Empire Club, Haverton Hill

I recently received this photograph captioned ‘Club Building’ and I didn’t know which Haverton Hill club it was so I contacted an old Havertonian called Eddie Rose and this is what he said,

‘I can confirm that it is definitely the Empire Social Club, it was situated on land adjacent to Hope Street. Whilst I was never a paying client of this particular establishment it was certainly very well supported. About 200 yards further along was the Haverton Hill Working Mens Club, which in the late forties/early fifties was managed by a Mr. Cummings. I can recall that in the late forties the Empire did much good in the community by doubling – up as a soup-kitchen, and I’m sure that I may have benefitted from this on at least one occasion. Your particular photo of the Empire, by coincidence, is very similar to one taken by myself in the 1970’s, the only difference being that mine is more full-frontal. (Excuse the expression)’.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman and Eddie Rose.

 

Behind the hoarding!

As the restoration of The Globe Theatre begins another new phase and once again the hoardings are changed to announce a new joint venture, Big Plans, Bright Future – well we certainly hope so, reminders of its past have been placed on display in the Rediscover Stockton shop in the High Street.
A neat row of folding chairs stands in front of posters of former artists with many of the once familiar names, like the Globe, now long gone but wait there’s Cliff Richard so all is not lost! The various tickets, labels and show posters tell of its heyday and the Mecca bingo cards of its later life before eventual closure and years of decay. The items are well worth a look and easily found and also offer a nice break from the winter chill blowing down the High Street at this time of year!
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all those who make Picture Stockton what it is, those who contribute or just browse, those behind the scenes who make it happen and all like the Globe, facing the New Year with renewed anticipation of what lies ahead.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Regent Street Plan from 1946 – 1954

Regent Street plan as remembered, during the period 1946-54. What nowadays appears as a drab ‘service’ cul-de-sac was once a busy, cobble-stoned thoroughfare, housing an interesting variety of businesses. I am not a draughtsman, and I do not pretend that the buildings are shown to any matching scale. Simply an accurate listing, with question marks denoting any doubts.

 

 

 

 

 

A. During this period, my recollection is that this store was a DOGGARTS (?) However, whatever name it then bore, it evidently later become a Littlewoods. It had large show windows along the whole length, with a small side entrance about half way along; the main entrance being in the High Street. The ‘bend’ in the street at the end of the two stores certainly existed, but It may not have been as deep as at the opposite side, where vehicles parking at the Marks & Spencers’ delivery doors did not ‘stick out’ beyond the Public House. I remember that such vehicles did not block the street for others.

B & C. The majority of the buildings were terraced, and these two houses were unusual in that their upper stories met over a wide passageway with large double doors at the pavement end. These gave access to the large courtyard area shown for goods vehicles – collecting and delivering to the bakery at the rear.

D. Barrowcliffes or Barracloughs (?) bakery shop (I am not sure of the spelling). This sold produce of the bakery shown at E, which I believe also had wholesale delivery round (?)

F. A fireplace sales showroom. I don’t know whether all on show were made in the workshop at the rear, but I do recall that there only appeared to be one workman in there.

G. This building was number six (see note below) The front one being the house and the rear a large two-storey building consisting of a four-car-size garage, with workroom above. Previously, through the 1920’s and 30’s this had been the workshop for my father’s parents hosiery business, in which a number of female employees hand-worked circular knitting machines. Apart from a wholesale round amongst the surrounding towns/villages, the output retailed through two Stockton market stalls and a shop/office which was housed in the front room of the house – with a bay window onto Regent Street for display.
I was always rather impressed with this frontage as the main entrance was a portico; two large stone steps with round columns around a foot in diameter (which my father painted to closely resemble marble) and an extremely heavy door. Inside was a lobby with a door ahead leading into the living quarters, and one on the right into the front room. Next to this entrance was a single door opening into an enclosed passageway, running through to the back yard. The open stairway up to the studio was actually a set of ship’s stairs – having been salvaged from a liner.
The backstreet was paved with flat cobblestones, and still owned privately by an estate, and my grandfather had paid a ‘small fortune’ for access to it. Interestingly the garage door was a sliding affair, which I’ve never seen duplicated elsewhere. It consisted of upright, hinged wooden frames on steel tracks. These ran along the entrance and curved along inside the right-hand wall, so that when slid open the entire door stood along the wall. It had a small ‘personnel’ door fitted for foot access.
Apart from a normal ‘personnel’ door into the fireplace maker’s workshop, there was no other door in this part of the backstreet which continued on, to run behind businesses in the High Street (and bordering the school) – such as W.H.Smith. Some had access, though – as I frequently used this as a play area in school holidays, etc., I have no clear memory of delivery vehicles and, It being a private road, I remember several occasions when I had to explain to local ‘Bobbies’ that I actually had a right to be there – whereas other children, as trespassers, were warned away.
When my parents and I lived there (1946-54) the workroom became the studio for their ‘Ellena Williams Theatrical Studios’ business and, as video with commentary, on YouTube. The house front room still served as office, with the Bay window now displaying large photo displays of the shows which they presented.

H. I do not recall whether this was still the united Methodist Free Church, or by then (as another person stated) it had become the The Apostolic Church of Wales. I do remember that a married couple were the caretakers and the wife had a sister who was part of the Buckingham Palace staff.

I. I cannot recall whether The Regent Public House had its entrance on the corner, or in Nelson Terrace – but I think the latter (?)

J. The only remaining memory of the street. Unlike the store opposite, the side of this building was solid brick, apart from a set of loading/deliveries doors at far end, next to the Public House.

K. I don’t actually remember this public House being named the Little Regent, but another person has commented on this, so I take their word for it.

L. I remember this having a window full of lighting fittings – Table Lamps, etc.

M. Unlike the other buildings, the Technical School was set back from the pavement. It certainly had iron railings bordering the pavement, (how did they escape the wartime collection?) and I believe they were atop a low brick wall, with a gate midway along the front. (?)

N. The entrance to the School for the Deaf and Dumb was in Nelson Terrace. What is shown in Regent Street is the solid end wall of a brick building. I cannot remember if this was part of the main building, or a separate structure..

NUMBERING. The main entrance for the departmental store was, of course, in the High Street, but there was a small side entrance half way down the side of the building in Regent Street. If either this or the actual bakery (additionally to the shop) had a number, then this would explain why our property was numbered six. Otherwise, it was presumably a hangover from previous times, when the amount of properties in the street was different.

Image and details courtesy of Llewellyn Williams. October 2017.

West Row, Stockton c2017

Again rather like North Street these are a 1985 to 2017 comparison and although Russell the printers is now the UVS barbers shop there has been little change except for the windows and the lack of a chimney pot! The adjacent block on the corner of Ship Inn Yard is interesting with seemingly very little or no restoration of the first building and the former (?) SBC office still having it’s lifting or davit arm in place which doubt was once used to haul stock up to the first floor?
The buildings with Dobson the glass merchant to one end looks to be of the same period although in a poorer condition but has the addition of a third floor and a Georgian box window. Interestingly this area is now home to several wine bars and micro-breweries and is being dubbed as Stocktons Cultural Quarter so perhaps these buildings may still have the chance of a future after all?

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.