Bus on Stockton High Street, 1957

A general view of Nos.47-61, High Street, Stockton. No.47, Yorkshire Penny Bank (1932-present day), No.57, R. Pickersgill & Son, heating engineers and furnishing ironmongers, No.58, F.A. Woodroffe and Son, jewellery, silversmith, optician, watches and clocks, No.59, Masterman, menswear, No.60, Laesers, confectioners, No.61, The Vane Arms Hotel. A double decker bus is included in the view. 1957

96 thoughts on “Bus on Stockton High Street, 1957

  1. Willie Waites is no longer with us. I moved from Stanley Street to Roseworth in 1969 and ‘Billy’ lived in the same road with his mam. I sold gazettes and the ‘Sports’ for him in the High Street. From what I can remember Billy was a keen follower of local football – the Newtown Club team. He was a nice man.

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  2. Hello Judith – The family lived in the upper floors of the property. Latterly, only Granny and Auntie Jessie remained. They employed a daily maid to do the housework. Auntie Jessie DID teach at Richard Hind School and, when she retired, served on Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

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  3. Judith Wyman – sorry for late response (due to computer difficulties). No51 High Street was completely occupied by the firm. The shop was on th ground floor of the main building with single-storey workshops behind. The upper floors were residential. 1st floor = kitchen, large landing, pantry, toilet & large drawing room over shop (originally 2 rooms converted into one). 2nd floor = 3 bedrooms & bathroom. 3rd floor = more bedrooms. 4th floor = attic bedrooms & stores. There were also cellars which were used for storage (cold foods etc)

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  4. I worked at Whitelocks 1970-72 – there was a Tom Walker worked there too. I remember getting the bus into Stockton from Middlesbrough every day then walking down Dovecot Street under the bridge to Tynedale Street – what a walk!! Collingwoods jewellers was on the corner of Dovecot Street then.

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  5. My dad Eddie Daly was born at Portrack in the 1920s. He played for the Shamrocks in the 50s. He used to tell me about a man who dressed in a lion suit and walked down the High Street. That would be when he was a boy in the 20s or early thirties. Does anyone else remember anything about the lion man?

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  6. Old Dickie Bradshaw who worked in the Head Wrightsons Machine Shop, Thornaby, was a great slinger – if his crane driver did not obey his instructions he would put his fist in the air & say ‘Next time you will get that’. I never saw a crane driver disobey him again in my twenty odd years, he certainly was good at his job but was fun to be around. Dickie had a son by the same name who was a good darts player.

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      • Hi Katie, Just read your comment. My husband Malcolm asks to say hi to your dad Tony. They worked together at Whitelocks and Malcolm worked the door at the Fiesta in Norton While your dad worked the door at Tito’s.

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  7. Bob it was the other way around. Oxbridge to the High Street then to the site off Durham Road on the road to Stillington. My nephew Richard Small worked for him for quite a number of years before going to OZ.

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  8. I worked for ‘Whitelocks’/’DairyCrest’, Tynedale Street, Oxbridge in 1972/73 and there was a Tom Walker working there at the time. I believe he left in the 70s and set up a cheese retail business adjacent to The Sun public house. For some reason I also think he may have had premises close to The Speedway pub in Newport, Middlesbrough.

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  9. Dave, I remember Willy very well. I used to sell the Sports for him at the top of Parliment street on a Saturday evening. I would sell out, get paid, then go to the fish shop in Adderly street – fish and chips and a large bottle of Lowcocks Cream Soda – then home to watch ‘Holiday Town Parade’ them were the days. I don’t seem to remember Tarzan the tramp.

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  10. Bob, it was may father who was the darts player (Dicky Bradshaw). I have heard lots of stories over the years about things he got up to playing darts. I have a program somewhere in my house when he was in the first News Of the World finals. 11/12/2011 18:54:31

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  11. Joyce McDowell – Thanks for that, I can see the building now. It must have been four or five storeys high, did the business occupy the whole building? What were the upper floors used for? Fascinating, it would be great to see any interior photographs of the business if they exist.

