Old South Bank
The 21st Century
Victoria Street School
Cromwell Road School
Princess Street School
St. Peter's RC Schools
The Boys Clubs
Ex - Pats Index
Maps & Aerial Pix
The Pubs and Clubs
Smiths Dock & Gala Days
More Slaggy Tales
Some Slaggy Islanders
Pub and Club Activities
Reunion 2002 Pics
More Slaggy Islanders
Smith Family Album
Yet More Slaggies
Reunion 2003 Pics
South Bank Football
South Bank Tomorrow
For All Ex-Pats!
Reunion 2004 pics
Reunion 2005 Pics
Rix Pix 2005
Tears for South Bank
This Is Your Life
Reunion 2006 pics
Reunion 2007 pix
Contact Information for South Bank Nostalgic Society
Links for South Bank Nostalgia Society
Now this is Art - take it to the Tate!
In the 50's a common theme for articles in newspapers was the sort of life we could look forward to having in the year 2001. It was to be a Utopian existance with robots carrying out all the most tedious tasks while we lazed by our swimming pools in the warm man-made sunshine and being paid £50 a week (a fortune then!)not to work.
Well, the future is now! It's here! So look at South Bank now in our Utopian Age.
2. Central Site
Site of the Central. December 2001.
After the old Victoria Street School was demolished (Can someone furnish the date?) flats were built on the site. This photo brings it up to date. In the distance on the left can be seen St.Peter's Church.
3. Cromwell Road School
The School in December 2001.
The school in the 21st Century. Gone is the old cookery(?) which stood in the corner of the yard (corner of Anne Street/Oliver Terrace) which was Miss Unthank's class. Added is a new entrance with portholes! To this day I never think of this school without thinking of the way Miss Unthank beat her lessons into us with 4 rulers across the knuckles. Sad to say it seems to have worked!
(Incidentally the "Terrace" is not a mistake: because the street had only one side it was named Terrace while the other side of Victoria Street was "Oliver Street", having two sides! Not a lot of people know that!!)
I also have vivid memories of my first day at the school in February 1946. They sang "Holy, Holy, Holy" in Assembley and I've hated the hymn ever since. Then, into my first class, where I met Joe McLay and "Ajey" Palmer who were "in front of the class" for nicking off school and being found out. Because Miss Unthank didn't like Ajey (I never could spell Alan's nickname) she blamed him for leading Joe astray! According to Alan it was the other way around! Geoff Bray was also one of my new classmates.
Another memory of Ajey being in trouble again. Playing football in the schoolyard after school hours he climbed on to the roof to retrieve the ball and promptly fell off breaking his leg! Actually, he fell on to Spuddy Wood who had a lump on his head "the size of an apple"! The two casualties were taken into a house in Cromwell Road to wait for someone to collect them and the woman of the house gave Spuddy a block of margarine with instructions to hold it to the lump which he did but as he was still overheated from playing football the margarine gradually melted and ran down his face. Although Ajey was in pain he couldn't help laughing at Spuddy. Finally Ajey's brother arrived and carried him home on his back!
Maybe it wasn't surprising that Miss Unthank didn't like him (did she like anyone?) but Ajey was always popular with his schoolmates!
4. Saint Peter's Church
St. Peter's Church December 2001.
South Bank's only landmark since they carted off our slagtip mountains and converted the slag into slag wool lagging in a North Street factory which spewed stuff into the air which then settled on the ground like snow. They'd never get away with it now!
5. The Cop Shop
|South Bank Police Station December 2001.
There's been a big change in this area. The photo was taken from what was Princess Street, through where there was a restaurant or cafe called "Eels", which was nothing to do with the menu but the owner was a magistrate named Miss Eels.
Next was Blowers Plumber's Shop with a window display of baths. At that time a lot of houses in South Bank had no plumbed baths but had to take a tin bath off a nail in the yard wall and carry it into the living room in front of the fire and fill it with kettles of hot boiling water. If you were part of a large family there would be a pecking order for a bath and the last one might well get out dirtier than when he got in!
The next premises was Vic Bell's paper shop, after which came a huge wooden hoarding used by Bill Stickers! Behind the boards was the plumbers and bricklayers yard where, in the late 40's, Brian Walker's father kept his car for a small rent. I think it was a blue Austin 7.
