Stockton High Street, mid 1980’s

The photograph shows the block of buildings to the left of Ramsgate (to the right in the image). The roof line on the right is Stewarts Clothing, Tees House, which is on the corner of Ramsgate. Manorgrove is now a Bet Fred bookies shop and the pub is now the George Pub and Grill. Of interest, the Manorgrove building was once two shop’s 104 & 105 High Street and if you look carefully at the building, just above the M on the sign is a round mark. It is a plaque that states, ‘John Walker’s Birthplace. 29th May 1781’. I think the photograph is mid to late 1980’s as Mr Trims occupied the upstairs shop from 1981, although the frontage looks a little worse for wear in this image. Also I believe on of the parked cars is a Mini Metro.

Photograph and details courtesy of Alec Moody.

8 thoughts on “Stockton High Street, mid 1980’s

  1. When I was a young kid, Exchanges in the photo was a Wimpy restaurant, complete with tomato shaped ketchup containers. Mind blowing. I think you had a choice of burger with or without onions

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  2. Mr Trims was the barber to go to at the time, prior to that we all used to go to Ray Duncan in Ramsgate where you could get something other than the short back and sides which all the older barbers did.

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  3. I used Mr Trims in the 80’s. I think the owner was John Davison but I used to go to his sidekick, Ronnie Elmer. Ronnie moved to his own premises somewhere near Ramsgate but he passed away at a young age, some years later. It looks to me there are probably four mini metros in the picture.

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  4. The plaque to John Walker is of significant historical interest. He was the inventor of the friction match, an accidental discovery on his part, according to Wikipedia. The German women’s magazine Brigitte illustrated an article on Walker and his invention (back in the 1980s) with the moment a match flared into life, suggesting it was the real beginning of the liberation of women, especially servants, whose task it was to rise each morning and strike fire and steel to make the spark that lit the stove – in the winter, in total darkness due to the curfew, and with frozen fingers, often resulting in bloody knuckles. There is a wonderful poem (set to music by Hugo Wolf) by Eduard Mörike describing a jilted servant girl doing this (‘Early, at cockcrow, ere the stars disappear, I have to stand at the stove, and strike fire’). The difference made by the friction match is hard to overestimate – at one shilling for a box of 50 – but led to cruel exploitation of the poorest (female!) workers who produced them in dangerous, unhealthy conditions and sold them on the streets (the sad subject of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale ‘The Little Match Girl’). And it all began on Stockton High Street. Thank you for this photo.

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