1st Billingham Boys Brigade c1947

t15134This photograph shows the 1st Billingham Boys Brigade, taken outside the Methodist Central Hall on Billingham Green around 1947.

Amongst the many faces is my late husband Charles ‘Chuck’ McCorkell, Chuck and I were married in this very church in 1960, the church has long since been demolished.

Other names of the people in this photograph are:- Gordon Brown, Jackie Stoves, Harry Oliver, Harry Gilbert, Brian Kemp, George Gamesby, George Crawford, Eric Brown, David Jefferson, Alec Brown, Billy Oliver, Jim Barnes, Bill King, Skip Tinkler, Alan Dent, Bob Stewart, Terry Gilbert, George Whitehouse, Stan Calvert, George Brown, Frank Barnes, George Fleming and Harry Whitehouse.

If anybody remembers any of these names then do write in, they may be Fathers, Grandfathers or even Great Grandfathers of people still living in the Stockton area. I shall be very pleased to hear from some of Chuck’s old friends.

Photograph and details courtesy of Freda McCorkell.

Cars at ICI Oil Works?

An array of vehicles and a milk machine at ICI, Billingham.

Photographs courtesy of Ken Brooke.

Funeral procession of Charles Stewart, 1915

s828 s829A view of the funeral procession for Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart (1852 – 1915), 6th Marquess of Londonderry, Earl Vane outside Wynyard Hall. The pallbearers are followed by Lady Theresa Susey Helen, Marchioness of Londonderry and Charles Steward Henry.

The hall was built in 1822 and rebuilt in 1841 after a fire and incorporated the late 18th century mansion built by the Tempest Family. The new building was based on Benjamin Dean Wyatt’s unexecuted proposal for a Waterloo Palace at Stratfield Saye for the Duke of Wellington. The plans were eventually executed by his brother Philip Wyatt.

Billingham Stephenson Hall c1960s

t15121This picture of Stephenson Hall shows the Hale Road entrance, this is just off Marsh House Avenue, the two storey wing to the left housed the Headmaster’s and secretary’s offices and the staff rooms, the single storey part was the dining area combined with the stage, beyond which was the main hall, this was sunken by about three feet.

The door in the corner was the staff entrance, the upper floor of the building behind the grassed area was the ‘Domestic Science’ room, the lower floor was the girls cloakroom.

The building is typical of it’s era, architecturally uninteresting and has since been demolished, the activities inside the building were much more interesting, there were many excellent teachers and the facilities were second to none, because the whole of the school started together on a September morning in 1958 there were no ground rules or set routines, we were all finding our feet at the same time and this included the staff.

Available to download is The Photo and Memories Album of Billingham School: 1951/1961.

Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman

Distant view of Portrack and ICI c1972

t15119I waited a long time for the air to clear over Teesside, in the late summer of 1972, before driving up to the range of hills which overlooks Middlesbrough, going towards Eston. Even so the centre of Stockton is barely visible. It was probably about 6 miles from where I was. The long thin rectangle about one third from the left is the Malleable works. Just behind it is the gasholder in Portrack and Hume House can also be discerned. But there is another tall structure as well. The towers of the Newport Bridge are in the centre of the picture. To the right of these the silos, etc, of the south part of ICI Billingham can be seen.

I don’t know the exact location from where this picture was taken, but if anyone has the time it would be interesting to see how things have changed over the past 44 years.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Head Wrightson Fire Engine

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t15117As part of the 2016 Heritage Open Day programme the North East Land Sea and Air Museum at Usworth near Sunderland held an open-weekend and I spotted this former Head Wrightson fire engine on display in their workshop. It looks to be under restoration and in need of a bit of TLC.

“This Leyland FK9 was supplied in 1939 as a pump escape to the Thornaby-on-Tees Municipal Borough Fire Brigade and, after service with the NFS from 1941 until 1948, it passed to the North Riding of Yorkshire Fire Brigade. Subsequently it was sold to Head Wrightson at Thornaby for their Teesdale Iron Works. It was in preservation in Hampshire and was sold at auction at the Beaulieu Motor Museum in the late 1980s. For many years it was at the Preston Hall Museum, Stockton-on-Tees and passed to the Shildon Lorry Museum in 2008.”

