Brunswick Street. 1966

This photograph was taken from the roof of Billingham Press Ltd., Stockton on Tees, June 1966, looking along Brunswick Street towards Yarm Road. The Stork & Castle pub can be seen in the bottom right corner. Towards the top right hand corner can be seen the entrance to Holy Trinity Churchyard and to the left of the picture, over the flat roof building, is Prince Regent Street. Photograph and information courtesy of Brian Swales.

27 thoughts on “Brunswick Street. 1966

    • I was in Wolviston Scouts and used to use the coffee bar regularly when it opened. I had a friend in Stockton Scouts and we used to meet there. He met and married a girl who used the place too, They are still together now and have just celebrated 50 years of marriage.
      If my memory serves me right they had a good juke box didn’t they ?

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        • Sorry Janet, no I don’t. I didn’t really know anybody there other than the 2 or 3 friends I used to meet there.
          Is that place still around these days? Surely not after 50 or so years

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        • Yes I remember Paul Bennington and Nigel Wardell at Brunswick Scouts
          Paul a Sunderland football fan was with a group of senior scouts who went camping to Llandudno in 1967, Nigel may have been there too.
          Brunswick scouts had a permanent camp site at Aislaby on the River Tees with an on site hut. I have photographs taken in 1968 at Aislaby with myself and my future wife. Phil North and his future wife Margaret and also Nigel Wardell with a young lady called Janet.
          I regularly still see Phil and Margaret, Margaret is still involved with scouting. I have not seen Nigel since the late sixties I think he became a metallurgist

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      • Is that my Cousin Ian who lives in Canada?? Anne and I moved to Billingham 2 years ago and regularly pass your old family home in Cotswold Crescent. All the best Alan

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        • Hi Alan, yes it is me. We have been in Canada 50 yrs next year, how time flies. Hope you are well, Merry Christmas to you and yours. IAN

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  1. Does anyone have any details regarding who ran/owned The Stork and Castle during the period 1910-1940. I am led to believe that one of my Great Aunts may have been landlady at some point. Her name was Harriet (Hetty) Miller Nee Thomas.
    I am also trying to find any information on a pub named the Barrel of Rum which was possibly or Riverside and was run/owned by my Great Grandfather Charles Miller.

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  2. Thomas, I worked for your Great-Grandfather at Billingham Press when it operated from Station Road, Billingham. I moved on to pastures new before BPL moved to Brunswick Street. ‘The Press’ as we affectionately called it was a fantastic place to work and employed some really talented people both in The Comp Room and The Machine Room. At that time in the ’50’s Billingham Press employed people from across Teesside as it was a very forwarding thinking company and paid very good wages and so attracted some quality craftsmen and women. At the time Billingham Press moved to Brunswick Street we were doing huge amounts of work for local industry and for companies further afield. We were so busy at that time we were running a night shift! I think that we were the only commercial printers on Teesside at that time operating a shift system. Inevitably, the premises at Billingham became too small and the company moved on to Brunswick St. Like many old firms at that time BPL was a major force in shaping people’s careers and lives and I was fortunate to be a part of what was then a very specialised industry. It’s amazing that BPL is still owned and operated by the Dodds Family.

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  3. Anthony, Brian Swales did work at British Visqueen. I’m sure Brian will check this website at sometime to confirm as he has posted many times previously. I served my time with Brian at Billingham Press when it operated from Station Road, Billingham. We were both apprenticed Compositors.

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  4. I worked at Billingham Press for 17 years as a driver and met a lot of nice people there, seeing quite a lot of England, Scotland and Wales, delivering printed matter to ICI Works and Offices. One of the jobs was to take a display from Billingham press to the Houses Parliment for ICI, Thames House London. Highlight of the day after setting the display up was the lunch and to be taken on a tour round the rooms and given a couple of mementos with the names of Parliment House on them. I did have some good times at the Press and on my journeys round the country. I retired from the press on a job realease scheme at age 62, and emigrated to perth W. Australia in 1986. Nice to hear you are still on the go Mr Tom, we have come a long way since our days at Newtown School.

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  5. Well its nice to know that people enjoyed their time working at Billingham Press.
    I can assure that as a company we are going strong, I am the great grandson of Henry Dodds
    who established the company in 1942 and if any of you would like to come in for a factory visit I would be more than happy to show you around.

