St Gerards Boys, Haverton Hill 1952-ish

Bill Pearce commented on the St Gerard School picture and he mentioned Peter McGrogan as a particular friend, this photo of some of the boys from St. Gerards features Peter amongst a group of classmates, I thought Bill and other ex St Gerards pupils may be interested in seeing it and hopefully naming some of the unknowns in the picture.

Back row: Alan Lavery, Kevin Deery, -?-, Peter McGrogan, -?-, -?-, (Brian Featherstone?) Middle row: Billy Burnett, -?-, Stephen Waller, Alan Gatley, -?- Front row: (Donaldson?) -?-, -?-, Dennis Dowdle, -?-

There is a little uncertainty about Brian Featherstone, Bill Burnett thinks that is who it is but can’t be fully sure. Bill doesn’t know why the photo was taken as it doesn’t show all of the boys in his class and none of the girls.

Details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

May Richardson in her garden, summer 2017

May is the last survivor of the Dibbles Bridge disaster, the 1975 tragedy which claimed 32 lives of a coach party from Thornaby mainly senior citizens. Dibbles Bridge was the worst peace time loss of life in the town.

I am assembling a photo memorial to all 32 victims of the disaster for an exhibition and book planned for showing at Thornaby Town Hall. I am trying to contact relatives who might be able to loan photographs and help me compile a short biography on each person. Can anyone help?

Details courtesy of Derek Smith, Thornaby Project.

Mr and Mrs English c1950s

A photograph of Mr and Mrs English, Mr Carroll and Miss Armstrong at St Gerards School in Haverton Hill c1950s.

I believe Mr English took the Headmastership at St. Johns school in Billingham when Doctor Smith retired in the early 1960s and became Headmaster of St Mary’s RC Primary School in Stockton possibly during the mid-1960s, as I started school at St Mary’s in September 1967, and left in July 1974. Incidentally, I spent my final two years in Mrs English’s class.  I would very much love to know what happened to Mr and Mrs English after I left St Mary’s, maybe someone who went to St Mary’s at the same time as me can shed some light.

Details courtesy of Perry Moore.

Remembrance Sunday, Thornaby 2017

The Remembrance Parade was led by the Billingham Silver Band to the Cenotaph on Acklam Road, Thornaby. The people in the photographs are ? Butterworth, Allan Huitson, ? Hughes, Derek Brittain and Irene Jessop.

Photographs and details courtesy of Derek Brittain.

Unknown Ceremonial Regalia – Can anyone help?

My sister and I have been trying to find out the meaning of our great grandfather’s ceremonial regalia.  We would love to know what club, trade council, or civic body John Bowker belonged to. Our mother (his granddaughter), has never known why he wore this uniform and it would be great to tell her.

John Bowker was born in 1868 in Skipton, and was a Master Tailor in Stockton-on-Tees, which included making the uniforms for officers. We do not have a date for the photograph, but we think he may have been about 65 years old, which brings it to 1933.

Any information about his regalia would be much appreciated.

Photograph and details courtesy of Mary Richardson.

Stockton Remembrance 2017 – The Tributes and the Poppy Truck

The ‘Poppy Truck’ was very impressive and travelled from it’s base near Hull to attend several events in the north east over Remembrance weekend. The wreath for Private Ernest Taylor of the Grenadier Guards had featured recently on Picture Stockton as had Major Edward Cooper VC whose wreath was laid by Neil Schneider on behalf of the Council.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Thornaby Remembrance Parade and Service, Sunday 12 November 2017

Pictures taken at the Thornaby Remembrance Parade and Service on Sunday 12 November 2017. The two gents stood in front of the Cenotaph on Acklam Road are Thornaby boys F/L Allan Huitson RAFVR(T) and Derek Brittain who were pupils together at Westbury Street Junior School.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Coronation Day, Stokesley Crescent in Billingham

This photograph was taken on June 2nd 1953 in Stokesley Crescent, Billingham. I only have very faint recollections of the day and the only people I can name are myself, the dismal looking squab with an eye patch in the middle of the second row from the front and the little head at the very bottom of the picture, Dave Willoughby. Fortunately another person in the photograph has a better memory than I have, she is Susan Lewis and the following are her words…

‘This was Coronation day in 1953, it rained heavily which is why we are all crammed into somebody’s house, I think it may have been the Stephenson’s house.

Viewing the photograph from left to right the back row has Hilton Brown at the left with a bugle affair, third from left is my brother Tony dressed as ‘Just William’ with Valentine Gallagher dressed as a washerwoman at the far right.

Second row from the back we have one of the Murray sisters at the far left, they were Yvonne and Sandra, the other sister is ‘Miss Britain’, I think Yvonne was the elder but I’m not certain.

I am the bewildered looking child with the big red, white and blue bullseye on my chest and head to the left of the front row, I remember the dye running from the crepe paper because of the rain.

Next to me is Hilton Browns sister, Hazel.

The three Wrench brothers, Derek, David and Barry are as follows, Derek is the cowboy with the brown waistcoat, David is half obscured in front of Val Gallagher and Barry is the unhappy looking ‘Blacked-up’ boy, the boys mother Renee is the dark haired woman to the right behind Robin Hood.

The girl in the pale blue hat and blue checked shirt is Marjorie Duncan and Robin Hood is one of the Stephenson boys, Joe I think, his mother is the sandy haired lady to the right of centre of the picture’.

Four of the children in this photograph became teachers, Susan Lewis, Tony Lewis, Joe Stephenson and myself Brian Storey. If anybody can add names to any of these faces then please do get in touch.

Photograph courtesy of Brian Storey, details courtesy of Brian Storey, Susan Lewis.

Susan is the author of ‘Home On The Range – Growing Up On Teesside In The 1950s & 60s’, Billingham Library have a copy in the local interest section.