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  12. Judith – I don’t have any photographs of the shop on Norton Road. The High Street shop was no. 51. Look on the photograph of the High Street. Look above the back of the bus & you will see, high up, painted on the gable ‘H & W’ (Martin)

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  13. Anon. The only sister that I know about is the one that married a gentleman called Tom Walker who runs a well known local Cheese company that was based in Stockton High Street but is now based just off the Durham Road.

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  14. As well as a Wilf Mannion living in Portrack there was a Stanley Matthews who went to St Annes School & will be about seventy now. The real Stanley presented him with a pair of football boots in the Jubilee Hall one Saturday morning prior to Blackpool playing Middlesbrough at Ayersome Park.

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  15. ‘Willie the Gazette Seller’ was Willie Waites. Willie lived in Bickersteth Street, or one of the streets in that area, and went to St. Cuthberts School in Parkfield. Willie was stricken as a child with Sydenham’s Chorea, known in those days as ‘Saint Vitus’ Dance’, and this sometimes may have given the impression that he was on the simple side, but he wasn’t; Willie had a very sharp mind. Willie was a well-known and well-liked character around Stockton High Street for many years. I hope he is still well.

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  16. Ken Rhodes – Did the Wilf Mannion you refer to have a sister called Lilly? Were they both unmarried and did they live with their mother a very sweet old fashioned lady? If so I remember them from when they lived at Hardwick. Sadly I think they have all passed away now.

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  17. Keith Bradshaw, was your g/father a really good darts player in the Stockton leagues? If so I can remember one New Years eve when visiting his house with friends who were friends of his when he offered to play anyone for a certain amount of money. He had the dart board on a wall in the kitchen. I knew of his ability and decided to keep my mouth shut.

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  18. I remember Leslie Browns as somewhere we would spend Saturday afternoons listening to the current Top 20 records in little sound booths (and occasionally buying a record!!). The Penny Long ride which Keith Bradshaw mentioned was always popular as it went around the roads on the council estate behind Richardson Rd. As for Parkfield – the area I knew and played around with my mates seems to have mostly disappeared all, the Sts that ran down to Bousefield Lane have been pulled down apart from Gladstone St and Northcote St. The planners call it progress but it split lots of communities apart. The High St suffered the same fate when all the shops and pubs, including the Empire and the billiard hall where we spent many happy hours, were destroyed. I wonder if Keith remembers Tarzan the tramp and Willie the Gazette seller.

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  19. When I served my time as an apprentice patternmaker at Pickerings Lifts in the late Forties I shared a bench with a nice man called Wilf Mannion who lived at St Annes Terrace in Portrack. In those days Wilf Mannion was a well known footballer with the Boro. I turned up, as we all did, at half past seven to start work for the first time and was told that I would be working with Wilf. I thought that my new workmates such as Albert Russell were pulling my leg, but no, at one minute past eight in rolled the bold Potrack Wilf, a little tubby man who was not a footballer but I think he supported the Boro as well as the Rocks. I worked with Wilf till I moved to Croswaites for a year and then onto Heads for the rest of my working life. Mr Wilf became a firm friend and we went to see many a classical music show together. Was he part of the Mannion family that Joy and the previous writer were taking about?

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  20. Yes Billy cockles was real, we had many a good chase of him when I was young. I was brought up in Camden street and we use to always bump into him if we were going down the tips up Bowesfield Lane.

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  21. I have just been catching up and reading comments about Stockton’s characters. I remember Mucky Arthur riding down Richardson Rd where I lived but have no idea how he got the name. Was Billy Cockels a real person? As teenagers we used to walk across the 6 fields from Hartburn to Tatie Hall then cross over and walk along some railway lines and end up on Bousefield Lane, on the way we used to pass a hut where Billy supposedly lived but we never saw him and I still don’t know if he ever existed. As fo Glovey or yellow gloves as we called him whenever we saw him we would shout ‘Up the Boro’ and he would respond with a string of four letter words!! Happy days wandering up and down the High St on a Sat afternoon. Was Miss Martin at Richard Hind juniors, if so I was terified of her.

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  22. I remember Hunter Martin walking in the High Street in Stockton. He always wore a Derby bowler. I have in my possession an evening dress tail suit made by Hunter Martin. I also was taught by his sister, Miss Martin at school.

