13 thoughts on “Stockton High Street

  1. I mentioned earlier that I worked at Clinkards after school and on a Saturday as an errand boy and I loved it. An almost daily task was the delivery and collection of shoe repairs, these were the days when almost all shoes were sole and heel leather and some customers would post their shoes to Clinkards for repair.
    All this work was carried out by a cobbler who had a shop on Parliament St if you can remember it – Coopers.

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  2. I worked at this branch for nearly twenty years. Mr Shaw was a gentleman, we all enjoyed working for him. Mother (Mrs Clinkard)was a very formadable lady. Can anyone remember the summer outings to the shoe factory’s?

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  3. The Xray machines mentioned were called Pedoscopes and were something of a gimmick in the 40s and 50s. Although quite fascinating to kids I doubt that they were much good for fitting shoes. The bones would show but not the soft tissues. Clinkards were not the only shoe shop in Stockton to have these devices. I don’t think the radiation dose to the customers would have been too high even though they were not dark adapted. I don’t know about the staff perhaps exposed to radiation scatter from the machines (things were taken rather casually in those days)

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  4. I worked at this branch for a couple of years as a delivery boy after school. It was a labrynth of narrow staircases and boxed rooms backstage and one of my jobs was to keep it all tidy, along with taking the post to the General PO for the 5 oclock collection.
    I also remember very well the large XRay machine mentioned by other people. Mr Shaw (Brian) was the manager for many years before branching out on his own to Hartlepool I think.
    Clinkards had but two shops the flagship one being in Middlesbrough and sometimes I was sent there to collect a pair of shoes for the Stockton branch, collect the bus fair from the cashier, Mrs Sanderson, and off to catch the ‘0’ bus to the Boro remembering to save my bus tickets to hand in on my return.
    I met all the Clinkard family but my favourite was ‘Mr Roger’ who would ask me to wash his car (Sunbeam Rapier) and always tipped me five Bob and as my weeks wages was only 10 Bob then you can understand why he was my favourite.
    In fact the whole family was charming and the staff were very loyal to them, it was a classy business geared up for the middle classes.
    I wonder if the family are still involved in the current business?
    Angela Bird commented earlier and I was there same time as her and I used to buy my sweets from her parents shop in Arlington St before I went into School.
    Will Angela remember me?

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  5. The shop in this picture was definitely Medds pre the 1939-45 war. Cash was sent to the cash office by means of an overhead cable device which shot the container with the submitted cash to the office for a receipt or change, this was then returned to the counter staff. Clinkards shop was based in Middlesborough originally. I would be taken on the tram for new shoes when cash was available. Clinkards was a high class shop and best shoes only were bought there. Startright shoes had been introduced using measurement and a foot x-ray machine. Kiddies loved this machine to look at their feet by x-ray. It was subsequently realised that this exposure to x-rays was not good. It should be remembered that wages were low and many children could not be well shod or clothed in those days. It was only from the 1950s that wages started to rise slowly.

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  6. Cannot comment precisely about “Anyone else as old as me able to remember it?” but I feel sure as an 80+ that you are correct about Medd’s being the previous occupants.

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  7. Before Clinkards took over these premises, I am almost certain I can remember it being a clothing shop called Medd’s. Anyone else as old as me able to remember it??

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  8. I worked at the Stockton shop in 1957 after leaving school. It was a great place to work. I think I would spend all my wages on shoes. The clinkard family worked there as well. I used to help Jean dress the windows, which I think today are in the Preston museum.

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  9. The photograph of Clinkard”s shoe shop serves as a reminder of the social and economic changes undergone by Stockton in the past fifty years.The town possessed a number of quality shops,Clinkard”s, Crearie”s, Winpenny”s, Carruther”s, Hunter-Martin”s,Blanchenay”s, Whitely”s, Ward-Thompson and even in the 1950s,despite the surrounding industry,retained something of the atmosphere of a country market town.We even still had a saddle maker. As shops disappeared through re-location or the owner”s retirement this changed. Since then changes in fashion, greater mobility and the growth of out of town shopping has overseen a sad decline, giving a largely identikit High St., similar to hundreds of others throughout the country, while difficulties in filling retail space are only too apparent.Think of Stockton High Street,with its superb layout and setting in another part of England or indeed mainland Europe; even as Yarm or Northallerton writ large. I am not criticising anyone here, far from it, as great and genuine efforts and improvements have taken place, often against the odds and despite a few abberations in the 1960s and 70s. Purely circumstances.

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  10. What a lovely photograph. I”d love see some more of these – I can remember going to Clarks as a child too. The company always tried to make visits for children as friendly as possible.

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  11. I remember many visits here as a child to be fitted with “Startright” shoes. They sold proper leather shoes that needed polishing, not plastic things that just need a quick wipe with a damp cloth! The staff used to size your feet with a large metal measuring device, something unheard of in todays cheap and cheerless footwear shops. There was also some sort of x-ray gadget – you popped your feet in, looked through the viewing aperture and there they were – BONES! I think the shop frontage was saved for Preston Hall Museum.

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