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. Man U
|Boro for The Cup!
Leisure pursuits usually either started in a pub or ended in one. Here a group of Slaggy Islanders had travelled to Manchester for a cup-tie.
At the back: Ray Hickman, Colin Coleman, Eddie Lingard, Tommy Clark, Les Davison, Joe McLay and Norman Buxton.
Front: John Wrightson, Kenny Lee, Tony ?, and Mac MacManus (Grangetown).
2. Lads Night Out!
|In The Clarry!
This motley group on a night out in Redcar's Clarendon Hotel includes: Jimmy Seed, Norman Petford, Ray Ward and Keith Atkinson.
3. Girls Night Out
This was probably a GEC Hen Party in the 60's.
Included were: Maureen Sowerby (MacMillan), Marion Fawcett (Nixon), Christine Nixon (wife of David) and Janet Pearce.
PS. I've been informed that it was Christine's hen night. She was not a South Banker (came from Oldham) but married David Nixon (my brother-in-law). It seems I should have known what the occasion was (!) So, when the photo was taken, her name was Sprawson; the Nixon bit came later!!
4. In Blackpool
Peter Nixon enjoys a weekend in Blackpool.
Blackpool was a popular weekend trip destination. I can't remember who Peter was with on this particular weekend but I remember the details of a visit made by Kevin Byrnes back in the 50's.
A few paid a visit to the Hall of Mirrors when they'd had a few drinks and couldn't help messing about. Kevin spotted one of the lads through the mirrors and jumped out to shock him - but it was him that got the surprise.
The doorway that he attempted to jump through was in fact a mirror! The wonder was that it didn't break when Kevin crashed into it! He knocked himself out and came round with a bust nose and two black eyes and couldn't understand how everyone thought it was hilarious!!
Unfortunately neither Kevin or Peter are with us any more but memories live on.
5. Ray Ward and Freddy Floyd
|Ray Ward and Freddy Floyd
Ray thinks this shot was taken in the Magnet, Grangetown but Fred reckons it was up the Boro.
Any day you walk along Redcar High Street you are liable to bump into Ray as he looks to recognise faces from the past. He's into memorabilia in a big way, particularly from his time in the Green Howards and Old South Bank. When the Central Re-union takes place each October I pass around a Photograph Album in which a lot of the photos' come from Ray, so no doubt you'll see quite a lot of him!
|Tony in the Albion 1968.
Photo by Dick Fawcett 1968.
In the guestbook is a letter from Terry Kelly sat in Kazachstan (or was it Krapistan?). Anyway, the family were friends of mine so I include this shot of his brother Tony which I took one Saturday afternoon in 1968 in the old Albion Club. Tony had just finished his shift on the Steel Plant and was in need of a refresher or two! (Incidentally he was of the opinion that I didn't have a film in the camera!!)
Actually, I took quite a few photos that day in the Albion and I've still got the negs (somewhere). I'll have to dig them out and maybe put in another page to accomodate them.
The Flea Pits
Since I wrote the story below I've been given the above picture of the interior of the Empire but it appears to be a drawing. Any ideas?
I've got a photo of Grangetown's Lyric but not South Bank's cinemas so if anyone out there has any and could send them as attachments I'd be very obliged. In the 40's and 50's you couldn't go wrong for cinematic entertainment in Slaggy Island.
The corrugated Hippodrome changed programmes every other day plus Sunday - and they were "full" programmes then, not like today. You got a "B" picture, followed by a Cartoon, then the News and Trailers for forthcoming films, and finally the Big Film! And all for sixpence (2.5p) or tenpence(4p).
When young we went "on the boards" in the tanners, flicking paper pellets and orange peel at the screen. Later, with great sophistication, we graduated to the top seats of 10d!
At one time Paul Daniels' parents ran the Hippodrome but if you ask anyone who it is they remember best it will be "old Moffat" walking up and down flashing his torch with his trilby permanently stuck on his head!
Do you remember the journey to the toilet (male)? Outside, round the corner, down the alley and into the dimly lit tunnel under the stage! And what about the joys of watching a film with a hail storm belting down outside, drowning out the sound track!!
On to the Empire: was it actually built as a cinema? I ask the question because if you remember the inside there were "boxes" at each side of the stage as in a theatre.
