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.

Robinsons Coliseum, Stockton

An undated picture of the Robinsons building when it was probably at its architectural peak. It looks like it was in the middle of being decorated to celebrate an event.
It shows all the detailed features that were later simplified/removed (mostly on or at the roof level), before the canopy was added and the entrance modified to its current configuration (corridors between display windows).

Image and details courtesy of Jonathan May.

Stockton High Street c1950s

This is a very wide angle shot of the high street, practically all of the East side is visible, even as far as the Victoria buildings and Church.

A recent posting mentioned the Scammel Scarab three wheeled vehicle, one of these is parked at the kerbside, further along is a Wynns heavy haulage wagon, this may also be a Scammel, I am sure somebody will know for certain.

These large heavy haulage vehicles were a fairly common sight in the Teesside area during the 1950s and 1960s, they carried large fabrications into the big industries such as ICI, usually the haulage firms were Pickfords and Sunters.

The number 2 bus ran from Stockton Town Hall to the Transporter Bridge via Norton, Billingham, Haverton Hill and Port Clarence where you could either cross over to Middlesbrough or catch a Hartlepool Corporation bus number 1 which would take you to Seaton Carew.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.