Ronald Scott of Barnard Street, Thornaby









Ronald Scott was a talented song and dance man who left Barnard Street, Thornaby to travel the world as an entertainer. He even recreated a Thornaby pub in Bangkok called the ‘Yard of Ale’ where he performed for years.

A much younger Ronald can be seen on the photograph entitled ‘‘Victory’s Children, Barnard Street, Thornaby c1955‘. An exhibition entitled ‘Victory’s Children’  is currently held at Preston Hall Museum until Sunday 12 July 2015.

Details courtesy of Derek Smith.

BPL visit to ICI Wilton c1963

t14221This is a photograph of a visit by staff of Billingham Press, Brunswick Street, Stockton to ICI Wilton Terylene plant in 1963.

Left to right is Susan Pratt, Maureen Conroy, unknown, Ivan Harrington, Mick McCabe, Angela Bearpark, unknown, Jennifer Wright. Of the three men in the background corner the chap on the right could be Dennis Gray. The chap on the far right is an unknown ICI manager. The photograph was probably taken by an ICI photographer.

Photograph and details courtesy of Brian Swales.

6th Form Stockton Grammar School report from 1961

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The results page would have been written just after I had done my “A” Levels in Chemistry, Physics, Pure Maths and Applied Maths. We also did a General Studies “O” Level, which was new at the time.

The headmaster was Mr Cain, who was a keen type. The Chemistry teacher was Charlie Golding and the Physics teacher Ben Thompson.

The marks that are given appear to be an estimate of what we would get in the exam. You may be surprised at how low they are. As far as I recollect I got 65% in Physics and 70% in Chemistry (or vice-versa). At the time 70% was a very good mark. Through sheer laziness I failed both Maths exams. When I went to Battersea College of Advanced Technology, everyone was put on an advanced maths course, in which those who had failed A levels had to pass or they would be out! On that occasion I did put in some effort, but I was never a natural at the subject.

I also failed the General Studies exam, partly because I probably knew more about the history of science than the examiners (thanks largely to Stockton Library). They also asked for a synopsis of a book published after 1950. Unfortunately I chose 1984, which was written in 1948!

Images and details courtesy of Fred Starr.


Area around Cowpen Bewley c1969

t14223 t14224 t14225These photographs were taken as part of a short cycle ride from Portrack in which I was intent in finding out what the countryside was like behind Haverton Hill. The building in the first photograph was just off the end of Cowpen Bewley Road, where it runs into Cowpen Bewley Lane.

I did this ride without maps, but recollect crossing the line of the Stockton to Hartlepool railway, so perhaps some of the photographs have been taken off Wolveston Back Lane… I would guess that with the massive development and land drainage in this area, some of the farm buildings have disappeared. Perhaps Stocktonians can help?

It must have been a difficult are to farm as the land was low lying and the pollution from ICI could not have helped. The farmland looked very bleak compared to that around Portrack and Norton.

Photographs and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Composing Room of Billingham Press c1962

t14220This is a photograph of the composing room of Billingham Press when they were in Station Road, Billingham. It was taken in 1962 probably shortly before the firm moved to Stockton to take over the old Postle & Brown building, Brunswick Street.

Left to right in the photograph – in the light coloured sweater & glasses unknown, to his right Tony Butterfield, above right of him unknown, to his left with his head on the side Keith Samme, in the top corner John Marlborough, to his left is myself Brian Swales, opposite me is Harry Johnson and the white haired chap with glasses on the right is composing room foreman Mick McCabe. I do wonder how we ever found anything in such a mess!

The photograph was taken by the late Ivan Harrington a Billingham Press machine minder who was a very prolific photographer who took many photographs, not only in and around Billingham Press but also around Billingham & Stockton.

Details courtesy of Brian Swales.

The Blakeston Family and links to Norton?

t14181A good friend of mine has done a lot of family tree work over the years and knows she has links to the Blakeston family, long associated with Norton-on-Tees.

