GRANGETOWN IN TIMES PAST
St Marys School
Mick Traynor - Boer War Recruit + Others
Streets and Buildings
World War One 1914 -18
Parish, Priests and Processions
Street Stories + Characters
1925 Ladies Parish Outing + More
A Tale from the Duckie + other stories
World War Two 1939 - 45
Messages from Home & Abroad
Shops and Shopkeepers
The World of Work
Upstairs and Downstairs...
The Board School
Pochin Road Infants School
Leisure & Sports
Grangetown Boys' Club
Sir Wm Worsley School
Maps, Plans & Aerial Photos
St Peter's Senior School
St Matthew's Parish
Eston Grammar School
Trolley Buses TRTB
Grangetown Methodist Church
Contact Information for Grangetown in Times Past
Links for Grangetown in Times Past
Grangetown Board School Recordings 1969
|Transcripts of recordings taken in about 1969 by Vera Robinson MBE - of elderly Grangetown Residents:
L-R: John Wynn, Emma Mitchell (Mrs Farrow); John Maude (John Willie); Jack Zipfell
EMMA MITCHELL ( 1882 - .... )
When I first started this school I'd be about four year old, they called me then Emma Mitchell. I left this school about... when I was fourteen, about seventy odd years ago, seventy three years I think when I left this school. There was no big classes like this, no, what do you call it, when you pass the scholarship in a certain class you could leave. There was no scholarships in them days.
The Primitive Chapel was always over there ever since I can remember but we had no Matthews Church, it was a tin church and there was no vicarage. It was parsons then. The parson who.. Parson Bell was his name. The Mary's had no church. The Mary's used to use the schoolroom that the children used and then it was put in for the church of a night time and Sunday school.
We had no Lyrics. We had no Paragons. All we used to have in them days was a show, came in the market. There was Paynes Show and Biddulphs Ghost Show. There was Crows Roundabouts came in and Aunt Sally's and coconut stalls and all such as that.
At the end of Peacock's shop on Whitworth Road on a Friday night little boys and girls would sit there on a stool selling winkles - a ha'penny a cup and you got a pin. A bit further this way there was a pea shanty and you could go in. It was like a big tent and you could go in and get a ha’porth of hot peas and they'd give you some vinegar and you could sit in the pea shanty as long as you liked. The peas were boiled at home but there was a big brazier in the shanty and the peas were hung over to keep it hot. Then there was all sorts of stalls came in - pot stalls, sweet stalls and bakin, stalls.
Then there was Wild Beast Show would come in on another Friday and stay round about a bit. The institute was built in about 1889 I should think. I think it would be something like that and I'll tell you when the churches were built about sixty four years ago. You couldn't get married here. You had to go to Eston.
We only had one Co-operative Stores here; a very small one. If you wanted to buy a pair of shoes you had to go to Eston to buy your shoes and it opened out not on the main street, it opened out a side door facing this way.
Where Mr. Peck's is now, it used to be the council offices, you had to go up three big stone steps to get into the office, the council offices was up the stairs and they used to keep the horses round the stable in Cheetham Street.
The Post Office was always where it was but they were all big houses, them houses, where Moores’, the chemist and Duncan’s and McTigue’s is and Dr. Glen lived in a big house in Cheetham Street. His surgery was the first house in Cheetham Street and Dr. Steele had his surgery in the first house in Wood Street.
Now we had an epidemic of smallpox come in a good many years ago and we had no hospital. They took the first six houses in Vaughan Street, each side, at the top end, and made a smallpox hospital of it. We had to go and get vaccinated for it. Then the shops started right where the cleaners is and went to the bottom of Vaughan Street. The chemist was at the bottom of Vaughan Street. We only had one chemist and that was called Mr Kelsey.
Many a time I have run there when my mother was ill for a sixpenny leech, which you don't hear tell of today. Me granny would get the neck prepared for me coming home with the leech. It would be put in a box from the chemist. I used to run helter skelter home with it so she could get it on her neck. Once it got on the sick place it wouldn't leave until it was full and rolled off. And granny would be there with a saucer to get it to roll into the saucer, she'd put it back in the chip box and l’d run back to the chemist, the druggist as they called it, with it, and held give me fourpence. He charged me sixpence for it and gave me fourpence when I took it back.
The Board School Register for girls states: Adm No 13: Emma Mitchell on 25/03/89 born 12/09/82 of 86 Vickers Street - father Benjamin. Last school : Infants Dept left on 2/04/96 for Domestic Work.
|My name is John Wynn. I was born and bred in Grangetown.
Fire engine practices
I remember fire engine practices. When it was a wet day the firemen pulled the fire engine by ropes and a man, Mr. Smallwood, stood on the back lighting the fire to get steam up for went for this wet drill and the wet drill, they used to wash Grangetown Hotel down and sometimes go in the subway where there was white bricks up the side of the bridge, that was their wet drill practice, but when there was a fire they had to use horses, 2 horses, sometimes used the council's horses and sometimes they used to get Brown's horses and after Brown finished they used to get Reuben Turner's horses.
