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Kevin Campbell (1962-1969)

I attended Heaton from 1962 to 1969 (in class 1c, progressed (just) to 2G - 5G and then lower and upper sixth science 1.

My main memories are of "just doing enough" to remain at the bottom of the top class. Many teachers predicted "you will come to no good!" (especially "pug" Weston Walker). I eventually gained 3 A levels (2 grade A, 1 B) and was awarded an A level results prize. I even had the cheek to return from university in Manchester to be present at the prize giving at the City Hall just to see their faces.

Teachers I recall were Tom Cressey "TC" (Chemistry), Mr Paterson (Chemistry), Bill Tunnicliffe (Maths), Mr Westwood (Physics), Mr Walton (Physics). As you will gather from this list I was (and still am) a scientist by inclination. Because of the abilities and dedication of these and other teachers I achieved 3 A levels and an honours degree in physics from UMIST.

I will never forget the moment when Bill Tunnicliffe (who taught my brother, Ian, two years above me) said to my parents "you mean he's his brother! But he's a mathematician!" He was horrified (I never was very good at maths).

In sixth form TC (Tom Cressey) allowed those who were interested in Chemistry to "play" with the chemicals in the chemistry lab at lunch times. Chris Hutchinson and I managed to completely fill the lab with a cloud of fumes just before the lesson was due to start. Chris passed his driving test on his 17th Birthday and bought an old (1940 or thereabouts) MG TB car. After we spent much time fixing it he then provided transport for the rest of us. I remember going to town (to a prize giving?) with at least 6 people in that 2 seater car.

After leaving school I went to UMIST, got a BSc (Hons) 2.2 in physics. Unfortunately I had intended to stay on to do a PhD but this required a 2.1. I then had to go into the real world and find a job!

I have been working in computing ever since and currently work for EDS (UK) Ltd at the DSS Longbenton.

I found this site after I found Wendy Wilkie (now Parker) (6th form, after the great change!) through a site called - worth a visit if you are looking for other contemporaries.

I remember all three of my year currently listed here (Ian Davison, Barrie Russell and Michael Chaplin). I am currently married with 2 children (8 and 14) and live in Bedlington.

David CANT(1960 - 1967)

Info about the site was passed on to me by Neil Atkinson and Nick Lambert. It all seems a long time ago but I hope to attend the reunion in July.

My main interest at Heaton was acting - Jim Robinson's English lessons and Ron Cherry's enthusiasm for drama were great encouragements. Mind you, there were plenty of actors on the staff and among the pupils! Remember Weston Walker's history class?

I attended Sheffield University from 1967-1970, studying Law. I became a solicitor but had an early mid-life crisis and went off to theological college to prepare for ordination. I came back to the Diocese of Newcastle and worked in Newburn and North Shields before moving to Wylam where I am the Vicar. I suppose you could say that my experience in school plays prepared me first for the Law and then for the Church.

I know of two other Old Heatonians who are ordained: Tony Adamson and Bill Davage, perhaps there are others.

I am married to Anne and have three children: 26,24&21. I look forward to hearing from some of my old class mates and to renewing friendships in July

Michael CHAPLIN(1962 - 1969)

