Trinity Green, Stockton

One Saturday morning in the early summer of 1965, I practised Qigong ( 氣功 ) at Trinity Green near Bowesfield Lane, Stockton-on-Tees. Qigong is a branch of Chinese Gong Fu (Kung Fu). It uses breathing adjustment, physical activity adjustment and consciousness adjustment as exercise methods to achieve physical fitness, physical and mental health, disease resistance and longevity. The unique movement of my exercise curiously attracted several kids playing on the Green. They might have not seen exercise like this before, as Bruce Lee’s Gong Fu heat in the 70s had yet to be created. After I finished my exercise, I invited the kids to take a group photo as a memento of our acquaintance. I think these kids would be nearly 70 years old now and I wonder whether they still remember the foreign Gong Fu man!

Photograph and details courtesy of Kwok Wong.

‘Billy’ Boys Brigade Summer Camp

My late uncle by marriage, Charles McCorkell, always known as Chuck, was a member of the 1st Billingham Boys Brigade from about the age of eight. I have been sent photos of his time in the Boys Brigade by my aunt, Freda nee Leek. The small group photo was taken at Wynyard in 1949, the lad elevated at the back is Brian Kemp, the five lads in the middle are Eddie Wood, Chuck McCorkell, Gordon Brown, Des Good and Peter Yardley, the lad at the front is Frank Barnes.

The large group is a bit more difficult to place names, the information on the back of the photo is as follows. Back Row (L to R): ??, ??, ??, ??, ??, ??, Charlie Paterson, ??, ??. Standing (L to R): ??, ??, ??, Alec Brown, Des Good, Chuck McCorkell, ??, ??, George Whitehouse, Roy Jenkins, Frank Barnes. Sitting (L to R): ??, Eddie Wood, ??, George ?, Maurice Taylor, Barry Stonehouse, Patrick Walsh, Ken Stewart, ??, Stan Calvert. Front Row (L to R): ??, ??, ??, Fred Palmer, Jackie Melville, Ken ?, Harry Whitehouse, Philip Kelsey, ??. As you can see the two back rows are a bit jumbled but the other two are straight forward.

The Brigade met in the Methodist Central Hall on Billingham Green. My aunt tells me that she dated Eddie Wood a couple of times when she was about 17 years of age, that would be around about 1954, I believe he was living in York Crescent at the time. Freda lived in Cornwall Crescent. Chuck was a keen sportsman playing both football and cricket for a number of teams, Freda played netball as Captain for the school as well as a team member for both ICI and NEEB.

Photographs and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

ICI Discoverer Camp of 1966

Further to the post by Jeff Taylor of the ICI Discoverer Camp of 1965, here is a photograph of the Discoverer Camp of 1966.

For those not familiar with ICI and it’s apprentice/youth trainee schemes, the Discoverer Course was character building and a pre-cursor of the team building events held today.
The course was held at a tented camp at Ingleby Greenhow. The term “Discoverer” meant that over the two-week period of the course, both the ICI youth management team and ourselves, were to discover what leadership, decision making and team working skills we possessed, if any. The participants on the course were 17 and 18 year-old apprentices and process youths from both ICI Billingham and Wilton, who had to put themselves forward for selection for the two week course. At the camp we were divided into teams and then coached in outward-bound skills by a team of Instructors, Jeff Taylor being one of them. The head Instructor was Frank Sterret, seated front centre, he was one of the youth training managers at ICI Billingham.

The activities we were engaged in, included, rock climbing and abseiling on the Wainstones, forestry skills, that included tree felling and retrieval, with Forestry Commission staff and constructing timber structures, as can be seen in the photograph back left, we also did night hikes and a three day hike, where we were given a set of map coordinates with which we had to hike to a given destination. To prove we had plotted our route correctly, we had to leave evidence of our “visit” at the said coordinates, like leaving a note under a pile of stones, which was checked out later by the Instructors. During these hikes we had to sleep out in bivouacs that we had to make from branches, heather and bracken.

There were also plenty of onsite activities, including, kitchen duties, cooking on old army stoves with the camp cook, Bert Blackmore and cleaning out the latrines, I can still smell the Racasan fluid now !!. And who can ever forget the early morning “Wakey! Wakey!” call for the cross country run, ending with a crawl through a stream culvert and finally the ice cold shower. I also can remember returning home after the course was finished feeling totally knackered and sleeping for the whole weekend. What great days, we were very lucky young men to have the opportunities that ICI afforded us.

I have tried to name as many of the ICI Billingham participants as possible, apologies for any incorrect or missing names… but it was 55 years ago!!

Photograph and details courtesy of Mick Haines.

ICI Discoverer Camp, 1965

This is the first ever Discoverer Camp at Ingleby Greenhow in June 1965. Ray Teigh instructor back row 1st left, (myself) Jeff Taylor back row 6th left, Jimmy Embleton back row 7th left, Frank Sterrett instructor middle row 1st left, Robert Crallan middle row 3rd right.

Photograph and details courtesy of Jeff Taylor.

C.W. Chapman & Son Garage staff c1940s

This photograph shows the Bone Street garage staff of C.W. Chapman & Son from around the mid 1940s. My father William (Bill) Longmuir is far left with who I believe is Walter Chapman standing next to him. My father began his apprenticeship with Chapmans as a Fitter and Turner in 1940 and was subsequently employed as a Tradesman. He left in 1946 to do his two years of National Service and returned to Chapmans in 1948 working almost exclusively with developing equipment for the Blast furnace Industry. He left in 1954 to work at ICI Billingham until emigrating to Australia in 1963. Hopefully someone recognises the other faces in this photo and can put names to them.

Photograph and details courtesy of Graham Longmuir.

Form A4, St Bedes School c1970

A school photograph capturing the scoundrels of form 4A if memory serves, I think it was 1970 but I’m not sure… I found it among my deceased mothers possessions and thought some my like to have a shot at putting names to faces, identify the living…. and the departed. I can name almost all. I am second from the right front row sat next to Tony Bailey first right. With “Billy Cap” sitting proudly in the centre who ruled over the class with a rod of iron, and a table tennis bat with which he dealt out summary justice on the spot!

Photograph and details courtesy of Craig Harrison.