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Coordinates: 54°34′N 1°19′W / 54.57°N 1.32°W / 54.57; -1.32

Stockton-on-Tees
Stockton-on-Tees is located in County Durham
Stockton-on-Tees

 Stockton-on-Tees shown within County Durham
Population 80,060 (2001) [1]
OS grid reference NZ440200
    - London  252.5m 
Unitary authority Stockton-on-Tees
Ceremonial county County Durham
North Yorkshire
Region North East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STOCKTON-ON-TEES
Postcode district TS16 - TS21
Dialling code 01642
Police Cleveland
Fire Cleveland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament Stockton North
Stockton South
List of places: UK • England • County Durham

Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in North East England. It is the major settlement in the unitary authority area and borough of Stockton-on-Tees. For ceremonial purposes, the borough is split between County Durham and North Yorkshire as it also incorporates a number of smaller towns including Billingham, Yarm and Thornaby. The combined size of the borough equates to approx 180,000 people and makes it larger than Middlesbrough in terms of population and area.

Contents

History

Stockton began as an Anglo-Saxon settlement on high ground close to the northern bank of the River Tees.

The manor of Stockton was created in around 1138. It was purchased by Bishop Pudsey of Durham in 1189 and since then has undergone many changes.

Stockton's market can trace its history back to 1310, when Bishop Bek of Durham granted a market charter - to our town of Stockton a market upon every Wednesday for ever.

Stockton Castle is first referred to in 1376. It was captured by the Scots in 1644 and was occupied by them until 1646, but was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell at the end of the Civil War. There is now a shopping centre, called the Castlegate Centre, where the original castle stood. There are no known accurate depictions of the castle in existence.[1]

In June 1890 Major Robert Ropner offered a piece of land to the people of Stockton which could be used as a public park, providing the local council would lay it out tastefully and keep it forever. Just over three years later, on 4 October 1893, the park was officially opened by the then Duke & Duchess of York. After a century of regular use by the people of Stockton, the park was refurbished and renovated between 2004-2007 to its former glory by Stockton Council, thanks to a £2.65m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It includes a new bandstand, based on the original design, a Park Ranger's Office and a cafe, (run by the local charity, the Friends of Ropner Park).

Transport links

Several bus services operate in Stockton. Most services pass through the High Street. The services cover large areas of the region including Middlesbrough, Teesside Park, Thornaby, Billingham, Sedgefield, Durham, Sunderland, Peterlee and Newcastle upon Tyne. Among the companies operating bus services, Stagecoach on Teesside and Arriva North East are the major providers, while six minor providers also operate in the area.[2]

At Christmas, Arriva and Stagecoach bus drivers dress up in santa suits and raise money for certain charities.

Economy

The Infinity Bridge, opened in 2009.

Major industries in Stockton have included ship-repairing, steel and chemicals, although most ship building was performed in nearby Hartlepool.

The town is famous for its associations with the Stockton and Darlington Railway on which ran the world's first steam hauled passenger train in 1825. The town also has the world's oldest railway station[citation needed] building, and also contains much Georgian architecture, one notable example being the world's oldest Georgian theatre,[citation needed] constructed in 1766.

During the twentieth century the town's heavy industry declined dramatically, along with that of the surrounding Teesside area. Since the 1980s the town has seen an increase in service industries.[citation needed]

Work is under way to develop the north bank of the River Tees as part of the North Shore development, which will include new offices and housing.

The Stockton-Middlesbrough Initiative is a 20 year vision for regenerating the urban core of the Tees Valley, the main focus being the 30 km² area along the banks of the River Tees between the two centres of Stockton and Middlesbrough. The master plan has been drawn up by environmental design specialists Gillespies, the eventual aim being to create a distinctive high-quality city of over 320,000 citizens at the heart of the Tees Valley, by connecting both Middlesbrough and Stockton along the Tees corridor. The project will include not only the existing developments at North Shore, Stockton and Middlehaven, Middlesbrough, but many others over a 15-20 year period.

Culture

Notable people

It was the home, 1781 - 1859, of John Walker, who invented the friction match in 1826. Until recently, a roundabout in the centre of Stockton commemorated this fact, but the roundabout has since been demolished to make way for a new road system.

Thomas Sheraton, the famous furniture designer, was born in Stockton in 1751; he moved to London in 1790, where he died in 1806.

