39 thoughts on “Members of Head Wrightsons Cricket Club

  1. I used to sit on those steps and watch my dad umpire the cricket matches covered in cricket jumpers. I once saw a car windscreen shatter as the cricket ball hit it, it was pretty cool. I might have been 8 or 9 years old.

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  2. I went through Heads apprentice school from 1955-56, we reached the cricket final that year, but were beaten. We had Terry McCabe playing for us, Thornaby fast bowler it was played at Thornaby Cricket ground went on to Stockton forge. I remember all those inter-departmentals football-darts bowls etc. Great times

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  3. This is Decca Carr! Just seen this. It’s brilliant to see people in this era as I have lived away from the North East since 1978 in Manchester and now live in Cumbria. I had great memories of this time from people from the cricket and football teams.

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      • Len, great to here from you, I hope you are fit and well. If I remember right you were a talented football referee at that time, I bet you enjoy watching the Premier league like I do, unfortunately the Boro aren’t going make it this year…
        If you have any info about our former work colleagues George Watson, Dave Randell, Ken Dawson and others do let us know, I do however keep in touch with George and Stella Noddings. Best regards, Dereck Carr.

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  4. I played in the inter-departmental game when Harry Soppit was hit with the ball. We were the Machine Shop B team, a rag tag bunch (Gordon Grant, Dave Pitt, Tommy Proctor Graham Morgan et al)not good enough to make it into the A team (possibly the team in the photo?)and we played a side from Yarm offices. As well as the incident with Harry, my over-riding memory is of a rather pompous individual who captained the Yarm team as though it was an Ashes deciding test match. We batted first and, needless to say, were soon scuttled out for a rather low score. Now it was their turn to bat and their captain, Mr Pompous, comes strolling to the crease, checks the field placings, flattens out a few bumps, turns up his shirt collar, just like he has seen the professionals do, he faces his first ball. HOWZAT!!! out first ball. In a normal game he would have walked back to the pavillion to the sound of polite applause and encouraging comments, unfortunately all this individual would have heard would have been the uncontrollable laughter from around the ground. Maybe ‘not cricket old chap’ but very funny.

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  5. I think this is the year Harry Soppit was due to present the trophy, Harry was sat watching the game from the pavillion stand when batsman George Watson hit the ball towards the pavillion boundary, it bounced just inside the boundary & hit Harry Soppit in the head.

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  6. There was a Whitmarsh who drove the mobile crane (which ran on the rail lines). He worked for the Paint and Despatch Dept. Do you think he would be related to Steve Whitmarsh? If so I should think he would be his Grandfather.

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  7. Steve Whitmarsh in this photo along with his sister Pat attended Newham Grange School, their parents Susan & James ‘Kit’ Whitmarsh have just recently celebrated their Platinum Wedding. Kit was a process worker in the ICI & was called up to fight in the Second World War in 1940. A sergeant in the Green Howards, he was shipped to North Africa where he fought the Germans & Italians before being captured. Kit was transported across the Mediterranean to Italy & then across land to Germany & to Stalag 4B. He was there for a while then taken to Poland. Kit, now 94, believes the POW camp they were transferred to was near the infamous death camp Auschwitz, after a short stay in Poland, Kit was moved back to Stalag 4B where he was eventual liberated.

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  8. Mike Round on the left of the back-row went to work in Africa, then returned & worked at Harkers Engineering in Church Road,Stockton till he retired.

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  9. hi len. i can remember marty wilde in digs in dundee ave he stayed with mr&mrs potts. one afternoon they was an old banger back firing outside our house it was broke down my mother said who are those scruffy sods in that car guess who it was yes marty wild a load of kids give them a push down the bank to get started

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  10. Len. What I did forget to say about Randy is that he was a Football Referee. Probably that”s how you first knew him? Re. his retirement, I think it was a Care Home he started up in Scotland and not the small Hotel. His wife Cath was a Nurse at what was the old Fever Hosp. on Durham Road. I think that it was her Nursing that gave them the idea of the Care Home.

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    • I knew Randy when I was playing football in my early twenties, He was a goalkeeper & a colleague of his was Frankie Dowle who played full back for a Stillington team Darchems, Randy used to come for a pint in The Maple.

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  11. Hi Len. Yes I do remember Randy Walton, he lived next door to me. He was very friendly with the owners of the Newspaper shop at Ragworth. Pearson I believe they called them. Randy finished up as an Inspector. Very confident lad. Was the Prosecuting Officer in the Courts for the Police. If you remember the Thorpe Thewles Viaduct being demolished, it was Randy who did the commentating on that day I believe at the finish he retired to Scotland and opened up a B&B or small Hotel. I left the Police House in 1971 when I bought my own house in Norton.

