View of Haverton Hill Shipyards and ICI from Cowpen Bewley c1969

t14231The two photographs seem to have been taken from either Cowpen Bewley Lane or Cowpen Bewley Road. One clearly shows ICI Billingham, and the other, a skyline view of the shipyard cranes at Haverton Hill.

t14232Does the line of telegraph poles mark a railway line? Perhaps older people have not realised it, but the masses of telegraph wires which used to run along railway lines have virtually disappeared.

Photographs and details courtesy of Fred Starr.


11 thoughts on “View of Haverton Hill Shipyards and ICI from Cowpen Bewley c1969

  1. As regards the top picture, Holme House Prison and South Road would not have existed at the time, although the suggested vicinity of the shot is correct. My guess is that when cycling along the A19, back to Portrack, I climbed up onto the bank beside the road and took the picture of the ICI complex.

    The recent aerial view pictures from Google seem to suggest that the white area, which was being used for dumping, is now partly overgrown.

    I can remember when I was about 12 or 13 working my way across fields from Portrack until getting to a enclosure containing cows. This were kept in place with an electrified wire “fence”.. This would have been on the outskirts of Norton.


  2. Thanks to everyone in elucidating the course of my mystery ride!

    The lower picture shows, very faintly, in the far background, the two chimney stacks of the North Tees Power Station. They are very close to the left of the second set of telegraph poles. Picture Stockton have an enlargement of the skyline in both pictures which show these features more clearly.

    My understanding is that the main use of anhydrite was that on firing in a rotary kiln it would produce sulphur dioxide for the manufacture of sulphuric acid


    • Sorry Fred will be more precise next time.
      Ammonia is made from Nitrogen and Hydrogen combined, Nitrogen coming from the air the Hydrogen from Methane through the Steam Reforming Process compressed and run over a catalyst the end product being NH3 Ammonia in liquid form.
      I should have said Ammonium Nitrate and Sulphate from which you get a massive waste product, once dumped though later made into Plaster Board and Cement. The cement works at Billingham was there only to turn the waste product into something that could be used instead of dumped, Luckily Plaster Board made money.
      As a lad I saw the open pan method in use at the time to make fertilisers. The old WG 1-2-3 Buildings being the process plants and the Fertiliser Silo’s and Packing sheds being a complete complex, the waste shipped out to the Gypsum plant as it then was and the Cement plant.
      In my later years returning to ICI the Steam Reform Plants were established doing away with the 100 Ton Bay and the other old Ammonia Plants though the fertiliser plants and packing still made the compounds.
      Gypsum or as it should be called Calcium Carbonate Waste was dumped in Quarries or out at Sea at one time, my Fathers with his trucks had a regular run to Coatham Stob dumping the excess for years until post war demand for Board meant it was put to good use.
      All that industry in the pictures, we may well ask what happened?


  3. The top picture must be North Tees Power Station, the tall pylon taking the cables over the Tees, there was one each side then they let down to the normal height pylons.
    ICI power station was within the factory and did not have pylons the electricity was carried by cable over the many pipe bridges to the plants. The power plant only had two chimneys where as the one in the picture has many.
    I would not hazard a guess as to where the picture was taken as it would be a guess and not historic fact.


    • The North Tees Power Station would be out of shot to the right in the top photograph . The lines may well go there but the power station itself was beyond this part of ICI .
      The large dark building rising above the houses in New Road was just inside the ICI west gate and was , I think , the Phos plant or possibly Gypsum ? It was tall to accommodate a system of conveyors and chutes .


      • David that was the Plaster Board plant or Gypsum, the conveyors brought the waste product from the Ammonia plants, Anhydrite used to produce the Ammonia. That must be an early picture as a second tower was built for the new production line. The stack visible was a metal stack with an open metal ladder to the top. I had the job of inspecting the stack, climbing the ladder and hitting the stack listening to the noise to tell if there were weak spots or cracks. near the top there was a bang and the ladder swung away from the stack and hung. A lot of shouting from below, stay where you are we will get the fire brigade? I was hanging on with hand and a foot through a rung back to the ground. When they did arrive I was down, seeing the metal ladder supports had quite a gap I shot round onto the back of the ladder although it was swaying in the breeze and zoomed down to the floor on the back of the ladder. When I condemned the stack and ladder the manager asked me why?
        My answer cannot be printed here.


  4. I think the top photo is taken from the bottom of South Road Norton, as it shows New Road Billingham. (The house’s)


  5. The top photograph has been taken from Fleet Bridge Road , now the A19 and somewhere opposite what is now Holme House Prison. The houses to the left are New Road and Imperial Road and to the right are the acetone storage tanks of ICI Billingham. In the foreground may be the remains of the old wood storage area for the then ICI powerstation although it looks more like a dumping ground for waste products? The same site today is used as a tip for Scott Brothers and is built on the site of the ICI Reed Beds which were commissioned in the late 1980’s to reduce waste flowing into Billingahm Beck.
    The bottom photograph is probably Cowpen Lane but needs a bit more studying to be sure!


  6. The first photo looks to me as though it was taken from the old dual carriageway along the section heading toward the Newport Bridge. Below Dovedale road Norton.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.