17 thoughts on “Stockton Railway Station c1962

  1. Most of my time in the RAEC was in charge of the Education Centre of the Depot Battalion of the then RASC. Based at a former American bomber base between Thetford and Diss the facilities (buildings) being ex-American were very good and my predecesor was a great scrounger. The Depot Battalion’s CO, a half colonel, had his billet in an excellent building adjacent to us and took a great interest.
    We ran basic education courses for soldiers who staffed POW centres in much of East Anglia. They were usually Pioneer Corps men who had the needs Frank Mee writes about. We picked them up in trucks from Thetford station. They were taken aback to be met by smartly dressed RAEC sergeants in full rig of belts etcetera as if parade ground ready!
    What’s more we were all trained teachers who could meet their needs for a couple of weeks.
    They could be better equipped on entering Civvy Street.

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  2. Cliff, you are right about the photo. British locomotives always looked lean and mean. Continental ones were festooned with ugly looking pipes!

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  3. The RAEC were certainly neeeded back then Ken, people comment about todays standards of education, back then many lads had left school from 11 upwards and not many, not going to secondary or grammar schools made it to 14 the leaving age, the result was some could not read or write. I was indeed lucky, first because my parents could afford the uniforms and kit, books etc, and secondly to be in the Engineering class at Richard Hind after the first year. It was an experimental class with at most 18, usually around 14 pupils, which meant we got lots of individual attention. Eggy Plummer, Maths and Technical drawing, took an interest in me after he stopped throwing board rubbers at me and Miss English saw something in me that I did not at the time. Sandy Dobing, Art, told me I would be a wow white washing toilets after he saw my efforts but was amazed at the quality of the technical drawings I produced, well it was all straight lines and arc’s. Mr Dawson, Chemistry, showed us how to conduct experiments most of which would be banned under elf and safety these days -we made some lovely fireworks, and some very big bangs with Carbide. So on leaving at 16 with Mother wanting me to go on to Durham Farming College and me saying I had done farming and it was not in my blood, Engineering was, so after a battle of wills I won. At Brancepeth I found myself writing letters for a couple of lads who could not read or write and then reading the replies, some of those also badly written, one was to a mother and one to a girlfriend, the lad would say a couple of things then tell me to make the rest up, the girl must have thought her rough farm lad had turned into Prince Charming as I let my immagination run free. In the Middle East I had almost a full time job writing letters for the lads although most of the base camps had education facilities. When the Army Certificate of education came into being, you could not be promoted beyond Corporal without it, many promising lads failed and in 1956 Suez the army used the lack of the certificate to demote and send home many SNCO’s who had not seen service since the war. I was by then a SNCO myself so was glad to get my room back in the mess. Some bases such as Bordon had great libraries so I spent a lot of time reading up on History and Physics which all came in handy later. Your Corp’s did a good job Ken although as with all things, people did not appreciate it at the time.

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  4. Although I was too young to be called up for National Service I too spent time billeted at Brancepeth Camp, or Stockley Grove as it was called when I was there. In 1968, in my first year at Durham university the ‘Married Quarters’ section of Brancepeth camp the billets between Brancepeth Village and the road leading to Page Bank were used as student residences and I was allocated what had been the guardhouse. The station at Brancepeth was closed by then and all services ceased in 1968 with the line being lifted not long after. The main camp by 1968 had been razed to the ground with only outline foundations being visible. It was evident that it had been a sizeable military establishment. No doubt during basic training the squaddies did the same as the students did and went swimming in the River Wear at Page bank.

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  5. Frank Mee’s account of the happenings on the square at Brancepeth recalled memories of the hilarity as the primary training platoon I was in, staffed by DLI NCO’s, struggled to march smartly as a Duke’s band played at standard infantry pace with our platoon marching at light infantry pace. An absolute hotch potch. Hilarious was a fairly accurate description. I had travelled to Brancepeth with a fellow Stockton Grammar School pupil by the name of Martin, an excellent swimmer.
    Most of that platoon went on to the Durham’s for 10 weeks’ infantry training. I went to a Staffordshire infantry unit for 10 weeks after which I was posted to Alton Towers. YES! Alton Towers which had been the base of an Officers’ Training unit but then became the base of the Army School of Education. I was already a qualified teacher. The non-educational staff were all Guardsmen and when we drilled we did it to Guards pace. Yes, RAEC doing drill! Began there at the end of the very severe winter in the early months of 1947. Even there was another ex Stockton Grammar School pupil whose route was similar to mine. School to College, qualify for teaching, then to the Army or another service as our call up had been deferred. They wanted to be sure of having a stock of qualified teachers and not be aa post 1918 when the slaughter of the trenches led to a shortage of men teachers.

