Stockton High Street Awaiting Demolition 1970ish

This photograph shows the stretch of Stockton High Street from Castlegate to Finkle Street, the buildings are empty and awaiting the bulldozers.The Georgian town houses from Castlegate northwards have had their ground floors converted to shops, very similar to those seen in Yarm to this day, the Greek Neo-Classical frontage of Doggarts comes next, then more town houses, all of this was swept away and replaced by the Castlegate Centre.

I noticed the building behind Doggarts facade has a hole in the roof and its design is more like an aircraft hanger than a shop. The small house along Castlegate looks to be more Victorian as were a lot of the old buildings and yards alongside the quayside.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

The Head of Steam Museum, Darlington, 25 May 2018

The Head of Steam Museum in Darlington is situated at North Road Station on the route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. Although predominantly focussing on the Darlington connections with the line there are still several mentions of ‘the other end of the line’ at Stockton with the star of the show being the original Locomotion steam engine. One of the pieces of artwork on show ‘Service To Industry’ features a huge Deltic locomotive in the sidings at ICI Billingham. Those sidings, although long abandoned well overgrown, and that pipebridge still exist today and can be seen from Haverton Hill Road close to were the car and van scrap yard is now. Interesting too that the railway sleepers at the Darlington end of the line were made from stone yet those at the Stockton end were made of wood!

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

1967 ICI Apprentices

Tony Banks asked if anyone had a picture of 1967 ICI apprentices. Not sure if he is in this photograph, but this is one of the intake. I am third right at the back (app Turner), Ray Kemp centre back (app Tiffy), Mike Thompson third right middle (app Fitter), Rick Jeal second right front (app Electrician). Those I’ve named were made redundant when we came out of our time in 1971 apart from Ray who was a Tiffy. I managed to get back in ICI in 1975 where I worked till 2014 albeit under different name changes and sites, that is EVC at Runcorn then Ineos. I did 20 years in the Machine shop environment and 24 years or so on the Plants around Runcorn under many guises. It gave me a fantastic life with many many great opportunities. I wouldn’t have swapped it for the world. The lads I’ve mentioned, I’m still best of mates with, but often wonder what happened to the rest I was messenger boy with and apprentices.

Photograph and details courtesy of Dave Murray.

Summerville Farm, Durham Road

Photographs showing Summerville farm prior to demolition and the building of houses.

Photographs and details courtesy of Terry Westwood.

Stockton Castings

Stockton Castings, a jobbing foundry in Ross Road, Portrack came into existence in 1947, and last year to celebrate its 70th Anniversary put up some pictures in its reception area. These appear to show the official opening back then. The casting being handled is a plaque, which has been cast by “His Worship the Mayor… on July 6th 1947”

As a kid, in the fifties, I just about remember the set of industrial buildings coming into existence in Ross Road and along that stretch of Portrack Lane. Stockton Castings must have been one of the first to be built.

Photographs and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Billingham Synthonia Football Programmes

A series of Billingham Synthonia Football programmes dating back to the 1950/1.  Images courtesy of Laurayne Featherstone.