13 July 2008

My Birth Place

I was born here right in the heart of Stockton on Tees at North Tees General as it was known then back in 1974, it has now got the status of a University Hospital which is means that we are a teaching hospital as well. From memory it was quite a big building and although it has seen big changes the main block of the hospital is still a landmark as far as I am concerned, that part has never changed, I sometimes wished they would give that a makeover like the rest, but I don’t know what they could do with it, then on the other hand I suppose its part of history that is still standing. Who knows in another 20 or 30 years will that bit still look the same, we will have to wait and see.

One of my treasured memories and it is a memory is of my first school Summerhouse in Norton, this originally was an open air hospital for people suffering from TB, I used to like the fact that it was spread out with big fields and covered in walkways. It was lovely in the summer, not so good in the winter. Unfortunately the school was demolished to make way for a housing development, and funnily enough I have never been back to see what it looks like.

Norton dates back to at least the Anglo-Saxon period. In 1856, the Norton Iron Company made the first bell for Big Ben, but it cracked whilst being delivered to London, so another company made the bell, closer to London St. Mary the Virgin, The Ancient Parish church that stands on the village green, is the only cruciform Anglo-Saxon church in Northern England. Its crossing tower with eight triangular head windows has a battlemented top of later date and there is a well known 14th century effigy of a knight in chainmail. The grave of John Walker, the inventor of matches, is located in the churchyard. One of the first railway stations was built in Norton, but it has since been knocked down, and now only a crossing exists.

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