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  12. Kevin I remember your dad Leo & brother Harry from Heads & our days at Ragworth in the late fifties & early sixties,some of the Ragworth lads were Stan Hind,Ray Moore,Cyril Smith,Les Watson & Des Leek.Do you remember when Marty Wilde stayed in Dundee Ave.next to Ray Moores when he appeared at the Hippodrome,he was a down to earth lad,how things have changed.Bob do you remember Randy Walton a great character,a colleague of yours at the Darlington Lane Police Houses.Roy Parkin the guy I referred to came from Billingham & is in his early seventies.

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  13. Kevin Heslop. What a Gentleman, your Dad. As an Apprentice and a Joiner afterwards I learned a lot from your Dad. If he was here today he would laugh at the last time I had a drink with him in the Blytheholme Club. He was on his way there when I met him and I had just finished duty from plain clothes Police. The next thing we were in the Blytheholme until closing. Next we were waiting in the bus queue outside the Club when a Police Car was passing. It stopped and offered us both a lift home. I lived in the Police Houses on Darlington Lane. Your Dads first remark was, “What will the neighbours say when they see me dropped off”. We had many nights out along with another Joiner called Charlie Pickering who went onto Furness Shipyard with your Dad. Nice to hear from you.

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  14. hi len& bob irwin i have been reading the stories about heads i am the son of leo heslop. My family lived very close to your parents house in dover rd len we lived in dumbarton ave .By it brought back some memories when i was younger i used to go and see my dad at work in the joiners shop.Another thing only up to last year along with a few more lads we used to go to the hardwick club every tuesday to have a game of cards guess who with yes ben cross, sadly he passed away .We used to work at the same place (mfi hygena)right up till ben retired i still keep in touch with bens family thanks for cheering us up

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  15. Bob I remember the tall slim fair haired lad from the Joiners Shop who used to zip round on a bike.Jimmy Walsh worked in the Heat Exchange as a fitter,the two I remember in the Machine Shop with ginger hair were Edgar Fellows & Tommy Wilson,two other fitters who were big lads were Dennis(BUSTER)Parkin & Malcolm(NIMMO)Robson.

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  16. Len, I do remember Derek Brocklesby. He would have been in the App. School a year before me and I can remember his efforts to get timber from the Joiners Shop. I also remember Benny Cross. We worked on many maintenancejobs together. Very likeable lad. The 6 footer from Yarm was called Bruce. I saw him in Tesco”s Stockton a couple of years ago but not to speak. Another Fitter there was a lad called Walsh. (Jimmy I think) Ginger hair. They all worked down the side nearest the main office. I was the one who made all the Fitters work benches there. Not forgetting all the “duck boards”. You may not remember me Len I left in 1962. I was the 6-3 skinny as anything Joiner. Worst mistake I ever made leaving Heads, I loved that job.

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  17. The guy front-row 2nd from right is Decca Carr who was the drummer in The Kalvins.Bob you would have known Derek Brocklesby because he was always pestering your gaffer Benny for govvy jobs,he was also the brother-in-law of the late Ray Halliday who was captain of the most successful Head Wrightson”s football team ever,we won 27 trophies from 1967 to 1972 in all competitions,he also was manager of Billingham Town.Bob we only need the six foot chap from Yarm,the only other one I can think of is Howard Hunter.

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  18. Albert. Thanks for the information. The name Bethel was the unusual name I was trying to think of. Leo Heslop who was a Joiner there was his cousin. They were long established members of the Blytheholme Club. He was the chap we had to go to in the Tool Room when we wanted our masonary drills sharpened. My mate Charlie Pickering played football for the Machine Shop and also the Maintenance. Both Departments would rush to get his name on their team sheet with him being so good. Do you remember him? Still keep in touch with him. Just got the Xmas Card from him this week.

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  19. Hi, The Tool Room chargehand (later foreman) referred to was Bethal Dermot who died in his fifties in the early 1960s. Beth enjoyed a pint in the Blytheholme Club. I rememember him recalling the tale of when he was evacuated from Dunkirk he met Sir John Wrightson on the beach who asked “what are you doing here instead of being in the Tool Room!” he later fought in the desert with the Royal Engineers. Ronnie Flounders followed him as charghand and later foreman. Derek Brockesby is fourth left front row. Benny was an electrician. He died earlier this year.

