Regent Street Plan from 1946 – 1954

Regent Street plan as remembered, during the period 1946-54. What nowadays appears as a drab ‘service’ cul-de-sac was once a busy, cobble-stoned thoroughfare, housing an interesting variety of businesses. I am not a draughtsman, and I do not pretend that the buildings are shown to any matching scale. Simply an accurate listing, with question marks denoting any doubts.

 

 

 

 

 

A. During this period, my recollection is that this store was a DOGGARTS (?) However, whatever name it then bore, it evidently later become a Littlewoods. It had large show windows along the whole length, with a small side entrance about half way along; the main entrance being in the High Street. The ‘bend’ in the street at the end of the two stores certainly existed, but It may not have been as deep as at the opposite side, where vehicles parking at the Marks & Spencers’ delivery doors did not ‘stick out’ beyond the Public House. I remember that such vehicles did not block the street for others.

B & C. The majority of the buildings were terraced, and these two houses were unusual in that their upper stories met over a wide passageway with large double doors at the pavement end. These gave access to the large courtyard area shown for goods vehicles – collecting and delivering to the bakery at the rear.

D. Barrowcliffes or Barracloughs (?) bakery shop (I am not sure of the spelling). This sold produce of the bakery shown at E, which I believe also had wholesale delivery round (?)

F. A fireplace sales showroom. I don’t know whether all on show were made in the workshop at the rear, but I do recall that there only appeared to be one workman in there.

G. This building was number six (see note below) The front one being the house and the rear a large two-storey building consisting of a four-car-size garage, with workroom above. Previously, through the 1920’s and 30’s this had been the workshop for my father’s parents hosiery business, in which a number of female employees hand-worked circular knitting machines. Apart from a wholesale round amongst the surrounding towns/villages, the output retailed through two Stockton market stalls and a shop/office which was housed in the front room of the house – with a bay window onto Regent Street for display.
I was always rather impressed with this frontage as the main entrance was a portico; two large stone steps with round columns around a foot in diameter (which my father painted to closely resemble marble) and an extremely heavy door. Inside was a lobby with a door ahead leading into the living quarters, and one on the right into the front room. Next to this entrance was a single door opening into an enclosed passageway, running through to the back yard. The open stairway up to the studio was actually a set of ship’s stairs – having been salvaged from a liner.
The backstreet was paved with flat cobblestones, and still owned privately by an estate, and my grandfather had paid a ‘small fortune’ for access to it. Interestingly the garage door was a sliding affair, which I’ve never seen duplicated elsewhere. It consisted of upright, hinged wooden frames on steel tracks. These ran along the entrance and curved along inside the right-hand wall, so that when slid open the entire door stood along the wall. It had a small ‘personnel’ door fitted for foot access.
Apart from a normal ‘personnel’ door into the fireplace maker’s workshop, there was no other door in this part of the backstreet which continued on, to run behind businesses in the High Street (and bordering the school) – such as W.H.Smith. Some had access, though – as I frequently used this as a play area in school holidays, etc., I have no clear memory of delivery vehicles and, It being a private road, I remember several occasions when I had to explain to local ‘Bobbies’ that I actually had a right to be there – whereas other children, as trespassers, were warned away.
When my parents and I lived there (1946-54) the workroom became the studio for their ‘Ellena Williams Theatrical Studios’ business and, as video with commentary, on YouTube. The house front room still served as office, with the Bay window now displaying large photo displays of the shows which they presented.

H. I do not recall whether this was still the united Methodist Free Church, or by then (as another person stated) it had become the The Apostolic Church of Wales. I do remember that a married couple were the caretakers and the wife had a sister who was part of the Buckingham Palace staff.

I. I cannot recall whether The Regent Public House had its entrance on the corner, or in Nelson Terrace – but I think the latter (?)

J. The only remaining memory of the street. Unlike the store opposite, the side of this building was solid brick, apart from a set of loading/deliveries doors at far end, next to the Public House.

