8 thoughts on “Mandale Road, Thornaby

  1. Until 1950, I lived in the Windmill Inn on the corner of Westbury Street and George Street. Rather like Keith Moore, I too watched the throng passing along Mandale Road coming from Stockton Race Course, quite a few carrying the paraphernalia of ‘bookies clerks’ and heading (presumeably) to Thornaby Station though it is difficult to understand how so many would be able to find room on the platforms.


  2. Thornaby’s first Belisha Beacon is shown in this photograph . These were first introduced into the UK in 1935, when then Transport Minister Leslie Hore-Belisha introduced the practice of marking pedestrian road crossing places with orange beacons on top of striped poles. Motorists were expected to stop for people wishing to cross the road when they came across the new road signs, which quickly became known as Belisha Beacons.

    This type of crossing didn’t develop any further until October 1951, when the Ministry reacted to complaints that the crossings weren’t sufficiently visible by ordering that they should have thick white stripes painted across the road to leave motorists in no doubt, and that they should flash on and off. The road stripes soon give them their new nickname of a ‘Zebra Crossing’. Mass production started in January 1953, and 12 000 new crossings with road stripes were installed in the UK, at a cost of £520.000 pounds. Because of this I would date this photo 1951, or thereabouts.


  3. I lived for 17 years in 1A Barnard Street, Thornaby, a corner house whose bedroom windows overlooked the Five Lamps. At age 13, I was struck by a motor-bike whilst riding a pedal bike in Mandale Road, the collision caused me to be thrown in the air; landing on the pavement outside the Yorkshire Bank doorway shown. An ambulance was called and I was taken to Stockton and Thornaby Hospital to be checked over for minor injuries. Amazingly an incorrect rumour went around Thornaby that I’d been killed outright and, it was surprising, how many people came forward ‘to claim they’d seen my dead body’. Along with many boys I often played on the Five Lamps steps, the favourite game was to jump off the top step in one leap to see who could jump the furthest distance.

    During the summer, on Sunday afternoons at 3.00pm, the Salvation Army band used to arrive from it’s headquarters in Westbury Street, to form a circle near the lamps in order to sing hymns and give short spiritual guidance talks to passers-by. When it was election time, every 4 years, the local candidates would arrive to give their election speeches from the Five Lamps steps. Local Members of Parliament were: 1945, George Chetwynd, Alfred Edwards, Geoffrey Cooper, 1950, George Chetwynd, Hilary Marquand, Geoffrey Cooper, 1955, George Chetwynd, Hilary Marquand, Jocelyn Simon, 1959, George Chetwynd, Hilary Marquand, Jocelyn Simon. The only MP, I can vaguely remember, was Jocelyn Simon, MP, because my father brought him home with him for a drink of tea. Thornaby at that time came under the Middlesbrough West Constituency.


    • Hi Bob, did you by any chance know the Pattison family at 40 Barnard Street? They were there from 1920s to 1960s. My wife is a descendant and is trying to find out more about the family.


  4. Head Wrightsons Sunday League football team when they played away games always met on the corner where the newsagents was and the Saturday teams after they had played came back to the old Nash Club.


  5. When I was young I used to stand on the top step of the five lamps on race day staring in amazement at the traffic going down Mandale Road. I used to wonder where did all this traffic come from. A young boys pastime, how time flies.


  6. Although I do not recognise them personally, the faces of the old gents sat on the bench arnound the Lamps tell many a tale of the area gone by. Am I mistaken in believing that the chap on the bike is in RAF (RFC?) uniform? I had to enlarge the picture to see the details-my eyes are not that good!


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