Corporation Hall, Prince Regent Street

The Corporation Hall on Prince Regent Street has stood empty and semi-derelict for a number of years and it’s impending demise was publicised in a story in the Gazette in October 2017 when a planning application was made by Stockton Council to demolish the hall and replace it with a 24 space car park. The press report went on to say;

“A planning application by Stockton Council said: “Corporation Hall has stood vacant for several years and is currently in a state of disrepair. The building has out-of-date space and poor mechanical and electrical service installations and would not meet the requirements of current day tenants seeking quality accommodation. Remodelling costs would be excessive and it is likely the building will continue to fall into a worse state of disrepair. Although the building has some character its design as a functional hall provides little or no enhancement to the streetscape, and it is generally of poor design and condition.”

Apart from this last opportunity to go inside and take some photographs I had never previously been inside the hall but do seem to recall it being used by a local model railway society to hold an exhibition some years ago but I’m sure other Picture Stockton visitors will have memories of the Corporation Hall in it’s prime? I certainly hope so as another piece of our heritage is razed to the ground to be replaced by yet another car park!

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

16 thoughts on “Corporation Hall, Prince Regent Street

  1. I remember the Friday night dances (but not the Butlin’s bit!) from about Winter 1962 just as the Twist was going out of fashion and The Beatles et al were coming in. The dance was the Shake and it was definitely records only by then, with soft drinks. The boys wore winkle picker, cuban heeled boots with skin tight ice-blue jeans and a sweater; some still sported quiffs but others were going mop-headed. The girls were either in very tight knee length skirts, sloppy-joe sweaters (bum warmers) and high heeled winkle pickers or were still wearing flouncy full skirts and blouses with kitten-heeled winkle pickers!! My friends and I loved it – but it came to a sudden end, possibly early 1964, when local gangs of teddy boys came in, started fights and generally trashed the place. The demise happened very quickly over a few weeks. Some dances at the Billingham Tech got the same treatment. So we migrated to The Assembly Rooms and Village Hall dances at Eaglescliffe in 1964,1965 & 1966, and the KD club in Billingham, until we looked old enough to go The Kirk (Kirklevington Country Club) which was licensed. Happy Days!!

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    • Quiet right Derek. I also remember the Saturday night Barn Dances following a Saturday afternoon practicing with the Stockton Morris Men. A couple of pints in the Red Lion if that was the name of the pub on the corner and then fit for anything!!

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  2. I used to attend Blood Donors’ sessions in the hall. Another piece of Stockton’s social history being destroyed instead of being renovated and put back in use. I don’t know who the owners are but they should be ashamed of themselves for letting the building get into such poor condition.

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  3. A couple of weeks ago I had a rare walk down Prince Regent Street and just happened to look through the windows of this old building. Seeing that dusty dance floor transported me back to the mid 1950’s, when, just before I left Bailey Street School, I would go with a group of school mates to the Butlin’s Friday night dance. Dressed up in my best clobber, (no jeans) complete with knitted straight tie, with my hair slicked back with Brylcreem in a Tony Curtis style. The lads would stand with an orange juice on one side of the hall, eyeing up the young ladies who would have gathered on the other side of the hall. There was always a bevy of beauties there from the Parkfield area there, but regretfully I cant remember any of their names.
    The MC would announce “please take you partners for the Gay Gordon’s”. The lads would dash to the other the other side of the floor and nervously ask a girl if she would like to dance?
    Hopefully you would be accepted and you would take her by the hand and lead her onto the dance floor and hope that you didn’t stand on her toes. After the dance had finished the lads would retreat to their side of the floor and the girls to their side, until the next dance. We would dance the night away to dances such as The Dashing White Sergeant, The Military Two-step, The St. Bernard’s Waltz, The Paul Jones and other types of Ceilidh type dances.
    Strangely, we were never taught any of the dances, you just picked them up as you went along by watching others. I’m not quite sure what the relationship was between the Corporation Hall and Billy Butlin’s Holiday Camps but I do remember going on a Sunday bus trip day out to their camp at Filey one year, that the dance hall had organised. The dance finished at 10pm. It was then off to Roberts fish shop for a bag of chips to eat on the walk home. Happy times!

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  4. I went in a couple of times when it was being used as a disco hall for younguns – no alcohol. That was about 1969-70. I saw my first colour tv in one of the rooms there on a Friday night. Monty Python of all things, in colour.

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  5. I lived across the street from the back of the hall in the mid 50’s. We use to stand on the window ledge to watch all the dancers. In the late 60’s a company tried to revive it as a dance hall but failed. I was hired to sell refreshments but we only opened for 2 nights. I’ve never seen it open since.

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  6. The Corporation Hall was used for parties as has been said. I have a photo, taken there, when I was about 6 or so, a children’s party, I think to do with the Queen’s Coronation tour – she came to Stockton – but this party was a little later. Did not know it was ‘derelict’, but sad it is going.
    Stuart Leed

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  7. Keith, The Dashing White Sergeant, a reel for six people dancing as partners in a round, one of the first dances I learned as a lad. It is still Danced at West Point Dances in America. When I was over there people wanted to know how we Brits did it.
    We had lots of events in the Corporation Hall and I even got my first bus pass there, we danced there in our youth and I saw wrestling, Political speeches, Parties held there. It was the right size for club and street events.
    It would be a pity if it went and for a car park? if many more cars get on the road they will be one big car park as they sometimes are now.
    Stationed in Scotland the locals were very surprised when us Sassenach’s could do all the reels and jigs, we were brought up with Old Fashioned Dancing moving onto Modern often in the Corporation Hall then retiring when the three chord wonders took over, the end of an era one could say
    It has many fond memories for people of my age.
    Frank.

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  8. Wonder which contractor keeps the door lintel name stone, another piece of Stockton history disappearing to whoever? Where’s it ending up? Who has it?

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  9. This is a query about Prince Regent Street – Did Roger’s Heavy Engineering have a works on Prince Regent Street? I am sure some of my old friends will know.
    My memory at nearly ninety is getting a bit slow these days! However my Uncle Fred Kidd the founder of Fred Kidd & Son took over the firm of Rogers when they went out of business in the 1920’s. Fred kept the premises going until about 1937 when he had a new factory and foundry built in Church Row Stockton. I recall it was Avery busy factory with a three shift system during the war. Also Fred and his son Tom are now in that “Great Engineering Factory in the Sky” and not many people will know what Kidd’s produced. I know after the war they did mincing mane,pot pans etc. But they also perfected a conveyor system called “Flexiroll” that did not require lubrication and was FIRE PROOF. That was a fantastic achievement in the 1940’s. I have met three of there old apprentices,
    Don Taylor and his two friends for a pint or two but that was some years ago now. I would like to know the good and the bad, not all workers liked the factory and sabotage took place like pouring oil on grindstones and running lathe cutters into the chuck. Oh yes these things did go on and in some cases involved the Police.
    All this apart Fred was a very good Uncle to me and all the Kidd family, I am the only one left of that era but I have two sons and five grandchildren so the name will go on.
    J,Norman Kidd

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  10. Thank you Keith Stephens, you have possibly solved a small personal mystery. I have one memory of Corporation Hall from my youth, that would be late 60s, and hearing a lad sing Jerusalem but couldn’t remember why I would be there, Butlins night could well be the answer.

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  11. Friday night Butlins dance night was a well attended youth club where they showed how to do The Lancers and The Black and White Sergeant… music from a 78 player on the stage. I started going about the time they were forced to buy modern records. Little Richard and Bill Haley meant an increase in membership and a decrease in Sergeants of the Black & White variety

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