Middlesbrough may have only been a hamlet in the early nineteenth century, but that all changed with the arrival of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, which led to the former farmstead soon becoming a cauldron of industrial activity. It is also home to many impressive works of architecture that are recognised the world over, including the truly iconic Transporter Bridge and Tees Newport Bridge, both living, and still working, testaments to the town's industrial past.
Middlesbrough can also boast an impressive musical and artistic heritage, being the birthplace of Chris Rea and Paul Rodgers, and home to the world-famous Linthorpe Pottery gallery and the unique Christopher Dresser collection in the Dorman Museum. Yet there is much that is less well known and more obscure in this historical town by the Tees: Secret Middlesbrough delves into this hidden past and reveals tantalising tales, traditions and trivia that will fascinate and inform anyone interested in what is still one of the great towns of the north.
Paul Chrystal was educated at the Universities of Hull and Southampton where he took degrees in Classics and wrote his MPhil thesis on attitudes to women in Roman love poetry. He appears regularly on BBC local radio the World Service. He is the author of over fifty books on a wide range of subjects, including histories of northern places, social histories of tea and of chocolate, a history of confectionery in Yorkshire and various aspects of classical literature and Roman history. Stan Laundon, a well-known and popular figure in Hartlepool. He was a producer/presenter on BBC Tees for many years, is an enthusiastic amateur photographer and a journalist who worked with a number of famous bands in the sixties and seventies.