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  23. I too have enjoyed the comments on the characters of Stockton and especially Kay’s comments. I only visited Portrack once a week, with my mother to see my grandparents but I remember seeing Giggy at the corner of Nicholson Street. To Linda Jackson regarding the Pinkney sisters – they were indeed the two ladies who taught Sunday School at Brunswick for many years. I recall attending there and being a ‘Morning Star’ and collecting money for the missionaries in Africa.

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  24. Joyce McDowell, I wonder if the Pinkney sisters you speak of from the forties and fifties would be the same women who, in the sixties, taught me both at Sunday School and youth group in the Methodist church on Dovecot St. I remember them as lovely ladies and as I recall they lived just off Oxbridge Lane not too far from the cemetery.

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  25. Joyce McDowell – what a lovely story about your family business. Do you have any photographs of the shop? I can remember it being on Norton Road but I don’t know where it was on the High Street.

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  26. My Grandad, James Parker, played for the Portrack Shamrocks football team. I have a team photo somewhere in my archives. I too would love to know more about them. Great picture, such a shame they destroyed it. I remember someone telling me Carry Grant stayed at the Vane Arms.

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  27. Take a ‘bow’ Stockton folk for all the lovely comments about Giggy, with working on the market I saw him often and what Kay Fiddess said above was really lovely, it goes to the very heart of the Stockton and Stockton folk we all care about.

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  28. This picture brings back memories of, when a child, sitting in the bay windows above H and W Martin’s Tailors shop, watching the Mayor’s parade and many other parades during the war. My dad, Wallace, kept the business going whilst his brother, Hunter (Uncle Terry)was directed to the full time special police service during the War. Wallace died in 1943 and Hunter managed to keep the business going with the assistance of his wife, Elsie to keep the books. He had a loyal staff, in particular two tailoresses Gladys and Elsie Pinkney. When the High Street was redeveloped he moved the shop to Norton Road and kept going until these ladies were due to retire, producing one suit a week.

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  29. Dave Day, you would get a shock if you saw the High Street now. There is no market running down the middle anymore, just a small market up near the town hall. No Les Browns, you must remember that shop. Any thing you want to know about Stockton or Parkfield, I will gladly fill you in on. Another memory – you must remember the Penny Long Ride.

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  30. Thanks Keith. I have often wondered if Billy Cockles was real, I know we always ran past the hut just in case. I wonder if Stockton still has well known characters like there were in the fifties or whether everyone is just faceless these days. As I now live in Cheshire I haven’t seen the High Street for some years now.

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  31. I think it’s a chap called Fairless who lived in that area, such a long time ago but I do remember a Dickie Bradshaw who was a slinger at Head Wrightsons machine shop, Teesdale works in 1953.

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  32. One reason for Stockton Cricket Club having a Thursday XI organised by Tom Iredale the High Street tobacconist. The pitches they played on were usually at the Oxbridge Avenue side of the ground and most of the team did work on Saturdays and so could not particpate then. Pleasant days!

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  33. I lived in Park Terrace until I was about 5 years old, when we moved to Roseworth. I don’t remember any names of the neighbours, apart from the Franks family who ran a taxi company.

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  34. I have loved reading all the comments about the old characters of Stockton. I remember them all. My early life was spent in Park Terrace, not there now of course. It was on the end of Holy Trinity churchyard and down to Bridge street. I was head girl of the committee at the Odeon Saturday morning pictures and knew Bernard Goldthorpe (a real gentleman). I went to Bailey Street school and used to take a short cut along the riverbank when the ships used to come in there and trains used to load up. A different world from today.

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  35. I remember Tarzan quite well and he was not scruffy. He was clean shaven, wore a tie and trilby and was always clean. Any stranger seeing him would not recognise him as being a tramp. He was invalided out of the forces from the 1stWW and wore the silver badge in his lapel depicting this.

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    • I remember Tarzan in the 1950’s he used to find us kids playing football in the back street on the back wall of Stockton station in Nolan street. He would do his famous Tarzan shout and punch the brick wall, saying that’s how he used to knock elephants out with one punch ! We were gob smacked. He would then say can you get me some sandwiches and a Billy can of tea. We all would run to ask our parents and tell them we had just met the real Tarzan. Matic or what.

