Rooftops of Stockton c1955

t14938This is a view of the river over the rooftops of Stockton that not many people will be familiar with, a berthed ship, cranes and rail tracks show it was still a working port, across the river is one of the many “Big Sheds” that could be seen throughout this area, steel plants, fabrication shops, foundries, ship yards, chemical plants and many others were housed in such sheds, I worked in a number of them myself as did many others in this area.

I have noticed how tightly packed the rooftops are, obviously there will be access roads around the buildings but there must have been many small alley’s leading to some of the buildings, a lot of these buildings will likely have been built in the time of horses and carts and loading and unloading was a manual task.

The buildings look to be more commercial than residential, possibly housing builders yards or rope works or one of the many different trades and suppliers that flourished in Stockton from Victorian times onwards. Can pinpoint the location the photograph was taken from and possibly name some of the streets, businesses and buildings around that area?

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

8 thoughts on “Rooftops of Stockton c1955

  1. The huge warehouse, Corporation Warehouse Number One, built 1880 at the end of Silver Street (left background above) burnt down on 11 November 1954. Rail traffic can be seen at the newly extended Corporation Quay/ riverside depot (behind the cranes), plus the re-built Thistle Green sidings, both mainly finished during 1950. Behind this is the newly completed Co-op dairy. All of this dates the photo to likely 1951-1954.


  2. The spire of St James Church which stood on the north side of Portrack Lane can be seen in the middle of the picture. One imagines that it was built to serve Portrack Workhouse, as it had a large Vicarage in its grounds.

    It did not attract many worshippers. Most people in Portrack tended to be Methodist, Baptist or Catholic. Hence the church was demolished not long after this picture was taken, petrol pumps and a garage for servicing cars being built on the site. That too has gone.

    I am certain that there is a reasonably good image of the church somewhere. It was always on the front page of the parish magazine


  3. Taken from the side of ‘The Empire’ . . . Corporation Quay with its cranes in the middle distance – Upper storey ‘concert room’ of The Greyhound Inn can be seen in the centre of the image – partially obscuring this building is the roof of a large warehouse that fronted the river . . . Closer still, in the right foreground, can be seen the chimney pots of commercial premises in Castlegate


  4. The Greyhound is almost dead centre of the picture. The flat roof with skylight on the right is at the rear of Doggarts. So could this be from the Empire theater roof or even the tower in the old brewery?


  5. I think that this photo was taken from the south end of the High Street, possibly from the roof of the Empire Theatre, or the water tower on the site of the Castle Brewery? On the extreme left, in the distance, can be seen the windows of the buildings that stood at the end of Finkle Street, note the circular window. The building in the centre of the picture, just visible behind the long roof, probably belongs to the Greyhound public house, which stood on the quayside. So the photographer must have been somewhere around the end of Castlegate on a tall building.


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