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
1. South Bank Tomorrow
|Letter heading for the group based at Golden Boy Green
"South Bank Tomorrow" is the name of an action group whose aim is the survival of South Bank and a future for its citizens. Past Councils have done their best to obliterate the town and the group have their work cut out as the present council have stated their intentions to demolish whole streets in the not too distant future.
I see battles ahead but in the meantime South Bank Tomorrow are making positive steps to nurture the community spirit with planned festivities.
2. Carnival Time
|Celebrations planned for the 150th birthday of South Bank
Events planned for the 10th of July 2004
* Music Hall (War time)
* Nostalgia Exhibition (Photographs, School Registers!)
* Flower Festival
* Motor Sports Park Evening
* CARLING CUP !!!
Future Events being planned:
* September Music Festival
* Santa Train Journey
* Christmas Celebration: Tree, Carols, etc.
|Everyone is invited to South Bank Tomorrow AGM
4. "Slaggy Island at 150"
|Jean Bassett flanked by George Punshon and his daughter Karen McGarrity
Photo by Steven Brough. Copyright (Article and Photo) The Evening Gazette.
Big birthday for a former boom town
Jul 8 2004
By Barbara Argument, Evening Gazette.
A carnival atmosphere is being created in South Bank to celebrate the estate's 150th birthday.
South Bank Tomorrow is behind a day-long carnival, featuring a parade of floats and entertainment on Saturday to mark the special anniversary.
The floats will parade from 11.30am along Normanby Road from the market place to St Peter's school field, with events taking place at the site from noon to 5pm.
Among the attractions will be one of the last trams to operate in the area, thanks to Redcar and Cleveland museums service which is preparing the vehicle for its celebratory return to South Bank's streets.
There will also be a cowboy show, nostalgia display, a funfair and entertainment with a Scottish pipes and drums band, Irish and Indian dancers, African singers and jazz bands.
The carnival has been organised by South Bank Tomorrow, which is funded by the Single Regeneration Budget and has the aim of bringing together regeneration projects working in the area.
South Bank Tomorrow chairman Graham Hubbard said: "We're delighted with the support we have had in pulling this event together.
"Everyone has recognised the role South Bank has played in the industrial, sporting and social history of the area and agree it is something worth celebrating."
As part of the anniversary celebrations South Bank Tomorrow is also organising a musical with a wartime theme to be staged in September. Performers and musicians are needed to take part. To get involved call 01642 467050.
South Bank was once the boom place to go on Teesside for shopping or a fun night out.
Now 'Slaggy Island' is fighting to survive, but happy to celebrate its 150th birthday.
George Punshon has lived in South Bank for more than 40 years.
"And I'm still not accepted as a native," he chuckles.
That is ironic because no-one is a more proud battler for the one-time Teesside boom town than 76-year-old George. When times turned tough and the shipyard and ironworks closed, he founded the residents' association to fight back.
And he's still on more local fighting committees than a developer can shake a stick at - even winning a volunteer award for it.
Daughter Karen McGarrity keeps up the family tradition as the area's community officer at the heart of South Bank's 150th birthday celebrations.
She grew up in the town and has stayed there for most of her 47 years.
She still lives in South Bank with quantity surveyor husband Joe, and their children, Paul, 19, at university in London, and McMillan College students, 17-year-old Becky and Adam, 15.
So when they achieve their dreams of being an archaeologist, an actress and a geneticist will they come back to live in South Bank?
"No, I don't think so," says Karen, shaking her head.
That is the dilemma for a once prosperous town so devastated by industry closures and unemployment, it hangs onto survival with a fingertip grip.
The young have left in their droves in search of jobs.
Even those who love every blade of grass, say South Bank has hit rock bottom and the only way is up.
But the boarded-up houses, absentee landlords and industrial dereliction don't tell the full story.
What you see is definitely not all you get with South Bank.
A century and a half after it was born to boom, you only have to scratch the surface slightly to turn up an enviable spirit of grassroots community. A town with a proud history and deep roots survives magnificently, despite everything.