I came to Heaton with the loud disbelief of my teacher at Sandyford Road Junior School (his name has gone but his huge bell-bottom trousers flap wildly in the memory) still ringing in my ears: "Chaplin lad, good God, you've gone and passed your 11-plus!" The source of his amazement was my constitutional ineptitude at mathematics, or sums as it was called in those days. This plagued my childhood; indeed I left Heaton without an O Level in Maths (failed physics an' all), but curiously has not blighted adulthood. Years later, I became responsible for an annual budget in the tens of millions and I was given an accountant to ride shotgun on my rickety managerial wagon; it always amused me that I was quicker at mental arithmetic than he was, so I suppose something got through in the bottom set.
My saving grace at Heaton was a facility for words, a passion for literature, as well as an acute memory for the dates of battles, which first impressed Weston Walker. These rather meagre talents made up for a lot, and after a miserable first two years, I just about survived, and eventually began to enjoy myself. This had a lot to do with the quality of the teaching available. I always think of this when I see that moving ad in which famous people just speak the names of the teachers who made a difference to them. I was so lucky - I had more than one. Weston of course (I can see him now - leaning back in his chair, the little fingers of both hands pushed up his already cave-like nostrils and intoning syllable by syllable, "TAN-GAN-YIK-A", or muttering to Brewis, "Spanish lad? They're Spaniards. Spanish is liquorice"). Ian Mathew, who made Shakespeare live, and later, David Walker, who unravelled the mysteries of Joyce. And another history teacher, Ron Cherry, who helped to spark a lifelong passion for drama. There were others, less important but nonetheless good teachers and decent guys: Mr Barker, who taught me Russian and how to play number eight at rugby; Stan Fullarton; "Jack" Frost, a near-sadist in the gym but endlessly patient when trying to convey the arcane riddles of economics in the sixth form. All these men helped me through O levels and into the sixth form, where I had a real wobble. My form teacher Mrs Hobson (the schools had just merged) disapproved hugely of my extra-curricular activities (mostly acting, in school plays like The Crucible and Ring Around The Moon and at the People's, and rugby) and told my parents I'd fail my upcoming A Levels. Happily, she was wrong, and I left Heaton for Cambridge (a put-up job - Harry Askew had once taught my history tutor at Magdalene).
Thereafter I nearly became an actor, but instead got drawn into student journalism and then into a job as cub reporter on The Journal back home. Three years later I went into TV as a current affairs researcher, then producer, and editor at LWT, where I had 10 very fulfilling years. Then the drama bug bit again, and I started producing, then writing it. After a flirtation with programme management in ITV and the BBC, I gave up the executive desk and space in the car-park 4 years ago to write full time. I've written various plays for Live Theatre and the Theatre Royal in the old home-town (one of them, Beautiful Game, about football and the Toon), a bit of radio and lots of stuff for the telly (various adaptations, Dalziel and Pascoe, a series about two Geordie brothers in London called Grafters). It is a very satisfying if solitary trade, and no doubt the education I got, and whatever I absorbed symbiotically from my dad (Sid Chaplin) has been a critical part of the grounding.
I live now in London with my wife Susan (Hope, as was - Heaton High, Sixties vintage), who was a teacher herself, then took a second degree and is now a silversmith. While she renders precious metals in the garden shed, I struggle with stories in the attic. We have two grown-up sons, one of them at Hull University, the other teaching high in the Andes. Both write. Another generation...
My mother, still thriving, often sees Florence Walker (Weston's widow) on the bus into town. Dare I report she hardly gets a word in edgeways? Florence is a fine and very lively person. Ron Cherry is still to be found at the People's (mostly propping up the bar rather than treading the boards these days) but he still has that mane of silver hair. Unlike me. David Walker has reverted to the family business (turf accountants) but as he handles all the bets for the bloke who directs my theatre plays, I often see him on opening night. I last saw Ian Mathew in the bar of the Aldwych Theatre some years ago, with a school party from Worcester. He still wears broken-down brown suede shoes.
Thanks for reading. More entries please from the Sixties. What did The Who sing? Talking 'bout my generation....