The lorry museum closed c2009 and the fire engine passed into private hands before finding a new home at Usworth. I don’t recall ever seeing it on display at Preston Hall Museum but others may know more?

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Stockton Library Staff, Wellington Street

Library staff, Carole Carr, Chris Robson, Irene Geldart, ?? and Laurence Collier at Stockton Central Library on Wellington Street, Stockton.

New look Yarm Library, Yarm High Street

The newly refurbished Yarm Library, which also houses a new Newcastle Building Society branch opened on Monday 5 September 2016. The library now incorporates the latest self-service technology, modern furnishings, improved ICT facilities and a fabulous Reading Garden!

Join us to celebrate the reopening of Yarm Library with our Festival of Events this September.

Painting of Stockton High Street

t15100This is one of  Local Artist Tony Hutchinson’s works, depicting myself with my wife Marie sitting on a bench in Stockton High Street, with an unusual view of  the Parish Church in the background. Tony has created a wonderful painting capturing the Stockton High Street we all know and love.

Image and details courtesy of Ben Brown.

Trains near North Shore

t15096 t15097These photographs were taken in the marshalling yards at North Shore, the gas works can be seen in the background. In one of the photographs you can see North Shore signal box and also what looks like another signal box in the freight yards. Can anyone help with its identity?
For the record the locos are K1’s nos.62045 and 62044 taken in January 1967.

Photographs and details courtesy of Garth McLean.

German Airman’s Funeral, December 1939

t15087This photograph shows an RAF parade at the burial of a German airman in Thornaby Cemetery the picture is dated 12th December 1939.

At the head of the leftmost line of marching airmen is my Grandfather Sidney H. Leek, he has two badges on his greatcoat sleeve, one on the shoulder and one on the upper arm, he would have been around 40 years of age when this picture was taken but the company may have been reservists, my Grandfather had been in the RAF during the 1920s so he probably had reserved status.

I seem to remember that a service for the German airman was held at Thornaby cemetery a few years ago and it was well attended.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

View of Holme House Farm 1969

t15088As can be seen, Holme House Farm was still in its original condition, surrounded by fields. This view is taken from somewhere near the Rocks Field in Portrack. I know for certain that the crops included potatoes and barley.

During potato picking week, which was a half term, a the end of October, infuriatingly just before Bonfire night, older working class kids and young men, from Tilery, Portrack and Swainby Road, lined up near Blackett’s bridge over the beck to be chosen for a day’s potato picking by the farmer. Only the stronger and rougher looking types would get a job. I tried a couple of times without success.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Stephenson Hall Teachers, 1960/61

t15083 t15084These photographs were taken at a football match between the teaching staff and the pupils in the 1960/61 school year.

The teachers are as follows:- Back Row (L to R): Mr Tomlinson, Mr Coates, Mr Barker, Mr Golightly, Mr Chapman, Mr Cowperthwaite, Mr Boddy. Front Row (L to R): Mr Wilkinson, Mr Wood, Mr Crozier, Mr Jack, Mr Wing, Mr Carroll

I was taught by all of these teachers except Mr Carroll. The only other male teachers from that period I can remember are Mr Shepherd, he taught French and Mr Wilkinson Snr. Many of these teachers are no longer with us but Mr Barker, Mr Wood and Mr Crozier were all at out last reunion in November 2015 as well as Miss Landells. I am sure many of these teachers will be remembered by numerous Billingham residents.

I have included the opposing team of pupils for that match but I only have some of their names. Back row (L to R): ??, ??, ??, Les Crank, ??, ??. Front Row (L to R): ??, Trevor Crawford, Don Jamieson, John Mitchell, ??, ??. If anybody can put any names to any of these faces please do so.

Photographs and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.