Haverton Hill Railway Station

This shot was taken from an upper floor of the Furness Shipyard Offices, possibly from the window at the end of the corridor. The shipyard gates and gatehouses can be clearly seen, I haven’t had time to research or date this image, judging by the lack of vehicles and the workers on bikes or foot I think this could be as early as the war years or as late as the mid 1950s, it is very likely my father was working at the yard when this was taken 1939-1962. I was hoping the hoarding advertising Digger tobacco would help date it but that particular tobacco was on sale from 1917 until the 1980s. One of the houses on Hope Street on the far side of the line is where my paternal Great Grandparents lived, my Grandfather and his two brothers were born there, my Grandfather worked in the shipyard, his two brothers both worked at the power station on Haverton Hill Road. The white building in the distance I think must be the Queens Hotel. If anybody knows anything about this station or can give an approximate date I would love to hear about it.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

The Christmas Bus!

I am sure that many of the site visitors will remember seeing the Christmas Bus in their childhood. It was always a thrill to see it driving past as it showed Christmas was very near.

I worked in the electric shop at Teesside Municipal Transport in Church Road in the late 1960s and I remember the Christmas bus being prepared. It was a joint effort between the paint shop and the electric shop with help from the mechanical boys.

I wasn’t involved being third electrician, I got the cold and wet jobs alongside the apprentice, Bryan Archer, I know Bryan visits this site so if you see this Bryan send a comment!

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Model Stockton Station, ‘Commercial Vehicles’

The vehicles are typical of the era from late 40s to 1970’s with some having Stockton titling on the vehicles or ‘Teesside Carriers’. The vehicles are in 1/76 scale so I have added a 50 cent (pence) piece next to one to show actual size across the whole model. The red British Road Services vehicle is similar to those used by Fordy’s Builders after the Second World War – bought from armed forces I assume as there was a shortage of vehicles. I worked on Fordy’s sites and visited the yard in Boathouse Lane and remember the batteries were flat on a regular basis on these vehicles. All pre-1964 given the number plates, happy to be corrected.

Photographs and details courtesy of Alan Davis.

The Bus to The Kirk

Does anyone remember meeting up in the Jockers Pub (The Theater on Yarm Lane), sometimes in the Boys Room at the back of the pub then catching the United Bus up to The Kirklevington Country Club (The Kirk)?. Do you remember bands like The Alan Bown Set, The Spencer Davis Group, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart etc, etc – this was in the sixties. I painted this image reminiscing about those days.

Painting and details courtesy of Graham Wright.

A Transport of Delight

With thanks to Flanders & Swann.

When I first received this picture it brought back so many memories of my childhood and beyond.

My late friend Brian Storey and I were great ramblers from a fairly early age, we walked from our homes in Billingham to places such as Thorpe Thewles, following the beck, or to Greatham Beck and across to the old brickyard and Cowpen marshes.

When we went to “The Big School” at the age of eleven we were both given bikes, from then on we cycled to places such as Guisborough, Eston and Great Ayton so we could wander around the hills.

As we grew older the Cleveland Hills became our target, this is where Crowe Brothers came into their own, we would set out early on a Saturday morning from Billingham and catch the Crowes bus to Clack Lane Ends at Osmotherly, a climb into the village followed by a good walk along Black Hambleton to Sutton Bank or across the escarpment to Hasty Bank and a walk into Great Broughton to catch a Middlesbrough bus, great days.

In 1960 Brian read about a walk across the highest and widest part of the North York Moors and we decided to give it a try, every opportunity during the Summer holidays we travelled to Osmotherly on a Crowes bus and walked a little further every time, once we had managed the walk from Osmotherly to Castleton we decided we would be able to complete the walk.

In the October (Tatie Picking) holidays we set of on the 5pm Crowes bus out of Stockton, I seem to remember it was almost a full hour to get to Osmotherly in those days, at about 6:30 in the evening we set off from the Trig point above Mount Grace Priory, our school had provided a map and compass and we had our army surplus haversacks and water bottles and mothers sarnies, it was an excellent crossing which we both enjoyed and when we reached the Trig point above Ravenscar we whirled each other around in glee, that was the first of many “Lyke Wake Walks”.

In later years when Brian was teaching at Sheraton Comprehensive School he would organise hiking trips for the pupils and I would be seconded to act as marshall and back marker so that we didn’t lose too many pupils, nowadays, of course , this wouldn’t be allowed, but life was simpler then.

We continued our rambling for many years taking in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales as well as the North York Moors, Brian continued organising outdoor pursuits and qualified to teach rock climbing and canoeing, he also organised the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at his school and I acted as marshall and timekeeper when needed.

Workload, marriage, mortgages and children certainly restricted our hiking days but we did manage quite a few walks before age took its toll.

Our last “Lyke Wake” was in the 1980s but I have many terrific memories of the many crossings we made.

Details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.