Lucan Street – Blackpool Illuminations Trip c1960

t14623This photograph was taken outside the Guest in Blackpool around 1960. The trip was organised by Annie and Bella Ward who lived in No 4. Lucan Street. Stood at the back on the step is my mother May Millward and my sister Gwen in front of her to her left and Rita Anderson my sister to the right.  Annie Ward is in the front row middle alongside Mr Wardle who owned the coach which took us there. There are members of many families from the street including the Lamberts who lived in No 11. Can anyone recognise any one else in the photograph?

Photograph and details courtesy of David Millward


Taxi Rank in Stockton

t14622I thought people might like to see this latest postcard I have acquired of Stockton High Street in 1914. In the foreground is the taxi rank which seems to be in the same place as today but I guess progress was catching up even then as on the left you have two horse and carriage taxi’s and on the right what looks like two modern motor car taxi’s. I guess that was the beginning of the end for the horse drawn taxi. I wonder if there was any difference in the fare?

Image and details courtesy of John Callender.

Greeting Card c1926

t14575This was taken in Palm Terrace in High Clarence in 1926 and shows my Grandmother, Emma Leek and my Mother Margaret Rose, later Coleman, I think it is a interesting piece of social history, at that time there were many travelling photographers doing this sort of work, I don’t know if using photos as greeting cards was a common thing to happen, I don’t recollect ever seeing anything similar to this before, it also shows that even working class people could still afford such things, admittedly my Grandfather after leaving the RAF worked his whole life in ICI and they lived a comfortable life. As an aside many people in Billingham will know my Mothers Brother David Leek, he had the hardware shop in Mill Lane for many years.

Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Trains Reversing

If the line was blocked in the Norton area trains could reverse at Billingham towards Haverton Hill and another reversal would take them along what we used to call the Billingham Beck branch, rejoining the main line at North Shore, Stockton. The photographs show…
t14599A Diesel Multiple Unit at Haverton Hill on a Newcastle – Middlesbrough train




t14600A top and tailed express at Belasis Lane with a class 25 no. D5255 hauling the train from Billingham to Haverton Hill.




t14601After the train had reversed it is seen again climbing towards North Shore, Stockton hauled by class 40 no. D244.




t14602A Middlesbrough – Newcastle DMU heading away from Stockton seen just after passing beneath Norton Road.

Photographs and details courtesy of Garth McLean, taken 15 May 1966.

Alf Huggins, Councillor for Mandale Ward

t14603This is a photograph of my dad, Alf Huggins. I think it was taken just after he was elected as independent Councillor for Mandale ward in Thornaby. Dad is top right, below dad is Councillor Joe Collinson, next to him I think is Mr Littlefair. I don’t know the man top left. The photograph was probably taken late fifties or early sixties…

Photograph and details courtesy of Judy Heslop.

Norton Cricket Team, 1954

t14619The players are as follows; back row left to right: H Bansall, G Williamson, B Woodier, D Walford, H Williamson, T Birtle.

Front row left to right: I Johnson, J Grigor, J Fox (capt) , H Thompson, E Waller.

Jimmy Grigor was the last of the pre war players still playing in the first team. Others such as DCH Townsend, Freddy Harker and Edgar Manners were retired whilst Dick Spooner was playing for Warwickshre.

Photograph and details courtesy of Martin Birtle.

Johnny Longstaff, British Battalion of the International Brigade c1938

t14617 This photograph shows my father Johnny Longstaff from Thorpe Street with a couple of his friends, Charles or James Cormack and Tom Sloan taken in Barcelona just before the Battle of the Ebro which started in July 1938, Johnny was 18 and was wounded twice during this battle.


t14618This photograph was taken in Ripoll, Catalonia, Spain. Johnny was awaiting repatriation to Britain along with the rest of the British Battalion of the International Brigade.

Photograph and details courtesy of Duncan Longstaff.

Thornaby Municipal Baths

t14614I have lots of memories of this place I loved the building. We used to play on the steps, used them as a stage when it was closed. I didn’t learn to swim until senior school, I used to hate getting ducked under by big daft lads so I didn’t go much even though we just lived across the road. When I was about seven,  mum had a knitting machine so she knit me a swimsuit and also trunks for dad, you can guess the rest… yes we soon left the pool never to go again for years. It is such a shame it was knocked down as the driving boards are not there anymore but the water is warmer. We used to be frozen walking back to school, no buses for us.

Image and details courtesy of Judy Heslop.

Locomotives passing Grangefield Grammar School c1964

t14597 t14598Engineering work on the railways today causes much discussion, but obviously it is not a new thing. The photographs show what used to happen in the 1960’s to avoid bus replacement. If the line was blocked in the Stockton area trains could be diverted from Norton to avoid Stockton station. They would take the Redmarshall line at Norton East and then after reversing at Redmarshall, they took the freight only line to Bowesfield where after another reversal they travelled onwards to Eaglescliffe and points further south.

These two photographs show one of these ‘top and tailed’ workings passing the rear of Grangefield Grammar School. The locomotives are class 40 diesel electrics nos.D399 and D274. Taken 1st November 1964.

Photographs and details courtesy of Garth McLean.

ICI Long Service Awards, October 1963

A programme of events for an ICI Long Service Awards presentation night. This took place on 31st October 1963. I’m assuming the event was held at the Billingham Arms but the programme doesn’t say so.

ICI certainly pushed the boat on these occasions with an excellent menu and a selection of turns for entertainment. Transport was laid on to make sure everyone got home safely.

Amongst those receiving his 30 years service award was my grandfather Jimmy Wright from Wolviston. When he retired in 1970 he had completed 37 years service with the company. He would be amazed to know that within 40 years ICI had largely disappeared from the Teesside area.

