Norton Green – 1979 Posted on November 2, 2012 by Picture Stockton Team The Green in Norton 1979 Share this:TweetWhatsAppEmailLike this:Like Loading... Related
The 2nd Norton scouts had a new HQ’s built in the Sandhole which is where the Harry Lane multi story buildings are now situated opposite the St Josephs Church. It was built shortly after the War by Arthur Thompson who had his builders yard in Ragworth Road. It was the first time I had seen breeze blocks used in building work. They were made on site. There was a pug mill next to a big heap of breeze which mixed the materials together. I can’t remember how they then made the blocks but this is what was used. I would say that it was built in the early 50’s. Arthur Thompson was also responsible for building the newer terraced houses in Oakwell Road in which he lived in number 56. He also built the newish terraced houses in Ragworth Road. Behind the Oakwell Road houses he also built the flat roofed bungalows in Oakwell Gardens. When the new scout hut was knocked down for the multi story flats I believe they used the School on the Green again until they amalgamated with the 1st Norton Scouts.
The Green has many memories for us kids brought up during the war years and before, I too was in 2nd Norton troop which by then was meeting in a hut opposite the Catholic Church and later in a loft of one off the houses on the Green. I followed my Dad a Scout during the first war.
POW’s marching down and back to work around the village first Italian then German, us lads marching to church parades as Scouts and then Army Cadets. People crowding onto the green on holidays they would pour off the bus and picnic round the pond and in the show field, ice cream sellers small roundabouts people selling trinkets, it all happened on Norton Green.
The top picture still shows the double doors of Toulson the butchers slaughter house, we would all gather when a bull was to be slaughtered as it was not unusual for them to escape followed by a chase down the high street. The green is shown paved but that did not happen until the 1950’s before that it was paths of muddy gravel, to the left was our cricket pitch with its slopes and bumps, great for us bowlers not so good for the batsmen. The roads were wonderful for roller skating, we seemed to live on skates although all in season.
The old School in the picture was our Sunday school and had many uses during the war years, I remember a couple of children’s parties in there to do with the Church, also some wartime wedding breakfasts provided by the community for young men who would be gone the next week.
Mainly the green was a safe playground for a myriad of children to gather winter and summer, today I often sit there listening to the ghosts of those kids and in my mind recalling the names, it all seems so fresh yet do not ask what I had for tea yesterday.
Every one around the green knew each other we had a mixture of the rich and poor, the characters and the odd rogue although help was freely given where and when needed.
Now as a large car park which I expect to be dug up when they find the people in the houses that will be built on Red house School ground can not get in or out and more people want to park, it will end what is left of the green we still recognise but “hey” it is called progress?
This top picture is of The School on the Green. It has served Norton well,and was where I took my Scouts promise, a qualification of all Scouts. It was the meeting place of 2nd Norton Scouts perhaps not as well known as 1st Norton Group. Perhaps the war had something to do with this as the Scoutmaster was killed in the second World War serving his Country like many others of that time. I have previously mentioned that I was just eleven years old in 1939. I really enjoyed being a Scout. I recall collecting paper and metal items for the” War Effort” with our boggies that we made from old pram wheels and planks of wood. Because I was a new boy, I was in the Peewiit Patrol a junior patrol and never reached the older lads patrols. Therefore many of these senior lads were called up early in the war when casualties were heavy.
I am now eighty four and these old pictures of Teesside, as it was in my time as a boy, mean so much and remind me of life in those happy times, despite the war. The bottom picture shows a general view of the Green in about 1960 judging by the cars and the modern building on the right.