47 thoughts on “Finkle Street, Stockton. 1957

  1. I have found all this very interesting. I was an apprentice compositor at J. W. Baker, printers, in Finkle Street. The works was in Green Dragon Yard. Now the pub! I left in 1960 to work at a printers in Lancashire. In 1980 I moved to Winchester, Hampshire, working for the Hampshire Chronicle for over 20 years. I am now happily retired. I remember the Nebo sweet factory in Green Dragon Yard and knew people who worked there. I remember Heavisides, Grahams, Clinkards and a music shop where I bought my first record!
    Bert Guy

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  2. Yes Brian, that’s him, always good for a reply. He did live for some years with his family first in Cleveland Ohio then moving over to the west into California at first in Pasadena and then Pinole coming back to the UK in 1962. He worked firstly when coming home at the Press in Billingham and then Stockton before moving on to the Gazette where he finished on retirement.

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  3. I remember Horace Bishop from when I was an apprentice compositor at Billingham Press (in Stockton) in the early 1960’s. If I remember rightly he had lived & worked in Canada for a while, I used to like hearing about his exploits there. As a young apprentice I remember him returning from lunch one day when it had been pouring down. He came into the comp room in his yellow cycle cape & sowester, looking for all the world like a fisherman and dripping wet. I foolishly said to him something like, ‘Did you catch many fish Horace?’. Well his answer couldn’t be printed here, but ended with something like, ‘If I had a pound for every time someone has stupidly said that to me I would be a rich man’. Needless to say I learnt my lesson and I never said it again!

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  4. My B-in-L Horace Bishop worked at Heavisides as a Printer, probably you knew of him there. He was a keen cyclist riding a Jack Taylor bike. He is still riding at 92 years of age and most days will ride 30 miles, usually up to Middleton one Row.

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  5. The solicitors in Finkle St in the last building on the left overlooking the river were Newby Robson & Cadell. I remember the name because my late father worked there as a clerk when he left school and his will was deposited there. It was a wonderful old building.

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  6. I remember Finkle street well. I used to be an errand boy after school for Heaviside printers, I was 11 years old and stopped working there when I was around 13… and at the time Clinkards was still there. I always remember old man Heaviside’s sending me for 10 wills whiffs for him… in those days there was no age limit on buying tobacco. he always give me 2 bob for going… so this picture brings back a lot of good memories for me. This would have been around 1968-71 time.

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  7. I worked in Finkle Street in the 60s for the Halifax Building Society, and the solicitors at the bottom of the street on the same side as the Yorkshire Bank was Newby Robson and Cadle, I believe they may still be there. Also there were Frank Brown and Walford, the accountants. There was also a solicitors next door the Halifax on the other side of the street, but my memory fails me slightly there, and I would have typed letters to them hundreds of times – maybe it was Cohen Jackson and Scott? They would have had to move when the Halifax did when the destruction of the High Street took place in 1969.

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  8. The solicitors in Finkle street at the time of this photograph were Newby, Robson and Cadle. Their premises were the building directly to the right of the lowest building in the picture with the white bay window.

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  9. My Grandad and I are researching his family background and he is sure he collected payments from a shop on this street. I would be most greatful if anyone could remember the name of a solicitors on this street.

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  10. I worked at Clinkards Shoe Shop 1959 – 1960. It was a beautiful shop, so much character with it’s plush carpets and fittings. As a member of staff we used to have to enter the building on a morning from the side door which was situated in Finkle Street. I worked in the office as a junior book keeper and the lady that was training me was called Mrs Geldart. Now and again I used to help out in the shop espeically the children’s shoe department which was on the top floor. Never understood why poor mothers with children and pushchairs had to climb two sets of stairs to the top floor to purchase their goods, except to say it was worth it for the helpful and pleasant service they would have received when they finally got up there. The manager at the time was Mr Brian Shaw.

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  11. I remember walking into Clinkards with my Mum and can remember the staircase, really should of been preserved, like the rest of the High Street on this side.

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  12. Shaw”s shoe shop was placed just before the alleyway going in to the Green dragon yard in Finkle Street which was, I think, a printers. The shop had two doors with an opening between the two shops so the staff could serve in both shops. As Bob found out they were expensive but sold good quality goods. Clinkards was on the other side as George has already said on the corner of the High Street and Finkle Street. Both good shops,good gear,and expensive.I think Clinkards moved out of Stockton because of the high rates and moved to Middlesbourgh. I still can”t remember playing on the Showfield. Did Primrose Hill play someware else before the Showfield?

