33 thoughts on “Maxwells corner

  1. I have 2 watercolor paintings that were done by a man known as J Watson. He was an amateur artist and his family were, TB Watson & Co,Plumbers of Stockton. One picture is of River Tees at Yarm with McBradley boat house on left and Rudd banks in background. It was painted in 1926. The othet picture is of sheep on roadside at Cleveland Hills from Hutton Rudby. Also Busby Hall in background. It too was painted in 1926.
    I would love any information on the artist if possible. These paintings are original as I bought them at auction many years ago. They are framed by William Dodds of Darlington.

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    • Eoin, it sounds as if your artist was Joseph Watson, the son of T.B Watson who established the plumbing firm. The 1911 census shows 26 year old Joseph living at home with his parents. He was an architect.

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  2. Does anyone know the location of CENTRAL BUILDINGS which I think was where Maxwells is shown on the photograph? My gt grandfather, Thomas Brownless Watson, had a plumbing and electrical engineers business T B WATSON and SON and on their invoices are various addresses for the same place I think : 1894 Bishopton Lane and Laing Street; 1899-1924 Central Buildings, Stockton; 1903 Bishopton Lane; 1914-1930 Bishopton Lane and Laing Street. In 1930 my grandfather Henry Carter Watson died and the business, then run by my uncle Ted Watson, moved to Prince Regent Street. Ward’s trade directory 1928 lists T B Watson and Son Ltd, plumbers, Bishopton Lane and Laing Street and Edwin S Maxwell, tailor, 3 and 4 Central Buildings. Who was in 1 and 2 Central Buildings? If you know anything about the business, the premises, or the Watson family,I would be delighted. Do you know the whereabouts of an old tap with T B Watson on it – I’m optimistically hopeful?

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    • Hi. I’ve just bought an old large enamel sign that says T B Watson and Sons Ltd Plumbing Contractors…. This is how I found this comment. Just thought you may be interested !

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    • Yes, you are right. It was all at the later known Maxwells Corner. My grandmother lived first of all at 5, Central Buildings in 1890 and then in 1911, at 3 and 4, Central Buildings, her father, John Peckston, having expanded his business. This was later taken over by Maxwell.

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    • I have two such brass globe taps, with the T.B Watson & Son logo on a marble inlay still in use today in my bathroom in Hartburn…

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  3. Thanks for the information regarding Airton Street, I lived there as a small child but was never sure whereabouts it actually was as I could never find it on any maps.

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  4. Certainly is, Mike! Jim sends his best to you (hope he paid you for your help!). I remember all the cinemas especially The Empire (The Swallow Hotel site). Their loo’s were magnificent (to use an ex Boro Manager’s favourite word!)… big and ornate! The Plaza, well! We young uns would get taken there for a ‘proper’ picture on a night by big sisters/brothers… I didn’t have a big sister or big brother so would borrow someone elses!). The cheap seats were long benches at the front with little leather/plastic squares for each bum!!! Concentrating on the film, suddenly one of the lads would shout ‘rat!!’ and we would all scream and lift our feet up on the bench! Lights would go on and a hunt would begin by the staff. Not sure whether there really was a rat (quite possible down by the riverside) but it prolonged the film and made it a nice long night for us, going home in the proper dark!

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  5. Isn’t cyberspace a small world, on occasions I would help Jim with his paper round. In answer to your question, yes most certainly used to go to the midnight shows both in Stockton and sometimes Redcar. Do you remember when Stockton had seven cinemas? We were were very well served, the Globe, the Essoldo, the Hippodrome, the Odeon, the Plaza [the flea pit], the Empire & lastly Turner’s.

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  6. Yes he certainly would, Mike! I told him earlier about the Moderne and the Avenue comments and he said he was always Hopalong Cassidy!! Will give him your message. Yep, remember the sarnies and tea now you reminded me!
    Did you ever go to the ‘Midnight Pics’?.. I remember going to our first one (can’t remember the pic tho). We were two of the first ones there and asked the usherette where our seat numbers were. She said ‘oh just sit anywhere we won’t get many in.’ So, we picked the best seats and settled in, at the same time passing on the same message to others looking for their seat numbers! It steadily filled up! Lights went out and then chaos! Someone came with tickets for our seats… when the manager was brought we explained what we had been told. He said to stand up, let the other couple have our seats and they would find ours! I remember Jim being masterful (and he was big!)saying ‘You find our seats first and then we will move!’ We kept our seats! So, if anyone out there had to be given their money back and missed the show… sorry, we only did what we wus told!!

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  7. Ray, I married Jim and remember you and your mum and dad very well. Was getting round to asking if you were the same Ray Buck! Last I remember Jim said you were living in Osmotherley. Bob junior went to work abroad after Davey United and then lived in Aberdeen until coming back to Norton. Sadly, he died a few years ago just before my lovely mother in law.

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  8. Irene your husband wouldn’t be Jim Horsburgh by any chance? If so we palled about togethet in the late fifties and travelled to school, Grangefield, together. If it is please pass on my best wishes to him. I also remember the trips to Seaton usually went by train, what a long walk it seemed from the station to the front. As for the Odeon, do you remember when you got cups of tea and sandwiches on the first floor outside the auditorium?

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  9. Irene Horsburgh – Was it Bobby or Jim that you married? My memory is not as good these days, we were good friends with Mrs & Mr (Kitty & Bob) Horsburgh from No 3 Chadburn Rd.
    If memory serves correct Bobby went out of the district and Jim moved to Hylton Grove.

