Stockton High Street

t10690A view of the north end of Stockton High Street from eye level. Is that the Victoria Buildings under construction by the Parish Church? A great view of the Cash Clothing Company with its massive array of clothing hanging on the front. c1890s…

Photograph courtesy of Mrs Denton.

10 thoughts on “Stockton High Street

  1. You are probably right Chris, knowing I had a large picture of that building somewhere and finally finding it only to see it had become Blackets complete with fancy blinds and all, before that it was D. Hill carter and Co.
    Blackets one of the Towns Posh stores and later Warring and Gillow furniture store, those shops appeared to change hands a lot in the 150 years of their existence.
    On a second picture I found and was glad to see my memory has not totally gone there was a good picture starting at Wooddroffe, Masterman, Laesers, the Vane Arms, William Strike then the Black Lion. Someone asked where Strikes shop was and although I could picture it not being sure I did not post.


  2. If you look at the picture in larger form there is the usual box holding the blind above the clothes, it would be out with the pole a quick tug and down it would come.
    Those boxes were on most shops in my young days, they could be pulled down quickly and the side stays locked in position to hold them in windy conditions.
    Think of that shop as the pound shop of its day, cheaper clothing for working people who did not have much disposable cash and behind the town shops were a myriad of streets and alleys where some of the less fortunate lived many to a house or room, they would be the customers.
    The Market had stalls selling everything from a Plough Share at the Farmers stall to a card of buttons and the cottons to sew them on, a lot being clothing stalls of all descriptions and prices often beyond the poorer people of the town.
    In my day we got our School Uniforms at Maxwell’s in my case several as I shot up to six feet, my Parents could afford it, many could not, so we had a couple of places selling look alike but not quite, cheaper.
    The Army and Navy store supplied most of us with working clothes when we left school and they also sold cheap clothing. As to the smoke and dust to us it was normal and consider most houses at the time did not have indoor plumbing there were of course steam laundry’s although more usual the poss tub dolly and mangle.
    Shopping in Town on market day’s was an adventure to us lads, you could get almost anything and some of the penny stalls had weird and wonderful things, all now gone and never to return, shopping to me these days is a necessary drudge nothing exciting about it any more, I feel I have lived too long.


    • Frank; Surprisingly, it seems that the Cash Clothing Co. never invested in a sun/rain awning to their premises. I did feel that the slender upper fascia to their shopfront, was a tad narrow to accommodate either a ‘roller’, or scissor-arm awning mechanism. There is also no evidence of the earlier hanging-frame (for a separate ‘throw over’ canvas tarpaulin) type. This later photograph shows several adjacent premises, all with awnings pulled down. It also shows the completed Victoria Bldgs and the fact that ‘McDonald’s Clothiers’ (on the opp. corner) has now given way to boot and shoe-retailers ‘Stead & Simpson’


    • Thank you for your insight Frank, I really love reading your comments – they are so full of historical information and paint a great picture of life in those days!! So good of you to share your memories and stories with everyone, especially ex-pats like me! xx


      • Thank you Carol, never thought of writing anything down until the BBC wanted me to write some wartime memories for them, being the right age when it started to soak it all in and having transport to get around the area when all the changes were in progress.
        My daughters said they knew nothing of my previous life because we did not talk about it once it finished, get on with the new life, new and peaceful world, some hope of that. I started to write and file stories for them to read when I am gone plus the six years with the BBC as a researcher, unpaid I may say.
        As with all memory at my age you make mistakes, I try to be careful in what I post although fingers often fly ahead of the brain and do have reference books and maps to check with, the odd mistake is quickly picked up on, good it promotes discussion.
        Where in the world are you?


  3. Those racks of jackets and coats hanging from the Cash Clothing Co. shopfront, will have taken some huge effort on the staff’s part in order to hang them in place. However, in the event of a sudden, heavy downpour of rain, a full team-effort must have been well rehearsed, to get them all swiftly back indoors! I wonder why no protective awning is in place, as with the adjacent premises? Bearing in mind the street-dust, industrial and chimney-smoke polluted air, which must have been ever-present around the High St during the late 19thC. would you buy one of those garments?


  4. Wow, frankly amazing picture, hard to believe people walked around dressed like that in a bygone era (I wonder what they would make of the sights of todays High Street – not that they would recognise it!!)


  5. The answer to the question is yes it would be the Victoria Buildings being built, they were erected after the Alms Houses were rebuilt in Dovecot Street in 1895-6 then the old Alms Houses and Dispensary knocked down and the Victoria Building put up.
    The Building opened in 1899 and knocked down in 1960 a life of 61 years which begs the question of what should be saved and what cleared? The Horrific Lindsay House made me turn the eye away and from that time the Town Centre appeared to go downhill in the buildings inflicted on it.
    It had various Offices and Shops in the building and those towers always amazed me as I went past on the School bus every day.
    There were some elegant town houses along the high street in the 1800’s which were eventually knocked down and shops built, should they have been preserved, the shops built elsewhere? People at the time did protest to no avail as voices are heard now saying the Town is being ruined, my thoughts on this you cannot stop progress.
    My generation needed the Town shops in one place close to where we lived, then as transport improved people moved out of Town into suburbs with Parades of shops. With personal transport came out of town shopping and the virtual demise of the High Street as we knew it. My Children and Grandchildren think nothing of heading to Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham and even London to shop plus of course shopping on line.
    The High Street will evolve into a place for people to gather for entertainment, dare we say outdoor Café’s and bars, meeting places for the young upward movers whilst we old codgers will still bemoan the loss of all we once knew.


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