I remember in the market square where they used to have wild beast shows and the first running picture show run by a person called Payne and on the stage in front. Payne's daughters used to come and give a little sing song before the show started. I remember one song - I used to sigh for ..the Silvery Moon - and right up in the top corner they had a silvery moon, a half moon hanging up and then after they gave this little performance the show would start and now and again the fair used to come in, Crow's hobby horses and other such things and made the place quite lively for us lads.
The house at the end of Bolckow Road stands by itself was a, what you would call a charity house carnival.It was won as a lottery for the British Legion and the man who won the lottery got the house and the house was built by voluntary labour.
The Market Square
In the market square there used to be an iron water trough for horses and at one end - a bit lower - was a place for dogs to get a drink and men used to sit on there waiting for the public house to open and us lads used to play about there and our fathers used to come and sometimes give us a ducking and send us home for playing about on the water.
I remember the water trough and near it was a round steel building. It was the gents lavatory. We had a lot of fun there.
I remember Johnny-come fortnight He used to sell a lot of cast off clothes or secondhand things. He generally had a large crowd and we boys having spent our Friday penny or ha'penny, most likely, we had empty packets and we used to fill these packets with water from the trough and go into this round lavatory and politely throw them up in the air and when they descended being open,they sprayed on Johnny-come-Fortnight's what might we say, 'buyers'. Of course, somebody ran straight out and we ran straight down to the market square and at that time there was only some small gaslights and we were very soon in the dark out of the road. That was our great fun on a Friday night until occasionally we got caught and got our ears clipped, as we used to say.
Were they secondhand?
Things that had been pledged.
JW: That's right
They fetched them in parcels, they used to open parcels. Your man would get a shirt for a few coppers and you used to buy childrens clothes for next to nothing - but he used to come and stand on his cart that he used to fetch his big baskets on, open them out, open the parcels and throw them out among you and he used to stand on the cart. Things was very, very cheap and we used to have a baking stall come and we also had Marshalls, and we also had Harry Kershins, we had Meldron the pot man, we had Meegan the pot man and they used to lay their pots all on the ground and sell them from the ground. They hadn't any stalls, they used to put them on straw on the ground and sell them from the ground.
Now did any of you come here for soup?
Soup Kitchen in Board School
Yes... I was one. I came in the Durham strike. In the Durham strike we came here for soup. We got... we fetched a basin and a bit of salt and a dash of pepper and they gave us a basin of soup and a round of bread and that was in the Durham strike, and on a Sunday morning we used to come and get a teacake and on a... we’d get rice pudding with currants in, that was in the strike. In this school, yes. And in the streets there was no electric lights, they were all lamps and the lamplighter used to come round with a big stick and light them at four o'clock and put them out at twelve o'clock.
Who made the soup and who paid for it?
Well there was a lot of unemployed men and they made this soup. There was boilers put in this place somewhere in the yard and the men used to go round with the handcart and they would get bones and vegetables and whatever they could, to make the soup and there was Mr. Bob Allen, Mr. Caswell and a whole lot of them used to stand in that yard making soup. If there was any left you could go home and fetch a can and take a drop home in the can after everybody was fed. And that was in the Durham strike and there was another strike after.
Mr Moss - Schoolmaster & Schooling
Where the vicarage is now it used to be the schoolmaster for this school, called him Mr Moss, but I can't remember him but I remember his widow, Mrs. Moss. She was one of the head women, and so was Mrs. Dennis with the food kitchen.
Excuse me, Jack, you just mentioned Mr. Moss.
Well, we were taught algebra, I think it's gone out now, you never hear tell of it, so there was one day we sat a maths examination the first Monday in every month and this one came round as usual, and he used to sit down,Mr. Moss, a great big chap you know, and he used to sit down with a pen like that, you remember him John, so this day we had this algebra class and he caught me copying.
"Come out, John Willie Maude. How do you get that?"
And I couldn't tell him because it's too................... copying.
Talk about getting a walloping. But the other lad could tell you, you see, because he had worked it out, well, I just stole it from him really.
How many were there when you were in a class at school?
Oh, I don't know. Anything from forty to sixty, I should think. We had large classes, very large.
Did you have desks and chairs as we have?
Yes, yes, that's right, and forms.
Were any of you here when you had to pay to come to school?
Yes, I can remember that. Was it about tuppence a week?
John, you were telling me about the farm roads and the names of the fields. Could you tell us about the names of those fields as you called them?
