Air Force Football Team c1940s

This is a photograph of an RAF football team based at Thornaby during the Second World War, the man in uniform at the left is my Grandfather Sydney H Leek, he lived in Billingham and because he had served in the RAF in the 1920s he was called up as a reserve, I should imagine quite a few of this team were conscripted reserves, my Grandfather would have been about 40 years of age when this photograph was taken and most of the back row look to be around the same age.

I have no idea whether they just played their matches against other RAF teams or went out and played against local teams, I don’t know where this photograph was taken but it seems to be a fairly large sports area, there are rugby posts in the background and a huge amount of empty space beyond them. Unfortunately, as is often the case with old photographs, there is nobody to ask about the whens and wheres. This photograph was taken over 70 years ago and it is very unlikely any of these people are still with us, also with them being in the armed forces they may not all be locals.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Elliott Street, Portrack

This photograph was taken outside my Granny Dobson’s house at 32 Elliott Street, Portrack. The school at the bottom of the street can be easily seen. I think the caretaker of the school was Mr Lee, I seem to remember he lived in one of the houses showing on the left of the picture, close to the school. In the photograph is my late younger sister Margaret with her son Gary. My late eldest sister Mary and husband Charlie married in 1948 lived with my gran in that house until they could get a place of their own.

My sister Margaret and husband Herbert also lived with my gran until they too found a place of their own in which to live. I think back in those early days it was quite normal for newly married couples to live with relatives until such a time something else became available. It never ceases to amaze me how large families were brought up in these two up two down terraced houses. I was also brought up in a similar house in Buxton Street in the Garbutt Street area. So sad to see those communities lost when moved on to the newer modern estates. I think only St Anne’s Terrace at Portrack is the only original site that remains from those days. Such memories.

Photograph and details courtesy of John Robson.

Bob Harbron

October 2017 has seen the loss of one of Stockton and Norton’s most well-known, and also much-loved, characters.

Mr. Robert Harbron, known simply as Bob, was a local historian. But he was not just a local historian, he was Norton and Stockton’s most passionate and knowledgeable supporter of their heritage. Bob was a founder and contributor to the Norton Heritage organisation, and over the years has provided Stockton Library Service with a complete set of their books with countless updates.

As a regular visitor to Stockton Reference Library, Bob always had a smile and a cheery hello for our staff, who when asked any question about Norton that they were unable to answer, would guarantee that Bob would ‘come up trumps’ with the information required as his knowledge of Norton was second to none.

He will be greatly missed by everyone. R.I.P. Bob Harbron.

Hardwick Secondary Modern School c1960s

A view of Hardwick Secondary Modern School taken sometime in the mid 1960’s. The school opened in 1963 as a mixed school but later became the girls school in 1967 and then the lower school in September 1973 when the name changed to Sheraton Comprehensive. Saint James court now stands on the site.

I believe the children in the photograph are Ian Smith and Michael Overton who now of course will be in their 50’s.

Photograph and details courtesy of Peter Jordison.

Dot Lester Dance Troupe, 1946/47

Does anybody remember this Dance Troupe? The picture was sent to me by my aunt, Freda Leek.

Freda lived in Billingham and went to the South Modern School between
1943 and 1953, she tells me that because of a teacher shortage, due to the war, she only went to school on some days, sometimes for a half day and other times for a full day. Names she remembers in the troupe are; ? Hawkins, ? Hall, Alice Arnold, Celia Finlayson, Bettina Raine. Freda didn’t say where the Troupe was based but it could have been anywhere in the area.

Courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Two Baller Game, Rostrevor Avenue, Roseworth c1965

This photograph shows my wife’s sister Kathleen Hindmarsh playing two baller in Rostrevor Avenue, Roseworth in about 1965.

My wife Liz asks if anyone can remember the other games that were played in the street, like Kingy or Queenie or can still recite the two baller rhymes.

In the background is Mr Laybourne’s lorry which I think is a Thames Trader from the Redland tip on Blakeston Lane.

Photograph and details courtesy of Norman Hill.

Ernest and Margaret Temple, Mayor and Mayoress of Stockton-on-Tees








These are pictures of my Nana and Grandad, Ernest (Ernie) and Margaret (Madge) Temple when he was the Mayor of Stockton. Not entirely sure when, I’m assuming the 60’s? They went on to be the landlords of the (now demolished) Lord Nelson pub on King Street near Stockton Baths.

Photographs and details courtesy of Michael Temple.