The entrance to the yard was in Oxford Street and it was there that I first met Marion Nixon, wearing a red corduroy jacket with a black waspy belt and grey skirt. Her blonde hair was swept back in a DA showing her black dangly earings and her jaw never stopped as she chewed on her chutty gum! It must have been that that attracted me(!) but I knew there and then that I was going to marry her!
She's just read that bit over my shoulder and went "Yuk!". So much for romance!
6. Aire Street
|Aire Street December 2001.
By seeing number 62 you can work out the following:
Number 54 was the first house I bought and Jack Sowerby bought Number 42 which was next door to George Hardwick's mother (44).
I remember once I was stood on the step waiting for my wife to come back from Nellie Anderson's shop over the road when a green ball about 9inches in diameter came rolling down the street towards me. A young lad called Kenneth Roth was coming after it. Although I was wearing soft slippers I took a run at it determined to kick it into the next county. As I swung at it I heard young Roth shout out but I wasn't to be put off.
My foot connected - and stopped dead! Kenneth's father worked at the scrap yard and had give him a green plastic-coated cannonball to play with. I ask you! What sort of maniac does that?! I let out a yell as, clutching my foot which I was sure was broken, I went hopping all over the street like Bugs Bunny at his most demented!
Well, it wasn't broken, although I limped for quite some time, and fair does to the kid - he had tried to warn me and it was my own fault. A lesson learned. Watch whose balls you kick!
Now back to the future! Here in the 21stC the houses are boarded up ready for demolition but there are still people living on the other side of the street.
7. Over the road
|The other side of Aire Street
People are still living here where once the Barrows family lived.
8. South Terrace
|Number 95. December 2001.
Our House! (Behind that tree which wasn't there then!) I lived here until I got married and my mother until she died in 1983. This end of South Terrace was "unadopted" which meant the road was unmade. Grass grew out the front and we played cricket on it in the summer and football in the winter, neither of which was popular with some residents but I don't think we ever broke a window! Also Colin Jones was very fond of camping out in the middle!
In bad weather heavy rain would cause it to fill with water, sometimes making the houses damp but the kids loved it and came from far and wide to splodge in it and sail toy boats or any bits of wood which they would bomb with bricks!
The residents wanted the council to do something about it but they wanted paying! Eventually, every household had to pay £600 each to have the work carried out. Some council!
(See 1950's for another photo - maybe they're in the wrong stories?)
9. Queen Street .
|Queen Street 11/2/2002.
Taken from the Anne Street end showing what used to be Stanley's Corn Stores. Further down was Buxton's garage. Getting stuck behind "Old Man Buxton" on the road was a nightmare! He used to crawl along in the middle of the road in his old Austin taxi and you couldn't get past him.
He also did weddings, including ours, with a fawn Rolls Royce - but it had a Vauxhall engine in it! Some years later I could have bought it very cheaply but I was in my usual impecunious state!!
Another line was the hearse for funerals. It wasn't generally known but he also kept bodies awaiting burial in his garage. In state?!
10. Bennett's Corner
|Bennett's Corner From The 'Tute 2002
No longer a crossroads but a tee-junction, this was taken near the old Institute entrance to show the present lay-out. Ahead right is the Commercial with the Erimus Club on the left and St.Peter's Church in the distance.
11. Bennett's Corner
|Bennett's Corner December 2001.
Bennett's crossroads is no more, now merely a T-junction, while on the northside of Middlesbrough Road the Commercial (scene of legendary fights and skirmishes and cover of an LP by the best guitarist in the country!) stands alone while the Erimus Club is still a popular oasis for it's loyal members. The A66 road now flows where the Yorkshire Penny Bank once stood and runs right through to Penrith in the Lake District. (See Old South Bank page).
For the LP see The Entertainers page.
12. The Fire Station
|The Fire Station 2002
The old Fire Station is now a garage and if you look carefully they've altered "Fire"! The new Fire Station is on Church Lane just beyond the Trunk Road Bridge, putting it in Grangetown - hence no pics of it!
13. King George's Square
|The Square in 2002
At first glance the Memorial Square seems to be one of the only places in South Bank to look okay - but behind the bushes it's a scene of neglect.
14. "Our Glorious Dead"
I've always felt a bit uneasy at the connection between "Glorious" and "Dead". I would much prefer something to "the Memory Of" or an expression of sadness at the loss of life - often sacrificed by those in safe positions. "Cannon Fodder" was an apt expression, and rightfully bitter.
Off my high horse. Jack Sowerby lived just near the "park" in Jackson Street and witnessed the statue being struck by lightning in the fifties. Now that would have been a good photo!
