The Blakeston Family and links to Norton?

t14181A good friend of mine has done a lot of family tree work over the years and knows she has links to the Blakeston family, long associated with Norton-on-Tees.

She recently received several family photographs – this head and shoulders shot of a young woman is Ann Blakeston. I wonder if any of the visitors to Picture Stockton know how she fits into the Blakeston family of Norton.

Details courtesy of Martin Birtle.

Newtown Junior School c1973

t14131Back Row (l-r): Clifford Chambers, Martin Eels, Christopher Brown, Michael Bellerby, John Addy.

Middle Row (l-r): Robert Trainer, Andrew Pratt, Malcolm Durham, Sandra Bell, Diane Zichelmanis, Diane Trainer, Carol Stokes, Deborah Rountree, David Magson, Les Gibney, Paul Marshall.

First Row (l-r): Coleen Hart, Linda Squires, Deborah Pitt, Hazel Stott, Tracey Dodsworth, Mr Manning, Julie Oates, Jane Galloway, Patricia Teague, Andrea Carter, Yvonne Spooner.

Photograph and details courtesy of Mike Bellerby.

Seventies Stockton Bikers

t14207Repairing the clutch on my pre unit Bonneville on the Whitby Road in 1970.
Top left clockwise: Dougie Dunn, Pete (Joe) Johnstone, David (Gabbler) Allison, Dennis (Wombat) Walton. All the guys were from Fairfield except me, from Thornaby.

Dougie Dunn still lives in Fairfield, Pete moved to Canada, Dave Allison died some years ago and Dennis Walton lives in Yarm.

Photograph and details courtesy of Anthony Bonner.

Victory’s Children, Barnard Street, Thornaby c1945









A photograph taken in May 1945 of a VE Day Party, Barnard Street, Thornaby.

Front left: Ken Morrison, behind him standing is Madge Costello and Mary Haycock (Hudson), next to Ken is Ray Costello, Gladys Fulton (Godwin), Beryl Scott (Story), Eileen Haycock (Henderson), Ray Fulton, head of table is Bill Crone, behind him Dorothy Crone (Toulson), then to the right below is Jack Haycock who is almost hidden by fingers, the top of Ronald Scott, Tony Paleschi, David Green, Kathleen Haycock (Alder) then front right with hat is Rita Wilson (Wood).

To read the full story of ‘Victory’s Children’ visit

An exhibition entitled ‘Victory’s Children’ (based on this photograph) is currently held at Preston Hall Museum until Sunday 12 July 2015.

Details courtesy of Derek Smith.

World War One ‘Soldier’s Penny’

t14206This ‘Soldiers Penny’ was given to my Uncle Billy Bonner’s family.

98 years ago on the 23rd April 1917, William Bonner was killed. Billy was serving with the Durham Light Infantry when he was killed at the battle of Arras, northern France.
As well as being St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday, the 23rd April was also William’s 21st birthday.

Photograph and details courtesy of Anthony Bonner.


Stockton Man’s Great War Diaries

Roger Stamp PSRoger Stamp was born in Stockton in 1895.  He lived in Russell Street and attended Bailey Street School before working as a plater in Ropner’s shipyard.  In 1913, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the 5th (Territorial) Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry.  When the Great War broke out he, with the rest of his battalion, was at the annual summer camp.  The territorials were recalled to their depot in Stockton where they all volunteered for service overseas.

On 17th April 1915 the 5th DLI left Newcastle for Folkestone from where they sailed for France.  On the day he left for the front Roger began to keep a diary (much frowned upon by the Army) and continued to do so until he was invalided out of the army in 1918 after, in August 1917, being wounded for the third time.

He recovered from his injuries and after the war he emigrated to America where he worked as a gardener in Los Angeles.

