Bob Harbron

October 2017 has seen the loss of one of Stockton and Norton’s most well-known, and also much-loved, characters.

Mr. Robert Harbron, known simply as Bob, was a local historian. But he was not just a local historian, he was Norton and Stockton’s most passionate and knowledgeable supporter of their heritage. Bob was a founder and contributor to the Norton Heritage organisation, and over the years has provided Stockton Library Service with a complete set of their books with countless updates.

As a regular visitor to Stockton Reference Library, Bob always had a smile and a cheery hello for our staff, who when asked any question about Norton that they were unable to answer, would guarantee that Bob would ‘come up trumps’ with the information required as his knowledge of Norton was second to none.

He will be greatly missed by everyone. R.I.P. Bob Harbron.

14 thoughts on “Bob Harbron

  1. I’ve just found out about Bob’s passing. Bob had immense knowledge of Norton. I met him once at a gathering for a tree planting ceremony on the Green. After a talk inside the Friends Meeting House our small group ate a delicious picnic beneath the ancient tree in the “plague pit” area off Bradbury Road. My father and I collected his Norton Heritage Group booklets; so much fascinating information. His dedication to local history education is to be admired. RIP Bob.


  2. I have just learned that Bob Harbron had passed away in October 2017. It is a shock as we attended Frederick Nattrass together in 1933-34 and I am now 90.
    Bob did so much for Teeside and Norton in particular. He preserved the area from decay, planted time capsules and ran Norton Heritage and did such a lot for charity.

    I think it should be known that The Frederick Nattrass School put his name forward for for an Honour, I also put his name forward twice. It is disappointing that Lord Craythorne did not see his way to supporting the application.

    In total I have now proposed three more than worthy people for a Queens Award – non have been accepted yet we are tripping over politicians helping themselves to the niceties of life.
    J.Norman Kidd.


  3. Bob Harbron was a well known local figure though I only ever had brief encounters. He was a true Historian where as I write about things I saw and the times I lived through. We both loved Norton from it being a Village to becoming a suburb of Stockton, it showed in Bob’s writings I hope it also shows in mine.
    The notice was in the Gazette last night, Rest in Peace Bob.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bob was a lovely man who visited the school (Frederick Nattrass School) and talked to the children about all things Norton and Stockton. He will be sadly missed by many. R.I.P. Bob


  5. Never met Bob but I always knew ‘of’ him if you know what I mean. I knew he was a great local historian and have seen much of his work.


  6. Bob was a lovely man a gentleman and a humble man with a great knowledge of the area in particular Norton. He always made himself available to help if he could with his knowledge, but never tried to impose his memories above yours and he respected the fact that you might think different and would listen. He will be sorely missed and I give my condolences to his family. Rest in peace Bob you will be missed.


  7. I talked with Bob about the railways of Norton when I was helping with Norton Heritage groups publication ‘Nortons Iron Road’ – a true gentleman with a genuine love for the area, RIP Bob Harbron.


  8. R I P Bob Harbron, an admirer of his local knowledge from someone who has lived in Norton all my life and wouldn’t live anywhere else.


  9. Bob was a lovely man. Had many chats in the Norton Workmans Club with him in the company of Micky Manion and other old friends who have now passed on.


  10. I communicated with Bob many times over the years on various media systems seeking and sharing information about historical aspects of Norton and Stockton, Railways, Schools, Business, Local Transport, Saxon Norton, the 50s and 60s, Local hero’s etc etc. He was a true gentleman who never failed to try and answer my questions. His contribution to the history and record keeping of this area should be remembered. My deepest sympathies to his family.


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