Old Billingham Station, 1966

This photograph was taken on 4th November 1966 on the last day of working at the old Billingham station before closure. It shows diesel D5159 based at Thornaby Sheds. Although the station was closed the goods yard stayed in operation until 1979 mainly doing work for the London Brick Company.

Details courtesy of Martin Birtle, photograph courtesy of John Hardy.

9 thoughts on “Old Billingham Station, 1966

  1. Hi Bob
    I knew a David Allison who would now be 75 but he died at least 20 years ago so probably not the same one. His sister, Judith, was in the same class as me at Billingham North so would now be 73.


    • Hi Patricia

      thanks for your interest and comment, apologise for not replying earlier, a bit hectic down our way like everywhere else at the moment sorting out things all over the country at present.

      Dave Allison passed away near where I live in Priorslee, Telford in Shropshire earlier this year just before lockdown. He was known locally as Geordie or Silver Fox. a dapper and pleasant well liked guy. He had suffered poor health for many years previously .

      Dave seem to know our family members from Billingham, i think he mentioned Lunedale but cant be sure of context , my Aunty Molly Hendry nee Antrobus lived there in 1950s. Dave had been in Telford for donkeys years as far as I know.

      Funerals and closure have tragically caused distress and when our old neighbour and friend Audrey Beech( Coates ) who also lived opposite us in Cotswold Crescent in the ICI houses passed recently in her 90s we were unable to meet old contacts too.

      My mother Margaret Antrobus moved to 98 with her family from Wallsend when the houses were first built in the late 1920s and grandad Jack worked at ICI until retiring in 1961.

      Since Covid I have been unable to pick up on bits and pieces from going on from people at the Boro away games, when they play near us or London. Cant see us coming through to visit in the forseable, unless Dom could drop us off at Barnard Castle .

      Hope everything is ok otherwise



  2. Great photo and reminds me of when the new modern station at Billingham opened and was closer to my girlfriends house. At the time I thought the old station was remaining open but looking back the railways were under financial and political pressure to cut staff and costs. Unfortunately a lot of ‘soul-less’ stations became the norm all over the country with character stations like Billingham, Norton, Stockton lost forever except in our memories. Places like Richmond have revitalised their station and now a tourist attraction for years to come.


  3. Remember this came from Thornaby via stockton mid morning, and was often hauled…. slowly, laboriously, with a deal of smoke and squeals…. by one of Thornaby MPD Clayton type 1 double bonnet diesels


  4. Remember the loaded train passed Stockton mid morning… It was often hauled by one of the attractive but useless Clayton double bonnet diesels based at Thornaby. It would often struggle up Stockton Bank….perhaps operating on one engine… or maybe just struggling!!


  5. Have just seen image although often receive notifications never seemed to have time to reply.

    Real memory jerker for me, my family lived in cotswold crescent nearby and our family spent much of our early years there from 1950s.

    My mam was from there and married my dad from salop , they met when he was wounded ww2 , mam was a nurse at sedgfield hospital in war.

    We travelled to and fro between Shropshire by train from 1950s to 1970s when links decreased but will never fade great and happy memories.

    Just loved that old station where it was and jumping off out of the last 4 coaches, as the platform was short on the Newcastle side. Did get caught out sometimes as others and Clambering down on to the cinder path and walking up by the station hotel.

    So handy and a focal meeting point for the local kids too. Sometimes a bit naughty riding on the crossing gates when trains were due. Got wrong off the signal man who as kids seemed so high up in that box. Recall when they installed the new gates on wheels very high tech, we called them the American gates but never knew why.

    How sad my grandkids must think, racing up to see the half 8 steam express passing through and no stopping until Stockton we were told Bellingham wasn’t important enough. I remember the mallard and always was a namer like silver king, Colombo, auld reekie, the train went to kings x London .at about 0945 a repeat performance this express I think went to Liverpool or was it Colchester.?

    loved the station road fish shop too and getting scraps, patties all this long before paramos.

    Could go on and on my grandad jack antrobus lived at 98 and aunty molly Hendry,,/ foxton down at 274: lots of relatives scattered around But most passed from that time.

    Did they make a mistake moving the station, sometimes wonder as the new one was unwelcoming and seemed a long way from the town square but what would I know.

    Still keep an eye on things if meeting up at boro away games but that is off limits and missing the chats

    Bob howells


    • Hello Bob, I was a long time friend of Molly Hendry’s adopted son, Ian, who sadly passed away in 2010. I was a regular train spotter during the 1950’s and early 60’s, and spent many a happy hour on that station, or if it was cold, in the waiting room, with the lovely coal fire, although the porters could be a bit touchy about it, especially Nobby. Quite a few spotters could be there at times, especially on Saturdays. Me and a mate would often be there till quite late, waiting for the Newcastle express. After 1958, the streamlined A4’s, became more common, through Billingham as the principle main line expresses, were gradually dieselised, allowing A4’s over main trunk routes, more often. I’m still interested in steam locomotives, and have a good selection of books, but todays rail network is a shadow of former years.


      • hello david
        gosh what a shock from the past, I sort of remember you through my cousin Ian Hendry (cope). I read your comments very interesting from time long ago and you have a forensic knowledge which helps brings back vivid and happy memories from my childhood and adolescence.

        Although 5 years younger than Ian we were always soulmates really and did so much together as kids and throughout his ilfe with my older brother Eric who is the same age as Ian would have been and lives near me in Telford Shropshire.

        The railway was the catalyst and focal point especially in steam days and so handy . When my grandad Jack Antrobus passed in 1962 from 98 Cotswold we sort of moved in with Molly and Ian at 274 .I had my own box room at the front .

        Ian had another mate I recall ,Dave Fawcett too and I believe he passed away some time ago may have lived in Redcar. We used to attend Ayresome Park from early sixties in the Holgate end , where I used to go through the squeeze!

        When he was working as a plater in the shipyards and I was a builder we would quench our thirst in the TU club, ICI club and big nights out in Boro’. Fish and chips were nice from Hoggs and over the Tin Lizzie to Cowpen

        Amazingly we have/had a colony of friends from Billingham living down here. Sadly 3 have passed recently Audrey Coates (90+) who lived opposite us her husband, Les Beech and their son Graham few years ago. Coates were a large family round there. Linda Peach (married name) from Marsh House; also Dave Allison who was 75 I think from by the station.

        This lockdown has perhaps given me more time than usual to comment and read others interesting accounts. Not too long ago about 4 years my wife and I knocked the door at 98 cheekily and explained to the householders who we were. They were nice to us, their name was Taylor and showed them old pictures with the Anderson shelters still in garden use. I came through annually over years to do the Great north Run with friends and family and cool off in the sea with a paddle at Seaton.

        Oh dear starting to ramble now and without a beer too so signing off for now and thanks for the reply



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