36 thoughts on “Thornaby in the 80s

  1. I use to work at NEEB as a typist which was built between the new shopping centre and the housing estate which was built on the old aerodrome. Is there anyone out there who worked there in the late 1960’s?

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  2. Anyone remember the garage in Eldon Street not the one near the corner of Cobden Street, the one between Cranworth Street and Chelmsford Street.

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  3. Yes I agree that this was not Grant’s garage I used to get my petrol at Grant’s I tend to go along with those who sat it was near Reed Street. I also remember Joe Murphy’s billiard hall being there.

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    • J Round Sons was in Reed Street. I married Colin Round he passed away two years ago aged seventy one, buried at Thornaby Cemetery.

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      • Sorry to hear Colin died, I know him through my wife’s father Jack Russell who had the motor cycle and cycle shop on Mandale Road. Jack also had the garage behind Rounds.

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  4. This car looks like the one I used to have, it was a 1936 ford eight, bought it for £12 from a scrap yard in Portrack. I got it about 1958 and had it about 3 years, a good little car. Jollied all over with John Foster, little Tadgy Hopson (both desceased) and others.

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  5. I don’t remember the street names but i do remember going to this garage to charge my car battery and buy battery acid, and its location was in a side road which was on the same side of the main road as and close to the Bon Lea pub and JT Dove crane yard.

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  6. I’m glad someone has got this right as I thought my memory was going, it didn’t look like the Garage on Thornaby Road at all to me. This couldn’t have been ‘opposite’ the school as Queen Street school was further up Queen Street. I was born in Queen Street east (Nr 5) in 1955.

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  7. I had batteries charged in this garage and was born in a house just 60 yards away from it. Its in Reed Street, Thornaby. There was the Cons Club on the corner of Reed Street at it’s junction with Mandale Road. Opposite this garage was the Billiard Hall formerly a TA drill hall, and facing this garage you had Wilson Street and Gladstone Street. Behind the ‘Billiard Hall’ you had 3 bookmakers stood in a back-alley taking illegal bets, horse betting was banned in those days, I can remember Joe Mallon, Joe Alderslade? and ‘Old Tally’, with ‘Old Tally being the most famous bookie. Almost opposite the Cons Club was ‘Rounds the chemists’, and further up Mandale Road the Thornaby famous doctors practice of Dr McGrath, Galloway and Dr Dannaher. [RIP] [I assume Dr McGraths passed on by now] The Cons Club once had a woman walk in carrying a bed mattress, she threw it on the floor and told her husband that since he spent so much time there ‘he could sleep there’ and stormed out. I was present when the 3 bookies were arguing ‘Who’s turn it was to be arrested by the Police’, when they had selected a volunteer they let the Police Supt know and he duly got raided by them. What was comical about this farce was the bet collector who worked for them collecting bets used to call in to the Police station in George Street each day to collect all the Policemen’s bets, his next call was next door to the fire station then various pubs.

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  8. To J Norman Kidd.

    The Garage in this photograph was not on Thornaby Road. I was born, and brought up just around the corner from the Thornaby Road Garage in the 1950s and 60s. I often went into the Thornaby road garage, and I can tell you that It looked nothing at all like the one in this photograph. Im sorry, but the people that you consulted are badly mistaken if they say it is the garage that was on Thornaby Road!

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  9. The garage in the photo is J Rounds and was in Reed Street, Thornaby. Opposite was an undertakers, and behind it, a company called Coin Vend, the owner had a Rolls Royce, Tillston was on the left, just before Reed Street, on Mandale Road. There is another photo on this site which shows the rear of these premises.

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    • The Coin Vend premises were originally owned by my wife’s grand theatre J.T. Russell, he had a cycle shop, when he died the premises passed to his son J.E. Russell, he also had a Cycle and Motor Cycle Shop at 116 Mandale Road. He was the Villiers Agent.

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  10. To avoid futher confusion as to the actual situation of this garage I have checked with Brian and David Kidd, who lived there in 1947-48.
    It was definitly on the corner of Queens Street and Thornaby Road opposite Queens Street School.

    It may have become Rounds or indeed Grants after 1948 but Kidd’s was in business since 1935 in Thornaby and Alf was the appointed Morris Agent at this garage. No offence is taken or intended but I like my facts correct.

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    • This is Rounds Garage in Reed Street, NOT what was Grants Garage on Thornaby Road. My late father-in-law Jack Russell had the building behind Rounds Garage, his building is clearly seen on the other picture of this garage. My father-in-law also had a Motor Cycle and Cycle shop next door to Harry Tanfield the Undertakers.

