Giggy Moon

t6425This is not a very clear image but its of a well known, well liked character that lots of people seem to remember Giggy Moon. He followed the Portrack Shamrocks, the local football team and he always had time for everyone.

Photograph and information courtesy of Bob Harbron.

72 thoughts on “Giggy Moon

    • As I age, it is becoming more and more difficult to sit back in an armchair and recall people’s faces, more often than not, I end up saying “I recall the name but not the face.” Which causes me to ask: “What was it about Giggy, that makes us able to instantly picture him?.” Why does his face come to mind immediately, and we can visualise him stood outside the Odeon, stood on Dovecot Street Corner, or wandering around the market? I’m certain I once saw him selling newspapers outside the Odeon? and looking very smart coming out of a Nursing Home at the top-of-Durham Road, R.I.P Giggy.

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  1. I remember Giggy in Yarm telling stores to us kids and making us laugh. He used to sit in the bus shelter and tell his stories and then say “giz a tab” to anyone passing. He used to get them from us when we were in our teens.

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  2. I remember my dad telling me stories about Giggy Moon, Shimmer Nelson and other characters from Portrack. My dad was Amos Lambert. Does any one remember him from Bailey Street Boys?

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  3. I would suggest that to be ‘a true Stocktonian’, meaning a man or woman of impeccable Stockton Town credentials and provenance, then, you would have known Giggy Moon, or you should have seen him out and about in the High Street, and/or the real clincher for you to be allowed to enter the winner’s circle, was to have been asked by him in person to ‘giz a tab’. What people should remember about Giggy is: He was never depressed, he was always happy and cheerful and having met him you ‘smiled’ maybe for the first time in weeks, he was Stockton’s own George Formby, Norman Wisdom or Jimmy James all rolled into one.

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  4. About going to watch the Shamrocks play I remember getting into a big car which held about 10 people, the headlights where like footballs. I used to be in the same class as John Cuttler, his dad Jacky played for the Shamrocks. We were only kids at the time but they squeezed us in the car. Good old days.

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  5. I remember Doris falling over outside of Dunns shop on the cobble streets and she laid flat out and would not move until Jack Dunn came out with the brandy bottle that brought her around I think it became a regular occurance.

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  6. Im 13 years old so I dont know ‘Giggy’ myself but my Granddad once told me about when he was going round with the blind card and he crossed the names out, he would go round and say ‘whats your name’ and cross it out. My Grandad said ‘he was a good laugh, always in The Portrack, good times’.

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  7. Re. Giggy and the nasty tricks people played on him. When Stockton High Street was being relayed 1950ish he would mix with the workmen and they gave him food. The workmen put laxative chocolate in sandwiches for him.

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  8. Yes poor old Giggy did have quite a bit to contend with in his life. I remember an incident about 1960/61, Giggy was in the snack bar situated in the Empire arcade (any one remember it?) near to the entrance of Sloan’s snooker hall and some unkind person pinched the cap from his head, Giggy got very distressed over this incident. But this dumping trip in a strange town must have been a real nightmare for him, does anybody know how he managed to get back home or who indeed would do such a thing???

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  9. Giggy’s name was definitely Leslie. I am sorry to say that every so often there would be a gang of small kids in the 7-10 age range, walking after him and calling him names. Giggy would turn and shamble towards them, making a not very effective effort to get rid of them. But if one of the older adults from Portrack saw what was going on, they would shout and chase the gang off. This contrasts with the degenerative behaviour of the 1970s. By that time Giggy would have been quite old, adding to his other ‘challenges’. As a ‘treat’, he was given a trip to Thirsk and then dumped and left to find his own way home.

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  10. I read with interest the comments about ‘Giggy’ Moon – my mother, who was born in 1926 remembers him well and told me that my father would often buy him a pint and some cigarettes in the Portrack pub and sometimes in the Prince of Wales pub, as did many other people who lived in the Portrack area. Regarding his first name, my mother is quite certain and without any doubt that Giggy’s first name was Lesley – but she also confirmed that he had a younger brother called Raymond and two sisters, one of which was called Doris.

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  11. The Moons moved from Portrack to St. Marys Close, my grandparents had the flat above them. Lesley, Raymond and Doris were all characters, and harmless. Their mother was a lovely lady, Gran would take me down to their flat to chat to mrs on and the flat was spottlessly clean. Unfortunately after Mrs Moon and Doris died I believe Lesley and Raymond had to go into a nursing home.