Other notable people born in Stockton include Will Hay and Jimmy James the comedians; Ivy Close Miss Great Britain; Brass Crosby Lord Mayor of London; Joseph Ritson waspish critic and editor; 'Flying' Freddy Dixon the record-breaking racer; the actors Stephen Tompkinson; Francis Bainbridge the great physiologist; Charles Foulkes Canadian general; Also Tony Scott (brother of Ridley Scott), director of Top Gun, was born in Stockton. He and his brother studied at Sheraton School. Actor James Gaddas (Neil Grayling in Badgirls and Vinny Sorrell in Coronation Street) was born in the town and attended Grangefield Grammar. Actor Daniel Casey (from Midsomer Murders) was also born here.

The Member of Parliament for many years, 1924-29 and 1931-45, was Harold Macmillan, later Prime Minister, 1956 to 1963. He was created Earl of Stockton in 1984, 20 years after his retirement from politics. William Rodgers, one of the Gang of Four which broke from the Labour Party to form the Social Democratic Party also represented the town in parliament from 1962 to 1983.

Hudson Bay Company explorer and Norton native, Captain William Christopher, lived in Stockton for many years at 145 High Street. Under the employ of the HBC from 1760 through to 1783, he was charged with finding the NorthWest Passage to China. His discoveries include Baker Lake in Nunavut, Canada off the west coast of Hudson Bay.

Author George Orwell resided for a year in Greystones, near Carlton, a village in the borough, from 1944–1945.

Peter Smithson (1923–2003) was born in Stockton. He and his wife Alison were a powerful influence on British architecture and are associated with the Brutalist style.

Scottish Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne moved to Stockton when he was 30, well before he made his fortune. Whilst living in Stockton he bought his first Ice Cream Van and founded a nursing home business. He also opened his first health club in Stockton, Bannatyne's in 1997. He married his second wife at St Mary's Church, Norton and still resides in the area; living in Wynyard and now Norton.

Michael Marks, founder of "Britains's biggest clothes retailer" - Marks & Spencer - started his business career with a borrowed £5 peddling goods round Stockton on Tees in 1883/4. "Don't ask the price, it's a penny." He soon made enough money to open a stall on Kirkgate market in Leeds.

Bruce Thomas,(b 1948.) Bass-player with U.K. bands Quiver / Elvis Costello & The Attractions. Author: 'The Big Wheel' -the story of a band on the road (fiction) and Bruce Lee;'Fighting Spirit' (biography) He attended Grangefield Grammar School, and after leaving school, worked in the art-dept of the Evening Gazette local newspaper. In 1966 he joined local band The Roadrunners, along with Paul Rodgers (later of Free/Bad Company/Queen) and guitarist Micky Moody (later of Snafu/Whitesnake). Then in 1967, the band left Teesside to try their chances as full-time musicians in London. Bruce Thomas has, since his acrimonious split with Elvis Costello in 1996, subsequently played with artists as diverse as Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Suzanne Vega, John Wesley Harding. He was also seriously considered, as replacement bass-player for The Who, upon the sudden death of the legendary John Entwistle. in 2002.

Other notable people include -

Today

Stockton Town Hall

The town's High Street is reputed to be the widest in England.[3]

Stockton-on-Tees has many suburbs with individual identities: Fairfield, Grangefield, Hardwick, Hartburn, Elm Tree Farm, Norton, Roseworth, Newtown, Bishopsgarth and Oxbridge to name a few. Within the borough, but distinct settlements from the town of Stockton, are Thornaby, Ingleby Barwick, Preston-on-Tees, Eaglescliffe, and Yarm.

Stockton town centre has undergone many developments in recent years including the Teesquay Millennium Footbridge, the Queen's Campus of Durham University which actually lies on the southern banks of the river Tees in Thornaby-on-Tees formerly North Yorkshire, several acres of office buildings erected along the south bank of the River Tees within the Teesdale development, Wellington Square, a modern shopping arcade erected upon the old Wellington Street area of the town centre, and Infinity Bridge. At Castlegate Quay there is moored a full size replica of Captain Cook's vessel, the Bark "Endeavour". Kellington was also resident on the river in Stockton between 1993 and 2009 when she was broken up in situ. In 1995, after 4 years in the building, the Tees Barrage was commissioned. A water sports centre, including White Water, is located there. In 2009, the Infinity Bridge was opened.