John CHARLTON (1950 - 1957)

I just scraped into Heaton when the 11+ successes electing for private school pulled out. I still remember the weeks of horrible anxiety whilst my fate was decided. I have remained firmly against selection ever since. I recall that the D streamers (where I was dumped) were considered failures and it is hardly surprising that most of the school's behaviour problems derived from that quarter. The label was particularly inappropriate considering that the City only admitted 14% of the eleven year old cohort to Grammar School annually. A completely unstreamed year group could have done much better for all the 11+ successes. I managed to get out of the D stream by the third year and was, I think one of only two C streamers who went into the 6th form in 1955. (I think the other was Donald Handy)
In 1950 war stories were still recent currency. Both wars! Messrs Nicholson and Friend (& others) were veterans of the trenches. The former was said to have only one lung, the latter to be shell shocked. Much fun but little learning came from the former; the latter hardly seemed to be there. Since F.R Barnes was also a vet it seems possible he operated a ‘rest home’ for damaged comrades in arms! There were more WWII veterans; most of the 1950 staff I guess. ‘Goofy’ Grahame, my first form teacher, wore his RAF tie daily and had a sadistic streak, given to rages and the hurling of blackboard duster and chalk around the room. Fear around him was the name of the game. Ken Quickfall was also, I think, ex-RAF. His hallmarks were constant ciggies and a woolly muffler, not the most obvious uniform of the Head of PE! A humane man, I never remember unfair or arbitrary treatment from him. Though J R (Al) Brown always seemed remote he too was always decent. I saw him in his late eighties at the only reunion I managed to get to c 1988 -- and also Stan Fullerton a fine Geography teacher.
I did not much enjoy my first five years at the school. I mainly remember fighting, shivering, and fear of Grahame, the Bat and Adolph. Yet I retain a special affection for Arthur 'Lefty' Hutton who perhaps more than any other noticed the individual and was full of encouragement. And there was football. I kicked my way through a pair of shoes per month on the concrete strip next to the Himalayas parting my hair down the middle and imagining myself Billy Liddle the great Liverpool winger. I was only a reserve to the highly successful U14 and U15 teams who won both league and cup, supplying six players to the City Boys team. [Team & reserves:John McGloughlin, Alan Hodson, Dougie Peart, Titch Young, Charlie Barrass, Alan Thompson, Jimmy Hope, Mickey Nattrass, Alan Percy, Mickey Youall, David Lloyd, Peter Wallace and Ivan Curtis]. And I walked in the Dene with Olive from Jesmond Vale, one of Dr Henstock’s protected girls.
The 6th form was different. Almost golden years! I forged life-time friendships with Roger Hall, Geoff Denton and Jim Walker but lost Bob Wardle (Head Boy in 1957) who died suddenly in 1989 just before his 50th birthday. He had done well at the LSE and spent his career in teaching. He was Deputy Head of a High School in Blackburn. Messrs J 'Charlie' Robinson and Edgar 'Chris' Tansley were excellent English teachers, the latter inspiring an interest in the avant gard. Weston ‘Puggy’ Walker was much better at 6th form level. In lower school art classes he would humiliate. “What’s that son? A greasy fried egg?” (An attempted Lake District sunset). His verbal bullying was possibly less necessary at sixth form level. We’d go round for supper and listen to Beethoven on his Pye Black Box Gramophone (state of the art 1955). Tansley’s sitting room was another venue. Here we’d hear vitriol about his ‘philistine’ colleagues and a touch of Communism. We were terrible intellectual snobs, sporting a superficial knowledge of surrealism, Mozart, James Joyce, Lucky Jim and Arnold Wesker. We’d sit through the National Anthem at the Odeon and even noisily walk out of the Theatre Royal. Unnoticed of course, since we were up in the Gods.
I had decided to become a PE/Games teacher and went off in 1957 to Dudley Teachers' Training College in the Midlands. It seems surprising today but in the fifties there was a vast shortage of teachers and I was exempted from National (military) Service to learn to keep working class kids on their seats. I returned to Newcastle to teach acceptance, sharing a staff room briefly with Jack Sproat, a tough HGS full back from 1948-55 - a contemporary of Hal Gibson twenty years head of PE. Teaching at Bolam Street Secondary was a bit of a nightmare but Longbenton Secondary was much much better. I left for Yorkshire in 1965. My own teaching experience showed me that any notion of Sixties education as liberal and progressive is a pure fantasy concocted in the fevered brains of the Thatcherites.
I picked up an interest in socialist politics during the 1959 election and have continued to steer left though mercifully avoiding elected office. I narrowly avoided joining the T Dan Smith machine in 1963. I could have easily joined him in Durham Gaol.
In 1967 I entered York University to study History and Politics. (taught by a Heaton Old Boy of pre-war vintage, the very snobbish Edmund Ions). After York I got a post as a lecturer in History in Leeds. I worked at the Poly for nearly twenty years moving up the road to Leeds University in 1990. I retired this summer and I am dabbling in writing. Married twice, I have six children.
In 1996 I returned to Newcastle. My wife got a job in the North East and we moved to Newcastle (Forest Hall). My son Mark, 14, attends Heaton Manor. In the Hall, on parents’ evening -- I swear the ghosts still walk.
P.S. My brother Ken attended 1952-57. He would be pleased to hear of his class mates.