15. The Demise Of Aire Street
|Aire Street bites the dust
May 2002 demolition men begin the task of flattening Aire Street not long after it finally found fame by being featured in the TV series "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet"! Two of the houses weren't very old having been built in a gap in the street but the Council would rather demolish than refurbish because of their Thatcher economics. They want to make money building new estates rather than saving it doing up old houses, no matter how sound the shells.
They won't be happy until not a single brick remains of what was once a decent place in which to live and grow up.
16. Building the above house!
|The crossing with the house behind
Three days after taking the photo of the end house in Aire Street being demolished I was in Middlesbrough Archives and came across an old photo of the crossing at the end of Aire Street taken from the other side with Skipper's Lane to the right. The house shown being demolished in the previous story was just being built in the background with scaffolding around it when this photo was taken.
Unfortunately they would only allow a photocopy of it and their machine is well past it's sell-by date. Of course, this should be on the Old South Bank page but it goes with the demolition story.
17. BT Cellnet Stadium
When they decided that Ayresome Park was past it's sell by date they built the new stadium between South Bank and North Ormesby - although Cargo Fleet would have a better claim to it.
It has a great atmosphere and a good view no matter where you are sitting. Outside at the front they have erected two bronze statues of Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick.
18. Billy Chealls Shop
|Billy's shop in Anne Street 2001
Billy Chealls little shop was in Anne Street almost opposite Jean Chards house. At various times shop assistants included my sister Sylvia Fawcett and Anne Binns (both now in New Zealand) and Joan Robson (Normanby) and Janice Croft.
Janice still lives just a few doors away and is pictured standing in front of the one-time shop.
19. The Youth of Today
|Cutting from Eugene McElvaney in Melbourne
It's easy to get the idea that South Bank is finished - dead and buried... But as long as there are up-and-coming youngsters like Jimmy McElvaney junior around, Slaggy Island will continue to exist. His uncle sat in Oz is proud to keep reading of his progress and sent me this cutting.
20. The Wooden Bridge
|The Wooden Bridge in 2002
This bridge is featured in the story on the crashed German plane on the 1940's page and was just next to the Junction pub and led over the railway lines to Smith's Docks. At one time thousands of workers walked over it, many pushing bikes to take a short cut. Now the re-sited Railway Station is next to the bridge. On the right of the pic is a gap leading to the platform for Middlesbrough and to the left, past the steps, the Black Path is through the trees.
21. The New Railway Station!
|The Wooden Bridge from the re-sited station platform facing Middlesbrough.
The trees obscure the Black Path and the site of the Junction pub.
22. The Junction Site 2002
|Taken from the bridge 2002
In the foreground where The Junction used to be and stretching through the former premises of Elsie Hinds is the yard of Skipfreight. I've had many a pint where those blue pipes and tyres are!
Beyond that, displaying "Suites" is where the Bingo stall was while on the left is the end of Clay Lane leading from Lorne Terrace.
23. The Cooperative Stores
|The old Coop buildings in 2003 house Reg Boyles bookies shop|
24. The 'Tute in 2003
|The former Institute and Post Office sports a new coat of paint |
25. Bennett's Corner 2003
|Bennett's Corner is now unrecognisable
Where once was a crossroads is now a T-junction, Middlesbrough Road East having disapeared.
26. Chinese Take-away
|Backdoor Chinese Take-away Middlesbrough Road |
27. South Bank Panorama
|A view of Saint Peter's Church and vicinity, August 2003
Showing the Police Station, Church, Old St. Peter's Club and the present Market. There is talk of building a new Police Station and turning the present one into flats... "I'll just pop into the cell to put the kettle on."!!!
28. Barnacle Bill's
|What a name to give to a pub! What was wrong with "The Anchor"? |
29. The Labour Exchange
|A last photo before they pull it down
The old Labour Exchange 0n Nelson Street got a new lease of life after nearly all the buildings north of Middlesbrough Road were pulled down and the A66 road cut South Bank in half. Around the Labour Exchange grew a small industrial estate and the building itself became a tool shop under the name of Aladdin's Cave. However burglaries, vandalism, and arson have brought it to the end of its useful life and soon it will just be another empty space.
