This photograph of Billingham Green was taken from the small road that ran down to the Methodist Central Hall, since demolished. Out of sight to the right of the photographer was a small triangle of grass with a large “conker” tree in the middle of it, a magnet for small boys in the “conker season”.
Behind the tree was a small row of shops which included Maddox’s pet food shop, Star Boot Repairs and Radio Relay, this was the 1950s radio equivalent of cable television. Also off to the right was the beginning of Station Road, in the 1950s two of the shops just round the corner in Station Road were Menhennents DIY shop and Bill Beatties sports shop, both of whom relocated to the new Town Centre in the 1960s.
In the photograph to the right is the Smiths Arms public house, this looks very similar to this to this day, the newsagents was always known as “Dickie Smiths” I have noticed that there are two vending machines to the left of the shop, the bigger looks to be a cigarette machine, the other could be either chewing gum or chocolate, both icons of the early 1960s.
This area and its surroundings were the main shopping centre during the 1950s, Station Road stretched along to the main Post Office passing Uptons on its way, on Belasis Avenue was the big Stockton Co-operative Society store always known as “Billingham Stores” and along Mill Lane there were a number of shops starting at Ben Fords barber, located under the Picture House and finishing at The Mill Press, there were also shops on South View and on the Green its self.
Saint Cuthbert’s Church is just behind the shops in the photo, the lych gate is slightly to the left of the shops. Whilst Billingham Green isn’t as photogenic as Norton Green it is still a very pleasant place.
Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.