K. I don’t actually remember this public House being named the Little Regent, but another person has commented on this, so I take their word for it.

L. I remember this having a window full of lighting fittings – Table Lamps, etc.

M. Unlike the other buildings, the Technical School was set back from the pavement. It certainly had iron railings bordering the pavement, (how did they escape the wartime collection?) and I believe they were atop a low brick wall, with a gate midway along the front. (?)

N. The entrance to the School for the Deaf and Dumb was in Nelson Terrace. What is shown in Regent Street is the solid end wall of a brick building. I cannot remember if this was part of the main building, or a separate structure..

NUMBERING. The main entrance for the departmental store was, of course, in the High Street, but there was a small side entrance half way down the side of the building in Regent Street. If either this or the actual bakery (additionally to the shop) had a number, then this would explain why our property was numbered six. Otherwise, it was presumably a hangover from previous times, when the amount of properties in the street was different.

Image and details courtesy of Llewellyn Williams. October 2017.

14 thoughts on “Regent Street Plan from 1946 – 1954

  1. D was the woodworking school. Mr.Sugden was in charge. Boys from Stockton schools attended for half a day per week from the age of 12 to 14. We were allowed to buy buns etc. for our morning break. One boy was detailed to go across the street to Barrowclough. My favourite was their hot jam buns straight from the oven. Not easy to carry if part of a large order.

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  2. Thanks for notes nailing down Doggarts and the two comments about Coates & Sidgewicks. I’m quite sure that the latter was the name of the store opposite M & S during this period.

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  3. Great! Thanks for the correct titles of the Regent Hotel and Inn, and to all who nailed down Doggarts, for me – particularly to the person who mentioned Coates & Sidgewick. I’m quite certain now that this was the name of the store opposite M & S during that period. Doggarts, along with blacketts may possibly have stuck in my memory as being a secondary source of raw materials for my ongoing childhood DIY/hobby ‘recycling’ efforts. The chief one being Robinsons Department Store (next door-but-one to the Globe Cinema), where the kindly men in the despatch department at the rear of the building would hail my appearance with something like “Hey up, here comes the Cardboard King!” They would then supply me with whatever redundant, heavy cardboard show cards were due for garbage collection, along with knotted-up lengths of the ubiquitous sisal string cut from large packaging and the occasional broken wooden frame work. Amongst my multitudinous endeavours with such ‘gold dust’, I recall two complete sets of armour, with sliding-visor helmets. A pal and I then happily spent hours in the private back street with our bamboo bows, firing blunt arrows at each other – without incident! Also producing a 6-foot plaited sisal stock whip with which I grew adept. My mother was taken aback to find me one day happily snapping paper spills out of Sheila Moor’s mouth, who thought it great fun. Not at all sanguine with Sheila’s defence of “It’s all right, Mrs Williams. We’ve been at it ages and he’s never hit me once!” Gosh Golly! What would the ‘Health and Safety Gualeiters make of all that nowadays?

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  4. Littlewoods store was built on the site where Coates & Sedgwick’s store was situated and Doggarts was definitely on the other side of the High Street.

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  5. I am shocked by this title, even accurate, School for the Deaf and Dumb was in Nelson Terrace. Did we actually use such a (to me) shocking description?

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    • I am afraid Chris in my day Deaf and Dumb were the words used and at Middlesbrough were even on a board outside the school there.
      It was never hidden we had a couple at Norton Board who were adept at lip reading they had to be as little aid was given to them. I had a friend with a bent foot every one called him the Cripple, his call of slow down Sonny (my school name) you forget I am crippled as we ran up the High Street often rang in my ears, people accepted that was the way it was. What would the Fever Hospital on Durham Road be called today, and what about the Mad house at Sedgefield, those were the words used by everyone and nothing thought about it.
      The modern trend of trying to cover everything in a gloss often appears to make things worse for the person involved, they know what they have wrong with them and no gloss will ever make it any better for them. We knew the person had a problem it was spoken of out loud and clear, we more fortunate made allowances. Now I do not know the new words for such ailments so often cannot make the same allowances.
      By the same rules I ask why I should be apologetic for Empire, something we were taught was a good thing in classrooms with walls covered with maps of the British Empire on which the sun never set. Why should I apologise for Slavery something I knew nothing about although for people of that generation was normality. Watching those apologists on TV I admit to throwing cushions at the screen as I ask how can you apologise for something that happened centuries ago. OK I will get my coat.
      Frank.