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  12. My Grandparents lived in the flat above the Moons, Leslie, Raymond and Doris were characters, but very harmless, their mother was a lovely lady, Doris looked after her mam very well. The flat was spotless, but very small don’t know how they all managed to fit in. I believe once their mother died, Doris looked after her brothers, sadly she died and the boys went into I think a nursing home.

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  13. I had some of the best bank holidays and new years in the blood tub in the early 70s & then we used to go in the Prince. The bus trips Dot Patterson had, God they were good times! I lived near Giggy and his family on Victoria, I think they lived in St Marys Close they had a sister who lived in Paxton Close.

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  14. I certainly remember Tommy Wells when I was a kid growing up in Portrack. He would certainly swear and lash out at cars that passed him when he walked along Portrack Lane. Tommy would vent most of his anger against the ladies but if anyone said to him’ How’s you today Tommy’? He would be very civil and answer them politely. One tale that circulated to account for his behaviour was that he came home from work one day and found his wife in bed with another man. He chased the man down the road and would in all probability have killed him had he caught him. As with all tales there may be an element of truth in it because by all accounts Tommy was regarded as being quite an intelligent man before his behaviour changed.

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  15. Christine, are you sister to Pauline and Ronnie Todd? I used to live in the so called ‘Blood Tub’, I think the name originated from years and years before because the Portrack Social Club committee were very strict and doled out strong punishment to anyone bringing the club into disripute. That was in the fifties and sixties. It did go into decline in later years and I think the old committee who founded the club would have turned in their graves to see what it had become.

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  16. This is Giggy Moon. The Blood Tub was not a pub, it was a club called the Portrack. The reason it got its name was because there was always fights outside. It was over the road from the Prince of Wales. It was changed into a shop selling 3 piece suits last time I was down there.

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  17. G Hart, yes I remember Tommy Wells, he lived across the road from me at Portrack. I lived Westport and he lived Bridport, he used to spit at the cars and swear. I think everyone was frightened of him – did he have tourettes syndrome? I remember Giggy always said “giz a fag mary” and Billy Goldsmith lived in our road, he was a good friend of my dads, William Dunning (Hoppy).

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  18. I was just a little girl in the days of Giggie Moon but does anyone remember his mate Kenny Merry. My dad, George (Gug) Dobbing would bring those two home for something to eat and it was Kenny Merry I was scared of. Seeing a photo of Giggie is absolutely brilliant so thanks for that Bob.

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  19. There was a bus stop near the blood tub, Giggy was always in there talking to Billy Goldsmih. Another character I remember from Portrack Lane was Tommy Wells – all the kids were scared of him.

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  20. I never knew for a long while there were other Mee”s in Stockton. None of them were relatives. I only found out when on the way home from the Richard Hind School I had to call and collect our wartime ration of hen corn. I told them my name and they gave me a bag which on arrival home made dad use language he never used. It seemed we had less than half the normal amount. Shooting off to Town he discovered a lad had given me the wrong pack, it was for the other Mee”s. Living in Norton and Stockton all these years I never did meet any of them.

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  21. Just a small correction to my last post, the Mee”s of course lived in Lambert Street near the old church. I last saw the two lads at Thirsk races with their Dad – I was in racing myself at the time – I am not sure if I tipped them a winner.

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  22. I remember Giggy and his family well, his sister Dolly Moon(doris) used to call at our house in Edith Place – I also remember the Mee family John Bytheway. John and Arthur Mee were good friends of mine – their Dad was Walter Mee, they lived on the corner of Nicholson street near the old church

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  23. I remember Giggy in my teens “what 45 or so years ago” he was the town Character and yes he was treated badly at times and tormented. I believe he had a sister who was the of same sad dilemma not sure but I believe she was called Ruth. I think they was 3 of them all the same family? SAD

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  24. I heard this sad story about Giggy from a relative of mine, Mr Joe Mc Glade, who used to live in Portrack. The time would have been the late seventies. Some young men asked Giggy if he wanted to go for a ride in a car.As a “joke” they took him down to Thirsk and then left him there.Twenty five miles from home. Giggy would have been hard pressed to find his way from one side of Stockton to the other. I think its worth recording that not everything in the past was rosy, and neither was everyone decent.

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  25. Gigi Moon along with Jimmy Legget Swim Swam Swum and quite a few ladies were all Stockton characters. I loved watching Jimmy in the days we had a Policeman directing traffic, Gigi would stand near the Policeman waving his arms and pointing at the traffic, even the Policeman smiled. One night during Stockton races a crowd of us came out of the Market pub and found Gigi being badly treated by a group from out of town. They learned the error of their ways in very short shrift. All the lads looked after Gigi. Jimmy Legget wore yellow socks and gloves and would often sit with our crowd in the Green Tree for an hour knowing we did not make pointed remarks as some did. He was a very well educated man and we often got him to settle an argument, he always knew the answer. We were a rough lot back then but respected Jimmy and his knowledge. Swim Swam Swum would lay on the floor shouting water and some of the men would pour their beer on him, it was not something I liked to see and we usually managed to get him out before it went too far. They were a few of the many local characters who held centre stage in Stockton High Street a long time ago now.