Whatever, as a cinema they changed films twice a week plus a different program on a Sunday and, when we were young, matinees were held on a Saturday afternoon which fanned our interest in "the flicks". It was there that I first saw John Wayne (remember "Singing Sandy"?)and first met Alec Power who was more widely known as "Brighteyes".
The Empire was later converted into the Sporting Club but the only sporting event I can remember was when the former World Middleweight Boxing Champion Randolph Turpin was featured in a poor wrestling contest. The club later burned to the ground.
The other cinema then was the Majestic, which originally had been a dance hall, and also eventually succumbed to the flames in 1962. The ruins stood for a while before being rebuilt into a garage, still displaying the poster on the wall of the last film shown, "White Heat"! If the fire had been just after the war it might have been saved as outside stood a large open circular water tank for just such an event. The Oak Leaf was later built on that site but even that has now "bitten the dust".
It must have been wartime law, as there was also a water tank outside the Empire while a different type of tank stood in the alley next to the Hippodrome, not so much space being available.
To go off on a tangent, do you remember where the other water tanks were in Slaggy Island? There was one on Middlesbrough Road (where they later built the Bookbinding factory which later was Argument and Wentworths builders yard), then one on the corner of Nelson and Connaught Streets, one on North Street, another near the Institute, one near Mumby Street and two near the junction of Normanby Road and the Trunk Road. Any advance on that lot?
I remember my dad telling me about South Bank's first cinema in the 20's in South Terrace (later Kings Billiard Hall and then the Cleveland pub)where entrance was a penny and a woman was employed to play the piano to match the action on the screen!
Michael McLoughlin thinks that it was called "The Paragon" but as that was the name of Grangetown's "other" picture house I can't see two cinemas being called the same. He also said the first film was Al Jolson in "The Jazz Singer". Well, this film was made in 1927 but I'm sure they were showing silent films before then.
Michael got back to me on a couple of points:
I made an error in telling you that the cinema where Kings Billard Hall once stood was called the Paragon - wrong - I have now received info that it was known as the Palace -some of the much older folks called it the Old Palace..?
The 1st talkie movie -The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson was certainly made in 1927 - a Warner Bros production. As in todays film productions there are most times some period of delay before the production is available for General Exihibition Release. However, my late dad never stopped talking about the day he went to see this first talkie - he went with his mother who died a few weeks later-that was in the year of 1928.
At some stage the building was also used to stage boxing bouts but later became Kings Billiard and Snooker Hall before becoming The Cleveland pub.
When it was "Kingy's" we used to stand around the huge pot-bellied stove which threw out a lot of heat in the winter. One of the regulars was a slightly built bloke called Danny Anderson who was known to be deceptively strong. Once for a bet he got under a snooker table and lifted it clear of the floor and so when the flu of the stove needed clearing Danny was the man.
He got up on the roof with a length of chain which he lowered and rattled down the chimney. This cleared the soot but when he went to pull it up it was stuck so he gave it a mighty heave and hoisted the stove up in the air. Of course the blockage gave way and the stove crashed back down onto its concrete base, spewing out red-hot coke and ash. Needless to say he wasn't asked again!
Incidentally, Albert King's son Van ran the Hall and Cafe before starting up a cafe on Middlesbrough Road in the early 50's. In the days when nothing was open on a Sunday afternoon (except the Rec) Van's place was a welcome exception especially if it was raining!
Getting back to the cinemas... Remember how most shops had cinema bills in their windows telling you what was on? I'd like to get hold of one to scan and put on this page. Actually I'd like to get hold of one to frame and put on my wall.Any offers? Maybe I should see Paul Daniels!
|Phil Tranter with Allan Thompson andJack Sowerby
When we were 17 or 18 we liked the fairgrounds just as much as the pubs and Sammy Crow regularly set up his rides on the slag covered waste land at the bottom of the bridge on Station Road, opposite the Trackless employees club. I can't remember the proper name but it was better known as "The Snake Pit"!
Anyway, thanks to Maureen MacMillan (Sowerby) finding some long lost photos of the event (which I think I took) we can see my old mates.
Jack Sowerby and Allan Thompson
Jack and Allan 1955.
|Willie and Mack 1955.
