Distant view of Portrack and ICI c1972

t15119I waited a long time for the air to clear over Teesside, in the late summer of 1972, before driving up to the range of hills which overlooks Middlesbrough, going towards Eston. Even so the centre of Stockton is barely visible. It was probably about 6 miles from where I was. The long thin rectangle about one third from the left is the Malleable works. Just behind it is the gasholder in Portrack and Hume House can also be discerned. But there is another tall structure as well. The towers of the Newport Bridge are in the centre of the picture. To the right of these the silos, etc, of the south part of ICI Billingham can be seen.

I don’t know the exact location from where this picture was taken, but if anyone has the time it would be interesting to see how things have changed over the past 44 years.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

3 thoughts on “Distant view of Portrack and ICI c1972

  1. The situation on the east side of Stockton is much worse than it was sixty years back. During the key byelection of William Rodgers in 1962, there was an aeroplane flight over Stockton for journalists who had come up from London. The Mayor, who was on the flight, referred to the agricultural area which lay between ICI and the east Stockton as being the lungs of Teesside (then a new word). My reference for this is from Time and Tide, a long defunct political magazine.

    Well every farm in the area that the Mayor referred to has disappeared, being replaced by offices, prisons, light industry, shopping complexes and the roads needed to serve them.


    • A lot of those farms belonged to ICI as did the ones along the road from Billingham to Haverton, when ICI went so did the farms. The land was used as required at the time and the money available, those buildings would not be built if there was not a need for them. It was always industrial land with a scattering of farms when four fields and a mix of animals would keep a family that sort of living vanished with small holdings and market gardens now mainly new build houses. The needs dictate the usage of land it is called progress or some may call it regression what ever, it will always happen. Look around Stockton there is plenty of open land around the area and it is certainly 100% cleaner than in my boy hood days. I would say the refurbished river, the parks and back lanes are the lungs of Stockton. A letter in the Gazette last week talked about the wonderful Boat trip to Yarm and back, having done that same trip my vote would go to that as the new lungs of the Town.


  2. Note all the greenery, I recently spent sixteen days in North Tees Hospital next to a window top floor looking west, all you can see is greenery, the houses disapear amongst it. Two years earlier I was in a ward on the East side looking out over Roseworth and beyond. Again it was a sea of green. Looking from a height Stockton and the surrounding area’s are a green and pleasant place to be. From my Bungalow looking across Stockton to a view of the Cleveland Hills you can see the Nab one end and well down towards Thirsk the other. We do truly live in a magical place I always came home from my wanderings and now never want to leave, we should appreciate what we have more.


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