Pickerings Lifts. 1954

The staff and branch managers of Pickerings Lifts Ltd celebrating the centenary on March 12th 1954, which I believe took place in the ballroom above Sparks as was then in the High Street may be some of the back row will recognise themselves!

Photograph and text courtesy of Mr Ray Buck.

65 thoughts on “Pickerings Lifts. 1954

  1. My late father Tom Birtle worked at Pickerings Lifts from 1942 until 1960. He served his time as a fitter and then spent much of his off site installing or repairing lifts in locations around northern England. They included the chocolate factories in York which saw free samples being brought home. Very nice they were !.

    At one point he was repairing a small lift at Middleham the horse racing village in north Yorkshire. They were given a tip for a horse running the next day. This was passed on to the workshop next morning and the horse won at a good starting price. Local heroes all round.

    He worked in Hull in 1947 and was amazed at the blitz damage done to that city. His best man was a fellow workmate Walter Larkin who a few years later was killed in a fall at work. Dad always spoke fondly of fellow workers such as Bert Revell and Frankie Mac. He left Pickerings for Wilton ICI.

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  2. Any ‘old boys’ remember Bert ‘the silver fox’ Atkinson? (worked there early 70’s to ’99). I think everyone thought he was a confirmed bachelor until he met, and married me, some 35 years ago. He is still alive and kicking but the silver top is a bit thinner nowadays. Are any of his old workmates still employed there?

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  3. Peter Jordison and Paul White! Thanks so much for speaking so nicely about our Eddie! It brought tears to my eyes…it was so good to read about him.. I can imagine his smiling face while I’m reading your emails….he was a very good footballer…I remember crying over him a few times when he broke limbs while playing! I miss him every single day…. thanks lads… Chris Foster(Reeves)

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  4. Paul, I couldn’t help but smile when I read your comments about eddie, we lived next door to each other from 1960 to 1970. Eddie was four years older than me and as well as looking out for me he also taught me a lot about football at an early age, as kids i think Eddie looked at me as the younger brother he never had. In later years we often used to bump into each other on nights out, I remember the Talbot being one of his favourite haunts, and he also stayed faithful to his ‘local’ the Sheraton at Hardwick. My life is certainly better for having known him, he was a great lad and sadly missed

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  5. I remember Eddie Reeves from my younger days, I used to play football, Sunday afternoon kick about between the lads, with him and my uncle Colin as they were good pals. I say play football, though with me being around 7 years younger than them I mainly followed Eddie around the pitch, I stayed so close they could’ve thrown a hankie over the pair of us. Eddie would baffle the other lads then pass the ball to me to tap over the line to score. Though it didn’t exactly endear me to the opposition, I loved it. Played against Eddie a number of times years later and I can’t say I returned the favour but when Col told me your brother had passed away I remembered him fondly from when I was a young lad and he was everything you’d aspire to be. Great looking, great footballer and great crack.

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  6. You are correct in you assumption, John Bond, that the Gerald Goldston was the same man you knew as Gerry Goldston as the clue is in the daughters name – Madeleine. Madeleine was the daughter who was married and the whole staff went to the wedding. Gerald was an avid train spotter and could be seen regularly near to the rail line near Ropner Park spotting trains, as he lived within easy reach of the rail line. My wife Marie told me the story of when Gerald was on holiday in USA and decided to contact one of his old frieds who was one of the founders of Marks and Spencers, but when Gerald tried to contact his old friend he was not successful as the friend denied ever knowing him, this did not go down well with such a gentleman as Gerald Goldston as he was a very nice approachable human being, who treated all with the same respect he would expect they treat him with.

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  7. I wonder is this is the man known by my family as Gerry Goldston? If so, was his daughter called Madeleine? If so again, she was my mother’s (Irene Heslop) ‘best friend’ at Queen Victoria High School I think. I have a couple of photos of the two of them together. At least I think they’re of Madeleine G. If Robin Lake would like to contact me, I’d do my best to send copies.

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  8. I was a receptionist at Baines, Goldston and Jackson on leaving school in 1972. The offices were on Yarm Lane or was it Yarm Rd – whatever the road was leading from the High St – always get them confused. Would the Goldston be the same person you are speaking of – Gerald Goldston. I think when I started there was only Mr. Jackson and that the other two named partners had retired. There was a Peter Cowan, Geoff Hopper and Stuart Lithgow who were also partners in the firm.