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    • I’m sorry that you are distressed with the title ‘School for the Deaf and Dumb.’ I remember vaguely that this was what it was, but take confirmation from several other people who mentioned it elsewhere on the site.
      However, I do have to say that I don’t share your worries over such titles. I never knew my Mother to comment on it, and she was stone deaf in one ear from being a small child. A bluff Scots ear specialist told her when she was twenty that, due to an infection, the left eardrum had been completely eaten away. The other drum simply consisted of strands, laced across each other and forming a network that was serving her currently – but could give way at any time, leaving her completely deaf. Thankfully, it actually served her until her death at 73, including seeing her through a theatrical performing and teaching career; during which she frequently had to ask people “Would you stand on my other side, as I’m deaf in this ear?” So it will be no surprise that Action on Hearing Loss has long been one of the principal charities to which I donate.
      However, it was a time when – along with the blunt comments of the specialist – we were taught to ‘stand up to things.’ I’m afraid that this attitude has been completely eroded by the current ‘politically correct’ element in society, which I believe is over-protecting folk to the point of being State-coddled
      , unable to’ look life in the face’ and continually ‘sorry for themselves.’
      To justify my opinions, I would mention that I spent my working life in the Theatre – a very precarious from of livelihood – during a time when (with the sole exception of David Nixon) there were no bald-headed entertainers. Losing my hair from age 21, due to heredity, I had to wear wigs and toupees. I never made any secret of the fact that I was BALD (not ‘follically challenged’) and, apart from the expense, this never bothered me – even when the odd person made sarcastic comments and I was once called ‘baldie.’ I took it that this was more of a slight on THEM, than myself.
      Likewise, five years ago after spinal operations, I became semi-disabled, having to walk with crutches short distances and using a mobility scooter otherwise. I know perfectly well that if anyone were to call me ‘Limpy’ or Gimpy’ I should simply laugh at them and probably say that I am grateful that my visible disability is no worse than it is – unlike their invisible disability, in the form of a crippled mind!
      That said, I find that ‘deaf’, ‘dumb’, limbless or ‘bald’ are no more or less descriptions of fact than is ‘disabled’, and do not find them pejorative.

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  6. Great work! what a good memory you have.

    On a 1951 map “I” is The Regent Hotel, “K” is The Regent Inn.
    There’s some great views of Regent Street here:
    (1924) https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EPW010267
    (1948) https://britainfromabove.org.uk/en/image/EAW013852

    I thought “A” was built by Littlewoods? previously being the site of “Gargett & Son” and “Coates & Sidgewick” (https://picturestocktonarchive.wordpress.com/2006/02/05/stockton-high-street-c1940-5/)

    Doggarts was a very distinctive building at the south end of the High Street near The Unicorn Hotel (https://picturestocktonarchive.wordpress.com/2003/10/14/doggarts-drapers-2/
    https://picturestocktonarchive.wordpress.com/2002/08/22/shops-on-stockton-high-street-dogarts-greenwoods/)

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      • As can be seen in the previously linked pictures, Doggarts (No.73 & 74 High St.) was next-door to The Unicorn Hotel (No.72), in the south east side of the High St. between the William IV Hotel and The Royal Hotel.

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    • Thanks J May, for the areal views of Town Centre. Pity that the 1948 isn’t as clear AS the 1924, however, I can make out the ‘lay of the land’ with regard to Regent Street; helping to confirm my memories.

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