Some images of the Norton-on-Tees signal box, which is at the bottom of Station Road, Norton.
When those photos were taken Network Rail had commenced a project to re-signal the Durham Coast Line between Norton South signal box and Billingham. As a consequence of this work the crossing gates will be automated with a flashing red lights system fitted.
I have also included an image of the Norton Tavern sign, which depicts the signal box.
I took these photos of Stockton North Shore Branch in August 1968. North Shore Goods Station had closed in January 1968, having been built as the Stockton & Hartlepool Railway’s station in 1841. Passenger trains were diverted to the present station, which the Leeds Northern Railway opened in 1852, in 1853.
Originally Norton Road was crossed on the level and trains ran into the station on the left of the view of the office block. By 1968 a concrete bridge took the railway across the road. I also include the view from that bridge, looking north, to Clarence Coal Depots, Stockton Gas Works, and the railway to North Shore signal box on the main line. You can see Stockton North Marshalling Yard in the distance. Clarence Coal Depots were on or near the site of the Clarence Railway’s station, which had opened for passengers in 1835, and was replaced by the later stations.
The Flying Scotsman on a visit to Stockton, taken at the station showing the overall roof, now long gone sadly, in April 1966. I was very fortunate in those days to have a permit for taking pictures at the lineside and still only a teenager so I did not get into trouble with that policeman on the platform.
This railway carriage was sited outside the John Walker Square to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. It is an incredible 45 years since this event and the 200th anniversary of the railway opening is now only five years away.
This really was the start of the model railway four years ago and inspired by my trip on a train from Stockton to Newcastle in December 1978. The desolate views really were depressing given a cold winters day. This model still requires more detailing in the station area as time permits. I therefore recreated in the model a brighter time in the days of Stockton Station.
The photos of the buses are typical of the town including Stockton Corporation, United and OK Motor Services. These buses can be seen on various parts of the model and reflect a number of times on Teesside.
Having only the pictures on the Picture Stockton site I scaled down to 00 scale as much of the main building I could fit into the model. Houses around the station (Stamp Street – to be improved accuracy) are not in the correct location but models placed to add to the feel of the area. Taken around 3 years spare time for the whole model. The area was where my mother’s family started in Frederick Street. Fond memories of train spotting in late 50s and was so disappointed in 1978/79 to see the roof of the station removed, as can be done on the model. Next job is to improve the accuracy of the station with additional photos. Living in Australia this model reminds me daily of our childhood days. More photos if anybody interested.
This photograph was taken on 4th November 1966 on the last day of working at the old Billingham station before closure. It shows diesel D5159 based at Thornaby Sheds. Although the station was closed the goods yard stayed in operation until 1979 mainly doing work for the London Brick Company.
Details courtesy of Martin Birtle, photograph courtesy of John Hardy.