34 thoughts on “Industrial Billingham. 2006

  1. Can anyone help me with this, hopefully Ivan Harrington in particular. My mam is a Harrington, from a family of 8. Her father was Wilfred Harrington who had 2 brothers called Leonard and George Harrington, and 1 sister called Lucy, maybe another sister also but not sure. When my grandfather died, my mams uncle Leonard shows us the area that my grandad ones lived. My grandad was born around about 1924 (ish) – my uncle reminisced of the pigeon tree, living on the farm… My grandads dad was also blind however not sure if born blind or developed in later life. The names which have Been mentions don’t connect , but maybe my grandads relatives? I am intrigued for further information, if anyone can help… 04/03/2012 18:52:49

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    • Hi,
      In response to Stefanie Rushtons comments (which I’ve only just come across) I may be in a position to help. I am the son of Ivan Harrington and have a detailed family tree which contains the part of the family which you mention (although you and your immediate family don’t appear – hence I would be interested to hear further information). Your grandfather Wilfred was one of 5 children (the missing sister was called Mabel). Your grandfather was named after your great grandfather (also called Wilfred) who was himself the son of Alfred Harrington (born 1836). Alfred married twice – and had your great grandfather Wilfred via his first wife and Leonard Harrington via his second wife. He was fairly prolific in fathering children – having 11 in total plus a further step-son. Basically however, your great grandfather (wilfred) was the stepbrother of the Leonard harrington who has been mentioned in this thread (i.e. not the same Leonard as your mums uncle – but a relation..

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  2. I can remember the two ponds well, they were teeming with toads who would show up to mate and spawn in large numbers every year. The pond across the lines was full of newts. I remember Alan Wealleans and Richard Dicks very well I was at Northfield from 72-75 and Stephenson Hall 70 – 72. I also have fond memories of Ann Nicholson the English teacher, we had some very good discussions and she always encouraged self expression. We all used to love to stand on the tin lizzy when a puffer went under it, how amusing it was to get all covered in soot! (come on I was 9yrs old )and who would have thought that ICI would have disappeared so quickly? it has all but killed Billingham! The story of how the train would bring all the Scottish immigrants down to work in the ICI was legendary in our family, I’m not sure if the cattle cars was an exaggeration though? Does anyone have a photo of the Jensen dealership that used to be to the left of the Forum entrance? 72 -76 I think. The very idea of it seems so surreal now. 12/10/2011 22:59:51

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    • Ian Wlkinson, I was Miss Jackson Now Mrs Pauline Orchel , (married Jack Orchel who taught at Stevo for a couple of years) who also taught English at Stephenson Hall 1966 -72 -Northfields for a term) . You may find it interesting to look on Facebook at the group ‘You know you’re from Billingham if ..’. There have been some posts recently about the Jensen dealership etc… You may be disappointed to know that last night (12th April 2014) there was a reunion for people whe were at Northfields School from 1972-79.

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  3. In reply to the comments made about Mr Harrington who lived at Pond House, I am his son Ivan Harrington. I was born at Pond House before WWII. The photo shown is taken from the Tin Lizzie bridge and the grassed area to the right was the end of a huge claypit (used for making bricks) which started at the other side of the ponds at Pond House. Pond House itself was originally the living quarters of the brickyard manager & family. The site was finished as a brickyard before 1900. Old Mr Harrington (my father) moved into Pond House in 1914 with his mother, father and 2 sisters and remained there until his death in the 1960″s. At the time he moved in the place was “out in the country” – the nearest shops were at Billingham Green. As regards the comment about a bomb making the ponds – this is definitely incorrect. I have photos showing the ponds dating from the 1920″s. A bomb did drop in the area during WWII but this was at the far end of the pigeon lofts on the opposite side of the Hartlepool railway line (though it did cause a fair amount of damage to Pond House). Regarding the comments about my father chasing children – he did chase them, but never with a gun – even back in those days this would have been highly illegal !! One of the previous correspondents mentions Owen Harrington, who was my brother. Sadly he died in 1987. Our sister (Mavis Harrington) is still alive but has lived in South Africa for many years. Additionally however a significant number of grandchildren and great grandchildren of old Mr Harrington still live locally, and there is still a lot of information available locally regarding the Pond House site. Does anybody remember the tank traps which were built from Cowpen Bridge to old Billingham Station? They were built in 1940 in anticipation of a German invasion but were filled in again in 1944 – 45. A football ground which was located towards old Billingham Station was knocked down to make way for these traps.

