21 thoughts on “Summerhouse Square

  1. My parents lived at 11 Summerhouse Square from circa 1949 to early 1950’s. Does anyone have any information relating to this property, photograph etc?

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  2. Alastair Smith comments about Paul Southern of ‘Woodbine House’ being a teacher at Richard Hind School for a year. He would know his way around as he had been a pupil at the school! I taught him there.

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  3. Woodbine House is still there and the plaque on the side of the house categorically says Woodbine House Julie, never heard it called Villa. That was the black path cut to the Show-field which is now part of the Ring Road and Red House School playing field. It was quite a wide gap between the houses and Goldsbroughs coal wagon could turn on it easily, I know I did it in the wagon well under age, it was a surplus Chevrolet and very easy to drive. Of course I had plenty of practice on my Fathers truck, a German Opel he bought from a Japanese garage owner in Middlesbrough called Sano (Sanno). He came to our house many times trying to sell us the truck (brand new) and I found him strange, well to me as a lad, but he always had sweets for me. Father ended up with a German truck around 18 months before war was declared, I can tell you it led to some funny situations as we took material to all the new aerodromes being built in the area. The top field was the actual Showfield, it was flat and in my early years partly fenced in, the fence slowly disappeared during the war, probably fire wood. The rest to us kids who’s houses backed on to it was called the ‘sand pits’ as there had been sandpits there. Somewhere there are photo’s in a newspaper archive of me sledging down the hill in very deep snow and falling off, the year would be around 1940-41, never found them though.

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  4. Paul Southern lived in ‘Woodbine House’ whilst he was a science master at Richard Hind in 1961/62. Mr Southern only stayed for a year, possibly two, at Richard Hind before moving on to Stainsby School in Middlesbrough. Whilst at Richard Hind he introduced rugby to the strictly football school. We played an under 13 team with some success and used the rugby ground at Norton CC as our home ground.
    Unfortunately when Mr Southern left, rugby left with him. I believe he moved to Bishopton when he married which would have been around 1962.
    A good and valuable teacher to have had at Richard Hind.

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  5. Frank P Mee – The Woodbine House you talk about was called Woodbine Villa when I used to go there. My Mother’s cousin lived there. He was Alf Suthern who lived there with his wife Molly and 2 sons Paul and John.

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  6. You are right, John – it was the No.3 bus from Roseworth, to Stockton Town and then onto Hartburn, because I used to get off the No.3 at Denshams Corner.

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  7. My Dad was a conductor on the buses in the 40/50s, and frequently was on the 3/7 route. Sometimes I used to ride round with him (strictly against the rules, but who was telling?) and when we got to the terminus near Kiora on Ragpath Lane, I was allowed to change the bus number on the front and back plates. If I remember rightly, there was a special ‘key’ to allow the numbers to be turned. No doubt Paul Butler will put me right on this, as his Dad was the driver! If I wasn’t riding round, I used to take Dad’s bait and a fresh flask of tea up to the terminus and wait for his bus to arrive.

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  8. I thought the number 7 bus from Thornaby changed to the mumber 3 and then onto Roseworth
    back to Stockton and then change back to number 7 for Thornaby.

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  9. The Roseworth buses are ‘engraved on my heart like Calais’, as I seemed to spend most of my teenage years waiting for them to arrive (or not, as the case often seemed to be!). The number 7 then became the number 3 when it arrived on Roseworth at the top of Ragpath Lane near Junction Road & then went back to town via Durham Road and on to Hartburn Village near Elmwood before returning.

    Likewise the bus to Roseworth from the High Street via Durham Road which was the 3 – became the 7 at the aformentioned ‘Terminus’ and went down Junction Road & Norton Road to the High Street and the I think on to Thornaby before returning. And then if you had a strong stomach there was always the number 8 which came to Roseworth via a somewhat tortuous route of Durham Road, Appleton Road & Ragworth had a terminus at Reynoldston Ave near Kia Ora.

    The trick was to stand in the right place on Ragpath Lane & you could see all 3 arriving & run to get the first one.

