39 thoughts on “Unknown side street – any ideas?

  1. As the ‘Unknown Street’… I think it is old Castlegate (so named before the ugly 60/70’s building which was named after it). The square entry door on the right I think would have been the stage door to the Castle theatre which changed its name to the Empire. Rossi’s Ice cream shop would have been on the left on the High St. The age of the vehicles also confirm this.


  2. This photo is taken outside the Grand Hotel travelling down on the right pass big building which can’t be seen is Silver Street which by the way ran from Stockton High Street (and was full of shops) to the river were the cranes and banana wagons parked up. Carry on to bottom is Bridge Road near Victoria Bridge and over the road was Stockton bus station which was on the corner of Boathouse Lane


  3. Mention of the knicker Bocker Glory Ice treat from Pacito’s reminded me of a visit to Scarborough about five years ago, on one of my UK trips. I went into Pacito’s on the Scarborough front, and asked about the Famous Knicker Bocker Glory of my young days in Stockton. The Lady said they still made them and she would make me one, for I think about five pounds, so wanting to impress my Australian Partner Maureen, I ORDERED TWO AND THE LADY SAID IF THEY WERE NOT AS GOOD AS THE ONES FROM THE PRE WAR STOCKTON SHOP, SHE WOULD REFUND THE PURCHASE PRICE. I WAS TOO EMBARRASSED TO TELL HER THEY WERE NOTHING LIKE THE ONES I REMEMBERED FROM STOCKTON PACITO’S SO I LEFT THE SHOP, VERY DISAPPOINTED.
    Also on a visit to Redcar Pacito’s shop for a cone ice cream once again trying to show my partner the old Pacito’s Ice Cream I was given a soft serve rubbish another disappointment. I learned later that you can order the old style ice cream but you must ask for it otherwise you get the soft serve rubbish. I remember old Mr Pacito wore a very special type of shoe that looked like the body of a whale. I do not know if he suffered from a foot ailment but I was always intrigued by those shoes..


    • Hi David, I think in the other comments we’ve established that this is Silver Street. That’s the Corporation Warehouse on the quayside in the distance, not the old tram/bus depot on Boathouse Lane.


    • Sorry for my late reply. I think you mean Stockton RAIL station i.e. the old ticket office. Stockton does not have a bus station.


  4. Wasn’t the Continental Coffee shop in the arcade of the Empire Picture House over the road from Ross’s? I know there was a large sort of snack bar under the arcade…


  5. I believe, which has been suggested by others including Fred Starrs suggestion that this is at the end of Bishop Street known as Thistle Green. This is the area behind where the current Police Station is situated at the back of Church Road Library, There was a picture house I believe called The Plaza, again also suggested previously, or locally known as the Flea Pit for obvious reasons.
    If you turn right at the bottom of the street in the picture and walk along the road it follows the river and towards the end it came to the bottom of Castle Gate. On the corner of Castle Gate was Thersby’s Electricals, Roy Thersby the son of Mr Thersby senior I believe is still alive and prospering running a computer business. Next to Thersby’s was a locksmiths which was owned by a very nice elderly gentleman who’s name I believe was Albert Cartwright (there’s a lot of believing in this my description, this is because my memory is not what it use to be) where was I, O yes, if you walked up Castle Gate it came out on the High street at the Empire Picture House and the Continental Coffee shop which is now where the Swallow Hotel is and Wilkinson’s store.

    Going back down to Thersby’s, if you continued following the river road up the bank towards Thornaby bridge it came out at the bottom of Wharf Street. At the top of this bank was a scrap yard and in Wharf Street was Henry Moat Builders Merchant and at the top of Wharf Street was Bridge Road and Isaac Robson’s Ironmongers & Engineering supplies. As a fifteen year old young boy I worked in Henry Moat’s and it was there that I met Albert Cartwright Locksmith who was a customer of Moat’s. When a compulsory purchase order was issued to Henry Moat’s to make way for the new road development, I went to work over the road at Isaac Robson’s. Some of the names I refer to such as the Continental Coffee Shop and Albert Cartwright Locksmith may not be correct and I would appreciate any feed back from any one who may have other views.


    • Hi Fred, Nothing wrong with those memories! great to hear some names of the companies and people from the area at that time.

      The picture house on Bishop Street was indeed the Plaza, this picture includes the rear of it on the left, as we look down Silver Street. We are on the corner of Cross Street with Calverts Lane on our right. The Plaza and the other end of Cross Street can be seen here:


      In my youth the Plaza had gone and the “Flea Pit” title had moved on to describe the old Hippodrome, then Classic/Cannon Cinema on the corner of Dovecot Street. It did get a bit run down before it closed, but it was cheap so we still went.