Jubilee, that's the only one I know. It was where we had our fete the day of Queen Victoria's Jubilee. I remember when there was no houses going up the Police Station, going up towards Eston, no houses on the left hand side - they were all fields and when you got up to the farm you went across the crossing field and. across the fifty acre and then you got on to the Newtown Road but if you went so far up the crossing field and up the next field you come on to the crusher field and above that was a field called Flats, alongside what is now the shale heap. Instead of going across the crossing field there was like the paddock of the farm and then the Jubilee field was the next one to that which was sort of behind.... field
Now Alderman Wm Jones School is built on the Jubilee Field.
You mention about the railway line, if you remember, keeping on the line much further up, on the Eston line, was the crusher. Now that crusher would crush, as we would say, but wasn't crushed very much. It broke up the Eston ironstone that came from the mines and made it a more workable size piece for to go into the kilns for Cleveland Ironworks. The trucks were then weighed at a weigh as they came down from Eston and that weigh cabin was called Eston Bank railway cabin for weighing and the trucks were weighed there and then went down into a siding which runs along the road towards South Bank opposite Bolckow Terrace. The engines then, when they wanted these trucks for tipping or for calcining; particularly I remember two engines, Arthur and Siemens very powerful outside scimitar engines that pulled up out of the sidings, ten of these trucks and get a flying start from the bridge and up the high bank and there the trucks were set on the kilns and the tippers tipped them down into the kilns. The bottom part of the kilns were generally fairly warm and the tippers tipped these trucks there and after a period of time and filling up to a certain height they threw on small coal which was called calcining coal and it baked and kept the heat in and burnt the ironstone which went in grey but when taken out at the bottom to be fed into the furnaces was then browny red. I remember quite well - for quite a long while it was part of one of my first little jobs at fifteen year old to take those numbers of those trucks to be marked off while they were being tipped to help in the costing.
At the side of that high bank was a smaller bank and that was used to put the trucks pushed up to the engine, similar to on the high bank, and they took coal, coke rather, and that coke was tipped into the bunkers and then drawn out of the bottom the same as the burnt ironstone was and was fed into the furnaces.
The system was to first get it onto the top of the furnaces.There was some lifts and so many barrow loads were put on the platforms of the
lifts and raised to the top and the men at the top took them off the lifts and tipped them onto what was called the bell - which was like a great saucer upside down - and when this round as they called it, so much ironstone or burnt ironstone, coke, and I think a little bit of limestone went in but I'm not sure. The bell was released and dropped into the furnace then up to the bell again.
It was, on dark nights, a sight to see really, when it was dark and the bell was dropped it flared up and lit the sky all round this area.
Do you remember when the pigs had swine fever they used to drop them through the bell, do you remember that? Yes, when pigs had swine fever, it went on for ages, for years they used to take them and drop them through the top.
Did you mention about the roasters there, John? Do you remember the roasting plant they had?
No. They used to roast a lot of the ironstone, you know, so it didn't take anything like the time it took to smelt the stuff when it got into the furnaces and then I think they abolished that process. And while we're on this subject, do you remember the time that stove top blew off? There was a poor old chap called Jeremiah underneath. Do you remember that? And it was laid a long long time that top just through the Bessemer bridge.
Grangetown Silver Band
Years ago the steelworks used to have a Silver Band of its own and it used to come and practice in this schoolyard two or three times a week, and it used to play at different galas and other entertainments in the town but I think they went out when the First War started.
They used to go away on contests and we used to go down to the station to meet them coming home and they always used to play "Above The Waves Of Earthly Strife" coming up the Station Road if they had won.
The Sports Stadium
Down the station years ago there used to be a bicycle track, a bicycle track where we used to go on a Saturday afternoon to see them riding on their bicycles and that was down the Station Road. Yes. and we used to pay a penny to see the bicycles getting... it was a sports affair.
The Market Square
The Market Square was given to the Grangetown. children by Bolckow Vaughan for a playground and nobody could stop the children from playing in the Market Square because it was given to them to play in.
It was given the same time as the ‘ tute was built and that would be about 1889 or '90. But the Market Square was given to the children to play in but if they broke the windows, of course, the mothers had to pay to get them.
I've a copy of those Deeds in my home to this day, for all that business. Perhaps... I don't know how I come by them, purely accidental, I suppose but I'll bring them along one of these days and let you people read them. I expect I'll have to hand them back because they're not really mine but the chap who deals with them had three or four copies and he handed me one. The deeds, that's quite true what Mrs. Farrer has just said.
The Sports Stadium
Talking about the cycling track, I remember it quite well. The recreation ground covered a big area of the Station Road. Prom the Station Hotel, not many yards further down Station Road, was the beginning of the recreation ground, there were high billboards and inside the Grangetown Athletic Football team played in a Northern League, Amateur League Football. They had a football pitch and then alongside that there was a cycle track, a quarter of a mile, banked ends, asphalted and on the inside of the cycle track, there was a quarter of a mile loose cinder track racing track and in the centre was a just over a hundred yards of flat racing track.