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  4. To Alan Wealleans – 99. Wealleans, Whinnerah 100, Wealleans, Whinnerah. I remember seeing Dennis Neal, Chester Barnes, Linda (if that”s spelled incorrectly forget it!) Bashford and Pauline Piddock. That would have been the match at Thornaby Pavillion. I still have a table tennis bat that belonged to Linda Bashford, it came to me after her father was talking to mine (at ICI Billingham) and the subject of t.t. came up and I gained one of her old bats that had collided with the edge of a table. I remember it was still much better than the one I was using at the time. I also remember being coached by Alan Ransome and Dennis Neal on one occasion possibly at Eston Sports Centre.

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    • Hi this is Linda Bashford (mackay) so that’s were dad went with my bat. Yes I had an awful habit of hitting the table in my temper when I missed. wow after all this time

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  5. I was delighted to read your comments Julian and pleased to be thanked for my efforts. The National Finals I think were held at the N.E.C.in Birmingham. Three teams took part, the Northern,Midlands and Southern champs in a three cornered fight. Stephenson Hall were placed second to a School from East London ( from Plaistow,I think). The year would be around 1969/1970. Our stars of the team at the time were Stephen Holohan and Michael Hare. The School t.t.club were taken to Internationsl t.t. matches,one of which was at the Thornaby Pavilion. England v Rumania. I remember Dennis Neale,a Middlesbrough lad being No 1 at that time. Chester Barnes probably No 2. Give my regards to Mike Mcmahon and ask him if he remembers the galloping horses at Lloret de Mar. I felt like horse whipping him when we got back to the Hotel!!! Sort your spelling out Bowler . there are two n,s in Whinnerah and two l,s in Wealleans. Do 100 lines by tomorrow,I must try harder. Alan

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  6. To Alan Wealeans at last an opportunity to thank you for the many lunch times and evenings you sacrificed coaching the table tennis team I took it all for granted then. I remember you taking it upon yourself to build some full size tables for the school. I got a great deal of enjoyment playing the game for many years after I left school especially during my time as a civvy on several RAF camps. Having failed to inspire either of my two sons to provide me with an “on hand opponent” I have started to coach my daughter. Do you remember Andrew Whinerah? (I hope that”s spelled correctly Andy!) I played against him a lot after leaving school. In fact he challenged me to a match via Friends Reunited only 5 years or so ago but it didn”t materialise (No I didn”t “bottle it” Andy!). I work at the same place as Michael McMahon and he was telling me he and his son have a full size table set up at home and are both very keen players. I”m afraid I can”t definately recall the u13″s reaching The National Finals would you remind me where they were held please? I do recall attending 2 rather larger than normal venues and there was a young well known footballer in the audience of one of them. Could it have been a young up and coming Brian Robson at the then recently opened Thornaby Pavillion perhaps?

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  7. Alan – Julian and I were the resident trainspotters in our year, and you might remember the time we built a model of Ormesby railway station, as part of some school project. Apparently you thought it was “Not a bad likeness lads!” (Julian, or Jake, as he is now known, has a phenomenal memory for these things). And yes, he is still playing table tennis. Peter – Karl now ownes a bicycle shop in Whitby under the name of Dr. Crank. I”d completely forgotten that his mother ran the Silvertones. I last saw Robbo in the Fiesta Club in 1978. I remember him telling me at the time that he was in the Police Force. I also rememember him asking my girlfriend out on a date. Cheek!

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  8. Further to my comments of a week ago,I forgot to tell you of two more staff members who have departed this mortal coil. Ann Nicholson and an old adversary KEN FOSTER died last year. Glad to see the elm “piece of pain” ( give the weapon it”s full name Peter!) is still notorious. You are right about todays youth. They have been ruined by the armchair experts. Not so much about offering me soda water! I can see there is still some of the lively young pup in there in spite of you being a Grandad! a.w.

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  9. one big thing i remember was learning judo in the gym one lunch time myself v jimmy McCourt it was full of teachers watching to see him teach me a lesson and from that day on I learnt all about Respect,I grew up quick after that”it made me think about myself & change the way my life was heading, only a shame the kids today havent had the chance to be taught in school the way we did there wouldnt be the problems they have now (they didnt need asbo orders then just a bit of elm did the trick.)