Tom CHARNLEY (1964 - 1971)

Hi, Tom Charnley here, 1964-71. Left to work as Chemcal Tech, then into Post office telephones and later (74) to Newcastle University. Came out with a heavy engineering degree, parted with Post office and joined N.E.I Parsons. Saw the writing on the wall there and left to start teaching. I met my wife Tina when she was at the Poly, and moved down to sunny Warrington, where I am now Head of IT at Priestley College. Charley Bell told me of the site, we still keep in touch. My brother Rob '62-'69 unfortunately died two years ago, I wonder if any one in his form will get in touch as I didn't know many of his class mates except Robinson. I know his wife and 5 year old triplets would love to hear any tales from that era. Charlie and I tried to recall the class and did quite a good job.

Update January 2016: ‘Left teaching in 2000 for a career as a technical trainer of Microsoft developers, left that in 2008 and worked as a developer, now at Nviron in Warrington. Still get my guitar out now and again.’

David COLE (1963 - 1970)

I read the latest version of the HGS website yesterday and thought the time had come when I might make my contribution. Started in 1C under Mr Spink, then the "R" forms (any survivors of the 2R Geography Room chalk fight of 1964?) and through to the sixth form. Main recollections are of endless homework, playing football for "The Scraps", stoking a hot forge for a psychopathic metalwork master whose name I cannot remember, "Summer Fairs", lower sixth chemistry being taught 'bonding' for a year, when it meant something different .. Interested to see the names of several masters I remember. No mention so far of "Doc" Henstock, who taught spoken English to the 6th form ("You won't pass because you can't pronounce your name"; I passed with a Credit , Ho Ho). After Heaton, I went to Birmingham to do Biology, then Central London Poly and MRE Porton Down for a PhD, then I joined the pharmaceutical industry and worked for SKF, Roussel, now in the contract research end of the drug industry. Living in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, married to Kath from Heaton High, and with two boys who support Newcastle United despite being born in Herts (something to do with the nearest football team being Arsenal?), the eldest of whom is just about to leave for University himself .

Trevor CORBITT (1961 - 1968)

I found the site on a rainy Sunday morning with nothing better to do.
I remember: Stewart Davidson, Bill Davage, Ian Atkinson, Steve McDiarmid and David Mien as well as some "real character" teachers: "Pug" Walker (History), "Pop" Walker (English), "Tufty" Taylor (Geography), Ken "Quicky" Quickfall (Gymnastics),Joe Messer (Maths), and especially John "Fred" Barker who taught me how to sprint and play rugby.
Two girls I remember well are Avril Deane who I think now works for the Evening Chronicle and her friend Marion Beardmore.
I still have my prefects tie and all the photographs taken over the years!!