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  9. I greatly appreciate the kind comments about Gerald Goldston. Gerald and my grandfather, I. J. Goldston were brothers. I managed to visit Stockton for one day in the late 1980’s, but was unable to pursue much family history in the brief time available. I would be interested to establish contact with Brian Kalms, as his information is not yet on the Goldston family tree I maintain.

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  10. I was an apprentice at Pickerings from 1968 to 1972. I remember Jack Tigar, who was my boss, and Bertie Lowe. I worked on the Capstan and Turret lathes and also on the brakes.
    Good to hear from Bob Ricketts.
    We spent a drunken night at the La Ronde night club one Christmas Eve with a long haired guy called Chris.
    We also went to a Pop concert in Newcastle in Bob’s fathers split screen Moggie as his Viva was playing up.

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  11. Ken, Fortunately I have found the other photograph (hidden behind another picture) which was taken at the earlier, Centenary Celebrations Works Erection & Maintenance Departments February 12th 1954 I hope this is the one your refer too, These were rescued from a skip in City Road, London at the time of the refurbishment of the London office. See this site – Pickerings Centenary Dinner – 1954

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    • I was in Pickerings drawing office from 1960 to1966 (Malcolm Saysell) I remember the name Ray Buck, Fred White was chief draughtsman, also Tony Rutter Brian Woolaston David Littlefair and one or two others

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  12. Ken, health & safety officers would have died watching the things we got up to, I remember one windy day a wall falling down, we would pass a full ladel { molten iron } from one crane to another with out putting the ladel down, but work was of a very high standard. I can remember a few times when a cog wheel or roller would be brought in broken, there was no time for a pattern to be made and I would have to make the mould from a broken part. I was often given a broken ship part, the ship would be docked up somewhere and that would have to serve as the pattern, it was a great place to learn your trade, and great men to work with. It realy was a great little foundry, all the best, Derek

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  13. Derek.I worked at Picks from 1947 till 1954 and as an apprentice used to take many a pattern across the road to Dicky’s for the clever moulders to make moulds and castings. I often had to alter our patterns over there in the foundry pattern shop to save the bother of carting them back to Picks. I remember the foundry as being a ramshackle of a place which in these days would realy upset the Health and Safety blokes.Good castings were always a priority from Dicky’s just as they were from all the local foundries in the area.Stockton Castings,Downings,Reay Brass,Croswaites,Bon Lea,Ashmores,Heads,they all supplied Pickerings with first class castings to keep the lifts going up and down all over the world. I remember Bill Hardy and Norman Dixon from Pickerings and worked with Norman’s dad and brother in the joiner’s shop for a while before moving on to Croswaites for a while before ending up at Heads in Oxbridge. Jim Buckle was a patternmaker at Heads before he became a woodwork teacher and a brilliant outside left along with both Tommy Newboult and Albert Russell who both served their time in Pickerings pattern shop.I believe you took over the joiner’s shop at Picks Ray fom the Dixon gang. I am still awaiting the second photo from the second dance that was held at the Pickerings anniversary.I think my old pal John Paxton son has one.I would very much like to see it if at all possible please.

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  14. During the 60s i worked as an apprentice moulder at Downings iron foundry. During that time I made lots of pullies and cog wheeels for Pickerings Lifts. Whatever they needed either a broken part would be sent and used as a mould or a pattern would be made, great foundry to learn your trade, all the best Derek

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  15. Message for Ray Buck – I worked at Pickerings Lifts in the Works Office. Started there in August 1974 until June 1995. In the office we had Tom Moffoot/Peter Flanagan/Norman Dixon/Ann Wells/Angela Kidd and Bill Hardy.
    I got married in October 1977 and your wife did the flowers for our wedding – which were beautiful.

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  16. Whilst a member of the Co-op Club a cricket match was arranged and we played the residents of Tilery on Tilery Recreation Ground on a Sunday afternoon. The person who arranged it I believe was called Anderson but not Ted Anderson. He lived in Tilery and wore glasses and worked for Head Wrightsons.Can you remember who he is Maureen?

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  17. That’s the girl I meant Bob, after she married Brian Eddy they bought a house in Rimswell Rd. I lived in Fairwell Rd which was round the corner, we used to meet in each other’s house with our babies. We then emigrated to Australia & I think Brian got promotion with the bank & moved to Halifax I believe.

