The Queensway Billingham c1960

The Queensway Billingham c1960

An interesting shot of my home town to share with your visitors. Anybody growing up in Billingham in the 1950s will remember this view, it is of the very first part of the new town centre built in the early 1950s. I date this to around about 1960/61, the Queensway is open to traffic and there are no buildings between the town centre and Pentland Avenue in the distance.

Kennedy Garden Flats were constructed around about 1962 and there is no sign of them, the Ford Anglia and Mini were introduced 1958/59ish. I think that the Westminster Bank was added to the row of shops as Broughs was the last shop when the block first opened in 1953.

The Queensway turned to the left at the end of the shopping parade and continued past phase two of the shops to meet the Causeway opposite to the gates of John Whitehead Park, Brown Brothers & Taylor was the shop on the corner.

My wife to be moved to Billingham in 1961 and remembers the town centre just as it is shown in the image.

Photo and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman

Bridge Road 100 Years Apart

My caption is not strictly accurate, the older photo came with a date of c.1865 and the later photo I judge to be around about the early 1960s. It is quite close to 100 years.

There were many changes over the years and these changes continue, the recent demolition of the buildings along this stretch of Bridge Road prove the point.

Photos and detail courtesy of Bruce Coleman

From the top of the Globe Theatre

Photos taken from the top of the Globe Theatre, Stockton.

Photographs and details courtesy of Tony Cooney.

Mystery House (possibly Judge Cohens)

This is a picture of my Great Aunt Elsie (Lenham), and I believe one of five siblings to the second wife of my great grandfather (not sure how many children he had to his first wife who sadly died, but my grandfather Thomas Arthur was one of them. My great grandfather and grandfather at one point in time lived next door to each other in Lawson Street, Stockton). Great Aunt Elsie worked as a housekeeper and is said to have worked for Judge Cohen who I believe lived on the corner of Yarm Road and Hartburn Avenue which is now the site of a nursing home called Saint Mark’s I think. This will obviously by stretching people’s memories but can anyone confirm this please.

Photograph and details courtesy of Hazel Lenham.

Bridge Road Demolition, Sunday 9 February 2020

I drove along the Riverside Road on Friday evening and was quite surprised to see a car stuck on a mud-bank after going through the temporary fencing surrounding the proposed Lidl supermarket. What I didn’t notice until I was driving back along the riverside in the opposite direction was that the demolition work had started on the old ADS Martins car showroom and worse, the old doctors surgery had gone completely!

I went down on Sunday while Storm Ciara was at a low ebb and took a few photos, the blown down fencing being a distinct advantage allowing for easy photography although blocking the footpaths. Clearly the ’24 Hour CCTV In Operation’ operator does not work on weekends!

Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson

House of Wax, ABC Globe Theatre c1953

The House Of Wax was an early 3D film, it was made in 1953, the Globe has 4 showings in one day and it appears that it was being shown for quite some time as the “Final Week” notice indicates.

I remember my parents going to see a 3D film in the early 1950s, it was probably at Billingham Picture House and much later than the initial release, my Father was unimpressed and my Mother thought it was “All Right”, damned by faint praise, as the saying goes. The main thing I remember was wearing the red/green spectacles the following day at school and having them confiscated.

3D cinema was never a success, it was unrealistic and unconvincing and very expensive to make, I have seen a number of I-Max films over the years and they are quite good but I don’t think they improve the cinema going experience, they can be quite novel for a short time but they do pall.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

The Odeon, mid 1960s

In this photograph the film being shown was released in 1966, this may be a pointer to the year the shot was taken. It looks as if there is an empty plot beyond the cinema, this may be the time between the pub being demolished and the insurance office being built, another pointer to the year.

In the 1960s I was a regular and frequent cinema goer, I also went to many pop shows in both the Odeon and the Globe, in earlier times I also visited the other cinemas in Stockton.

The Empire, The Hippodrome, The Essoldo and even the Turner, these are the names I knew them by, I believe that some had changed their names over the years, The Hippodrome was always at Christmas to see the pantomime on an ICI trip.

Billingham Picture House was our main venue for the Saturday morning matinee throughout the 1950s.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.