The Billingham Arms prior to demolition, June 2015

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Photographs showing the Billingham Arms prior to demolition. The garage annexe at the rear of the hotel has already been demolished and the bricks crushed up on site. I was told that they would be used to fill in the cellar area before redevelopment takes place. The project is about 3 weeks in now with a further 5 to 6 weeks before the hotel should be gone completely and then replaced with a new Aldi store.
I’m sure that quite a lot of famous names and faces have passed through those hotel doors when it was in it’s heyday and probably several stars of ‘screen and stage’ have stayed there during their appearances at the nearby Forum Theatre? Taken Sunday 7th June 2015.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

22 thoughts on “The Billingham Arms prior to demolition, June 2015

  1. The woodwork in the Ward Room was from the 1st Class Smoking Room of HMHS Britannic which was sister ship to both RMS Olympic and Titanic. Britannic was requisitioned for use as a hospital ship in WW1 and sank in 1916. Her fittings (stored until after the war) were later auctioned which was presumably when they were acquired by the hotel. I don’t live in the area anymore and had always planned to have a look. I hope that someone had the good sense to remove the woodwork as White Star Line artifacts are worth a fortune.

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  2. This was our regular Friday night haunt back in the mid 60s, myself, Nipper Weatherall, Dave Paxton, Barry Crozier & John Duncan, [now sadly deceased] plus a couple more irregulars now and again. Can’t remember the price of the Brown Ale, I would think about 2/6d in old money, 12 pence in ‘new’ money

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  3. I lived in and worked in the Billingham Arms from 1971 until 1978 and they were some of the best years of my life, the memories of all the great people and good times we had will be with me for the rest of my life. I feel quite bereft today as I look at the pictures of the demolished hotel, what on earth were the council thinking of, they should have conserved the building…..maybe J.D.Weatherspoons, Travelodge or the Premier Inn could have used it.

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  4. How sad. Can’t believe its gone. Final insult being a shop put up in its place. My Dad and his band were the resident band there in the fifties and early sixties

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  5. I think you will find the Beatles stayed at the Eden Arms, Rushyford on the night of the Kennedy assassination, A copy of the Hotel registration signed by them, was sold at auction, this has been documented in Stockton pic in the past

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  6. Does anyone remember the Fri, Sat and Mon night discos in the Fessie bar? Mondays were the best, 60 and 70 nite with who sang it and wot was the year…

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  7. Just another fine buiding lost. The Council should stick to what they do best. Architectural conservation is not an area in which they have experience-it should be outsourced. Jobs are temporary-buildings can stand for thousands of years if cared for.

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  8. Had some very good nights in the arms from the eighties onwards and very good friends past and now, it will be very sad to see it go.

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    • I worked in the lounge bar in the 60s and had heard that rumour. The girlfriend was Madaline Bell, one of Dusty Springfields backing singers at the time. I asked some of the hotel staff about it and they all said that is just what it is, a rumour!
      Working there in the 60s was great, lots of fun, lots of tips and I got to meet people like The Seekers and Roy Orbison.
      Sunday lunchtime we stocked the bar in the dancehall ready for the Sunday Night “Arms Dance” and to do that we had to take all the drink through the very hot kitchen. If you stopped for a minute and looked away the top crate of Newcastle Brown Ale was somehow empty, and the Chefs looked very refreshed. Boy did we get a good lunch

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  9. I remember it being raided by the police on one of the Tech dance Fridays! Plenty of underage drinkers had their names taken – my mother didn’t speak to me for more than a week because of the ‘shame’ of having my name taken, even though I was over 18 at the time!

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  10. As well as the more famous faces mentioned in the posts the ‘Billy’ Arms was also the ‘local’ for generations of students from Billingham Tech just across the road. Often so impoverished that the order would be ” a half of Exhibition please”, around 1/- (5p) C 1963. used to be particularly busy on Friday nights when dances were held at the Tech in the sixties.

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  11. Over the years many well known faces will have been in the Arms. I can recall once being in the Ward Room when footballing legend Dennis Law was sat at a nearby table. He was giving a talk later that evening. Another famous footballer Dennis Tueart once ran his disco in the ballroom. And of course the various shows at the Forum saw their casts coming in.

    Some theatre goers used to go in the Arms in the hope of having a few words with the stars. For instance the actor Roy Marsden was very polite when approached by several ladies all wanting their programmes signed.

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  12. Was there a room upstairs in this place that was fitted out with woodwork supposedly from the OLYMPIC a sister ship of the ill-fated TITANIC. If so I wonder what happened to it.

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    • The room you are thinking of was the small bar behind the lounge bar. A nice quiet (most nights) room and very ” select “

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  13. Beatles aide Tony Bramwell has confirmed to me on FaceBook that he and The Beatles stayed at the Billingham Arms when they played The Globe Theatre in Stockton – they were at the theatre when news came through that President Kennedy had been shot.

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  14. It was a great place when I worked they in 1969 as a chambermaid got to meet a lot of talent people still remember meeting the Tremeloes I meet my first boyfriend he was the wine waiter at the time it was the staffs Christmas party. We been married for 45 years now its very sad to see the Billy Arms go for us.

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  15. The Billingham Arms was the first “luxury” hotel in the area. There was nothing comparable in either Stockton or Middlesbrough. Before the Forum was built it played host to the stars of the Fiesta in Norton and the tours visiting the Globe in Stockton. One story I heard was that the late Dusty Springfield was very short sighted and was prone to tipping the staff with a half-crown rather the than the customary sixpence.

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  16. I remember Martha and the Vandellas and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles waiting for their bus to be packed in the early 60’s outside the Arms. We walked round the park with Martha and Smokey

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  17. How terribly sad, I left Teesside in 1973, but had spent many a happy evening dining in the Billingham Arms. Even returned in 1979 to attend my parents Golden Wedding Anniversary dinner there.

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