3 thoughts on “Rawcliffes, Maxwells Corner

  1. In 1952, when I first attended the Robert Atkinson School, Thornaby, I needed a school uniform which my parents obtained free from Rawcliffes School Outfitters, this was the school uniform shop situated on this corner. My mother got this uniform given free by qualifying for a Public Assistance Grant from Thornaby Council, our family qualified by being a local family whose father was unemployed and on the Dole or Social Assistance (the local slang word for this was’the Pancrack’)
    In those long ago days men spoke of getting the sack, they meant being fired, this phrase dates back to 17th century France, where tradesmen would carry their tools in a bag or sack. If they were fired, they’d have to get the sack to put their stuff in. This French phrase made its way across the Channel to England in the early 1800s. You could also get the boot, the shove, the elbow and the old’ heave’O. The Benefit money paid out to unemployed people in the UK has been known as the dole since the end of the First World War – 1918. The word comes from the term ‘doling-out-the-cash.’ Unemployed people called it the Dole (from the words Dole Office (where you go to sign on and be handed it) whilst the Dole office clerks called it the more polite term Unemployment Benefit.

    In 1965 a White Paper “A Post Office Giro” was published, which outline in principle a new Benefits Payment system for processing bulk payment transactions, it was estimated that benefit payment’s could be made within 24 hours to all payees. The then proposed National Giro bank was the first financial institution in Europe to be established from the outset to be fully computerised to pay out State Benefits, this change brought into common usage the word ‘Giro’, and the sub-phrase “I’m waiting for my Giro to arrive?”


  2. I lived for 28 years at no. 6 Bishopton Road, two doors up from the Tower House. Knew ‘Peggy’ Adamson well (Mrs Adamson to me!), and she had a lodger called Len for many years. Also, the coal man – JB Watson, delivered coal to us – back yard, coal shed, every Friday as long as I can remember.
    As regards 1 Ezard Street, Mary Jones was my age and in my class at Newtown Junior School. They had a dog called laddie in my time, lived until around 16/17 from memory – used to sit in the back street when the sun was in the morning, then follow it round to the front street as it moved through the day!
    Mellor Street, Craggs Street, Ezard Street were at the back of Bishopton Road, accessed via Bedford Street, then went right down to Lustrum Beck, which flooded regularly till they did some bank building to overcome its height when heavy rain or snow caused it to swell.
    Other people’s names from that era from those streets were Tom Izzard, Terry Crisp, the Dick family, John Crisp, Graham & Barry Smith, ‘Towser’ Walker, John Gilbert, Peter Johnson, and no doubt a few others I am afraid I’ve forgotten over the years!
    Over the other side of the road to Bishopton Road were Vicarage Avenue and Vicarage Road where lived Eric Harris, Billy Mann, Howard Grainger.


    • Stuart, whilst I do not recall anything specific about the Tower House, you set some hares running in my mind. We were in the same class at Newtown until my family moved from Stockton in August 1958, just as you and the classmates whom I left behind were about to move up to Class $A for your final year.
      I remember Eric Harris and Bill Mann who, like you, came ‘down the hill’ to school.
      At the time that I lived in Stockton there was a thriving Co-op shop opposite your house. Is it still there? We lived in the new build part of Newham Grange estate at 2 Patterdale Avenue. There were a number of us from the estate in our class. Some names which spring to mind are Ian Hislop, Geoffrey Wilson, Tony Connolly, Dennis Cross and Colin Close. Every week a lady from the Co-op used to tour the estate and take grocery orders (few married women worked in those days) which were delivered the next day. It is an anachronism when contrasted with online ordering which is available today!
      Again, after almost 60 years I may be mistaken, but was there a butchery counter (or separate shop next door)? I have an inkling that there was, and that one of our classmates was the daughter of the butcher and they lived over the shop.
      Since moving from Stockton I have only passed through on a handful of occasions (the last around 30 years ago) so if the Co-op is no longer there its demise may well escape most people’s memory.


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