Demolition of Town Hall and James Finegan Hall, Eston

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By pure chance I happened to drive past on the 24th of July and find the demolition taking place, here are some before and after shots.

Eston Town Hall, Demolition

Eston Town Hall, Demolition

The James Finegan Hall was already gone by this point.

James Finegan Hall Demolition, Eston
This hall was the home of a Mighty Wurlitzer organ from 1981 (having arrived there from Redcar pier after it’s demolition, although originally from the Granada Theatre in Bedford)

18 thoughts on “Demolition of Town Hall and James Finegan Hall, Eston

  1. A sad day ? (\zany old irony) Last but one vestige of John Poulson’s architecture and local authority largesse on Teesside bites the dust, A pint for anyone who can name the other (still standing and not, as far as I know, under threat, and also now not anything to do with local council service).

  2. Clue – not all that far from Fabian Road Town Hall as the crow flies, It was originally an Eston UDC building, I gather.

  3. Oh go on then – Whale Hill Social Club which was for a time something that was n the ownership of Eston UDC. The prime person to blame for the vandalism of Stockton High Street was, I gather, the Chief Engineer of the then Teesside County Borough in the late 1960’s – against the strict advice of the town planning consultancy asked to draw up the Teesside Survey and Plan for the new council.

    • Yes, i found this info.

      The Langbaurgh Theatre Organ Society, Eston, closed down at the end of December 2010. A new group, “Friends of the Eston WurliTzer”, has taken over headed by Organist Kevin Grunill.
      The new group are holding a Concert during April after which the WurliTzer may be removed and renovated at Kevin’s Barnsley workshops. Hopefully it will be re-installed in the new, to be built, Coatham Bowl, Redcar which should be in a couple of years time.

  4. Where’s me house gone?
    My name is Frank Groves ,I left Teesside some 35 years ago but try to revisit my Teesside roots at least once a year. Visiting early in 2013, I was saddened to come across a pile of rubble that was once the Eston Town hall and the adjacent Finigans hall for it played a very important part in my life.
    My father George Groves was appointed Eston Urban District Council Town Hall caretaker and Mace Barer in 1959 and at the age of nine myself, my mother and farther moved in to the soon to be completed new Town Hall. The caretakers flat was the lower corner on Burns Road adjacent to George Doe’s market garden which was later to become the Sarah Metcalf school complex
    The town hall and latterly the Finigans hall became my child hood play ground, my formative memories including the plush carpet in the mayors parlour costing a 1959 staggering £15 per square yard and my farther introducing me to a ‘very clever’ young man who worked in the rates department, whose name was Paul Daniels of ‘now that’s magic’ fame. At that time the hexagonal structure was the main council chamber and had no lower structure save that of seven support colums, giving it very much the appearance of an oil rig.
    The Finigans Hall, completed some 18 months later, was a technical marvel with its new glistening copper clad roof, its angled suspended ceiling that housed lights that gradually changed hue automatically !. And a solid beach dance floor that was supported on small rubber barrel shaped supports to cushion the dancers feet.
    There wasn’t a week, even a day went by without some event or function occurring and on the really big occasions , a dinner dance for example, my farther would employ myself and my palls, Kevin Kasey, Billy Parks and Robert Robinson to move away the tables after the meal and sweep the floor in preparation for the swore to follow. Our labours being rewarded with half a crown, a dozen sausage rolls and a cup of tea in the finest Eston Urban District Council china cups.

    • Hi Frank. I remember it well! Shame it met its demise due to political shenanigans! Hope you’re keeping well yourself.
      Best Regards,
      Old Eston Grange classmate,
      Ian Tyzack

    • I’m John, born and bred in Grangetown until married in 1966 when we bought a street house near Ayersome Park.

      In the early 60’s my girlfriend lived at what was then the last but one house in Grangetown ( from say the Trunk Rd ) in Clynes Rd, at the corner of the top of Atlee Rd. The old slag heap that was called Whale Hill, for obvious reasons, was still there. Between Clynes Rd as it was then, and Eston, were farm fields and bike tracks.

  5. I am very shocked and surprised to see the pictures of the bulldozing of Eston town hall and the James Finnigan Hall.
    I represented Eston Grange School at the formal opening ceremony of the Finnigan Hall. It was here that many performers, including Joe Cocker gave fabulous entertainment for the local people. Kevin Casey’s father also attended to the running of the evening entertainment. Why on earth have they knocked them down, what a travesty. I remember you Frank Groves, all the school pupils were envious that you lived within the council offices. I remember your father, he was a lovely man. I left the Teesville East area in 1974, moved to Brighton, and have lived in several countries the last 30 yrs or so, but, I have never forgotton this area and the friends I had there. We were a proper community, we all knew each other, as far as Grangetown. These were good, happy days. We also had the Turkish Baths on Normanby Road, how lucky were we to have such resources in this area.
    What have they built in replacement of these buildings?
    Robert Robertson was a neighbour, along with his brothers and sisters. Best regards to anyone that knows me. Denise Williams (nee Robinson)
    Is Robinson’s fish and chip shop still there on Burns Road?
    George Doe’s was a two minute walk from Shelley Crescent, and I was sent to buy fresh from the earth vegetables, but was also wary of all the cats!

    • I also remember…. Frank Groves (I think I remember Frank!!) and the opening ceremony of the Finegan Hall and if memory serves me right I was one of the many kids from Eston Grange who were part of the ceremony.
      I also remember when the Finegan Hall was used as a centre for people arriving for the Teesside International Eisteddfod way, way back in, erm… either 1965/6/7. Might be mixing up a few facts here but either our school got a few of us lads involved or one of my school pals got us involved… in the off-loading/on-loading of luggage etc from the buses bringing people from all over the world to Teesside. The main one I remember was a bus full of schoolgirls (orchestra/choir/whatever) from Canada who were around the same age as we were. 🙂
      And of course I remember you.. Ian Tyzack.. 🙂

  6. Great reading guys…Eston Town Hall was my adventure playground, along with the Sweaty Mets School and the Eston hotel. I was born & bred on Spencer Rd and having a cemetary as a extension of my back garden was what honed all my boyhood survival skills. Surviving the caretakers of the Sweaty Mets and his dogs or the uniformed ‘Commandant’ of the Council offices and the Pub Landlord as we raided the ‘off-license’ shop or the ‘OFFY’ as we called it.. OOps admissions time. To all those blokes that parked in the ESTON hotel carparked and came out to find flat tyres, to all those rattling of letteboxes and knocks on the doors and vandalised flowerbeds or strange movement of gnomes, I apologise but ‘he made me do it!’ I still live right next to the Council offices which will be Gleeson homes come November..thanks for letting me find absolution 😉 igc

  7. Hello . James Patrick Finegan, recently born at 3 Railway Terrace South Bank 3/6/1944. just checking who is still out there.
    Do you recall the efforts to discredit my uncle James in the 60s, if so, please get in touch.

    • Hi James another south banker here Ted Prest born lower Princess Street Feb 1944,cant recall your name dont know anything about the 60,s question??? nice to hear from a Slaggy fella

    • who was your mother” I am Molly Snowball and my Mother was James Sister Ellen (Nellie) nee finegan she had sisters Maggie, Rosie Eileen Kathleen and brothers John and Eddie

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