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    • My husband Richard Mitchell worked at Billingham Press starting as an apprentice at 15 and he became an excellent printer pride in his work. Its a pity he is not hear himself to comment as he passed away aged 67 having worked for 50 years

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  6. I certainly do have the dates correct Keith! I lived in Kenville Grove from the property being built 1958 until I left home in 1969. The Frosts moved into (possibly) number 14 around 1964 time. This was while Paul Frost was still at Grangefield Grammar school and he would often knock on our door for my father to mend his punctures! Earnie would pick his wife up from Billingham Press and give me a lift home too.

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  7. Brian mentions Paul Frost’s family living in Kenville Grove in the 60s. I wonder if he has got the dates correct because the Frost’s, including Paul, lived at the back of my famly in the early 60s when they lived in Arlington street and my famly lived in Camden Street – their back door used to face ours.

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  8. To answer Peter Jordison’s questions. The Stork and Castle pub was indeed run by Paul Frost’s parents, Ernie and Doreen. His mother worked at Billingham Press in the bindery. In the 1960’s the family lived in the same road as me, Kenville Grove, Fairfield.

    Tito’s was not built on the site of the Stork and Castle. It was built on derelict land further along Brunswick Street (on the other side of Albion Street) towards Dovecot Street. I remember it being built about 1963/4 while I was serving my apprenticeship at Billingham Press. Both the Billingham Press and Tito’s sites are now the Stockton Business Centre. If I’m not mistaken what was the Stork and Castle building still stands and is next to ‘The Greenhouse in Stockton on Tees’ a Frade enterprise.

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  9. Ref Peter Jordison’s enquiry, I would be at The Stork on Monday night’s and Tito’s on a Thurs, they were a block and a half away from each other.

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  10. Would I be right in saying that Tito’s nightclub (eventually evolving into Bailys and Bentleys) was built on the site that the Stork & Castle occupied, this photo strongly suggests this.

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  11. Mike, don’t remember you ‘groaning’ through your couple of songs but you might well have asked me to put your name down on the ‘singers list’ as I was a sort of resident MC. At least getting listed meant you got in for free!
    Apart from those Fettlers you mentioned there was Dave Lewis,John McCoy and of course ‘Big Mac’ who still fly’s the Fettlers flag I believe.
    The landlady was Eve and the upstairs bar was run by Mrs Barrie Ritchie who’s son was resident drummer at Tito’s.
    Fairly resident floor singers included Mal Ellis, Nigel Bond, Arthur Alderthay (Clememtine), Graeme Miles, Jim Wright, Garth Flack, Stan Gee and even I helped to fill any blank spots!

    Camerons ales as you rightly said and regular guest performers, Noel Murphy, Johnny Silvo, Diz Disley were always favourites.
    Monday night’s, it was the place to be, oh happy days.

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  12. The Stork & Castle was synonymous with the Stockton folk club, held in the upstairs room. Cameron”s ale for the beer breaks & the Fettlers as resident group. Ron Angel, Ken Crawford, Alex McClean, Cliff Robson, & John White. Anyone who turned up with a voice, & sometimes without, was allowed to sing. No elitism, even I was allowed to groan my way through a couple of songs.

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  13. I started work at Billingham Press, Station Road, Billingham in September 1960 straight from school as an apprentice compositor. About 1962 they moved into larger premises in Brunswick Street, Stockton, previously occupied by Postle & Brown. For several months in 1966 I worked one week of night shifts then one week of days and I think this photograph was taken early one morning before I left work. I have many happy memories of my years there. The composing room (or “comp” room as it was known) foreman in those days was a chap called Mick McCabe who had a habit of saying “oo” before speaking so someone across the comp room. This was alright until there was a chap called Ray worked there. Mick would shout across the comp room “oo Ray”, then everyone would cheer, much to Mick”s disgust! Apart from myself there were other comp room apprentices Nigel Lofthouse and Tony Butterfield and we used to take great delight in going to the top floor and wait until some of the bindery girls were in the lift then stop the lift between floors by putting a stick into the catch on the inside of the lift shaft and open the gate slightly. Once the girls started screaming we would shut the gate and quickly return to the comp room by a stairway at the other end of the building and carry on working as if nothing had happened . . . . . happy days! Other names I remember in the comp. room were, George Pratt, Brian Sigsworth, Martin Hall, Stuart Bannister, Keith Samme, Harry “The fish” Johnson, Brian “Yeti” Storey, John Marlborough, Eddie Kirk, Dennis Gray, Alex Bradley, “Sam” Shepherd, Bert Rodgers, Lol Thorman. I left Billingham Press in September 1966 and left the printing trade in 1977.

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