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  10. The Stockton Corporation Buses for Roseworth were the 7 and 7a but the bus that turned round at The Green depended upon whether it was a green Stockton bus or a blue Middlesbrough one – the Green and Blue buses ran alternately on the route. Middlesbrough bus services had letters not numbers so the ‘Blue Bus’ was a letter O and the ‘Green Bus’ was a number 0. Everyone called it the ‘Oh Bus’ route anyhow.

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  11. I have a feeling it was the number 7 bus that ran from Ashville Avenue to Hartburn. The number 1 was the bus to Haverton if memory has not got holes in it. In my opinion the Stockton Council still do a good job the services in our area are beyond reproach. It is really too late to rescue much from our past. Maybe we should have a thread for memories such as we have, to put on full stories of the past while we are still here.

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  12. Thanks for putting me right Frank about the start of Junction Rd, I always thought it started at Norton Green as the main road from Norton to Durham Road, up passed Norton Junction to the main road near the Ammunition Dump on the corner. I remember them building the dump before the war. Our friends Cpt John Wilson and family lived in “Vernadale” which was right next to the post box on Junction Rd, the next post box was North Albert Rd, and then Ashville Avenue nothing after that. Ashville Avenue was also the terminus for the No1 Bus. Norton O, finished at Norton Green terminus. O service was every 5 Mins and No1 20 mins, it was a good transport system and very GO AHEAD, the trams went very early, before the 1939 war. Stockton Corporation did a good job in those days. I know we have to move forward but why throw away valuable history like the railways and other great assets of industry. The area should have a proper Industrial Museum showing local inventions bigger than the Railway Museums of York and Shildon.

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  13. I”ve been thinking about my last message re Woodbine House and have to correct myself. The cut through to the showfield off Station Road shows that Woodbine House was on the L/H side and the house on the right which beloged to an old man and his 2 sons called Connolly was the house that was knocked down for the Ring Road. The Connolly”s moved from there into 9 Ragworth Place. They also opened a Bookmakers Shop at the top end of the High Street.

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  14. Woodbine house is still there with a plaque on the corner with its name on it. The house is the corner of Station Road and the ring road as it goes down to Billingham near the foot bridge. People tend to forget that Station road is from the top of the green down to the Station and Junction road starts at the next corner. Stand at the Church corner look straight over the roundabout and you will see it.

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  15. Frank Mee, Where was Woodbine House situated on Junction Rd? The name rings a bell but I just can not place it. Was it on the other side of the road to Dr Ivey”s surgery and house or just before the right fork into Station Road?

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  16. You must also remember the Goldsbroughs Coal merchants in the top corner of the square. It is reputed I was the first boy born in the Robson that year, that was February, Dennis my best pal was born a couple of hours later. They moved as the war began to Woodbine House junction Road and then when his father retired, to Newton Bewley on the Hartlypool Road. Dennis and I did everything together even joining the army on the same day. Sadly Dennis died just after we held our 21st birthday parties. There were also the Samuels on the left as you went through the arch and some other families whom I cannot now remember. We all went to the Norton Board school but were split up after the eleven plus exams. Sadly some who passed for the higher schools could not go as parents could not afford the uniforms or they were needed to work and help with family budgets. I was one of the lucky ones.

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  17. I knew Summerhouse Square from the mid 1930s as my grand parents lived there, in fact my father and his siblings were born there. The entrance to Summerhouse Square was opposite the old tram sheds and access to the street was through a tunnel, the houses were quite old even then, they were two up and two down without electicity, and the cold water tap was in the yard, lighting was by gas, downstairs rooms only, baking was done in a large blackleaded range in the front room, and water was heated there too. Going to bed up the dark and steep stairs with a candle was exciting for a youngster and also dangerous. An area of “common ground” connected Summerhouse Square with Hill Street and was the scene of much activity as football, cricket and marbles was played there, on occasions competitions like climbing the greasy pole and catching the greasy piglet took place, and of course on November 5th a large bonfire was lit and fireworks set off. All long ago memories.

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    • I am trying to find anyone who remembers Mary Hannah Metcalf and her husband William Gibson. They lived at 13 Summerhouse Square with their sons William and Alfred. Later my grandfather William was brought to the house as a baby when his mother Euphemia died. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers them.

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