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  18. Yes it was George Gill. He worked at Head Wrightsons at M’bro. I didn’t know his sister. Another cyclist was Alan Roberts from Greta Road Norton. He had a friend who also cycled with us. He was from Tilery. The other friend of Sheila Flynn could be Margaret Dee (Question surname again). She lived at Roseworth in the 1st road on the right off Ragpath Lane from Junction Rd end. I remember this quite well because on New Years eve after the Maison we went 1st footing starting at Bill Hardies house and ending up at Margarets house and sleeping on the floor. Youths should today should have the choice of Youth Clubs that we had. All good fun.

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  19. Your other cycling pal, Bob, would have been George Gill who you correctly say lived in Middlesbrough. His sister Barbara joined the club also. There was another girl who was a pal of Sheila Flynn’s who was called Margaret I think, she was from Roseworth & married Brian Eddy who worked in the Yorkshire Penny Bank. Stella has some group photo’s of club members I’ll ask her to put them on here!

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  20. Yes I remember Sheila Flynn very well. She was a friend of my sister Esther. Sheila worked in Browns Toy Shop on the record department. Any of the top hits that were hard to get Sheila put them under the counter for me. In 1961 I worked at the ICI. I hadn’t seen Sheila for a few years. I had an accident and a bad cut on my finger. I went to the hospital in the works. When I reached the surgery room and sat down it was Sheila Flynn in nurses uniform who attended to me. I can remember the name of Pat Riley but that’s all. Another member who cycled with us was called George (maybe Anderson) he lived in M’bro. He was also at table tennis and played for the football team in the Youth League. In the 1st year the League was formed we won it and Oxbridge were runners up. In the league cup the positions were reversed.

    t seen Sheila for a few years. While at work I had a bad cut on my finger. I went to the hospital in the works. I was rushed through the passage with someone behind wiping thhe blood up from the floor.When I got into the Surgery part and sat down, it was Sheila Flynn who basndaged me up.

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  21. Mr Buckle taught me woodwork and wood carving at Roseworth Secondary Modern. I believe he lived in Norton. I still like working with wood and Mr Buckle was a good teacher to me.

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  22. Jimmy Buckle was a pattern maker at Head Wrightsons, Teesdale Works, Thornaby before becoming a teacher at Blakeston School. He also played football for Primrose Hill in 1953 when they were the first winners of the Durham FA Minor Cup. Tommy Newbould was a draughtsman at Head Wrightsons, Thornaby and he also played football for Sparkes.

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  23. Billy Hardy married Norma Durham, another good looking lass from Tilery. You must remember Pat Riley & Sheila Flynn Bob. Pat was Mick Chapman’s girlfriend for a couple of years. I think it was Ted Anderson you remembered, he now lives in Australia.

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  24. Did Jimmy Buckle originally live in Swinburn Road, Ken? If I remember correctly had ginger hair? Albert Russell was the pattern maker at Pickering’s and lives on Fern Park, last time I heard. Tom Newbould was, as I remember, a Draughtsman at Pick’s, also Dave Train – we all went to night school together.

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  25. I remember Mick Chapman at Pickerings Lifts where we both served our apprentices along with many other young lads. Dave Small, Len Barber, Albert Russell, Tommy Newbould. I also remember Jack Marlowe who now I believe now lives in Spain but returned home to go to his sisters funeral just a few weeks ago. His late sister, Hilda Buckle, was also a long member of the Co-op club along with my great friend Jimmy. I’m sure old members of the co-op club will remember both Hider and Jim.

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  26. I was a member at the same time as Stella Allen and Sandra Denning. They were from Tilery. My best friends there then were Mick Farbridge and Bill Hardy. I cycled with Mick, Alan Reeve, Norman Powell, Bob Blenkey and my sister Esther. Jack Marlow was the leader at that time. I don’t think he was courting Kathleen Dolan then. Mick Chapman and Maurice Chapman were not brothers. I think that Maurice Chapman worked for Uptons on the repair side dealing with radios, TV’s and record players. Others I remember were Brian Morris, ? Anderson, Tommy Baker who married Yvonne Paton, and not forgetting Pat Farbridge, Micks sister.

