Unknown c1957

My grandmother Mary Ann Brown (circled) lived in Tilery Road. I’m not sure where this photograph was taken possibly a school judging by the gym apparatus in the background or what the function was. Can anyone help? Taken c1957.

Photograph and details courtesy of Valerie Walker:

The Norton Magical Mystery History Tour, 26 May 2018

Roll up, roll up, for the Mystery Tour, step right this way… and we did as we crossed Norton High Street to our Cleveland Transit double decker bus time machine in the company of our Time Lord for the tour, Martin Peagam. Our first stop was to Norton Road to what most people will have known as Hill’s but which was originally a flour and saw mill until it was bought by Thomas Hackworth and George Fossick and made into an engine works were they built steam locomotives, one being named ‘The Stockton’. They also built ships steam engines and eventually marine engineering became their main line of business. It then became Blair’s Engine Works and with Hill’s now long demolished it is now the site of a new housing development opposite the North Shore Academy, itself built on the site of the former Tilery Sports Centre.

We went to Alberto Street next and heard the tale of a ‘lady of the night’ and her death in a boarding house which once stood there although the area is now a large car park and only the street name remains!

The Daylight Bakery was our next stop and little did Ralph Spark and Sons know that some of Stockton’s greatest footballers would train and hone their dribbling skills under the floodlights at the front of this superb art-deco building . Apparently the bright lights at the front of the building would attract youngsters from around the area so that they could extend their playtime hours in near daylight all year round such was the brilliance of the lights but whether or not this accounts for the ‘Daylight’ title I’m not sure but it certainly was an illuminating tale!

Mr Fossick got his second mention of the tour just a little bit further up the ring road at what is now known as the ‘Blue Bridge’ because simply put, it’s painted blue. This new bridge was built to allow the then new ring road to go under the railway line but at the same time the original Fossick’s Bridge was filled in and buried under the railway embankment leaving no trace at all except for the road to nowhere which still remains Darlington Road while the ring road became the Ring Road or if you prefer, the A1027?

Our next and last stop was to the site of the former Norton Iron Works on Calf Fallow Lane were the original ‘Big Ben’ bell was cast. Sadly though it’s not the Stockton bell which now rings out from the Houses Of Parliament today as our bell cracked when a larger than required clapper was used and a new bell was recast by another company. Perhaps that story chimes with you?

On the way back to Norton the bus took a short detour through Stockton High Street and so fulfilled it’s mystery tour billing much to the amusement of both it’s passengers and the public it passed who rarely if ever these days see a double decker bus, not even a green Cleveland Transit one. Roll up for the Mystery Tour, roll up, satisfaction guaranteed…. and indeed it was.

Photograph and details courtesy of David Thompson.

Freight Diesels at Thornaby Station c1985

Here are two Class 37 diesel pulling what seem to be heavy gauge trucks that might carry iron ore, limestone or steel scrap, presumably on the way back from the Middlesbrough steelworks. Where were they headed, I wonder?

The sheds of the Malleable steelworks, across the river, can be seen in the far distance. When I commuted to Grangetown in the early sixties, this view was blocked by the mountain of blast furnace slag that was dumped alongside the river.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Junction of Richardson Road and Dennison Street, Stockton c2017

I took this photograph towards the end of last year close to the junction of Richardson Road and Dennison Street. The Elizabeth Embroidery shop in view was formerly a branch of Stockton Co-op Society. This area retains old memories for me having attended Richard Hind School 1952/56. I also did maintenance work on the old Co-op when I was employed by the company. Houses were eventually built on the old school site, also showing in the picture is the rear of the former school caretaker house which was next to the junior school. That school is still standing but now a community centre, I think the house is now used by an administration company. Since the days I attended RH school nothing much appears to have changed around the area of the Sunderland Glebe estate, apart from the housing on the old school site.

Photograph and details courtesy of John Robson.

Stephenson Hall Staff c1960s

Back Row (l-r): John Heron, Brian Storey, Alan O’Connor, Ian Jones, Tommy Lonsdale, -??-, Alan Coates. Front Row (l-r): Judith ?, Mary Binnie, Mary Bassett, Fred Chapman, Mr Summers, Jean Harrison, Katie Connolly, -??-, Barbara ? (School Secretary).

Brian Storey and I started school together in 1951 at Billingham North Infants, we went through school together for the next ten years leaving Billingham Stephenson Hall in 1961, Brian went on to train as a teacher and this photo shows him in his first teaching post, we started at Stephenson Hall in 1958 and of the original staff only three remain in this photo, they are Mary Bassett, Alan Coates and Fred Chapman, all superb teachers.

Photograph supplied by Brian Storey and the names by Pauline Orchel, nee Jackson, my thanks to them – Bruce Coleman.

Magical Mystery Bus Tour, Tuesday 22 May 2018

The Magical Mystery Bus Tour with Time Traveller Martin Peagam took us on a trip to the past.. We began with a visit to the site of the old Stockton Union Workhouse in Portrack Lane and ended with a walk along the original 1825 track-bed which runs through Preston Park, with many other stops in between.

Norton Heritage Day: The next bus tour departs from Norton Library on Saturday 26 May at 1pm. Booking required. Call 01642 528019 for more information and to book.