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.

North Street, Stockton c2017

When I saw the recent post of North Street c1980’s I recognised the buildings straight away as I often use the Wellington Street car park which strangely enough has North Street to it’s north! So, some thirty years later on the 1 July 2017 I went along and found that one of the featured buildings is now a gents hair stylist, barbers as was, whilst the rest of the row is easily recognisable although some of the window positions have altered and their frames are now made from upvc rather than wood. It’s nice to see that the original street nameplate is still in position and made from stone unlike the later enamel or cast metal ones or even the pressed steel or plastic ones of today . Interesting too is the width of the houses, I’m assuming that North Street and Bishopton Lane were built back-to back with the only access through a front door?

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Yarm Rooftops, April 2017

These sets of pictures were taken from the window of a Grand Central train which runs from Sunderland, through to Kings Cross, via Northallerton. It picks up passengers at Eaglescliffe and Hartlepool but for some reason does not stop at Stockton. Is the platform too short?

The Yarm rooftops show how much new building has gone on behind Yarm High Street. I was surprised to learn this morning that Teesside, unlike other conurbations does not have a formal Greenbelt, protecting the surrounding countryside.

Photographs and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

William Sharps Warehouse, New Street in Thornaby

William Sharp was a well known market trader with a towed caravan/stall placed adjacent to The Shambles on Stockton High Street. Mr Sharp sold fish, eggs and poultry and was famous for his boiled crabs and winkles at 6p a bag with a free pin provided. The eggs he sold were excellent value and his number one seller.

I worked for Mr Sharp (Bill) for four years, and always admired him and his wonderful family and son David. They rose at 5am each day, and took up their positions on the four markets they attended by 7am each day, getting back home at 6pm. This was fine in the summer, but an hardship in the winter when it was bitterly cold, snowed or rained. Suffice to say he never took an holiday, was never ill, and was always well admired by all who knew him. A fine man whom I still miss and admire.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bob Wilson.