The Christmas Bus!

I am sure that many of the site visitors will remember seeing the Christmas Bus in their childhood. It was always a thrill to see it driving past as it showed Christmas was very near.

I worked in the electric shop at Teesside Municipal Transport in Church Road in the late 1960s and I remember the Christmas bus being prepared. It was a joint effort between the paint shop and the electric shop with help from the mechanical boys.

I wasn’t involved being third electrician, I got the cold and wet jobs alongside the apprentice, Bryan Archer, I know Bryan visits this site so if you see this Bryan send a comment!

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

The Pinnacle, Billingham Green

This shot taken along the south side of Billingham Green shows St Cuthbert’s Church in the background and the three storey building known as ‘The Pinnacle’ by many people, it was also known as ‘Robson’s Folly’, its proper name was ‘Tower House’.

The story is that John ‘Tatie’ Robson wanted to extend his cottage along West Row but was refused permission, his response was to build upwards, this building is the result. In its later years it was the office of a solicitor, it was demolished in 1963. The funny thing is that I was born and brought up in Billingham and must have passed this building numerous times but I never ever noticed it.

Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Rowan Yard, Norton

The street sign for Rowan Yard in Norton. In the late 1700s, this yard housed one of the two blacksmiths in Norton, the other being on Norton Green. Rowan Yard opposite the Red Lion serviced both the village and the Sunderland to York coach from 1780s – 1836.

Stockton Quayside

One of the postcards uses the word wharf instead of either docks or quayside, was the wharf a different section of the port? Corporation Quay was at the bottom of Finkle Street, could The Wharf be at the end of Wharf Street?
I have sailed into many ports and harbours throughout the world and there are often different sections that have different facilities depending on the type of cargo, I wonder if Stockton had a similar system.

Images and details courtesy of Anon.

Holy Trinity School Trip to Bamburgh c1959

These photographs were taken when I was a pupil at Holy Trinity School and are on a school trip to Bamburgh. It seems quite a long way to go for a school trip especially as there were no motorways then and few dual carriageways. I am sure we all enjoyed ourselves and it looks as though the sun was shining. I wonder where these pupils are now – Martin Pennock, Derek Yarrow, Geoff Brown and Peter Mash.

Photographs and details courtesy of Garth McLean.

Joseph Parrott c1890

Joseph Parrott b.1846 was an amateur artist and several of his local studies are in Picture Stockton. Parrott appears to have lived in Wellington Street and been a hairdresser. Interior portraits of 19th century living rooms are rare and this is rich in detail allowing us to identify the various busts and other items to record Parrott’s tastes and interests.

Photograph and details courtesy of Derek Smith.

Class Photograph, Sheraton Comprehensive

The following is a photograph of another 4th year class – same year, 1974 and yet as I’m writing this I noticed it’s all boys – we changed to Sheraton Comprehensive from Hardwick Secondary Modern for boys 1973/74 term. On closer inspection some the the faces look familiar and also appear to be slightly younger versions of boys in my class photo. Which makes me think this must likely have been 3rd seniors c1972/73. Not sure of many names so leave that for others to name, if they can!

Photograph and details courtesy of Andrew Beevers.

‘The Snow Queen’, Queen Victoria High School c1970

This photograph is dated June 1970 but there’s no indication of the photographer. It shows the Robber Band from a production of ‘The Snow Queen’, a children’s musical based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and using music by Grieg.

It was one of a series of end-of-year shows by the junior school put on by Miss Jones, the music teacher, with input from across the junior school – for example, I remember making flower hats for the flower garden scene by forming papier mache over balloons, then cutting the bottom up so ‘petals’ could be bent up. And we also made the robbers’ weapons – such as the knife being brandished by the girl on the left. The room is the same main hall at Queen Victoria High School as in the 1967 assembly picture but facing the other way.

Photograph and details courtesy of Roz Sherris.

Talbot Cellar Bar c1979

The Talbot cellar bar taken in 1979 left to right Terry Westwood, Jeff Cooke and William Sutcliffe. It had a great jukebox in those days. We listened to Dylan Positively 4th Street and Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Great times or am I looking through rose tinted beer glasses!?

Photograph and details courtesy of Terry Westwood.

Class 4B, Sheraton Comprehensive c1974

A photograph of Class 4B – Sheraton Comprehensive 1974 (previously Hardwick Secondary Modern). I can remember most names…

Back row (L-R): ??, Kenny Alison, Me (Andrew Beevers), Lee Gatenby, Barry Hall, ??, Ian Hodgeson, ??.

Middle row (L-R): Virginia Bruce, Sandra Cockerill, ??, Andrew ?, Paul Cleasby, Robin Fletcher, David Costello, June Able.

Front Row (L-R): Julia Wilkinson, Karen Derbyshire, Pamela Broadbent, Lyn Broadbent, Mr Storey, Lyn Brown, Karen Denning, Julie Armstrong, Kay Blakemore.

Photograph and details courtesy of Andrew Beevers.

Parish Church and Cenotaph, Stockton

This postcard of the Parish Church and Cenotaph I think to have been taken sometime in the 1930s or possibly slightly later. There are no obvious signs of the tramway in the picture, but of course they may be out of shot, the trams closed in 1931.

The dress lengths are generally a good indicator of dates but mens clothing doesn’t change too much with time. The buildings along Church Row/Church Road are clearly visible. The fruit and potato merchant is also reasonably clear. I think the advertising hoarding has Bachelors Peas on it.

The thing that most interests me is the “K1” telephone box in front of the fruiterers. These were of concrete construction and were first introduced in 1927, they were later replaced by the “K2” kiosk in the 1930s. The “K1” was pre-cast and bolted together on site, there are many photos of this model of kiosk but this is the only one I have seen with “Public Telephone” on it. Generally the word “Telephone” is all that is on the kiosk.

The “K2” was the first of the well known red phone boxes that have been a feature of British life for many years, they had small Georgian style windows, the “K6” was the last of the series with the one large and two small window panes, the one everybody knows. I should think this would have been one of the earliest public telephones in Stockton, if not the first.

The shot of the Church and Cenotaph as well as the interested bystanders makes this a very nice piece of social history.

Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.