Hip! Hip! Zoo-Ray! Globe c1937

G.B Chapman, Ltd showcased Hip! Hip! Zoo-Ray! a combination of animal and human artistes at the Globe in 1937. May Leslie, a Hull girl introduced a troupe of lions and can be seen sitting on Sultan. The act also included a group of comedy black bears, the famous troupe of Liberty horses, a group of performing Bengal tigers and a group of performing sea lions.

Image and details courtesy of Barry Jones.

The History of LittleBoy Park, Thornaby

Lt. Wilfred Littleboy, was born in Stockton 26 September 1896, he was an officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and sadly killed 9 October 1917, during the abortive attack on the Polderhoek Chateau, Ypres, a German HQ building. The 1st Battalion DLI was part of the Brigade which carried out the attack. Although it was initially successful, there was a high cost of life and the Château could not be held due to a combination of stiff resistance from an enemy firmly ensconced in concrete pill-boxes. Casualties rose, and the order was given to retire. By the end of the War there was little of the original chateau left, and the owners never returned.

Wilfred Littleboy, was the youngest son of Charles William Littleboy, a shipbuilder in Thornaby, and his wife Agnes Eveline. With the outbreak of the Great War, Wilfred was keen to do his bit so he gave up school and enlisted in The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. In October 1917 the Battalion received orders to attack the strongly defended Polderhoek Chateau, Wilfred went forward with his platoon. He was hit in the leg, but still pressed on with the attack, only to be shot again and killed. Wilfred’s parents donated a plot of land to the town of Thornaby-on-Tees. The park area known as Littleboy Park was opened to the public by his mother in 1930, as a memorial to their son.

Details courtesy of Bob Wilson. The War Grave image and commemorative certificate courtesy of Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org

St John’s C of E Junior School Football Team, Stockton

This picture of St. John’s football team was taken in the school hall during the summer of 1958.

I’m sitting at the end of the front row, on the right as you look at it, (the only one with his shirt undone!) with John Morton behind me and John Sudlow to his right. Centre of the front row with the ball is that year’s captain, Keith Jones and that’s all, apart from Mr. Ogden, that I can remember. I and several others were in junior 3, the remainder junior 4.

Photograph and details courtesy of Paul Butler.

Walton Court, Portrack c1970

This is a typical view of the area in Portrack that was built in the mid 1960s, on what was a large chicken farm between Campbell Street and Walton Street. Walton Court along with Campbell Court were built to house elderly couples and middle aged single people who had lived in the terraced houses of Old Portrack.

Note that the heating was supplied by coal fires, with smoke drifting northwards from the chimneys. Completely unacceptable today. The TV aerials are also a vestige of the past. The older longer wave VHF and newer (BBC2 only) UHF aerials can be discerned. They were commonly referred to as 405 and 625 line channels.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr:

Yarm Town Gas Holder c1950’s

Before we took our gas supplies from a national network each town had their own supply of ‘town gas’ of which both Stockton and Yarm did and the Yarm gasometer or holder was off West Street opposite St Marys Church. The former site has been built upon now but I seem to remember that not too long ago the land had to be cleaned and decontaminated because of possible contamination?.

Of all the local town gas gasometers only the one in Middlesbrough next to the A66 still survives but that too is due for demolition and with it goes another local landmark!.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Dovecot Street. Early 20th Century

This picture of Dovecot Street shows it as it was in the early twentieth century, a number of these buildings survived into the 1950s and beyond. We start with Collingwood’s which frequently features in pictures of Stockton, next is Gourmet Cafe Temperance Hotel, the name Fothergill appears at the left hand side, I presume this to be the owner. The Lit & Phil Institute building has a mansard roof with oval windows, the Ketton Ox in Yarm has similar openings on its upper floor. In the case of the Ketton Ox this room was used for cock fighting, I doubt such activities took place at the Lit & Phil.
When I was a schoolboy I used to go straight from school to the Lit & Phil in Stockton to play chess against members of a chess club, most of my opponents were at least 40 years older than me and experience always won out, I never won a game.
The Alma Hotel advertising Bass Beers has its lower windows partially obscured to prevent the passing public from seeing what went on inside, I don’t know if this was a law but I think all pubs had frosted glass or name signs in the windows. Kay’s Spreadeagle Hotel is a very narrow building, the bay window and pillars on the upper floors look to be pre-Victorian. I can’t read the sign on the next building but I think the second word may be “Fleece”, this is followed by another bay windowed frontage. The building with Martin Tailor on its side also has an advert which appears to read ‘RATTER and MEN’S’ something, I know my eyes are not brilliant but it still looks to me like ‘RATTER’. There are a few more unreadable signs beyond the Tailor’s shop and at the very back left is a pale building with “THEA” on its front, I presume this to be a theatre. I would be interested if anybody with keener eyes or a knowledge of these buildings can add any more names.

Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.