Paul Ogleby: Growing Up at The Newport End of Cannon Street

Booth Street and Disraeli Street
I grew up in Booth Street, although I was actually born in Disraeli Street. The house numbers in Booth Street started from no. 11, and there was a ‘common’ at the Laws Street end, where no’s 1 to 10 had been bombed during the war

The Bomb Damage
Laws St had been bombed on the night of the 15th April 1942. (11.45 pm.) A large part of Laws St and parts of the adjoining Streets of Booth St and Tomlinson Street and some houses at the top end of high Cooper St were destroyed. A bomb had also hit the open land between Cooper Street and the Bridge Approach.( Of the other two, the first had hit Carlow Street the other had hit the Mills St/Orwell Street block. )

At first I went to the infant department of St Paul’s School in Victoria St. I started there in 1959. I was one of those transferred to Newport School when St Paul’s closed in 1961. Some of the other children transferred to schools nearer their homes. (St Paul’s being a Church of England school, had pupils from a wide area not just around the Newport district ) The Head Teacher at St Paul’s was Mr Walker. Apart from Mr Walker, I remember our own teacher, Mrs Milburn (it might have been Miss), She always wore an overall in the classroom, and was the stereotypical “schoolmarm”. The toilets were in the yard. I recall the covered areas in both infant and junior yards to provide shelter from the elements. When St Pauls closed in 1961 Newport took over the school. In St Paul’s you had to stay in your own playground. You were punished if you went into the juniors’ side. However when Newport took over we were then allowed to use any of the playgrounds we liked. When I was in Newport Juniors the headmaster was Mr Wright, a really kind man. My first year teacher in Newport was Mrs Oliver.

A Family Tradition
In going to Newport School I was following in the family tradition. My parents ,my brother and sister attended the school. My niece attended the “new” Newport School on St Paul’s Rd.

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  1. Hello Paul
    I have been directed to your site from the Cannon Street revisited site. My Paternal grandparents (Gibsons) lived at 12 Booth Street from a long time ago until 1952/3. My parents lived there (wit grandparents) from 1946 to 1952/3 and I spent the first couple of years of my life there before the whole family (Grandmother passed away by then – I never knew her) moved to Acklam Road so we were separated by a few years of time but closer together in space. I left Middlesbrough in 1969 and have lived for the past 27 years in New Zealand but I am keen to know what Booth Street was all about. My father received a shrapnel wound to his leg in the bombing. I had always thought he was on the station when it was hit but I did not know that Booth Street had been hit. It seems more likely that he received the wound in Booth street especially if he was living at number 12. In retrospect I have realised that although he walked with a limp for the rest of his life he never really recovered from the shock. He was still having surgery to repair his leg in the 1960’s at Carter Bequest Hospital but I doubt the emotional counselling aspect was available in those days.
    If you have any further information about the bombing – especially casualty lists – I would be interested to know.
    Regards Frank Gibson

  2. Hello Frank.
    I don’t know much about the bombing, but can I recommend you contact Vic Wood, who contributed towards my article about Booth Street. I lived in Booth Street from 1958 to 1969, and I think we were the last occupants before the demolition men moved in.

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