Excuse me but where is Middlesbrough?
Walk from North Ormesby
Sources and Resources
Only a Short Time in History
Memories of Parliament Road
Football on the Roof
St Patrick's Church
The Tees (Newport) Bridge
Don't Mention the War?
Laws Street Block
Albert Park and 'Owld 'Enry
An Ayresome Childhood
St Paul's School
Victoria St/Greta St Now
The 'New' Newport School
Newport Bombing 15 April 1942
Closing of St Paul's School
More Memories of Parliament Rd.
Round and About King George Street
Memories of Duncombe Street
Honeymans of Cannon Street
Sun Sea & Sand
Fox Heads Page 1
Why DOGGY Town??
Fox Heads Page 2
Memories of St Paul's
A Mohawk in Middlesbrough
Remembering Craven Street
Marsh Road School
Luftwaffe Over Middlesbrough
First World War Shell Explodes in Middlesbrough
Queries:Can You Help?
St Columba's Parish in the Sixties
More Street Games
Memories Baxter Street
Judith's Middlesbrough Childhood
Links for Newport, Middlesbrough
Familiar Places with Strange Sounding Names
One of the features of the Teesside Dialect is the often amusing and, usually perplexing, unofficial names given to districts within the conurbation.
Doggy/Doggy Town is the well known local name for North Ormesbyin Middlesbrough. I’ve heard several explanations.
One, that it was notorious for the number of dogs roaming free through its streets, and the other, that there was a pervading smell of wet-dog because of nearby works.
Neither of these seem likely to me. Remembering my own childhood at the Newport end of Cannon St, Middlesbrough I cannot believe Nuh’thormesby (as we say it) had any more dogs than anywhere else in the town. Mass dog-fights (and dogs doing other things) with irate housewives throwing buckets of water and braying them with brushes were an important part of our entertainment before television.
West Cornforth, in south Durham, is also known as ‘Doggy’. David Simpson, the North East historian, tells me that Cornforth was so named by railwaymen because the track there had a ‘dog-leg’ in it. (David should know his Dad is a railway man)I had wondered if this is also how North Ormesby acquired its unofficial name. The Darlington to Saltburn track goes through there and it is also where the track from Whitby comes in. (My Uncle called the train on this track 'The Woolyback Special')
I favoured this 'dog-leg' explanation because I reckon many of these unofficial names were originally given by railway men, tram/ bus crews and delivery drivers etc.
However , just as I was writing this I got a phone call from Brian Jennison who tells me the explanation in his family was that there was a whippet racing track there which, of course, was illegal because of the associated gambling.
This seems equally plausible. But there’s never a final authority in matters like this and you can go for whatever takes your fancy or…….do you have yet another explanation?
Over the Border
Over the Border is the original town of Middlesbrough which was built in a loop of the River Tees which almost form two sides of a triangle. The base of this triangle is completed by the railway and this marks the ‘the Border’. It’s perhaps a strange quirk of history that the original Middlesbrough is now called ‘Over the Border’ as if it were now, somehow, separate from the present town of Middlesbrough.
Local history writer,Paul Stephenson, notes with alarm that now, the A66 is considered by some to be the border. He writes:-
They are trying to change the Border! During a visit in June 1999 to the University of Teesside, the writer(Paul Stephenson) noted a reference made by a senior member of staff, who is not a Middlesbrough person, to the Teesside Archives 'over the Border'. The Archives in question occupy the former General Post Office in Marton Road near the old Corporation Bus Terminus. Generations of Middlesbrough people have always recognised the railway as the 'Border'. As a well known local historian sometimes points out, those who lived south of the railway were considered to be 'out of town'. Enquiries reveal that outsiders are now confusing the A66 by-pass with the railway, so may it forever be placed on record that the railway line is the 'border' between the 'Town' and those distant territories 'out of town'
Central Middlesbrough:Part 1:Paul Stephenson. pub: Middlesbrough Libraries isbn 1-904683-01-0
The Wilderness is the name of the rough, open land between Middlesbrough and Stockton alongside the old (i.e. pre A66) road. Extolling Ken Dodd's surrealistic sense of humour, a BBC reporter suggested that only in Liverpool would anyone come up with the idea of a 'jam butty mine'. Well, when I was about 5, my Uncle Edwin had me totally convinced that every Saturday he had to go the Wilderness to dig in the Yorkshire Puddings Mines for the puddings we had every Sunday.
Claggy Foot is the unofficial name of Cargo Fleet the north east corner of Middlesbrough. However the proper name has an interesting place name history. Its first known name was Kaldecotes, an Old English (Anglo-Saxon) name meaning 'Cold Huts' probably a shelter in a cold exposed position. This name survives still as the name of the primary school in that area.. Caldicotes. By the early 17c Caldecotes had evolved into Cawkers Nab This became the modern Cargo Fleet because it became a port known in the 18c as Cleveland Port. Ships making their way up the then tortuously winding Tees could unload some of their cargo here. This lightened the ship and lessened the draught for the upstream navigation. Unloaded goods could be transported by smaller craft.
Fleet is the Old English word fleot meaning 'stream'.The Spencerbeck which marks the eastern boundary of Middlesbrough, flows into the Tees here.
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