30. The Endeavour
| Endeavour in Middlesbrough Docks behind the Tuxedo Royale casino ship
This morning (17/10/03) the replica of Captain Cook's ship Endeavour sailed into the River Tees and past South Bank to it's destination of Middlesbrough Docks, now known as Middle Haven. It first sailed under the Transporter Bridge to commemorate the 92nd anniversary of the bridge being built, then turned around and manoeuvred into a corner of the Docks. I wanted to photograph it as it went past Eston Jetty but I was too late. However I'll have another go on the 2nd of November when it leaves.
31. A Wider View
|The Endeavour with the Transporter Bridge in the background |
|Riverside Stadium - home of The Boro - from under the bridge
When they decided that Ayresome Park was past it's sell-by date they built the new stadium at North Ormesby. It has a great atmosphere and a good view of the pitch no matter where you are sitting. Outside at the front they have erected two bronze statues of Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick.
For anyone unfamiliar with the layout of the area(ie. ex-pats) the A66 goes through North Ormesby along what used to be Smeaton Street with a round-about where the Trackless used to turn around. Turning towards where the Hospital once stood takes you into North Ormesby while turning the other way takes you over a bridge to the old Middlesbrough Dock (now called Middle Haven). At another round-about over the bridge a right turn takes you to the Stadium, straight ahead is moored the Tuxedo casino ship while left finishes up "over the border".
The Endeavour photographs were taken from the bridge while the stadium photo was from under the bridge.
In this photo an appropiately coloured car is coming out of the car park but if it turned the other way it would travel to South Bank with another bridge leading over the site of the old railway station and passing the old Station Hotel.
33. South Bank Tomorrow
|Poster for 150th birthday of South Bank (Two Words!)
I was invited to a meeting of "South Bank Tomorrow" - a group promoting the regeneration of South Bank. The meeting was held in Golden Boy Green and attended by twenty people, including guests, who wanted to discuss forthcoming events to celebrate 150 years of existence. A Carnival Parade with floats is planned for Saturday 10th of July (04), starting at 11.00am and proceeding up Normanby Road to St.Peter's School field where various events will be held, possibly including football.
34. SB Events Group
|The Events Group Meeting waiting to get started |
35. Politics of Football!
|Peter Livingstone and Doug Reed
As the meeting got underway Peter and Doug made known their feelings about the state of football in the area. I was very impressed by a long and eloquent preamble by Peter Livingstone on the history of South Bank football, the state of play today, the state of playing fields or lack of them, obstructions, vandalism and the intentions, hidden or otherwise, of various departments of the Council where they were concerned with the noble game in South Bank. All without a single note or memo. Vandalism seemed to be the main culprit eating into scarce funds but it was hoped to include some concept of football at the St.Peter's field. A case of "Watch this space"!
See also the South Bank Football page on this site with links on the Links page.
36. Stalwarts of Football
|Doug Reed and Peter Livingstone
Peter had to leave the meeting to go to prepare for an evening match but not before I got a shot of the Dynamic Duo on the site of the old South Bank AFC with their backs to where the stands used to be.
After Peter's departure the meeting continued with further plans which include an exhibition of photographs of South Bank, its people and history. They also propose to have a live internet set-up showing this site! So if you haven't appeared on these pages so far... see you in July!!!
37. Market Day 2005
|St. Peter's Clock Friday 22nd April
Every now and then I like to visit South Bank market to stroll around and see if there are any faces I recognise from the past. The 22nd of April was a lovely sunny, warm spring day but I didn't see anyone I knew and, also, the market is shrinking. There are less stalls now and less shoppers wandering around.
I walked out onto the grassy mound which once was covered with Middlesbrough Road shops. I had my camera but didn't want to photograph things I had shot several times before. Still, the church looked nice with the sunlight on the golden figures of the clock...
38. The Market
|Pearl Hall, chairwoman of South Bank Residents Association
As I turned to go back to my car I spotted a figure I recognised.
39. Pearl's A Singer!
|Pearl is trying to save South Bank
Pearl recognised me and waved a newspaper at me. She explained that she was waiting for MP Vera Baird who was supposed to be turning up (as MP's do in the run-up to an election) but was late.
The newspaper headline was "I will reclaim the streets", Tony Blairs response to yobs.
Pearl was using the same headline in a literal sense to save the streets of South Bank from planners who want to raze South Bank to the ground.
We have been here before. In fact, things have not improved in the last forty years. I applaud Pearl's efforts because dear old Slaggy Island deserves better than to be reduced to bare brown earth. The heart stills beats but the body needs a make over. It seems that MP's only listen to us when they want our vote so now's the time to speak out before the town disappears.
