nothing more was said as she suspected and it does seem likely that John Senr was sweet on Patty. No more is known ! The fire irons had been made at the works.

  50. As a kid i used to live in Mary St next door to the coal yard and remember these great boilers being transported out of the works by lorry, sometimes just grazing the houses as they went past. I wonder has anyone got any photos of these occasions?

  51. Simon Trenholm; I worked at Riley Boilers when I first left school in 1955, I worked on their switchboard. Mr West was then the Managing Director. Also your name, my grandmother was a Trenholm before marrying, and she was born in Light Pipe Hall Road, and then in later years she lived in Mansfield St, the other side of the bridge.

  52. I am the great great grandson of John Riley. I’m sure you’re aware of Riley Street, off Light Pipe Lane that runs parallel to the High St, and also Ann Street named after John Riley’s wife. This was where the works used to be situated. I know Bahzilla Riley used to own a number of race horses which were trained at Middleham in the Dales. Their father, also John Riley, was the foreman who worked on bringing gas lighting to Stockton High Street. I believe there is a plaque in Green Dragon Yard refering to Bahzilla about having something to do with the local railways.

    • Just found this website whilst doing some research into my families past. I believe my gran Helen Elizabeth Riley was related to the Rileys of Stockton, she married a Jonathon Summerhill in 1915 (I think) research on going. If anyone could give me some further details on the Riley family it would be much appreciated.

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