Some recent road resurfacing work in the Hallifield and Edgar Street area of Norton has exposed the original cobble or more precisely brick road surface which was probably first tarmaced over in the 1960’s both as a cost saving measure and as an easy option to save the hard work of digging the road up.
These blue bricks are scoria bricks and were made from blast furnace slag which was a by-product, actually a waste product of the iron and steel foundrys which once employed many men in the Stockton area. The bricks were so successful that they were actually exported around the world and in 1912 alone over 62,000 tons of scoria bricks were shipped from the River Tees to countries including Canada and the West Indies to Belgium and Holland in Europe and even as far as South Africa were roads made from Teesside scoria brick can still be seen today and not just covered by tarmac. Truly another great Teesside export story!
The only road I know of within the Stockton Borough were the scoria bricks remain uncovered is Mill Street off Norton High Street? I always find the architecture of this street fascinating and the name alone gives a nod to what once stood at the top of it’s bank and perhaps the bricks have been left with it’s history in mind? Well, I like to think so anyway.
Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.