A sketch of Walton Court Portrack c1972

t14639This drawing must have been done from 17 Kingsport Close, Portrack, where we lived, and shows Walton Court as it then was. In those days there was unrestricted entry to the buildings and central area, between the blocks of flats. There was also just a simple wire mesh fence to stop people getting into the central area. As can be seen, this was just used as a sort of playground obstacle by the local kids, who are climbing over it and the surrounding walls. Gone was the opportunity for the kind of mild and commonplace vandalism that my school mates and myself used to indulge in.

I see from various websites that these flats no longer belong to the Council. I would guess that at the date that this picture was drawn, 1972, the Council must have built and owned about 70-80% of the dwellings in Stockton.

Image and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

3 thoughts on “A sketch of Walton Court Portrack c1972

  1. Am glad that these few pictures of Portrack have stirred a few memories with you Derek. Do he happen to know what was going on in factory-like building in the background to this sketch?. Was it connected with British Titan products, which had a smart looking office frontage on Portrack Lane?

    Derek is quite right in highlighting the fact that there were large areas of privately owned houses in Stockton, so the proportion of houses owned by the Council was not anything like as high as I suggested. Nevertheless Stockton was much more dynamic than Middlesbrough in dealing with its slum problem. It provided decent accommodation for tens of thousands of people who had lived in quite poor privately rented properties. It was a major reason why house prices were held down in Stockton and helped give people a better real standard of living than in other parts of the country.

    On a more personal note, if Derek is the young boy I remember, living at the Portrack Lane end of St Annes Terrace, his mother was a person of very advanced views for a woman in the 1950s. As a result Derek (or whoever it was) gave some of us a rather confused version of how babies were born. This was as much as we knew as there was no sex education in schools at the time and it was not the sort of thing that people talked about. The general opinion was that the story was unbelievable! But none of us had any better suggestions.

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  2. Re Fred Starr’s sketches,
    From someone whose memory of his birthplace is getting much less good to someone who has a few years and can share a lot with us- a big thanks to you Fred.
    One thing that you probably overlooked with your comment on housing is the old pre 1950’s area which still existed in the 1970’s and to a large extent also do today. Fairfield, Hartburn, Norton, Billingham etc.
    Regards,
    Derek

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