South Bank is buzzing with the sort of caring, sharing, neighbourly life those in posher places can only dream about.
If you could bottle and sell South Bank spirit, a whole new mega-bucks industry would be born.
Pride in the place is what still stirs the soul and fires the fight.
It's exactly 150 years since South Bank was founded and the birthday celebrations kick off on Saturday with a carnival. Normanby Road will be closed for the parade of floats and everyone will end up on St Peter's School field for a fun-packed time.
"Are you videoing it?" e-mailed a pining exile in the US, one of a worldwide clan with fond memories of growing up in South Bank.
Once it had more shops than Middlesbrough, says George Punshon.
"All the big ones like Uptons, Hintons, Red Stamp Stores. It was a boom place with three cinemas, a dance hall, clubs and pubs. South Bank was where everyone came for their entertainment - me included."
It was also a self-sufficient town in its own right. "Everything you could ever want was here," says George who has lived with wife Doreen in the same house since they arrived.
Karen remembers the family moved every couple of years until they settled in South Bank. "We never moved again, did we dad?" she says.
She and brother David went to Cromwell Road and then she went on to Eston Grammar before secretarial college in Middlesbrough and the jobs market.
"I was on the checkout at Asda for a while and loved it," she says. "It was brilliant. I didn't have to go out to meet my ex-schoolfriends, they used to come to me."
Outsiders took one look at the waste tips surrounding the iron and steel town in the boom years and dismissed it as Slaggy Island.
Now the name has been turned into a term of endearment on the Slaggy Island website, so interactive with the feedback of residents and far-flung exiles, it's like a night of banter at the pub.
Log on to discover scenes for the last TV series of Auf Weidersehen, Pet were filmed in derelict Aire Street in South Bank and then there's the history, the way it is now, the personal memories and much more.
It was set up about three years ago by Dick Fawcett, who lived in South Bank for 23 years before moving to Redcar, and has had getting on for an amazing 50,000 hits so far.
"From almost everywhere," says Dick. "Everyone who leaves has this nostalgia for South Bank.
"It's very sad the way things have gone down, but I do like to have a wander round the market still. These days I find though, I meet more people from South Bank in Redcar."
Graham Hubbard is chair of South Bank Tomorrow, which aims to promote the area through events and projects.
This year the birthday celebrations will look back over the area's amazing industrial and social heritage and the footballing history featuring Wilf Mannion - with Golden Boy Green named after him - and George Hardwick.
"I do not live in the community," says Graham; "but I've worked there for the past three years and have learned from the locals. I believe that despite the current state of the town, it has much to be proud of and has played a significant role in the development of the Tees Valley."
Ask him where the social centre of life is in South Bank and he says: "probably Asda".
And that is where - among everything from fruit and veg to fridges - there are plans to stage a nostalgic photographic exhibition.
There is huge support for the celebrations from the town's amazing number of thriving organisations, including the craft club, which is Jean Bassett's weekly social treat.
"I don't know how I'd manage without it," she says. "We meet to learn how to make all sorts of things, we're making snowflakes for Christmas now, and we go on trips away to craft fairs at Harrogate or Pickering and Helmsley."
When she married and came to live in South Bank from Guisborough, her parents were not best pleased.
"I expected this really horrible place, but when I got here I didn't know what people were complaining about. It has the market and you don't have to go anywhere else.
"It is sad, though, the way things have gone and I'm not sure what the future holds."
* South Bank Carnival is on Saturday, from midday, on St Peter's Senior School field. There will be a wild west show with an authentic native American in his teepee.
The parade - which includes the last trolley bus and driver on Teesside - starts at 11.30am from South Bank Marketplace.
* South Bank Flower Festival in St John the Evangelist Church is on October 8-10.
* A photographic exhibition of old South Bank is planned for later in the year in Asda.
5. South Bank Tomorrow Today
|Councillor George Dunning arrived early for the festivities |
6. Lead on, McDuff!
|A Scottish pipe band headed the parade watched by an anxious Graham Hubbard
Graham Hubbard is the chairman of South Bank Tomorrow.
