In the 1960’s Middlesbrough and Stockton had grim old town centres, years of atmospheric pollution had turned all the buildings black and the pubs were generally named after kings, queens and the lords of the land.

Billingham was a futuristic place. It had a modern shopping precinct, a wonderful leisure centre complete with a huge swimming pool, an ice rink, a theatre and shiny new pubs built of concrete and steel with names like The Astronaut and Telstar. They even had a football team named after an ICI product, Billingham Synthonia (Synthetic Ammonia).

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