Cleveland Salt Company – Vulcan Street

In 1859 a borehole was started at Bolkow and Vaughans’ Middlesbrough Ironworks in search of a clean water supply for use in their boilers, instead of dirty water from the Tees. By 1862 at a depth of 1200ft a bed of rock salt was discovered that was almost 100ft thick.

Local geology

The Cleveland Salt Company was formed in 1887 to exploit this resource for the
fledgling chemical industry, Carl Bolckow nephew of Henry was one of the first
board members, fresh water was pumped down into the salt bed which it dissolved,
brine was then pumped out and evaporated in large pans to drive off the water and
extract the salt.

Derrick


The six original pans were initially fired by waste hot gas from the Middlesbrough Ironworks blast furnaces, this was expanded to thirteen pans in 1889. In 1920 the blast furnaces were blown out and the pans had to be converted to run on coal.

Brine Pans


A total of four wells existed in the companies’ lifetime, The original No.1 was
abandoned in 1893 due to a roof fall, No.2 and No.3 from 1888 and 1893 respectively
operated until around 1938 when they started to become choked. So No.4 which had
been an incomplete well started in 1896 was re-started, but was not completed until
1941 due to drilling problems and the outbreak of the Second World War.

Well section

In 1945 and 1946 there were roof falls in the remaining No.4 well after which the evaporation pans were never restarted. The company wound up in 1947 having produced 879,972 ton of salt in 59 years.

Well section after collapse


Making a few calculations, that suggests a volume of over 400,000 cubic meters, or
165 Olympic Swimming Pools. It’s an interesting thought that there must now remain
a huge water-filled void under the area, most likely under the river and Transporter
Bridge !

Vulcan Street

Today all that remains is the impressive red brick boundary wall on Vulcan Street
dating from 1887. This became a listed building in 1988, however it’s not totally
original as it was rebuilt from other interesting sections of the original building by the
Cleveland Community Task Force, Middlesbrough Council and the Davy Corporation
in 1982.

Pre-restoration
Pre-restoration

Listen with EKCO Radio Ghostsign, Middlesbrough

EKCO (Eric Kirkham Cole Limited) produced TVs and Radios from 1924 until 1960 although the brand name lived on into the 1970s. This shop on Parliament Road was once an electrical shop.

Ecko Ghostsign, Parliament Road Middlesbrough
2019

The advert was revealed by the removal of a billboard around 2016 when it first appears on Google Streetview, it has visibly deteriorated since that point.

2016 Google Streetview

A complete copy of the same advert existed in Southamption, but this has since been hidden by a new building.

PC William Henderson Plaque – Binks Street, Middlesbrough

The plaque funded by the Police Memorial Trust was recently unveiled to commemorate PC William Henderson, who died on 14 April 1893 when he was shot at close range by a man he was trying to disarm while trying to take into custody.

Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough – Saturday 15 April 1893

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

On 9th May, the verdict on John Harry Gould (33) was :- Wilful murder whilst insane. Prisoner to be detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Old Brickwork Ponds in the 1890s

Murders were very rare at this time and news reports suggest it was only the second in Middlesbrough, after Mary Copper in 1884

P.C. Henderson and family

Tom Dresser V.C. Memorial

A memorial to Private Tom Dresser was unveiled on 12th May 2017 to mark the centenary of the actions that saw him awarded the Victoria Cross.

Tom Dresser Memorial, Middlesbrough

The sculptor of the memorial was Brian Alabaster and it stands outside the Dorman Museum.

Tom Dresser Memorial, Middlesbrough
this stone is incorrect it should read Princess of Wales’ Own Yorkshire Regiment not Prince.

Tom Dresser was serving as a private in the 7th Battalion The Green Howards in the Battle of Arras and despite being shot twice, conveyed an important message from battalion headquarters to the front line trenches.


Tom Dresser being awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V on July 21st 1917

As well as the V.C. Tom was presented with a gold watch and 100 guineas by the people of Middlesbrough, he died 9th April 1982 and is buried in Thorntree Cemetery,

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