The old photo that attracted the interest of 33,000 Echo readers

A police officer controls the Durham traffic.
A police officer controls the Durham traffic.
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We just love those ‘oh wow’ moments when we hark back to scenes from our past which you had almost forgotten.

One which attracted a lot of interest was our reminder of the days when Durham used to have a police traffic control box.

The view of the box which  originally attracted the interest.

The view of the box which originally attracted the interest.

It was right next to the Market Place and a police officer could often be seen directing the traffic from their little open air post.

We asked you for your memories of it and, even though the photograph was decades old, more than 33,000 of you took a look.

It seems that lots of you remember those days.

Hazel Ramsay told us: “The cameras in the police box showed the policeman on duty what the traffic was like on roads leading to the market place so he could direct traffic accordingly.

I remember this like it was just yesterday. Again, thank you for the great memories from Melb, Australia

Kathy Christensen

“This was invented by my father who worked in the box. The world’s first CCTV.”

Thanks to Hazel who was not alone in explaining more.

John Harvey was just as informative in his comments when he explained more about the location of the box.

“In the market next to Londonderry statue ,and it was replaced by the first tv controlled traffic lights in England controlling Silver Street.”

Showing the Durham scene in the background.

Showing the Durham scene in the background.

Mary Theresa Steel remembered those times because they coincided with her days as a learner driver.

She said: “I remember him well l was learning to drive and he stopped all the traffic. It gave me minute to collect myself. I am now nearly 84.”

Kathleen Smith said: “I have wonderful memories of Durham from childhood.”

As well as the police officer, there were other aspects of the city which stuck in her mind.

“Remember the policeman in the box, going to market with my nana, on the boats with my dad. Great days.”

John Crick commented: “Durham was beautiful then and it is beautiful now!”

Tony Smith told us: “Remember this on family bus trips to Durham from Southwick. Way back in the sixties.”

And Ronnie Bell reminisced: “Remember it well, policeman in the box. When Durham was a beautiful place.”

Mick Smith had a particular reason to look back with fondness and said: “Been in this little hut with it’s TV screen - we didn’t even have a telly at home in those days... High Tech!”

Kathy Christensen spotted our post from even further afield and said: “I remember this like it was just yesterday. Again, thank you for the great memories from Melb, Australia.”

Allen Laidler said: “Gosh I had forgotten about this. I can just say remember it.”

Pauline Littewood told us: “I too drove round him, down Silver Street and up North Road. Only way in those days.”

Patricia Moffitt added: “Often wondered how they managed it with all the traffic coming up Silver Street. Happy memories.”

Keith Purvis said: “Remember it well” while Richard Hay commented: “Drove round him many times.”

Others just wanted to praise Durham as a city well worth a visit.

Sandra Laidler said: “Durham is still a beautiful place” while Nina Hesslewood commented: “It still is a beautiful city.”

Joyce Williams told us: “Yes I remember this x” while Elaine Lane said: “Happy memories.”

Jean Underwood Harrison said: “Do remember that but never saw a policeman in it.”

Isabel Bateman simply replied “Oh yes I do” while Elaine Pokahontas Nicholson concisely replied: “Wow xx.”

Others among you felt the need to comment on the days when Durham was a bigger county.

Maureen Henry said: “We should still be County Durham. Sad day when it was taken away.”

Sheila Treglown added: “I agree we should be still County Durham.”

And perhaps there are readers out there who can help two specific Echo readers, Jackie Owens and Joan Gadd.

Both had relatives who worked in the police box.

Jackie said: “My Dad also operated the police box in the market place but sadly there are no photos of him.”

Joan Gadd commented: “My husband also worked in the box 1969/70’s and we can’t locate any photos of him either.”

Can anyone out there help out. Has anyone got pictures of the box.

Or is there another aspect of Wearside history you would like us to examine?

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk.