Globe Theatre

157 High Street,
Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1PL

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terry on July 25, 2018 at 8:14 am

The restoration is now at a critical stage as seen in the following clip:–

I had to laugh when I saw a stern notice appended with the name G L SKELTON, MANAGER. George was infamous for his notices wherever he went and,Stockton Globe being one of ABC’s most important stage venues, it figures that he would be even more rampant with his orders and stipulations there……..

As I may have said previously, I do hope that ATG do not follow the Andrew LLoyd Webber and Eventim UK route of having no house tabs as those buildings look ridiculous without them and all the hi tech lighting in the world cannot compensate for their absence.

The ABC Globe had a set of the very best quality maroon velvet bullion carrying curtains in the whole of the UK. If the Restoration is to be as authentic as everyone connected with the project claims it will be, then a replica set is an absolute must!

Shapersofthe80s on April 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm

I can confirm Terry’s report about the night JFK was shot in 1963, as I attended the second house during the Beatles' first nationwide tour – the one that created The Teen Scream. The band’s half-hour set during twice-nightly performances at 6.15 and 8.30 was supported by seven other acts with tickets priced from 6 shillings to 10s 6d, when a workman’s weekly wage might be £7.

My website carries detailed accounts of the evening plus a Getty photo of the Fab Four on-stage, plus a 2009 photo of the art-deco interior still glorious in orange and turquoise! The 2009 restoration plans languished for years but, as we see in the YouTube videos Terry added last year, real progress has been made since Heritage Lottery funding came onboard along with the respected Ambassador Theatre Group.

terry on July 26, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Three links to footage re the restoration:–

The first includes a clip of the famous ‘bullion carrying’ velvet house tabs opening. It does not look like these are going to be replicated,sadly…….

terry on June 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Cliff Richard was interviewed on ‘Look North’, the BBC regional news magazine, this evening re the Globe Stockton’s restoration. Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett (of The Shadows) were actually at the theatre speaking about their own appearances there long ago. Interesting that Cliff said he had only appeared there once in his career, namely in the pantomime, ‘Babes in the Woods’ in the early 1960’s. How many appearances did he make according to the ads I have uploaded to the photos section?……

terry on June 13, 2017 at 9:11 am

Photo uploaded: The ABC Globe Stockton backstage in 1962. George Skelton, Manager is at the back with Assistant Managers, John McIntosh and Bill Postgate.

George had invited members of The TownsWomens Guild (it was the Chairman’s birthday) to meet Max Bygraves who was headlining a week’s variety show.

George became a good friend some years later whilst at the Haymarket Newcastle and ABC Darlington after a period as Manager of ABC Chester following the sale of Stockton to next door Debenham’s Department Store. Thankfully, the store group decided, after all, not to extend onto the ABC site and it was subsequently leased short term to the Lipthorpe Brothers (Fiesta Club etc) before being sold to Mecca who operated it as a Bingo Club until they moved to new purpose built premises in 1997.

Now, happily, the building is being restored to its former glory for live presentations but it seems unlikely that it will ever again show films; this will be a great pity as it would be ideal for Premieres of major new releases prior to general release in the multiplexes.

At ABC conventions and meetings up and down the UK necessitating hotel stays, Managers were invariably allocated twin rooms (not so for the great and the good…) and George and I often shared on this basis.

He told me about his experiences (he had started as a reporter with the Grimsby Telegraph after WW2 prior to joining ABC in 1948) particularly in relation to the lavish live shows at Stockton and elsewhere.

The event which caused him the most excitement (of the wrong kind) was when,on November 22nd 1963,The Beatles were headlining a show at the Globe which also included The Vernons Girls and the Kestrels.

This date, of course, goes down in history for a world shaking event, namely the assassination of John F Kennedy. The Beatles, unable to contact Brian Epstein, were unsure whether or not they should appear as events globally were being cancelled as a mark of respect.

Much to George’s great relief the show did go on and one can only imagine the furore which would have resulted when having to deal with fans more upset by The Beatles' non appearance than by the death of the US President….…/take-look-inside-globe…

terry on February 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Photo uploaded of The Beatles on stage 22 November 1963.

terry on February 13, 2016 at 8:04 am

Exterior shot from 1964 uploaded.