7. The Last Trolley Bus
|With no more overhead trolley wires the last trackless is towed by tractor |
8. Harry Potter
|St. Peter's School decorated their float with a Harry Potter theme |
9. Harry Potter 2
|The back end of the St. Peter's float at Bennett's Corner |
10. Bond - James Bond
|Kings Manor School created an imaginative 007 float, sponsered by Corus' Beam Mill |
11. The Bond Girls
|Schoolgirls have changed since my day! These Kings Manor pupils are Bond Girls! |
12. Special FX
|Kings Manor bring the world of James Bond to South Bank (with Jack Sowerby in the car!) |
|Hollywood comes to South Bank
In the thirties, forties and fifties South Bank's three cinemas insulated us from hard times.
14. The US of A
|The USA influenced us all through Hollywood |
15. Joseph's Float
|Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat float |
16. Joseph's Kids!
|The kids enjoy the ride on the Technicolour Dreamcoat float|
17. Noah's Ark
|The animals went in...|
18. Noah's Ark 2
|Two by two... |
19. Sorry, Elvis
For some reason I didn't get a photo of the Elvis float
If anyone can lend me a photo to put in here (and the next story) I'd be obliged.
20. Sorry Elvis 2
21. Blue and Yellow Band
|Marching smartly around Bennett's Corner |
22. The Leaders?
|The Leaders... or Tail-end Charlies?
Of course when your legs are shorter than the other marchers you're bound to be at the back.
23. The Parade Goes On...
|The parade becomes more relaxed |
24. Long Legs
|The stilt walker has a good view |
25. Red, White and Blue
|A Band, smartly turned out in red, white and blue |
26. Red, White and Blue 2
|Swinging round the corner |
27. Platoon of Helpers
|Helpers and friends join in the parade |
28. Martell's Raiders
|Martell's Raiders bring up the rear |
29. Opportunity Knocks
|One way to advertise ones wares is to tag onto the end! |
30. Tilley's Barbershop
|Everything has changed...
I was approached by a stranger who wasn't sure that he had arrived in South Bank. He identified himself as David Tilley, grandson of Alf Tilley the South Bank barber, and wanted to know where the Tilley's shop had been. Later I saw him again outside the vastly changed premises which was next door to the Erimus Club and he wanted to be photographed where his family had lived and worked. I obliged.
31. Cliffy Wray
|Before I could chase after the parade an old pal appeared in my viewfinder|
32. Another Two
|Tony Kelly and Trevor Thompson got in front of my camera
Tony was heading for the Erimus but Trevor was going to the Carnival in the Peter's field. We walked along together...
33. Golden Boy
|Passing Golden Boy Green I just had to photograph Wilf's Gate |
34. Local Interest
|John Readman of Stephens Road
A local, John Readman, a stalwart of the Albion Club, watching the parade go by his home, had spotted Trevor Thompson and myself studying Wilf's Gate. As we came up to him he informed us that he had been one of the workmen involved in the building of the walls and gates of Golden Boy Green. He must have thought Trevor looked important as he was keen to have his photo taken while clasping Trev like his long lost best mate! Unless the whole carnival atmosphere was responsible for generating a friendly atmosphere!
I had wrongly named him as Stan Wanless and I knew no better until Mark Trainor wrote in...
"Hi Dick, on your South Bank Tomorrow Page Item 34, the local is John Readman who I'm sorry to say died a week later. A good man who served the Albion club well. God Bless John.