While Stockton has its own railway station near to the town centre, Stockton railway station, more and longer-distance services operate from Thornaby railway station across the River Tees.

Stockton is also home to the multi-million pound Arc, which opened in 1999 and whose resident drama company is currently the Arden Theatre Company. Stockton F.C. existed from 1882 till 1975, with Thornaby F.C. and Norton & Stockton Ancients F.C. taking over as the local sides.

Stockton has a firework display on the 5th November which has got bigger in recent years. The 2007 display attracted around 100,000 people and played host to a giant catherine wheel type firework.

Stockton holds the Stockton International Riverside Festival each year, Europe's largest free open air festival.[4] Its 21st year was 30 July to 3 August 2008. The festival has a "5-day programme of outdoor theatre, street entertainment, circus, music and dance, by some of the world's best artists."[5] The festival features acts from performers from all across the world[6] and a carnival procession which travels through the high street[7]. There is a fringe festival which has performances from "some of the biggest names in UK music".[8]

Stockton is the location of HMP Holme House, a Category B prison for adult men. The prison hold inmates from the Tees Valley, South West Durham, East Durham and North Yorkshire.

Public services

Stockton-on-Tees falls within the jurisdiction of Cleveland Police. Prior to 1974, it was under the jurisdiction of Teesside Constabulary.

References

  1. ^ http://www.stockton.gov.uk/citizenservices/leisureandents/artsculture/32179/local_history/castle/
  2. ^ "Buses - Stockton Borough Council". Public Transport. Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. 2007-08-10. http://www.stockton.gov.uk/citizenservices/transport/publictransport/buses/. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  3. ^ Parishes - Stockton on Tees | British History Online
  4. ^ "SIRF Fringe Festival". http://www.fringefestival.co.uk/. Retrieved 2008-08-02. "Stockton International Riverside Festival is Europe's largest free open air festival" 
  5. ^ "SIRF Fringe Festival". http://www.fringefestival.co.uk/. Retrieved 2008-08-02. "5-day programme of outdoor theatre, street entertainment, circus, music and dance" 
  6. ^ "SIRF Programme". http://www.sirf.co.uk/Programme.php. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  7. ^ "SIRF Carnival". http://www.sirf.co.uk/carnival.php. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  8. ^ "SIRF Fringe Festival". http://www.sirf.co.uk/fringe.php. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Stockton-on-Tees is the name of a town and of a borough in County Durham.

Get in

National Express buses serve destinations throughout Great Britain and arrive/depart from outside the Swallow Hotel at the southern end of the High St.

Train service. Although Stockton itself does have a railway station, the better served station is 1/2 mile from High Street across river at Thornaby. Services Saltburn to Bishop Auckland via Darlington. Change at Darlington for main line services north & south/

Get around

By bus/coach

The town has a bus service, which is a hub for Teesside. Many of these buses arrive/depart from the High St.

The town has buses which provide regular links with Durham, Newcastle, Hartlepool,and Middlesbrough. The two main local bus operators are Arriva and Stagecoach and, again, most of these buses can be caught from the High St.

  • Preston Park in nearby Preston-on-Tees has a old old house, a mini-zoo including a large aviary, a playground and some historically re-created streets from the Victorian Period as well as a lot of parkland. If there's snow on the ground, the town will be there sledging.
  • Butterfly World is an enclosed butterfly house that also has hummingbirds and is located just inside the grounds of Preston Park (see above).
  • Teesside Park is the local leisure park located on the A66 between Stockton and Middlesbrough. Buses run their frequently from the town centre. It has bowling, a cinema, fast food and family restaurants as well as shopping.
  • browse the many charity shops that line the High St, particularly the western side. You can pick up a ton of decent second hand books in these shops and one actually has a second hand book reading room on the first floor.
  • check out the local market which comes into town and sets up on the High St on Wednesdays and Saturdays shutting up around 4pm.
  • Burger King,
  • KFC,
  • McDonald's (High Street)
  • Subway (High Street)
  • Greggs (multiple locations)
  • Zanzibar, 89-91 High Street. Price Range for Entry from free before 11PM (with fly-er or Membership) to £5.

Stay safe

Consumption of alcohol in public is banned and Stockton High St on a weekend night will reveal why. Try to avoid groups of drinkers on their way from club to club and don't do anything provocative.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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