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  13. Clinkards was on the corner of Finkle St. but directy opposite the Yorkshire Bank. The magic machine referred to by Bob also X rayed the feet to make sure the shoes had sufficient room. If I remember correctly the child stood on the m/c and had a viewer on the top. The childs parent and the shop assistant had a viewer at each side. Don”t know what Health and Safety would make of all this.

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  14. There were three entrances to the showfield as you say. A gate and stile in Mill Lane but the steepness of the banks did not allow vehicles onto the top field. Marmaduke place entrance allowed carts down onto a sort of causeway where builders had dumped rubble, it went the length of that section of the sand pits and most of my young life was fenced from the rest of the sandpits. It had quite a large pond which was the launching point of the flimsy rafts we made. The entrance from Station Road was wide and flat which allowed quite large vehicles onto the top field or Showfield. There was also a fence round that in my younger days which slowly vanished, probably the wartime coal shortage was to blame. I have a picture of the Sandpits with snow, you can just make out someone sledging. My scanner is not talking to the laptop right now so when I get the new scanner I will send it in or find some other way to post it.

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  15. The showfield was behind Red House School,I knew of three entrances one opposite St Mary”s church called Marmaduke Place, Bob Irwin explained the one on Station Road & the other was across The Green at Mill Lane.

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  16. I remember taking my children to Clinkards in Stockton for shoes. Also that the childrens department was downstairs and having their sizes measured on a machine. I”m not quite sure of its wherabouts now but I think it was somewhere near to Uptons on the High Street. I don”t think that the shoe shop in Finkle Street had a downstairs department. The thing I do remember was buying a pair of shoes for myself at the Finkle Street shop in the 80″s and they were £90. The shop was called Shaws then.

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  17. I did play against Primrose Hill and Barkers Len many times for West End and Parkfield but I just can”t remember where their ground was. If it was the Showfield where was it? I”m afraid I”m still lost.(old age) Norman, the shoe shop in Finkle Street was called Shaws. Mr Shaw worked for Clinkards for a lot of years as manager at one of their shops and opened up a shop in Finkle Street and another in Hartlepool. A popular pair of shops but expensive.

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  18. The shoe shop in Finkle Street was Charles Clinkards. It took part of Finkle Street and the corner onto the High Street. During the period 1959-1960 I worked in the William Timpsons shop in Dovecote Street. A friend of mine worked in Clinkards and we used to rib each other about the relative quality of the shoes we sold. Nice to know that the firm of Clinkards is still in existence, unlike Timpsons shoes shops and factory at Kettering.

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  19. I was in Stratford Upon Avon early this year and Clinkards have taken over a shoe shop there. I beleive they have just bought out a chain of shops, so their name will appear all over the country.

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  20. It is indeed a wonderful site, though those who remember those days are getting sparse on the ground. I never thought of writing any of it down until 1999, sixty years after the war began. My Grandchildren brought questionaires from Northfield school for us to fill in. The rest of the family read them with interest and my daughter said “dad we know nothing about your life before we were born”, as children think parents come out of tins ready to look after their every need we had not thought they cared. So it began, a family history, then they introduced me to the BBC WW2 site and that ended up with a film crew at the house then walking me round the green and me not even in the actors union. A week of showing on the BBC during the sixty years after VE day and a week of radio Tees was my fifteen minutes of fame. There is a strong need for writing it all down, Stockton has changed so much since our school days, whole communities gone. I think we need a site just for tales of back then. Some historian will write about the people we knew adding to the vibrant Stockton story. It is a thought!

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  21. I think the shoe shop would be Clinkards it was known as one of the best shoe shops on Teesside. The firm is still under the same name today and has spread to the City of Leeds and I believe York. Mr Clinkard used to serve in the Middlesbrough shop which was near Binns.

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  22. Ken if you played local football in the fifties or early sixties,the Norton Showfield was where Primrose Hill & Barkers Athletic played.

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  23. I”ts wonderful that on this site that we can go from the old photo of Finkle Street to Buffalo Bill and the Sandpits and the Showfield and onto Woodbine House from a packet of Woodbines at Two and a Half Pence. I lived in Norton for a couple of years and I never heard of either the Sandpits or the Showfield but I enjoyed going to both of the Avenue and the Moderne.Going back to Finkle Street I remember a shoe shop in the street around were the printers used to be. A very expensive shop.