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  26. I remember Giggy Moon..it is my first memory..sitting in the upstairs window of our flat on Portrack lane aged about 3 years as it was raining and he was searching in the gutter for ciggies I was told..I always wondered if my memory was right..THANK YOU it appears it is.

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  27. hi, i was just reading some of the comments on this site and wondered if anyone remembers the sheldon pearson sweet makers/factory. i am related to the sheldons and would love to find out any history. any informaition would be much appreciated

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  28. My Father a Stockton man born and bred used to always say to me -before I ventured out on an evening thinking I looked rather smart- “You”re done up like Giggy Moon.” I never knew whether to take this as a complement or a put down and he always had a good laugh about it.

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  29. GIGGY MOON AND IS BROTHER RAYMOND, WERE BOTH GREAT INDIVIDUALS,THEY NEVER CAUSED ANY TROUBLE,AND LOCAL PEOPLE DID NOT TAKE THE MICKEY OUT OF THEM.IN my younger days living in PORTRACK we had a lot of things happening..I.E. Saturday night fights outside the prince-of-wales. playing handball for 3hrs opposite farthings shop, drinking in the backroom of the FLASH if you were 17yrs old. watching the shamrocks play on a sunday morning MEMORIES YOU CANNOT TAKE THEM AWAY

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  30. To Derek Casey,are you a relative of the comedian Jimmy Casey known as “Jimmy James?” My grandparents Maron (known as Mary) & Charlie Wells moved into his house in Portrack with their sons when he moved out, my father Tom, who played for Portrack Shamrocks and Donny. The houses were 2 up 2 down and the stairs were very narrow. My father won a small cup whilst playing for the Shamrocks but sadly he died in 1968 of a brain tumour when I was 2. They used to frequent a pub nicknamed “the Blood Tub” and Mary,s sister Sarah Leonard married Alf Rawlings the wrestler, Eli who later worked with Hilda Baker also went in this pub in Portrack. My grandparents always memtioned the Moons as they lived close by and had newspaper up at the windows instead of curtains. They also mentioned a subnormal man who stood at the corner of the street most days but I can”t remember his name maybe the photo at the top was the person they meant.

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  31. Has anybody any photos of the Sheldon sweet factory or any information of when the factory closed etc or any information on the Sheldon family

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  32. Well I remember Giggy Moon from when I was a kid living in The Prince Of Wales Pub back in 1968 to 1975. Giggy was well known with the locals and was looked after by my Father John Bytheway who was the Landlord of the pub. Yes the famous giz a tab was Giggys way of scrounging a Woodbine or two from the lads in the pub. He was always well fed, washed and cleaned including a shave by one of the locals in the pub. Giggy enjoyed my Fathers home made soup and many a sunday dinner. He even managed Xmas dinner with the family at times including the Xmas hat and cracker. As someone mentioned earlier people were kind back then and looked after people who could not manage for themseleves. Giggy always managed to be in the pub when weekly line cleaning was in progress and managed a few free pints of Exhibition from my Father. For some reason my Mother was known as “Mary” to Giggy despite being called “Brenda” and Giggy often cried into his cap looking for sympathy of a free pint or a tab from of course “Mary” ! ! ! ! my Mother. Happy days>>>>>

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  33. Hi everyone out there, Does anyone remember my Gran Meggie Mee from Nicholson Street or any of her sons and daughters Walter (one arm), Meg, Alice, Florrie, Albert, Harry. She lived there for years and I understand was known to all!!

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  34. Catholic Street ran between Garbutt Street and Major Street. The houses there are long demolished and replaced with small blocks of flats, but Garbutt Street is still on the map as is Major Street. My grandfather used to live there just after WW1 and my Dad was born there.

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  35. Pam Rowland. Catholic Street was demolished in the late sixties or early seventies. It ran between Garbutt Street and Major Street off the east side of Norton Road. I think this would be Tilery.

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  36. I came across this site as I am looking for the address in Stockton of Catholic Street. I have a great grandfather born in 1863 in this street to Mary Nicholson. His name was John Archibald Nicholson. I believe his father to be Richard Archbald (shoemaker). Can anyone give me more info on which district of Stockton, Catholic Street was in or does anyone know the family?