40. Vera Baird
|MP Vera Baird arrives at South Bank Market|
|Pearl moves in to state her cause
Pearl waved her headlines but Vera was more interested in giving out leaflets.
42. Girl Talk?
|I like women but can't they talk!!!
There's a cafe in Redcar which is popular with women who go in to chinwag over a cup of coffee. I avoid the place because the sound level is quite high which is because they all talk at the same time and none stop to listen! It's true! And I noticed it above...
At the risk of getting lynched let me add that, as a photographer, I've noticed that a great percentage of pictures of women are spoilt because their mouths are blurred!
That'll get them going!
43. Get them young
|Vera Baird found some who were interested
In general, South Bankers at the market showed Vera the same level of interest that she had shown South Bank and its problems over the four years she had been their representative in parliament.
Pearl had disappeared and Vera Baird, trying to give leaflets away, found two youngsters who seemed interested in what she had to say...
44. "Waste of space!"
|Badges are badges...
But no... they were only interested in the badges.
People I talked to seemed to indicate that the days of blind allegiance to the Labour Party were past. At the last election they had hoped that Vera would make a difference and help them to save South Bank. Now they admitted they were wrong and thought this was the first time she had been there.
"She's a waste of space!" one woman declared!
45. A Real Supporter
|Richard White helps Vera give out leaflets|
|and wondering... about Pym Street...
For the past fifty years South Bank has been allowed to decay with no council lifting a hand to stop it or to help. If they decided that gardens were the sign of good housing they could have done it by pulling down two streets at a time and rebuilding - and not pulling down more until that was finished. Certainly the answer did not lie in housing estates which resulted in the heart being pulled out of South Bank.
47. Left to rot
|Vicky Caswell living among boarded up houses
On my wanders I saw a face from the past. I remember Vicky Caswell (nee Higgins) from Smith's Dock where she worked in the offices. She is so despairing of her situation that she wished "they would drop a bomb on the place"!
Recently I was talking to an old friend who was an Independent councillor in Redcar years ago who reckoned that coucillors expenses could pay for the restoration of Slaggy Island. He was a councillor between 1974/1982 when the allowances were £10 which he, and some others, did not draw.
He would like to know if the present councillors, with their exhorbitant expense sheets, work so hard for 116 days a year, what are the well-paid officers of the council being paid for?
He would also like to know if they pay council tax on their (ill-gotten?) gains?!!
48. Among the gloom
|Its not all doom and gloom
Twenty years or so ago some new houses were built on the site of demolished streets. Unfortunately they stopped short resulting in the present depressing state. A few good houses among the decay is not enough. By now, South Bank should have been a lovely place to live in.
Why did they stop the building programme? Will any councillor answer that?
I have heard that they intend to resume building, with plans for 350 new dwellings but they have earmarked a green field next to the Trunk Road.
What good is that? South Bank wants houses built in place of the ruins which need to be removed and if you have new houses you need a shopping centre to cater for its citizens. Asda is not enough. Rebuild Middlesbrough Road shops!
Between Queen Street and Redcar Road lies a green area with a few planted shrubs and, when I went there after a shower of rain and a recent mowing, the smell was as good as anywhere in the Dales!
|On the green, a memorial seat |
50. In Memory Of
|Paul Stuart Mann |
51. Upper Napier Street
|The way it looks now in 2005
You might think this is a ray of sunshine, and so it is but the rest of South Bank is under a cloud.
To think, it all could have been like this.
When I caught these two ladies it turned out that the one in the red hat lives in my old house - and she never offered me a cup of tea!
There are many more photos on the For All Ex-Pats page.
52. In the News
Thursday April 28, 2005.
The Northern Echo, page 6.
Copyright The Northern Echo.
Determined 83-year-old to go on arson patrols
Story by Chris Brayshay.
AN 83-YEAR-OLD woman is planning to patrol streets designated for demolition to keep arsonists at bay.
Cleveland Police, community police support officers and neighbourhood support workers, employed by the Guinness Trust, are carrying out daily inspections of 150 terraced houses which are to be bulldozed at South Bank, near Middlesbrough.
Notices have also gone up on the buildings to deter would-be thieves and vandals.
Pearl Hall, chairwoman of South Bank Residents' Association, upset at the publicity triggered by the security measures, says she will police the area herself while other residents keep a sharp lookout.
Cleveland Fire Brigade and police are taking no chances in an area where one in ten fires is started deliberately.