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  36. Tony Jackson talked about the Stockton Dandy, well we called him the ‘yellow canary’. He would ride his bike round Stockton High Street wearing yellow gloves and smiling at the ladies and I tnink he wore a yellow tie and shirt

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  37. That’s right Aline, born in 1946 myself and I too appreciate the fact that I was brought up with, and still remember fondly characters such as Daddy Horton, Tarzan, Giggy Moon and his brother Raymond, who on market days would be seen dragging a wooden box containing reject fruit home to Portack. If these people were alive today they could probably make money out of the local legends that they have become.

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  38. Having just read your comments, Jack Stevenson. I am a not so old Stocktonion born in 1945 but all the characters you talk about I remember well, they all made my childhood so great and I am so pleased other people have good memmories of the Stockton that was so special to us and only we (STOCKTONIONS) can appreciate

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  39. My late father born 94 years ago told (long forgotten) tales of “Yarm Harry”, another High Street dandy by all accounts. Can anyone recall him in more detail?

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  40. Giggy Moon, The Yellow Canary, Tarzan, Willie Waites, Hunter Martin, I knew them all.

    Willie went to St Cuthberts school as did I, we used to taunt him shouting ‘Willie Waites for the bus’… harmless enough but he could land a punch if he got hold of you.

    Outside the Odeon was his patch and if you spoke to him he would usually request a cigarette..’Gizzatab’

    The Yellow Canary would promenade up and down the High St on Wed/Sat which were market days. We knew him as ‘Daddy Horton’ as well as ‘Canary’. He loved the attention and I only ever recollect him wearing open toed sandals.

    Tarzan was often seen on the pathway behind our house in Newham Grange. As Jim said earlier he would let out his infamous ‘Johnny Weissmuller’ Tarzan call either on request or just to let you know he was around and hoping for a brew up for his Billy Can.
    I never ever saw him unshaven, quite an achievement given his circumstances.

    Giggy Moon, Well it’s all been said by others on this site, I was gladdened to hear that his final years were spenton some comfort at the Hardwick nursing home.

    Hunter Martin – argueably Stockton’s Beau Nash…elegance personified. Don’t think I ever saw him wear anything but a bowler(and clothes of course)
    I remember his shop being on Norton Rd near Wilson’s the hairdressers. One year I plucked up courage and went inside and asked him what was the cheapest he could do a made to measure suit for – whatever it was I couldn’t afford it. Sensing my disappointment he asked how much could I afford a week and we did a deal! I don’t believe he did credit but took pity on me.
    All I have now are the photos, I do wish I had taken out the HM label fot posterity but only you old Stocktonions would understand the significance.
    I felt I had earned my right to drink upstairs at The Vane Arms!

    How lucky were we to have these colourful characters in our midst and how sad that todays generation will never be able to look back as we can remembering what a community was all about. God bless ’em all.

    Do any of you remember the manager of The Odeon? – Bernard Goldthorpe, always in an evening suit and would give you the ‘once over’ as you entered the magnificent foyer of the premier picture house.

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    • I still have a couple of Hunter Martin coat hangers my late father Lloyd Jackson bought his suits and coats from him.

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  41. That’s Stockton High Street, Ann. I think you’re looking for “The Priory” and there’s a a few pictures of that on this site, perhaps the best one is t5957.

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  42. I have a copy of a Census dated 1901 and 1911 and Sir Frank Brown and his family lived at 59 High Street, Norton. Would this be on this photo? I was hoping to find a photo of the house.

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  43. Mary Clare are you the Dowsons that lived in dryburn road? If you are, I remember your mam letting us all in your house to play our records and I thought you were very posh because you had a fridge. It would be great to know how your family are doing.

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  44. Yes Kay, two & a half Nicholson Street, sandwiched between number two and the co-op, I remember it well. As a very young child I remember coming into your house to play(I lived in number two). I also remember your late brother Rony, I think after your family moved out a couple called Sargent moved in. Like you I dont think Giggy Moon frightened any of us kids.