On the side of the track on the Station Road side there was quite a number of stripping cabins and accommodation. A little further down towards the Station Road side there was a group of quoit pitches and from the quoit pitches there was also another big area that went up to the boards of the Station Road. It was all fine cinder where we boys used to go and have a good kick about.
The sports days were held at regular intervals and some of the finest cyclists from down as far as Derbyshire attended those meetings. I can remember as a boy going down to the station to carry the spare wheels up to earn a ha'penny so that we could get in to the sports.
Transport for Miners
and years ago, let me tell you, the miners used to have a truck and a carriage to take them to work and a knocker-up used to come to your door and the miners, with a long piece of iron about ten inches long and five inches square nailed on your door, and the miners knocker - up used to come about half past four and knock the miners up for to get them up to catch the truck at Eston bridge to get them to the mines. Yes, yes, and there was a truck and carriage and it used to take them up to the woodyard. That's right isn't it?
Mrs. Farrer mentions about the truck. I remember that quite well because on a night it used to take sometimes, not always, sometimes on a night take the workmen from Eston to where they worked and I have recollections of one running off the road when coming back when it skidded off the track and almost went into the reservoir, and I remember two of the trucks just escaped getting into the water.
The reservoir by the way was on the Eston side, it was a three quarter shape reservoir and it was on the Eston side of the old crusher which we've mentioned, on the left side going up and just beyond that by the end of the reservoir boards you could turn left and go over the fields and come out by Lackenby. If you turned right there you came through the fields you could come out on the Eston road on the entrance to the cemetery. I remember that.
Also, I remember, we've been dealing with the Station Road area, there was a large pond down there where we used to go and catch tiddlers, I think it originally had been a brick yard where they'd taken the clay out.
Now a little further down the road you could turn off and the road went along... you could go along that road and turn left and go down to Low Lackenby but before that just a few hundred yards off the Station Road there was one row of houses,
They belonged to Bolckows. If you went further down at the end of Eston Grange there was a track which would bring you out right by the station house and the station master lived in there, then turn right and you could go along the black path following the railway and you came to Lackenby.
We called it Lackenby on-the-Beck because there was a beck there went underneath the railway and then run along the other side of the railway then turned again and went out into the Tees. But, say three hundred yards from under that bridge where it turned right there was also a reservoir and that reservoir was used.
It was the water used for Lackenby Ironworks -the hot water that came back from the furnaces after being used for cooling,that came back in the trough into the reservoir and we boys often got ourselves down there, if the water in the reservoir was a bit cold, well, we just lay in the trough and had a nice warm bathe in it.
There was a grey slag tip there as well and Lackenby Beck was the place to go and get plenty of tiddlers.
Tell them where we got the winkles, down the Slems. Tell us about the Slems.
Well, I don't think there's much to say about it except it used to be a place for catching flat fish. You remember Teddy, Teddy, Teddy PEASE and James Wharf?
Explain the Slems to us.
It was only sand and the tides used to come in and out and we used to get winkles and mussels and cockles, this sort of thing, and then James Jetty, James Wharf was the South Gare where the ships turned round, you know, coming in and out of the river - Breakwater.
Cleveland House has not been mentioned. Do any of you remember the gentleman who lived there before it became council offices?
I remember Cleveland House quite well from a boy and I remember also Mr. Ritchie was the manager of the Works who lived there and before I actually finished schooling at this grand old place here, I occasionally used to take telegrams the post office if there was one, came in and saw the headmaster and one boy out of one of us took them to Cleveland House. Mr. Ritchie was the manager of the Works and he lived there.
Where Cleveland House is now all that land used to be a park, shrubs and one thing and another, that was the boundary between South Bank and Grangetown.
At that time and he used to look after horses and one of his sons who was with us during the war was killed, he and I were great cronies and he used to take me along to see the horses.
There was one called Claud and another called Major, and many a time, I must have been mighty young, he used to put me on their backs, I remember that. And one of these sons of Mr. Evans's, I think he done an time out in India, there was one and two daughters. Don't you remember that, Jack?
Mrs. Farrer remembers them, when Mr. Evans was manager of the steelworks.
As well as Cleveland House we also have public house called Middle House - Grangetown Hotel.I understand in an upstairs room the managers used to meet for their lunch. Do any of you remember that?
The Grangetown Hotel
The Grangetown Hotel... it was run by all Scotchmen, there was no women in it only the cook. It was all Scotchmen that run it, the Macdonalds and the Mackenzies. Yes. They were the people that run it and it was the only public house in Grangetown then. The Station Hotel was built later. The Kings Head was built later. But it was always called the Grangetown Hotel then and it was run by Scotchmen, there was no lady or her husband then, just men. There was a cook.
