An aerial view of Stockton Gas Works. c1949

An aerial view of Stockton Gas Works and the surrounding areas, inclding terraced housing off Oxford Street, Thompson Street and Tilery Road, the railway lines just North of Stockton Station and F.Hill & Sons joinery factory on Norton Road. c1949A large chimney, included in a view of Stockton Gas Works and the surrounding area. c1949

54 thoughts on “An aerial view of Stockton Gas Works. c1949

  1. I vaguely remember in the early sixties a ‘Religious picture’ appearing in the window of one of the engineering works in Tilery (Tilery Rd School side of Norton Rd). Can anyone else recall seeing or hearing about this?

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    • Hi Brenda, you are bang on with vision in window, hundred’s of folks went to see this wonderful vision, I remember seeing it in colour, I’m certain it went on for several weeks, might be wrong though it was a long time ago.
      All the best.
      Derek

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  2. Hi All,
    I’ve been delving into my family history and following a conversation with my 91 y.o. Mum, she recalls living in Bowser Street, and before that Bailey Street?
    The family were the Howarths.
    My Grandad and Grandmother were Ernest and Sarah and the children were Ernest jnr., Dennis who died as an infant, Ivy (my Mum), Stanley and Joyce.
    Ivy started work as a typist in the steelworks offices in Bath Street before joining the RAF.
    The family moved to Keithlands and then to Countisbury Road in Norton.
    Mum married my Father, also in the RAF, shortly after they demobbed and settled in Kent where I was born.
    This site has some fascinating stories about how life was in those days for the workforce of Stockton and the conditions they were born and raised, but in each story there are fond memories and happiness and I am left with a feeling of pride to have my roots in Stockton along with areas of Sunderland and Hartlepool which have also been demolished.
    It is probably no coincidence that my wife of 45 years was born in Tees St, Haverton Hill (now demolished) but living in Low Grange Avenue, Billingham at the time of our meeting whilst I was holidaying in Whitby.
    Does anyone recall the Howarth family?

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  3. thanks for reply I know it only took me 3 year lol for saying you knew my dad Fred Douglas and uncle Wilf – you were spot on. The good old days as my dad says nobody had much but you were still happy.

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  4. Hello I have just come across all these comments, my Granddad Arthur Underwood worked at the Gas Works for fifty years, he recieved a silver pocket watch for his services, which I still have, but we lived at South Durham Street, there was 7 of us in a little terraced house, he had an allotment and kept everything on it. I was born in 1946, a boom baby I think, I slept in the bottom draw of a chest of drawers. Nice reading.

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  5. My Mam and Dad used to live with a widower called Arthur Hesketh in Lucan Street, this was before I was born in 1962. They then moved to Eastbourne and we would walk over that railway bridge to get to the town on a Saturday morning. I also remember going to see the whale which I thought looked very small and not what I was expecting, just a big black something and nowt. There was a lady who had a corner shop, her name was Mrs Gladders, she visited us in Eastbourne for years afterwards. I also remember the pigs kept at the side of the black path the smell was quite strong. I don’t remember ever seeing houses, I think they had already been knocked down by the time I was old enough to walk over the bridge to Stockton, the roads and cobbles were still there though.

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    • I lived in Lucan Street and John Hesketh was a friend of mine I remember his dad being ill and someone came to look after him, also the corner shop owner was called Mrs Gladis her grandson John also was a chilhood friend of mine.

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  6. My dad and mam where Roly and Nellie Hutchinson, I have wonderful memories of living around the gasworks. My gran lived in Langley street next door to the engineering place, I used to love going to St Johns Church. My mam and dad married there as did my gran and granddad and most of the family, lots of children from my family where baptized there too I remember playing in Stockton station in the waiting rooms or we would stand on Eastbourne bridge as we called it waiting for the steam trains going under the bridge. I remember the Gladston Hotel too, I was only 6 or 7 when we left Thompson Street but for such a young age I have lots of memories.

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    • I was born in Thompson street the shop on the corner Adams and \smiths use to repair motor bikes over the road was the Turks head pub the last time I came back to Stockton my old home was a car show room but all my memories were still there happy days family name Smith my mum Hilda and my dad Victor.

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  7. I remember your dad Fred Douglas, he played centre forward for Tilery in the Stockton & District League in the early sixties with big Kenny Speck at inside forward they were both very good at heading a ball,Kenny later played in a very good Stillington British Refrasil team.Your uncle Wilf had a greyhound called Blue Whisper which was a good dog if it did not get upset before a race it used to try to have a go at the handler who walked it round before the race at the Belle-vue track.

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  8. Living in Ford Place at the time of the accession and coronation, I can recall a street party in 1953 and around then an enthusiast painted “E II R” in large lettering on the gates which separated Ford Place from the church yard next door. The paint remained visible for years, possibly until demolition! We lived in no 11, adjoining the church, and I too walked over the railway bridge to Newtown School.

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    • I was born in Lucan Street in 1949 and lived there till they were demolished. I loved my chilhood days and my teenage years there till the street was demolished and we moved to Ragworth, wasn’t the same.

