Distant view of the Transporter c1972

t15126This picture was taken from the North Ormesby area on a bank which forms part of the Eston Hills. The Transporter is in the centre of the picture. Off to the left the twin stacks of North Tees C power station can be seen. Haverton Hill can barely be discerned through the industrial haze. The white smoke is probably not pure steam, in some cases at least, and looks more lethal. The small group of chimneys on the right hand side is part of the South Durham Steelworks at Cargo Fleet.

During the 1950s and 60s most industry either continued with coal for fuel, or switched to fuel oil. Natural gas as beginning to make an impact and this led to a big clean up in the atmosphere. But in 1972 I would guess that at least half the houses on Teesside were still burning coal and the lower Tees Valley tended to hold the pollution from these even in the summer. It would be interesting to see a more modern picture, if this viewpoint is still a grassy bank.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

4 thoughts on “Distant view of the Transporter c1972

  1. Left Stockton for the States in 1970. When the movie, “Billy Elliot” came out it took me back a bit. I still go on YouTube sometimes just to see my favorite scene. “Billy” and his dance teacher are on the Transporter and the music is from Swan Lake. Great piece of cinema.


  2. Much appreciate Frank Mee’s comments and agree that Teesside has a vey unusual topography where we have a very wide and flat river valley about 20km long, bounded by steep hills, especially on the south.. The valley also looks onto the rather oddly shaped estuary and river mouth, and cold North Sea. All of this must affect the weather, with the additional possibility of cold air slipping down off the hills into the wide valley, producing the circulation that Frank refers to..

    The direction of the morning and evening breezes on Teesside are contrary to what happens in other coastal areas, where the land is warmer in the day than the sea, and colder at night. There is a book on British weather which purports to show Teesside with the morning and evening breezes as acting as normal. I am sure it is not correct. But then most people get it wrong about Teesside, I think!


  3. Fred – Teesside is a weather micro climate. Look at a large scale map and you see what looks like a cup, Tees bay and saucer, the Cleveland hills, this can cause a swirl in the winds so we get one weather system and five miles outside that totally different. When I was at ICI there would be a call from those living in Sedgefield they were totally snowed in, we would have an inch. I am on a board where we give local weather conditions so look East on waking to see where the coastal front is. It is often a clear line North and South with clear weather one side and cloudy the other, it is often right over head. The North Sea gives us our local weather, cool in summer slightly warmer in winter. When others are having drought we get the gardens watered by the sea mist which will clear around mid morning. I find weather watching fascinating though not every one would, but then I am a gardener, weather matters.


  4. In the far distance, to the right of the picture, you can see that the smoke from a chimney, in the Haverton Hill area, is blowing to the west. This was apparently a typical feature of the local weather in the afternoon, with a reversal of the wind direction from the early morning.

    I was told about this by Dr Peter Neufeld, who had come up from the South to work at ICI. He used to cycle from Hartlepool to ICI, and complained that almost invariably, the wind was always in his face whether he was coming or going to work. On a couple of occasions when I was at Roseberry Topping in the late afternoon, I saw clear air, from the sea, coming in from the coast, sweeping away the pollution over Middlesbrough.

    It all happened inside of about twenty minutes. I have never been able to work out why this occurred. I suppose these days it would be much less apparent..


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