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  27. When I was a member of the Co-op youth club there was Malcolm (Mick) Chapman & Maurice Chapman but they weren’t brothers.

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  28. Mick went out with Carol Burns for quite a while so it was probably her at your 21st Colin. He married Val who was in the year below me at Grangefield. I believe Peter and Elsie divorced after a long marriage.
    I can’t remember you either Bob so obviously our paths never crossed. I joined the Co-op youth club after my friends Stella Allan & Sandra Denning had joined. Regarding the reunion as soon as I find out when & where I will post the details on here.

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  29. I remember Mick Chapman from Metro Vick’s I think he was a welder there. He was at my 21’st with a girl from the Co-op youth club. We all went to the Maison. Mick has a brother Peter, who married the works manager’s secretary Elsie. Anybody in touch with him?

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  30. If there is a reunion could you publish it on this site please? Can’t remember a Maureen Laing at the Club. There was another lad called Chapman, not as big as Mike. I think he was named Mike as well.

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  31. Last time we saw Mick he was living in Redmarshall with his wife Val. Mick was at Holy Trinity the same time as my husband Colin then after his apprenticeship they worked together at Metro Vicks. We all were all members of the Co-op youth club where Jack Marlowe was club leader. Incidentally, a club reunion is being planned for sometime in April, as far as I know Colin Allen is organising it.

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  32. Remember Mick Chapman. He was in the Co-op Youth Club with me. I remember him later in years as a Salesman. After finishing his round he would be seen in a cafe in Billingham doing his books up for the day.

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  33. My husband’s cousin, Steve Walker, served his time at Pickerings, also their good friend Mick Chapman. I believe about the same time as you Ken Rhodes.

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  34. Christine, I remember your brother Eddie Reeves from Pickerings Lifts. I worked there from 1974 – 1995. He used to work in the Cage Shop along with Ray Perkis/Barry Johnson/John Gibson/Ellis Skipper/Albert Russell to name but a few. He was quite a joker among the new starters and the apprentices! So sorry to hear he has recently passed away. Take care.

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  35. Stewart, thank you so very much for writing on here about my beloved brother Eddie Reeves – I didnt see your comment until I received an email from Peter Jordison informing me about it (very kind of him). It made me very happy to read what you wrote about him… I miss him every day. Take care. Keep up the good work – I love this site.

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  36. Hello Christine I worked with little Eddie from 1979 until 1993 along with my elder brother Shaun we had some great times at Pickerings. Eddie was a character and a half, always playing practical jokes on the apprentices. His favourite target was Dave in the machine shop, he would have a ball covering Dave’s tools in bearing grease and then sit back and wait for the scream. I was so shocked to find out he had passed away, I was speaking to him about two weeks before it happened. He was a nice guy and will be sadly missed.

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  37. Looking back at all the comments on this page started me off thinking about the two dances held to celebrate the centenary of the firm. Norman Paxton brought back happy memories of his dad Johnny, Albert Russell, Dave Small, Bill Hardy, the two Dixons from the joiners shop and all the young apprentices who were serving their time at Picks. Trips to Manchester, the Inter Dept football games which Johnny Paxtons team nearly always won and the good times all we young people had working there. I never did get round to seeing the photo from the Palais dance Norman, I would still like to see it if at all possible. I played a few games for Picks so I might be on the photos with your dad.

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  38. My brother Eddie Reeves served his time at Pickerings and worked there for many years. Very sadly I lost him 3yrs this christmas. I miss him terribly and I would love to hear from anyone who remembers him, has anyone got any photos? I know he had his pic taken once when he was at Pickerings but I dont know where it went. He was only a little fella, full of fun. Thanking everyone in anticipation.

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  39. Gerry (as he was known) Goldston is not on the Pickerings Lifts pics. I”m not sure if Gerry had an office on Varo Terrace but he did have one off Yarm Lane behind the hairdressers just before Hartington Road. It was one of a block of four which ran parellel to Yarm Lane. The end one.

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  40. My cousin Lee forwarded this link to me as it mentions my Grandfather Gerald Goldston and my mother”s wedding. It was a real pleasure to read so many kind comments and to hear about his humour. He did indeed semi retire to Varo Terrace and then to Station Road Eaglescliffe in what is now the hairdressers. That enabled him to hide from my grandmother and keep a store of biscuits. His greatest passions in retirement were stamp collecting, walking the dog and trains – Stockton station often called him for advice on timetables. He lived in Tees Bank Avenue until he died aged 79 in 1985. My Grandmother Eve died only a few months ago aged 97 in Stockton.

