Middlesbrough in old picture postcards

Middlesbrough in old picture postcards

:   Robin Cook
:   Cleveland
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2806-3
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Middlesbrough in old picture postcards'

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This book does not pretend to be a history book about Middlesbrough and the immediate district. Over the past hundred years, others better qualified have recorded the spectacular growth and development of the area from the early part of the nineteenth century. It is however a reflection of that history , in the form of postcards and a few photographs which capture scenes from the early part of this century. No doubt many of the old postcards, as today, were thrown away within weeks of being purchased and used, but thankfully a representative selection has survived.

I am particularly indebted to the local collectors named elsewhere, without whose help this book could not have been produced. Putting together 140 interesting and high quality scenes cannot be achieved by any one collector without the help of others, and I very much appreciate the trust and confidence placed in me by them, I hope that they feel that the end product has justified their faith and cooperation!

The golden age of the postcard was the period from the beginning of the century up to the Great War i.e, 1900 to 1914. Millions of cards were produced, and the message on the back of those which survive often includes the remark: 'Here's another one for

your collection.' There was a national craze which did not confine itself to local views, but which ranged over virtually every imaginable subject. Although Middlesbrough was not conventionally photogenic, thank goodness that there were local and national postcard manufacturers who wanted to capture the events and scenes of that period in this area. The collection which follows tries to reflect many different aspects of the district as it was so long ago, and I very much hope that the enthusiasm of the collectors for these views is shared by the readers. Many of the cards were produced by local firms, including Brittain and Wright, and Heavisides, of Stockton; Sanbride (Hoods), RSK (Kirkpatrick), James Dodds, T.W. Campling and Haig Parry of Middlesbrough, and Monarch (Johnston) of Gateshead. There are also many from the national firms of the day, like Valentine in particular, Frith, Wrench, Photocrom, and Rotary Photographic, Several have no attribution, and are likely to owe their origins to keen local amateurs who saw an interesting scene and had the initiative to capture it for posterity.

Without venturing here into the history of Middlesbrough as a serious topic, it is clear that the rate of development of the town during the second half of

the nineteenth century was exceptional by any standards, although subject as ever to the fluctuating fortunes of the main industry around which it grew. A sense of civic pride emerged early, and this is also evident from the events and buildings captured in the following selection. The town's first phase, from 1830, lay around the riverside due to the sea traffic in exporting coal. This obliged its later development to be to the south. Original villages became suburbs, and then part of the town itself, as new suburbs were created. I have tried to devote due attention to all the main focal points as they emerged - the old town 'beyond the railway tracks' and the riverside; the railway station and Albert Road; the 'new' Town Hall area and Corporation Road; Newport Road; Linthorpe Road; North Ormesby and Cargo Fleet; Linthorpe Village, and Acklam. I have also briefly included South Bank, Ormesby and Marton, but have left out Grangetown, Eston, Normanby, and Nunthorpe, from the present selection.

If this publication gives as much pleasure to the reader as it did to me in compiling it, then I will feel that the effort has been very well worthwhile.


In addition to using items from my own collection, I am indebted to the following friends for the loan of their original postcards, and, in a few instances, of old photographs:

John Armstrong; Reverend Philip Battersby; Araf Chohan; Jeanne Dobson; the Dorman Museum; Fred Gilbert; Carol Hunter; Joan Lambert; Les Matthews; Valentine Sagar; Len Whitehouse and Reverend Bill Wright.

Thanks are also due to Peter Dobing for photographic assistance, and to Sue Mahoney for typing the complete text.

I have found 'The History of Middlesbrough', written by the late William Lillie - the Borough Librarian for twenty-five years up to 1951 - particularly helpful for some of the factual information. His book was first published in 1968. Various other directories and reference books have also proved useful.



1. An interesting view of the Market Place in the old town. In the foreground is a pot stall, behind which can be seen a tripe stall with the product clearly visible. Just beyond the stall on the right a small crowd is listening to the patter of a man in a straw boater. The Market Buildings on the right are no longer standing, but a more modern building housing a health clinic has replaced them under the clock tower. The highest, rear section of the buildings in the centre of the Square was the original Town Hall, built in 1846. Mr. Gladstone was received in this building on 9 October 1862, when on an official visit to the town. The building is now used as a branch library.

2. St. Hilda's Parish Church was completed in 1840, having been built on part of the site of the original Priory Church of Benedictine Monks, dating back to the twelfth century. Public subscriptions raised most of the money for the church, and the land was given by Joseph Pease and the Owners of the Middlesbrough Estate, providing that two pews were reserved for their use and that the spire was at least 120 feet high. Roundabouts were a regular feature in the Market Place - this one is William Murphy's 'most popular riding machine of the day', in the year 1907.

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Church, Middlesbrough

3. An interior view of St. Hilda's with the old 'box' pews clearly illustrated. A gallery - from which this view was taken - was added to the church in 1861. The building was demolished in 1969-70.

4. A typical back street view in the old town, this being taken in Hilda Place, just by St. Hilda's Church, in 1910. A row of outside toilets can be seen on the left, with a pair of 'poss' tubs on the right and a poss stick visible. The children are barefoot.

5. The Coronation of King George V took place on 22 June 1911. The Midd1esbrough ce1ebrations were organised by the Deputy Town Clerk - Preston Kitchen - and the ox-roasting occurred under a special canopy in the Market Place. The children received medals, chocolates and sweets, and a very large procession ended at Albert Park, with entertainments and fireworks.

6. The Coronation ox was prepared for consumption by Mr. J.H. Wray, and the roasting began on the evening of 21 June. For a shilling the public were given a piece of roasted ox on a special commemorative plate. Alternatively, at a cost of 2d., an ox sandwich was provided. The ox had been given free by the tradesmen in the old town, and the proceeds were used for giving the oid peopie a tea in the Market Hall, and providing a seaside trip to Redcar for 1,000 children on the following 6 August.

7. A scene from South Street in the old town, with the Market Hall and Parish Church in the distance. Taken in the summer,judging by the shop awnings and shadows, Pottage's, the shop to the right, was a drapers and outfitters. The sender of the card explains that she is going to Redcar Races on the following day.

8. The original Amos Hinton 'grocer, tea dealer and provision merchant's' shop in the old part of Middlesbrough, in South Street. A delivery cart stands outside, and a male shop assistant stands in clean white apron in the doorway on the right. Taken about 1890. Amos Hinton took over this business in 1871.

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