FanaticalAboutOdeon on May 15, 2013 at 3:31 am

I visited the Globe twice during 1970 while managing Stockton’s Odeon. I saw a touring production of “Madam Butterfly” with full orchestra in the pit – most impressive on a stage whose proscenium arch was two feet wider than that of London’s Palladium Theatre. I also saw the film musical “Goodbye, Mr Chips” there and the CinemaScope screen was suitably vast. A prime candidate for restoration as a touring musical/concert venue I would have thought. A reborn Globe would have a huge catchment area for large scale attractions including Middlesbrough, West Hartlepool, Darlington and Billingham as well as Stockton and Thornaby. Nearest competition for what the Globe would be able to mount would be Scarborough’s Futurist and Sunderland Empire. A few years before my time on Teesside, the Globe pantomime had starred the Shadows and, while they were in residence at the theatre, they wrote the tune “Stars fell on Stockton” which was included on at least one of their subsequent albums.

welcomevending on October 8, 2012 at 4:00 am

I have a couple of pictures taken inside the foyer of the theatre with my mother Jean Dinsdale (ticket office)meeting Bruce Forsyth and the rest of the staff…was taken approximately in 1963

jbn6773 on March 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm

to see more on the plans go to the following and type 09/2976/COU into the application reference boc

View link

jbn6773 on March 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Some good news. Jomast have had plans to restore and refurbish the former ABC/Globe theatre passed by Stockton on Tees council and plan to re-open it as a live entertainment venue, retaining its original features and removing the horrible tiled facade at ground level. The plans also involve incorporating a vacant building adjacent to the globe into the main venue. for more information go to

Ian on February 15, 2008 at 5:41 am

A set of photographs, mainly interior, of the Globe / ABC Theatre can be found here:

View link

Ian on February 5, 2008 at 7:49 am

An exterior picture from 1991 below. I will scan and post some interiors taken after closure in the next week or so.

View link

johnpaullucky7 on January 14, 2007 at 1:53 pm

this is when it was mecca bingo back in 1993
View link

its a shame this building as gone to waste it has never been used since 1993 and the building is still up and now it looks terrible really it looks like its falling to piece’s. i hope they use the building for something soon i dont want to see a building like that go to waste. i will post up what it currently looks like as soon as i can

johnpaullucky7 on January 14, 2007 at 1:49 pm

ive never been in this building myself with me not been born when it was the globe or abc but my mother worked there i found some pictures and here they are

here it is outside when it was the ABC back in 1973
View link

View link

CharlieGillett on September 20, 2006 at 5:22 am

As a teenager in the 1950s I lived on a farm in Little Stainton, about seven miles from Stockton, and was dependent on my mother Diana Lamb being prepared to buy tickets and drive us into town to see the package shows at the Globe. I’ve been tyring to fix exact dates for the people I saw there – Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Guy Mitchell, Lonnie Donegan (not the panto referred to above, but a package tour which had Miki & Griff on the same bill), Bill Haley, the Platters, Tommy Steele, and most memorable of all, the Crickets featuring Buddy Holly (I think I have that date, March 1958).

Can anybody help?

It would be greast to have a calendar of who played there during that era – it seemed that every major artist included Stockton on their itinerary in those days.

jbn6773 on July 12, 2006 at 5:34 am

A recent article in the local press has announced that Stockton on Tees Council and the buildings current owners, Jomast Properties are carrying out feasability studies on proposed uses for the building.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 7, 2005 at 7:05 am

The Beatles played at the ABC on 22nd November 1963, the date President Kennedy was assassinated.

The last film to play at the ABC was Robert Redford and Paul Newman in “The Sting” on 15th June 1974.

It then became a Mecca Bingo Club until they moved to new premises at Chandler’s Wharf in 1993. Since then the ABC has remained shuttered and unused.

