Devonshire Street and Yarm Junction

The photograph of the Devonshire Street/Yarm Road junction shows the recently built private flats on the site once occupied by a garage and saleroom. I am told some years ago it was also the site of a sack factory. Does anyone have any more information regarding this?

Photograph and details courtesy of John Robson.

19 thoughts on “Devonshire Street and Yarm Junction

  1. Yes, I remember Billy as we called him, Bullock, the Harrisons, though I didn’t know their first names, but their son John was a friend of mine. and the sack factory. Didn’t know the name of it. It was just ‘the sack factory.’ We used to climb up the pile of sacks and use the top as a sort of poor man’s trampoline, while one of us, meerkat like, kept watch for ‘men!’

    I remember Mr Bullock senior too, and queueing for the sports gazette, and my Hotspur, and my Rover, and oh deep joy of the thundermold, the Eagle.

    We lived at 14 Hartburn Lane, the poshly named Harrow Lodge, and our back gate opened onto the back street, directly opposite the Harrisons’. We used to stand a chair in the middle, over the drain, I expect, and played cricket – my bros, John H and I think Ian Murray. My mam didn’t quite approve of my friendship with Master Harrison, cos he was a Catholic! Can’t remember which the nearest catholic school was. Ian and I went to Trinity, and he lived next to the haunted house in Yarm Road.

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    • Hi John, I recall playing cricket, using the tree in Ropner Park, with you (or your brother?). Your memories of Bullock’s newsagents are spot on.
      Re the local Catholic School, I think that might have been St Cuthberts.

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      • Cliff Thornton,
        Hi, we played an awful lot of cricket against that tree in Ropner.
        We called it the Monkey Pitch. Why? I think you were more my brothers’ generation.
        I remember the games being interrupted whenever a main line train was scheduled,
        and we’d have to rush round to Marlborough Road to ‘get’ it.
        What you can’t see in this photo
        is that just a few houses in on the right, past the shop, is a little cut that leads to our backstreet that runs parallel to Devonshire.
        That backstreet is where we played cricket with the chair for a wicket.
        The main line to London runs across the far end of the street, and we used to sit on the fence there for hours, train spotting, and annoying Mrs Hosepipe who lived in the end house and frequently sprayed us for making too much noise.
        The modern block of flats is sadly totally out of keeping with the rest of that lovely old street
        but then the Sack Factory was certainly no oil painting, as my nana would have said.

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  2. Next to the shop was a family called Blane or Blain Norman and Eileen were the children and the shop nearest the railway on Yarm Road was Eastons a sweet shop in the 1940s.

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  3. I’m Bill Bullock who owned the Newsagent at 99 Yarm Road turning it into an off license retiring in 1985 and selling my other six shops to live in the USA with my Wife of 66 years Alwyn. We are both now a young 87 years old enjoying life in Florida.

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    • Wow another trip down memory lane I used to buy my comics there in early 50’s, and run up to collect the Sports Gazette every Saturday for my dad

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    • Hello Bill, I was just a nipper in the 1950s when I used to queue outside your father’s shop on a Saturday evening waiting for the Sports Gazette to be delivered. Your father always had a wonderful selection of fireworks when it came around to Bonfire Night. In those days, the grocery shop next door to your newsagents was still separate.

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    • Hi Bill Bullock.
      I was born and raised in 34 Devonshire Street. I was one of your paper boys doing a morning round in the mid 70’s. First bit on my bike going down to Hartburn Avenue doing Ropner Avenue and Bromley Road. Then home with my bike and I would collect my dog Timmy who accompanied me back to the shop to collect the papers for DevonshireStreet, Hartburn Lane, Austin and Ellen Avenues. Home for a bacon sandwich before going to Richard Hind school.
      I always remember bothering you for a pay rise. I was on 60p a week. Eventually you made a big fuss of giving me 50% extra to make it 90p a week.
      Like many I used to wait for the sports Gazette every Saturday evening.
      Before that Saturday was the day Dad would go to pay the papers. I recall the big book with the tear out green ? tickets And he would get his quarter of mint imperials. Great times.
      Andy Jennings

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  4. I think the car saleroom and garage was owned by Munkleys who had the petrol station opposite Preston Park.As others have also mentioned the sack factory was there prior to that in the 50.s.Visqueen was further along Yarm Rd occupying the site that had been Metropolitan Vickers engineering works

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  5. I owned the empty shop with attached house on the corner of Devonshire Street, which is now a computer shop. I purchased it in 1990 as an empty shop with the intention of opening it up again but went on to other business interests, when I lived there a garage occupied the site across the road but I remember being told there was a sack factory previously on that site. I sold the property and moved out in 2004.

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    • My grandparents Leo and Mabel Harrison lived in number 20 Devonshire Street. As a child in the 1960s I used to visit the corner shop which was owned / managed by Mrs Dixon. I remember going to buy sweets the day of decimalisation and being devastated not to receive my change in “new money”!

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      • I went to Richard Hind Juniors with Janet Dixon who I think was the daughter of the shop owners. I used to use the shop when I worked in the labs at the iron foundry over the bridge in the late 50’s.

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  6. Thanks for the information regarding the sack factory. I will pass the information on to my brother Brian, he lives directly opposite the present building. I think there was also a car salesroom on the site at one time.

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  7. Devonshire Street is the 1st on the right after the junction with Yarm Rd/Hartburn Avenue on Yarm Road going towards Yarm. There was a sack factory there and I think it was called Bakers. Can be corrected.

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  8. The sack factory they mentioned might be the `visqueen` plant a couple of hundreds of yards down the road (ex ici ), polythene sacks, bags, fertiliser and silage film manufacturers which closed in 2010.

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  9. John, you ask about the sack factory. I remember it there in the 1950s and 60s. Large industrial building with corrugated roofing, it was not very noisy, and did not generate much traffic. I`m not surprised it closed as it never seemed to be very busy.

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