John Nicholson, Norton Road, Stockton

I have just found this photo of my dad, Roy Miller with colleagues. He is on the bottom left. I’ve tried to find out when this grocery warehouse closed down. I was told he was transferred to Leeds when he moved there in 1965 from Norton, but I suspect it may have been a porkie!

My dad was a manager there – this photo is obviously a Tobler promotion – he used to get perks from reps like boxes of free wagon wheels! But the days of supermarkets were taking over so small grocery warehouses faded away.

Can anyone supply names of the others on the photo? The warehouse was next to Major St. The Edwardian terrace is still there. They used to have a separate ‘Sweet Warehouse’ near the Commercial Tavern, and staff sometimes had a ‘liquid lunch’ there!

I don’t know if any of the men on the photo was John Nicholson himself – I do remember one the men he worked with was Mr Blenkinsop – known as ‘Blenk’.

Photo and details courtesy of Mandy Wood

11 thoughts on “John Nicholson, Norton Road, Stockton

  1. Re: John Nicholson. John (Jack) was my Grandad and he died in August 1961 so the business will have been sold pretty quickly after that. There was definitely a separate Sweet Warehouse where You mentioned. Unfortunately there are no longer older family members to ask for further info I cannot see him in this photograph. I’m sorry I have not been much help! Emma Yates


    • Emma Jane Yates, Thank you. yes you have been helpful. My dad Roy Miller thought a lot of him. I’m sorry things went as they did but if your grandad was like my dad he would have found it hard to accept times were changing (i.e. supermarkets). As my dad moved to Leeds I think he lost touch with the rest of the staff. He died in 1988 aged 72 from a heart attack.


  2. Hi Blenkinsop is stood top left , John Nicholson top middle, I believe John committed suicide years later, When they moved into the Zion chapel to make it a sweet ware house, I lived just around the corner in Railway st I was 12 at the time so I asked if I could help to carry boxes of sweets in , I was there all day helping . At the end of the day Mr Nicholson gave me some money, after that I often went in the main warehouse helping out and got paid sixpence an hour which was a lot for a 12 year old


    • John Meadows – thanks for your comment, and supplying a couple of names… I thought the man bottom right was ‘Blenk’ as my dad called him, so I got that wrong! I didn’t know about Mr Nicholson committing suicide but sadly things like that got hushed up in those days… In the early 80’s my own father got very depressed but my mother wasn’t very helpful to him… He died aged 72… Now people are more prepared to seek help


    • John I posted the above comment without realising replies already. Is that my Grandad in the middle? I don’t recognise him for some reason – maybe not wearing of glasses? Also the Lovely Lady – do You remember her name? I have lots of photos of her in family collection? Many Thanks Emma


  3. Thanks ladies… My dad was ‘transferred’ to Leeds in 1965 and my mother went bananas, she didn’t want to leave her ‘roots’…This is the bit I suspect was a ‘porkie’ – he said the move was temporary but it wasn’t! I think they were going to close anyway because the days of supermarkets had arrived! It took a long time for her to settle… Do you recognise anyone on the photo?


      • Hi Audrey I Remember you , don’t know if you remember me I was that kid who help out in the warehouse and also went out delivering groceries with Thommy Jackson ,that was about 1957 , we all went out on trips to Saltburn and also Lake District. How are you keeping


        • Hi John, I don’t remember you, we are doing OK. We left the UK early 1970 & emigrated to S.Africa, in 1977 we emigrated to Canada, both moves were job related, been here for 44 years, have 2 children & 5 grandchildren, great grandson expected in April. Have no contact with any of my old workmates.


  4. I remember it well my grandma had a shop in Ware st and my dad had Blue hall dairy on norton rd they both used Nicholson for supplies
    some of the reps gave my sister and I hankies


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