Roger's DiaryNow, precisely one hundred years to the day that the events were first recorded, Stockton Library Service will be serialising Roger’s diary, day by day, exactly as he himself wrote them.  The diary gives a rare insight into the everyday life of a British infantryman in and out of the line in France and Flanders during the Great War.  You can see Roger’s diary as it unfolds at

We are indebted to a relative of Roger, Linda Patterson, who originally transcribed the diaries and has very graciously given us permission to publish them.  We would also like to acknowledge the work done by Durham County Record Office and Durham at War in making these diaries accessible. The Durham at War project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Trip to Blackpool

These images were sent in by Mike Blackburn in response to ‘Tool Room, Ashmores c1950s’, where a trip to Blackpool was mentioned. Very much of their time, we thought they may be of interest…


My Dad (Geoff Blackburn) is second from right in the front row. I obtained this from my Mam (rightly named as Sylvia Howe – former pupil at Newham Grange School). Mam said the photograph was taken before she met Dad. She was able to point out the aforementioned Titch Clark, who is far right on the back row, holding the beach ball. She didn’t know anybody else on the photograph, so maybe others can identify them. As for the girls on the photo, Mam is not sure they were even from Stockton – unless others know different!



t14202My Dad (Geoff Blackburn) is third from left.








t14204Another photograph taken from the same holiday – in what looks to be the meeting place outside of the guest house. Dad is far right looking on wistfully! The girl in the middle appears to have made several appearances in front of the camera. Who is she?



t14203My Dad is second from left – the lad to his left is possibly Titch Clarke.

Photographs and details courtesy of Mike Blackburn

St. Georges Day Parade, Stockton High Street – April 2015

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On Sunday the Stockton Thornaby and District Scout Groups held their annual St Georges Day Parade in Stockton . After forming up near The Swallow Hotel the parade of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts together with their leaders were led up the High Street by The Billingham Silver Band to the Stockton Baptist Tabernacle were a service of thanksgiving for the scouting movement was held. The parade was well attended by the young people and many parents and families took advantage of the sunshine to go along and show their support. Well done to all those involved!

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Mr Hewitt’s Class, Sheraton Comprehensive School – 1973

t14130First year photograph from 1973 at Sheraton Comprehensive School. We were in Mr Hewitts class 1 HWT.

Back Row (l-r): Arthur West, Graham Hayes, Tony Smith, Paul Davies, Ivor Howells, Steven Helliwell, Mark Dunning, Gary Russell, Tony Brown.

Middle Row (l-r): Jacqueline Eddy, Susan Seddon, Michael Bellerby, David O’Connor, Dennis Griffiths, Gary Williams, Gerald Plimmer, Julie Hunnam.

First Row (l-r): Karen Bennett, Deborah Kightlety, Deborah Binks, Jeanette Storey, Lynn Sutherby, Lesley Nicholson, Christine Sweeney, Hazel Stott, Marie Middlemas.

Photograph and details courtesy of Mike Bellerby.

Boots the Chemist Staff, Billingham c1960

t14154Two photographs of my mother when she was working as a dispenser at Boots The Chemist in Billingham in 1960.

In the first photograph the fashionable young ladies are (l-r) Laura Angel, Joan Walker and Anne Watson

t14155The second photograph shows some of the staff working at Boots at that time they are (l-r): Pat Rowe, Judy Hardy, Joan Walker, Noreen ?, Mrs Rowbottom, Tina ?, Freda Wilson Audrey Burns and Anne Watson.

Photographs and details courtesy of Mike Bellerby.

Ropner Park c2004

t5153Ropner Park is one of the regions most impressive Victorian Parks, here we see work taking place on the lake c2004. The water was removed over a number of days and the fish taken to the Environment Agencys ponds at Pickering for a health check and for quarantine.

The silt that was built up in the lake t5154over the last fifty years was removed and stored in the Park. After 10-12 months when the silt had dried out it was used as compost for the flowerbeds.

Photographs courtesy of Parks & Countryside.

A Sketch Book of Stockton

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‘Because of our association with this staunch north country town, and because of our belief that our Artist has happily captured the personality of Stockton, it gives us great pleasure to offer this collection of drawings to our friends’ – extract taken from ‘A Sketch book of Stockton’, The Power-Gas Corporation Ltd and Ashmore Benson, Pease & Co.

Images courtesy of Glenn Hutchinson

Hughie McGlade of Portrack, Stockton c1979

t14152The man in the white jumper is Hughie McGlade. He was one of those quiet unassuming people who you would never really notice. But he was a trusted foreman for many of the civil engineering projects associated with construction of the chemical plants on the Tees Estuary. He was my Uncle, who lived next door to us in Kingsport Close, Portrack, growing up in Watson Street.