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  9. Can anyone remember my mum Irene Donachie? She lived in Wynyard Street, Tilery – my grandad had pigs on the allotments

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  10. Can anyone remember my great grandparents and family? Their name was Douglas, they lived in no 13 Emily Street. My dad is Fred Douglas you probably know Wilf Douglas better. He loved his greyhounds and pidgeons, it would be lovely to hear from you….

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  11. Just for the record, regarding the two boy’s that were unfortunately killed when the wall collapsed, just a small spelling mistake; it was Alan Simcox, he was my mothers brother.

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  12. I cannot remember the name of your grandad, but as kids growing up in the Gashouse area in the forties & fifties we knew all the gatemen. One was called Wood who lived in the Exeter Street area. Maybe Derek Buttle can remember your grandad, he lived in the house in Thompson Street next to the Gaswork’s gatehouse.

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  13. The two boys that were killed at the coal yard, one was my brother Derek Graham the other boy was Alan Simcocks. Stephen Graham, if you’d like to find out anymore information you’re welcome to contact me – the Picture Stockton Team can give you my email address.

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  14. I remember seeing the whale just off Bishopton Lane, somewhere behind Arrowsmiths on some
    derilict land. The whale was on the back of a flatbed articulated truck, a big black mass that really could have been anything, but looked vaguely like a whale. Dunno what year it was.

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  15. Does anyone else remember going to see a large whale on open air display (by a dock?) back in the late 1960s/early 1970s. I was born in Stockton in the mid 1960s and going to see a whale is one of my earliest memories. My parents can’t remember even though they would have taken me! Please tell me it wasn’t a figament of my very young, active imagination!

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    • Yes I definitely do remember. It is one of my earliest memories but cannot remember the year. I must have been very young. I was born in 1961. I always felt it was somewhere behind where Debenhams is now.

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      • I too remember it. It was on the back of an artic. truck somewhere near where the registry office is now. It could have been anything, it was just a long big black blob.

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  16. Does anyone remember the Wilberforce’ of Airton St near the gasworks. The family lived there for many years. Hugh Wilberforce was the foreman at the gasworks, when he died in 1898, his job was taken over by a Wilberforce.

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    • Yes, I remember the old man in the big house with beautiful furniture, a grandfather clock. He was very kind to us children and gave us sweets. As was the custom in those days he sat outside of his house and passed the time of day with everyone. 1960.

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  17. The position of St Johns Church in the bottom right hand corner can be seen in relation to the Gasworks bridge, does this answer Sarah Sheraton’s question?

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  18. I can remember a wall collapsing and killing two boys. I don’t have many details as I was only 5 in 1946. We lived in Bowser Street at the time but I vaguely remember passing a wall pushed over by coal and a long pipe sticking straight up in the air.

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  19. Can anyone remember a wall from peters coal yard collapsing c1946, killing two small boys? I’ve had sketchy conversations with my nan about this incident. Can anyone tell me anymore details please?

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    • I was with the boys before the wall collapsed. Four of us had been playing tag in the coal yard. My pal went off home walking past the wall. I ran to catch him up and as I turned the corner at the end of the street I heard the rumble. People came running. The street was filled with coal. Next thing I remember was my mother grabbing me and bursting into tears. She thought I was under it.

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  20. Anyone rember my Dad and his grandparents – he is Rowly Robson but most thought he was a Betts. He was raised by his Nan and Pop on Tilery Road…born 1934

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  21. Gerard Flannery-The buildings you were interested in are in the bottom right hand side of this photo,south of the bridge,they were the gaswork”s maintenance shops for their vehicles.

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  22. I wondered what year the houses round the Gas works got the running water & sinks put in the back kitchen,in place of the cold water taps in the backyards,I think about 1950.

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  23. The street in the bottom right hand corner is Lucan St.,the next is Ford Place.The church in the corner is St.Johns with the church hall to the left above.

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  24. Looking back on some of the comments re the Gas works brought back memories during w.w. 2.about 1944 leaving my home in parkfield on my bike at about 3 o clock in the morning to cue up for two bushel of cinders on Saturday mornings if you were at the back of the que at Nine Oclock you would be unlucky the supply soon run out .Re the nameS ALLEN and MORGAN. Tommy Allan was one of my mates when I lived in Londonderry Road Primrose Hill I was about 14 at that time . I also new the Morgans in Jasmine Road Diddler Morgan was a milk man at that time he had a little galloway and small cart with a large milk can on it , the horse was stabled on the waste ground behind Watsons coal yard and I used to harness it ready to start the milk round we used to go to the farm in portrack lane for the milk every morning , The milk was scooped up into the two cans one a Gill can the other a Pint can which had Handles attached and poured into the Customers Jugs left on the step near the front door , not very Hygenic but there never seemed to be any problems ,

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  25. Hi Peter, Derek moved away from the area in the early 1950s.A number of new people moved into Frederick Street later,the footballers Alan & Sid Monkhouse”s mother was one,Alan played for Newcastle Utd & Sid for Stockton,the Bulmers & Harbishers were others.We moved about 1958 but I am sorry I can”t remember your family,who were your neighbours.Stephen the name of the pub was the Gas Hotel.

