Walton Court, Portrack c1970

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:

Billingham Synthonia Stadium

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.

Wolviston Mill c1906

There has been recent comment about Wolviston Mill and as as to whether it was a water mill, this picture from 1906 clearly shows the water wheel, I don’t know where it was sited but Wolviston’s Mill Lane ran down to the footbridge over Billingham Beck to an area we always knew as ‘The Old Mill’, this was at the end of Station Road in Norton and had what I think may have been a concrete works, the works was on a high promontory above the beck and was covered in waste cement that had been poured from the top.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

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 The building has out-of-date space and poor mechanical and electrical service installations and would not meet the requirements of current day tenants seeking quality accommodation.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.

St John’s House





Related to the recent pictures of the new Hub on Stockton High Street, I thought I’d send an image of an advert for the auction of the building when it was known as St. John’s House (1st June 1898).

It makes interesting reading and illustrates, along with the 1895 map, how grand a property it once was. Also noticed that the road alongside the house was called St John’s Road.

Images and details courtesy of Jonathan May.

Billingham Green, As I Remember It c1960s

This photograph of Billingham Green was taken from the small road that ran down to the Methodist Central Hall, since demolished. Out of sight to the right of the photographer was a small triangle of grass with a large “conker” tree in the middle of it, a magnet for small boys in the “conker season”.

Behind the tree was a small row of shops which included Maddox’s pet food shop, Star Boot Repairs and Radio Relay, this was the 1950s radio equivalent of cable television. Also off to the right was the beginning of Station Road, in the 1950s two of the shops just round the corner in Station Road were Menhennents DIY shop and Bill Beatties sports shop, both of whom relocated to the new Town Centre in the 1960s.

In the photograph to the right is the Smiths Arms public house, this looks very similar to this to this day, the newsagents was always known as “Dickie Smiths” I have noticed that there are two vending machines to the left of the shop, the bigger looks to be a cigarette machine, the other could be either chewing gum or chocolate, both icons of the early 1960s.

This area and its surroundings were the main shopping centre during the 1950s, Station Road stretched along to the main Post Office passing Uptons on its way, on Belasis Avenue was the big Stockton Co-operative Society store always known as “Billingham Stores” and along Mill Lane there were a number of shops starting at Ben Fords barber, located under the Picture House and finishing at The Mill Press, there were also shops on South View and on the Green its self.

Saint Cuthbert’s Church is just behind the shops in the photo, the lych gate is slightly to the left of the shops. Whilst Billingham Green isn’t as photogenic as Norton Green it is still a very pleasant place.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.