St Johns School, Hume Street

nt174A view of St Johns School on Hume Street, Stockton.

The school became a ‘British Restaurant’ during World War Two, it was a place where workers could get cheap meals at reasonable prices without using their ration cards.

6 thoughts on “St Johns School, Hume Street

  1. I agree with the comments about the British Restaurant by Frank Mee. It is unlikely the school provided meals for the pupils. I believe it stopped teaching about the onset of the war. At one time it was used as a store for civil defence equipment, gas masks etc.


  2. I believe this picture has some wrong information attached to it. Hume Street School was actually on Hume Street where as the Alma Street St Johns Hall and Sunday School were used as the British Restaurant. I used this restaurant as a young apprentice working at Brown’s Sheet Iron Works in Prince Regent Street. Although we worked 8am to 5pm six days a week we got one hour for lunch.
    I would walk down to Alma Street St Johns Hall next to St Johns Church for a cooked lunch Mr Arthur Brown gave us apprentices the money for a good lunch saying he wanted fit lads, I am sure he knew some of the lads could not afford even the fourpence it cost for a lad, eight pence for the rest and always packed out. For my fourpence I got a main meal of meat or fish with plenty of vegetables followed by a steamed pudding and mug of tea. The girls serving always gave us big servings as they were mainly our age and went to the Dances we went to. The older ladies did the cooking making a very good job of what they had during wartime rationing. We sat at long trestle tables on benches elbow to elbow mixed in with other people from local firms it was quite a jolly event though we had to move out when finished to let others have a seat. Saturdays we had to take our own or run down to Leeds Street Fish Shop, sometimes the Villiers, they were both well noted for fish and chips.
    It is possible that Hume Street School produced meals for the pupils although Alma Street was the one we went to as the British Restaurant. The reference library Staff should be able to confirm this.


  3. Is this building still standing? I remember getting a first class meal there with my mother during the War. The St Johns Church area was thriving neighbourhood at this time, and had many happy Stocktonian’s living around the church area. Father Bott was the Vicar but died at a very young age about 1940 when the new St Johns Church School was opened near Primrose Hill Estate, I think Father Bott laid the original Plaque at the school and died not long after this event. Mrs Bott who has been mentioned in these notes previously was a hard working Church Lady who did a wonderful job looking after people who were sick and needed help.


    • St John’s School was on Ragworth Estate, the entry off Dover Road. We lived in Dundee Avenue but I was still often late as an Infant. I remember an elderly Mrs. Bott on her bicycle in those days as she was still active at the church. I was in the church Choir from 6 years old.


  4. The left hand corner of this picture shows a side view of the roofed-over Stockton Station. It helps indicate that this picture was taken up to a date before about 1980, The canopy of the station was painted in 1975 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the S&D railway. A few years later it was taken down, being declared structurally unsafe.

    I supposed this is what happens when the roof trusses were never painted from one year’s end to another. It was probably the biggest wrought iron structure on Teesside, as Middlesbrough lost its roof in 1942 after a bombing attack..

    The vertical retorts of the gasworks can be seen on the right. At one time these were among the tallest buildings in Stockton.


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