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      • After checking my records and memories I agree with Ian Instone that this garage was in Reed Street and not Thornaby Road. My apologies for the mistake, but at least it generated a lot of discussion.

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      • Hi Ian, I agree with you. As a teenager I worked for T. Cowie motorbikes in Stockton. My first motorbike was a James 98 cc. I used to go to Jack Russell for my spares. I got my petrol at Grants Garage. Old Granty asked me to help him repair his old M/ bikes. I helped there after work for a while.

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        • Hi Stuart, sorry I have just seen this, yes I lived at number 84, I remember you, didn’t you have a sister and your mam was a nurse.

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          • Hello Ian Instone,
            Yes have two sisters & mam was a nurse. We moved to Stevenage Close near the Roundel pub in 1966.
            Feel free to drop me a line, Picture Stockton can provide my email address.

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  11. Does anyone remember Sheldon’s garage on Mandale Road, think it was next to Metcalfe’s the butchers but can’t be sure, when did it close?

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    • Joan Garland: I remember this garage well, the Mandale Road entrance was not used, to gain entry you had to walk into the street behind. Shops nearby were Red Label Stores, Lipton’s and Metcalfe’s, who were famous for its pork pies. Mandale Road was Thornaby shopping heart. What no one could foresee was the arrival of supermarkets, with their all-important car space parking outside, Tesco phenomenal growth from an East End, London, market stall changed the whole face of Britain High Streets. “Stack it High, and sell it cheap was here to stay”.

      * Tesco’s with headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, is the third-largest retailer in the world. It is the market leader of groceries in the UK. Founded in 1919, by Mr Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls.The first Tesco shop opened in 1931. His business expanded rapidly, and has diversified into areas such as the retailing of books, clothing, electronics, furniture, toys, petrol, software, financial services, telecoms and internet services.

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  12. This is Rounds garage,in Reed Street. I used to get fuel there, when I worked for Howard Stevens in the late 70’s. One of the mechanics there was called Graham, he had a GSX 750 Suzuki.

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  13. If you browse through this website, you will come across another photo of this garage taken from a different angle, and it states that the garage was in Reed Street. This particular garage was never on Thornaby Road.

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  14. The car belonged to a Chicken Farmer who had some repairs done at the Garage. The owner decided to sell it to us for £45 in 1946. It was covered in grime and the black mudguards had gone dull and still had wartime white paint around the edges. The farmer had bolted on a wooden roof rack for carrying his chickens. My Father and I worked hard to get it back to this shape. Now it would be worth about £4500, £2500 more than my 2001 Rover 75 V6. Crazy world.

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  15. Having looked very closely at this photograph I am now sure this was Alf Kidd’s business. “Mr Mitchlin” the tyre logo is still on the upperwall and I recall the petrol pump on the right was Power Petrol. Alf put these pumps in new with National Benzole a high performance fuel.

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  16. If this photograph was taken at the bottom of Thornaby Bank in the 1980’s it must have been ready for demolition for the new road development and it is buried under the new road system. Alf Kidd, my Uncle, modernised it and made it into his new garage about the year 1937. He moved in from his old garage, more or less opposite, next to a scrapyard. I have forgotten the names of the side roads to be sure of them but Queens Street and Mandle Road seem right. I feel sure this was his and he sold the garage after the war about 1947 and moved to Yarm and opened a Private Hire Taxi business. I visited his garage many times as a little boy. The double doors on the side led into his workshop and during the war were blown off when Queen Street and the property opposite him got a direct hit. This will be recorded in local papers if it is of interest.

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  17. Ahh Grants garage which this is not. As a young school leaver I remember walking into Mr Grants garage on Thornaby Road and asking for a job as a mechanic. Mr Grant took one look at me and told me to start on Monday, which I did. This garage was like no other that any one has ever seen, for a start he not only owned the garage, which was full of old motor bikes in various states of repair, but also owned several properties on Thornaby Road, which were chockablock with with vintage and antique motor cycles – these cycles today would be worth millions. As Mr Grant did not have any qualified mechanics working for him my chances of learning anything was very limited so I did not work for him very long, nor did I follow on in that trade. I do remember his daughter Julie who worked in the front of the shop and she was very knowledgeable about motor bikes, and his wife who owned a shop across the road from the garage. This would be about 1961, so many more stories I could tell about Grants garage.

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  18. The only “old” Garage that I know of that was on Thornaby Road, Grants Garage on the corner of Queen Street and Thornaby Road. This picture looks nothing like it. This Garage does look familiar though, I think it was in one of the side streets off Mandale Road.

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  19. I grew up in Whalley st, a couple of streets away, and remember going to rounds to buy parafin, I`d almost forgotten about this place! Thanks for posting these great pics!

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