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  37. Hi,David Ferguson,just found this site and maybe your uncle Ken could help. My mothers Mum (nee Mary Murray) lived in Haffron St.& must have had a sister (name?) who married a Farndale. One child (Annie Farndale ) married Sam Oakley and they lived in Catholic St.Any info on the Murrays from Haffron St.? I suppose that since Annies father was my mams uncle there is some tenuous family relartionship.

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  38. I remember Giggy directing traffic in Stockton High street much to the amusement of PC Mac in the 1950s also him selling out of date evening papers to people and them paying for them …and they said he was daft, much loved by the people of Stockton, he never as far as I can remember ever offended any one . Happy days .

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  39. My husbands late father Edward Marr was brought up in Nicholson Street.He played football for the Portrack Shamrocks in the 1940s and 1950s.He was known as Ned or Eddie and he was in the team when they won the Ellis Cup.Has anyone got any photos of the “Rocks” or any more information.His mother Mary lived in Nicholson Street till it was demolished in the early 1960s.

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  40. To David Ferguson, bang on David thats my aunt Lizzy, never turned a kid away, when as a young boy and young man when ever I went to visit always a load of kids sat there watching tele, suppose it dropped off when folks started renting their own. Ragworth was still brand new then and I used to visit aunt Lizz often, all the best Derek

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  41. Hi, again Joan, Leslie Ferguson is not related although he lived in Catholic Street and also lived next door to us in Doncaster Crescent. My Uncle, Ken Ferguson can tell you where everyone lived in Catholic Street and believes you lived in 21 and we lived in 27. He is not yet online but I”m sure he will have plenty to enter on picturestockton when he is. Derek Casey will now know he is correct and I lived in Doncaster Crescent. If your aunt lizzy is the Mrs Evans I knew she must have lived round about 56 Doncaster Crescent and was a marvelous friend to all us kids because she had the first telly in the road and allowed up to about a dozen of us in to watch quite regularly.

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  42. To David Ferguson, hello david you say you lived in Ragworth would that be Doncaster cres by any chance, my aunt Lizzy was amongs the 1st to move in up there when it was all brand new, just wondered if you might have heard of them thats Lizzy Evens, husband Stan { Sqid }son Barry, daughters Sherly & Sandra, all the best Derek

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  43. To Joan Scott, hello again Joan, just looked and found you also lived at Eastbourne est, i met and married an eastbourne lass you might recall the name Rita Taylor, if you remember any other names from Tilery, Swainby & Eastbourne please let me know all the best Derek

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  44. david ferguson- hello david, i remember lesley ferguson and if memory serves me well he moved to ragworth. i haven”t seen him for a lot of years and if he is your relative, how is he? i too remember coronation day and all the tables set down the centre of the street. i think i was about 5 years old when we moved to eastbourne estate.

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  45. Joan, congratulations on finding this site, we all love it ! I left Catholic Street to move to Ragworth when I was about four. I can still remember cattle being driven down the street and also fragmented bits of Coronation Day. My sister Jean was seven years older than me, so I think a lot of it includes the memories she has shared with me. My gran was quite well known in the street as she used to lay out people for their funerals. My Aunty Doris (Farndale) killed and plucked chickens. Thank goodness I inherited no such macabre tendencies. The rest of my family that lived in Catholic Street were my mam Mary, dad George and my uncle Ken and aunties Hilda and Irene. My aunty Doris” daughters were Margaret and Mavis.

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  46. i”ve just had a memory buzz, i remember giggy moon and doris, my first recollections of them i must have been about 3 or 4 years old but they were regular visiters down garbut street, i lived in catholic street. i have just found this site to-night and i love it.

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  47. To Richard Scott, you are indeed correct with the family names of Leslie, his brother, Raymond and his sister Doris Moon, My father John, was the caretaker of St.Ann”s Infent school, for many years,and many a sunday Morning ,Leslie would come in to the house, 53 Elliott St,and have his hair cut, dad was a sort of barber in the navy, and i mean “Sort of”.And after having his hair cut, dad would give him a Woodbine, and we always got from Leslie, a very wry smile,and a big, thanks Mr Lee.I know people say “One should never look back”. But this is a fantastic site, and i would give anything to be back with my mates of then,and the good times we had . long live this site.