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  26. Hi Len – just a bit more info for you regarding families living in Frederick Street in the 50s. I lived at number 10 from 1955. My dad and grandad both worked at the gas works so dad could fall out of bed and almost roll into work.

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  27. Hi to everyone that remembers the real Stockton Station. Does anyone remember the whale that was shown off in the early 60″s, just after the long passageway after the station bridge which went from dundas street to the pub, name unsure. I used to enjoy going over the rickety bridge on a saturday morning and rushing to see the trains leaving the station, I boarded the “Flying Scotsman” on the station and to this day is one of the proudest moments of my life!! . never to this day can I understand why a splendid part of our social history was destroyed.

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  28. I walked over that bridge near the old Gas works every day during my apprenticeship at Head Wrightsons Stockton Forge who had their Fabrication shops on Norton Road opposite Hills Factory. I can still remember the smell of the pigs that used to be housed in the allotments along the black path leading to the Bridge. The bridge was also a good viewing platform for the train spotters, I believe the Flying Scotsman went under this bridge on many occasions. I can also remember as a child forcing my cousin Molly Hunter to stand in the steam as the train went under the bridge, she used to scream her head off. The things you did as a kid.

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      • Chris, I used to live in Airton street about 54 years ago, I have many memories of my father taking up onto that bridge to watch the trains go by. I would be so grateful if you could send me a copy of that photo. I only have one picture of Airton street which you are welcome to but it is not that interesting, just me in a pram with my Sister and Aunt I do however have quite a few of St Cuthberts road and Ropner park if you are interested. Many thanks Mike Quinn

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  29. Hi Derek.The family on the corner of Thompson St.& Fredrick St.was called Allens,the Fowlers(Freddy,Gordon & Ray)lived in Byron St.,next door to Mrs Bulmer who had the newspaper business,the Wilkinsons were Billy”s grandparents.People I remember who lived in Fredrick St.were Bowtells,Bowes,Cuthberts,Abbots,Tweddles,Waites, Taylors & Monaghans.

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  30. Interesting the name Morgan”s cropping up. Some of the Morgan family lived in Jasmine Rd. They kept most groceries that one would run out of, operating from their kitchen, so if you ran out of flour, sugar etc on a Sunday, go to Morgans. I remember Harold Morgan, he was round about my age.

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  31. I too remember using the rickety old bridge that ran from the Dundas Street over the Railway line and came out near a pub, was it the Gas Hotel? Used to terrify me when I was little as I thought I was going to fall between the gaps! But great fun belting down there to stand over the old steam trains leaving Stockton Station and get covered in steam and ashes! Whenever I see the opening credits from “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads” I”m reminded of when they pulled that estate down – we played in those derelict and part-demolished buildings for what seemed like weeks! I imagine the bridge is now gone but it was a handy cut through from Primrose Hill Estate to the Norton Road/Bishy Lane. I also remember humping a Suzuki motorbike over it, many a morning with my brother when we worked at Raylor”s Plant Hire in Portrack Lane – good way to avoid the police as he had “L” Plates and couldn”t carry a passenger!

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  32. As a child I lived in Routledge Street (top of picture just off to the left) I remember walking over to Portrack to visit my Gran who lived in Elliot Street there was a path cutting through allotments that twisted behind the school. To the top right of the picture I seem to remember ruins (old housing?) Anyone know what was there ?

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  33. HI LEN & LORRAINE. opposite my mams was a family called FOWLER.and on the corner of BYRON STREET was a grocers called MORGANS.i remember the family names you mention especially BILLY WILKINSON played football for HULL CITY.in FREDERICK ST were the BOWES ,TWEDDLES. LORRAINE,can`t remember your dad, can place your uncle & auntie very well,my mate might put me right when we meet shortly.

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  34. Hi Derek.I cannot remember who lived next door to Roly Hutchinson,but Tunneys was the next house,then Fleethams,Stephensons,McGeary,I can”t remember who lived in the end house,the other side of Garabaldi Street was Madge Vicker”s bakery opposite The Gladstone,next to the pub was Wilkinsons,the Gas Works side of Byron Street was Healds,Obriens & Allens opposite your house.Derek can you put family names to the two that I don”t know.

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  35. HI PAMELA are you the young girl who lived near me,my mam & dad lived in No21 the very end house next to the gas works, i`am sure your lovely mam was called NELLIE ,and our next door neighbours where called HOPE,and the pub over the road was called THE GLAGSTONE.i have just been told about this great site about our history and have lovely memories of my childhood.

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  36. I lived in Thompson Street, we used to have gas lighting. My mother would bake fadgies and pies and the gashouse workers would come and buy them from her. I often pass and walk up Thompson Street today passing the old gasworks and I close my eyes and there I am back in my childhood.

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  37. I remember the Gas Works well. Around 1950 my sister Patricia and I would make the trek from Derby Street with a ramshackle “pram” to buy a load of cinders for the fire in our desperately poor household. We”ve all come a long way.

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