She recently received several family photographs – this head and shoulders shot of a young woman is Ann Blakeston. I wonder if any of the visitors to Picture Stockton know how she fits into the Blakeston family of Norton.

Details courtesy of Martin Birtle.

Newtown Junior School c1973

t14131Back Row (l-r): Clifford Chambers, Martin Eels, Christopher Brown, Michael Bellerby, John Addy.

Middle Row (l-r): Robert Trainer, Andrew Pratt, Malcolm Durham, Sandra Bell, Diane Zichelmanis, Diane Trainer, Carol Stokes, Deborah Rountree, David Magson, Les Gibney, Paul Marshall.

First Row (l-r): Coleen Hart, Linda Squires, Deborah Pitt, Hazel Stott, Tracey Dodsworth, Mr Manning, Julie Oates, Jane Galloway, Patricia Teague, Andrea Carter, Yvonne Spooner.

Photograph and details courtesy of Mike Bellerby.

Seventies Stockton Bikers

t14207Repairing the clutch on my pre unit Bonneville on the Whitby Road in 1970.
Top left clockwise: Dougie Dunn, Pete (Joe) Johnstone, David (Gabbler) Allison, Dennis (Wombat) Walton. All the guys were from Fairfield except me, from Thornaby.

Dougie Dunn still lives in Fairfield, Pete moved to Canada, Dave Allison died some years ago and Dennis Walton lives in Yarm.

Photograph and details courtesy of Anthony Bonner.

Victory’s Children, Barnard Street, Thornaby c1945









A photograph taken in May 1945 of a VE Day Party, Barnard Street, Thornaby.

Front left: Ken Morrison, behind him standing is Madge Costello and Mary Haycock (Hudson), next to Ken is Ray Costello, Gladys Fulton (Godwin), Beryl Scott (Story), Eileen Haycock (Henderson), Ray Fulton, head of table is Bill Crone, behind him Dorothy Crone (Toulson), then to the right below is Jack Haycock who is almost hidden by fingers, the top of Ronald Scott, Tony Paleschi, David Green, Kathleen Haycock (Alder) then front right with hat is Rita Wilson (Wood).

To read the full story of ‘Victory’s Children’ visit

An exhibition entitled ‘Victory’s Children’ (based on this photograph) is currently held at Preston Hall Museum until Sunday 12 July 2015.

Details courtesy of Derek Smith.

World War One ‘Soldier’s Penny’

t14206This ‘Soldiers Penny’ was given to my Uncle Billy Bonner’s family.

98 years ago on the 23rd April 1917, William Bonner was killed. Billy was serving with the Durham Light Infantry when he was killed at the battle of Arras, northern France.
As well as being St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday, the 23rd April was also William’s 21st birthday.

Photograph and details courtesy of Anthony Bonner.


Stockton Man’s Great War Diaries

Roger Stamp PSRoger Stamp was born in Stockton in 1895.  He lived in Russell Street and attended Bailey Street School before working as a plater in Ropner’s shipyard.  In 1913, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the 5th (Territorial) Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry.  When the Great War broke out he, with the rest of his battalion, was at the annual summer camp.  The territorials were recalled to their depot in Stockton where they all volunteered for service overseas.

On 17th April 1915 the 5th DLI left Newcastle for Folkestone from where they sailed for France.  On the day he left for the front Roger began to keep a diary (much frowned upon by the Army) and continued to do so until he was invalided out of the army in 1918 after, in August 1917, being wounded for the third time.

He recovered from his injuries and after the war he emigrated to America where he worked as a gardener in Los Angeles.