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  48. to richard scott and all…i apologise if i got the names mixed up…and to bob urwin yes the man with yellow gloves did work at the admiralty and he did change his clothes several times a day

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  49. Hi Ken. You probably remember me from you Frederick Nattrass Juniors days. Re. Tarzan, he was a 1st World War veteran who suffered from Shell Shock. He had a silver badge in his lapel stating he was a veteran. Can you remember him in the Norton Picture Houses, especially watching the Tarzan Films. He was as good as the real one with his calls in the Cinema. He walked for miles each day and I used to see him around the Wynyard way. I believe he slept in a maketo Den at the Clay Hole at the back of Hartburn Village. A Farmer from near the Mile House found him dead in one of his barns probably about 1970. The man with the yellow gloves was called Horton, living in Newtown and I believe worked at the Admiralty at Eaglescliffe. He would walk around the Town and had a different wear of clothing about 4 times in the day.

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  50. Ken – Giggy Moon was not the very tall man who used to wear lemon gloves, that was a chap who I knew as Daddy Haughton. He was known by other names. Yes Tarzan is mentioned elseware on this site, he used to hang around the Browns Bridge enterance to Newtown school in the mid 1950″s.

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  51. Lovely stuff about Giggy moon who I do remember and the very tall man in lemon gloves, did he not work in one of the town”s cinemas? I also remember, from the late 40″s and early 50″s, a man we called “Tarzan”, you could hear his jungle call from miles away. Sadly we would probably lock him away these days whereas to us kids he was just a lovely eccentric man who gave us harmless entertainment. Does anybody know anything about “Tarzan”

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    • I worked in Stockton High Street in the 1970s, who was the tall man that used to walk up and down the High Street in full cricket whites, carrying a cricket bat and always talking to himself?

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  52. Steven, We had the Fish Shop in Nicholson Street not far from where the Moon family lived.Leslie was “Giggy”s” first name, Raymond was his brother and Doris was his sister. There were a few more members of the family whose names escape me.

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  53. Giggy Moon”s first name was Rraymond, his brother was Leslie, their mother”s name was Doris. My mam”s parents Henry and Alice Elliot ran the Portrack Hotel they sold Ramsdan beer. My grandfather was a sergeant major in the regimental army, my mam (pauline(elliot)murray) moved into the hotel when she was 11 years old. Giggy was the one who always said “giz a tab”. She also recalls a day of celebration when Leslie was made king for the day and another time when he was accused of stealing and got the birch. Giggy came from a family of 5 or 6 kids and Leslie was the most sane out of them all. According to her, Giggys parents were direct cousins and therefore genetics played its part within the family. Other names mentioned were Swim Swam Swum, Itchy Coo, also a man who used to walk Stockton High St wearing bright yellw gloves, and a girl who was jilted at the alter and never changed her clothing or hair as of that day.

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  54. Giggy Moon frequented The Prince Of Wales pub in Portrack and was looked after by the then landlord John Bytheway. Communities did care for their own once.

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  55. My Husband seems to think that Raymond was Giggy”s real name. I do know that he lived next door to my uncle in Nicholson Street,Portrack and my husband lived across the street from him in the 1950″s. My mother said he suffered from epileptic seizures and if he felt one coming on he used to tuck his cap under his arm and run as fast as he could for home. If only people had the medical understanding then that we have today, Giggy”s life could have been a lot better.

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  56. I had to walk to and from St Mary”s Primary school back to home next to the Brown Jug. The route took me past Tilery Road and I think Giggy Moon used to wander around there. My Mum used to make sure I hurried home by saying “Giggy Moon will get you!” I am sure he was just a gentle old buffer.

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  57. Currently have 94 yr old father-in-law visiting us in Scotland and he believes the person whose trademark call was asking “giz a tab” was actually Thornaby Joe and not Giggy Moon. Joe was related to the Sheldon and Pearson sweetmakers of Thornaby. So says Thomas Butler of Norton.

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  58. When I was a small child in the 50″s,I recall that in an attempt to stop me misbehaving, my mother would threaten me that “Giggy will get you!” This now seems a rather unfair approach to have taken, as most impressions of Giggy appear to be that he was a harmless enough soul & Stockton was ahead of its time in terms of “Care in the Community” as people used to look after him. However, having looked at his photo I would have to agree that my mother”s comments about me as an increasingly untidy teenager in the 60″s that “You look like bloomin”Giggy!” probably have more of a ring of truth.

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  59. I attended St Mary”s infant and junior school in Norton Road. Giggy was often outside the school entertaining the kids. When adults passed by they were often greeted by his trademark “giz a tab”

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  60. Les Moone was Gigi”s brother. They both frequented the Stockton High Street. There was also a sister called Doris. I have no idea of Gigi”s 1st name.

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    • This photo was taken at the side of the Price of Wales pub, my father-in-law John Bytheway was the land lord at the time. Best pint of 80/bob on the lane

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