2 thoughts on “Heavy Machine Shop, Head Wrightson

  1. When aged 10, I kept pigeons and was forever building pigeon cotes in our backyard from scrap timber – using the coal house to keep my best birds in, ha-ha. I say ha-ha because they’d been bought for a 1/- from ‘Smithy’ who had the pet stall on Stockton Market (near the men’s toilet and facing the Shambles Hall). Smithy’s men I learnt had got them from the church roof in Tilery Road, Stockton, using an handful of corn, and the box trap method to catch them, you sprinkle the corn around and then inside a wood box, and drop the flap on them when they go inside to get it. Instead of bird pedigrees Smithy should have given out Baptism Certificates for the hundreds of Church of England, and Thornaby flour mill birds he sold on Stockton market!

    One day in Trafalger Street, Thornaby, I was trying to scrounge some scrap timber from the wood working shop in Heads Wrightsons throw-away pile, and when the men learnt what I wanted it for one of them volunteered to build me a small loft, which he did. A real beauty with four compartments, proper tiny little doors with hinges and welding rod bars and landing boards. And I’m forever grateful to these now unknown to me “childhood heroes in my lost ago distant past”. Thank you to all who worked in Heads. many of whom raced short distance birds in the Thornaby’s SDHU Short Distance Homing Club, whose races took place each Sunday morning from the RAF Thornaby airfield – plane runaway, whose Secretary lived in Gilmour Street, Thornaby.


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