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On this Day: February 14th 1804

Thomas Richmond’s Local Records of Stockton and Neighbourhood is a treasure trove of information about our area.  As it’s subtitle states “this register of memorable events” details hundreds of historical occasions, from courtroom debacles to building openings, ship wreaks to solar eclipses.  On this day in 1804 Stockton saw the presentation of colours to the Stockton Volunteers, with a particularly rousing verse celebrating their military prowess (with apologies to our French readers.  215 years on the mouth of the Tees now welcomes you).

Feb 14th 1804- The ceremony of the presentation of a pair of colours to the Stockton Volunteers took place. The day was extremely favourable, and the whole proceedings conducted with great regularity. The bells commenced ringing at an early hour, and at 110 clock the colours were borne to church by the Mayor (Mr Carr) and G Sutton Esq, followed by the alderman, and the ladies to whose liberality the corps were indebted on this occasion. The church was excessively crowded. The corps were ranged round the side aisles and the east and west ends of the church, the colours been placed on each side of the pulpit: the morning service was read by the vicar, and a sermon was preached by the Rev Jos Dawson, chaplain to the corps on Psalm XX.,5. After the sermon the colours were laid on the altar, and consecrated in the usual form which been done, the volunteer band performed a piece of music of much beauty and solemnity, composed for the occasion by Mr T wright organist. The corps then left the church, and formed the line in the High Street near the church, when the procession followed, and the colours were presented to Lieut- Col. Allison by Mrs Carr, who addressed him in the following words;- “ Though I feel very unequal to honour this day conferred upon me, yet in compliance with the wishes of the ladies Of Stockton and Norton , I present you with these colours, in full confidence that you and the brave men under your command will defend them with honour to your selves your king and country” To which the Liet- col replied, assuring the ladies of the gratitude of himself, and the whole corps, for the distinguished honour that day conferred, and their determination to stand true to the trust reposed in them, he then placed the colours in the hands of the ensigns, the band played the national anthem, and several manoeuvres were gone through with great correctness and precision. The ground was kept by the Darlington Cavalry, under LIeut-Col Wettenhal. The church and street were crowded during the proceedings, and Stockton had rarely, if ever been exhibited so interesting a sight. In the evening the officers gave a ball and supper at the assembly rooms: upwards of 30 couples danced, and about 200 persons were present. The supper table was provided with all the delicacies of the season: in the centre of the table there was a model of the Stockton arms, with transparent illuminated windows and miniatures of the colours flying from the battlements, which had the happiest effect. On the 20th the Volunteers were inspected by lieut-Col. Seddon. A patriotic poet of Stockton, at this period addressed to the Stockton and Norton volunteers a song entitled “The mouth of the Tees-Tune, lango Lee” of which the following is the introductory verse;-

“Ye stout Volunteers both of Stockton and Norton,
As loyal a corps as we ever once thought on,
Remember the day when by Allison led on,
The troops were reviewed by the brave Colonel Seddon,
How He prais’d your Appearance, Manoeuvres and Dress,
What he said was your due, and He could say no less,
Then let the French come as soon as They please,
But They’d better beware of the MOUTH OF The TEES”

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