Neighbouring Grangetown was recently hit by a spate of fires and emergency services are keen to see the menace does not spread to South Bank.
Mrs Hall said: "They are not going to succeed here; we won't let them.
"We don't want any more bad publicity for South Bank. The residents' association has fought hard to get South Bank right and we are nearly 100 per cent there and putting the image right.
"We are rising up, out of the image we have had in the past, and it was only a few weeks ago, I was told South Bank was the lowest in the local league for fires."
She said: "I'll be going down there myself and keeping an eye open. We are fighting for the future of South Bank and want to build it up."
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council are tearing down streets of empty, terraced, vandal-hit houses, as part of a programme to rejuvenate the area and improve the quality of life of residents.
Tony Churchill, manager at Grangetown fire station, which also covers South Bank, said recently: "With this group of houses being identified for demolition, working with other agencies is essential to minimise problems and reduce the risk to the community.
"When we get called to a fire at a derelict house, especially if it has been repeatedly hit by arsonists it becomes more dangerous, the building becomes very unstable, ceilings can cave in and the whole building could collapse. These are very risky situations."
53. Guilty Conscience?
Pearl Hall is a Labour councillor. One day, one of her fellow councillors approached me saying, "You know Pearl Hall, don't you?!"
When I said I did he said "She's a bloody nuisance. She's always on about South Bank and how we're going to pull it all down and not build any new houses which is a load of rubbish!"
"Oh?" I said, surprised at the outburst.
"Yes," he continued. "She doesn't say that we're going to build 350 new houses."
He had my attention. "Hm, so where are you going to build these houses?" I asked.
"Well, near the Trunk Road" he said defensively, as if I shouldn't have asked.
"You mean on a green field site" I said. "That's not what South Bankers want. They want new houses built on the site of the old streets which want removing. Building them at the Trunk Road isn't building them in South Bank. Why don't the council listen to what people want?"
He went on to say that the "developers" won't build on the old site but only on virgin soil.
So why don't they get a different developer? Failing that, why don't the council do it themselves and hire builders? Why do successive councils think they know what's better for the locals than the people themselves? I always thought that councillors are elected to office by the electorate to carry out their wishes, to serve the people as it were, but councillors obviously have other ideas. The inhabitants of South Bank have spelled it out. They want to live in South Bank, but in a South Bank that's worth living in. The council can do it - so why don't they?
54. Council Dictators
Pearl Hall had told me that there was to be a meeting on "The Future Of South Bank" to be held in the Baptist Church in Redcar Road East at 2.00pm on Tuesday 3rd of May and I had promised to be there as an observer and maybe take a few photos. I meant it but, maybe because I'm involved with all sorts of groups, on the day it completely slipped my mind. Of course, it could be an age thing... and I'm sorry that I missed out.
So, I can only record the event as I gleaned it from the newspapers with the headline in the Evening Gazette getting straight to the point:
South Bank rebuilding calls rejected
NEW HOMES RULED OUT
The council's "Greater Eston Project Director" Brian Kitchen (What salary is he paid to be a hatchet man?) said that rebuilding homes on the site of demolished houses is not an option.
He also stated that the whole project would take five to ten years.
Joan Rees, the council's "Director of Development", stated that they couldn't get any investment interest to reinvest in "this part" of South Bank.
LOOK AND TRY HARDER
Consultants Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners started drawing up a "master plan" in December 2003.
What happened to the plan of the early eighties which saw half of the town flattened and a start made on rebuilding. Why was it halted? Are the houses built then also to be demolished or will those occupiers be stranded in a wasteland?
Did the present "consultants" consult South Bankers?
How much are they being paid for their expertise?
WHO said that they couldn't build on the old sites?
All the money wasted on discussions, consultants, council officials and councillors expenses could have built a city by now, never mind a small town.
(I wonder... do these grand job titles carry grand salaries?)
I get the impression that successive councils are made up of Henry Ford clones after his infamous quotation: "History is bosh"!
I prefer to paraphrase Roy Hudd: "Councils are like babies nappies - they need to be changed often... and for the same reason"!
There was another piece in the Evening Gazette and they asked for people to write in with their opinions so I did just that. However I haven't seen it in print yet but I wouldn't want you to miss out so here's my letter...
Councils and South Bank
Isn't it strange that the people who put up for election to be councillors profess to do so to help the community - but once elected become deaf to their pleas.
The people of South Bank have, for years, asked that derelict houses be demolished and new housing erected in their place. I must admit that in the early 80's some new housing was put up where demolition had occurred. However, for some reason the progress was halted and the only thing built in recent years was a hostel for criminals that no one wanted.
