My first introduction to Norton was in 1956, my school, Billingham North Junior, walked all the 10 and 11 year pupils to Junction Road to see the Queen during her visit in 1956.
I was so taken with the Green and Duck Pond area I became a frequent visitor.
A couple of years later I bought my first camera, a Houghton-Butcher box camera, my first port of call was to Norton to photograph the Green and High Street, it was then I discovered Norton’s hidden gem, the Almshouses.
Unfortunately I made a complete mess of using the camera and the images were not very good, I still have the negatives but after 60 years they have faded to nothing. Recently I was sent some scans of postcards of the Stockton area and amongst them were a couple of Norton’s Almshouses, I was more than pleased as I have never re-visited them since that first day.
Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.
This is a typical view of the area in Portrack that was built in the mid 1960s, on what was a large chicken farm between Campbell Street and Walton Street. Walton Court along with Campbell Court were built to house elderly couples and middle aged single people who had lived in the terraced houses of Old Portrack.
Note that the heating was supplied by coal fires, with smoke drifting northwards from the chimneys. Completely unacceptable today. The TV aerials are also a vestige of the past. The older longer wave VHF and newer (BBC2 only) UHF aerials can be discerned. They were commonly referred to as 405 and 625 line channels.
Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr:
Not a lot is known about the artist Arthur Simpson, though I guess he was a local man as he painted many local views of Yarm, Stockton, Thornaby, Redcar and Whitby. The images I have show Cecil Wrens Vinegar Brewery, the Green Tree Inn (Osbournes Pub) and Yarm High Street circa 1930s.
Images and details courtesy of Terry Westwood.
Photographs of the Billingham Synthonia Stadium, the former home of Billingham Synthonia FC which has stood empty since the club left in 2017 due to unsustainable running and maintenance. Since the club left in 2017 the Stadium has now fallen into a sorry state of disrepair after being targeted by metal thieves and vandals.
Photographs and details courtesy of Philip Rasmussen.