It was the little Hartlepool community which was once known as the Garden Village.
That’s the much-loved community of Graythorp and it was in the news 44 years ago this month.
We have something precious that we do not want to lose and that is the warmth we have among the people. Everybody knows everybody else and all the families here have grown up together. I for one would not want to lose thatBeryl Hall, 1975
Today, we look back on a Hartlepool Mail feature which described the changing face of a neighbourhood which had found itself ‘pressed on all four sides by industry’.
Back in 1975, there were 180 residents in the tiny community where a tight-knit spirit of togetherness could be found.
But the Mail described a village ‘fighting for breath in one of the country’s biggest growth areas’.
There was talk of the village being demolished and Mrs Pat Kears, secretary of the Graythorp Community Association, spoke of her fear that the camaraderie of a whole neighbourhood would be lost if residents were split up.
One of the association’s founders Beryl Hall said at the time: “We have something precious that we do not want to lose and that is the warmth we have among the people. Everybody knows everybody else and all the families here have grown up together. I for one would not want to lose that.”
There were 70 houses in Graythorp at the time and residents were so keen to protect what they had, they carried out their own survey of their village.
It had been all change for the community on the outskirts of Hartlepool which, under a re-organisation of local government, had gone from a former Stockton Rural District Council area to the control of Hartlepool.
Change seemed to be on the way and these photos from 1975 show a village which was to disappear less than 10 years later.
As the Mail article of the time put it, the ‘march of industry’ had put Graythorp in danger with earth embankments and huge factories dominating a skyline which had once provided a view all the way across the fields to Greatham.
But despite it all, the people were still at its heart.
Here are a selection of photos which have not been seen since the 1970s. Do you remember these views of Graythorp?
Less than two years ago, a 2017 feature on Graythorp attracted the interest of more than 14,000 Mail followers on social media.
They remembered the days of the village club where live entertainment was a regular attraction, the local darts team and the ships in the nearby repair yard. They remembered the industry which kept the area alive and the names of the villagers who lived next door.
Reunions of former villagers have always been well attended too.
Who can identify the youngster pictured playing on a bike in the street, or the streets pictured?
What are your best memories of Graythorp?
And can you remember how the village change as industry developed in the Hartlepool area.
Get in touch and share your memories of the former village by emailing email@example.com