This photograph was taken on June 2nd 1953 in Stokesley Crescent, Billingham. I only have very faint recollections of the day and the only people I can name are myself, the dismal looking squab with an eye patch in the middle of the second row from the front and the little head at the very bottom of the picture, Dave Willoughby. Fortunately another person in the photograph has a better memory than I have, she is Susan Lewis and the following are her words…
‘This was Coronation day in 1953, it rained heavily which is why we are all crammed into somebody’s house, I think it may have been the Stephenson’s house.
Viewing the photograph from left to right the back row has Hilton Brown at the left with a bugle affair, third from left is my brother Tony dressed as ‘Just William’ with Valentine Gallagher dressed as a washerwoman at the far right.
Second row from the back we have one of the Murray sisters at the far left, they were Yvonne and Sandra, the other sister is ‘Miss Britain’, I think Yvonne was the elder but I’m not certain.
I am the bewildered looking child with the big red, white and blue bullseye on my chest and head to the left of the front row, I remember the dye running from the crepe paper because of the rain.
Next to me is Hilton Browns sister, Hazel.
The three Wrench brothers, Derek, David and Barry are as follows, Derek is the cowboy with the brown waistcoat, David is half obscured in front of Val Gallagher and Barry is the unhappy looking ‘Blacked-up’ boy, the boys mother Renee is the dark haired woman to the right behind Robin Hood.
The girl in the pale blue hat and blue checked shirt is Marjorie Duncan and Robin Hood is one of the Stephenson boys, Joe I think, his mother is the sandy haired lady to the right of centre of the picture’.
Four of the children in this photograph became teachers, Susan Lewis, Tony Lewis, Joe Stephenson and myself Brian Storey. If anybody can add names to any of these faces then please do get in touch.
Photograph courtesy of Brian Storey, details courtesy of Brian Storey, Susan Lewis.
Susan is the author of ‘Home On The Range – Growing Up On Teesside In The 1950s & 60s’, Billingham Library have a copy in the local interest section.