10 thoughts on “Debenhams, Stockton High Street c1986

  1. Sorry to read today that this iconic department store is due to close, I well remember the vacuum payment system and lifts which were controlled by a lift attendant.


  2. The following is taken from the letters page of our local paper, “many years ago I attended a lecture about the development of structural steel and its origins on Teesside. I remember the speaker saying that the first building in the world using structural steel was the Debenhams building in Stockton. If this is correct, is it listed? Because if my memory is correct, then it should be preserved from demolition, even if it is passed on to a new owner”.
    Can any of our more knowledgeable contributors confirm if this is correct?


    • John a google search tells me that the Royal Insurance Building in Liverpool is recognised as the first steel frame building in the UK 1896-1903


  3. Was this the shop, when it was Robinson’s with the vacuum tubes that carried cash payments and receipts in little cylinders from the counters to a centralised bureau? It was fascinating to watch and apparently stopped stealing by the staff, but it made transactions very slow.

    Over to Frank Mee!


    • Yes you are right about the vacuum tube system. The system was located in the basement and was dismantled (by me and another lad by the name of John Tipper) in 1966/67. A noisy affair built by LAMSON PARAGON – still in business as Lamson. The whole assembly had been there for years and lots of loose change found underneath. It had become unreliable due to air leaks and too expensive to repair – plus NEW technology cash registers.


  4. I also spy Burtons, The Tailor of Taste, in the adjoining building, whose made to measure suits were affordable and smart in my early manhood.


  5. It’s a momentary pleasure to share the memory of Robinson’s Store with others of (around) my age! My Mother’s cousin, Laura Stokell, was employed there as a store clerk in her earlier years. If my memory is correct my mother bought the last washing machine from Robinson’s (tub on wheels with swisher going back and forth on which was mounted a multi-position wringer that would squeeze the clothing in both directions – by its own power!). I say “last” because production ceased at the beginning of WW II.
    I am somewhat surprised that no anecdotes of Debenhams is relayed here.


  6. I remember this store when it was called Robinsons. When my Dad was no longer well enough to continue working at Dorman Longs he got a lighter job here as a stock controller in 1950. He died of a heart-attack in 1951. The store was regarded by many as quite an up-market retailer with large windows that were always well dressed. On the ground floor there was a staircase leading to the first floor. The stairs had a balcony above the lift entrance. The first floor was the ladies department where my Mum used to drag me round looking at the coats and dresses she could never afford. The tall building behind, just visible in this shot, was Robinsons water tower I think. My strongest memory of the shop was the toy department that had an abundance of Dinky toys but, like Mum, I couldn’t afford those either.


    • I remember it as Robinson’s too and I got a temporary job there working in the kitchen when I was a student! They had a tea break in the morning with lovely buttered scones! It’s what kept me going!!


  7. Originally Robinson’s, Mrs Robinson lived in Hutton Rudby, a lovely lady I worked at her house & also worked at the shop many times when it was Debenhams.


Leave a comment

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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.