Mention the term “Over the Border” to any Teessider and they’ll probably think of St Hilda’s in Middlesbrough rather than Scotland.

After all, when the Infant Hercules first flexed its muscles in the 19th century, it’s where it all began.

But over time, the area drifted into decline and for many, a trip “over the border” became something to be avoided, or even feared.

In the 1960s and 1970s, slums and Victorian buildings and landmarks were cleared, only for their replacements to also end up neglected, unloved and demolished.

Today, though, it has been – and IS being – transformed, with a remarkable Middlehaven renaissance happening.

But before it’s all gone for ever, take a look at these fascinating photos from Richard Clayton, which offer an evocative snapshot of the area’s old buildings and characters.

And for the next few weeks, you can see them and many more in an exhibition of Richard’s work between 1976-2018, Over the Border and Beyond, at the Saabat Gallery in South Bank.

Richard, who was born in Middlesbrough but now lives in Stokesley, says his Over The Border shots are about “very much a passing of time.”

He was initially drawn to St Hilda’s to photograph the Old Town Hall – once painted by the famous artist L.S. Lowry – but he became enthralled by the place, as shown in his wonderful images.

For photography buffs, they were taken with German Leica cameras and a British made MPP Microflex.

But whatever the equipment used, they’re sure to prompt memories of the sights and sounds of a St Hilda’s which has now largely gone.

Richard will be giving a talk about his work at the gallery, on Normanby Road, on Friday, October 19 at 3pm.

And for the exhibition, which runs until Saturday, November 10, the art gallery’s interior has been painted in the red and white colours of Middlesbrough FC.

For more about Richard, visit his website.

© 2018 Tees Info

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