Billingham Town Centre

t14779This photograph shows Billingham Town Centre taken from the Council Offices, in the far distance are the Bowling Alley and Roys store, to the left is Brown Bros & Taylor, this was one of the original shops from the 1950s. Out of shot to the left of Brown Bros were Finlays, Mac Fisheries, Woolworths, Timothy Whites, Boots and Broughs the grocers, also in the first block of shops to be built were Home & Colonial, Meadow Dairies, Chain Libraries and Radio Rentals.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

9 thoughts on “Billingham Town Centre

  1. I lived on Tintern Avenue, Billingham and can remember the coop van/bus being the event of the week. We called it Bob’s van. Women wore headsquares in those days. My mother had quite a selection. I also remember the rag and bone man with a horse and cart and the cry ragbone. And what ever happened to sheepskin jackets? My parents took photos of each other when they finally saved up for theirs! Anyone remember the pot woman? My mam and Auntie Hilda swapped old clothes for cups and saucers etc.


    • You are right about Bob the man with the coop van. A decent old chap but he went down in my estimation when he ran over my football in Arundel Road.


  2. I used to go in Chain Libraries with my mum who was a great reader. There was a small charge to take books out so I assume it closed as soon as the Roseberry Library opened. A particular favourite shop of mine was Finlays where you could play the latest hits in one of the booths.

    As regards the absorbing of Billingham into Teesside. I attended Bede Hall and in about 1966 or 1967 we were addressed at school by a group of local councillors who tried to tell us how wonderful and much improved things would be under the new local authority. I’m pleased to say that not one of us fell for this palpable nonsense and of course it turned out we were right.


  3. I remember visiting Billingham Town centre and being very impressed by how bright and modern it was, the place was exiting and a joy to go to, The Billingham International Eistedffod (spl) Folklore Festival was huge and a great tourist attraction, It had IIRC a great big round Night Club, A very good hotel, wonderful technical college, beautiful park opposite the hotel, even a luxury sports car dealership (Martins Jensen) the locals could be rightly proud of their town centre.


  4. Billingham was the most up and coming place to live in the 1950s. Ahead of its time and a pleasure to shop in. Family run shops, a remarkable Forum with many leisure facilities and wonderful Theatre. Billingham Arms Hotel very prestigious venue. Lots of Dinner Dances etc and truly special place to eat, after a pre-dinner drink in the Cocktail Bar. Bertie’s was a wonderful restaurant. Many stars from the Forum Theatre would eat there, after the evening performance. Sadly, once Billingham was taken over by a wider Teesside Council, it declined into the sad Town Centre, absence of Billingham Arms, the College, the specialist shops. So sad that residents now have no knowledge of what a wonderful, thriving, up and coming town we lived in.


  5. Before Billingham became part of Teesside which, was the death knell for the town. Bought first Dining Room suite at Roy’s and brought it to Canada.


    • Decca, 1967 following my return from Brighton I went out for a few months with Roy Dawson’s daughter Julie. One of the features of the town centre was the mix of local traders together with nationally recognised retail outlets. The Newtons had the greengrocery and Fenwicks had the Rendezvous coffee bar on the first floor level. What was the name of the footballer that opened a sports shop on that level?


      • I remember Willie Maddren had the sports shop. He also owned the newsagents on Billingham Green for a while (used to be called Dickie Smiths). I had many a hot choc at the Rendezvous.


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