Finkle Street looking towards the High Street

Two images of Finkle Street, the Newhouse image is dated c1954 and the other is approximately the late 1960’s. There are three arched windows clearly visible on the corner building on both images and Ronald Cowan architects can be seen on the left of the Newhouse image, which confirms the images were taken from approximately the same location. There is a dummy facade clearly visible on the top of the corner building but it doesn’t appear on any of the other Finkle Street shots I have seen, possibly erected by Newhouse’s.

However the Newhouse image is causing me a puzzle. In Stockton Reference Library is a copy of “Occupational History of the High Street – Book 1.” The corner shop is 48 High Street and the entry for that address and time period states:

1910 – 58:  R Medd & Co, drapers and furriers.

1958 – 68:  Charles Clinkard, shoes.

In 1968 the building was vacated in preparation for demolition prior to the construction of the Castle Centre.

There is no mention of J Newhouse Ltd. for that address.

Can anyone help clear up this mystery? Also can anyone identify the make of vehicle just visible at the end of the street?

Photographs and details courtesy of Alex Moody.

25 thoughts on “Finkle Street looking towards the High Street

  1. Having left school in 1959, I started working for Wm Timpson in Dovecote Street. At friend at that time worked for Clinkards and apart from good natured teasing over which firm sold the better quality shoes, Clinkards was certainly on the corner of Finkle Street and the High Street.


  2. That’s interesting. There are lots of pictures showing the corner with the High Street (48 High St.) as Clinkard’s shoe shop. There is also a picture of it during it’s time as Robert Medd & Co. circa 1940’s, that shows the dummy facade was in place at that time –
    We know it what it was at demolition, so Newhouse must have been there in-between Medd & Clinkards.

    I have found a note that “J Newhouse Ltd (The Fashion House)” was at 48 High St. in 1954.
    I just can’t remember where I found that, but that’s too much detail for me to have made it up!
    It could either have been an advert in/from a vintage newspaper, or it appears in a dated photo somewhere, with enough detail to read that whole name.
    (Out of interest I’ve also got a note for “Watson Sons, Dixon & Co” , Draper/Carpet, being at No.48 circa 1890. probably from a trade directory.)

    Also seen a 1944 photo that is a close up of the side door into number 48 High St. (on Finkle St.). It doesn’t show a business name but is recorded as “Messr. Medds”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After realising it was the two tone vehicle I suggested it could well be an Austin A40 Devon Pick Up as they had the same swept lines.
    Look up Austin A40 Devon Pick Up..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t where the post I made a day or so has gone, but I will try again. The library book is definitely WRONG. Clinkards shoe shop was about half way down on the side visible: my guess is that it was under the “Furnishings” built in sign. They had the whole ground floor and it went a long way back with a step up in the middle. I’m not sure about the second or third floors. We were quite frequent users of Clinkards for a variety of reasons. The block of which it was a part was demolished to make way for the recently demolished shopping center.
    Medds Drapers I vaguely recall to have been just round the right hand corner, past the Yorkshire Bank.


  5. The full list for 48 High Street from the Occupational History Of The High Street (Book 1) is:-

    1828-29 Dickson, Watson & Pick Drapers
    1834-36 Watson & Peck
    1841 Lodge Chemist
    1841-44 Watson & Dickson Linen Drapers
    1847-55 Watson, Wood & Robinson Linen Drapers
    1851 John Holmes Linen Drapers
    1856-58 Watson, Wood & Furness Linen Drapers
    1858-65 Watson, Wood & Co Linen Drapers
    1864-68 W R Brigham House
    1867-81 Watson Sons Brigham & Co Linen Drapers & Mercers
    1894-99 Watson Sons Dickson & Co Linen Drapers
    1900-07 Bullough, Medd & Co Linen Drapers
    1910-58 R Medd & Co Drapers & furriers
    1958-68 Charles Clinkard Shoes

    I think the date differences are either dual occupancy, or when the lease changed.


  6. I note that on the first picture there’s also a flag pole at the corner of the roof. Could it have been that there was a royal vist and the roof was to be used as a viewing platform with the temporary work erected for safety?


  7. I suspect I was looking at the first photo with the lorry and bus, also the car on the other side of the High Street.
    The vehicle in the 2nd image looks very much like an Austin A40 Devon pick Up and the swept contours have been depicted using a contrasting colour, I past my test in one of these.


  8. The Reference Library book is wrong definately with regard to Clinkards and most likely with respect to R. Medd. Clinkards I knew well and they were the shop under “Furnishing” on ground floor at least. The shop went a long way back. We went there for shoes: they were the last quality shoe shop in town. I suspect that Medds might have been on the High Street just past the Yorkshire Bank (at the right hand end of the photo).
    The buildings in the picture were demolished to make way for the Castle Centre.


  9. Also seen a 1944 photo that is a close up of the side door into number 48 High St. (on Finkle St.). It doesn’t show a business name but is recorded as “Messr. Medds”.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Is it possible that Newhouses took over Medds but the latter would still have been shown as direct owner/ occupiers on the Land Registry?


  11. Alex, there are some early advertisements on the Picture Stockton website, which show that Robert Medd was operating from the premises as late as 1948, e.g.
    The Medd advert shows that the store had several entrances, at 48 High Street, and also 21 & 27 Finkle Street. I recall that Newhouses was also the name of a large store in Middlesbrough (on the corner of Linthorpe Road and Corporation Road). I wonder whether Newhouses bought out Robert Medd c.1950?
    In January 1960, Debenhams took a controlling interest in Newhouses. I wonder if that was about the time that they decided to close their Stockton retail outlet. The premises were divided into two smaller units; Charles Clinkard taking one, and the Halifax Building Society the other. You probably know that part of the the intricate carved frontage of the Clinkard shop was preserved by being incorporated into the period street at the Preston Park Museum.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Very interesting. Can anyone tell me why the Newhouse building was four storeys high? Did people live above the shop or were these offices, etc?


  13. I seem to Remember Pickersgill being on the corner of Finkle street my Dad worked for them for a little while they where undertakers and they ran a taxi company they ran Austin FX3 taxis
    the shop front was Black with either Gold or white sign writing and above Clinkards was John Colliers tailors


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