7 thoughts on “Church Road, Stockton c1985

  1. Next to Fred Kidd’s factory were the premises of Jack Taylor Cycles where they built and sod their machines. The Taylor brothers were also great Austin Champ enthusiasts and renovated quite a few on the premises as well.

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  2. I think this is the only picture we have of this side of the bridge. Wasn’t the factory of Fred Kidd and Sons on the left?

    This new road dating from 1934, I think, cut through what was really a grassy meadow, behind Hill Street East and the Portrack Warehouse. Occasionally a horse would be allowed to graze, probably belonging to the local coal man, Skippy

    Until the remains of the field was built over on the right, around 1950 my grandad used to take me to watch the trains being shunted on what was the Malleable section of the North Shore Branch. As others have pointed out, this historic line ,dating from 1833, was far more important to the growth of Stockton than the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

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    • Fred I believe the old Kidds Factory is still there though empty and on the left of the picture. This side of Harkers the Buildings are Brown’s Metal and Wire works still going strong, fond memories of Arthur Dick and Ernie from my young years in Prince Regent street working for them.
      You are correct the land was unused next to the Stockton Union Workhouse as it was called back then. On the town side of the Bridge quite a lot of demolition took place not so much on the other sideParadise street at the bottom of Paradise Row went Tees Street Union Street and Commercial Street one side and Carrol Street the other side. They had to trench under the North Shore line keeping it running so quite a feat with the tools they had to hand.
      The Bus still used the crossing in my time although the ICI bus from the Town went down Church road and along Portrack Lane, the others went Norton Road to Billingham.
      That complete area was crammed with Houses and people, a thriving population living and working within walking distance of their work place, within a few short years it had gone, a few of us remember it as it was and the people who lived there.
      Frank.

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  3. These Church Road Pictures are important to our family because, where ‘Supreme Knitwear’ was in 1985, post 1930 to at least until 1940, was a row of four or so shops, including a Pawnbroker on the corner, and my beautiful wife Norma (and children’s mother) used to live behind those shops, in Clarence Street.

    I used to buy toy guns at one of those shops, and that same shop, and/or next door, sold sweets, and used to do duty as a Post Office.

    And just though the tunnel, i.e. past the railway bridge, on the left used to be a works called ‘Hills’. Through a friend who worked at Hills, I bought a very thick plank of beautiful African figured walnut, from which I intended to cut at least one – possibly two rifle stocks.

    I left that nice piece of timber with my fine brother-in-law in order to emigrate to Australia, and he used it as a shelf in his garden shed in Billingham!

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    • Dennis our memories often do strange things mine included. Clarence Street would be reached off Norton Road. It was behind Norton Road just before you came to the North shore line bridge with a tunnel for pedestrians. It crossed Norton Road at Tilery, across the road was the goods yard once Stockton passenger Station. Hills was in what had been Blairs the old engine works the other side of the bridge on Norton Road.
      Clarence Street was between Oxford Street and Richmond Street then came Fenwick Street and Railway Street Three of my Wife’s Aunts lived in that street which is how I remember it so well.
      Church Road was from Stockton High Street, the Church one side the Cattle Market pub the other then past the Cattle Market as it once was and on to Portrack. The Bridges on Church Road and Norton road are now long gone, much of the old Stockton has gone and so many changes. Having lived most of my life in Stockton and still do I personally think the changes for the better, being driven around Stockton by my Daughter I realise we live in a very green area now, Masses of trees, Green areas, a lovely clean river give nothing but pleasure to this old lad.
      Frank.

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  4. “Oh dear” you are posting pictures that make me feel like the ancient mariner. I have memory of getting to Portrack via Garbut Street and over the crossing to get to the Brick Works with Dad in the truck, then one day he said we will try the new road and it had just opened, all clean and glistening concrete. I much preferred the Rail crossing because I got to see the trains shunting up and down the North Shore Line.
    When I was walking the girls home from the dance for some reason it was always King Street, Bath Place, the old Portrack Lane then Ryan or Brown Street to the crossing, we never used Church Road, no idea why now, probably dropping girls and boys off in the surrounding streets.
    Three of my Daughters worked at Harkers office in the picture and I remember the bridge coming down and the section at the top of the bank being altered.
    A lot has changed in Stockton much of it for the better although with the latest news of shops closing my forecast the High Street will return to housing in the future could well be true.
    Frank.

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