Head Wrightson, Teesdale Trip to Blackpool

This is a photograph of guys from Head’s heavy and light machine shops on their annual trip to Blackpool probably around 1968/69.
The trips were organised by Peter McGann, who is probably taking the photo, unfortunately I can only name the younger ones but I am sure Len Nicholson with his fantastic memory will be able to fill in the missing names.
Seated on the floor left to right is Stevie Whitmarsh, Dave Pitt, Gordon Grant, behind them (l to r) me (Brian Parker) and Tommy Proctor I don’t know the third guy who I think was a mate of Tommy’s and didn’t work at Heads.
The trips were a good mixture of ages with constant laughter, banter, ribbing and practical jokes and I felt privileged to be part of them.

Photograph and details courtesy of Brian Parker.

Billingham Synthonia Stadium, Central Avenue

Photographs taken in 2019 of the Central Avenue football ground, the home for many years of Billingham Synthonia. As you see the advertising hoarding and the gates are still standing, but no trace of the cantilever stand. When this stand was built in 1957 it was the longest stand of its type in the country. The pitch is a mass of weeds and sadly the goal posts are still standing waiting for a game which will never be played…

Photographs and details courtesy of Martin Birtle.

Furness Football Team c1932

This photograph shows the Furness Football Team in 1932 with Dicky Baker holding the ball. I believe Dicky was killed during his twenties driving his motorbike out of the bottom of Chapel Lane. He was a friend of my father, Sid Turner. My mother often spoke of him and kept this photo all her life.

Photograph and details courtesy of Jeff Turner.

Busy Bustling Billingham, Mid 1960s

This is the Billingham I remember from my teenage years, it was a great place to grow up in, the council was very forward looking and live music in the Town Centre was one of many things they did to enliven the town.

The five piece band, the drummer is hidden in the middle, could be The Johnny Taylor Five, they were often to be seen performing in the Town Centre. I don’t know if the crowd were there to see the band or were already there and taking advantage of the live entertainment.

One of the things that sticks in my mind about Billingham Town Centre was the fact that you would always meet somebody you knew or somebody you didn’t know who would speak to you, always friendly, Billingham people.

Brown Brothers & Taylor was one of the first shops to open in the Town Centre, this was in the mid 1950s, Finlays was a favourite place for youngsters as they had a record department where the young ladies behind the counter would play records of your choice, as in Leslie Browns in Stockton there were a couple of listening booths where we would get crammed in and listen to records by the likes of Guy Mitchell, Lonnie Donegan, Adam Faith and many others, the staff were very good as they knew full well that we had no money with which to buy records and most of us didn’t even have a gramaphone, this is what we called them before record player became the usual name, on which to play them.

At this time Billingham had fish ponds and aviaries in the Town Centre, not acceptable nowadays but an interesting feature at the time. A very lively place.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Any memories or accounts of people working on the telescope at Jodrell Bank?

This is the Mark II radio telescope under construction by Head Wrightson in 1963.  When completed it was transported to its home at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire.  Jodrell Bank (www.jodrellbank.net) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  In 2017 the Mark II was designated as a Grade I listed building, the highest grading awarded to buildings of “exceptional interest”.

The Mark II is part of the MERLIN array of radio telescopes.  (That’s Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network in case it comes up as a pub quiz question and you want to impress your team mates). The array consists of up to seven radio telescopes observing phenomena such as galaxies, quasars and interstellar gas clouds.  We knew Head Wrightson’s work went around the world, but we can see it also reached far out into the universe…

If you worked on the telescope or knew people who did please let us know!

Corporation Bus Model

This is a hand finished model of an “O” bus that my brother recently got for me. It was made by a gentleman who lives somewhere in North Yorkshire. It looks quite authentic with the spattering of mud along the sides and rear. Also detailed is the address of the General Manager and Engineer, WC Wilson, whose department was in Church Road. Presumably that was in the new Council Offices. Has anyone any idea of the capacity of these buses and what was engine and horsepower?

Photographs and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Class Photograph, St Peter and Paul’s school c1954

I have attached a very early class photograph probably the first year I attended St Peter and Paul’s school. I would have been six years old at the time as my first year at school was spent at St Mary’s in Stockton. Some of the teachers from this time I remember are:
Miss Blenkinsop, Mrs Ferguson, Miss Holmes, Mrs Smith, Jim Doughty (Head master), Miss Gallagher, Mr Macintosh.

The names of the pupils I can remember (I hope) are; Back row (l-r): Peter Dee. Keith Codd, Gerard Downey, Anthony Monk, Terry Bainbridge, Brett, ?, Ken Salmon, Dave Cook, Francis Kane, Fred Burr, ?, John Mathews, ?.

Middle row (l-r); Carol Vettas, ?, Nertney, ?, Kathleen Rawlins, Sylvia Stottle, ?, ?, Patricia Roberts, Elisabeth Goldsmith, Linda Parker

Front Row (l-r); Alan Taylor, Brian Philips, Jimmy Shepherd, Eileen Burke, Elisabeth Condon, Christine Waters, Theresa Richardson.

Photograph and details courtesy of Ken Salmon.

Residents of Lomond Avenue, Billingham c1953

These photographs show some of the residents of Lomond Avenue, Billingham around the time the Queens Coronation. I recognise a lot of the faces but the names I know for certain are:

In the football team, standing extreme right is Arthur Davies and 4th from the right is my Dad, John (Jack) Dunn. Kneeling 3rd from right is Eric Rhodes.

In this photograph my mum is standing 2nd from the left.

Photograph and details courtesy of Malcolm Dunn.

Bowesfield Junction, 1980

I took these images on a visit to Bowesfield signal box one Saturday afternoon during 1980. The box always interested me due to its complexity of junctions, and the volume of traffic it controlled at that time. The following day, I went on to photograph a number of signals and junctions that came under the control of this iconic location.

Photographs and details courtesy of Steve Edge Robinson.

Stockton Junior Schools Athletics Association

These two photographs show the letter rack presented to me in 1996/7 after my retirement having been the secretary and organiser of the annual Stockton Junior Schools Sports day from 1971 to 1995. This was held every June or July weather permitting from I believe well before the war, indeed the girls trophy for large schools being silver marked for 1939.

There were races for teams of children from the ages of 7 to 11, plus relays each having its own final. The races were held on Stockton Cricket Ground for many years and then in the latter years on the William Newton School field. Between 20 and 25 schools took place each year and to make sure all schools had a chance they were put into two categories, small schools and large schools depending upon pupil numbers. Unfortunately I believe that the association has ceased to function for many years although I believe the Cleveland ones may still continue. Some schools in the old Stockton Borough will no doubt still have trophies in their keep.

Photograph and details courtesy of Derek Graham.