Where Four Roads Meet

This shot of the junction of The High Street with Castlegate, Bridge Road and Yarm Lane is exactly as I remember it.

The Empire is showing “The Long Wait”, released in America in 1954, this gives an approximate date for the shot. n the 1950s I remember visiting Broughs the grocer in Yarm Lane, as well as walking down Castlegate to watch the locos shunting along the dockside.

In the 1960s it was motorcycling along the High Street and Bridge Road to pay a visit to Eddie Holman’s motorbike shop in Parliament Road. In more recent times it was visiting the Thomas Sheraton for a pie and a pint with Brian Storey, my friend of over 65 years. Happy memories all.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

A Winters Day – Or Is It?

When I first saw this picture I thought it was a snow scene of Stockton High Street. I was looking for clues as to the possible date of the image and I noticed the shadows under the shop canopies and horse drawn carriages were directly beneath them. This shows the sun is high in the sky, practically overhead, of course this only happens at the height of Summer. Anybody who has walked along Stockton High Street in the Winter will know that the sun shines full in the face from the Bridge Road end of the High Street. I still think it looks like a covering of snow but if it isn’t I can’t imagine what it could be.

Image and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Almost Rush Hour

Cars waiting for the traffic lights on Stockton High Street. I think the car disappearing off the left of the picture is a Rootes Group car, either a Hillman Minx, Sunbeam Rapier, Singer Gazelle, I can’t remember if there was a Humber version. I believe it may be a Hillman Minx. The white car behind it is a the Rover P6.

There is Austin Cambridge, complete with AA badge at the head of the right hand queue. I think the one behind is a Renault 5, then a Vauxhall Cresta followed by a Mk1 Cortina, the next two could be a Vauxhall Viva HA and an Anglia but I’m not sure about either, the one way back is big, possibly a Zephyr or Zodiac.

I also spotted the number 2 bus on its way to the Transporter near the bingo at the Cinema/Essoldo. Also worth a mention is the first three bus stops nearest the camera are for red United Buses. The Darlington to Middlesbrough United bus would turn through the centre island and pick up here.

If my memory is correct, the photography is stood near Rossi’s ice cream parlour. I’m not sure about the date, but the Rover and Austin have suffix ‘D’ registrations, which means they were registered 1966, which suggests this is late 60’s early 70’s.

Photograph and details courtesy of Alex Moody.

William IV, Stockton High Street

A recent comment by Roy Buchanan (posted in ‘The Old Order Changeth’) about the loss of the buildings in the High Street, prompted me to post this image. The William IV was one of my favourite buildings in that part of the High Street, it was built during the reign of William IV 1830-1837. William IV was the younger brother of George IV who died childless, William had many children but all illegitimate, he was succeeded by his niece Victoria. He was known as the “Sailor King”. The architecture is so very different from the Georgian style that came before this and the Victorian style that followed it. The arched window is the most prominent feature but the thing I remember most is the glass top panel in the entrance door, it had a beautiful engraved image that caught the light at certain times, unfortunately I can’t remember what the image portrayed, I am hoping that somebody will know what it was. The door was recessed and I think there were two steps up to it.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

‘The Old Order Changeth’

These two shots show the South East section of the High Street between Finkle Street and Castlegate, the first shot is of the old part that was demolished in the late 1960s, some of the shops have their windows whitewashed in readiness.

The second shot is of the replacement Castlegate Centre under construction. I understand that the Castlegate Centre is its self to be demolished.

I am interested in architecture and there were some very interesting frontages amongst the old buildings, the Castlegate Centre is very much of its time, its main saving grace was the use of bricks for the main frontage, this softens the more intrusive concrete.

One of the things I liked about the old style of shops were the window displays, nowadays there are large glass fronts mainly plastered with posters and notices, shops inside of malls have glass fronts even though there is no natural light outside, the tradition of having shop windows is alive and well but the use as display areas has just about disappeared.

Images and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.