Peter COULSON (1949 - 1955)

My main accomplishments...held the under 14 high jump record for about 20 minutes R U there G Atkinson ?!!! Choir member & played FIAMETTA in the Gondoliers, also part of the ladies chorus in the Pirates of Penzance ... looked like Linda Rondstat in drag!!! Left HGS to work with the Caledonian Insurance Company in Pilgrim Street. The Golden Tiger was across the street and was probably part of my downfall!!! I was lead singer with the PILGRIM SKIFFLE GROUP; 2 years in RAF-Boulmer, Acklington then worked at Clarkys, sang and played bass with the HILLCRESTERS-Hillfield club & TTTV's Young at Heart show. Joined an English band playing in France (TONY MCKANE COMBO), then formed a band (THE GRADUATES) and toured Europe for 12 yrs... now live near BOSTON USA still pickin, grinnin, and cookin theraputic cuisine. All is revealed here! C'mon guys DAVE, IAN & CO are doing a great them ANY GOOD BUDDIES OUT THERE ??! Even if you are not an HGS old boy you might know someone who is and how about the STAFF? where are you now?

David COWANS (1958 - 1963)

I joined the institution in 1958 in 1A in care of Mr Duckenfield. An undistinguished 5 years followed, memories being appearing in plays organised by Mr Spink for the junior dramatic society, and an intense dislike of sport probably brought on by my rotund build and thus difficulty in competing. My major achievements in the athletic field were gaining 1 point for my house in standard points and managing to avoid running anything longer than the 220 yards. It wasn't all negatives, however, and I still speak reasonable German acquired from Roy Davison starting in 2G in 1959.

After leaving HGS, bored to tears, in 1963, I moved to London in search of work. Later, I have often regretted that and feel that I should have done the 6th and gone to university. But it just wasn't possible - no way my mum (a widow) could have afforded that. Being interested in travel, I started with Thomas Cook as office boy in their Autotravel department (not automated travel - far too early for that - but people who were taking their car with them). An opportunity arose to work with British European Airways (BEA) in 1964 and I started working with computers in 1966 still at BEA. At BEA, I met my future and still wife (Jill) - we married in 1967. We now have two daughters (Amanda - 1973; Michelle - 1975) and, courtesy of Amanda and her husband Andrew, two grandchildren.

In 1969, I joined ICL - UK's answer to IBM - in Stevenage. In 1977, still with ICL, we moved to Cheshire but that proved short lived as ICL sent me to Australia for a year in 1979. Somehow the year has never ended, even though my association with ICL has (and, by now, so has ICL). Spent some time working in New Zealand and a little in Singapore before joining General Travel (GT) in North Sydney in 1991 as Systems Manager. My dream job but it all got to be too much so in 2003, I left and we bought a post office and some holiday units on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. GT asked me to do some support work for them - the old story, purpose built software with no documentation and all the knowledge of how it works in one person's head - and that woked well and was to everyone's benefit.

In 2009, we sold the business and built a house just over the road as our retirement location. I carried on writing software and managed a few databases for GT and also started driving the odd tour to show visitors Kangaroo Island's nocturnal animals. Now (2012), I have retired from GT but still do the tours and hope to do that for a few years yet.

Still travelling the world as much as possible, by train whenever possible - see my Trans-Siberian Experiences. If you can take the shock, here are my class mates and I in 1962. Carpe Diem!

Roy CULL (1954 - 1959)

My formative years were 54-59 in 1B,2A,3B,4B,5B and then I left to become a Post Office engineer and I am still in BT but as a Director of a company support division. Academically my sojourn was unistinguished but I made up for it at Rutherford College of Technology. I left Newcastle in 1967 and have been in several locations but am now in Cardiff. Newcastle still calls from time to time and I return to see the Toon.
Seeing mention of the swamp known as the Himalayas reminds me of cold winters, awful showers and of course KQ. The summer nightmare was Standard Points where Armstong was handicapped by my contribution. A particular hate was the 'Bat' and Tom Rochester whereas there was always fun with Kytie Clapperton, Beefy Bamborough and Ron Cherry and many others. I am in touch with Dennis(Eggy) Connell, Dennis (Ned) Bourne both(54-59), Ian Sutherland(53-58),Ken Grant(44-49)."

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