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Keep up to date with all the latest blog posts from Tees Valley Museums.

ICI

ICI was one of the most well-known businesses in the Tees Valley, being a large producer of chemicals, and the Billingham site also had a part to play in the Second World War.

Charles Garnett and Sons

Charles Garnett was a trained grocer who travelled to Middlesbrough in the 1890s to set up his own business. While not a household name, Garnett and Sons was nonetheless a successful business in its time and supplied drinks and confectionary to the people of the Tees Valley.

Head and shoulders picture of Ivy Close. She has a full face lit with light, looking upwards. She has a scarf over her full hairstyle coming down around her neck. She has her arms posed artistically with one on her head scarf the other on her chest

Ivy Close

Ivy Close was a Stockton born actress who was a big name in the early silent movie era.

Wren Brothers

In 1871 three brothers, Harry Horace Wren, Edmund Cecil Wren and Charles Herbert Wren, founded Wren Brothers, a manufacturing company which specialised in corn flour milling and brewing drinks and condiments. The company remained successful until its closure in the 1970s.

Ambrotype photograph of a young boy sitting with his hands clasped on his lap. Hes wearing a sailor type hat and suite. Photograph is black and white glass negative in gold frame

Ambrotype Photographs

Ambrotype is a type of early photography that was popular in the 1850s and 60s. Some lovely examples of Ambrotype photographs can be found in the collection at Preston Park Museum and Grounds.

Jack Taylor Cycles

Jack Taylor and his brothers, Ken and Norman, were cycling enthusiasts who took their passion for cycling to a new level, becoming makers of bicycles which were not only popular in Stockton but also around the world.

black and white passport photo of Fredrick Henry Mellanby and a picture of Robert William Mellanby who is shown in head and shoulders. He's in his navy uniform, looking to the side showing slicked back hair, prominent nose and jaw line.

The Mellanby Brothers Part II

The Mellanby Collection tells the stories of two brothers, Robert William Mellanby and Fredrick Henry Mellanby, who both served during the Second World War.

Ralph Spark and Sons

Ralph Spark and Sons was one of the best-known bakery and café chains in the Tees Valley, and while the company is no longer in business, its legacy lives on in the Art Deco-style Daylight Bakery which still stands in Stockton.

black and white passport photo of Fredrick Henry Mellanby and a picture of Robert William Mellanby who is shown in head and shoulders. He's in his navy uniform, looking to the side showing slicked back hair, prominent nose and jaw line.

The Mellanby Brothers – Part I

The Mellanby Collection tells the stories of two brothers, Robert William Mellanby and Fredrick Henry Mellanby, who both served during the Second World War. The Collection consists of official war documents, letters, uniform and personal photographs and is now kept at Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds.

close up picture of the face of Edmund Backhouse, and old man with a large white beard and long eyebrows styled in an upward fashion. His face is sunken with deep lines on his brow, fresh plump cheeks and set back eyes.

Sir Edmund Backhouse

Born into a Darlington Quaker family, Sir Edmund Backhouse led a controversial life as an openly gay man in China during the turn of the 20th century.

Chatting with Cherry Valentine

RuPaul's Drag Race has launched the world of Drag onto the main stage and given the LGBTQ+ community an international platform. This year sees the launch of RuPaul's Drag Race UK series two, where in December it was announced we have a Darlington Drag Queen on the show! Cherry Valentine kindly chatted with us for LGBTQ+ History Month, and we got to ask her some of our burning questions!

J. F. Smith and Co.

Preston Park Museum’s Victorian Sweet Shop, J. F. Smith and Co., is named after the confectioner, James Fothergill Smith, and his works were once based in Green Dragon Yard in Stockton.