Thomas Starr 1890-1957: A Hard Life for an Intelligent Man

This pictures shows my grandad, Thomas Barrow Starr, and my grandma, Florence Starr, when they got married in 1919. My grandmother’s previous husband had disappeared in the First World War.

My grandad himself survived the war, quite by accident. In 1914, every man jack wanted to be in the war “that would be over by Christmas”. To join up meant going down Middlesbrough. On hearing that grandad had walked from Portrack to Middlesbrough to get recruited, the recruiting sergeant asked “don’t your feet hurt”. On being told “just a bit” my grandad was marked down as “flat feet”, unsuitable for soldering, as the recruiting station was overwhelmed. This kept him safe, even when, later on, conscription came in.

My grandad had wanted to get into technical education in Stockton, and although he passed the entrance exams his family could not afford the fees. Accordingly, the rest of his life was spent labouring. For a time, he worked on a cogging steel mill at the Malleable, which must have been the reason he became quite deaf.

I only knew him in his last ten years, when his lungs were so bad, he was permanently on the sick. The last job he had was with lime kilns at the Malleable works, which must have been deadly. His working days finished when one day he arrived home at 17 St Anne’s Terrace, Portrack, only to hang over the garden gate, absolutely exhausted. Each day of the rest of his life, he would walk to the end of the street and stand in the alcove of the Portrack Pub, with his cap and long overcoat, out of the wind. What a waste.

Photograph and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Annie Fawcett at the Brown Jug, Norton Road

The Brown Jug on Norton Road where my Aunt, Annie Fawcett began work as a barmaid for Joe Cartwright.

A photograph of Annie standing behind the bar where she worked for 35 years before retirement, “Miss Annie Fawcett reckons she has stretched out her left arm over a million times to pull pints for customers”. The other photograph is both Annie and Joe Cartwright, plus my other Aunt, Violet Wren and her husband Billy, who also worked there. Over the years, my Mother worked in the off-licence shop and my sister often did baby sitting (I’m not sure who had the pub at that time).

Photographs and details courtesy of Anne Jones.

Westbury Street School, Thornaby c1945

Front Row (left to Right): Maurice Gray, ??, Joe Notman, Billy Taite.
Second Row (left to Right): ??, Derick Worn, Jimmy Instone, Barry Chesser, ??,
??, Maurice Thornton, John Boyle, Randolph Macartney.
Third Row (left to Right): Eric Fordy, Keith Barker, ??, Alan Shaw, John Bell, Graham Henderson, ??, Allan Sanderson.
Back Row (left to Right): ??, ??, ?? ??, ??, Geoff Dunwell, ??, ??, Jim Black, ??, Billy Booth.

Photograph and details courtesy of Jim Black.

Can Anyone Help?

Can anyone help in identifying these old photos, possibly at Port Clarence Elementary School. My mother and her siblings were born and reared in Stockton between 1908 and 1950. The photos appear to be of school children and to have been taken in the same place (trellis in the background), perhaps even on the same day? Is it possible to identify the school? Was this the school uniform of the time? Is it possible to date the photographs?

I am only guessing that it might be Port Clarence Elementary School as the family lived at Crosby Terrace, Port Clarence. The first photograph shows my aunt, Kathleen Conlon (born 1910) seated middle row, far right and the second shows my aunt Margaret Ann (Peggy) Conlon (born 1915) standing back row far right.

Photographs and details courtesy of Kathleen Holmes.

1st North Riding of Yorkshire Volunteer Artillery

Photographs of the North Riding of Yorkshire volunteer artillery around the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. They belonged to my great grandfather James Alfred Henderson (1857-1937) who was born in Wolsingham but lived most of his life in Stockton. He was an auctioneer in Stockton. He is buried in Oxbridge Lane cemetery together with my great grandmother Martha Matilda nee Wooler. My great grandfather was a captain in this volunteer artillery which story has it was created because of fear of a French invasion. They used to practice their manoeuvres on Redcar Race Course.

Photographs and details courtesy of Judy Henderson.

Stockton Cycling Club

A photograph of my great uncle, Jack (John) Earl who was a child of his father’s second marriage (his step brothers all came from the West Hartlepool area) riding a penny farthing.

Jack Earl was born in 1901 in Sheffield, Yorkshire. I do wonder whether he might have had some affiliation to the Stockton Cycling Club?  It would be wonderful if we could find out more about our “Old Time Crack Racing Cyclist”, can anyone help?

On the reverse side of this photograph the following has been handwritten:-
“Still on the Road. Jack Earle, the well known old time crack cyclist, of Middlesbro’, snapped while performing a few of his tricks at Wolviston. Photograph taken by Mr R. W. Elder
111, New Arlington St., Stockton-on-Tees”

Street Seller, Stockton High Street

An image of an unknown lady. I believe she is possibly a street seller, maybe bread, in Stockton High Street. The fancy building in the top right is now the HSBC Bank, 136 High Street. When the image was taken it would have been the London Joint Stock Bank and would later become Midland Bank. The building next to the bank is still identifiable, the upper window shape and the arched brickwork above is still visible in the building today. Interestingly Milburns, 134 High Street, was a druggists and was on the High Street between 1906 and 1912, so gives a fairly narrow date. Note the ‘ghosts’ in the background, people who have moved while the shutter was open.

Image and details courtesy of Alex Moody and a family friend who lives in Canada.

Richard Hind Speech Day, February 1960

The picture includes Mr Rosser on the right, and Alderman CW. Allison seated. Ken Smith, my friendly rival in science subjects, who got the chemistry prize, is next to Rosser. I got the one for Physics. Two others, I recognise, are Frank Kirkwood, third from the left, whose face is partly obscured, and John Calder, next to him, who is even more obscured. Frank was a good mate. Along with him and Derek Graham, who also received a prize at this ceremony, I had many, many happy and thoughtful conversations with them at lunchtime in walks through Ropner Park.

Images and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

Robert Atkinson Secondary, Thornaby

Front row girls (L to R): Kathleen Spens, Olga Thompson, Sheila Smith, Nancy Dale, Jean Hatfield (teacher), Eileen Brander, Dorothy Maynard, Pauline Gray, Eileen Dawson, Margaret Thomas.
Second Row girls (L to R): Marian Jones, Beryl Scott, Marlene Hunt, Lilian Southgate, Eileen Raine, Marian Lamb, Margaret Snowdon, Margot Jones, Sheila Thornburn, Mary Spence, Rita Underwood.
First Row boys (L to R): Billy Tate, Jim Instone, Eric Fordy (D), Derek Worn, Allan Sanderson, Barry Chesser (D), Maurice Grey, Randolph McCartney, John Beeston, Keith Barker.
Back row boys (L to R): Arthur Lynas, Graham Henderson, Donald Morrison (D), Geoff Dunwell, Don Mclaughlin (D), Jim Black, Maurice Thornton, Gavin Swainston (D), Joe Notman.

Photograph and details courtesy of Jim Black.

Railway Society, Grangefield Grammar School

I had noticed some recent comments on Picture Stockton about Grangefield Grammar School, with one comment being made by Geoff Crossley. Both Geoff and I were in the Railway Society at the school.

The first photograph was taken at Carlisle in October 1959 with Geoff and James Lightfoot in front of a diesel loco (class 40 for the enthusiasts). The other photograph is of the Society Group at Mirfield in West Yorkshire with a steam loco behind (Jubilee to the enthusiasts) taken in December 1964. The only ones I can put names to are Andy Elliot at the front and Chris Wilson on the back row 2nd from left. Can anyone fill in some of the missing names?

Photographs and details courtesy of Garth McLean.