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  41. I just happened to find this site…Gerald Goldson and my father, Arnold Weinberg, were first cousins and I knew him. He was a wonderful man. Just wondering if anyone can tell me sure where he is in this picture. It seems to me that he may be in the front row center. Is this correct? Thanks very much. Lee

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  42. Thanks for all the comments regarding my father. Ken, I have copied a couple of pictures and sent them to the people who run this site so keep your eyes open

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  43. Hi Bob, I remember you well. The good old days. Excellent apprenticeship at Pickerings. The good news.. Tony Perks lives in Billingham. He was our best man. The bad news .. Bill Hardy deceased. The 2 fitters, Ron Cockburn ( Co-burn)deceased and Brian (Bert) Burridge, deceased. Bertie Lowes, machine shop foreman,deceased. Still in touch with Mike I”Anson, Terry Gibson. Have a photograph somewhere and will dig it out of my bachelor night in the Royal Oak, Stockton, near the church. Not sure if you were there or not. All the best to you both, Brian Cockerline.

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  44. Mick Haines. Good to hear from you Mick,you have a good memory,I have pictures of “the old fur coat” days. I will post them on this site shortly

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  45. Norman Paxton Hi.Ive been rereading your letter on this site and i would be interested in veiwing the old photos of your dads time at Pickerings.As i stated earlier istarted in 1947 and left in 1954. We all had a good time at the dance that night although its a long time ago.

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  46. Bob Ricketts, I remember your batchelor night very well, we started off in the Royal Oak in Stockton, then on to the Fiesta….unfortunately they wouldn”t let me in as my hair was too long!! you even said to the doormen that I was your brother, but to no avail. I used to meet you at the Redcar Jazz Club on Sunday nights, can always remember your long fur coat !!

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  47. Enjoying the nostalgic comments, Good to hear Johnnie Paxtons name. He was a fine man always ready to help us young ones. I served my aprenticeship at Picks, 1965 to 1970, great day”s great memories, I remember getting married in 1969, having my stag night with the Picks guys,celebrated at The Fiesta, Eddie Garbut won Forty Quid in the casino and threw into the pot,it made for a memorable night, I have lots of stories from those real fun and formative times, would love to hear from employees from that era or their wherabouts, name I remeber are Jack Tigar, Bertie Lowe, Bill Hardy, Keith Duncan, Peter Keane, Rob Mckensie,Peter and Joe Sharp, Sing Bachou, Ron, Stephenson, Ron”s Son, Arthur Johnson, Dave Blackburn,Terry Gibson,Tery Perks, Eddie Devey, Big Joe ? (turner)Brian Cockerline, Harry Holden, Ellis Skipper,Brian Harbottle, Remeber Tim Franklin ? (I have all the newspaper cuttings)Jack Wood, Peter Tucker, The big guy who ran the saw, Terry Stokes, Colin ? (Storeman) Chris Powell,Mike Stirman. I left Pickerings in 1971 worked around Teesside for a couple of years, spent happy times working with Mike McCullagh at Marske Machine Company, either side of a few years in Australia, lived in South Africa since 1988, where I have intrests in the coal mining industry, still married to the same beautiful girl that I married while an apprentice at Pick”s our three children all married having each produced grandchilden for us, my two sons and families here in SA our daughter and family settled in New Zealand. Looking forward to comments Bob Ricketts

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  48. To Norman Paxton. Your father John was a very good footballer. The time I visited them playing was late 1940″s and their home ground was going from the Mile House Pub along Darlington Back Lane to Fairfield. It was on the field just before Bishopsgarth Estate. In those days there was a railway bridge just before the ground which is now a walkway from Hardwick to the Town. I believe that you moved from Stanley Street onto the Green Court Estate when it was built in the 60″s.

