Stockton Sledging

Since the snow is with us I’d like to show you a picture from the early 1970s. It is of a group of friends from the Newtown area (photo actually taken in Mellor Street with the Rocket public house in the background) sitting on probably the largest sledge in the North East.

There is actually room for six kids on there. I remember once dragging it all the way from Newtown along the black path and on to Newham Grange park. It was an epic journey for us young’un’s as like now the sun beat down from a cloudless sky. When we eventually got there the sun had started to melt the snow and not more than two of us at any one time could ride it otherwise it just sunk. After about half an hour it was a mush fest so we left the park and trudged back home. It only ever came out once more when we persuaded my dad to drive us on the moors Road (A171) to that big hill a couple of miles past the Lockwood Beck Reservoir. That lasted even quicker than the park trip when the farmer came out and politely asked us to leave. So back under my brother’s bed it went never to see any more snow. It went for scrap sometime in the late 1970’s. When I see kid’s with their plastic sledges they don’t know the half of it.

Photo and details courtesy of Michael Bellerby.

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.

Yarm Rooftops, April 2017

These sets of pictures were taken from the window of a Grand Central train which runs from Sunderland, through to Kings Cross, via Northallerton. It picks up passengers at Eaglescliffe and Hartlepool but for some reason does not stop at Stockton. Is the platform too short?

The Yarm rooftops show how much new building has gone on behind Yarm High Street. I was surprised to learn this morning that Teesside, unlike other conurbations does not have a formal Greenbelt, protecting the surrounding countryside.

Photographs and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Stockton & Darlington Railway Brass Plaque, ‘Tittybottle Park’, Eaglescliffe

This small park in Eaglescliffe is bounded by Yarm Road, Albert Road and Victoria Road, the names give a clue to its age and origin as the houses are mostly well established of Edwardian design dating back to the late 19th century with larger and slightly older houses being found in The Avenue nearby. The park will be familiar to many as the Eaglescliffe War Memorial stands within it but also here is another piece of history. A brass plaque explaining the quaint naming of the park mounted on a relic of the original Stockton & Darlington railway. A relic I had walked past many times but had never taken the trouble to read and which should be afforded greater provenance given its historic significance. Taken December 2016.

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.