Tilery Rec

This photograph and associated comment were provided by Stan Hilton: Theres been quite a lot of reference recently to the Tilery Rec, or to give it its correct name the North End Recreation Ground, so I thought I would send in this picture which shows the slides and roundabout which were the focus of many of my days during the 1940s. In the background between the two slides are farm buildings which I think were Holme Farm, where the prison now stands. Bob Harbron can probably give us the answer. Through the trees to the left is Swainby road and out of shot on the right was the fives wall. It looks like I scrubbed up pretty good, socks pulled up, clean collar and even a tie, very much out of character, must have took some nagging to keep me like this. I think the photograph was taken during my aunts wedding reception in St. James Hall on the corner of Talbot Street and Norton Road in 1947. My early memories of living in Tilery are mainly good ones, although things must have been difficult for my mother and grandparents with rationing and shortages. While my mother went to work as a plumbers mate in the ICI I went to the nursery which was also adjacent to the rec between St. James Hall and the house of Mr Thomas, the rec superintendent, known to my mother as the law, a man to be respected.

87 thoughts on “Tilery Rec

  1. I lived in Swainby Road with my mother and two younger brothers. We use to cross the beck onto the park and roller skating rink in late 60s early 70s. I use to save my pocket money to go. We moved to Norton in 1972.

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  2. My Dad – Trevor McKenna (1933-1982), son of Joe and Elsie McKenna – lived in Tow Law with his extended family in the 1930s, then they lived in various parts of Stockton, Roseworth and Norton. My Dad was a chemical engineer (water treatment consultant) and worked in the labs at Powergas for a long time, before we moved to Lancashire in the mid seventies, then we came back to Teesside in the early ’80s.He was great friends with John Crisp and Barney (forgotten surname, sorry!), and used to go to Redcar Jazzclub at the Coatham Arms in the ’50s/’60s. My Dad played the cornet and trumpet in a band called the Phoenix Jazzmen, and my Mum – Margaret Harrison – often used to join in on the washboard! He was also on radar in the RAF in the ’40s/50s, I believe. I would love to know if anyone knew him, or has any photos or stories about him. Thank you!

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    • Hi Yes there was, I have very fond memories of going to the Roller Rink on a Saturday, I would call to visit my Aunt Lizzie Sharp who lived on the main road heading to the rink, and then go skating, I loved the days spent there, and shall always treasure them, and there was a park next to them, also good fun

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  3. Tilery Rec. spent many hours playing here as a child as my grandparents Thomas and Louise Proctor lived in I think 44 Tilery Road as did my mother Betty Proctor and her brother Thomas Proctor. My grandfather worked for Head Wrightsons. My grandparents moved from Tilery Road to Windmill Terrace just near the Brown Jug pub now long gone…
    I had happy times in Windmill Terrace as a child in the late fifties,in front of the house was a field were I would collect snails and caterpillars by the jar full. I cannot remember the last time I saw a caterpillar. Bonfire night was great. I still remember going into the back yard to scub coins that I had found in the ashes when the fire had gone out, I was rich, and Guy Fawkes siting outside the dog track, and if the men had a win they would give you all their change and then to the fish shop for one penn’eth of chips and scraps. Happy times.
    I can remember this lady that would come and ask if she could have a lend of grandads spare suit so that she could pawn it till she got paid. Grandad never knew of course. I remember going to the fair when it came to the rec, it was great I loved the freak show and saw my first bearded lady and two headed sheep, I don’t think I slept for a week in case the gypsies came and took me away. Very fond memories. My uncle Eric Musson still lives in Windmill Terrace…. Terry.

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    • Talking about the fairs at Tilery Rec I can remember them quite clearly as I used to go their after visiting my Grand Parents who; lived in Tilery. Tom (Fanny) Lakey the ex Grismsby Town and Stockton AFC footballer, and Grandma Lizzie Lakey who lived close to the REC.. Granddad did not drink but Grandma liked nothing better than being taken down to the local Pub for a pint. I remember at one of these fairs that I witnessed a Flea Circus in one of the tents, and when I describe what the fleas got up people tend not to believe me, such as fencing, pulling chariots etc. Does any one else remember the flea circuses to my validate my memory of such performances by the fleas?

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      • Quite correct as the same fair used to come to the wasteland roughly opposite where the Eaglescliffe pub is. I remember going to see the flea circus in a small tent in the mid 50’s.

