..Where Tees in tumult leaves his source,

Thundering o’er Caldron and High-Force;

Beneath the shade the Northmen came,

Fix’d on each vale a Runic name,

Rear’d high their altar’s rugged stone,

And gave their Gods the land they won.


Rokeby. Walter Scott

Wandering north with Carl

Seaton Carew Road – North Gare Sands – Seaton Snook – The Zinc Works Road – Greatham Creek – Mucky Fleet – West Channel – Seal Sands – Brinefields

 White heat has cooled


Across a sea of samphire

 Odd flotsam fertility

Catholic in their choice of habitats


Seals have been spotted


The Joy of seeing Avocets


Tacky Shades for Chris Whitehead.


To Stockton next, whose fair neat streets proclaim

Clocina there does not presume to reign.

By thee enrich’d, fair Teisa, merchants here

Like princes, all magnificent appear;

With Pallas’ spirit, shipwrights are inspir’d,

Of her noble art they have acquir’d.

Smooth Teisa gently glides away from hence

To Portrack, ships of burden now advance

To take the loading that the keels have brought;

Around we see the little barges float;

Some busy, take away their foreign store,

Others, of our own produce, are bringing more.

From Anne Wilson’s 1600-line poem Teisa: A Descriptive Poem of the River Teese, Its Towns and Antiquities  published in 1778

Here But Not Here: Lost Histories of the Tees – A film by David Bates

‘Here But Not Here: Lost Histories of the Tees’ is a short documentary film by David Bates with music by The Kara Sea. The film was essentially a product of three years of walking up and down the River Tees on hot, sunny summer days with my small Panasonic camcorder; enthused and inspired by seeing Patrick Keiller’s ‘Robinson’ trilogy several years ago, my aims were to capture the elation I felt in exploring that strange, beautiful landscape, and to explore something of the history, culture and identity of the river and its people. The film was first shown at ‘Undisciplining: Conversations from the Edges’ at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in June 2018.

David Bates

Stan Laurel

Stan Laurel went to school in Gainford, that’s more than enough of a reason to have a wander around.


Lovely Medieval cross slabs line the church porch walls

Inside the church, a pair of carved stones

AD stones

AD stone

There is a dragon carving on the opposite face of the second stone, it is almost impossible to see the carving as the stone is close to the wall and fixed into the floor. A photograph of it can be seen here


The house next to the church has an impressive piece of garden architecture.

A path from the churchyard leads down to the Tees, its waters stained with Pennine peatShap Granite

 A boulder, transported from the Shap Fells.

Peg Powler

Peg Powler patrols the banks

A wall blocks access to a broken Bailey Bridge, many of its boards are missing, one of the supporting columns has been washed away.


With no convenient river crossing, the distant dovecote will have to wait

Returning to the village, I stop to admire this lovely Festival of Britain bench.

Illustration of Gainford Carved Stones from The Antiquities of Gainford. J.R Walbran 1846

The Gainford Stone

The Barforth Bailey Bridge 

To Warn The Water

Dock Road

This peculiarly local expression is only heard in the lower or eastern vales of the river Tees, a stream which, from the rapidity of its upper course, and from the numerous tributary rivers and smaller streams it receives in its passage down to the village of Croft, often rises very suddenly, and occasionally to the depth of nine, and even more, extra feet of water. The consequence was that, at a not very distant period, an inhabitant of Hurworth, who we may term the Warner of the Water, was usually despatched to Yarm, to give the inhabitants of that place notice of its approach.

On the morning of Sunday, the 17th November, 1771, the whole town of Yarm  (not so much as a single house excepted) was laid under water. Six dwelling-houses were totally demolished and seven persons drowned.

The Denham Tracts. Vol.1 The Folklore Society 1892