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  10. Kevin–I remember the name but could not put a face to it! Sorry, because I ran the School table tennis teams I remember Julian Bowler very well. Remember me to him when you see him. He was very keen on the game and practiced a lot. I wonder whether he remembers the U13 team getting to the National Finals. Some feat,even in those days.

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  11. Hi kevin , it must be 20 years since i seen karl wittering he was working in a garage at sedgfield his Mother was the founder of billingham silvertones jaz band back then,and i still see robbo now and again, its funny these days it takes me all the time to remember yesterday but the 1960s seems like only mins away

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  12. Peter, I remember most of thost names, and you sound familiar too. I was good pals with Karl Wittering and Keith Robson, and I”m still in touch with Julian Bowler. I”m sorry to hear Jim McCourt died. He encouraged me to persue a career in Art, advice that I eventually took, and since then, I”ve never looked back.

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  13. Kevin McGowan, your name does sound a bell. few names for if you can remember any, Duncan Barker,David Short,george & Charlie Crosby, Geraldine Cavana ,Ann Bishop, Collin Fenton,and the (late) peter Dixon ,Syd Cornforth,

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  14. Hello once again Alan, yes I did know about those Teachers but never knew Bill Summers had died as I can recall he was a heavy smoker,I can remember once getting caught with a pk of cigs behind the gym was expecting the stick but he relented and made me smoke all them, it put me off them until i was 19, yes I do remember the Elm very well its even got my name wrote on it with all the rest of them, The last time I ever seen jimmy McCourt was at North Shields Fish Quay while we were landing fish ,I got a shock when i seen him but he could hardly walk at that time,only wish id have taken him for a pint, I still see pauline Jackson (english teacher) from time to time she now lives in London she ended up getting married to jack Orchil,she does still do part time teaching and still has a sister living in Billingham who she visits, I will take you for a pint sometime if your ever in Billingham Alan or should I have said Sherry or Sodawater at your age (haha) I love comming on this site seeing the old photo,s of the area ,Im trying to get my sister to part with the old photos that my Mam had of Billingham during the Seccond world war,my Gran used to cook for the Italian Prisoners

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  15. Is that Mr Wealleans, the woodwork teacher, who also taught me in the late 60″s? You probably don”t remember me, as no one else from Stephenson Hall seems to! I left at the end of 1971, just before the school moved to Northfields.

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  16. Good to read your comments Peter. A young fella of your age a Grandad! That makes me ancient. Teachers now deceased include,Mr Summers,Chapman,Mrs Harrison,McCourt. Additionally Mr Coates is quite ill I have ben told. Do you remember a short piece of Elm called “the piece of pain”?

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  17. Yes it is (mr Wealleans) and you have a good Memory as well,think it was Sept 1967 when I attended Stephenson Hall. A lot of years have gone by ,and yes i”m a grandfather 4 times now. But after leaving Stephenson Hall I worked for 28 years in the north sea

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  18. Farm House, its occupant Mr Harringham,was employed by the NER,its situated inbetween Seaton carew line ,and the ICI line.I was pals with his son Owen , who later worked for NER.this is a little before the war,there was a pond on the property, Owen had a boat , his father made it ,it was made out of old car tyres,and had no trouble floating , many a day we spent there. If I could take the liberty of mentioning some of the lads names, may be still one or two old timers left, Billy and Gavin Sherick, George (spuggy)Burton, Mick Laws, Dick Longster, Willie Gordon, Robert Longster. My brother Dennis most of these have gone, but I never forgot their names, antics, games, hard times, but unlimited friendship

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  19. Hazel Stephenson/Brown hiya hazel im pleased someone else saw the other side of mr harrington, I always got a half crown off him at christmas for delivering his papers,I did hear from the local lads he did fire a few shots into the air to scare them off,I think he did it because he was tortured by the kids, but the only thing that scared me was going through the garages at the top of lunedale , it was creepy at 6am on a winters morning,