Now, the present council is going to demolish 1,000 houses and build 900 new dwellings. But they are going to put them on Low Grange which is on the Trunk Road. Any South Banker can tell you that LOW GRANGE IS NOT SOUTH BANK.
The council says that they are going to build on the Low Grange greenfield site because they can't get anyone to develop on South Bank's brownfield site.
The Government says that they have to build on greenfield sites because of a shortage of brown field sites. WHO IS TELLING LIES?
Why don't the council listen to the electorate AND DO AS THEY ARE TOLD?!
Incidentally, if the council goes ahead with its plans what happens to the South Bankers marooned in the 1980's houses?
Have a look at the "21st Century" page on my Slaggy Island website.
ex South Banker,
Always a Slaggy Islander.
55. A Brighter Note
On Friday 6th May 2005, Eston Labour Club on Fabian Road held a special night to both celebrate the end of the War in Europe and also to raise funds for the Normandy Veterans to pay a final visit to the graves of the comrades they left behind sixty years ago.
We went with our friends Sheila Clarkson, Joe Shackleton with his ex RAF mates John Taylor and Yorky (up from Doncaster), Joe's sister Vera and her husband Jimmy "Keir" Adams, Kevan Doyle, Tommy and Kath Searle, Roger and Jean (Kent) Ivison, Brian and Sharon Lazenby and, later, Joe's daughter Leslie. I took along my camera for ex South Bankers...
56. Friends and Sisters
|A girl from Coral Street with two Green sisters!
57. The Green Party
|It should be "formally Green"
Jean Green was fancied by all the male passengers of the old Trolley Buses but she only had eyes for Jimmy Tilley! They even made a film called "Lucky Jim"!
58. Three Vets
|Maurice Norman with two old friends |
59. Near the bar
|Regulars don't like to be too far from the bar! |
60. Whose round is it?
|Looks like a toss-up between Eric and Vera! |
61. Whose round?
|Jean's crowd have the same problem |
62. Colin Sykes
|Colin and company enjoy the night
I knew Colin's brother Tommy, although we always called him Bill
63. Betty Retchless
|Betty was sat nearby... |
64. Betty Foley
|Old South Banker Betty with a friend
Betty is the aunt of our old mate Mick Foley but, like us, she hasn't heard of him for years. I was a bit busy on the night but I resolved to have a longer conversation with her when we meet for the VJ celebrations.
On the 15th of June I received a phone call from Jean (Kent) Ivison to say that Betty had passed away that morning. A nice lady but our conversation will have to wait...
65. Our Table
|Full house - great atmosphere |
66. The Band Plays On
|The brass band hit all the right notes |
|Everyone sensed something was about to happen |
|The Standards assemble before the stage |
69. All Stand
|The Standards are ready and the patrons rise to their feet |
70. Land of Hope And Glory
|Voices rise in unity|
71. The Last Post
|The Last Post stirs old memories|
72. Lower Standards
|The Standards bow for comrades lost |
73. March Out
|Standard bearers march out |
74. The Band
|Langbaugh Brass Band |
|Maurice Norman presents a token of appreciation |
76. The Chairmen
|The Labour Club Chairman introduces the Normandy Veterans Chairman
77. Introducing Vera Baird
|Vera first gives thanks for being elected |
|Maurice Norman gets a bonus cuddle
While the Chairman went through the finances Vera gave Maurice a cuddle - which I caught on camera but then she kissed him which I missed!! I debated getting Vera to do a re-run, which no doubt Maurice would have enjoyed, but the moment was passed!
79. A Grand!
|The Labour Club made up the amount raised to £1,000
The Chairman of the Labour Club gave the cheque to MP Vera Baird to present to the Chairman of the Normandy Veterans.
80. Here we come!
|The £1,000 will go a long way to help the vets return to Normandy |
81. As you were!
|The band had gone but the entertainment carried on |
82. ? Watson
|This lad had lived in North Street and recognised me |
83. Number One Fan
|Mick and Marilyn Applegarth
Here's another lad who recognised me and is a regular on Slaggy. When I've had a drink my memory switches off so I'd be grateful if anyone would send names in!
Thanks Mick for giving my memory a nudge!
84. Ah, my turn...
|Ron Hanlon(?) and his wife.
