9 great stories from Hartlepool in 1984 - who remembers the factory with its own hair salon?

A hair salon in a frozen food plant? The local man who made ships for Hollywood? A toilet which got people flushed?

Monday, 18th July 2022, 9:54 am

No it’s not a joke. It was all in the news in Hartlepool in 1984 and Chris Cordner is ready to tell us more.

* If you had a job in Better Bake in Hartlepool in 1984, you got to use the hair salon.

The frozen food plant had its own salon and 21 women got regular hairdressing appointments for free.

Stories from Hartlepool and East Durham in 1984.

Were you among them?

* The latest scandal to rock TV’s best known saga was on everyone’s lips when Coronation Street’s Rita Fairclough made a flying visit to Hartlepool.

But Rita, alias actress Barbara Knox, kept mum in the face of a barrage of questions about the Mavis Riley and Derek Wilton wedding day riddle.

Barbara was in town as the star of a special gala event hosted by Binns department store.

St Hilda's Hospital.

A Victorian toilet caused a seat of debate at the Athenaeum Club in Church Street.

Should it be replaced? Some people wanted to see the old bowl and cistern retained because it was part and parcel of the 130-year old club.

But others, particularly the ladies who had to use it,were not as keen to see it stay as it was spraying them with water when it was flushed.

* Former Horden man Al Wood everything from ships to planes and then watched as they were blown up – for scenes being used in Hollywood films.

Barbara Knox with two young fans during a visit to Hartlepool.

He was a model maker for some huge Hollywood productions including The Greatest Show On Earth, Cleopatra and Samson and Delilah.

* Hutton Henry comedian Terry King got his big TV chance in 1984 when he had an opportunity to appear on The Comedians.

He got a ten-minute spot on the famous show and was ready to deliver stand-up comedy. But it was not Terry’s only big development as he was also preparing for an 18-week summer season show at Blackpool and then he was heading off to Africa in 1985 for a working holiday.

* A delegation of councillors and businessmen were going to London before the end of the year to win Government cash for the proposed Hartlepool Marina.

Al Wood pictured during a 1984 visit to the North East.

After a meeting between Local Government Minister Kenneth Baker and Hartlepool Borough Council leader Bryan Hanson, a further meeting was being considered.

* Hartlepool’ St Hilda’s Hospital closed in 1984 but it was so popular that 400 former workers turned up for a reunion in the Borough Hall – 10 years after it closed.

* There were some well known celebrities in Hartlepool that year. Ken Goodwin’s Laughter Show was on at the Town Hall and over in Seaton Carew, Eric Bristow’s darts challenge was being held at the Longscar Hall.

Read More

Read More
The crocodile handler who performed on the Hartlepool stage - with snakes around...

* Mary Harding got more than she bargained for when she decided renovated her shop on the Headland.

Behind the panels, which were removed to allow for a new-look shop image, were posters, past products and even dance tickets ... all dating back to around the romantic 1920s.

There was even a two shilling ticket to a select private dance at the Borough Hall, starring the Melo-D-Boys Orchestra.

What are your memories of 1984? Tell us more by emailing [email protected]