Last orders at the Rocket

This is one of those posts that was lost when we moved to the new site.

This photograph shows the Rocket Pub on Durham Road shortly before it was demolished. Can anyone tell us the year? Photograph courtesy of Tommy Dickinson.

We have tried to re-create as many of the original comments as possible…

14 thoughts on “Last orders at the Rocket

  1. I remember visiting The Rocket pub as a child with my brother, parents, as it was only a few minutes walk up the road and my dad used to play darts for them. I remember Alan & Linda Jones who were maybe the last couple to manage the pub, as he was a friend of my dads & used to have BBQ’s. Also, we used to walk our dogs up there and sit outside on the benches.


  2. My nana and grandad, Beryl and John Pugh owned this pub from 1980 to 1986 and it was demolished shortly after they left I believe. This was before I was born so can’t speak for what it was like to drink in there but I’ve heard great stories from my Mam, Auntie and Uncles who grew up there and some people who used to drink there too. Some I probably shouldn’t repeat haha, but it sounded like a great place to have a drink on a night out back in it’s day.


  3. I never visited the Rocket but I was told it was ran by an old School mate John Pugh, at some time. I visited the Mile House Pub in summer of 2011 for a meal and it was quite good value and of good homely style food, I also visited the Horse and Horse Jockey many times over the past four summers on my yearly visit to Teesside and also found the food to be of goods quality and at a reasonable price. Another Pub to give good Value I found was the early bird meals at the Ship at Bishopton, The Kings Head near to Bishopton appeared to be very up market but was of excellent quality. I appear to be rambling on to a Restaurant Guide to Teesside Sorry!


  4. Living in Londonderry road I used the Rocket a lot in the 1960’s in my youth. We would meet up in the Rocket and then go on to Tito’s or the Fiesta great days, so have really good memories of the Rocket.


  5. I had taken a photo of the Rocket Pub in 1995 along with loads of pictures of Wellington Street and Dovecot Street around the same time. These are on 35mm colour slides and would love to publish some on this site.
    Martin Spires

    Sorry to hear the Rocket has gone my Husband and I spent many a night in there for 10 shillings planning our future just after we married in 1961 that’s how we ended up here in Lincolnshire. It was a good friendly pub in those days and we managed all night on that 10 bob or 50 pence if you are under a certain age.
    Sheila Hampton (nee Watling)

    The Rocket had a fairly short life for a pub as I believe it only dated from the mid-1950s. Was the name The Rocket a misguided appreciation of history on someone’s part trying to draw attention to Stockton’s railway past in spite of the fact that Stephenson’s Rocket was involved with the Rainhill Trials and the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1829/30 and had nothing to do with the Stockton & Darlington Railway of 1825. Locomotion might have been a more appropriate choice of name.

    The first Landlord to run this Pub transferred from the Red Lion Norton. I can’t think of there surnames at the moment but remember the Landlady was called Mary. I believe the surname began with “G”
    Bob Irwin

    The name of the Landlord is Galloway. First name probably Sid.
    Bob Irwin

    I remember the Rocket with fondness especially in the 1980s when Linda and Alan were the landlords. I used to run the Tuesday night quiz always a good crowd. I moved away from the area in 1990 and was sorry to hear my old local was no more.
    John Fletcher

    Speaking of local pubs another well known landmark has bit the dust at least temporarily with the closure of the Mile House pub – all boarded up on Monday 12th January. Perhaps inevitable but sad when one remembers its hey day in the 1950s when it was often standing room only with people sitting on the grass or the wall outside

    What a shame. Another one bites the dust. Memories. The Mile House. I had my first legal pint in there. Primrose Hill Football Team smoker. Presentation of medals. Pint and a half and I knew that I’d had a drink. Had to walk home to Norton at the end of the night and try to conceal the smell of alcohol from my Mother.
    Bob Irwin

    You made laugh Bob when I read your comments about concealing the smell of alcohol from your Mother. On one Sunday lunchtime, a group of us went to the Moor Hotel to have a last drink with a friend who was reporting for RAF National Service the next Morning. It was a riotous session and I ended up having four pints (far too much for me prior to tackling Sunday lunch under the eagle eyes of my Mother). How I kept sitting upright at the table and giving the appearance of being sober I’ll still never know! I remember eating with my knife and incredibly slowly. Never again!
    Alan Wealleans

    Yes it is sad to see another “famous” pub bite the dust. There were only three pubs on Durham Road that I remember. The Rocket near where I lived The Mile House as the name suggests a mile out of town and the then Horse and Jockey a further mile up Durham Road towards Thorpe Thewles. So two down one to go – I hope not. I suppose that its a sign of the times. I returned to Germany last summer and found the same thing happening and some of my favourite pubs no longer doing business. In Germany the reason is simple – beer has become too expensive. I wonder if that is the same reason in England.
    Ged Hutchinson

    Another pub to bite the dust is the Maple Hotel on Dover Road it has been raised to the ground & a old peoples home is going to be built.

    My last home in Stockton was 79 Durham Road facing the Rocket. I used to love popping over for a pint. Having left the area 15 years ago it pains me when I return to visit seeing all the old pub haunts now either razed to the ground changed & spoiled forever or boarded up I can think of a few I used to use – Turks Head Spread Eagle American Tavern Cons Club Blood tub etc. Only decent pub in Stockton now is still The Sun.


    • In Stephen’s comment above he names, ‘The American Tavern’. I often wonder where that name originated from, the pub having been there long before the ‘fashion’ for USA-inspired bars/restaurants came about in the late 1980’s.


      • I remember The Rocket being built,we lived in 77,Durham Road for many years so it was just across the road from us. I used to hunt rats on the old allotments and pig pens behind the pub using my BSA Airsporter rifle.


      • phonix opposite the american tavern a smashing great pint o two of camerons great servive too always full especially dinnertimes


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