It's of quite recent date. When you come up against bottom house. I don't remember bottom house being built but I certainly do remember the Kings Head. You would. And the church, Matthews Church all been built. The Kings Head Hotel - the foundation was taken out and it stood two years almost, I should think,flooded with water. The Kings Head, it was flooded with water because I can remember when I was a boy, it froze over and though we had to go down probably five or six feet to get down on to it but we had quite a lot of nice skating in there.
The Beck used to come down the farm road as far as the police station and then run along the back of the police station and finished up the back of Moss's house then it went down towards the river after that.
It's not Knitting Wife's Beck?
No, Knitting Wife's Beck come down just about where Birchington Avenue is now, full length of that, Knitting Wife's Beck did, but farther beyond back of Cresswell Road that used to be called the Boundary Beck.That was as far as Grangetown boundary went to.
Eston Grange Farm
Me father worked at a farm. The proper name of the farm was Eston Grange Farm. It used to belong to Bolckow Vaughans. Me father worked there, he come here in 1898 and he worked there till 1925 and I used to play about the farm, holidays and any spare time I could get. I was very keen on farming.
Me father was a hay cutter. Have I to tell them that? Me father was in those twenty eight years, hay cutting, he went round countryside cutting haystacks up and all the hay that was led away was used to feed the horses in the mines and his wage was 2/6d. for a ton of hay andhe had to cut twenty ton of hay a week to keep the supplies going and that was five days. And on the Saturday he had to come and work on the farm till four o'clock to get his week's wage.
On farms a good man could get approximately twenty four pounds a year, of course he had his food thrown in, you see, that was the rate in thosedays, and new lads mebbe got four or five pounds a year. These milk buggies, they call them, John, you remember? You remember the milk buggies.
I got sixteen pounds when I was thirteen and a half.
And a horseman, a good horseman, would probably get about twenty four pounds a year, that's right, isn't it John?
What did they get in the works at the same time?
Not much... well, they get more than that, I worked down those sealers for twenty seven shillings-a week.
Well the farm labourers for seven days a week they made eighteen shilling but they were allowed the house rent which was equal to four and sixpence.
The Twig Short Memorial
The market and it was in memory of Twig Short.
Well, there was only the one name on it and when they got the other stone made they erected it in this corner here and they placed Twig Short's up in the cemetery because they railed it round
and the children was playing on it and they placed it in Eston cemetery. Twig Short. And they opened this one and put his name on this one.
This is the Cenotaph?
Yes, now read it out when it was opened.
Grangetown Peace Festival on Saturday July 26th 1919. A Memorial Service at which the hymn All People That On Earth Do Dwell was sung and a prayer by the Rev. N.L. Fisher. Then we sang the Saints of God Private William Short, V.C. Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friend.
It was unveiled by Lieutenant Colonel B.M. Westerton, 8th Yorkshire Regiment. John Fox, Esq., J.P. County Councillor presided.
This is in 1921. Yes, this is on Sunday, January 9th, 1921 at 2.00 p.m. The unveiling of the memorial to those brave souls of Eston, Normanby and Barnaby Moor who gave their lives for the country during the Great War 1914-18.
Jack Ebbs ( 1886 -
My name is John William,Ebbs commonly known as Jack Ebbs and I've been known as that a good many years and it'll do.
I was born 98 Cheetham Street Grangetown which is just behind here as you know on October 22nd, 1886, so you can reckon up how old I'll be or will be very shortly.
When I first started school I only had a few yards to go to the Infants School and when I did come I had me coppers with me, I don't remember exactly how much but we had to pay then to come to school which I always considered an injustice because I didn't like school and I didn't like parting with the pennies, but that's by the way.
Well, I don't know how long I would be in the Infants School but anyway I passed all my tests and went into the big boys into Standard 1 and from Standard 1, I believe this is how you would call the forms, from Standard 1, Standard 2, Standard 3, Standard 4, Standard 5, 6 and Standard 7 and then I...
Well, our curriculum at that time, what I mean our school programme was not to the extent what you would have today and I was... I would enjoy it and I got a bit bored but it could be interesting in some ways.
When in assembly in the mornings the headmaster stood between the classes and we sang a hymn, one I remember "Brief Light is here is our Portion." Well,if Brief light is our Portion I must be the odd man out because here I am seventy years later not so very brief.
If I'm talking too fast will you tell me please. so you can jot your notes down. Anyway that was one of the hymns we used to sing "Brief Light is in our Portion."
Another time we would sing "Courage Brother do not Stumble" and we did sing it because it was a tune we liked. Then we had a small short scripture lesson and then we had arithmetic. history, geography and we did have music lessons but I don't know if they were useful to us. A lot of us couldn't sing although I did a lot of choir work later.
We went on to the ordinary school programme but we didn't have much... we didn't have woodwork lessons for instance, or metalwork or anything of that kind.
