The legend of the lamps It is said that Robert de Thormodbi, wounded in the Crusades at Acre, swore to raise a shrine to The Virgin Mary if he survived his wounds. He did, and as part of his wish,a shrine niche to the Virgin Mary ,lit by five sanctuary lamps was placed in St. Peters Church.
A set of lamps were erected at the junction of George Street and Mandale Road.They formed the focal point and meeting place for folk of this part of Thornaby. They were used for meetings such as prospective council and parliamentary elections.Many an M.P. has used the plinth of the lamps to start their career on the Hustings. The lamps were a great meeting area to see in the new year.Hundreds of folk would congregate around them and rejoice when the Town hall clock struck midnight.
The original lamps were taken down when the new A66 motorway cut a swathe through the bottom end of Thornaby.Taking with it the old shopping area of Mandale Road and George Street.This is now a one way system . On completion of the A66,a replica set of lights were made by the apprentice boys of Head Wrightson and erected on Westbury Street,about 50 yards from their original position.They are in front of the Constitutional Club (Smokey Joe`s).The area has just undergone a tidy up and trees and bushes around the Lamps have been cut back and seats have been put in .This may become the meeting place of old.
New Replica 2002.New lamps were erected in the vicinity of the original lamps.Situated in the middle of the roundabout at the bottom of Westbury street and the junction of George street and Mandale road. Unfortunately the old replica set were vandalised by some young lads the same week the new set were erected.At present they are an eyesore and not being repaired.