Playing on George Street

t13257This photograph was taken around 1962/63 behind the flats at the bottom of George Street which was just after the National School. It shows me and my cousin Margaret Regent. In the distance you can just make out the flour silo.

Photograph and details courtesy of Tony James.

3 thoughts on “Playing on George Street

  1. What is a Parachute Mine, which demolished the former terrace houses, which these flats were built on? During World War Two the Luftwaffe developed a range of Parachute Mines. These were initially intended to be Sea mines to sink Allied shipping but it was discovered by the Germans that these weapons could also be effective on land based targets as “blast” bombs. There were two sizes of Parachute Mines, the A mine weighing 500kg & the B mine at 1000kg & 8ft 8in long. These were constructed inside an aluminium casing attached to a parachute. They were released from Heinkel bombers and drifted down to ground level by parachute detonating either by contact or by disruption to the magnetic device inside them. When the parachute became entangled in buildings they often failed to explode.

    Parachute bombs let aircraft bomb from a lower altitude, which is more accurate. The enemy aircraft flew slow and low over the target area, the parachute attached to the bombs allowed them to fall slowly to the ground giving the bomber time to get away from the blast below its weapons had created. In residential areas the blast caused was capable of demolishing whole streets. PS: Middlesbrough was the first major British to be bombed during the Second World War. The Luftwaffe attacked the town on 25 May 1940 when a lone bomber dropped 13 bombs in the Dorman Long steel works area of South Bank. Two months after the first bombing Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Teesside to meet the public and to inspect coastal defences.


  2. I can recall the flats being built, before that it was a bomb site that had scored a direct German hit, I heard a number of people died there that night, some say two died, it’s rumoured it was the same clutch of bombs that clobbered Princess Street Electric Sub-station, then George Street, Thornaby, in 1943. www-info: When, after 5 weeks without a raid, the sirens once again announced the coming of the Luftwaffe. This time Thornaby was the target when on 11 March 1943 a Dornier 217 dropped two parachute mines. The first one exploded in Darlington Street at 23.31 hours. The second bomb scored a direct hit on the Princess Street power station near the Five Lamps. This affected production at Head Wrightson Teesdale works for 24 hours and water, gas and telephone services were disrupted. Production was also affected at Kinnell’s Foundry, Allan’s Bonlea Foundry, the Saturn Oxygen Company and John Harpers. W & M Pumphreys’ sugar factory was badly damaged although this did not prevent them from despatching twenty tons of sugar products from the factory by the following afternoon, despite the disruption caused to road and rail traffic in the area which lasted for several days.
    The damage to housing in the area was enormous with five houses in George St / Thornaby Road and the Brittania Hotel being totally obliterated in an instant. In total 541 houses in the area of George Street, Princess Street and Mandale Road were seriously damaged, of which 81 had to be demolished. George Street C of E school was also seriously damaged and would not reopen until April 1944. Three people were killed during this raid and a further 72 people were injured. Air Raid Warded Mrs Miriam Pugh (41) was killed on duty outside of the Britannia Hotel when it took a direct hit. The licensee of the hotel, Mr Devine, and his family of five all escaped unharmed although they had to be rescued from the rubble. Mr Robert Hornsby (76) was buried in the ruins of his home at 23, Thornaby Road and Mr James Lambert (69) of 6, St Peters Road was killed on fire-watch duty at the power station when it was destroyed. This was to be Thornaby’s worst raid of the war with a total of 550 people being made homeless. The writer Bob Wilson was one of the rescued and whose family was rehoused in Barnard Street.


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