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.
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
This is a postcard of the parade of shops in Surrey Road on the Albany Estate in Norton. The picture is a perfectly good historical image, I have taken many photos of this type over the years, what intrigued me was why would anybody make a postcard of such an image, Norton has many places of interest and there are quite a number of postcards showing The Green, The Alms Houses, The Jubilee Cross and High Street as well as the Church, why Surrey Road?.
The shops themselves are a typical example of many other such shops on very many housing developments, particularly from the late 1940s onward, where I was brought up on the Junction Estate in Billingham we had a row of four shops very similar to these.