I recognised this South Banker from my childhood. He's a bit older than me but lived in Cromwell Road. Trouble is... remember what I said about my memory and alcohol? I'm not sure of his name - but I DO remember asking him what it was! Maybe I'm improving. One of my son-in-laws is a doctor and he once gave me some boxes of "memory pills" which a rep had left with him. I kept forgetting to take them!
85. Back to our table
|Kevan Doyle holds centre stage |
86. Yes I'll have one!
|Kevan Doyle mis-hears!!! |
87. Jimmy Keir Adams
|Joe Shackleton's brother-in-law (Now THERE'S fame!) |
88. Joe and Yorky
|Joe Shackleton and his old RAF mate Yorky |
|Leslie and Sheila get into party mood|
90. Say "Goodnight"
|Marion says "Say Goodnight Sheila!" |
91. Remember The Alamo!
|George Canwell at the remnants of South Bank Market
George ran the highly successful Alamo Country and Western Club in the Normanby Hotel in the sixties and its loss is still mourned by many fans.
For the past 29 years George has lived in Oak Street and jokes that Asda is his corner shop! However, he was telling me that in Easter 2008 his street is coming down as the council continue their unremitting mission to obliterate the town from the face of the earth.
I decide to pay a last sad visit with my camera...
92. Redcar Road
|Corner of Redcar Road Upper Jackson Street
Obviously if Oak Street is to be demolished then this end of Redcar Road which backs on to Oak Street will follow suit.
93. Upper Jackson Street
|Part of the block |
94. Oak Street
Henry Ford once said "History is bosh!" Well, he was wrong. History is memories and experiences; it's tears and laughter; it's friends and relatives; it's life and death. It's also people who get elected on to councils to help their fellow man but instead destroy towns and habitats to put their names on new streets and buildings and... I'd better stop and step down from the soapbox. Suffice it to say that I lump Politicians with Solicitors as leeches on society.
95. South Bank Ali
|Ali, 42 years a South Banker
As I left Oak Street I spotted a man I'd seen in the market and struck up a conversation with him, to find his thoughts echoed mine.
Ali first came to South Bank in 1965 and lived in Lower Princess Street Onlyto have the houses demolished in 1969 for the construction of the A66, Asda and Industrial estates.
He moved to Redcar Road which was, as he said, "Good Houses, Good Shops, Good Work. Now..."
He gave an expressive shake of his shoulders. "Council..." He didn't need to finish. He only left out the word "Bloody" council!
Kindred spirit. Next time you see him say Hello.
96. Aire, Costa & Salisbury
|Good houses gone now streets are just for learner drivers
Before returning to Redcar I paid another visit to the past.
I have seen the steady murder of South Bank by successive councils but no one can tell me that it is cheaper to demolish houses and build new ones elsewhere than to refurbish the old ones in the first place. TV is full of people buying such properties and doing them up.
And its not just old houses that are being systematically left to rot in South Bank before being destroyed. Look what happened to those newish flats behind the Albion Club!
Talking about The Albion...
At the present time (as if I haven't got enough to do!) I am Secretary of the Royal Air Forces Association in Redcar which is a registered charity and our function is to collect each year for our Wings Appeal which ends each year on the 31st of October. I put collecting cans in clubs throughout the area and this year our Top Club was the South Bank Albion with a grand total of £102.53.
Because it becomes more difficult each year to raise funds I've been asking Clubs if they would care to collect all year round and some clubs, including the Albion, have responded favourably so I have no doubt that such clubs will break their own records next year!
If you are a member of a club which has not taken part in the past, have a word with your Secretary or Chairman, contact me - AND JOIN THE FEW!
97. Loss of a Landmark
|2008 brings more demolition
Once the slagtips went we only had two landmarks other than the picture houses - St. Peter's Church and the Police Station. Well, February 2008 and the copshop has gone. I suppose many of its temporary residents won't shed a tear but it was a fine building which could have been converted into some use beneficial to the public. Still, that wouldn't fit into the Council's idea of Progress.
98. Boarded Up
|End of 2007 boarded up to keep out the vandals
I wonder if young vandals grow up into councillors?
|A pause in demolition leaves a gravestone to South Bank |
100. Good Building Land?
|Foreground Aire Street, centre Costa, top Salisbury Terrace
While in South Bank I was drawn back to the Aire Street area to see if the last two houses at the end of Salisbury Terrace were still there - but, no, they had gone.
Now that this page has 100 stories or paragraphs it's time for a new page so switch to...
"2008 On..." and carry on.