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  49. Picks apparently had 2 centenary celebrations that year. The one pictured here and a less formal affair on 12th February 1954 at the Palais-de-Danse, Skinner St. I have my fathers invitation, a small booklet and various photographs of the February dinner and dance. When my father left school he worked at a foundry for a short time before starting his apprenticeship with Pickerings in 1942 (the same year as Bertie Lowes) and was at that time living in Cameron Street, moving to Stanley Street (next road ) when he married. A team photo I have with my father on is dated 1965, by which time he was 40 and I think it is Picks as I recognise 1 or 2 other faces. I only remember going to watch a couple of the matches and thought they were in Norton Recreation Ground. These could have been “away” matches or my memory could be wrong. I worked at Pickerings during summer holidays from school and remember at the end of my first 5 weeks in 1969 recieving £20 and a hand shake for my efforts from Bill. £4 for each of the 40+ hour weeks, I was over the moon!

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  50. Dee Dale you are correct about Gerald Goldston being a real Character and Gentleman, The office you refer to in Yarm Lane was after he amalgamated with another firm I believe was Jewett Sparrow and Swinbank, but until the amalgamation his office was in 59 High Street in the rooms that Johnnie Walker used when he invented the friction match Gerald was an avid Train enthusiast all his life. My wife Marie and I were invited to his daughters wedding and it was a lovely experience. He had his little quirks,as he always called my wife Miss Kennedy when introducing her to new clients, this was a bit embarrassing for Marie especially when she continued working when she was pregnant with our first daughter. Marie worked up to about 7 1/2 months so you can imagine the looks Miss Kennedy got on introduction.

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  51. Absolutely Dee, Gerald Goldston was a real gent, he was my accountant into the 70s, untill his retirement, if my memory serves me right he had an office on Varo Terrace and later the practice was moved across into Yarm Road after his retirement, practicing under another name, the business later transfered to Hartlepool.

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  52. Gerald Goldston, accountant, now he was a real character and a gentleman. Had his offices somewhere near Yarm Lane and lived in Eaglescliffe.

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  53. I remember Johnnie Paxton very well. He must of started at Pickerings from leaving school. I can remember him going to work with my brother. He then lived in Cameron Street. When he was married I think either he lived next door to his mother or he took over his mothers house. I also remember him playing football for Pickerings. Their pitch was on the back lane just before Bishopsgarth Estate. I also remember a husband and wife working there. She worked in the kitchens and he was a fitter. Just don”t remember their surnames now but she called all the football team, “her boys.” She never missed a match.

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  54. I worked in the drawing office at “Picks” during the 70″s and early 80″s. I remember John Paxton well, he was the Fitting Shop foreman I think. My uncle, Bill Hardy, is probably on this photograph, he was to rise to the position of Works Director and was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work at Pickerings.

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  55. Ken you were a little before my time I started 22nd august 1955, I do however remember Albert the pattern maker, we were very good friends , I was hopeless at sharpening plane blades, so I would ask him to put an edge on it for me , they were so sharp when he finished you could have split a hair with it. there was also Ken Stephenson in the joiners shop who would supply the odd piece of wood off-cut if persuaded nicely

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  56. Ken Rhodes do you remember my wife Marie Kennedy as she was then working in the office at Pickerings Lifts in 1951-52. One day she was told to go and serve in the Canteen as they were short staffed, Marie refused to work in the canteen so they said if you don”t we will have to sack you, Please yourself said Marie and went and won a position with Mr Gerald Goldston Chartered Av accountant High street Stockton who offered her an articled clerks job after her first year of working as a Junior Bookkeeper. Marie never took up the offer of articles but eventually became Bookkeeper /Auditor with Mr Goldston I always admired Marie for sticking to her guns and getting a much better job out of her reluctance to work in the Canteen

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  57. I worked at Pickerings when the dance took place. I started around 1947 and stayed till 1953, I worked in the pattern shop with Albert Russell. I took a very pretty girl called Joan Wallece to the dance and we had a very good night

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  58. Yes Alan I do remember Ann I believe (If my memory serves me right ) she worked in the Estimating dept or was it she was a tracer??, I worked for Pickerings starting as an apprentice draughtsmam from 22nd August 1955 until 1985 when I moved to Bristol office for a while, I also had membership 1953/4 with Holy Trinity youth Club for a short while when Cannon Salter was vicar of Trinity

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  59. Whist being a member of Holy Trinity Youth Club I met and had a brief dalliance with a young lady called Ann Williamson. She worked in the offices of Pickering Lifts. She lived in Billingham and had a Father who was a good cricketer. Did Ray Buck know her during his time there?

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