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  6. Living at 5 Mill Lane Norton which was three to four fields from the main line as it then was from Stockton through Norton Station, Billingham Station to the coast, I too went to sleep to the comforting sound of the trains. A lot of freight ran at night the sound was fairly constant. Dennis Goldsbrough and myself presented out rail passes at Stockton Staion, the start of a five hour run to start our new lives at Brancepeth, the home of the DLI and as it happened the Duke of Wellington’s. One light infantry, one heavy infantry, with differing marching speeds hence the hilarious happenings when the DLI band came marching on the square playing the DLI quick march, we just picked up the pace, the Wellingtons were all over the place. We could have done the run by bus in one hour, it took us five by train and I do not know how many stations we sat on waiting for the next train. On arrival the pie and pint of tea we got came in very handy as the small stations did not have buffet’s and Mum’s sandwiches vanished fairly quickly. Because we had been Army Cadets since we were thirteen we became squad leaders having to march the squads everywhere at the double, you did nothing at walking pace in Brancepeth. I too found the silence after lights out eerie, I had to put them out dead on 22:30 hours and believe it when I say we were well ready for sleep by then having started the day with a three mile run at six each morning, then never stopped running all day. On the first Monday we were told a Blood Donor group were coming on the Thursday and all those who donated got a 48 hour pass for the weekend so I became a blood donor for many years. Taking our cases full of civilian clothes home on the bus this time I never ever wore those clothes again. We were not allowed to walk out in anything but uniform and that was so for quite a few years plus the fact I put on a stone in muscle and could not get into them. Sleeping in my old bed the trains woke me up and that was after Saturday night at the Palais and a few pints plus walking to Billingham and back after taking a girl home from the dance. Over the years I travelled by bus, train, boat and plane at the army’s expense, my mate in the Navy said I had more sea miles in than he had. The train was always my favourite way to travel, my wife and I did from here to Austria by train and back then Italy and loved every minute, of course by then we could afford first class – a bit different from troop train travel.

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  7. Although I didn’t live close enough to hear the trains at Stockton Station, I had the same experience as Frank Bowron when I first arrived at my army training camp in Hampshire.
    In Stockton (Portrack) we had the noises from the rolling mill at the Mallable works to contend with, especially when they had a night shift working. Apparently when the magnet crane lifted the sheet of steel onto the rolling mill it sometimes picked up two. The magnet was not sufficient to hold both sheets and consequently the bottom one would fall with a resounding clang. In addition we also had the early morning buses pass the house taking the early shift (6 to 2) down to work, either at the Mallable or further down to ICI. It took me about 3 weeks after arriving in Hampshire to get to sleep properly because, as Frank said, of the silence.

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  8. If Picture Stockton ever staged a competition to find the 10 most iconic images on its website, I suspect that this photo would win by a country mile.

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  9. For me it was the comforting sound of trucks being shunted over by the Stockton engine sheds and at the back of the station. When I left home I was billeted in a barrack block way out in the Buckinghamshire countryside, surrounded by trees. I couldn’t sleep for the silence!

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  10. You’re right on the button, Aline. When I lay in my bed at Ragpath Lane, Roseworth at
    night, I could hear the sound of the goods trains chuffing along. To me, it was a sign
    that the world was turning and that all was right with it.

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  11. I have to be honest about trains, I do not know much about them names and numbers etc ,but the sound of a steam train is one of the most comforting sounds I know ,living a street away from the railway line and near Stockton Station all my childhood it was part of my life, hearing the sound of the train puffing along the line also standing on Stamp street footbridge getting pushed into the smoke and steam from the passing train under the bridge. I must of been filthy when I got home. Sounds of the trains passing by as I was going to sleep at night were comforting to me ,life has changed so much AH !!! MEMORIES

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  12. Most interesting. Both of the Sunday morning Newcastle- King’s Cross trains may well have been through engine – and possibly crew- workings to London.In your photographs 60013 on the 10.35 am should – word used advisedly here – have travelled north on the previous afternoon’s King’s Cross- Niddrie (Edinburgh)4S04 fast freight with a King’s Cross based ‘top link ‘crew. The 11.00 Sundays ex Newcastle, with 60033 of King’s Cross in your photograph, should -that word again- have been a Gateshead allocated locomotive , to return to Tyneside on 4S04 King’s Cross -Niddrie freight on the following day, Monday. Locomotive diagrams were, however, often chopped and changed, particularly during the change over to diesel traction. Both the 10.35 am and the 11.00 am Sunday trains in your photographs went over to diesel haulage very shortly after this. The hard thing to believe is that these scenes are almost fifty years old.

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  13. Anon is correct. The date was 28th January 1962 and I too, saw and photographed 60013 on the earlier train. For the record, No 60033 in this picture was in the charge of Driver Walton of Gateshead MPD. I am not sure where he would have been relieved by another crew -possibly York. Just below the bottom arm calling-on signal, can be seen the large tank for catching drips from the water crane. This tank housed a family of huge goldfish, well known to locals. Can anyone identify any of the people visible in this photograph?

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  14. Sorry to be geekish, but 25/1/62 was a Thursday. I did see 60033 on the diverted 11.00 am Sunday Newcastle to Kings Cross train on 28/1/62. Another A4 60013 Dominion of New Zealand had also passed through heading south about thirty minutes earlier on the 10.35 from Newcastle. 60033 (a London King’s Cross engine) withdrawn for scrapping 29/12/62.

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  15. Original LNER number was 4902 then just after the war it became number 33 in 1946. It then became 60033 in 1948 when British Railways were formed at nationalisation.

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