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  45. There wasn’t a child in Portrack that was afraid of Giggy. Many a kid was saved by him dragging them back from the road. I lived in two and a half Nicholson St (now there’s an address to think about). Mrs Moon kept her home very clean, I know doris used to throw Giggy and Raymond out first thing on a morning and they only came in at teatime. Giggys famous saying was ‘gis a fag mary’ whether it was man or woman. The Moon family were never ridiculed by any Portrack kids, our parents would have given us a good clout. Portrack was a great place to live with great people living there.

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  46. i lived at portrack thru the 50s,i went to sacred heart school.giggi used to be outside school at home time and he seen that kids got across the road safely.i used to dodge him myself,years later i worked at the malleable,i used to have a pint in the prince of wales,he was always in there.he used to eat boiled eggs without taking the shell off,and he was always asking for a pag(fag).

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  47. the bus in the photo was the one of many that i worked on as a apprentice fitter with stockton buses boathouse lane from 1956 to 1960 also giggy moon used to scare me as a young man always asking ‘got fag mate’

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  48. can anyone remember Miss Bets, she had a tailor shop on Finkle street or there abouts. i would love to see any pictures and hear stories

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  49. My father was bred and born at Portrack his name Micky Mannion. His parents where Joe and Mary, brothers Joe, Jimmy, Martin and Billy who died a young man at portrack. Sisters Margaret, Mary, Pat, Ann & Lulu. My dad told me of the time he was a kid arguing with sister mary when giggy chased my dad from Portrack Lane all the way to Norton Avenue to his Uncle Gordys and when he came out Giggy was waiting behind a bush and chased my dad all the way back to portrack.

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  50. I was born in Hill Street East and lived there until 1961 when the family moved to Hardwick. Jane Ann Moon, Giggy”s sister, used to do washing for us. She was disabled and she seemed to me to be old when I knew her, though she was probably only in her forties. I can remember wheeling the dirty washing to her house in an old pram and then collecting it clean and ironed a few days later: She was a lovely, kind lady. Was anyone else at Sacred Heart School from about 1951? My parents were Jean and Harold Dowson and I had three sisters, Pauline, Angela and Christine, and a brother, Anthony who went to the English Martyrs School at Hardwick. I remembers Laesers for the most delicious chocolate truffles which have never been equalled by anything in my subsequent experience, despite having lived in Belgium and France.

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  51. Does anyone know more about Laeser”s Confectioners? I”m doing a Laeser family tree and I”m interested to find out if the owners may be related to me. Thanks.

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  52. I am too young to remember any of these people but I have heard alot of stories about them…. most of all Giggy Moon. My grandad Fred used to play for the Shamrocks and I heard that Giggy used to rattle an old oxo tin shuting “howay the rocks” and spit straight after. Even though I am young, I do remember “Percy” who used to sell all the fish & eggs out of his old van. I love all these stories and its a shame we have no-one like these people around today.

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  53. I remember Giggy Moon and Billy ( the pig man) from Thornaby. Stockton High Street was great years ago. Remember Leslie Brown”s Blackett”s and Doggart”s. So many good shops compared to today. I remember going to the cattle market behind the church on the High Street. So many good memories

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  54. Does anyone remember Giggy moon walking down Stockton High Street with a loaf of bread on a piece of string pretending it was a dog he did it quite regular in the early 60s

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  55. SAW COLIN BROWNLEE WAS LOOKING FOR ANYONE THAT CAN REMEMBER HIM. I CAN REMEMBER HIM I AM SURE. I WAS AT NORTON HIGH STREET AS WELL. SHAUN PHILLIPS WAS A MATE OF HIS. I LEFT TO LIVE IN HOLLAND IN 1966 AND NOW LIVE IN SPAIN.

