Portrack and Portrack/Tilery Primary School c1949

Two views of “Old Portrack” taken from the NCAP Scottish Library collection. They date from May 1949. Portrack stayed much the same until the mid-fifties when demolition began.
All that remains is part of St Annes Terrace and the more modern buildings of what, in my time, was called Portrack Primary. They run at about 30 degrees from the left hand corner of the lower picture. The taller buildings, which are at right angles to these, were demolished in the eighties, but there is a colour picture on Picture Stockton. These housed the infants, aged 5 to 7. The modern buildings covered the ages 8 to 11, when we would do our 11 plus.
The buildings surrounding the smaller playground belonged to the nursery classes and the school dinner canteen. They were temporary wartime structures, I believe and have now gone. The school dinners were appalling, but we nursery children were forced to eat it.

Details courtesy of Fred Starr.

An Aerial View of Haverton Hill

This aerial shot of Haverton Hill shows the Furness Estate quite clearly, particularly interesting is the view of ‘The Hostel’ near to the Circle on Belasis Avenue, I believe this was built to house shipyard workers just after the First World War, I remember it being used to house Hungarian refugees after the uprising in the 1950s and it later housed light industrial units including a soft drinks company called ‘Jonco’.

It is difficult to date the photograph but there are very few cars on the roads, the bus is probably one of Stockton Corporations Leyland PD2 models which were in production from the 1930s, I used to travel by bus fairly frequently through Haverton Hill in the 1950s and I don’t ever remember the route going down Marlborough Road, I do have a photo of a bus shelter on Marlborough Road in the 1950s so maybe my memory is not up to scratch.

Marlborough Road continues away to the left towards the Furness Sports Field, at the bottom right of the photo where Marlborough Road and Collingwood Road meet you can see the roof of the Methodist Chapel, next door to the left is a flat roofed building, this was always known as ‘The Welfare’, it was where we collected our concentrated orange juice, malt, National Dried Milk and the dreaded Cod Liver Oil.

Belasis Avenue continues off to the bottom right of the photo and passes the old fire station on its left then Charltons Pond on its right then Billingham South Modern School on its right and Billingham Stores

(Co-op) and the Picture House at Mill Lane end, the bus actually travelled along Greenwood Road and met Belasis Avenue at the bottom of the bridge.

At the top right of the photograph the curve of the railway line heading towards Port Clarence and the Transporter area can be seen, just before the curve a single track line branches off to the left and crosses Hope Street and continues along to the clay pit and Saltholme Farm, as children we spent many happy hours playing around this area.

I remember my father mentioning a Cinema somewhere in the area of Tees Street and The Hostel, if anybody can pinpoint it for me I shall be most grateful.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Aerial View of Blackett’s Brickworks Portrack, 9th May 1949

This picture comes from the NCAP collection, which includes some excellent aerial pictures of Stockton and Billingham. Anyone can use it.

At this point of time, Blacketts had just about worked through the first 30 feet of boulder clay, which was used for brickmaking. The chimneys indicate that there were are least two sets of kilns which were coal fired. The pictures are clear enough to show the bogies (trucks on a miniature railway) that transported the clay to to the works. They were mostly cable hauled, excepted for the last bit were the labours would bush them to where the steam powered digger was working. This can be seen, in shadow, at the top middle of the picture. There is a white flare of steam coming out of the top.

This picture shows that my Drawing of Blacketts Brickworks, 1966 was pretty accurate.

Details courtesy of Fred Starr.

A View of Stockton from the Transporter Bridge, April 2017

This was taken from the bottom of the top flight of steps, below the footway across the Transporter. Since I last took such a picture in 1985, the waste incinerator near the Newport Bridge has gone and the Princess Diana Bridge has appeared. After all the demolition on the ICI site, it is surprising that the big nitro tower in Haverton Hill is still there.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

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.