Demolition of Stockton & Billingham Technical College c2003

This is one of those posts that went missing when we moved to the new site.

It shows the demolition of Stockton and Billingham Technical College c2003.

Photographs courtesy of Stan Hilton.

We have tried to recreate as many of the original comments as possible…

14 thoughts on “Demolition of Stockton & Billingham Technical College c2003

  1. The college theatre hosted many classical music concerts. My friend and I, as fourteen year olds, started our love of music there and talked about it just a few days ago on my 71st birthday.


  2. Tyrannosaurus Rex at Stockton Billingham Technical College. Quite a few lads from Stockton Grammar School went that night. We were all hammered after a day’s drinking in Jockers in Stockton. Stu Maguire did a Captain Oates on us, to this day he still can’t remember how he got home (other than being in the back of a truck). I can remember ‘Debora’ and ‘One Inch Rock’ …vaguely!


  3. The college wasn’t just a place of learning, there were regular weekend gigs throughout the sixties with both local and national bands. I remember being the DJ there in the late sixties supporting bands like Marc Bolan with T Rex. Memories for your older viewers may include “Workers Playtime” being broadcast from the theatre in 1962 starring “Cheerful” Charlie Chester. I didn’t find him funny but I admired his Ford Capris. Does anyone remember Ken Parkin the camp drama teacher?


  4. Went to most of the Friday dances there. Live bands met a lot of girls. Started in the Billingham Arms (gone too) then dropped in to see my uncle, Cliff Appleton who lived across the road then, to the dance. Marvelous memories of the 60s, never to be repeated.


    • My Dad’s dance band, (Ken Scot and his band) was the resident band in the Billingham Arms. I was sad to see it was demolished to make way for a store.


  5. I went to Billingham Tech from 1965-1966, I took a Domestic Arts course, before going on to Darlington Tech on day release in a catering course. I loved my days at Billingham college. My friends and I also enjoyed the park that was just across from the college.
    I was very sad to see that the college had been torn down. It gave many of us who had no choice but to leave school at 15; another chance of an education. Now I live in California, and I have attended our community college. A friend of mine has also attended classes at De Anza college to further his education, he is in his late 80’s. There is always room for more education.


      • They did play as I was there, my brother was the Bass player in a local band that played that night, I think it was the Steve Brown Soul Sect?…it was unforgettable bands like Procol Harum, Free, Geno Washignton all played the Tech, it had a huge stage and dance area

        Happy days


    • Howdo Geoff,

      I remember missing Tyrannosaurus Rex because the Arms and the Astronaught were still open. Even the Wynnyard on Whitehouse Rd would serve very young looking punters.

      I still have a poster from the year that Jess Roden played.

      I was a student 1969/70.

      I agree that the theatre at least should have been saved. The community centre has survived.

      I enjoyed your comments, golden days.


  6. I was last in Billingham in Dec 2006. I was shocked by the changes in the Town. The Tech had gone. I used to work in the Science department as a Junior lab Steward and as a student (1957 to 1961). The Theatre was venue for a Student Union Dances on a Friday night. Among my duties I was projectionist for visiting Lecturers to the Theatre. A then famous TV person Sir Mortimore Wheeler came to speak, the hall was packed and I was nervous to say the least. Then I did what I feared most would happen. I put a slide in upside down and had a bunch of prehistoric people walking upside down on the screen. The audience thought it funny and he just laughed it off. I was mortified. The Theatre was venue for Ray Ellington band and Terry Lightfoots Jazz band and a number of other well- known Bands and Lecturers who’s names I cannot remember now. The Theatre was a good cheap night out and a good place to meet old and new friends, particularly on dance nights.
    Philip D Byrnes

    The “Tech”: a welcome breath of fresh air after the restrictions of school and a valuable second chance for many of us 11+ “failures”. Past alumni include Richard Griffiths and Franc Roddam originator of “Auf Weidersehen Pet”. The Tech Dance on Friday evenings courage suitably bolstered by a pre-dance visit to the Billy Armswith one inebriate launching himself from the hall balcony in the mistaken belief he could fly! BBC Radios “Worker’s Playtime” broadcasting live from the main hall with Cheerful Charlie Chester. The main corridor on a summers afternoon with typewriters clacking away in the Commerce Department and the Pepsi machine by the main entrance. The card schools in the upstairs toilets and Roger “Rocky” Lightfoot’s geology class most appropriately in the cavern like atmosphere of the Science Dem room on the main corridor. David Bellamy arriving from Durham University on an ancient motor cycle festooned with plants for a botany lecture to the Science Society C1963. Finally Bruce M. Cooper Head of Liberal & Cultural Studies and a huge tin of Nuttal’s Mintoes resident on his desk. Did he really like them that much? Some fond memories.

    It’s a shame it has gone but I suppose it outlived its use it’s just a pity they had to pull the Theatre down as well I was surprised they never put a preservation order on it like they did at the forum and I must say it did look better
    David Smith

    These photographs record the final days of the Stockton/Billingham Technical College (Billingham Site) as the demolition men moved in. Once claimed to be the first of its kind in Western Europe it was planned and built in the days of austerity following World War II and served the aspirations of thousands of young people in full and part-time further education from the early 1950s. I saw the college being built and along with many of my friends attended Billingham Tech during its early days. I can also remember the site before the college was built when Billingham High Grange Farm (Bells Farm) buildings stood between what is now the Causeway and the former College Theatre. Some of the trees in the photographs date back to that time (three crab apples) wish I could still climb them.
    Stan Hilton


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