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Local History

As one of the oldest parts of the area the Village part of Thornaby can be dated back to the Norman times and very possible earlier settlements.

The oldest remaining building in the area is the church of St.Peter Ad Vincula which is central to the village green area.This is our “hidden” gem ,just off the main Thornaby Road but only by 100 yards the village green and church survive with the thousands of motorists passing the road end daily and many oblivious to the unique history within their grasp. Click on the church for more information.



A little known historical fact about the Village area of Thornaby on Tees is the link to the famous explorer captain James Cook.His mother Grace Pace was born around the village green area in 1702 and christened in the church of St.Peter ad Vincula on the Village Green.She was the daughter of John Pace and Deborah Buttler.She married at Stainton in Cleveland, Nth Yorkshire, on Oct 10 1725, and lived at Marton (then a small village, today a suburb of Middlesbrough) where James Cook was born in 1728.
If you have any historical knowledge or information about Grace Pace we would be glad to hear from you.


The locally famous Thornaby show had its “roots” within the village area as this report from the original Thornaby Village Horticultural Society minutes.

The first show was held on August 6th 1945 organised by residents of Thornaby Village ,and led to a meeting held on August 13th in the Oddfellows Arms at 7.30pm to discuss the formation of a Horticultural Society ,the meeting so agreed , the appointment of officers took place ,notably Mr J R Carr , The Town Clerk was voted in as President ,Vice Presidents, Group Captain Ward ,Doctor Mackay ,Mr T Malcolm ,Mr A Canwell and Mr G Shickle . The management positions were as follows Chairman Mr E Sockett, Secretary Mr A Peacock, Ass` Secretary Mr A Rudd, Treasurer Mr Robinson.

The next meeting was held in the Oddfellows Arms, at 7.30pm August 27th 1945 this dealt with the proposed rules of the Society, one decision concerned the limitation of membership and the following boundaries were defined, all residents on the West Side of Thornaby Road from the Andrews Allotments to the Two Mile Cottages and the East Side of Thornaby Road from The Gilpin Brown Allotments to the Aerodrome, all residents of Millbank Lane, The Green, Orchard Road, Brisbane Crescent and Basselton Lane.


The membership decision can be explained by realising that the residents of Thornaby Village considered their area as still being a village , there was a vast amount of open countryside certainly on three sides of the village ,and the formation of a show and Society took place a very short time after peace was declared , they had faced the rigours and heartache of six years of wartime , the prime movers were in the main mature people who held positions of authority and prominent businessmen who displayed the admirable British spirit of overcoming adversity and getting back to normal ,

The younger people were away on wartime service and it would be considerable time before those who had survived returned home.

So the Village Show was born and the residents gave considerable support in fund raising and of course running the show, many twists and turns have taken place over the years involving the show but that is a story for another time.


Thornaby Aerodrome is in the boundaries of the Village and is now a predominately modern housing development although there are a number of the smaller wartime buildings still left and are being used for small business opportunities. Click on the picture for more about the old airfield.


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