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Do you remember the tank tracks at Stainton Camp?

by eileenohara

Contributed by 
eileenohara
Location of story: 
Stainton Camp, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A4186587
Contributed on: 
13 June 2005

This is the concrete tank track running through what was Stainton Camp just outside Barnard Castle in County Durham. The barracks were next to this track and to the right of the picture ran the railway line to Broomielaw Station.

I live on this former army camp and want to know more about the tank tracks. Does anyone know who built them and when they were built?

We’ve had one of these tracks recognised as a public right of way and want to know more about its history. Also, we want to keep it as it is and not let part of it to be closed to allow for development. As far as we know, it is the last one open to the public around here.

The camp was built at the beginning of World War 2 along with Barford Camp, Humbleton Camp, Streatlam Camp and Westwick Camp. There was another camp on the other side of the Tees at Deerbolt.

The camp was used by the army until the early seventies and many of the buildings are still in use as part of an industrial estate.

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - Tank Tracks

Posted on: 13 June 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Sir,
I spent a long time at Streatlam Camp in 1942 with the 61st Training regiment R.A.C.(yellow kit)which was the living quarters with the parade square - gymnasium - dining hall- naafi etc whereas the lower camp - which I thought was the Staindrop camp, was where all the classrooms were for wireless - driving and maintenance - and gunnery.
Stainton camp was run by the 59th Trg Regt( dirty red kit)- the never to be forgotten Dentist was housed there - and Deerbolt- nearer town and over the river, was run by the 54th Regt.(limegreen kit) Barford camp - over the railway lines and the valley was the Infantry Battle school. Don't know about the Humbleton camp unless that was the real name of the Staindrop camp !
There were many happy times at Barney with the usual panic to get on the last train on saturday night from Darlington to make it in by 11;59 - all the girls from Evenwood and West Auckland coming in for the friday night dances ! From Barney most graduates went to Liverpool/ Gourock then on to various destinations - mine was to North Africa and Italy !

 

Message 2 - Tank Tracks

Posted on: 26 June 2005 by eileenohara

It was great to hear from you and so quickly. Many thanks for your reply and your memories!

I’ve been reading about what might have been Staindrop Camp in a piece called ‘Army Cook’ on this website which tells about it being called the 30VR Raby repair depot. This was about 6 miles away at Raby Castle, near the village of Staindrop. Humbleton and Westwick Camps were off the Barnard Castle to
Darlington road about a mile south of the other camps. All the sites of the camps are still shown on the maps and are in use today. Teesdale District Council owns Stainton camp and Deerbolt is a YOI but the others are in private ownership and used for farming, Speedway, Steam Fairs and so on.

 

Message 3 - Tank Tracks

Posted on: 26 June 2005 by eileenohara

I wonder if you remember a POW camp near the camps?
It was called Blackbeck, Stainton and its location seems to have been lost.
There is a Black Beck which starts about half a mile south of Broomielaw railway station and runs westwards past Stainton Camp. This is the only clue I have.

 

Message 4 - Tank Tracks

Posted on: 26 June 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Eileen -
I would have thought that all of the camps would have reverted to farming by this time...but obviously not...my best pal all through the war was a wanderer and he got himself esconced in a house near High Force, every sunday for tea and a bath.He retired a few years ago as a Detective Chief Inspector of Stafford Police. I didn't venture too far in those days - Darlington and Barney were the highlights. We were big on dancing in those days and an hour each saturday afternoon was spent taking lessons in Darlington for 1/6d, with the dance in the evening being the big time ! I returned there in 1947 for demob and was shocked to learn just how many of our particular intake were killed - mainly in Africa and Italy.Sort of put the whole thing into a different perspective, but the memories of those days are still good !
best regards

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