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Rick GALUSHA (1975-1976)

As a result of my father winning a rotary club scholarship, my family moved to Newcastle in 1975. While living there I attended Heaton during the fall of 1975 and spring of 1976. As a Fifth Form student (5E5) did take some O levels and GSE's. Currently I live back in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. I was born in 1960.   I have been back to Newcastle numerous times including a year of University (1980-81), my honeymoon (1991) and a stop off to Portugal in 1993. At the moment there are no plans to get back; however, one never knows! I still keep in touch with David Wilson who was in 5E4. We speak about once a month and use the Internet to keep in touch.

George GILROY (1946-1951)

I enjoyed my 5 years at HGS which started just after the war. It was pleasing to be reminded of some of the staff who remained teaching for many years. Bill Tunnicliffe was there,along with Timber Waldron,Ken Quickfall and Johnny Walker. Bill Tunicliffe was a mean quick bowler in my day who I believe played for Whitley Bay C.C. Hal Gibson was in the year after me. One of my form masters was Check Laidler who told us he was leaving to become Headmaster of the about to open Manor Park School . Manor Park has since merged with Heaton to become Heaton Manor. I still live in the North East but the only pupil of my vintage I have met in the last 10 years was Sam Wallis. Like the others I enjoyed reading about the old school. After leaving HGS I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1958, married Doreen in 1960, and we now have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. How we were in 1951!

Lewis GORDON (1941-1946) Lewis Gordon died 2 April 2012 (Northern Echo, 5 April 2012)

I arrived at Heaton 12 years after my brother Billie. I was at school during the war years; Billie was in the Royal Navy at the time and thankfully returned home safe and sound.

My years at Heaton were in the A and B forms with one year in 6 Modern and saw moderate exam results. My teachers were Messrs Matthewson, Wilkinson, Rochester, Whitehead, Loughton, Bell, Rowell, Clapperton, Wake, Bullen, Fletcher, Friend, Nicholson, Quickfall and Waldron. My exam results were not their fault; rather it was the attraction of cricket, football and a certain Renee Mather at Heaton High next door.

I captained the 1st XI football team and the house team and I was vice-captain of the cricket team and somehow became a prefect. I can't find my School Certificate but I still have my full cricket colours cap; it has a large yellow button and on the front panel a yellow griffin. This I think reflects my priorities as a pupil, described by one member of staff mentioned above as a "harum-scarum". But there must have been some academic foundations laid as I graduated in from King's College in 1951 and qualified as a teacher; Mr Barnes, my former headmaster appointed me to the staff in 1955 and in 1960 I was awarded an M.Ed.

What do I remember of the war years? Ken Pringle has mentioned in his reminisces that a bomb destroyed the caretaker's house of Heaton High on Sept 16th 1940, with very sad consequences. There were two raids in 1941 that caused casualties in Byker, Heaton and Matthew Bank, but no bombs hit the school. On a lighter note I recollect, as Ken Grant does, that if the air raid sirens sounded after a certain time during the night that morning attendance was deferred for an hour or two. So the first thing pupils did was to check the time before taking cover!

I also remember George VI and Queen Elizabeth visiting the school in 1943.  We had a rehearsal in the quad which didn't go to FRB's satisfaction. He told us we would have to "pull our socks up" which some of us proceeded to do there and then..he was not amused.

I have to admit that my principal memories are of the cricket and football teams. Names I recall: Billy Mackay, George Westgarth, Peter Abel, Bob Mathewson, Jimmy Nelson, Eric Thompson, Jimmy Phillips, Billy Montgomery, Alan King, Eric Terey (?), Alan Cutter, Willie Watson, Ashley Bell, Alan Muir, Frank Selby and Jimmy Parsons. I apologise for not remembering the first names of Messrs Hughes, Burton, Smith, Senior, Foster and Hall and to anyone I have missed out. Bob Mathewson went on to play for Bolton Wanderers, qualified as a referee and took charge of the 1977 Cup Final between Manchester United and Liverpool.

On the academic side I think that those boys who wanted to study Biology for their Higher School certificate attend the girl's school for those lessons!

I enjoyed my time as a pupil at Heaton. I remember with appreciation the staff who had to put up with me in the classroom and those who organised the extra curricular activities and despite the war years gave me and many others a very worthwhile education.

I returned to HGS as a teacher in 1952 where I taught Economics, General Studies, English and P.E. I also ran the intermediate football and cricketteams. I have many happy memories of the classroom and the playing fields; whether the boys I worked with shared my view is another matter!

The football side of 1956 was undefeated in league or cup matches, scoring a total of 142 goals and conceding only 12. They won the Journal Cup, the Northumberland and Durham Cup and the Senior Championship of the Newcastle Schools league. The squad comprised...Wright, Farness, Rowntree, Charlton, Middleton, Richardson, Tate, Bell J, Orrick (Capt.), Frederick, Bell D, Toward (?), Suddes and Shepherd. Frederick scored 57 goals and Toward 37.

One of the cricket sides won the Rogerson Trophy and if my memory serves me right the players were....Turnbull, Hodgson, Clarke, Brennan, Lilley, Hall, Hart, Young, Youll (Capt.), Saunders and Ryder. The latter three played with me when I captained the County Club XI.

Believe it or not I did teach in the classroom! I still have a wallet presented to me by the Economics group and the card they signed...Conway, Barlow, Reay, Leggott, Smithy, Burns. Gilchrist, Gould and Irving (?).

