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.

Locomotives crossing the Tees Railway Bridge c1966

I have been following comments about the ‘Lost Thornaby Riverside‘ and unearthed a couple of photographs looking in the other direction. They are of trains crossing the railway bridge and would have been taken from what is now the middle of the A66. In the photograph of the diesel hauled freight the Victoria Bridge is visible in the background. In the other photograph a large building is visible near the Victoria Bridge; was this a flour mill? Perhaps some of your readers might be able to tell me.

For those with a railway interest the locomotives are a class 25 D5181 and the steam loco is a WD no.90470 both taken on 5th March 1966.

Photographs and details courtesy of Garth McLean.

Something To Get Steamed Up About!

On display inside the marquee and for many the star of the show will be the original memorial plaque which ‘disappeared’ from the original ticket office at Bridge House-St Johns Crossing several years ago. The plaque was rediscovered in July after it made a fleeting appearance on BBC Look North who were reporting on the recent takeover of the William Lane Foundry in Middlesbrough, the last traditional foundry in the old Ironmasters District of the town. Unfortunately after it was removed the plaque was forcibly folded to aid it’s removal and obvious intention of being melted down but this was thwarted by the police who passed it onto William Lane for safe keeping and possible restoration.

The plaque dates to 1925 and celebrates the centenary of the S&DR.  It was unveiled by the then Duke of York (later King George VI) and carries the LNER Coat of Arms together with those of the towns of Stockton and Darlington. It reads “Here in 1825 the S&DR booked the first passenger, thus marking an epoch in the history of mankind”.  As we now know, this isn’t quite correct, but it’s still a hugely important artefact and deserves better than it’s current condition and status. The estimated cost of repair is in the order of £2,000 but the plaque was not insured by the Bridge House charity and at present funding is still required to repair and re-instate the plaque although a more suitable and safer home such as Preston Hall Museum may be considered.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.

You may also like…

The Brusselton Incline Walk: A Walk to celebrate the 192nd Anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway on Wednesday 27th September meeting at 10.30am in the car park opposite the Whistle Stop Cafe in Redworth Road, Shildon. The walk will start at 11am. Further details can be obtained from Jane Hackworth-Young on 01833 627712 or email.

The Durham Music Service Evening Concert: Featuring Durham County Youth Big Band, Locomotive Rhythm and Durham Alumni Big Band on Wednesday 27th September at the NRM Locomotion, Shildon at 6.30pm. Free entry – all welcome.

LMS Tank No. 42477 at Jacksons Bakery c1964

An ex LMS tank no. 42477 with passenger train headed for Darlington. The photograph was taken on the 18th July, 1964 at Jacksons Bakery which used to be in Yarm Road between Stockton and Eaglescliffe. I believe there is a garden centre there now. The railway used to have four tracks, two for Stockton and two for Thornaby. Now there are just two tracks with the Stockton and Thornaby lines diverging near to where the photograph was taken with the A66 dual carriageway crossing the lines nearby.

Photograph and details courtesy of Garth McLean.

Hartburn Signal Box c1965

This photograph was taken when Hartburn signal box was still in existence and there were 4 tracks. Because it was near the road, the signal box was a favourite spot for trainspotters in the winter because the fire chimney backed onto the road and you could warm yourself on the wall. For those interested in the railway aspect the loco is a WD and is hauling a northbound freight in December 1965. Such a difference now but at least the railway is still there and Ropner Park too.

Photograph and details courtesy of Garth McLean.