      The Continental Coffee Shop sounds a bit… err.. continental for Stockton. I don’t remember there being many coffee shops around when I was young, apart from Pacittos, and might even of thought it a strange idea. But we seem to of come full circle as they seem more popular today than ever before. Here’s a picture that references it, also known as Rossi’s.


      • Fred, Jonathan, you make me feel so old. School holidays pre-war Mother would take me to Stockton Market, being a dress maker she got her materials from the market mainly and then our secret treat in Rossi’s or the Continental Cafe, she told me they made real coffee and she knew having worked as Cook to the Volkers Austrians, living in Norton High Street, I ate my large ice cream made in house.
        Came the war and Italy joined in with Germany 1940 a crowd wrecked Rossi’s and Pacitto’s while the owners were arrested. They had lived here for years I went to Richard Hind at the same time as one of Pacitto’s girls, it all passed and they came back to running the shops as they always had, would I have been so forgiving?
        The young people of Stockton met on Saturday afternoons in both shops for years my first real date with my future wife being in Pacitto’s back room, Knicker Bocker Glories all round.
        I knew the Quayside very well and the Streets around Fred has it mainly correct.


      • Hi Jonathan, many thanks for you reply. I am pleased you recognised some names of the companies and people which sort of assures me that I am not losing my memory, at least not yet. However, you had me doubting the name I gave to The Continental Coffee Shop until I looked at your link “yarm-lane-stockton-c1950,
        which refers to No 81 High Street as, wait for it, “The Continental Coffee Shop”. It would seem that the name Rossi’s came after The Continental.
        Incidentally, the links you sent are great, I would appreciate any more you may have.


  6. If you had walked from the portrack area to the plaza then turned left at the pub on the corner (the grande I think) then turned first right you would have been at the end of this street, the building on the right looking down the street I believe was an engineering firm that specialised in ship parts propellers etc the white car in front of the morris minor and behind the ford Anglia is in fact an american valiant owned by the then director of that firm I don’t know when this photo was taken but I washed this car many times in 1962/3!


  7. The white vehicle is probably an Austin A35 or A40 van, built using much the same tooling as the car. For its time it had quite a good performance. Like its rival, the Ford 105E van, it had some style, unlike the Morris Minor van conversion.

    Vans and cars built at this time had no real protection against corrosion. After 5 or 6 years they became rot boxes, so very few have survived.

    The picture seems to be part of a set of the quayside, also shown on Picture Stockton, which were stated to be taken in 1965.


    • The white car on the left looks like a van to me. The white car on the right appears to be a Ford Consul Classic, which dates the pic later than 1961 when this model was introduced in a 2 door or 4 door.


  8. The cranes are obviously those on The Stockton Corporation Quay as rebuilt in the 1950’s. I’ve looked at earlier and later maps and can only come up with the building being in the end of Silver Street: I can’t find anywhere else to give the view looking just about east N east onto the quay.


  9. I believe this is part of the road that ran from the bottom of Castlegate (the road that ran down from the high street to the river, between the Empire cinema and Rossis cafe) and Bishop Street and Thistle Green. A very rough road that broke suspensions but got you north of Stockton avoiding high Street congestion.


  10. This is a view down Silver Street from the corner of Cross Street looking down towards the Corporation Warehouse.

    There’s a good view of this area from a different angle here: https://picturestocktonarchive.wordpress.com/2006/02/13/stockton-quayside-2/

    The first building on the left is the rear of the Plaza Cinema. Is the large opening a stage loading bay from when it was the Grand Theatre?

    At some point in the 1950’s the warehouse on the right seems to of been reduced in height from a towering 4-5 storeys down to the 2-3 shown here. Anybody know the name of it or anything about the modification? it must of been a big job. There are a few pictures of it at it’s full height:

    Once this area was cleared to make way for the riverside road it looked like this:


  11. It is the bottom half of Silver Street which ran down from the High Street to the quay and docks. The Plaza Cinema is on the left.

    When I worked at Dorman Long I used to walk from Portrack along Church Road, along the reconstructed Hunters Lane, past the Plaza, and then turning left down to the old quay road, which shared its route with railway lines embedded in the road.

    I then followed the quay road past what were becoming derelict buildings, with only an occasional sight of the river. Then across the marshalling yard near St Johns Crossing, and over the Victoria Bridge and down the slope into the station to get the 8.25 from Thornaby to Grangetown or South Bank.

    I really wish I had had a camera, as almost 100% of what I saw at that time from 1961-66, both in Stockton and on the Dorman Long site has gone forever.


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