I remember many more of the pupils that I taught and I was very happy at HGS but the time came to move on and in 1962 I was appointed one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, later becoming Head of Hummersknott School, Darlington.

As for retirement years, I have chaired the board of Governors at three schools and two colleges. I am a season ticket holder at St. James' Park, watch Durham cricket fixtures and as a member of the M.C.C. visit Lords from time to time. I read spy and detective stories and the HGS fascinating site with thanks to David Cowans and Ian Dale.

The girl from Heaton High and I have now been married for 47 years and we have a son Trevor a daughter Avis and three grandchildren. Can't be bad - in fact it's great.

Philip GORDON (1960-1967)

It's a bit corny but they were great days.    I left in 67 and went to Sheffield medical school. Qualified eventually and moved to Pontefract in West Yorkshire working in Pontefract Infirmary. The main claim to fame of this hospital is a hermits cave under the hospital and a slightly older colleague called Fred (Harold) Shipman who was a registrar when I went there.

More recently parts of it have featured as "Denton General Hospital" in "Frost". Got a general practice in Featherstone (Famous in Rugby league) and stayed there ever since. Now I am the senile partner.

Married Margaret from Sheffield in 1971 and we have 2 girls. One is married and lives in Beverly (no grandkids yet) the other is finishing a business studies course at Newcastle University.   It was strange that when she went she stayed at Ethel Williams Hall at 4 lane ends, not far from where I was brung up.

I got involved with the chess team, but did not keep it up.   Howard Morton was the teacher who helped run it. Reading the memories brought things back.    Pug Walker, Ron Cherry, "Dan" Matthews who could terrorize even the sophisticated sixth formers. Tony Bell "discovered" that string smolders so he made time fuses for fireworks which would explode in the middle of lessons. I well remember Frank Laughton in assembly boldly stating that the only innocent class was ours because he had been teaching us when the explosion occurred.

The school fired an interest in science with a strong science department and this led me in to my satisfying career. I would love to attend any reunions if I could find out about them.

Kenneth G GRANT (1941-1946)

Twice evacuated with Cragside School during WWII in 1939 & 1940, I passed my 11 plus at Lowther which brought me home again to start at Heaton Secondary School for Boys as a 'fag' in Sept 1941. HSS had already been bombed twice in 1940 & the Luftwaffe raids continued into 1942 which allowed us as later start next morning (10am 'cloche') if the raids lasted beyond midnight before. Luckily gas wasn't used against us but we still had to carry those infernal gas masks at all times whilst the gym showers were converted into a Gas Cleansing Station. It was 'all blood, toil tears & SWEAT' in those days at HSS!
Elderly masters such as Mr Booth & Tich Bullen carried on teaching, the latter instilling his knowledge of Maths or Physics into pupils with some physical coercion, if all else failed! Parents were obliged to buy text books, uniform sports gear during the war and later the name was changed from HSS to HGS in 1944.
My first Form (1c) master was Sammy Friend whilst my last Form (5C) master was Les Plenderleath who steered us through the Durham University School Leaving Certificate Exam in July 1946. Thereafter, I left with a light heart (no more homework!) & my Certificate to start my Civil Service career centred on local Government Departments in Newcastle.
Other masters I recall included Jake Hanley, Adan Nicholson, Ron Whitehead, Frank Laughton, Tom Wake, Stan Wilkins, George Bell, Willie Waldron, Bertie Norris, Ken Quickfall, Messrs Fletcher, Howe, Brown, Rochester & Mathews with Mr F R Barnes (Headmaster) presiding & pontificating over us all, using the cane when corporal punishment was required to maintain discipline (sadly lacking today!).
In 1943, their Majesties King George VI & Queen Elizabeth visited Heaton Schools with boy & girl pupils lined up together (a rare event!) in the Girls Quad to render our version of 'The Keel Row'. With great relief to us all, WWII ended in August 1945 after nearly 6 years of toil, tears & sweat when each UK pupil was presented with an illuminated address from King George.
Conscription for men continued into peacetime (till 1963) when I saw National Service in the RAF at St Athan & Padgate during 1948-50. Having enjoyed Service life, I later joined the TAVR (Royal Engineers) at Debdon Gardens for 4 years as an NCO (&PMC).
Born on the 'new' High Heaton Estate near the Cremona Toffee & Sylvan Jam Factories (which emitted some delightful aromas) during a period of peace between the Wars when our local mode of transport was the Tram Car, life was more leisurely in those far-off halcyon days before the rise of Nazi Germany catapulted us into yet another War of Horror. Skyscraper Flats & motorways had not yet been introduced to tear our Heatonian Landscape asunder, all in the name of modern progress?? I have now retired to Co. Durham to reminisce of happier childhood days of the 1930's, away from the hurly-burly of city traffic & pollution of today!
I shall be delighted to hear from anyone who remembers me from those Heatonian or evacuation days at Morpeth & Lowther with Cragside - please reply to Roy Cull who accepts emails on

Martin GREGORY (1964-1971)

I now live in Richmond, Surrey, and am working as a Management Consultant for the Hay Group.
I got here via the Royal Navy, Lloyds Register of Shipping , The Industrial Society, an MBA at London Business School and 6 years working in Marketing in Satellite TV.
Outside work I am a keen sailor, mainly in the Solent - at one stage I was a partner in a small yacht chartering company.
I am now divorced but have a son called Sam.....who wants a Newcastle shirt for his birthday !

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