Road works in Norton

Some recent road resurfacing work in the Hallifield and Edgar Street area of Norton has exposed the original cobble or more precisely brick road surface which was probably first tarmaced over in the 1960’s both as a cost saving measure and as an easy option to save the hard work of digging the road up.

These blue bricks are scoria bricks and were made from blast furnace slag which was a by-product, actually a waste product of the iron and steel foundrys which once employed many men in the Stockton area. The bricks were so successful that they were actually exported around the world and in 1912 alone over 62,000 tons of scoria bricks were shipped from the River Tees to countries including Canada and the West Indies to Belgium and Holland in Europe and even as far as South Africa were roads made from Teesside scoria brick can still be seen today and not just covered by tarmac. Truly another great Teesside export story!

The only road I know of within the Stockton Borough were the scoria bricks remain uncovered is Mill Street off Norton High Street? I always find the architecture of this street fascinating and the name alone gives a nod to what once stood at the top of it’s bank and perhaps the bricks have been left with it’s history in mind? Well, I like to think so anyway.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Victory’s Children Documentary at Thornaby Central Library

Producer Derek Smith will be presenting a documentary called “Victory’s Children” at Thornaby Central Library on Thursday 1 June at 7.30pm. Free event – everyone welcome.

The Victory’s Children exhibition can be seen at Thornaby Central Library until Friday 9 June 2017.

For further information call Thornaby Central Library 01642 528117.

Bridge Road, Stockton c1896

t15418This snapshot c1896 taken outside the Alexandra Hotel on Bridge Road looking across the Victoria Bridge to Thornaby is full of interesting detail.
On the right the offices of a short lived newspaper, The Stockton and Thornaby News, proprietor Hall Smith of Cambridge Road, Middlesbrough which went into liquidation in 1898.
A sign by the lane far right marks the Hide Skin and Tallow plant which was probably further down by the river. At the entrance workmen appear to be laying cables. The tram generating plant was also on this site further back.

Photograph and details courtesy of Derek Smith.