6 thoughts on “Stockton High Street, 1957

  1. I bet the names Graftons and Charles bring back many memories for the ladies. They were two of the many dress shops where I used to buy clothes in the 50s, 60s, and early 70s. There was a wealth of clothes shops in Stockton High Street then – Paiges, opposite Maxwells Corner, Blacketts department store virtually next door to Graftons and Charles, then Wilson’s and Doggarts department stores which were demolished in 69/70. Books was about where McDonalds is now, Richards was just past Dovecot Street corner, then Jones was on the corner of Wellington Street, and finally Robinsons which is now Debenhams. All my clothes were bought on ‘Provvi’ (Provident Clothing Company) tickets as Mum was an agent for them! I thought Hodgson and Downs was still there for quite a few years after I started work just round the corner in Finkle Street in 1962, or was it taken over by another wine and spirit merchant?


    • I worked about 4 shops up from Books from about 1968 -1981. Its original name was Levan`s, then Lewis Separates bought all their stores. Then all their stores were transformed into boutiques. The Stockton branch was The In Scene, Middlesbrough branch Chelsea Girl, there was also branches in Scotland. These boutiques were the shops where young girls could buy affordable trendy and stylish clothes. I remember sometime in the 70`s, during the fireman`s strike, Books had a fire and all surrounding shops had to be evacuated ,but we were able to provide tea for the Army who turned up in what was called A Green Goddess.


  2. Hodgson & Downs wine & spirit merchants was established in 1876. The business at 42 High street, pictured above, was described in 1890 as a large and handsome wine & spirit store containing extensive warehouse accommodation at the rear and large well constructed cellars. Also bottling stores with patented bottling and bottle washing machinery powered by a gas engine. As well as wines and spirits the company stocked aerated waters, cordials, foreign liqueurs, tobacco, cigars & cigarettes. Bass & Co pale ale and light dinner ale, Guinness & Co Dublin stout, Dawson & Co bitter ale were also available in casks and bottles. The firm had stables for horses and delivery vans on Norton Road. Does anyone remember this store and when it closed?


  3. When down from University in the Christmases 1968 and 1969 and Summer 1969 I worked for Fosters wine stores which later became Peter Dominics. Fosters must have taken over Hodgson and Downs as the store I worked in was No.42 Sussex Street in Middlesbrough. An indication of Hodgson and Downs’ wide ranging business was a bundle of ‘Bottled by Hodgson and Downes’ labels for various malt whiskies I found in an upstairs room at 42 Sussex Street. The Sussex Street premises, similar to Stockton High Street, were extensive with a large warehouse and stables to the rear and a cellar that was just as large.


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