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  24. The Sandpits was so called because that is what it was. In the days when transporting anything anywhere was dificult the Norton Builders had dug sand from there hence the banks for sledging. It was sand under the grass and not too far down. At 5 Mill Lane when Dad dug the hole for the air raid shelter through three to four feet of top soil, (there had been a hundred years of horse manure on that garden) then hit sand. It was pure sand and caused problems as he was making his own super shelter and had to use boards to shore up and stop the sand running. We did get a big shelter that would take the people in the yard as well as us. Mrs Boiston, her son Bob was in the Navy and Mrs Boston her husband was in the Army. We had electric light and a kettle in there, I would finally get up after the siren and make my way in, drop on the bunk and be back in the land of nod until the Guns at Kiaora went off. Nobody could sleep through that. Quite a few of the area”s in Norton were given working names. Tanners Bank a Tannary, Station Road self explaining. Junction Road the Juntion with Station Road and also at the other end with Durham Road. The Willow Garth, The Show field which was the top field and of course to those who knew, the Sandpits. The William Newton School built just before the war started, was on Market Garden Land that still belonged to the same family up to a few years back. Mr Edwards who lived in Bradbury Road was to be the first Head Master or so his Son Bruce told me. It certainly made a wonderful HQ for the Army Cadets.

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  25. By people born and lived in Norton Green area always referred the Showfield as such and not the Sandpits. If we went sledging it was always “going to the Showfield.” There was the Sandpit on Darlington Lane and behind Ragworth Place which was worked by Spooners. Norton was known for its sand areas. The Green Court Estate along Darlington Lane had its houses built on “rafts”. Using normal foundations could not be used because of shifting sand.

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  26. Buffalo Bill? never heard that one, makes me wonder if that was why we called one field off the willow garth cowboy valley? I have thought about the cricket team called the Tykes, were they all ex-pat Yorkshire men working in our local industry? Most of Redwing Lane and Crooksbarn were ICI managers. My mother was among her many trades a Dress Maker. We always knew when there was a big party or dance at the ICI club on the Green as our front room was filled with chattering women in all states of undress whilst Mother pulled nipped and stuck pins all over. Then it would be hours of sewing on the Singer treddle machine and last minute fittings. Come the night they would all walk down Mill Lane and we would watch all those people in long dresses and dicky suits as they made their way to the do. Mum would lean over and whisper loudly in my ear, “look at her with her airs and graces, she has not paid me yet” that was before the war, as with a lot of things party”s were few and far between later.

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  27. I was born in beaconsfield street in 1926 and I never heard the showfield referred to as the sandpits I was also told that buffalo Bills show visited Norton but it was on the field in Junction rd where the William Newton school now stands. George Mulloy also play for calf fallow cricket team,another old player of the Tykes was Andy Lamb who still lives in Norton.

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  28. My Mother told me that Buffalo Bill and his Circus once visited the Showfield. She was born in 1898. I believe that she did say she saw the show. I used to watch the Tykes play in the corner field next to Crooksbarn Lane. They played their games on a Sunday afternoon. They were only invitation games as they did not belong to a league. Some of the players were:-O”Niell brothers, Ronny Lee(the Joiner and Property repairer) opening bowler, Tom Webster who lost more balls over the short boundary that went for sixes.

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  29. I was too young to remember shows in the show field. My Father who lived in first Beaconsfield Street then from 1919 in Mill Lane where the garden wall faced the Sandpits told me the stories of it. He always called each of the fields by its name and the show field was the top field and yes I do remember Rugby being played there. I never knew the name of the cricket team but often wondered. Why the tykes I ask? I did watch them play from the field gate having an interest in cricket from an early age. I never got further than playing on the Green in season and we had some cracking games there often in the evening with an audience. They were not backwards in saying “well done” or more often “have you got a hole in your hands” fun days even during the war.

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  30. As far as I remember the showfield was the sand pitts,I used to go when I was a kid and get a stamp on my wrist which allowed you to leave and come back later.The top field was Norton rugby club which had a wooden grand stand,the cricket team was the tykes and one of their old players still lives in Norton.

