9 thoughts on “Five Lamps and George Street, Thornaby c1955

  1. Does anyone remember that next to the Thornaby Old Library situated in George Street, Thornaby, there was quite a large bakery,? it was in between the library and the Police Station. As a child on the way to school, I used to pause outside there doors to watch the staff at work and to smell the bread being baked. Over the road from the library road was the ‘Clinic’, were adults and school children were sent to have minor injuries such as cut and grazes attended to. Usually they were given a dab of blue Tincture of Iodine and sent on their way. Some boys had ‘ringworms’, so iodine stains in their hair was noticeable.
    Before the arrival of Penicillin drugs the most common reason for being sent there was to have ‘Neck Boils treated,’ boils (furuncles) are painful pus-filled bumps on the skin resulting from the infection of a hair follicle. The infection is usually caused by a type of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (“staph”). Tiny breaks in the surface of the skin (such as those caused by friction, scratching or falling) can help the germ gain entry into and infect the hair follicle, resulting in a boil. Many boils drain of their own accord, or they can be lanced by a health care professional.
    The most common body areas for boils to occur are places where there is friction with clothing collars or ‘wellie tops (wellingtons/ rubber boots) and /or in places such as the groin, neck, shoulders, and face. I am certain that my mentioning ‘Wellie Tops’ friction leg sores, will revive a lot of old memories for members who can remember going to school wearing wellies day in and day out, because their parents could not afford new shoes for them.


  2. I wonder if this photo dates from the late forties. The paucity of road traffic suggests so, unless the picture was taken on a bank holiday.


  3. The Five Lamps, Thornaby, was at times an important meeting place and served the community has the equivalent of a Market Cross. Its layout and design and the steps surrounding it made it ideal for that purpose. Every New Years Eve commencing at 11.30pm, a small group of men used to gather around it, these were the “First Foot Men”, carrying some silver coins, usually 2/6, and a small lump of coal to present to the lady of the house as a ‘First Foot gift’ intended to ensure the households prosperity for the year ahead. Other important Five Lamps market cross rituals was the arrival of the Salvation Army band at 3-00 pm each Sunday, then at Parliamentary Elections Election meetings were held there with talks given from the steps by those seeking Election has the local M.P.

    Prior to 1707 England did not have general Elections as we now know them, those wishing to act as the local MP turned up at the nearest Market Cross on Election day, they were introduced to the onlookers by the Sheriff, and at the end of the meeting a show of hands took place, the MP elected was the person who appeared to have the most local support. As you might expect ambitious local gentry’s families formed themselves into groups of relatives and friends of the candidate to support him during these alleged informal meeting. MPs served for seven years and not five as is customary today. After the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, British Elections became formal and better organized, the first British ballot box election using ballot papers and a ballot box was held in Pontefract on 15 August 1872, under the terms of the recently enacted Ballot Act 1872. The original ballot box, sealed in wax with a liquorice stamp, is held at Pontefract Museum.


  4. This is a great photo and reminds me of when i was a boy. I use to play on these very steps and i was very familiar with the surrounding area, lots of fond memories. I notice Derek Smith has responded to your posting, now there is a man who can tell a few stories of the area.


  5. This is a great photo of the five lamps just as I remember as a child. I was just wondering Derek smith if the gentleman you mention is related to Norman Fulton I was at school with at the Arthur head 1958 to 1962


    • Thanks Stuart, I am the nephew of Norman Fulton (Napper) who died sadly in January 2014 aged 66. Norman lived in Barnard Street until the family moved to Mead Crescent in 1963.

      Howard lived opposite 12 Barnard Street at number 11 and was Norman’s uncle . Howard was the brother of John Henry Croft Fulton 1901- 1965, Norman’s father.


      • Thanks for that Derek. I’m sorry to here about Nappers death we all knew him as Napper at school I lived in Stevenage Close 1993 to 2004 I used to see quite a lot of him for a natter.


    • Norman was one of ten boys and lets say ten people, who epitomised Thornaby in the 1950/1999 period, everyone knew Napper Fulton, and his sisters Gladys, Anne, Clara, I even recall the Fulton family wartime lodger, a Royal Navy sailor billeted with them who looked ever so smart in is Naval Blues. The Fultons even had a piano, which on VE day night 70 years ago, was carried into Barnard street for a sing-song.

      Victory in Europe Day, V-E Day, was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces ending World War II in Europe. Upon the defeat and surrender of Germany, celebrations erupted throughout the UK. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace before the cheering crowds. On this day Thornaby had a march past and small Military parade held outside Thornaby Town Hall, which I can still remember, They had a line of tracked vehicles, like small tanks, which made hell-of-a-noise driving down Mandale Road to a bigger parade being held in Middlesbrough.


  6. In the group of five men on the steps seen in the famous Francis Frith postcard, second from left sits Howard Fulton 1902 -1974. Howard a moulder at the Bon Lea Foundry lived in Barnard Street (first street on the left) between 1911 and 1972. I wonder if any of the other people in this photograph can be identified?


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