Whose heritage is it anyway? Teesside’s contested industrial legacy

Whilst many former industrial sites in Europe, the US and even China are being preserved, reimagined and repurposed, the North East of England’s are being demolished and cleared at an alarming rate. Nowhere is this more apparent than Teesside.

Why not preserve and repurpose our industrial sites? Why demolish instead? In this talk Dr Jon Warren (author of Industrial Teesside Lives and Legacies) will focus on the demise of iron and steel on Teesside and how questions of heritage have been dealt with.

  • Whose heritage is it anyway?
  • Stockton Reference Library (Stockton Central Library)
  • Friday 26 May, 10.30am – 12pm
  • Free event, booking essential. This event can be booked online ‘Whose heritage is it anyway?’ or by calling 01642 528079. Light refreshments will be provided.

Hospital Cleaners Pay, c1974

This is mother’s payslip, from 1974, when she worked as a hospital cleaner in the old people’s home on Portrack Lane. Opposite the Anglican Church.

Her basic pay was £27.05 per week, or just over £1400 a year. Down in London, as a junior research scientist aged 32, I was on about £3500 a year, which wasn’t brilliant given the cost of London rents. What surprised me was the high level of income tax at £7.75, which was about 27.7% of her salary. In contrast, National Insurance, at 79 pence, and total pension contributions at £2.04 were piffling.

On the basis of a 42 hour week she was getting just over 65 pence an hour.  The minimum wage today is about £10.60 an hour. She was offered the job of a supervisor at a higher pay level, but decided to stay with her mates.

Images and details courtesy of Dr Fred Starr.

Haverton Hill: Port Clarence to Billingham

100 years ago was a momentous year for the north east. In January the London and North Eastern Railway came into being, then on April 1st Billingham Urban District Council was formed and on Christmas Eve, Ammonia was made at Billingham. This photograph showing our late Queen opening the Forum at Billingham on the 19 October 1967 is one of the photos commemorating these events in a nostalgic informative display, including cuttings from the much-loved Billingham Press, at Billingham library. Everything that today is Billingham, such as the Town Square, the magnificent Forum and Billingham Golf Club, was created during the jurisdiction of BUDC. Currently at the Dorman Museum, they are showing the story of the Titanic, sunk in 1912, but what part did its sister ship play in the development of Billingham. The answer is to be found at Billingham Library.

Photograph and details courtesy of Colin Hatton.

Grangefield Girls Day Outing, 1962

A Grangefield Girls’ Grammar school day coach outing? It seems to be the whole of the third year, probably 1962, but where were we going? Any ideas welcome.
The second photograph was taken on another occasion as the clothes are different but I have no further details. How the coaches have changed!

Photographs and details courtesy of Pat Rendall.

Local DJ’s

Sad to hear of the recent passing of Stockton DJ Ian Young (Harry) pictured right. I first met him in the mid 1970’s when he was the resident DJ in the Electric Onion night club on Bridge Road, Stockton and bumped into him at many 21st Birthdays, Engagements, and Wedding parties over the years.

The other guy was also a local DJ Tony Wright (Capri) who worked in Bentley’s nightclub in the late 1970’s, Tony sadly passed away in 2019. RIP both.

Photograph and details courtesy of Peter Jordison.

Stockton High Street

This photo shows how much Stockton High Street changes over a few years. Believed to be taken from Nolan House, the Castle Centre and Swallow Hotel are in prominent view. But looking across towards the river and are around Chandlers Wharf has not been developed. One thing I have noticed, how much smoke there appears to be.

Photograph and details courtesy of Alex Moody.

School Rules and Customs From Grangefield School in the 1950’s.

Following on from the recent post – ‘Ready for a new school’, Grangefield uniform, I have seen on this site the ‘boys’ rules but I think the girls rules are even more draconian. In Section One Rule H ‘No girl may ride a cycle in the school Grounds’ is bizarre but my favourite has to be Section 2 Line F ‘Girls may not eat in the street to and from school’.

Images and details courtesy of Anne Bellerby nee Watson.