This picture was taken from the second floor window of 37 Yarm Road, Stockton-on-Tees in the winter of 1964. It shows a section of Yarm Road covered with snow in front of the Church of the Nazarene. From August 1954 to July 1965, I stayed in the room behind the window of 37 Yarm Road which was hired as the company hostel for overseas employees of The Power-Gas Corporation Limited in Stockton. I worked as an engineer-trainee in Power-Gas under a sponsorship offered by the Education Department of Hong Kong government.
At the time when I took this picture, I felt quite excited as it was my first time to see snow in my life since I came from a place with no snow all year around. Power-Gas company was very generous to let me taking a part-time day-release advanced course at Constantine College of Technology for me to complete the academic requirements for admission to the corporate membership of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (I.Mech.E.). During the academic year at Constantine, I worked very hard studying all the relevant textbooks and notebooks in my hostel room after finishing my daily work in Power-Gas office. I passed all the internal examinations at Constantine college and the external I.Mech.E. examinations with flying colour by the end of June 1965.
Two images of Finkle Street, the Newhouse image is dated c1954 and the other is approximately the late 1960’s. There are three arched windows clearly visible on the corner building on both images and Ronald Cowan architects can be seen on the left of the Newhouse image, which confirms the images were taken from approximately the same location. There is a dummy facade clearly visible on the top of the corner building but it doesn’t appear on any of the other Finkle Street shots I have seen, possibly erected by Newhouse’s.
However the Newhouse image is causing me a puzzle. In Stockton Reference Library is a copy of “Occupational History of the High Street – Book 1.” The corner shop is 48 High Street and the entry for that address and time period states:
1910 – 58: R Medd & Co, drapers and furriers.
1958 – 68: Charles Clinkard, shoes.
In 1968 the building was vacated in preparation for demolition prior to the construction of the Castle Centre.
There is no mention of J Newhouse Ltd. for that address.
Can anyone help clear up this mystery? Also can anyone identify the make of vehicle just visible at the end of the street?
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.