43 Grove Street, Stockton

A (1940’s?) photograph of No.43 Grove Street, which is off Yarm Road near Northcote Street. This building is still standing and still looks pretty much the same.

The building to the right looks like a workshop, still there and currently for car repairs, and can we see the letter “T” and maybe the “Y” of “TYRES” in this photograph? Behind and to the left is the boundary wall and a wing of The Stockton & Thornaby Hospital. It looks like No.43 was a pub/shop/off licence, with the original doorway being cut into the corner of the building.

Older trade directories show: 1890 – George Raw, beer seller, 1914 – William E. Shaw, beer retailer. Now, if it was a pub? did it have a name?

Photograph and details courtesy of Jonathan May.

15 thoughts on “43 Grove Street, Stockton

  1. I lived in Woodland Street and remember this being a corner shop. It was right on the alley which we used to roller skate up and down. There was a back door to the hospital at the end of Woodland Street


  2. Thanks for all the comments on this photo. I’ve seen a suggestion elsewhere, but anybody know where the “Raggy Back” name came from?


    • Supposedly the name arose as at one time there had been was a type of pawn shop at the bottom end, close to Edwards Street, where the poor took their better pieces of clothing in exchange for coppers and were left with only “with the rags on their backs” as they left the premises.

      With regards to the off licence, the first people I recall going back to 1940s/early 50s, the name of the owner above the entrance door was Gunn, I remember the gentleman and the fact that they had a “scottie” dog…Scottish Terrier.


      • It was W A Gunn in the 50’s we used to buy soft drinks there but he would only serve you if you had the correct change. He also stamped all his returnable bottles with his initials to stop you taking any other bottles back.


  3. 43 grove street Used to be an off licence. Selling beer, spirits, cigarettes, etc. Next door was a car Repairs garage.
    The off licence was known locally as the offy. On the raggy back.


  4. We Used to live in Woodland Street, this building was an off licence / corner shop during the 1960’s. The entrance was on the corner of the building, facing onto the back alley at the back of Stockton & Thornaby hospital.


  5. I lived in St Cuthberts Road from 1945 to 1970. I remember the corner of Grove Street on the Raggy Back end being a off beer license.


  6. At that time beer was often sold from private houses (as opposed to ‘public houses’) so it may not have been a pub. I bought a terraced house in the 1970s which was built in 1894 and the deeds contained a covenant which restricted owner’s from selling beer from the property or Sarah Armstrong (the first owner) ‘had the right to have the house demolished’. The far downstairs window of No.43 would suggest it was a pub, or was it converted to be.


  7. I lived in Grove Street for the first 10 years of my life (1968-78) and I do recall there was an off licence at that end of the street by the garage well until the mid 1970s I think because from memory I’m sure it caught fire one night and closed after that – I do remember a lot of noise and my late mother telling me about it the following day – great photograph!


  8. My Grandma & Uncle had this Off Licence in 60’s. They were called Ann & John Turner. The shop was commonly called The Raggy Back. They sold draught beer and people brought their own jugs to buy a few pints. I was a young teenager & regularly stayed there when my Mum looked after the shop during their holidays.


    • Hi Sandra, thanks for adding those memories from you family’s history with No.43, your comment about the draught beer really brings the place to life! 🙂


    • Hello Sis! (Sandra is my sister!)

      So, I too spent a lot of time here when I was still at Junior School. I remember it had a cellar, so surely it was a pub at some time in the past. Used to enjoy going down to the bridge at the end of Spring Street to watch the frequent trains coming out of Stockton Station. I’d have a long wait now…..

      For info, our gran went there after running the Harewood Arms (with Grandad Tom Turner) in Thornaby, and from Grove Street she and Uncle John moved on to run the off licence on Gray’s Road in Stockton, where they built up a great reputation for sherries that were sold from casks into bring-your-own bottles.


      • Hi Stuart, I did wonder about that when Sandra mentioned those names… it’s a small world as I lived at the opposite end of Grays Road and can remember visiting Turner’s Off-licence for sweets, probably on the way to Ropner Park with my Nana. I think it took up most of the ground floor at that time, with a large counter and lots of shelves filled with bottles of wine etc. If I remember correctly your uncle John was a tall man (or was it just that I was shorter back then?). I always think of it as the best example of an off-licence that I ever visited.


  9. The back alley between the hospital and No.43 Grove Street was known locally as ‘the raggy back’ in the seventies. We lived in (New) Camden Street. I remember as kids we bought Walls Funny Face ice creams from there. I always thought it was an odd place to have a garage. When the hospital was being demolished we used to hold impromptu cycle speedway meetings in its grounds about 1974/5. There was a lot of demolition going on in the area at that time as one side of Northcote Street and Adderley/Waverley/Stafford/(old) Camden/Arlington were all demolished to make way for a school and St Cuthberts was standing derelict when we moved to live near there in 1971.


  10. My grandparents lived on Northcote Street and I have a distant memory of an alleyway running behind the hospital that was known locally as “the raggy back”, I’m sure there was an off licence of sorts that we used to buy lemonade, crisps etc from…..could this be the place?


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