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.

The new Hub on Stockton High Street, 13 July 2018

Presently situated in Bridge Road The Hub is the UK’s first active travel and cycle parking centre which offers free information and advice on all aspects of cycling and walking, with regular guided rides and walks, and training courses on cycle maintenance and on road cycling. It also has free cycling parking facilities with no hourly limits and is part-funded by Stockton Borough Council and Sustrans the charity. On a recent visit into Stockton High Street I noticed that building work has started on a new Hub which is on the same block as The Globe and which was previously, I’m pretty sure, used by SBC as an enterprise centre for business start-up’s before they moved to a new building near the town hall?
The old shop frontage has been removed revealing some internal brick and iron work with unsurprisingly the words ‘Dorman Long’ easily seen. The first floor windows look quite ornate as do their sills and shutters and it would be nice to see them renovated and kept in situ rather than be replaced by PVC ones and I often find that you see the best parts of Stockton High Street when you look up rather than down! The new Hub is due to open in November.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Haverton Hill Road

This photograph shows the Haverton Hill Hotel in the foreground, the railway line to Port Clarence in the middle distance and Belasis Avenue in the background. I don’t have a date but the houses to the left of the hotel are sporting television aerials that were in use in the 1960s. Can anybody put a name to the row of houses and could the building just disappearing off the left of the photograph be St. Johns Church?

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Summerville Farm, Durham Road

Photographs showing Summerville farm prior to demolition and the building of houses.

Photographs and details courtesy of Terry Westwood.

Junction of Richardson Road and Dennison Street, Stockton c2017

I took this photograph towards the end of last year close to the junction of Richardson Road and Dennison Street. The Elizabeth Embroidery shop in view was formerly a branch of Stockton Co-op Society. This area retains old memories for me having attended Richard Hind School 1952/56. I also did maintenance work on the old Co-op when I was employed by the company. Houses were eventually built on the old school site, also showing in the picture is the rear of the former school caretaker house which was next to the junior school. That school is still standing but now a community centre, I think the house is now used by an administration company. Since the days I attended RH school nothing much appears to have changed around the area of the Sunderland Glebe estate, apart from the housing on the old school site.

Photograph and details courtesy of John Robson.

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.