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  10. Mike, I hear tales of the Modern and Avenue cinemas as I married a Norton lad from Chadburn Road! I was telling my brother, Peter, about the site yesterday and he reminded me that occasionally we would go to The Odeon too for children’s Saturday morning shows. Course they were beautiful summers, Mike, lol. Spent a lot of family trips to Seaton, hoping to get the bus which went right through rather than the one where you had to change at The Transporter! The men would see the mums and kids settled with tents and deckchairs and then go off to ‘get the fish n chips’, come back with the fish and chips looking very happy! Then the mums would get the pots of tea from the stand on the beach, we would all eat up (sand n all) and finish off with a game of cricket. The bus trip home was a bit of a downer… all hot, red, sticky and sand everywhere!

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  11. Pat Watson – I remember Mary Quinn she was in my class at school (Mill Lane) and I think she used to sing with a group if my memory serves me right (Red Hot Mama’s)?

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  12. Irene yes me too, being a youngster I mean. I lived in Norton so Saturday’s entertainment was either the Modern or the Avenue cinemas running home being Hopalong Cassidy, or Flash Gordon. Used to swim, alternative weeks, at Billingham and Stockton baths. So Stockton week, as you did, into Pete’s for a penny dip bun, I can almost taste them now! Also playing tig in the cattle pens on warm summer evenings. Were they always beautiful summers then or is it a case of rose tints?

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  13. My mum was born in Stockton on Tees and lived there until her teens. She would have liked to return to see Parliament Street where she lived and Bowesfield Lane where she went to school but sadly these have been demolished.

    Does anyone have any photographs of Parliament Street before it was demolished. I am looking for the area around number 36.

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  14. Hello to all (older?) Stockton folk. Just to say how nice it is to see a picture of the Castle & Anchor, where myself, my brother John, sisters Mary and Margaret were born. The building itself hasn’t altered too much but I notice the upper windows are exactly as they were when we lived there. I remember my dad telling us that during the war none of our windows were blown out but both Hardy’s and Robinson’s(now Debenhams) were. Anyone out there remember the Quinn’s?

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  15. The big building in the top right was a new gaswork’s plant at the top of Richmond Street,the big gasometer in the middle was at the bottom of Oxford Street and the one on the left was in Frederick Street.

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  16. To Mike Renwick: I was a young un around the time of the cattle market in Church Road, site of the Library roughly I think. Remember WALKING from Portrack to the ABC Minors on a Saturday morning and calling for a penny dip bun from Pete’s Snack Bar opposite, before heading home via the Cattle Market and playing in the (empty) bull ring! Stinking to high heaven by the time I got home! Remember The Plaza and the Seamen’s Mission down on the Riverside? The Council ‘Offices’ were just a few prefabs at that time!

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  17. I agree with the sentiments expressed by Bob and Maureen I was brought up in Stockton and last visited in 1994. I felt so upset at the development that had taken place around the High Street I decided to return to London one day early!I understand that it is a lot worse now, whenever I speak with the Virgin Media call centre in Stockton that is what the staff tell me!!!

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  18. The town has completely changed. Even the roads. For the better, that remains to be seen? It was once a great market town with visitors coming in from all areas. It’s now full of Banks, Building Societies, Charity shops and cheap shops. When the Market was down the centre of the High Street you knew where to buy from each stall. It was set out so that the products were together. Now it spread out all over the town and mixed up. In its earlier years I was never away from it. Now I hardly ever visit it.

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  19. This picture is the Stockton that I remember. Whenever I visit the town now I’m always sad to see the changes, that’s life I suppose. I can’t even visit the street where I grew up as it was demolished in the sixties! I feel like a stranger in my home town,are there any parts of the town untouched by so called progress?

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  20. I’d like to add my support to the sentiments express by Linda Henderson and add that as a home page picture this, apart from a view of the town hall, is iconically Stockton. The densely packed terraced housing, behind the High Street, has been replaced with more modern building stock BUT unfortunately more roads! All part of progress I suppose. However, like many of your contributors, I am old enough to remember Stockton as a proper market town when the livestock market was in Church Road. The town has gained some BUT lost a lot with modernisation – even before I left the sense of community had started to fade.

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  21. I remember the Gas Works very well at the bottom of Thompson Street, a girl from my class at Bailey Street Rosalind Hope lived a few doors away from the works.I lived in Oxford Street and used to help my friend Brenda Smiles who lived in Back Dobbin Street when she had to go and buy “cinders” for their fire, the old pram was heavy to push back.
    With regards to Maxwells, the outfitters on Bishopton Lane corner, it always seemed a magical place to me with its dark interior and quirky nooks and crannies, my brother Denis got his uniform for Grangefield from there and years later he and his friend Lionel Danby had saturday jobs at Maxwells whilst still at school.

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  22. It was Stockton Gas Works. Thompson Street one side, Ford Street the other, Frederick Street in front and the railway behind. The large shop which was Maxwell’s is noted on earlier maps as a sail-makers.

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  23. Can someone share their knowledge, and let me know what the industrial looking building in the top right of this picture is, is it something to do with the gas works which was in this area.

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  24. I remember being out of work in 1978 and had to register at the Job Centre which is the building to right of the Globe, which was upstairs. To sign on, you had to go to Bayswater House in Prince Regent”s Street, again up the narrow stairs. The shop below the Job Centre was a wallpaper shop (Levey”s I think)and Jackson”s the Tailor was on the corner, later Madworld.

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  25. This is a lovely picture as it shows the old streets in the background. Hume Street area, where the high rise flats are now. Farrer Street, Airton Street(where I was born and where nearly everyone in the street was related. Allison Street, Langley Street….. I”ll leave the rest for someone else.

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  26. The film that is advertised at the Globe is “Who”s minding the store”. As this film was only released in 1963, the date of the photo might be slightly older than the 1950s date assigned to it.

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