Furness Shipyard Athletic Club Medal

t13986I was intrigued with the quality and potential cost of this medal, in a Collingwood Jeweller presentation box, given to my grandfather John William Hill in 1922. Furness shipyards must have provided quite an extensive social facility. As this medal was for cricket I assume all of the team received one. Any information about this period, particularly the social facilities at Furness, would be very much appreciated.

Photograph and details courtesy of Maggie Pulle.

Voluntary Entertainment Service Badge

This badge belonged to my mother Freda Thornton. During World War II she was one of a troupe of entertainers who went around the local military sites entertaining those troops serving on the Home Front. She recalled the troupe visiting Kiaora, Wynyard, and various ack-ack batteries. The members of this and similar troupes were presented with these badges. The Voluntary Entertainment Service was a branch of the more widely known E.N.S.A. This badge was given in the North of England as it was issued by the “Northern Command”.
It measures 25 mm in diameter, and is made of white enamel on chromium plating.

Photograph and details courtesy of Cliff Thornton.

Stephenson Hall School Magazine 1961

These are two pages from a Billingham school magazine, I am sure there will be many people who remember the companies who advertised in these pages.
The magazine contains an editorial, a letters page, some photographs, articles written by pupils and a couple of quizzes, I think it is an excellent example of social history and well worth reading.

Download the complete magazine in PDF format

My thanks go to Mike Atherton who loaned me the magazine. Details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

St Ann’s Hospital Memorial Bell at North Tees Hospital

This bell is on display near the west wing entrance close to the cafe of the North Tees Hospital. I’d walked past the bell many times without reading the plaque only to find that when I did read it it has quite a lot of history attached to it. That area of Portrack Lane is often featured on Picture Stockton, particularly St James School in Union Street East which must have stood very close to the hospital and St James Church. All now sadly gone but nice to see that this bell ‘rings out’ to a well loved and remembered part of the town.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

‘Dear Mrs Pennyman…’ Local History Month Event

Event: ‘Dear Mrs Pennyman…’

Details: Join Roisin Higgins of Teesside University for a reading of emotional letters sent to Mrs. Pennyman of Ormesby Hall during WW1.

Location, Date & Time: Stockton Central Library, Thursday 11 May 2017 at 6.30pm

Tickets: Free event – booking essential as places are limited. Contact Stockton Reference Library on 01642 528079 to reserve a place.

Vane Arms Dinner Menu c1964








The dinner menu for the Vane Arms for 15th April 1964. All in all not a bad spread for under 80p in today’s money. I was given this menu by my aunt Nora Hough who worked at the Vane Arms for many years.

The real attraction for myself is that a very famous person was dining at the Vane Arms that night and he was good enough to sign the reverse side of the menu which reads ‘To Martin with best wishes Len Hutton’. Len Hutton is out the very top drawer of English cricketers and his 364 scored for England against Australia in 1938 remains the top test match score by an English player. Len Hutton became Sir Leonard in 1956 after he retired from the game.

Images and details courtesy of Martin Birtle.