Ianwright on April 15, 2005 at 5:44 am

I was the photographer at the Northern Echo from 1960-72 and have my original photographs of the artists who appeared at the Globe during the 60s, from the Beatles, Stones, Dave Clark, Marianne Faithful, Ike And Tina Turner, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, Gene Pitney, Roy Orbison, etc. So this is an SOS to Barry Jones who produced the 1999 Exhibition or past employess of the Globe,anyone who can provide, anecdotes, specific dates of performances, identify people in the photos, the name of the manager in the 60s, anything to put words to the pictures. Thank to everyone in advance Ian Wright at .uk

Snoutie on June 17, 2004 at 4:15 pm

I wrote a piece about the Globe. I am attaching it hereto.

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Gillian’s Globe Piece
May 16 2001 at 9:24 AM Gillians Globe Piece

by Gillian W. Samples

I now live in Glendale, California, a City a few miles outside Los Angeles, but have many fond memories of my childhood/teenage years visiting the Globe at Stockton-on-Tees.

First time I ever visited the Globe was with my Grandma, my aunt and cousin. As our treat, we all went to the Christmas Pantomime that year, I think it must have been around 1958 or 59. The great Lonnie Donnegan was playing at the Globe in the Pantomime in “Aladdin.” I had not been to that many shows at the tender age of about nine. In those days a lot of the “stars and musicians of the day” did not really get “up North.” One must remember that these were the days before the onset of the “Great Northern Nightclubs,” which was a British answer to a “Las Vegas Showroom” that were all over the North of England from around 1965 to the mid 1970’s. Anyway, Lonnie Donnegan was at the height of his career, and, as I recall, he influenced a lot of the musicians of today and yesteryear. Namely, John Lennon, all the other Beatles, Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, just to name a few. However, Lonnie did have his famous skiffle band with him at the Panto, and at the end he came out with them and literally “brought the house down” as I recall — and played for about an hour. People were just dancing and jiving in the aisles, including myself and my cousin. That folks, was my first “rock show” even though only 9. I was hooked. I wanted to be up there on the Globe stage with Lonnie. How could I accomplish this feat, to bang the boards of the glittering Globe stage, complete with a fancy sparkling costume and make-up?

In those days, pantos always had “Dance Troupes.” As I do recall they were all called “so and so’s ___ Babes” or along those lines. A dance troupe would open up the show, and they would actually be part of the whole show at timely intervals. All little girls resembling the child star “Shirley Temple” – all fully made up with suntanned orange Max factor pancake makeup and bright green or blue eye shadow, all wearing frilly white and silver costumes, complete with gleaming white buckskin tap shoes with huge pink bows on them that flopped up and down when they all “tapped together.” Miniature Ziegfield Follies, all executing their timesteps in a regimental line. My god, I had to do it!! However, luck was on my side as I was friendly with a girl who lived in the same neighborhood as myself, in Acklam, Middlesbrough, who, of course, just so happened to belong to this ‘dance troupe’ and was an accomplished dancer and fantastic tapper! And, lo and behold, she had even met and danced with the famous Lonnie, and was up there on the Globe stage. I had to befriend her more! I was so envious of her glamorous stage life, even though everybody in our family in Middlesbrough said I was the ‘double of Shirley Temple..“ I had to be up there on the stage if it was the last thing I ever did.

I inquired to my friend about joining this dance school. However, on turning up at the place for practice one night I was awfully disillusioned. The school was in a freezing cold, damp, dark, seedy part of an old warehouse in an old Victorian run down part of Stockton. One bare light bulb hung from the stripped paint peeled ceiling with an old rusty faucet dripping away there in the background. This was not the Globe stage. Where was the glamour? Where was my illusion? This is like the “Black Hole of Calcutta” I thought to myself. The first night I found to be a terribly hard grueling rigmarole, coupled with the hard-faced brassy peroxide “bus conductress” looking blonde who ran the place. She was in charge? Oh my god? What a tart? Plus, the so-called “fabulous babes” turned out to be a “right rough lot.” Horrible lot – oh how could Lonnie even speak to them?? A toothless old bloke in a holey cardigan and fingerless gloves crouching in the background put on a record — shouting out “practice girls — c’m on now — work hard – yer bloody lazy lot” My “friend” told me to persevere as she had certainly not gotten there overnight. I felt like crying. This was awful. It was not meant to be like this was it? The paces the “peroxide” put me through rivaled that of an Olympic gymnast, which I was not. I could not even stand up straight in school the next day. I was literally on my knees. Persevere I could not. No Globe stage for me. Mind you, I had been warned. I had not realized that tap and ballet was so athletic – to which I was and still am not.

