Seaham Street, Stockton c1968

Some photographs showing the demolition of houses in and around the Seaham Street area of Stockton.

Photographs taken by Len Toulson in September 1968. Courtesy of Neal Toulson.

seaham-street-stockton-c1968_mapSeaham Street, Stockton. Map section kindly supplied by Jonathan May.

11 thoughts on “Seaham Street, Stockton c1968

  1. Spotting these pictures on a random sample gave me a turn! – my grandparents lived in Seaham Street for many years, they were called Robert and Jane Weighill, they had three daughters, Betty, Margaret (my mother) and Helen. They shared the house with Harry Cheetham who, I believe, owned it. Both my grandparents were deaf and were part of a bigger deaf community in Stockton. My mum could sign fluently and lip read, this being the only way she could communicate with her parents. I remember many visits to Seaham Street, the chief memory being of visits to a very quiet house! My grandfather worked at the corporation gas works. Both grandparents passed away in the 1960s and all the daughters have now passed on. Betty eventually moved to Eston where I believe there are still family members.

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  2. According to the 1899 OS map Seaham Street was at the bottom end of Tilery as suggested. It was just past the railway bridge, over to the right hand side and behind Stockton Forge Works, again as suggested. The access may have been from the Norton Road through Wynyard St but it’s difficult to tell from this map.

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    • Yes, next to Norton Road and very close to were Pickering Lifts are now. There is a fenced off private car park were the street was and that surviving building, also Pickerings?, must be from the same period? The adjacent road, Wynyard Road were the tyre garage is was the next street north of Seaham Street. Other street surrounding it were Bowron Street, Stewart Street and Archer Place. The foundary’s at the rear were the Stockton Forge Works and the Vulcan Rivet Works. Fantastic photographs – excellent!

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  3. The first terrace house streets were built during the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1665. Builders like Thomas Cubitt appreciated their sales appeal and the London home became a terrace house, with other cities especially those in the north of England following suit. Despite opposition to the rows of terrace houses destruction in the name of regeneration, city councils still approved compulsory purchase orders for their demolition, clearing the way for the bulldozers to move in. Terrace house clearances often accompanied by the demolition of local banks, shops and loved buildings with the heartbreak of moving home to some modern concrete estate with red roofs and new alloy letter boxes, meaning not made from brightly painted cast metal with scrollwork lettering that said letterbox.

    When poverty was the norm terrace houses had their place even though families lived in cramped conditions with three generations of one family often living in a 2 bedroom house, children could be seen sat around a coal fire struggling to keep warm in winter with no bathroom, no hot water and damp walls being commonplace. Occupants had printed wallpaper 1/- a roll from the market, rickety bed’s with rusted metal springs and lino floor covering stamped Nairn Linoleum Works Scotland, lead water pipes and penny gas meters. Being poor then meant not a great deal, just being able to afford the electricity and able to pay the rent, the coalman or the milkman meant you must have a job, and your children no longer had to sleep 3 to a bed or ate bread and jam sandwiches when they went to Redcar for the day. But poverty also meant comradeship; meet me on the corner meeting places, good neighbors and looking out for each other communities, values which are scarce in many communities today. At first sight Victorian Britain does seem terribly depressing. Even though the Five Lamps stopped shining, the National School was quickly leveled, we can all relax knowing that Mr Reynolds hardware shop in Thornaby is still there, all that is left of an lead pipe age, an age which shaped us as a nation and welded us together for life has friends and comrades.

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  4. Thank you Neal I can remember them demolishing Seaham St about 3 to 4 years after Chalk St, Bikersteth St and that part where I grew up but I can’t pin point Seaham St I can only think it might have been behind Stockton and Thornaby hospital on Bowesfield Lane. Can anyone enlighten me I’m curious, from Dave Jones

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    • Norton road going towards Stockton just before coming to the rail bridge to the old goods yard.
      Tilery road, Bowron Street, Winyard Street, Seaham Street, yes that is Stockton Forge and opposite the other side of Nortn Road Railway Street.
      Knowing the times and state off those houses the people could not move out fast enough, they got all the dirt and noise, who would not change that for a modern house and all mod cons of that time.

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  5. Sad photos of peoples houses where they no doubt had happy lives being demolished for who knows what.
    Where was this street situated please?

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