St James Church, Hardwick in the 1960s

s85St. James Church, Hardwick, Stockton, dedicated in 1966, closed at the end of June 2001. Commenced using English Martyrs Roman Catholic Church from 1st July 2001. The 67 foot high cross was lowered into place by a crane and topped for luck with a Guernsey silver threepenny piece.
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33 thoughts on “St James Church, Hardwick in the 1960s

  1. I served on the alter in St James Church during the 1970’s (in the days of Tony Hodgson the Vicar), the proud Grandson of Christopher and Freda Calvert. Christopher was, which has been mentioned the Church Warden for many years and also brewed home made wine for the communion. Freda encouraged and organised the ladies of the church and committee.

    St James was the centre of the community for many, especially the more mature members of the parish (Alice Ferguson to name one) so it’s sad to see it’s demise but will always be remembered by those who experienced the full circle of life through it’s doors.

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  2. The last days of the church have now gone, the cross which arrived in the 1960’s has now left on March 2nd 2011. It was sad to it see go, it was such a landmark for the estate, now what have got left? Just two churches. Is faith leaving our neighbourhoods. I have footage from March 2nd 2011 of crane demolishing the cross.

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  3. Good to see so many names I remember from the 60s. For those who remember John Williams I’m afraid he suffered a severe stroke a few months ago and was severely affected by it. The last I heard was that he was doing rehab.

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  4. There is more infomation on the sculpture attached to the interior picture of the church.
    It was done by Sidney Slade and erected in 1967

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  5. It was Mr Slade who did the sculpture of Jesus on the cross that was erected on the front of the church. I remember my Mum telling me that he did it in his house which at the time was on Hardwick ,I believe somewhere at the top end of the estate near the school but I can’t remember exactly where. I do know that the family left the area shortly afterwards.

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  6. I believe church life flourished in Hardwick as Alan Heaton mentioned during the sixties and was largely due to the outstanding clergy we had. John Williams, Richard Weller and Alan who I remember well, not forgetting the Deacons we had. I agree, it all seems to have disappeared but at least those who experienced the church life and it’s community during that time benefited and used it in their later lives wherever they ended up (me in Colchester).

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  7. I was the curate at St James from 1965-8 who graham Laverick mentions and remember the church being completer and the cross rected. I remembe the Lavericks and various other families mentioned. Church life in Hardwick and Roseworth was flourishing and exciting then – how sad to see how it has changed.

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  8. Eric always finished his working day by going to the Top House (Dobby’s) The Unicorn before wandering off up the Darlington Back Lane and home. As you say, ‘never wore socks.’

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  9. Blimey thats a name from the past – Eric Sauvery. Foreman for J W Henderson builders, served my apprenticeship (bricklayer)with this builder and Eric was foreman on schools at Low Grange Billingham which I worked on. Finished my apprenticeship on these schools in 1960, a right character was Eric, never wore socks even in winter just wore open sandals – brilliant days.

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  10. Hello
    Vivienne are you one of the Calverts that lived in Emmanual St? did you have a sister called Christine? I used to live in Buxton St and remember a family called Calvert who eventually, like us, moved to Hardwick.

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  11. I’m glad that my mother, Freda Calvert, and the other ladies previously mentioned, who were some of the founding members of St.James,are still remembered. My father, Chris Calvert, was church warden along with Ray Raw. Chris died in Dec 1999 and my mum,in memory of him, donated new vestments. Hopefully they’re still being used -wherever the church is now meeting.

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    • I went to school at Hardwick from 1969-1974, with Ray Raw younger son Gordon. I remember that Gordons mam was involved at St. James church. Gordon went into the army when we left school and lost touch. Any news about Gordon would be appreciated.

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      • Hi Paul I am one of his older brothers. Both his brothers joined the Army. Gordon retiring from the Army as a Warrant Officer and now works in Logistics in the West of the Country. I will pass on your greetings. (I live in the South East)

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  12. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the St James community during the sixties and early seventies. After leaving Hardwick in 72 for the Army I regularly came back until my mum (Thel) died in 92. My youngest daughter Jennifer was christened there in 86.

    A few years ago I attended my niece’s (and Freda Calverts Granddaughter) wedding in Barnard Castle – there were lots of familiar faces from St James which included Freda and her oldest daughter who was my Sunday School Teacher, Mrs Peary.

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  13. It was a while back!, in 1971, Watneys doubled the price of Red Barrel in the Red Lion Antwerp, so the lads shifted their allegiance to the Flying Angel, where they served Red Barrel at a much lower price. The chap running the place was an ex curate of St Chads, but I”m afraid the name escapes me.