The Recreation Ground off the Trunk Road was the scene for all sorts of activities - none of them football! Pictured here Willie Gallagher (baby of the gang) has an "ankle breaker" demonstrated to him by Brian McTurk.
Touch of the Lionel Blair's!
|Phil Whitcomb Dancers
A lot of teenager's went to Phil Whitcomb's and learned to dance in his "accademy" above the Con's Club in Redcar Road. Pictured above on the left is my old neighbour Valerie Jordan next to Trevor Shepherd who was later to become her first husband.
Clever Teds like me disdained to appear puffy and consequently never learned, maintaining a two-left-footed approach to the dance floor which consequently lasts to this day!
That doesn't mean I didn't have my moments! At the Co-op Dance I found that I could bop with one girl - Ivy Taylor - but in hindsight she probably manipulated me around the floor. I don't know. Certainly I was never on a dance floor in a sober state!!
However the usual venues were The Pier and The Coatham at Redcar but the Co-op boasted bandleader Dickie Hunter who always looked imposing up there on the stage in his tux with his tash ends waxed and bristling!
He was always on the lookout for trouble makers and would wait for the current skirmish to settle (without stopping the music) before calling out from the edge of the stage:
"Hey, you. Yes, you! Come up here!"
The guilty one would always look round.
Self-consciously the lout would advance up on to the stage to have a beanie shoved into his hand and be pushed to where the maestro wanted him.
The music would start up and Dickie would say,
"Right. Shake it! Not like that. Faster!" and he would pump the victim's hand up and down vigorously.
After a while, the embarrasment would subside to be taken over by bravado as his mates called out. The number would end and he would go to return the beanie and leave. Wrong! Next number. And the next! When he finally seemed contrite (and tired) Dickie would allow him to leave - with a warning!
The funny thing was, although Dickie seemed to be a big man up there, when you joined him on the stage (yes!) he was actually a very small man - about 5'4" - but a veritable sergeant major!
Years later I met up with Dickie when we had a jazz group in the Hope And Grope (Hop and Grape, Redcar) which ran for ten years and we became really friendly. I even used to go to his house and do his garden for him! Incidentally, Dickie's mother ("a big woman") was a South Banker but I can't remember if Dickie was born there. However the alto player in the Hop and Grape band was Johnny Marshall, ex Surrey Street and ex Smith's Dock.
A final word on the subject of dancing. Last year a song came out that I could do a slow sort of swaying walk to, called, "Just Want To Dance The Night Away". I think I've cracked it!
|Jack Young and Alan Winton on their joint stag night!
When it came to their stag nights Jack and Alan decided to combine them, seeing as they were getting married on the same day, and Jack took charge - see the pic! I can spot Woody Irvine and Alan Dawson.
|On the pop in Butlin's Holiday Camp 1956
Woody Irvine, Alan Winton, Tom Reilly, Tony Fleming, Ginger ?, Derek Foster.
Joe Mason, ex King Georges Terrace, provided the missing name:
"...the Ginger is Ginger Mendoza, lived in Station Road for a while and served his time as a fitter and turner same time as me.
Cargo Fleet Boys Band
|Cargo Fleet boys band
Standing l-r: ??, Peter Dickenson, Trevor Jackson, Mr.Frank Macdonald, Alec Hart, Mr.Bob Beck, Jimmy Jackson, Gordon Millard, Mr.Eddie Hewitt.
Seated: Norman Bown, Alan Hewitt, John Chard, Billy McNamara, Leslie Beck, Joe Mason, ?, Colin (Dalla) Dales.
Photo from John Chard.
15. The Golden Girls
|All aboard the mini cruise for the Grab A Granny bunch
Old classmates Pam Gatenby, Maureen Dodds, Marlene Tranter, Jean Kent, Katey Sharples and Marion Nixon along with a few other friends went on a mini-cruise to Bilbao in Spain last August (2005).
Contrary to expectations the vessel didn't sink and the crew didn't abandon ship and they all came back!
(Unfortunately see now the Farewell page).
16. In the cabin
|I seem to know the face...
One of the girls(!) had a strange dress sense!
17. Lads Night Out
| Early 1950s?
Photo from Robby Iseton
Robby, Norman Petford and Tony Shannon