Roger's DiaryNow, precisely one hundred years to the day that the events were first recorded, Stockton Library Service will be serialising Roger’s diary, day by day, exactly as he himself wrote them.  The diary gives a rare insight into the everyday life of a British infantryman in and out of the line in France and Flanders during the Great War.  You can see Roger’s diary as it unfolds at

We are indebted to a relative of Roger, Linda Patterson, who originally transcribed the diaries and has very graciously given us permission to publish them.  We would also like to acknowledge the work done by Durham County Record Office and Durham at War in making these diaries accessible. The Durham at War project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Trip to Blackpool

These images were sent in by Mike Blackburn in response to ‘Tool Room, Ashmores c1950s’, where a trip to Blackpool was mentioned. Very much of their time, we thought they may be of interest…


My Dad (Geoff Blackburn) is second from right in the front row. I obtained this from my Mam (rightly named as Sylvia Howe – former pupil at Newham Grange School). Mam said the photograph was taken before she met Dad. She was able to point out the aforementioned Titch Clark, who is far right on the back row, holding the beach ball. She didn’t know anybody else on the photograph, so maybe others can identify them. As for the girls on the photo, Mam is not sure they were even from Stockton – unless others know different!



t14202My Dad (Geoff Blackburn) is third from left.








t14204Another photograph taken from the same holiday – in what looks to be the meeting place outside of the guest house. Dad is far right looking on wistfully! The girl in the middle appears to have made several appearances in front of the camera. Who is she?



t14203My Dad is second from left – the lad to his left is possibly Titch Clarke.

Photographs and details courtesy of Mike Blackburn

St. Georges Day Parade, Stockton High Street – April 2015

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On Sunday the Stockton Thornaby and District Scout Groups held their annual St Georges Day Parade in Stockton . After forming up near The Swallow Hotel the parade of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts together with their leaders were led up the High Street by The Billingham Silver Band to the Stockton Baptist Tabernacle were a service of thanksgiving for the scouting movement was held. The parade was well attended by the young people and many parents and families took advantage of the sunshine to go along and show their support. Well done to all those involved!

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Mr Hewitt’s Class, Sheraton Comprehensive School – 1973

t14130First year photograph from 1973 at Sheraton Comprehensive School. We were in Mr Hewitts class 1 HWT.

Back Row (l-r): Arthur West, Graham Hayes, Tony Smith, Paul Davies, Ivor Howells, Steven Helliwell, Mark Dunning, Gary Russell, Tony Brown.

Middle Row (l-r): Jacqueline Eddy, Susan Seddon, Michael Bellerby, David O’Connor, Dennis Griffiths, Gary Williams, Gerald Plimmer, Julie Hunnam.

First Row (l-r): Karen Bennett, Deborah Kightlety, Deborah Binks, Jeanette Storey, Lynn Sutherby, Lesley Nicholson, Christine Sweeney, Hazel Stott, Marie Middlemas.

Photograph and details courtesy of Mike Bellerby.

Boots the Chemist Staff, Billingham c1960

t14154Two photographs of my mother when she was working as a dispenser at Boots The Chemist in Billingham in 1960.

In the first photograph the fashionable young ladies are (l-r) Laura Angel, Joan Walker and Anne Watson

t14155The second photograph shows some of the staff working at Boots at that time they are (l-r): Pat Rowe, Judy Hardy, Joan Walker, Noreen ?, Mrs Rowbottom, Tina ?, Freda Wilson Audrey Burns and Anne Watson.

Photographs and details courtesy of Mike Bellerby.

Ropner Park c2004

t5153Ropner Park is one of the regions most impressive Victorian Parks, here we see work taking place on the lake c2004. The water was removed over a number of days and the fish taken to the Environment Agencys ponds at Pickering for a health check and for quarantine.

The silt that was built up in the lake t5154over the last fifty years was removed and stored in the Park. After 10-12 months when the silt had dried out it was used as compost for the flowerbeds.

Photographs courtesy of Parks & Countryside.

A Sketch Book of Stockton

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‘Because of our association with this staunch north country town, and because of our belief that our Artist has happily captured the personality of Stockton, it gives us great pleasure to offer this collection of drawings to our friends’ – extract taken from ‘A Sketch book of Stockton’, The Power-Gas Corporation Ltd and Ashmore Benson, Pease & Co.

Images courtesy of Glenn Hutchinson