16 thoughts on “Central Avenue, Billingham

  1. I lived on Station Road (number 87) from 1953/4 not far from Central Avenue and only 3 doors away from Billingham Motors (formerly Allens Garage?). I was born in May 1950 so the photo has very nostalgic memories as I used to walk from Station Road to Weardale Crescent (first road on the right at the top of the rise) where my maternal grandparents lived (number 41). The photo must be from the 1950’s. There was no ‘new’ A19 of course. Station Road was the A19 and in those very early years there was no Billingham by-pass or dual carriageway to Norton-on-Tees. The quick way to Norton-on-Tees was a walk over Billingham Bottoms via a small bridge over the Beck.

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  2. Billingham motors was a 24hrs petrol station, it was not self service in the early 60’s when I first started using it. There had been an armed robbery at the kiosk and the proceeds taken.
    I was on my way to ICI on 6 x 2 shift about 05.30 with my dad Vince and brother Dave when we needed to call in for petrol. It was 1965 on a cold dark winter morning and we were all muffled up in donkey jackets. Went to the kiosk and noticed the attendant inside was fast asleep. I knocked hard on the door and he came to the window rubbing his eyes. I shouted “two please” so he walked back to the till and brought out 2 pound notes! I think he had been dreaming about the previous robbery!
    I said no no no I want 2 gallons of petrol.

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  3. In the late forties, early fifties it was the agent for Vincent HRD motor cycles. I remember looking in the showroom in awe at those magnificent machines. There was also a number of coaches parked outside, I believe they were privatly owned by a doctor and run under the name of BLUEBIRD COACHES. They had a bluebird painted on the side and boot lid.

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  4. Hiya Christine our nana and grandad (Ellen & Harry Iverson) lived in Conifer Crescent, she lived a couple of houses down on the right hand side as you went in at the top end, got a feeling it was number 54, I know a young girl used to live next door to her, just wondered if it was you?

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  5. As a child I lived behind Billingham Motors in Conifer Crescent. Before bed I always insisted on looking at the advertising on the top of the garage. As I remember it was a blue streamline type car and on its wheels were rope lights which made it appear that the car was moving. And yes, I also remember the cafe to me it seemed to be open all night – perhaps it was, I think it was a 24hour petrol station because it was on the main road – the A19.

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  6. If I am not mistaken this photo belonged to my mother. She gave it to a a man who was researching the local area ages ago. If I am right, the small black image in the centre is my grandmother!! Wow, the power of the internet – I am really impressed with this website.

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  7. I worked in Billingham Motors from late 71 to late 76 and it was a great place to work, I was in the parts dept along with Alan Tyroll, Neil(Geriatric hippy) Henderson, Leslie Douthwaite, Dennis Dring, Norman(The storeman) and a few lovely girls who drove the vans, May? Heather?. I was the youngest so I got the job of opening up each morning and unloading the stock order wagons, as well as such delights as refilling the giant heating tanks in the cellar, picking stock to deliver to our 12 plus out dealers, serving on the back hatch and being the target of every wind up by the mechanics.Iain Jacks was the Forman and he really did know everything about Renaults. Jim Duffy was workshop manager and Carol? Forcourt manageress, Jean was the cleaner, Old Man Martin was the director, and Alan Tyroll was the parts manager. The cafe at the time had two different teams working Peggy and Nancy came first (lovely girls) and then Olga and ?. The Petrol pump attendant was Marina IIRC. The Dealership was Renault and the fuel and oil was Texaco, In the 70s the Texaco Marlborough Mclaren racing team visited as did the renault 5 Challenge, These two events set the top to mechanics Maurice Jennings and Peter outhwaite into producing a racing Renault five painted by Peter Seaman and his tram in the bodyshop.

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  8. I could be wrong as it was a long time ago but I think my mum gave this picture to a publisher some years ago and he gave her a copy. The person in black stood by the wall is my grandmother. Very strange to stumble across this on the net!

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  9. Jeremy you must have had a good apprenticeship under Ian Jack. Whenever I took my Renault 16 into Billingham Motors Ian would always get it running like a dream, never stumped when it had problems( and it had many), the man was an A1 Mechanic. My wife was always telling me to sell the car but i loved it and as I say Ian spent hours and hours keeping going.

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  10. MY MEMORIES OF BILLINGHAM MOTORS WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.I SERVED A 4 YEAR APPRENTICESHIP AS A MECHANIC UNDER IAN JACK,THE SHOP FORMAN.THE LADS IN THE SHOP WERE GREAT,IGGY,COLIN,PETE,MAURICE,PAUL,DAVE,MIKE AND NOT FORGETTING NEIL IN PARTS.THE CAFE IN THE FORCOURT WAS A REAL CULINARY EXPERIENCE,WITH OLGA AND HER SIDE KICK. WE ALL HAD FUN AND DRANK MANY PINTS UP AT THE STATION ON FRIDAY LUNCHTIME. THE CONDITIONS WERE ROUGH BUT THE MEMORIES WERE WELL WORTH IT.RIGHT NOW I AM SITTING AT MY TOOLBOX IN TALLAHASSEE FLORIDA WORKING FOR ACURA AND ENJOYING ALL THE OLD PICTURES ON THIS SITE. THANKS AND GOODBYE.

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  11. I can remember it well, my dad got me a free kite when they sold Regent Petrol in the early 60″s I can remember another time there was a Spitfire plane on show on the roundabout at the bottom of Central Ave, but cannot remember the year (can anyone else remember it?

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    • Remember it well Peter 20th anniversary of the battle of Britain. Not many people seem to remember it, and a shortage of photos. As I remember it was on the field which was part of Billingham motors at the time, before Central avenue was re vamped.

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  12. Stan Hilton – Stan I”ve just visited and went to the site on the way to the Baltic in Newcastle. I popped in and asked the lad in the tile/ bathroom showroom whether or not they had any archive shots of the original building – unfortunately not. Surprise, surprise however, the young gentleman still remembered the building & said that he would rather have worked in it than the replacement. Goes to show that even the “next generation” can be nostalgic.

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  13. Mike Renwick: I used to cycle past Billingham Motors on my way to work in Stockton from Malvern Road in Billingham every day during the late 1950″s so the garage was a familiar sight to me. I can understand your reference to “art deco” but if my memory serves me correctly its style was more “Festival of Britain”. If you viewed it from the Billingham by-pass approaching the roundabout there was a sort of tower mounted midway along the front with a miniature “Skylon” on top. There were also some neon representations of futuristic cars on the showroom facade. I have some pics of it, I”ll try to dig out but I think they are 80″s shots, the tower”s still there but the rest of the decoration had been removed but I do know that there is a great arial shot with the garage in the foreground over looking the whole Central avenue estate towards the Synthonia Stadium and ICI Offices, I think early 60″s. It was in the Green Dragon research suite but it will have been moved now, it also appears in Vera Chapmans book “Around Billingham”.

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  14. I used to work at Billingham motors yes it was sort of art deco a tower with clock and a large car shape neon blue sign very retro.Can anybody remember the cafe on the front a low building where trucks used to pull in from the main Wolvistion flyover road at the bottom of the slope,this cafe was also where we got our bait fried span sarnies lovely jubbly.That neon sign could been seen for miles.The parts shop was on Station rd facing Central Av

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  15. Just behind this on fronting Wolviston Road was the Billingham Motors building. My memory says it was a sort of “art deco” style. Am I wrong? Also anybody out there got any photographs of it?

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