30 thoughts on “Bon Lea Hotel

  1. I went in for a pint once or twice when I worked at Heads. It was my Dads local back in the late 30’s early 40’s when he hung around the 5 Lamps area. I think Fred and Jenny Armstrong were Landlords in the late 60’s early 70’s before going on to the White Swan (Mucky Duck) in Norton.

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  2. My first visit to a pub was the Bon Lea as a fifteen year old apprentice at J D White at the bottom of brewery bank. It would have been just before the Christmas break in 1964.

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  3. I remember a family called Mason living on Mansfield Avenue and also Christine Turner much further up the road. I remember going to Arthur Head school with Marion Tomlinson, Margaret Cameron, Anne Townsend and Susan Porritt. Also Joy Littlefair, Adele Dixon and Pat Thompson.

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  4. My parents were licencees from around 1960 to 1965. Thomas and Doreen Crawford. I remember weekend nights when the music room was jumping and we kids couldn’t sleep. Haha.

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  5. Hello all! I, too, have relatives who were the licencees of the Bon Lea Hotel – but back in the 1880’s. Joseph and Dinah Hedley (nee Moore). They had 7 children in all, but according to the 1881 census, only 3 children were with them. Dinah was my Gt Grandmother, Margaret Moore’s sister. My husband and I are heading to England for a holiday (from NZ) in August, so hope to visit the hotel if it still exists.

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    • Unfortunately Pam, there’s nothing left of Bon Lea Terrace, never mind the hotel, (look north from here – https://goo.gl/maps/Eh6StqAAVKR2 ) sorry 😦
      The opposite side of Mandale Rd. was demolished and deeply excavated (20ft+) to construct the A66 dual carriageway. So there’s very little left of this part of Thornaby, except the Police Station, School & Corporation Institute on George St. and the Town Hall. Hope you enjoy your trip to the area anyway.

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      • Thank you so much, for your comment, Jonathan. As you said, there appears to be nothing left to see, except a spread of asphalt. We did so enjoy our trip to your part of the world anyway, and managed to see lots of historical and beautiful sites. I would have loved to have met up with some of my Hedley or Moore relatives, but not knowing who they were was a problem! However, we did find a headstone of my Gt Grandparents at the Sadberge church cemetery which was just great.
        Regards, Pam

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        • I have just seen this post after looking for info on the Bon Lea Hotel. Don’t know whether you’ll see this, Pam, but licencees Joseph and Dinah Hedley (Moore) were my 2xGreat Grandparents.

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  6. My Grandparents, Bob and Jenny Symmonds, were licensees around (approximately) 1940 to mid 1950’s; they had 3 sons and 1 daughter. One of their sons, Ronnie, married my mum Evelyn . I was born in the Bon Lea. My family emigrated to Australia in 1963.

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    • Hi Ron Symmonds – as we have the same grandparents who ran the Bon lea hotel good day to you cuz, I’m Paul Symmonds, the eldest son of your uncle, John Symmonds (deceased) of hayliing Island.

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      • Hi Paul, have only just seen your post and would like to get in touch. It has been quite sometime since I have had any contact with my dads side of the family

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        • Just seen your post Ron, hope all is well with you, good to hear from you been years, last time we met was at Sunglint, nan and grandads bungalow in st Mary’s road Hayling island just before you went to Australia, I’m 65 now so long long time ago.

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          • Hi Paul I’m Ron’s wife Julia and I have some sad news Ron passed away Nov 2018, I know he was very happy to see your post and it is unfortunate he didn’t get a chance to catch up with you. I have heard so much about your family and Ron’s time living at the Bon Lea. Hope you are keeping well.

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    • Ron just browsing through my tablet and I found it wonderful to hear Bob and Jenny’s name mentioned my greatest landlords and a reminder of my happiest days.
      Nat close and I had some wonderful singing sessions in the back room and reading this brought back happy memories of Gladstone street and the area.
      Anymore you want to know about just let me know take care.

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  7. I passed this hundreds of times, and can never recall it ever being open. I seem to recall it was run by a Bob Tate before, or during the war, who afterwards moved on to managing the National Club, Thornaby, located 200 yards away in Mandale Road, situated on the corner of Reed Street. The Nash Club was Thornaby’s very own “Tappers Corner” (‘Giz a Fag Mate’) with a group of unemployed men always stood outside it.

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  8. My Great Grand Uncle, William Alexander Higgins, a former professional footballer with Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Grimsby Town and others was Licensee of the Bon Lea from 1911 to 1916 (may have been longer).

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  9. I had a school friend who lived in the Bonlea in the sixties. I would like to know the landlords who ran the pub in that decade, and then I maybe able to find her again

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    • Adele – It may have been the Crawfords who were the licencees at the time you mentioned. They had come across from Australia and had a daughter, Linda who attended Kirby Grammar school and was the same age as myself. I, and around five other girls used to have ‘disco’ nights in one of the upstairs rooms and it brings back memories of the music of the day – Del Shannon ‘Runaway’, Bobby Vee ‘Rubber Ball’ and Roy Orbison ‘In Dreams’ to mention a few.

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    • My parents were licencees from around 1960 to 1965. Thomas and Doreen Crawford. I remember weekend nights when the music room was jumping and we kids couldn’t sleep. Haha.

      Were you Adele Dixon? I have so often thought of my old school friends.

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  10. The Bon Lea Hotel was at the junction of Mandale Road and Wilson Street which is on the left of the photo, it was at the top of Brewery Bank opposite the Harewood Arms, well known Wilson Street residents were the Ambrosie brothers and Freddie (Barney) Iceton.

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  11. Whereabouts in Thornaby is this pub? I remember the name well, but I cant place it.
    On a separate note – doesn’t the dog to the right just “make” the picture!!

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    • Our family’s local also Neil, although I’m not sure any of us ever went in there – other than my Friday night disco nights mentioned previously. We lived on the third block up, in Mansfield avenue, next door but one to Henry’s grocery shop.
      I remember our family being invited to yours one Hogmanay – my dad having moved down south from Scotland on marriage and, thereby having something in common with your family. I remember enjoying the evening as a child and New Year’s Eve is not the same nowadays

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