We did have a bit of drill about twice a week in the schoolyard otherwise we did have a lot of mental arithmetic examinations and such as that. I would like to talk also if I can, I'll be very brief...
Our headmaster used to come round one day a month, he used to bring a foolscap sheet and a piece of blotting paper, a book of sums out of which we had to do four. Well, I did my four or as many as you like, I did my four and he marked them correct and he said
"How did you work them out John Willie He always called me John Willie. I said
"I did them in me head, sir,"
"Oh,Oh he said "what a wonderful head. Well, will you do them for my benefit. put your working down on the side of the sheet?"
You see the idea. What the headmaster wanted was not only the correct answer but how did you get the answer. Well that was one little incident in my school career. But when I got to be thirteen and I didn't seem to get any further, I had decided to leave and help me mother,try and earn a bit in the works.. so I left.
Well Grangetown at that time consisted of eight rows of houses from Bessemer to Cheetham Street with a row of houses on Bolckow Road. On the other side of Bolckow Road there was only the Primitive Chapel and the police station, the old part, this one was built later. The old police station and the Primitive Chapel and it was much later before they began to build the houses between and along there.
There was no houses of any kind at all, only gardens, so Grangetown in those days would look a very small place but on the whole we had a fairly decent bit of fun out of the time. We had plenty of open spaces where we could go and play football or what we would call baseball or rounders, whichever you like.
Iron and Wooden Hoops
That was for the boys of course and hoops were very much the order of the day, iron hoops with a hook and the girls would have a big wooden hoop with a stick.
And the girls had,what they called in those days, another game, checks, and I don't think they have them nowadays. I don' t think the girls would know anything about them. Do you?
Does anyone know of the game of checks?
You throw a ball up and gather the check up, twosies, threesies and foursies, is that it?
Yes, yes. Course there's only board games now. Anyway that's how we used to spend our time.
In those days there was no buses and the transport was what we called the Mobile Motor Services consisted of horse traps and horse buses and such like and there was one bus used to run from Grangetown Hotel here to the station on a Saturday night taking people to the train at the station which was then known as Eston Grange, now Grangetown, of course. Boys and girls didn't travel by bus because they were young enough to walk and the economic position wasn't too good but there was several people who were glad to take the bus and it was a penny from Grangetown to the station which was not out of the way.
The first time we got trolley buses in Grangetown was during the First War when we found out there was men from different parts of the district had to come to work here and it was difficult for them to get to work without any motor transport. And the first bus we got was from a little place, EbbwVale, in Wales, when the electricity was supplied by the firm.
Even in my early days when I went to Sunday school in this chapel here we had a trip every year and almost every year we went by lorries, carts borrowed from the farm with seats tied on or made available to carry us to such places as Guisborough, Yarm, Hutton Gate Or? Upleatham. In fact that was the only transport we could get unless we went by train which happened
occasionally when we went to Redcar or Saltburn or one or two occasions we went to Upleatham, sorry, Middleton one-row short of getting out at Darlington.
In those days here was a straight road from the Station Hotel to the station which was exactly half a mile.
It went by a large field which was given over as a recreation ground which consisted of a football field and a running track and a bicycle track, but when the First War came - this meant it had to be given up and a steel plant was built there. Of course, the ground did belong to Bolckow Vaughan Company and they took it over and that meant the Station Road had to be moved and it was moved further towards Redcar which put an extra…I don't know how many yards on it, but anyway a few more yards.
When the works were extended that had to be done away with and now, as you all know, the road comes up from the trunk road to Redcar and runs down by the road which is known as the Dock Road and branches off to the station which I should think puts another quarter of a mile at least on the original half mile.
The only exit from Grangetown in those days by cart was along Bolckow Road under the bridge and up Eston way what we call Church Lane or South Bank way, South Bank Road.
Well the roads in those days were not very good but the surveyor and engineer at that time made it road, at least he was the organiser - but from Grangetown bridge as far as was one straight road, I think about a mile, a man called Staindrop, he was surveyor of the council at the time and from there to the cemetery there was only two houses on that road which is now called Church Lane, what we call Eston Road cause it was Eston Road, and one was a little white cottage halfway up and the other one was alarge black house getting towards Cemetery Road, and in later years of course, on the opposite side of the road Hawthorn Terrace was built.
FEVER HOSPITAL - GOFTON PLACE
But much later, I really can't say, halfway up from Grangetown bridge or almost halfway up to Eston, there was part of a field we called field taken off and a hospital built there, a fever hospital, an isolation hospital.
It was there several years, they used to take fever cases there until it was found unnecessary and it's been pulled down now and there's dwelling houses there and it's known as Gofton Place.
