This 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.
The old access road to the Whessoe works, formerly know as the South Works of Ashmore Benson & Pease. By the time I took this picture in 1985, it has been breached by the new A66 road. This section still exists as Innovation Way and serves a small commercial area.
Photograph and details courtesy of Kevin McGowan.
Looking toward Stockton, to the left of centre is an oval island with the ever present ‘Old Boys’ sitting on park benches, also on the island is a lamp post with an acorn shaped glass bowl similar in shape to the paraffin lamps used on Stockton market, could it possibly be a gas lamp? There were still some in Billingham at this time but of the more traditional shape.
There are some cars including a pre-war model and a number of bicycles to be seen as well as some very substantial iron ‘Keep Left’ signs. I also noticed that there are no smoking chimneys and an acute shortage of television aerials, about five years after these pictures were taken practically every house would have at least one television aerial and sometimes two.
There must be Nortonians visiting this site that can remember Norton as shown in these pictures and quite possibly will remember some of the shops and what they sold, the Tobacconist and Sparks are easy to spot but what about the others?
Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.