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  20. Peter Newell, How did you ever deliver newspapers to Mr Harrington without him producing his gun? I remember well the “Farm House” and two ponds which I now believe is a football ground at the end of Lunedale Road. I lived in Stokesley Crescent and when I was growing up I had only ever seen the “farm” as it was known and the pond from the “swings” at the other side of the ICI railway line at the end of Lunedale. I was determined to take a closer look and one day during the summer holiday”s in or around 1958/9. I made some fishing equipment…a fishing net made from a piece of circular wire stuck into the middle of a peice of bamboo from the garden, and some of my mam”s stocking”s sewn around it (I dont think she never found out where her stockings went!) and glass jar with some string tied around the neck to hold my catch. I had no second thoughts but remember as I reached the large steel gate that swung out to cross the ICI line, stories from the young lads in the area that even “if you managed not to trip over and get squashed by a train”! the old fella who lived at the house would come out with a gun. Sure enough as I swung the heavy gate out towards me it made a loud screetch and before I got half way accross the line he was at the other side of the line pointing a gun at me, as I kept walking up to him he was shouting ” get away, get away.” Nothing was going to deter me and when I was almost under his chin I asked in a very sweet little voice “could I please fish in your pond” (I was all of 9 yrs old) I can still remember the look of astonishment on his face and he stuttered… “well I guess so if you dont bring anyone else and stay on the edge where I can see you.” I visited that place over and over again in the holiday”s for a few years in a row, always on my own and feeling very privileged. The “old” (he was probably all of 50!!) chap had a large shed/workshop attached to the house and I remember he never left it all the while I was fishing… alway”s keeping an eye out. I bet at times he would wish that I would ping off home so he could read his newspaper!! I never betrayed his confidence and stayed on the edge of the pond, it was obviously quite deep in the middle which was the main reason he did”nt want to risk having kids around I suspect. There was two ponds, one much smaller, filled with lots of different types of newts, brown, black, crested (like little dinosaurs) The larger pond had all sorts of wildlife, masses of fish, mainly sticklebacks. I was more scared of finding a wriggling dragonfly larvae in my net than the gun which I”d had pointed at me! Who would believe that those ugly things turn into such beautiful creatures? I remember one school holiday two boys who were visiting the farm I seem to remember they were his Nephews? My happiest memories were of my childhood fishing expeditions to that pond. I made a pilgrimage to the site just before leaving to come to Australia in 1978. I hadn”t been for years. The farm had gone and with it the workshop and shed. Both ponds had been filled in, the larger pond still had a tiny bit of water in it filled with garbage and weeds together with a shopping trolley and an old bike. There was no sign of the newt pond. My older siblings Audrey, Pauline, Dorothy, and Hilton told me that the ponds were a result of a large crater from a bomb which dropped during the war, can anyone confirm this? and does anyone else remember the “Farmhouse” and it”s history? I would love to know.

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  21. Harringtons pond is a place I remember well. I”m surprised to see its still there on google earth. I haven”t lived in Billingham for over 20 years now but I used to catch frogs n fish in that pond. I was too young to remember the house but I do remember the foundations and the old newt pond over the railway line.

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  22. Sorry Peter can”t say I ever came across the gentleman you refer to but I have great memories of Charltons Pond. You seem to have had a bit of a hike on your paper round. Mine was easy to get to from Anderson”s paper shop in Roseberry road, just one road, but it was Pentland Avenue probably one of the longest in Billingham or that”s how it seemed at the time. When you mention Lunedale road I remember that being on my route back from school through the pre-fabs onto Station road.

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  23. Looks like its been taken off the top of the old Tin Lizzie bridge. As you have a good memory Stan can you remember old Mr Harrington? He lived in the house beside the pond at the back of Billingham football ground, I used to deliver papers to him when I was a kid, and had to cross the old ICI line at the top of Lundale to get there. I used to deliver for Dents at the station, later became Harry Douglas”s news agents

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  24. It might be “Industrial Billingham” for reference purposes but this is another one of those photographs of a view that probably means very little to most people logging on to this site but for me it brings back memories of my “courting days”. Now there”s a quaint old phrase (or have I made an ageist remark under the new act?). It looks like this picture was taken from the “tin bridge” over the railway line between Billingham Junction Estate and Cowpen Bewley which was my regular route during the late 50″s, early 60″s to and from my then girlfriends now wife of more than 40 years who lived in Warwick Crescent which I think is the row of houses on the left.

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