A Stockton Christmas. 1890s style.

December 20, 2017 no comments

As the festive season gets into full swing we thought we’d give you a glimpse into how it was done in the dim and distant Stockton of the 1890s. Just think of us as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Not that we’re saying you’re Scrooge, dear reader. We’re sure you’ve fully embraced the Christmas spirit, much like Stanton’s Boots did in wishing readers of the Stockton & Thornaby Herald “Hearty good wishes to you all”.

Stockton & Thornaby Herald, 24th December 1898, p.1.


A lovely sentiment but their attempt to hijack seasonal pleasantries with a bit of product placement sadly failed to catch on. Rarely do we see “May your life be as comfortable as Stanton’s Boots and wear as well” written in greetings cards today.

Those less fortunate over the Christmas period may have had to call upon the services of the frankly terrifyingly named “Theodore Skull” to deal with their RUPTURE:


Stockton & Thornaby Herald, 22nd December 1894, p.1.


While Mr. Skull was no doubt a competent rupture specialist, recommendations were clearly more restrained in the Victorian era, particularly from The Lancet: “Skull’s Okonite Trusses are the most effective we have ever noticed.” Those Okonite Trusses must have just flown off the shelves after that review.

For those wanting to forget the festive rush with some escapist entertainment The Herald serialised Clementine Montagu’s “Beyond Her Strength” a story of love across the class divide as humble Mabel North falls for the aristocratic charms of Reginald Davoren:



Stockton & Thornaby Herald, 21st December 1895, p.2.


We recommend trying to include both these phrases at opportune moments over your Christmas dinner this year.

In his seasonal Leisure Moment with the Bairns, Grandfather offered a pan-European tour of Santa Clauses:


Stockton & Thornaby Herald, 25th December 1895, p.5.


And finally, sit back, possibly with a magnifying glass, and enjoy a lengthy Christmas stroll through Stockton’s finest shopping emporiums:


Stockton & Thornaby Herald, 21st December 1895, p.5.


Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed these shadows of things that have been.  All that’s left is to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2018. May your life be as comfortable as Stanton’s Boots and wear as well.

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