27 thoughts on “Portrack Lane c1970s

  1. My Gran and Grandad lived in the ground floor flat in Fenny Street the main entrance was in Frederick Street believe the building was 4 storeys high

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  2. Can anyone tell me if there was ever a florence street in portrack? it was in stockton somewhere.. my great grandparents had the butchers at 5 florence street stockton. I cant find any pics or reference to it whatsoever? can anyone help me?

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    • Hayley, There was a Florence Street that ran between Garbutt Street and Major Street, quite close to where St. Mary’s Close, Princess Aveneue and Paxton Close are today, they are in the Victoria Estate (between Norton Road, Maritime Road Splash) . A small bit of Garbutt Street and Major Street still exist off Norton Road, but Florence Street was more towards the Portrack end.

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    • Florence Street was not in Portrack, it was one of the streets that ran off Garbutt Street. My eldest sister married in 1948 and with my brother-in-law, eventually after living with my gran in Portrack they moved into one large room at 1, Florence Street in 1949. The building had a number of rooms let out to tenants during those years, most would later move to new council house estates being built around Stockton at that time, Roseworth being one example. 1 Florence Street was known in the area as “The Billy”, back then I did not know why. However I now know the building was once a public house known as the King Billy, it would be interesting to know if anybody else knew of this pub. It was a quite a scary building because there was no lighting on the staircase to the rooms, it was a matter of feeling your way around the walls in total darkness until you reached the room you were visiting, no health & safety laws in those days. Charlie Tennant, the builder, had bought the property and let out the rooms also turning the ground floor of the building into a showroom for selling fireplaces. They sold very well at that time because tenants in the terraced houses were having the old black stoves removed, replacing them with the more modern fireplace.

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      • There was a similar building round the Gashouse John, it was called the Westbourne on the corner of Frederick Street and Fenny Street. I suspect it was formly a public house.

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        • You’re right the Westbourne was on the corner Frederick St. and Fenny St. it was three stories high my grandma lived in the downstairs flat which was in Fenny St. which had its own entrance – entrance to the flats was in Frederick St.

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    • There was no Florence Street in Portrack, but there was one in the neighbouring Bath Lane district, on the other side of the North Shore Branch line. The Bath Lane district existed until about 1957 when it began to be demolished. It covered a triangular area, delimited by Church Road, Norton Road and the North Shore Branch Line. It is now covered in flats and hardly any of the original road system remains.

      Florence Street was one of a number of streets which ran between Garbutt Street and Major Street, which cut through the Bath Lane area, each coming off Norton Road. Garbutt Street was actually a narrow main road and used to take the 1 and IA buses which came from the town, along Norton Road, then turning right, down Garbutt Street, and at the end of the street, going across the railway crossing into Portrack Lane, past the Cricketers pub.

      Although the housing in Portrack was not brilliant, I always thought that the houses in the Bath Lane area were worse. The streets seemed to be narrower, the houses looked dirtier, and there wasn’t anywhere for children to play. Portrack had its “Common”, now covered by the Bus Depot, and had quite a lot of other open spaces.

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  3. The 1932 aerial shot in the “Britain from Above” series seems to confirm that these dwellings were part of Villa Farm, which would be, as Bob Irwin says,on the Portrack side of the Asda roundabout. The same picture shows a group of farm buildings, which would have been on the far side of the roundabout, which were called Portrack Grange. There were a number of farms, east and northeast of Portrack, besides Holme House farm

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  4. I believe the bungalow belonged to a family called Bainbridges, also had a farm behind the dwelling. I also believed they owed the car showroom opposite the Mallable Club on Norton Road

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    • Behind these houses Bainbridge had a scrap yard. I remember once travelling back from London and my wind screen washer motor packed up on me. I got a replacement motor off one of the scrapped cars in the field.

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  5. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember buildings like these with a small car showroom were on the left hand side of Portrack Lane just before you get to where the roundabout is to go to Asda. If this is the case, it must be at least 1982 as that was when I started at Dickens, and so used to pass them. Also, the Ford Escort has a W registration which was from 1st August 1980 to 31st July 1981.

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    • Steve, you could be right, various maps show a terrace of 4 houses, three of them narrow with a wider one on the right, it’s shown as Villa Farm. If that is the right spot then the photo is taken from the driveway that leads to the electrical substation that is still on the other side of Portrack Lane. If only we could read the bus stop or see the number of the bus just leaving the shot on the left.

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  6. The Reg (KDC 371W) on the car means it’s after 1981. I suspect the houses are just west (Stockton side) of the bridge that used to cross the railway line. That would mean the roundabout under construction would be the one that now near Asda. The one goes toward the Prison,

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    • Hi l lived at no 3 the villas as did my brother Colin Hutchinson. The houses were opposite the malleable works and next to that was what was called Stony Road, this is now access to the trading estate which runs to the rear of Asda. Behind our house was the British crane hire and to the left was Bainbridges bungalow and a garage called cock of the north with a scrapyard to the rear. I spent many a time looking for treasure in that yard… this would now be the roundabout which takes you left to Holme House Prison and right towards Asda. We lived there till I was about 11 years old so about 1974/75 we moved as it was a forced sale due to the construction of the roundabout and other developments. We had a lot of power cuts then and it was a very dark lane to live on, especially to a child as it was quite scary… but other than that it was a nice peaceful place to live and a very happy home. I have wonderful memories.

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