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  56. Bob:- The correct surname is Moon. The family lived in Nicholson Street, Portrack. Lesley (Giggy ),Raymond and Doris were well known characters in the Stockton area. In addition there was Frank, Tom, and Jane Ann.If I remember rightly there was a lot of respect in the area for the way Mrs Moon cared for and looked after the family

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  57. Without doubt Giggy [not Gi-gi] was everyones favourite, I went to visit someone in a nursing home in Hardwick [on the corner 50 yards past the shops] and who”s coming out but a vary smart and clean Giggy. He”d been in there some years and what a change in his appearence. Stockton should have a Giggy Moon day, when he”s remembered properly by one and all. Was his surname really Moon, I suspect it wasn”t, but who was he? Come back Giggy – we loved you then , we love you still. Does anyone remember Swim-Swam-Swum, Billy from Thornaby [pigswill barrow] you then had Mr Wm Sharp for his market eggs [2nds]the bicuit man Mr Marsh [who”d break them for you if you asked] and the Pet stall vendor near the toilets, he ended up a millionaire, pigeons 2/- unrung, 2/6 rung. Or a shilling each when he wanted rid of them. And what about the Cattle Market and the timber ships and corn mills behind the High Street.

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  58. Stepen, nice to read about the Portrack Shamrocks football team. I lived in Portrack, not far from th Prince of Wales, but I remember the team. Their ground was next to Blacketts Brickworks. As lads we used to go to the far end of the ground searching for newts in the stream, or placing nails of the railway line that went into ICI in the hope that a train would pass and “weld” them into minature swords.

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  59. My wifes dad had the Prince of Wales in portrack in the 70″s John, by the way and yes on a sunday Giggy was out side the pub standing in the bus stop across the road then at 12pm in he come giz a fag john well he got more then a fag, big pan of home made broth and a new set of clothes and yes a good wash. Portrack Lane was never the same when Giggy died. Stan Hilton – the Portrack Shamrocks were a football team.

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  60. I remember all the aforementioned characters,but can anyone recall the chap that appeared to have no legs and sat on a bogie outside of Woodhouses corner of Wellington Street selling matches. Who was he and what became of him?

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  61. I REMBER TARZAN VERY WELL. HE OFTEN KNOCKED ON OUR DOOR AND ASKED IF MY MAM WOULD SCALD HIS TEA LEAVES IN HIS BILLY CAN [SHE NEVER REFUSED] ONE SUNDAY HE WAS SAT ON THE TWO STEPS IN CALIFORNIA STREET TELLING A GANG OF US STORIES AND HE ASKED ME TO ASK MY MAM IF SHE WOULD BUTTER SOME BREAD HE HAD, MY MAM”S REPLY WAS HE WILL GET MARGARINE LIKE THE REST OF US.  ANN THOMAS WAS FROM A LARGE FAMILY AND HER MAM BAKED ALL SUNDAY AFTERNOON [THATS HOW I REMEMBER THE DAY] I SNEAKED INTO THEIR BACK WAY AND SMUGGLED OUT CAKES. HE THOUGHT HIS BIRTHDAY HAD COME, HE RAN TO BOTTOM OF STREET AND GIVE HIS TARZAN CALL WAVED AND WENT. I OFTEN WONDERED IF ANN GOT INTO TROUBLE OVER THE CAKES

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  62. I can remember both Tarzan and Gigi Moon very well. Tarzan always had a retinue of kids around him, listening to his stories, which were entirely harmless, as indeed he was. I later discovered that Gigi Moon was a shell shocked veteran of WW1.

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  63. Seeing your story about Giggy Moon brought back memories for me of a day at the Empire Cinema, We were going down the tunnel to get in to the Front stalls, the cheap sixpenny seats in the theatre, Giggy was at the end of the tunnel but instead of his well known Giga,s a cig he was asking Giga”s a Penny. we gave Giggy his penny and waited in the queue to get in to the cheap seats, after about half an hours wait we managed to get in to our front row seat. On hearing a commotion coming from the toffs seats in the Balcony there was Giggy in all his slendour waving to all his benifactor”s in the cheap seats. Giggy also had a knack of getting into wedding photo,s outside the Parish Church as my brother can verify on his weddind photo”s. Giggy was a well loved character in Stockton, does any one know when he died?.

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  64. In the late 1940″s my grandfather Jimmy Hoey was a member of the Portrack Cons Club which I think at that time was in Palmerston Street a couple of doors from the Salvation Army. He got me on the annual childrens” trip to Seaburn and Roker. Two double deck corporation buses loaded up outside the club and just as we were about to start Gigi Moon got onto the open platform and travelled there the whole trip. I was also on the bus going to Middlesbrough on a match day when he got on. I remember somebody paid his fare when the conductor came round. As well as his “gis tab” he used to shout “how way the rocks” on match days. Now there”s a subject for this site, I remember my grandfather talking about the Portrack Shamrocks but know very little about them.

