27 thoughts on “Victoria Bridge, Stockton c1910

  1. Just look at all those horse and carts – 6 of them ? with no cars and people wearing flat caps walking over the Bridge. On the left behind the Bridge Hotel is a tall chimney which has just shown up in another post labelled Thornaby Ironworks 1890s.

    Like

  2. Did the McCoy brothers also form a band called Tramline, who I think had a recording contract with Island Records in the 1960s.

    Like

  3. The Bridge hotel was home to an excellent Blues Club on Friday evenings in 1969-70 (and maybe a little outside these dates). House band was the very good Steel Mill Blues Band from Darlington and they had some good guests including T. S. McPhee of The Groundhogs and Joanne Kelly.

    Like

    • Ah. Memories. The first place I played in public. The club was opened in November 1968 by Gus Smith, Kris Snowdon, and Geoff Atkinson. It ran on Friday nights until the Hotel was knocked down in 1970 and then transferred briefly to a pub in Stockton. Apart from acoustic blues band and individual players, Steel Mill played some excellent electric Chicago style blues. Pete Gilgan on guitar and Neil Hunter on keys (still playing together I think), with Paul Dadoucka (?) on tenor sax, and various drummers and bass players.

      Like

      • There was a jazz club in the Bridge Hotel in the early 1960s. We used it quite a lot. It was started by John McCoy and his brothers. John used to sell the tickets at the door (torn from a raffle ticket book). John of course went on to run several clubs in the Middlesbrough area including the Purple Onion in Albert Road, Kirklevington Country Club etc. He started his own pop group “the Real McCoy”? The McCoys ended up owning the Cleveland Tontine.

        John had many show-business friends to call on. On one memorable occasion he arranged for Stephane Grapelli to come to Kirkleavington. His guest arrived two hours late but gave a stunning performance. I was sat at the end of his violin.

        My regards to John if he turns up.

        Dick Irwin. Lys-Lez-Lannoy, France.

        Ps I popped in to say that I have just found a photo of the Bradford Vaults that I took in 1967. I am trying to find the negative and will send you a copy when I can get a reprint

        Like

      • Paul Deluca on sax and Dave McNamara on bass. One of the best I heard. He was very good. I used to travel across from Darlington with them in the van and then back afterwards.

        Like

  4. A lovely picture of Victoria Bridge and the Bridge Hotel, as Thornaby and Stockton had different hours for public houses we would have a few drinks in the Bridge which closed at ten then dash over to the Stockton side for the last pint, they closed at ten thirty.
    How many remember the first man killed by enemy action on Teesside was Harold Ewles from Stockton killed by the bomb that hit the bridge August 1940.
    The bomb one of a stick that landed on the bridge and in the river behind Stockton High Street causing damage to the bridge and buildings. It fractured gas and water mains under the bridge and the hole was fenced off until well after the war. It dropped on the side centre of picture and near the Bridge hotel. It does say something about the people who built the Victoria Bridge that it took the bomb and yet traffic was not stopped, the buses kept running.

    Like

    • Now there’s a tale I’ve heard a few times, running over the bridge for the last pint! I believe the pubs in Yorkshire closed half an hour earlier than those in Durham. There was a similar thing when a body was found in the river, I can’t remember which, but one county paid more for the body than the other, so which ever side of the river the body was found the finder would take it to the side which paid the most money!

      Like

      • It was the Thornaby side who paid the most at 7/6d to Stockton who paid a miserly 5/-. Jimmy Kelley the Ferryman was the man who used this system to the full.

        Like

      • It all seems so archaic Craig to people living in a time when you can get a drink any time of the day or night, we thought it quite normal.
        We had darts teams in most pubs, the landlord would pay each player a couple of free pints as the games drew an audience who of course drank his beer, as the league heated up you got Landlords offering three pints and another one if you won the game, it got serious as teams were poached.
        I would go with Steve Small, Danny Cosavella ,George Mann and make up the team if the fourth did not turn up, Steve and Danny could hit any mark on the board four times out of five and this was just in the local teams they did not compete in National teams covered with bling nore have the massive stomach to rest the darts on either. They were hard working Boilermakers who sweated it off at a period when hand tools were the norm and computers a dream of the future.
        So if we played in Thornaby it was a run over the bridge when the game ended that would be both teams Thornaby as well and probably time for a last game between the top two players for a pint, it was always for a pint. You would mark the board which was the price of playing then take on all comers for a pint unless like me you usually got knocked off the board quickly.
        Men only pubs like the Sun Inn Stockton were also the norm, women allowed in the back room of a weekend, I cannot see the girls putting up with that now, all gone, just a memory of hard working hard playing times.
        “Oh” and for some reason Thornaby paid more for a body than Stockton why?

        Like

      • Thanks for that Frank, my old man was a boilermaker too, and he liked his arrows, and he never had a belly to rest his darts on either, hard graft that boilermaking.

        Like

  5. I remember going to the Bridge Hotel, the Commercial, the Collingwood and the Bradford Vaults, when were going to these pubs, we used to say we were going ‘below the railway’. The landlady from the Bradford Vaults went to the Flying Dutchman, she was called Ivy Breen, I believe her husband was a fisherman…

    Like

  6. I like the colouring added to this photo. Its the only time I’ve ever seen the Tees looking so blue! There were times of course when it was multi-coloured by the pollution, but mostly it was brown.

    Like

  7. ‘The Dutchman’ was at the end of Mandale Road on the left just before you hit the bridge, going from Thornaby to Stockton. I watched the 1970 World Cup final there, Brazil v Italy, drinking my first bottle of Double Maxim, needless to say I was under age.

    Like

    • It was opposite the town hall, on the corner. I’ve been searching for photos of the exterior – the only one I can find was when it was still called The Station (it changed name sometime in the 1950s), If anyone has any pictures of the outside please share.

      Like

  8. As a child I always wondered what those bay windows were in the remaining old fascia of that building at the end of the bridge ! Now I know ! It”s fantastic to see it as it was.

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.