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  4. I remember the French’s from Danby Road, Ernie was a good footballer. I remember Mr Crinson teacher at Tilery boys showing me a photo of Ernie and his team mates playing for the school, Mrs French once when I walked past her with our youngest son Mark took one look at him and said to me ” he’s a Casey “. Swainby and Danby Road had the most wonderful people living there over the years, it’s only when you walk past the old road and see it being demolished as the Brown Jug is and you realise nothing stands still. I consider myself very very lucky to have grown up knowing all the people I did over the years. I too remember Tilery rec flooding several times, sometimes it was so flooded we would spend hours swimming there, how none of us came down with some terrible illness only god knows, can any one remember my granny Casey and her sister May McQuade standing guard on the bridge making sure kids got over safely when the beck was really flooded? I think a child was drowned at some time.
    Splodging all day in the beck looking for tiddlers and stickle backs, being scared stiff of blood suckers, also remember for years some swans would paddle up and down the beck and we would gaze for ages at them, also being told the swans will break your arms with thier wings if you get to close, the oil from the pottery railway floating down making beautiful colours, making dams, paddling up and down the beck in old tin tub baths for hours and hours.
    I think I wrote on this site ” who needed computers and game consoles then ” truth to tell if we had those things then we wouldn’t have done all the wonderful things we did as kids growing up, still think we were the lucky one’s.

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    • Hi Derek,
      the Frenches you mention are my full cousins…there was also a John French ,who managed South End football club I believe
      regards
      Derek Oliver

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    • the boy who was drowned was terry wilkinson (the son of the cobbler) who lived up one of the banks off swainby road “can’t remember the name” but the carberrys lived in the same place. he lost his ball in the beck under the bridge and tried to get it back.. i think he was about 10 years old at the time..there was allso a young child drowned before that. the child wasn’t local but was swept down the beck and his body was recovered at the bend just past the end of swainby road when the water went down…had lots of fun on the beck, but it was very dangerous when flood

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  5. When I was in my teens which was late 60s early 70s Crows fair was on the waste ground near St John’s church where Queens Park is now. I remember going night after night and going on over the sticks standing with our backs on the outside railings and loved the dodgems and always they played the boat that I row by Lulu

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  6. I remember the Hugh’s very well, Biddy and husband, the two son’s Jacky and Billy were my dad’s mates, funny thing was Biddy & Billy { husband } were mates of my grandparents Beatrice & Robert Casey, all moved to Swainby and Danby rd together, very nice people, also remember the Jenkins,
    Etty & Joe, also a very nice family.
    All the best Derek

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    • i remember missus hughes very well, she lived approximately ten doors down from the thomases.. i used to do a lot of harvesting with jacky(her son) on thompsons farm.

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    • Yes, I remember her well. I went around with her granddaughter Jean Hughes, we loved going in Biddy’s to play on the piano, Lol.

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    • Yes remember her well her grand daughter is my best friend use to love going in Biddy’s to have a go on her piano oh happy days.

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  7. What little was left of the rec. is now buried under the site of the North Shore Health Academy which is currently in the process of being built.

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  8. i remember my grandad, big jack brown, told me when he drove the trams he crashed into a tobbaconist – the poor woman ran for her life and when she reappeared he asked for 5 woodbines. I dont know if he got them but we all found it funny – good old grandad

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  9. l lived in 54 Headlam st with extended family all about us.my grandad big Jack Brown lived a few doors down from us. Yes l remember the fair,l used to run messages for pocket money to go to the the fair. The best one was Nellie Magucan not sure on spelling my younger brother was named after her sons Kevin and John. Our house burnt down in 1968 we lost everything but everyone rallied round as they did in those days. l have never seen so many people watch our house burn. l remember Brian Maddigan help us cook xmas pudding in fire great with jacket pots ahh memories even a fire cant burn those. The only thing l regret is we lost all our family photos so if anyone has any pics of the Brown family l would love to see what we all looked like in our younger daysthanks

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    • I was born in Swainby Rd no 28. I lived there till I was 11 then moved to Norton. We weren’t there very long and then moved back to Ddanby Rd. My dad still ived there till 6 years ago. He passed away and my younger brother has just moved. I remember all those names. Do you know what year Tilery school was knocked down?

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      • i lived next door to your mam and dad till went in the army in 1956. i knew joe and hetty very well. we lived in the upstairs flat number 24 and granny butler lived in the flat below..sorry to hear about your dad””he was a good bloke

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  10. I wonder if anyone remembers the Huge German WW1 field gun which stood for many years in the Rec. It was a great toy for we kids to play on. Was it removed for scrap during WW2?

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