The market town of Stockton-on-Tees, or 'Stockton' as it is known locally, began life as an Anglo-Saxon settlement on the northern bank of the River Tees. Following the granting of its market charter in 1310, the town emerged as a busy port, exporting wool and importing wine to meet the demands of the upper classes. Although bustling, medieval Stockton was still a relatively small, quiet town and would remain so for centuries. This, however, would all change from the end of the eighteenth century as the Industrial Revolution progressed. It was at this time that Stockton developed from a minor market town into a thriving hub of heavy industry. During the twentieth century, heavy industry declined, and since the 1980s the services industry has grown significantly. Today, Stockton is changing as development takes place in the town centre and the north bank of the River Tees.
Robin Cook is the author of several books of early photographs of North East Yorkshire and the Old Cleveland area - the first being published in 1975. A member of several local history societies he also gives talks and slide presentations to a wide range of groups within the local community. Robin lives in Northallerton, North Yorkshire.