THE BUILDING OF THE TRUNK ROAD
I believe you... Mr... As I've already stated there was only one exit from Grangetown by road that you could take a car or a cart along, of course, there was no cars but later there was a road built, what we now call the trunk road, down Broadway.... from this road, Bolckow Road past Lanny's and so on, right away past the two farms, Collins's and Wilsons and on to Redcar.
Well, our own council only went as far as what are now Lackenby Works, but I myself worked on that road because at that time there was a depression through a strike and a lot of the men that were willing were given a week's work on that road, it was a good bit more than their dole, and we were glad of it.
I myself worked one week there, it would be somewhere about 1926. I remember the name of the foreman surveyor at that time was a man called Dodsworth, do you remember, Jack? Yes. And the time I was on there was intervals of snow and sleet because it was in March but I just can't remember when it would be completed or who opened it but it would be somebody connected with North Riding County Council. Of course, it was the North Riding County Council that built that road.
When I was coming down I was thinking about the old times at Grangetown and it brought back many nostalgic memories and no matter where you go your birth place always comes near to you and no matter where you go or what sort of life you have, there always times when you think about some of the instances and times that you went through in those days and I confess, to me, the pulling down of all those houses, and good houses too, has been something of a desolation to me somehow or other, to think that I was born in Cheetham Street, I was born and lived there twenty two years in Cheetham Street, and fifty eight years in Stapylton Street and then they just pull it down and shift it without a by your leave, but that's by the way.
I have enjoyed coming here and talking about it as I did at the Worsley Schools and I hope that what have said will be of some interest to you and set your imagination working so that you can compare those times with the times that you would enjoy.
The Salvation Army
I remember the early days of the Salvation Army in Grangetown.
It used to be above George Dowson's grocery shop in Whitworth Road - the entrance was in Laing Street. You had to go through a narrow door and up the stairs.
The Salvation Army women officers used to live at 54 Cheetham Street until they got a new
barracks in Bessemer Street and then they went to live next door to the barracks.
Alongside the entrance to the Salvation Army, there was a house attached to it, it was 59... 51A ? and the flag bearer lived in that house.
He used to go by the name of Cobbler Bob he had a milk business once upon a time. I went to the Salvation Army school for a number of years. I had a good attendance, 104 out of 104 each year. Each year you got a book as a prize for good attendance.
I remember the Salvation Army having a service in the street when me mother died. They brought two chairs out and laid the coffin on the chairs and then they went to the cemetery. All the neighbours gathered round and the Salvation Army played at the funeral. I can't remember...
The Parish Church
The first service in the church at Grangetown was in an old iron church on July 15th 1863. Charles Brian Wilcox was then vicar of Eston and Grangetown formed part of the parish. On October 28th 1899 the foundation stone of the new Church was laid by the Marquis of Zetland and on February 1st 1902 the church was dedicated by the Bishop of Sheffield, one of the suffragen Bishops of York Diocese. The population of Grangetown ha grown rapidly in recent years. At the census of 1921 it was just over 7000.
It’s difficult to estimate the population today because of the recent extension at Eston of new houses. It is now probably well over 9000 still growing and likely to grow. Grangetown became a separate parish in July 1918 and the following is a list of Vicars : Leonard Noel Fisher; Francis Gordon Sherwood; George Foster;
My name is Alfred Moore, born in 1880, when April comes I will be ninety years old. I was born in South Bank. When they built the new houses in Holden Street we moved - when I was three years old
I paid threepence to come to school and I wanted to become a teacher.
I also wanted a wage packet but this was not possible so I went into the steelworks, Bolckow Steelworks.
I am now a resident in the Eston Grange Home for Old People. There are 55 residents. We all appear to be happy and comfortable.
My name is John Zipfell. Do you want the address? 83, Granville Road,Grangetown . I am seventy four years old, I was born in 40 Vickers Street Grangetown. Now then, what one might say to remember.
Well I remember from Whitworth Road to Bolckow Road, Peck's the Drapers shop now occupy that area up to Cheetham Street. That frontage was occupied by the fire brigade facing on to the Whitworth Road. There was a fire engine in there, I believe, if I remember rightly, named Jane Evans, I'm not too sure, but I think that was it.
Now turn into Cheetham Street to your left and you're behind Peck's building which is now. Then it was the local board as we called it.
There was horses and some dustbin carts and such like that was used by the sanitary section of the council. Now coming back to Whitworth Road if you glance up Bolckow Road on the corner you will see a small leaning or a shelter underneath this was a fire bell.
That fire bell was rung when there was a fire in the area to call out the firemen and almost underneath that there were three steps leading into a door and a passage with a room running off that was what one might say the council offices or council chambers. I remember that quite well.
When we were children at school, should we hear that bell we were quite anxious to get out of school to see where the fire had been.