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  65. Regarding “Daddy Horton”. My late father in law knew him as “The Yellow Canary”! Gigi Moon – that was a name I knew all too well as a child in the 1950″s but I can”t remember ever seeing him . . . . he sounded quite a character. Another local character (mentioned elsewhere on this site) was “Tarzan the Tramp”. He was a scruffy, but friendly, character who I remember hanging around the Browns Bridge entrance to Newtown School in the early/mid 1950″s. I remember him punching the brick wall with his fist then showing us kids there were no marks on his hand. He also used to gather kids around him in the “Rec” on Durham road and tell them spooky stories. Apparently he was a shell shocked First World War veteran who used to sleep rough in the Clay Hole behind Hartburn village. He was found dead in a barn near the Mile House in the early 1970″s. Anyone know his name? How times have changed, anyone like that hanging around a school nowadays would be locked up. I can”t ever remember him ever being moved on by the teachers or the police.

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  66. Regarding Daddy Horton. He would be probably known in different areas of Stockton by different names but describing him:- approx 6 ft tall, average build, greying thin hair, wearing rimless glasses. I believe he worked at tha Admiralty, Eaglescliffe. JIM McCURLEY. Ref. Billy. I think he was known as Billy Marshall and either lived in Bowsfield area or Oxbridge. Ref. Gigi Moon. I don”t think he ever paid bus fair. I remember he would go to the Boro matches on the special bus and it would be the generosity of other passengers who paid his fair. If you argued with him he would take his cap off and hit you with it. He also got into the matches free. He would shout for Mannion even if Mannion was not playing. He had a brother called Les but you would never see them together even if both were in the Town at the same time. I”ve seen them walk on opposite sides of the road purposefully to miss each other.

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  67. Tony asked about Gigi Moon – how could anybody forget such a character, especially the ladies walking down the High Street when he used to jump out in front of them and show off by doing his tapdance! Is it true that he never paid a busfare, or was it just that the conductors knew it was no use asking him to pay as he was skint? Then there was the time he joined a coach outing to York races, but missed the coach when it left to return to Teesside. Gigi arrived back in style 4 days later being deposited at Stockton Police Station courtesy of a police squad car that had “chauffered” him back from York where the police were fed up looking after him. With his greasy cap, Gigi was not the best dressed in town and it is said that his mates in his “local” at Portrack (Prince of Wales ?)used to donate him a new set of clothes now and again, but they insisted on giving him a good wash before he put them on. “Give us a tab?”

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  68. Gigi Moon, now theres a character you could not forget! I wonder if Clive will go down in the illustrious list of Stockton characters?

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  69. Bob; You mentioned a character called Daddy Horton a.k.a Canary because of the clothes he wore. Now I remember vividly a gentleman who was always immaculately dressed with yellow gloves and patent leather shoes, he used to stride along the street in military fashion. But we knew him as Canary King….is this the same person.

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  70. For Tony Scott…I remember Gigi Moon very very well and always thought what a strange character he was. Regretfully, people would ridicule him as he made his way down the street. I would see him a lot. he was very probably a gentle soul but i never got to speak with him.

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  71. I was around in much later days but I remember some of the characters mentioned, like the guy with the yellow gloves parading up and down the High Street. I didn”t know his name was Daddy Horton; we used to call him “Glovey” in my day. He would smile at everyone and point his gloved fingers at people as he walked past like he was conducting an orchestra. I also remember Giggy Moon from Portrack, and a guy with a similar affliction from Parkfield called Billy Cockles. The difference was that Giggy was a friendly character and Billy was bad tempered. All the kids were terrified of Billy Cockles. Once Tarzan did his blood-curdling yell for me and showed me how to punch a wall, though I didn”t try it. There was another guy who had a gammy leg and used to go around on a specially modified bike that he could pedal with one foot. We used to call him Mucky Arthur. Does anyone remember him?