However, childhood years shifted into early teenage years. I visited the Globe many times. My mother and I had now moved out to Redcar, and I remember my school taking us all to the Globe one evening. They decided we should have a “bit of culture” in our lives, instead of listening to the junk rock n' roll we all craved for. So, we saw the Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta of The Mikado. Still, the colorful costumes, the lights, the greasepaint were all something wonderful for me. How could I have ever given up on the “Glittering Globe.”

Perhaps I could be a comedienne instead? I mentioned this to a family member. I reckoned that I could still get up there on the Globe stage as comedians were becoming very big at the time? “Girls don’t tell jokes” a relative of mine sniggered. Women you see at that time were not liberated at all – indeed horrors!! — growing up in the days of post-war Britain. They were to be seen and not heard. Female comediennes were never heard of ever!!! As my musical and singing abilities appeared to be nil, I decided I would have to be a spectator and not a performer. Oh – where was Lonnie?

Over the next few years in the mid to late sixties I saw a few shows, before I left the area to go to live in London. We nicked off school one day to catch the bus from Redcar to Stockton to purchase our beloved Beatles tickets for the oncoming show at the Globe. I believed they played two shows there. Hoards of fans had queued up overnight in Stockton High Street, on the freezing cold pavements, to which did not take my fancy. However though, my mate said that if we could get there really early, we would still mange to get a ticket for the show which we did. They day they were performing – well we were stood across the High Street to wait and see them before they came in. A glimpse – anything would do. Something that resembled a Rolls Royce came screeching down Stockton High Street. The doors of it were flung open and the Fab Four all ran out straight into the foyer of the Globe. They appeared to have hellhounds on their trails. As everyone knows, the sound inside the auditorium was deafening and at the end of the show it looked like World War III had just broken out. I loved the Beatles at the time, but really wanted to hear a bit of the music. For me, it was not “cool” to scream. I thought everybody looked “:daft” screaming anyway. Stars who performed at the Globe, well they did not scream and carry on now did they?

Other stars I saw at the Globe included Cliff Richard and the Shadows. (Cliff rocked back in those days); Billy Fury and the Tornadoes. The Tornadoes actually were the first British band to have a Number l hit in the USA with “Tellstar,” and that was before the Beatles.

My mates and I at the time — well we did chase one member of Billy Fury’s band down Stockton High Street. I think I was about 12 or 13 at the time. We backed him up into an alleyway. He looked terrified. He probably was. We decided to let him go. I also remember seeing a famous drummer – a Mr. Clem Cattini almost being shoved through a plate glass window that night down the High Street after a show at the Globe. He was at one time the drummer for the Tornadoes, who still performs today and has a lot of music interests in the industry.

My Dad worked for a prominent firm of building contractors in Stockton in the early sixties. As he recalled, one day after work he pulled up in his car at the traffic lights in Stockton High Street. In the car next to him were Cliff and the Shadows. They were all on their way to the Globe.

I recall an old vinyl album of the Shadows. On it was a track entitled “Stars Fell on Stockton” composed by Mr. Hank Marvin.

They most certainly did.

Gillian W. Samples© 1999

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ChristineHogg on April 6, 2003 at 11:40 am

I have read with great interest your piece on the Globe Theatre at the end of Stockton High Street. My interest comes, I suppose from the fact that my father was manager there from just before ww2 until about 1950. His name was Maurice Richard Westaway, sadly now deceased and he was greatly influential in bringing ballet and musical comedy to the theatre as it was then.

I do agree that it would be a good idea to renovate the globe into a working theatre once more, because Middlesbrough and Stockton are in dire need of a theatre of this ilk, the nearest one being, as you say, the Sunderland Empire, or the Billingham Forum, which is, I believe, to be demolished in the near future, so surely the Globe would make a splendid replacement for the Forum. Also car parking facilities near the Globe are, I believe already in place.

On a final note, why wasn’t the Globe used an Arts Centre, instead of wasting all that money on removing the old Hippodrome and replacing it with Arc.