Stockton Armed Forces Day, 22 June 2017

A number of organisations offered people the opportunity to find out more about the past, present and future of the Armed Services on Stockton High Street yesterday. There was a range of military and civilian support organisations including Regular Army Stands of Vehicles and 1 Close Battalion REME, Museums from The Heugh Battery Hartlepool, Local Regimental Associations information stands, Army reserve stands from 243 Provo Coy, 201 Field Hospital, 282 MC Sqn, 50 Sigs Sqn and 124 Recovery Coy, WW1/WW2 Singer Janie St John and Soprano Samantha Holden.

Photographs courtesy of David Thompson.

St Ann’s Hospital Memorial Bell at North Tees Hospital

This bell is on display near the west wing entrance close to the cafe of the North Tees Hospital. I’d walked past the bell many times without reading the plaque only to find that when I did read it it has quite a lot of history attached to it. That area of Portrack Lane is often featured on Picture Stockton, particularly St James School in Union Street East which must have stood very close to the hospital and St James Church. All now sadly gone but nice to see that this bell ‘rings out’ to a well loved and remembered part of the town.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Hartburn Signal Box c1965

This photograph was taken when Hartburn signal box was still in existence and there were 4 tracks. Because it was near the road, the signal box was a favourite spot for trainspotters in the winter because the fire chimney backed onto the road and you could warm yourself on the wall. For those interested in the railway aspect the loco is a WD and is hauling a northbound freight in December 1965. Such a difference now but at least the railway is still there and Ropner Park too.

Photograph and details courtesy of Garth McLean.

Stockton & Darlington Railway Brass Plaque, ‘Tittybottle Park’, Eaglescliffe

This small park in Eaglescliffe is bounded by Yarm Road, Albert Road and Victoria Road, the names give a clue to its age and origin as the houses are mostly well established of Edwardian design dating back to the late 19th century with larger and slightly older houses being found in The Avenue nearby. The park will be familiar to many as the Eaglescliffe War Memorial stands within it but also here is another piece of history. A brass plaque explaining the quaint naming of the park mounted on a relic of the original Stockton & Darlington railway. A relic I had walked past many times but had never taken the trouble to read and which should be afforded greater provenance given its historic significance. Taken December 2016.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.