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  14. I spoke to Keith Woodhouse yesterday at Church and no, Alan Prosser, Keith is not the Keith Woodhouse who set up the Flying Angel Seraman”s Mission in Antwerp.

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  15. Freda Calvert was indeed the mother of Vivienne who also went to Richard Hind. I will ask Keith about the Record Player, I am tempted to phone him up. Paul and I were married at St. James in 1970 by the then vicar Richard Weller. When the church was given an organ, couples who had been married there were asked to “buy” a pipe to help pay for the installation, I wonder if we could get our pipe back, or what happened to the organ, sad to see the church no longer able to function as a building.

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  16. Dorothy – nice to know you still see Keith Woodhouse, I have a cutting from The Clarion (the church newspaper) showing his leaving party at Roseworth Secondary School, he was presented with a record player – ask him if he still has it!!Also have a picture of him in Pacitto”s coffee bar with a group of us. He was a lovely man, very well respected, and he ran the youth club well. I also remember David Goodacre, another curate there. Freda Calvert, one the ladies you mention is, I think, the mother of an old school friend of mine, Vivienne Calvert, who used to go to youth club and also Richard Hind. If Freda is the lady, she died only a few months ago. You also mention David Price, head of St John”s – I attended there until 1957, and he was a really good headmaster, strict, but fair. Beautiful singing voice too, being Welsh! We really should get together and talk over the Stockton Transport and school days. I met Irene McLean in Tesco today and she told me she had read comments about Ronnie Butler, and she used to be his “clippie” for a while. Ask the picturestockton team for my email address.

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  17. My family were one of the first families to attend St James, we used to meet there with others to spend time with David Price (headteacher of St. Johns and later Hardwick Junior School) to make sure everyone knew the various responses to make during services ready for the Church opening. My mother was one of the cleaning group along with Marge Carter, Eva Wilson and Freda Calvert. I used to run the infant Sunday School, we used to meet in the bungalow where the curates used to live Keith Woodhousem, David Goodacre, Derek Jones to name but a few then the Church got its own vicar, John Williams, who married whilst at the Church. My father and oldest brother Robert helped to erect the original garage for John Williams and my brother Denis was the first Server trained by Keith Woodhouse. I remember my sister Diane wouldn”t join the sunday school because I was the teacher, I supposed she had enough of me at home. I am sorry to see of Harry Lavericks death, he was a nice man, as were all his family. Sadly, my oldest brother died four years ago so Denis, Diane and myself no longer have ties to Hardwick, although I still see Keith Woodhouse as he often takes services at the church I attend in Washington where I have lived for 37 years. The curate who left our Church a couple of years ago went to be vicar of St James her name is Jane Bell, what a small world we live in.

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  18. I attended St James church for a number of years in the 1990s before I moved to County Durham. Tony Bell was vicar who, I now realise, talked a lot of sense which I understand more as I have grown in Christ. I was the cross bearer in those days and planted all the bushes and trees around the grounds. I am so sad to see the state it is in today as my children were christened there.

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  19. I remember when the people of St. James” started to use English Martyrs. I was parish priest at the time. It is now sad to hear that English Martyrs will be closing in the near future. I often wonder what is happening in this day and age when churches are threatened with closure like this.

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  20. I was an altar boy there in the 60s along with my twin brother, my elder brother was Cross bearer, my father Harry was church warden , we held his funeral at St James” in June 1990. The Vicars during the 70s were John Williams and Heaton.My sister and her future husband ran the youth club held there in the 60s. Hope this brings back memories.

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  21. I was christened there in 1973, my middle name is James. Its a real shame it has now closed, a very interesting a modern piece of architecture from the 1960s. If we are nor careful we will wipe away the best examples of this period.

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  22. I was a server at St James when it was first dedicated in the 60s. It was closely linked to St Chads at Roseworth where I attended confirmation classes. I can”t remember the name of the vicar, only that he always reminded me of Bert Royal the wrestler!! I remember one communion when as some sort of economy drive, the wafers of bread were replaced by a fadgie, my brother George and myself laughed so much we cried. Very embarrassing, in church.

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  23. I REMEMBER THE VICAR AROUND ABOUT 1980 BEING TONY HODGSON I WAS A KID THEN AND REMEMBER HIM GOING IN THE COFFEE BAR OVER THE ROAD AND HIM SMOKING THE BIGGEST FATTEST CIGAR I HAVE EVER SEEN (WELL IT SEEMED BIG WHEN I WAS ABOUT 12 YEARS OLD)

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  24. The Guernsey silver threepenny piece mentioned, was placed on the cross by the late Eric Sauvary from Norton. He was the site manager for Hendersons the builders,who constructed the church. Eric was a native of Guernsey, hence the gesture.

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