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  31. You did your sledging in the “Sand pits” that was the correct name. The Showfield was the top field nearest to the cut from Station road. This field was at one time fenced off and then there was another flat field at the top of the sandpits. Beyond was a field used by the Cricket Team from the Crooksbarn area and then you came to Lamberts farm later Barkers Farm. When the cricket team had a weekend game my mother made the tea for them. We set out the large garage at 5 Mill Lane with hessian carpets folding tables and chairs. It was all set with white clothes and table ware and mother made all the cakes biscuits and sandwiches. The cricketers would walk down with their guests and have tea, mother and some helpers bringing fresh pots of tea and more sandwiches. I would watch with beady eye to make sure they did not eat all the jam tarts as I got first pick when they were finished and gone back to the game, for helping to clear everything away. Dad parked his truck in there and we had two cars in the other end (only one was ours, one belonged to Bronco Dixon). The wall of the garden was on the sandpits, I often sat up there looking out over the fields when the young lovers were strolling over them, “ahem”, well I was too young to know. We used Bradleys unless we were coming out of the Modern or Avenue cinema”s, then it was the Avenue fish shop and I always thought them the best. My Uncle Arthur Marsey had the Roseberry Farm on what is now Roseworth, he also did a milk round so I got to ride on his two wheeled cart with the big churns. I would run and bring the jugs left out and he would measure the milk into them, then I would take them back and cover them with a damp cloth until they were taken in. It all changed when we got bottles. My childhood memories are of a very happy time, always outside no matter what the weather. We wandered the fields without thought of danger. The only bad time was when a couple of school friends drowned in the Billingham beck, we were told to stop skinny dipping there. I may go down and do that again for the fun of it, do zimmer frames rust?

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  32. I remember The Avenue well on Saturday mornings it was twopence and the orange peel used to come down from the Balcony. The main weekly serials I recall was Tom Mix and the Tarzan pictures. The Moderne was not built until 1938-1939 I had many happy times there. You were well paid with 2/6 for a reward, my pocket money was about 6p. Out of that you could get two pennyworth of sweets and either a Fish and one pennyworth of chips from Norton Fisheries (Bradley”s). In Winter time we sledged in Norton Showfield and in summer helped Tunstall”s at Newstead Farm Hay making, stooking corn and potatoe picking. I used to get 2/6p if I helped on the milk float round, and a lunch thrown in by Mrs Tunstall roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Yum.

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  33. Further to my previous message, the blonde haired girl who worked in the shop I think was called Robson. She competed in Gymkhanas at the Stockton Agricultural Show in Ropner Park.

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  34. My Piano Teacher was Miss Cook who lived just past the recreation ground at Tilery in one of the big houses on the bank. Dad who was a very good pianist himself would bring music from Whiteleys”s and say, half a crown when you can play that. Practice went out of the window as I learned Alice Blue Gown and the Blue Danube. One Sunday night pre-war, a bang on the front door, Miss Cook looking very mad told my Mother “that is not his practice piece” she had been doing the Sunday night after Church parade up the High Street round the Green and back through the Showfields which was the custom in those days. My Dad gave me a clip and made me practice instead of escaping to the open air but Dad true to his word gave me the half crown, a fortune to me with sweets a penny a quarter and fourpence in the Modern or twopence in the Avenue on a Saturday morning.

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  35. Woodbine House was the start of Station Road and was on the R/H side leaving the Green. There was a cut through to the Showfield and this house was on the R/H side of the cut and opposiote to Fulthorpe Road and the entrance to my grandfathers fields. It was knocked down for the Ring Road. I remember a blonde haired girl who worked in Whitely”s. She used to ride a horse around the Green area of Norton. I believe the horse was kept at the far end of Station Road.

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  36. The Whiteley”s lived on Junction Rd just a little futher up than North Albert Road. Miss Whiteley taught me pianoforte or at least tried too. I never mastered the left hand. I much prefered to go out and play probably in the Sand Quarry catching taddies and newts, or even roller skating down the new path by William Newton School. My other great joy was my bike, I took a great pride in that a Raleigh with a Dynamo and Chrome light.It had to go because of heart problems! Never mind I am still here.

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  37. Spot on it was Whiteley”s. I got all my piano music from there and also took my exams in an upstairs room. The examiners always appeared to be very dour men, I made a right mess of one piece so stopped told him I would do it again and did without mistake, I passed, I think more for my cheek than skill.

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  38. If memory serves correct the shop next to the Yorshire Penny Bank in Finkle Street was Whiteley”s music shop. I used to go there for a new record when I could afford one. Most were about 2/6d that would get you a copy of Sandy Powell (can you here me mother!) or you might get a George Formby, this was before 1939. Woodbines were two and a half pence for 5.

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  39. Here is a view of Finkle Street as viewed from East side of the High Street. Also slightly showing is the Slip-Way to the Quayside. In the photo…t7678, you can see the Slip-Way showing a Hillman car on it.

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