Stockton High Street c1962/63

I have some photographs taken of my family with Stockton as a backdrop. I believe they were taken either late 1962 or possibly early 1963 as I was the baby in arms and I was born November 1961. The others are my parents and my older sister. My name then was Julie Marshall and my sister was Christine Marshall.

Photographs and details courtesy of Julie Gale.

Second Stockton Race Course

This is in response to a query about a racecourse near to Holme House, the poster advertises Stockton Races at Tibbersley in Billingham, there is a Tibbersley Avenue close to the ICI West gate and not too far from Billingham Beck so there is a possibility that the racecourse was situated somewhere near to this area, my old maps don’t show the extent of Tibberley Farm but it may have reached to where Fleet Road (A19) ran, between Billingham Bottoms and where Newport Bridge was later built, or even as far as Lustrum Beck, I believe this is as close to Holme House as Stockton Racecourse got.

Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

ICI Billingham c1970

Imperial Chemicals Company (ICI) was founded in December 1926, from the merger of four companies: Brunner Mond, Nobel Explosives, United Alkali Company, and British Dyestuffs Corporation. This joint-merger was to enable the British chemicals industry to compete worldwide with DuPont Chemicals, USA, and IG Farben Chemicals, Germany. (I G Farben was dissolved in 1945/46) the new ICI company produced chemicals,explosives, fertilisers, insecticides, dyestuffs, non-ferrous metals, and paints. ICI played a key role in manufacturing Perspex, Dulux paints, polyethylene and Terylene, and in a joint venture with Courtaulds Ltd, they produced Nylon. The first trading year the turnover was £27 million. In the 1940s and 50s, the company established its famous pharmaceutical business and developed a number of key fabric products including Crimplene. In 1962, ICI developed the controversial herbicide, paraquat. Early pesticide development included Gramoxone, an efficient herbicide that apart from killing weeds also killed insects and worms. From 1982 to 1987, the company was led by the charismatic John Harvey-Jones. In June 2007, the Dutch firm AkzoNobel (owner of Crown Berger paints) bid £7.2 billion for ICI. The initial bid was rejected by the ICI board. However, a subsequent bid for £8 billion was accepted in August 2007. Completion of the takeover of ICI by AkzoNobel was announced on 2 January 2008. As we all know the main ICI plants were situated in Billingham and Wilton. At one time ICI industries employed 60 000 staff.

Details courtesy of Bob Wilson. Photo © Ben Brooksbank (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Billingham Town Centre, late 1960s

When I was a schoolboy in the early 1950s I remember the excitement of the new shops being built, initially where the photographer was standing was a road known as Queensway, there were only shops along the right hand side of this photograph, the building at the bottom was yet to be built, if you could have stood in the same spot in 1953 you would be able to see along the length of Roseberry Road as far as Wolviston Road/ Billingham Bypass, if you were to walk to the fence alongside the bypass and look across the open land you would see the “Russian’s” farm on Sandy Lane, the next village would be Thorpe Thewles, amazingly if you stood in the same spot now you would see the “Russians” farm is no more and the land is a golf course but there are still open fields, woodland and meadows as far as Thorpe, this area was my playground as I was growing up.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.