The Tilery, Bath Lane c1982

t14536This pub was part of the new estate of blocks of flats built on what was the Bath Lane area. It was situated at the bottom of what was Garbutt Street. The photograph dates from around 1982. For some strange reason it was named the Tilery although it is a good distance from the Tilery of my youth. I believe that the pub is closed/demolished.

Garbutt Street was actually a fairly wide main road that ran down from Norton Road to the level crossing over the North Shore Branch Line. It was wide enough for two double decker buses to pass one another, the buses in questions being the No 1 through Portrack to the Transporter at Haverton Hill, and the IA which I think got as far as the Malleable.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

15 thoughts on “The Tilery, Bath Lane c1982

  1. In the 70s I worked for a company called Abbatal, (mostly ex Commodore employees) which was a unit attached to the end of Pickerings wall. On a Friday lunchtime some of us would pop over to the Tilery for a beer and something to eat.


  2. Looking at an old map, the area between Portrack, Stockton & Norton had several brick and tile works/yards, potteries and their associated clay pits. I think the Tilery area was only named so, because it was built around an existing road that led to a tile & brick works, this became Tilery Road. The Tilery Inn was on Garbutt St., but before the streets on the northern side of it were built, this was the site of a brick & tile works. The works was centred around where Ann St. was built, now in the vicinity of St. Mary’s Close, and was large enough to have its own railway siding linked to the North Shore branch. I think it’s fairly safe to assume that this works being so close, just on the opposite side of Garbutt St., must have influenced the naming of the Tilery Inn, rather than its proximity to the area known as Tilery.


  3. In 1953/4 my brother and I went to Tilery Infant School and wondered if anyone had any photo’s of the school or knows any information. It was that long ago I can’t remember where it was, was it on Tilery Road or at the end of St Anns Terrace Portrack? Any information would be appreciated.


  4. Fred, thank you for responding to my post. I regret that I can’t provide any reasoning why the Tilery was so named. Any link with local clay pits, potteries brickworks and tile making would be pure speculation, but a distinct probability?
    Regarding the newness of the brick wall that you refer to in the photograph, this wall was erected, together with a similar one at the other end of the building, when the terraced properties,which shared a party wall with the Tilery, were demolished. As I recall the property attached to this end of the Tilery was the last building on this side of Garbutt Street, it was a clothes shop when we first moved there and subsequently became a sweet shop when it was taken over by the Hollis family, who also had a stall on the market. Next to this property, at right angles to the Tilery, there was a small number of terraced houses whose back yards shared a narrow back alley with the pub. The Watson family lived in one of these houses.
    The clearance of these houses nearly drove my parents out of business as loyal people who had been regular customers were moved away, mostly to the Hardwick estate. During the demolition and building of the Victoria estate my farther took a job as a grinder in the Malleable, working on those very steel pipes that would be taken away on flatbed rail wagons over the Portrack crossing.

    Thank you Anon for the blind pianists Christian name. Unfortunately it still does not prompt my memory of his Surname.

    Also, may I correct an error made in my first post. I named a pub in Garbutt Street as The Red Lion, this of course should have been The Golden Lion.


  5. Hi Fred Starr, Thank you for posting the picture of the Tilery Inn on the Picture Stockton website, it has brought back memories of many good times in my life when my mum and dad were running this pub. My name is Tony Kemp and my parents were Renee and Dickie Kemp, they ran the Tilery Inn between 1953 and 1976. The Tilery was the only building left standing at the bottom end of Garbutt Street following the clearance in the Bath Lane/Major Street area, prior to the building of the Victoria estate, in the 1960s, which I see is under demolition at this present moment in time!
    History of the Tilery’s existence can be traced back to 1861 when a man named John Cole ran it and in the 1880s when a couple named Lionel and Jane Robson were the landlords. A lot of beer has been drunk in there since then, but sadly no more! This was a great working class pub that came alive on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights when the regulars would let their hair down and make their own entertainment in the concert room by blasting out their favourite songs, accompanied by Josh Wilson on the piano and Wilf Wigham on drums. As I recall Josh couldn’t read a note of music? I think he must have been the first person to coin the phrase “you hum it, I’ll play it” and boy, could he!
    After Josh there was a blind pianist who lived in Norton, but, I regret, at the moment I can’t remember his name. Through the week the locals would support some great dart teams. As you say, Garbutt Street was a busy thoroughfare and bus route that took passengers and workers to communities in Portrack, Haverton Hill and Port Clarence as well as to works such as The Malleable, ICI, Davey United and Furness’s Ship Yard.
    Places and people I can recall in those days that where in Garbutt Street are the Grammar School and Chemist on the corner with Norton Road, the Star Inn Pub, the Red Lion Pub, Tommy Pattison was the landlord, Charlie Tennant’s builders yard, Annie Harris’s grocery shop when it was down the bottom end nearer to the railway crossing, Billy Blackwell’s butchers shop, Goode’s newsagents and Hollis’s sweet shop. Great times with hardworking, down to earth people!


    • The blind pianist was known as “Blind Johnnie” he also played in The Maple on Dover Road, Ragworth in the sixties, sorry I didn’t know his surname.


    • Tony, what a wonderful evocation of the past that must bring a tear to the eye of many who lived in the area. I have to say that when I came back to Stockton I used to go to the Cons Club on the other side of the road. But I must have passed your pub hundreds of times, first walking up Garbutt Street to get my grand dad’s linctus from the Chemist on Norton Road, and then for two years when I was in the Sixth Form at Stockton Grammar.

      In those days the level crossing into Portrack Lane was closed frequently, and it was always a bit of an event to see the huge trains of pipes being pulled out of the Malleable. I never realised the historic importance of this railway, known as the North Shore Branch, until I started contributing to Picture Stockton. There are now a god number of pictures of the locality on the website.

      Judging from the OS maps there used to be a small brickworks on the other side of the level crossing. In my time the site was being used for storing scrap machinery. Was this how your pub came to be called “The Tilery”?. And was your pub refurbished in some way when the Victoria estate was built? The wall facing the camera looks quite new.


    • The first pub I went in. They were not to strict on asking your age. I was going in there 1965 sat in the side room with rest of the underage drinkers. Happy memories. Thanks for showing the picture


  6. I used to spend new years eve at my Mam and Dads best friends house …Edna and George Bateman who lived at 6 Seaham Street in Tilery. I also worked at the Malleable steel works in the 1960s in the tanks department. I’m Malcolm Trattles and my Dad Bill also worked there. Wonder if anyone else remembers me?


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