Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington

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This Pillbox is one of a pair defending the Blackwell Bridge crossing of the River Skerne in Darlington
Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington
The structure is now deeply buried in the undergrowth and tricky to approach
Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington
The pillbox itself is not like any other i’ve ever seen, it seems to have been constructed from pre-fabricated sections
Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington
Several areas have ripples that look like they were cast against corrugated iron sheets
Pillbox West of Blackwell Bridge, Darlington

Hell Kettles, Croft-on-Tees

At first glance these ponds appear unremarkable, but the name and the aerial images hint at something much more interesting. They are actually sinkholes in the Magnesian Limestone

Hells Kettles, Croft-on-Tees

The holes are believed to have formed in an earthquake in 1179 and a huge amount of local folklore and legends have built up about site, which you can read on the ‘Old Corpse Road’ website. Links to Lewis Carols Alice in Wonderland have also been claimed as Charles Dodgson lived nearby as a child

The northern ‘Double Kettle’ is filled with water from surface run-off, however the water in the southern ‘Croft Kettle’ comes from subterranean springs, which is very noticeable on Google Earth imagery. The site is a SSSI as its the only place in Country Durham where this occurs.

1949 Industrial Adverts, Middlesbrough / Darlington

First batch that I posted on Facebook this week, thought it a good idea to post them here too as not everyone uses Facebook and if it didn’t just happen you’ll never find it.

Gjers Mills & Co, Ayresome Ironworks, Middlesbrough
Gjers Mills & Co, Ayresome Ironworks 1949

Darlington Railway Plant & Foundry, Bank Top
Darlington Railway Plant & Foundary 1949

Davy and United, Roll Foundry, Billingham
Davy and United, Roll Foundry, Billingham / Middlesbrough 1949

River Tees Conservancy Commissioners
River Tees Conservancy Comission 1949

Michael Pease – ‘On War Service’ Badge

These photos were kindly shared by the owner of the item in question. They show the 1915 On War Service badge of Michael Pease.Pease family 009
These badges were issued to people to avoid them being accused to dodging military service, in this case this one was for the Cargo Fleet Iron Company Ltd
Pease family 008
Part of the Pease dynasty of Quaker businessmen, Michael Lloyd Pease was born in 1891 and died in 1968, a photo of his grave can be seen here

Locomotion No.1 and the Bulmer Stone

Richard Freeman kindly sent me this photo of a plaque he recently purchased
It depicts Locomotion No.1 and the Bulmer Stone. The Head of Steam museum has the mould for these which was made by Stephen Bell in 1909 with the plaque being registered as a medal design in 1911.

They appear to have been sold by the Pawnbroker,  Arthur E Berry of 58 – 61 Northgate

Backhouse’s Bank, Preston Hall

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Backhouse’s Bank was founded in 1774 in Darlington by Quaker, James Backhouse. This ‘branch’ is at Preston Hall Museum. Jonathan Backhouse was heavily involved in the £125,000 financing of the Stockton & Darlington Railway.

Backhouse Bank, Preston Hall
In 1896 Backhouse merged with other Quaker banks, Gurney of Norwich and Barclays of London to form what is still known today as Barclays Bank.
Backhouse Bank, Preston Hall

I’m not sure which branch this plaque originated from, possibly Stockton given the date and current location ?

Quaker Burial Ground, Darlington

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The quaker burial ground can be found just off Skinnergate and contains over 1000 burials.
Quaker Burial Ground, Darlington
All the headstones are very simple in design as is traditional, despite some of them being the most powerful and influential industrialists and bankers in the area.
Edward Pease (1767-1858) – The Father of the Railways
Joseph Pease (1799-1872) – First Quaker MP
John Fowler (1826-1864) – Inventor of the steam plough
Henry Pease (1807-1881) – Founder of Saltburn
James Backhouse (1720-1798) – Founder of Backhouse Bank which eventually became Barclays.