Now there is another point going along Bolckow Road towards the entrance bridge to Grangetown.That bridge has the Eston branch railway running over it but situated on the Eston side of the bridge I think you can still see the remains of the wall of the old bridge. Now that bridge was very low with the result that large lorries and loads of hay couldn't get underneath it so they had to come up the side just past the bridge and over the top of the railway line.
That railway-line was the line that brought the ironstone from Eston down into the Cleveland sidings to be burnt, to be burnt, cast iron I should say. It was then used in the blast furnaces for making iron.
Jack Collins (One-arm Collins)
I was born In Lingdale in 1881 but went to this school all the time I was at school ( Board School) and when I left became an errand boy for a shop - Aldertons Shop in Whitworth Road. I worked there for nine months and got half a crown per week. The hours were 8 -7pm then went into the works.I went to the what they call the Cinder Washers.
Dick Ellison was the Boss - Contractor.I got a shilling a day, mind you I thought that was good then. The Boer War came..You .joined the army......Yes.. infantry..Green Howards South Africa and er....I was there about 9 month a line of communication.
If he was to come we had to fight..the Boer War was really a Cavalry War we went were, the infantry- we didnt fight with the cavalry.
Can you describe what happened when you came home?
O Yes...we come from Richmond ..that was were we finished ..come from Middlesbrough..I had to change there for Grangetown..
In the meantime, someone had sent word that to the people that we were coming home, the people in Gtown. I don’t know who it was got the band -and they had a good band in them days - one of the best in England,well,they went to the station and played the boys home. There were only a few of us, perhaps a dozen, mebbe fifteen, and all the streets were decorated. Whitworth Road was all decorated and they cheered and cheered. We didnt think much but we were very proud of it being youngsters. We were only youngsters. I call youngsters when they twenty. Everything was lively.It was like a gala - the Market square.
In the first World War you were a soldier again. Did you go overseas ?
I got wounded one month before armistice - on me arm you know. I came back to me own job. The manager kept asking me when I’d be ready and then it came to pass. I had gall trouble - one operation - six operations and then in the second world war a machine came out - a rolling machine.
I had a better job - more money - dictator job. I never did it. and er.they started to pay the old blokes off and 75 years old when I was finished . "If I could keep you on I would, he said.
I was a Bomb Instructor Sergeant - instruction officer. Right from left - one of my boys won a real high honour.
Elizabeth Buckton 1883 -
My name is Elizabeth Buckton and I was born in 118 Vickers Street, Grangetown in 1883.
My father died when I was two years old from an accident in the Eston mines.
My mother was left a widow, and she was allowed house rent and coal every six weeks.
She had five shillings a week as long as she remained a widow and two shillings a week for each of her three children, out of the MINERS PERMANENT RELIEF.
My earliest memory was walking up to the bridge to see the procession of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.( 1897 ) But I was too young to walk in the procession, so I walked with my mother up to the field, and we had a cup of tea and a bun, and then played games in the field.
I come to this school when I was five year old, as well as I can remember, and I left when I was twelve year old. When I left school, I used to go and wash floors and steps for people, for sixpence a week, but we were not allowed to spend the money. You had to keep that to clothe ourselves.
Can You Remember the Miners Strike in 1889?
Oh yes..I remember when they went to work in the stone yard along South Bank Road, breaking up slag balls to make the roads and then they were allowed so much in wages but I don't remember how much, and the rest, they were given a ticket for food at Tarbucks shop down Whitworth Road, to get them.
Can You Remember Gypsy Smith?
Oh he had a ....He used to ..Gypsy Smith came every year down on the green where the infants school is now built ( Pochin Road ) and he used to have a tent and he used to preach the Gospel every year.
Do You Remember the Horse Buses Running Along Station Road?
Oh yes, quite well. They used to run for a penny a distance down from t'Middle Public House down to the station, and you got for a penny. The railway was sevenpence return to Redcar, and sevenpence return to Middlesbrough, but if you hadn't the money, of course, you had to walk along the black path and over the fields.
Do You Remember Mr & Mrs King?
Oh yes, I remember Mr & Mrs King very well. He was born in Stapylton Street. I knew his mother and father very well, but then they went to Stockton to live, and then of course, he qualified then and now is in the House of Commons as Dr Horace King.
Can You Tell Us About the Public Baths?
Mr James Eadie, a brewer, endowed the slipper-baths as a thank-offering for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - 1897.
The public baths were built at the bottom of Market Square, Holden Street end, and to get a bath, you had to go and pay sixpence a week to get one bath. Otherwise, the only bath you could get was in a tin bath at home, that's all.
There were about 24 baths, as near as I can tell you, in the building, and Mr Moore was the caretaker of it. That's all!
Girls Board School Register States : Admission No 40: 09/03/91 Elizabeth Buckton : 03/03/84 118 Vickers St : Guardian : Elizabeth : Infants Dept : Left 31/08/96 for Domestic Work.