35. Up Normanby Road
|Everyone heads for the Peter's field up Normanby Road|
36. Ha'salam Whi'lakum
|Two brothers from Hampden Street - "No English" - were a bit bemused by it all|
|I thought I knew the face but he was suspicious of the camera |
38. The Entrance
|Crowds thronged to the entrance of St. Peter's field
|Graham Hubbard struggles to hand out programmes |
|Once in, it's time to relax and wander around at leisure |
41. Fairground Rides
|The fairground rides were near the entrance to attract the younger South Bankers |
42. First stop for some
|Some were ready for a cuppa as soon as they got to the field! |
43. Hot Dog!
|My old mate Paddy Betts get stuck into a hot dog |
44. Sit Down
|The Sinclairs dining out
Peter Sinclair and his sister Denise Hakami used to live in Mile Street and were enjoying the Carnival spirit and sunshine.
|Bollywood dancers adding to the carnival atmosphere
Stage Events from 1215-1700
1215 Opening Ceremony
1230 Afro UK
1250 Bollywood Dancers
1315 High Flyers
1335 Robson Irish Dancers
1400 Jump Back Georgia
1435 Starlight Stage School
1505 The Marshalls Guitar Band
1535 Afro Uk
1605 High Flyers
Unfortunately I didn't get a programme and missed several acts so if I haven't featured any act here and you have a suitable photo I could use don't hesitate to contact me. Dick.
46. Old Friends Meet
|Old classmates from the Central Sylvia Fawcett and Sheila Ryan meet up
l-r: My wife Marion, my sister Sylvia Hall (nee Fawcett), Sheila (nee Ryan) Crouchley with her husband Tom.
Sylvia and Sheila were in the same class at school and the years rolled back as they exchanged stories. Sylvia and her husband Derek (not in the shot) have lived in New Zealand for thirty years. Back here on holiday they couldn't miss the South Bank Carnival which turned out better when Sylvia met her old classmate.
47. Afro Break
|The Afro Uk group (from Stockton) take a break|
48. South Bankers
|Present day South Bankers - sorry I didn't get the names |
|Grand Tour of an Indian Teepee!
Arena Events from 1300-1630
1300 Martell Raiders Wild West Show
1340 Blue Starr Jazz Band
1405 Newton Aycliffe Pipes and Drums
1430 Martell Raiders Wild West Show
1505 Teddy Bear Toddle
1535 Saphire Jazz Band
1600 Martell Raiders Wild West Show
50. The Wild West
|Martell Raiders Wild West Show |
|Spiderman was there! |
52. Martell's Raiders
|Even Cowboys take a break - especially when it rains|
53. Ken and Ivy
|Kenny Dent Rowden and his wife Ivy enjoyed the day |
54. The Robson Irish Dancers
|The popular young Irish Dancers |
55. Football Nostalgia
|Peter Livingstone behind the original Carling and Ellis Cups
Peter also displayed a collection of old South Bank Football Club Programmes and photographs and what he doesn't know of the subject is not worth knowing - as they say!!!
56. The Nostalgia Tent
|A few spots of rain increased attendance in the tent
Jack Sowerby and my wife Marion chat to Ged and Marion Wyke.
57. Ged and Brian
|Ged Wyke and Brian Sullivan pose in the tent |
58. Dancing Tots
|A few spots of rain weren't going to stop these tots! |
59. Face Painting
|Now-a-days kids expect to get their faces painted at shows |
60. Face Painting 2
|Do you think I've got too much eye shadow on?|
61. Face Painting 3
|You're never too young to learn about make-up! |
62. Talking about the website
|We were talking on Middlesbrough Road
Photo from Jack Sowerby
As the parade set off I was approached by two fans of the website and I took a photo without noticing that the selection knob on the camera had moved. Result - no photo. Fortunately Jack Sowerby had taken a shot from over the road and recently gave me the print above.
If my memory serves me, one of the lads is Mick Webster.
63. Mystery Woman?
|No, its just that Sheila Gallagher doesn't like her photo taken! |
|The rain didn't deter some people |
65. John Chapman
|John Chapman and wife ready for the off |
66. The Last Trolleybus
|Jack Sowerby gets on the platform of the last trackless |
67. The Last Journey
|An old driver prepares to take the wheel for the trip to the museum |
68. Is That You, Norman?
|A newspaper article named the ex driver as Norman Errington
69. Cheap Houses
My wife had answered the phone and said it was for me. A stranger said he was a reporter for the Daily Mirror and wondered if I had any other photographs of Costa Street as he had been looking at the Slaggy Island website.