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  72. They has been a few characters in Stockton over the years, does anybody remember the Moon”s from Portrack, they was Gigi Moon and Les Moon, and they sister Doris ,and yes I remember Hunter Martin well as I belonged Norton, I use to see him a lot and thought how smart he was.

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  73. Daddy Horton was well known to me as he lived only a few yards from me in Dundas Street. He certainly was a character and would parade down the High Street in various attire but always sporting yellow gloves. He would often return to his home in Dundas Street more than once to change into a fresh ensemble and had the habit of checking his appearance as he walked along. Needless to say he was the butt of many cruel jokes and we Newtown kids never let him pass by without an exchange of pleasantries. I can remember that we had to be fleet of foot to avoid retribution and were scattered in all directions more than once by the “very strange” Daddy Horton.

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  74. I have many happy memories of this stretch of Stockton High Street in particular Laeser”s Sweet Shop (about which my Wife still raves) and the Vane Arms Hotel where we celebrated our Engagement. However, I am surprised to find no reference to that Mecca for Boys, young and not so young, Darnboroughs with it”s Hornby Railway layouts, Dinky Toys and Meccano Sets. This was Paradise for me in the late “30s and “40s. I wonder whatever happened to it.

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  75. Re Hunter Martin. He was a fine gentleman and naturally he was a good example for his business, and yes he stood out then against the crowd in those days. Can anyone imagine how he would have stood out in the High Street today? The poor dress code today has been mentioned previously in these columns. I think it was his sister who taught me (and a few hundred others) at Richard Hind School in the 1930s. She like her brother was very tall and always well dressed.

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  76. Hi Ged. Hunter Martin would doff his bowler at all ladies passing him. Yes he was a character. Also characters of Stockton who were well dressed gentlemen were Stan Morton, started work at Maxwells and could be taken as one of the cast od “Are You Being Served.” Another one who would walk into the Town probably 4 times on a Saturday morning wearing a different rig-out each time was Daddy Horton or commonly known as Canary. He always wore yellow gloves and I believe he came from Newtown. Do you know of any more characters who either worked in the Town or visited there.

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  77. Obviously Bob knew Hunter Martin much better than I did. My knowledge of the man is limited to his appearances in the Red Lion pub. I can remember that his drink was whiskey but I never saw him inebriated. Perhaps he was on his best behaviour on the occasions he popped into the Red Lion to see Mrs. Watts. That said, what sticks in my memory of him is that he was always immaculately dressed. As you say Bob, a real character.

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  78. Ged. A character if ever there was one. “Don”t think he”s a drinking man.” I bet you could not keep up with him? The only thing he had was whisky. When leaving work he would have one in as many pubs as he could visit. He lived on the opposite side of the Avenue from me. I have seen him drunk but on most occasions could find his way home.

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  79. I remember “Hunter” Martin from my days in the Red Lion in Ramsgate. He was always immaculate. I don`t think that he was a drinking man but I believe that the attraction was the landlady Mrs Kathryn Watts who had been widowed early in life and was a very attractive magnet. Martin had strong competition but I always thought that Mrs Watts looked very relaxed and enjoyed Mr Martin”s attentions.

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  80. This is a lovely picture of Stockton High Street before it was spoiled forever. Classy department stores like Doggarts, jewellery shops, confectionery shops, clothing stores for ladies and gentlemen, elegant pubs like the Vane Arms and the Black Lion. Even the bus looks classy. Gone but not forgotten.

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  81. The High Street – How many remeber that tall military gentleman , with his cravat, waist coat Norfolk jacket and immaculate polished shoes who walked every day from Norton to open his shop Martin the tailors to the gentry. It was situated next door to Barclays Bank. The shop moved to Norton Road in the 1970s, but the “Guards-Officer” was “on-parade”daily to within 3 weeks of his death in the early 1990″s. His shop is now one of the high-lights of Preston-Hall Victorian Street. Laesers sweet shop made its own choclate and toffee, a particular favourite being “Nut-Brittle” The choclate dislay was out of this world, cars,trains, soldiers dolls etc either solid or hollow. Christmas and Easter was a miracle of both choclate art in the window display, none of this stack it high and sell it you had the feel that you were a personal customer to the art of chocolate.

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