I never got the story from his own lips… Hughie was taken prisoner during WWII, but escaped to Yugoslavia where he joined forces with the resistance fighters. At some point he took a watch from a dead SS man. If Hughie had been caught he would have been shot on the spot, at best. Is the watch still in existence, and can anyone add more detail to this story? The phtograph was taken in the Conservative Club in 1979.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Harkers Cricket Team c1960s

t14153This cricket team was made up of members of Harkers Engineering staff from Church Road, Stockton seen here at Wynyard in the early 1960’s.

Back row (l-r): Jack ?, Alan ?, Norman Bellerby, John Humpleby, Ernie Johnson, Ray Hartley, ??, Billy Kelly

Front row (l to r): Jack Wood, Peter Fletcher, George ?, and ??.

Photograph and details courtesy of Mike Bellerby.

The 1971 Dewar Cup, held at Billingham Forum

t14134The front page of the 1971 Dewar Cup – I understand this was the first time that the Forum at Billingham had staged the competition. There are over a dozen autographs on the cover including two Wimbledon champions in Evonne Goolagong and Virginia Wade.

The second image shows the order of play for the event. Tennis was very popular at the Forum for a few years and some big names turned up to play.

Images and details courtesy of Martin Birtle.



Kingsport Close, Portrack c2014

t14123These photographs of Kingsport Close show the efforts that have been made to improve the environment. They could be contrasted with those taken in the 1970s and 80s. Walls now add to the privacy of each house and a screen of trees has been planted at the point where the Close used to border onto the Rocks Field. It also seems t14124apparent that the houses have been double glazed. Not many people about, even though it was a very nice September day when these photographs were taken.

Photographs and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Billingham Synthonia Sports Meeting c1952

t14125This Sports meeting at Billingham Synthonia Cricket Ground was an annual event and attracted all the local athletes and usually a very large crowd as can be seen in the photograph.

This is the men’s mile race with Benny Brown leading but he finished second to a runner from Synthonia Harriers, John Ellis I think his name was. These meetings were good training for local athletes where they could compete against the top local runners. They usually gave prizes up to a maximum of £50, this was so that the winners did not exceed the limit applied by the AAA for prize money and they could maintain their Amateur Status – they were allowed to run in the Olympic games if they were good enough.

I remember my second place prize was a set of gold plated cuff links that I have to this day (some where in the house). Are there any such Sports meetings held today for the local Athletes?

Photograph and details courtesy of Ben Brown.

Leven Valley Coaches – The End! Bowesfield, 27 March 2015

‘It was the end of an era on Friday 20 March when Leven Valley Coaches who operated several bus services throughout the Stockton Borough were forced to cease operations due to a combination of increasing insurance premiums and reduced financial support from local authorities. The company was established nearly 30 years ago and it’s yellow and red fleet of buses were often to be seen throughout Stockton with several of the buses taking the names of local historical figures and places such as St Aidan, Iona and Lindisfarne.
The buses are now in store in Bowesfield awaiting sale and my thanks to the depot staff and in particular Kevin for allowing me access to photograph them as try as I did on their final day I never saw one to photograph whilst in operation!’

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Dads Shed Business, Knowles Street, Stockton

t14128This photograph shows my Dads shed business taken in Knowles Street. The Westminster Bank can be clearly seen the background.  The building is still there, but no longer a bank. The exact date of the photograph is not known, however it must be before 1964, when we moved down South.

I do not know the two people in the photograph, they could be models used for advertising… Does anyone have any information or recognise either gentleman?  Also the board leaning against the shed is advertising, F.M. Donachie, 42 Westbourne Road.  I would interested in any information about this person too.

Photograph and details courtesy of Carol Smith.

Unknown Yard and Houses c1902

t5944Possibly the Housewifes Lane area of Stockton…

The following is an extract from Heavisides Almanack, 1902.

‘In the passing of years, many changes have taken place in the old town. I recall in my youth that the lamplighter used to arm with a ladder and small lantern, nimbly ascend the lamp-post, open a small door, apply his lantern light, slide down the sides of the ladder, and in a half-run continue his course from one lamp to another, round the whole town’.

Photograph taken from the Heavisides Collection.