My first thought was that it was a wind-up but he insisted it was not. They were doing a story on the most expensive house in Britain to come on the market at £100,000,000(!) and by way of contrast had seen one in Costa Street advertised at £5,000 and thought it was the cheapest. I had to tell him that I had no photographs only electronic images (scans) which had to be of reduced resolution to fit on the website.
Later, the story appeared in the Evening Gazette.
Then on Saturday 14th August 2004 a letter in the Evening Gazette caught my eye. It was entitled "Becoming a rat race..."
"On behalf of the residents of South Bank, may I say that Costa Street does not have the cheapest houses, there are many going from as little as £3,000 to £10,000. We are all in negative equity through no fault of our own.
There have been at least three major surveys done and still we have no answers. The latest result has been put back three times to date.
The council is talking 5 to 15 years before something will be done and may I suggest that before that time is up the vandals and firebugs will have done the job for them. But maybe this is what the powers-that-be want so we won't be a problem any longer.
It has now been announced there is a new Town Hall to be built to replace a 45-year-old building. Yet there is no money to replace old terraced housing that is over 100 years old.
Empty houses are boarded up with no clearance of rubbish from inside them, which in turn is causing a vermin problem.
The council has got rid of this service which means employing private firms, but the problem is right across the old part of town, which is becoming rife with mice and rats.
If the council waits long enough, which looks likely, the older residents who want it rebuilt here will have either died or be in homes, which will solve their problems as there will be no resistance to being moved out."
It was signed "E.Smith and Other Disgusted Residents, South Bank"
I can't help wondering if my old mate Ted Smith has come back to haunt the council!
70. Councillor Rumsfeld
|Donald Rumsfeld - at home in the Asylum
Over the years various councils have made a mess of South Bank usually without telling us anything about it. The USA have such a council which they call The Government and they have a spokesman who is an expert at not telling people anything. He'd be right at home on our council! Read on...
Rumsfeld: Up To Semantics
By Kort Peterson
Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Donald Rumsfeld recently amazed the press with his unparalleled ability to stupefy the average English-speaking individual. At a news conference in Brussels, the Secretary of Defence muddied the waters of conversation with shocking precision.
"There are things we know that we know," Rumsfeld said. "There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things we now know we don't know. But
there are also unknown unknowns - things we do not know we don't know."
Feeling fuzzy? Don't worry. Secretary Rumsfeld had a firm grasp on the situation. The amazing orator proceeded to explain everything.
"So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together and we then say, 'Well, that's basically what we see as the situation,' that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns," Rumsfeld said. "And each year
we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns" Well, that's certainly comforting. I'm glad the top dog at the Department of Defence is an open,
honest man. If only we could figure out what he was saying.
I sense a true willingness to be helpful on Rumsfeld's part: he sincerely tried to convey his meaning to the press. He even tried a little more elaboration.
"There is another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," Rumsfeld said. That's clear as crystal, right? I just hope he knows a "known known" when he sees it. Of course, if he did, he would probably have included a "known known known" in his otherwise thorough list of possibilities. This raises several interesting questions. Do two
knowns make an unknown? How do you know if an unknown unknown exists?
How does an unknown unknown become a known unknown? Can you ever have an unknown known? Or rather, in all this muddle of what you know and don't know, can you ever know something without realizing it? So what did Rumsfeld's speech really tell us about what our government knows in the war on terrorism?
Well, that's easy. What with all the known knowns and the unknown unknowns, we can unequivocally state that any known known the government knows
probably isn't worth knowing. And if you can parse the known unknowns and unknown unknowns without getting a migraine, you probably need to work for Donald Rumsfeld.
So, ladies and gentlemen, you can rest assured that whenever our intelligence agencies don't know what they're doing, at least they know that they don't know what they're doing. Unless, of course, that's one of those unknown unknowns Mr. Rumsfeld mentioned. One thing is for certain:
Donald Rumsfeld must be taking elocution lessons if he can give a speech like that without laughing or choking to death.
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