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  20. Len. I don”t think it was Ronnie Flounders. He had an unusual christian name, something like Athol. The lad from Yarm was heavy built and a 6 footer. He was in the App. School at the same time as Charlie Pickering, so today he would be 72ish. I also remember the lad in the photo as Derek Brocklesby. Wasn”t Benny Cross an electrician?

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  21. It was Eddie Burridge”s brother who worked in the offices. I did not know Freddy Marshall”s son. The big lad from Yarm could have been Bob Close who was a squad leader in the Fitting Shop,along with Freddie Goodman,Arthur Jackson & Tommy Betts. Leo Hislop”s cousin who worked in the Toolroom might have been Ronnie Flounders, Albert Roxborough is the man to tell you about any Toolroom personnel.

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  22. You”ve got the old grey matter working Len. As I remember Lul Turley was a good bowls player and his brother Albert who worked in the Bridge Yard and was Centre Forward for Heads. The person called Burridge, did he eventually work in the Bridge Yard Offices and his Father was Charlie Burridge from out of the Paint and Despatch Dept. Re. Freddy Marshall he lived 2 doors up from me in Oakwell Road and was originally from Sunderland. His son Peter,(did you know him?)I believe did part time Professional Wrestling, (Do you know if this is true?). I can also remember Eddie Watson and there was a big lad who lived in Yarm, who was he? Freddie Goodman, although I never even thought of him, I could see him there in my mind. When I worked in the Joiners Shop there was a Joiner called Leo Heslop who was a member of the Blytheholme Club. He had a cousin who worked I believe as a Chargehand in the Toolroom. Would you know his name? Eddie Watson is a retired Hotelier living in the Lake District.

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  23. Bob Irwin.The other fitter was Bill Marchant who played cricket for Head Wrightsons, his father was Charlie who repaired all the pneumatic tools(chipping & riveting guns etc.). I remember Freddie Marshall who worked in Freddie Goodman”s squad along with Rolly(PUNKER)Graham, Lul Turley & Eddie(BUTCH)Burridge to name a few, Freddie was a Wearsider who lived in Oakwell Road, Norton.

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  24. Len Nicholson. I remember Billy Day working there. His other fitter he worked with on the railway flat bottom wagons was a chap called Marchant. His father worked in the Maintenance Dept. Billy Day used to take Bets because his father was a “Bookie.” He also had a brother in law working on Despatch under Mr. Smith who also took bets. When I was in the App School and went for my training in the Machine Shop I was placed with a chap called Fred Marshall. Do you remember him?

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  25. Remember it well. It was an interdepartmental final which we won. Harry A was on holiday and I captained. Good days and good company.

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  26. Sporting characters who worked in the Teasdale machine shop were Billy Day the Middlesbrough F.C.flying right winger,he served his time as a fitter.Alec Brown who was a Football League referee,he wrote the Alec Brown Spotlight in the Sports Gazette every week,later he was on the Boro coaching staff in charge of the youths.Harry Armstrong was a goalkeeper who is in the Guinness Book of Records,while playing for Billingham Synthonia he went a full season without letting a goal in at home Belasis Avenue.

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  27. This picture is the H.W.Machine Shop as Ian H points out. The team back row left to right Mike Round,Kenny Close,Dave Randall,Brian(Ike) Howat, George Outhwaite.front row George Watson,Benny Cross,Albert Roxborough,Derek Brocklesby,Derek Carr,Steve Whitmarsh. This photo was taken on the steps of the pavilion,which is seen being demolished on this website. Other contributors to this website Brian Gray & John O”Neill should know some of these characters.

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    • Len, some names from the past there! I regret to say that the only one I don’t remember is Benny Cross. I wonder where they all are nowadays?

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      • The late Benny Cross was an electrician, Brian, he was a popular chap who always had a happy go lucky attitude and worked on the Scale Cars with Dessi Preece, Duke Kennedy and Tommy Baker.

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      • Yes, Benny Cross was an Electrician at Head-Wrightson Teesdale. I was his apprentice. I worked with him and others (Peter Ford, Peter Moore, Geoff Parkin, Ray Lebonte, Jimmy Davison, Paul Conner) between 1979 and 1983, The Charge-hand was Dessi Preece. Collin Briggs (Foreman), Collin Banner (Manager). I think Benny is the lad holding the cricket bat, centre in the photo. So sad to hear Benny passed away.

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  28. George, This picture looks to me to be of the HW Machine Shop Inter-Departmental team? Quite a formidable team if I remember well, led by Albert Roxborough (Front row, 3rd from left). I recall many pleasant summer evenings up at Teesdale Park playing cricket and bowls – even won a couple of trophies. Good to see some old familiar faces. Ian H

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