Rediscover Stockton



LITTLE KNOWN facts about a Teesside town are being brought into the spotlight, thanks to The Peculiar Past of Stockton tours.

Launched on 24th April, the tours will run until mid-July and youngsters from schools across the Borough will take part in a walk which will showcase a number of fascinating facts about its history.

While the town is universally known for being part of the Stockton to Darlington railway the world’s first line to use steam locomotives, there are many other historical points which are less familiar.

That includes the fact that The Beatles played the town’s Globe Theatre on the day that President Kennedy was assassinated and that the real inventor of the match was chemist John Walker who had a shop on Stockton High Street.

Walker created a “friction match” back in 1827 but never patented his invention so has never been recognised.

Further back in time, the Bishop of Durham had a great hall built in Stockton is 1183 which eventually became Stockton Castle. This was demolished after the Civil War but is still remembered through street names including Castlegate and Tower Street.

The Peculiar Past of Stockton tour has been put together by Stockton Business Improvement District (BID) working with musician Mike McGrother, frontman of the Wildcats of Kilkenny, who is a huge supporter of his home town and has run a number of initiatives.

The tour offers a great opportunity for young people to find out more about the area,” said Karen Hindhaugh, manager of Stockton BID.

“There are some really interesting facts about the history of Stockton and its heritage which will be highlighted in these tours,” she said.

“At a time when we are working to help the town have a really prosperous future, it’s great to be able to see where Stockton has come from and to be proud of its legacy.”

Fourteen schools are taking part in the initiative, with the first four – Stockton’s St Cuthbert’s, Glebe School at Norton, Whitehouse Elmtree and The Village, Thornaby, taking part in the tours during launch week and then returning to the Town Centre on Saturday with their families to take part in an inter-school sing off.

The schools will then return to the town centre for a special event on Saturday 29th April.


Download “The Peculiar Past of Stockton” (PDF 5.6mb)