Images and details courtesy of Martin Birtle.

School Boys Badge

t14596This is a photograph of the badge presented to schoolboys and youths on winning a Durham County Youths Athletics event in the Annual Durham County Youths Athletics meeting. This particular one was held at the Billingham sports fields in 1952 and the badges were presented by Lord Londonderry.

This Badge was for the 440 Yards sprint event. I am sure there are many Stockton Winners one who comes to mind is Frank Scott, a mile distance competitor. Are there any other Stockton Athletes out there who either won or competed in these Sporting meetings? I have a friend in Australia from Billingham, George Haxby who I know competed in these Meetings as a distance runner. I wonder if this event is still competed for.

Photograph and details courtesy of Ben Brown.

Margaret & her Box Brownie Camera, Grange Road, Thornaby

t14593I took this photograph of Margaret Hope standing on Grange Road, Thornaby when she was about eight or nine, I don’t know whether she took one of me as we both had Box Brownie Cameras for either birthdays or Christmas. The films only took eight photos and were quite expensive at the time, I think I only ever had two films. I also had a flash attachment, my uncle Bob Huggins showed me how to develop them, but we never had the money to go on with this hobby.

Photograph and details courtesy of Judy Heslop.

A play in the school yard, Bowesfield Lane Girls School c1950s

These photographs were from Miss Margaret Petty, our teacher at Bowesfield Lane Girls School. Taken during the late 1950s.

First Photograph: Alwyn Brand, ??, Rosie Sanders (Policeman), Sheila Ellis (seated)

Second Photograph: Alwyn Brand, ??, ??, Susan Dumont

Third Photograph: Alwyn Brand, ?? , Gloria Davies, Rosie Sanders, ??, ??

Fourth photograph: ?? , me (Pam Dinsdale, dressed as a man), Susan Dumont

Photographs and details courtesy of Pam Painter.

Class Photograph, Form 1R at Grangefield in 1954 to 55

t14579I’ve have had a go at putting names to faces, maybe others can fill in the gaps…

Front Row (l-r):  Mike Burney, Matthew Scott (Trimdon Station), Bill Nevinson (Coxhoe), John Walton (Billingham), David Youlden, Chris Parkin, Mr Ken Whitfield (Spitfire pilot in WW2, played Accordion on TV’s ‘TOP TOWN’ early 50’s) ??, ??, ??, George Spinks (Coxhoe), Dougie Angel, Miles Walton (Trimdon Grange).

Centre Row (l-r): Ian Collinson, Chalky White (Dad was music teacher), ? Smiles, Spike Wright, ? Swainson, Owen Turnbull, Charlie Brown (Thorpe Thewles), ? Carr (headmasters son), John Beaver, Sniffer Skelton ?, Kenny Kirton, Colin Jones (Trimdon Station), Peter Dodds, David Charlton later Wild (Chukker)
Back Row (l-r): Ian ?, Robertson (Billingham), John Inman, Taff (David) Evans (Coxhoe)

Photograph and details courtesy of Matthew Scott.

1825 Walk at Preston Park, 23 October 2015

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The Stockton and Darlington Railway celebrates it’s bi-centenary in 2025 and although still ten years away plans are now being made not only to celebrate the occasion but to make sure that the events of nearly 200 years ago are recognised locally, nationally and internationally. Both borough councils as well as Durham County Council and the National Railway Museum have come together to ensure that the railway line receives the recognition it deserves and with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund a supporting group, the ‘Friends of the Stockton & Darlington Railway’ has been formed .

The Friends held their first workshop at the NRM Locomotion in Shildon back in June and are holding their second one at Preston Park Museum from 10am on Friday 6 November . As well as workshop discussions there will be an afternoon walk along the original 1825 track-bed which runs through Preston Park and which is the only significant remaining length of the original railway in the Stockton area. The track-bed runs parallel to the busy A135, Yarm Road, and is now the subject of a self-guided walk leaflet available from the museum and which points out the track route, it’s cuts and embankments, sidings and spurs and even a ramp and possible platform, the shape of which is now almost lost among the under growth.

As a precursor to the workshop the Friends arranged two guided walks on the 23 October which were both led by Robin Daniels of Tees Archaeology and who will also lead the November walk too. I went along on the morning walk and was one of a group of fifteen or so people who were keen to know more about this local gem sadly hidden from view by creeping undergrowth and a boundary hedge dividing main road from railway track, indeed a boundary hedge which probably has it’s roots, pun intended, in the original 1825 Preston Hall hedge!

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Androcles and the Lion, Bowesfield Lane Girls School

t14566 t14567 t14568 t14569Performing Androcles and the Lion at Bowesfield Lane Girls School in the late 1950s – photographs were from Miss Margaret Petty, our teacher.

Jennifer Perrin,  Anne Watson, ??, Sheila Ellis, ??, Rosie Sanders, ??


Me (Pam Dinsdale) as Caesar, Margaret Youlden, ??, ??,  Sheila Ellis, Rosie Sanders




The only name I remember on this photograph is Gloria Davis, the girl with the dark hair on the bottom right.





Susan Dumont – back end of Lion!

Details courtesy of Pam Painter.

‘Beaconsfield Soldiers & Sailors ‘Welcome Home’ Association c1919

t14553Pictured on the left is the programme of a night of entertainment at ‘The Bungalow’ in Norton which was held on Wednesday 16 April, 1919 to celebrate the safe return of two local men from the Great War.

The associated poem was written by the Beaconsfield Soldiers & Sailors ‘Welcome Home’ Association Chairman Mr J Lillystone and printed on small cards which were given to those who attended.

Images courtesy of Vicky Cooper.