21 thoughts on “The Sportsman, Eaglescliffe

    • The dental surgery opposite your pub did have some historical photos of Station Road hung on it’s wall so perhaps you could try there?
      I see you have changed the name of the pub again, this time to The Locomotion?

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  1. When the pub opened,around 1896, it was as an unlicensed hotel. The nearby railway station,known as Eaglescliffe Junction, had been increased to two platforms in 1894 and was well used. The Northern Echo in 1893 wrote a report saying that in one day 74 passenger trains stopped at the station.
    The railway station had it`s own licensed refreshment rooms and was among the objectors to the hotel gaining a full license. I believe the hotel was given a license in 1897.
    The station`s glory days are now gone. Reduced to a single platform, the traffic using it is a fraction of what it was when the pub opened as the Station Hotel. As with so many pubs it has had to change with the times and is not partly a restaurant.

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  2. I remember the odd birthday and leaving do at The Sportsman in the mid 70’s when I worked at Barclaycard who had moved to Ashmore’s old offices nearby. Colleagues I remember were Peter Kaufman, Bruce Bentley, Bart Wilkinson, Nigel Brown, Anne Simpson, Walter Ormston, Jackie Royker ? Where are they now?
    The pub had a very nice, quiet atmosphere. Happy days!

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    • John you maybe getting two pubs mixed up. I am ex-Ashmores, Yarm Road, Iron and Steel, and the pub opposite and closest was The Eaglescliffe Hotel. The Sportsman is adjacent to Eaglescliffe station further towards Yarm.
      Also the Kaufman who worked for Barclaycard from those offices was Paul, who sadly died quite a few years ago. I believe his brother, Peter, also worked for Barclaycard, but in Northampton. Paul also moved to Northampton for a short while but later returned to the North East.
      Paul was on the books of Middlesbrough FC as a youngster but only made the first team on a couple of occasions. He was an all round sportsman excelling at cricket, squash, badminton and just about anything he turned his attention to. A lovely man and a great friend who had a passion for horse racing. His wife, Lorna, also passed away a couple of years ago, both at a relatively young age and sadly missed.

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        • My mistake Anon (football), so Paul Kaufman must have been second string stiffs, but he was there when Brian Clough and Alan Peacock were at the top of their game and trained with them. Paul entertained us with lots of MFC dressing room stories at the bar of The Talbot in Bishopton.

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          • That must of been 1958 till 1961 because Alan Peacock was not a full-time pro till 1958 & Brian Clough joined Sunderland in 1961. This is the first & second teams in 1959-60 season.

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            • Back-row 6th from the left is Norman Liggitt a Thornaby lad who worked as a plater at Head Wrightsons Stockton Forge, middle-row 5th from the right is Billy Day who served his time as a fitter at Head Wrightsons Machine Shop, Thornaby, 9th from the right is Alan Peacock, Brian Clough is front-row 2nd left.

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            • If I remember correctly the sign for this pub was at one point a painting of a Middlesbrough FC player. I can`t remember if it was David Armstrong or John Hickton. When I used to drink in the pub in the 1980`s another former Boro player, John Craggs, and his wife drank there. Craggs signed for Middlesbrough in 1971 for £60,000 and made over 400 league appearances for the club.

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      • Dear Anon

        We occasionally frequented The Eaglescliffe Hotel, but it wasn’t in the same league as The Sportsman !

        Forgive me, yes, it was Paul Kaufman and yes, he was a lovely man. I always used to grab a lift to socials with him, as he had a lovely bronze 2 litre GT Capri ! I was only 18 years old then and couldn’t even drive, let alone afford a car!!!

        I used to tease him and say he always reminded me of the famous British magician, Ali Bongo as his stage character “The Shriek of Araby” (see Wikipedia and you’ll get the idea!).

        I was saddened to hear he’s now passed away.

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  3. The Sportsman was originally called the Station Hotel and was built around 1896 by a Herbert T Jones. Mr Jones was also the first landlord, being granted a licence in 1897.
    I believe the name of the pub was changed in the late 1940`s.

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    • It may have changed it’s name when Tetleys took over the Pub. They also at a similar time bought out the Horse and Jockey from Russells Brewery. This would be in the early 60’s I think. It was the introduction of Tetleys to the area.

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      • I remember the a beer called Tetley Imperial. What a great pint. If I remember rightly it was brewed especially for the Teesside area. I once went into a pub in North Yorkshire and asked for Imperial, only to be greeted with a puzzled look from the barmaid.

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        • The real drinkers of Stockton were the @Bass@ men but when they heard about the Tetley beer they started using the Horse and Jockey. They just couldn’t get used to it and were cartwheeling down Durham Road.

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    • In the 1940`s the pub was owned by Russell & Wrangham,brewers,of Malton,North Yorkshire.Russell & Wrangham were taken over, along with their pubs,by the Melbourne Brewery (Leeds) Ltd in 1958. The Melbourne Brewery was in turn taken over by Tetley & Sons,brewers,of Leeds in 1960.
      From the 1940`s the landlord of the pub was a Jack Reeves. He transferred the license to his daughter, Doreen Smith, in the early 1950`s. I believe she ran it till 1968.

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  4. Spent many a happy night in The Sportsman, used to be heaving every night and you had to be out early to get a seat. Peter and Millie were the landlords who always made you welcome!

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