School Badge
I - L

Pete IRVIN(1935 - 1940)

I went to what was then called Heaton Secondary School for Boys in 1935 and left in 1940 after a very happy time there under F R Barnes and his staff. Those I can remember who taught me during that period were Messrs:

  • Friend, Simpson, Nicholson - French
  • Wilkins, Davidson- English
  • Clapperton, Brown, Norris, Fletcher - Maths
  • Dobson - History
  • Warren, Lumley - Physics
  • Plenderleath - Chemistry
  • Laughton - Art
  • Waldron - Woodwork
  • Quickfall - PE
  • Danskin - Music

(Editor's note - the thing I find amazing is that I started at HGS 18 years after Pete left, and I knew 7 of these teachers!)

I really enjoyed taking part in the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas produced by Mr Nicholson, having been in the chorus of "Ruddigore" and playing the part of Phyllis in "Iolanthe" (the first drag artist in our family). I was also in the cast of "Judgement Day", a play about a fascist dictator, produced by Mr Dobson, and remarkably predictive of what was to happen just a year later.

When WW 2 broke out in 1939 most of the boys were evacuated to Whitehaven, in Cumberland, where we shared the facilities with the Whitehaven County School. They attended in the mornings and we went in the afternoons. Our mornings were spent on subjects such as art, music and games at a local community centre. I felt we were very kindly treated by our foster parents and felt a little regret on returning to Heaton after just a few months since no severe bombing had occurred on Tyneside at that time. In the summer of 1940 we took our School Certificate Exam as a result of which I was qualified to enter Durham University, but not for some time as it turned out.

I was actually on holiday in the south of England when the war became imminent and was supposed to return to Newcastle with my uncle and aunt in their car. However. he rightly thought that it would be foolhardy to make that long journey in case immediate petrol rationing should be introduced. So I was dispatched by train and by the time I got home all the school had left for Whitehaven. After a few days rushing around making preparations for my move a kind father of one of the boys offered me a lift as he was planning to visit his son in Whitehaven. I am sorry to say I now have no idea who he was.

At Whitehaven I was billetted with Gordon Banks and Arthur Hopper (later sadly to die in Africa during the war) with the Boadle family. We three had a bedroom to ourselves at the top of a large house, and as we were in the same form at school we got on very well. The Boadle family had four children of their own so one can understand the generosity needed to add three 16 year old Geordies to their household. Fortunately Mrs Boadle had been a pastrycook in her younger days.

Another advantage of being Gordon's chum was the fact that his father knew a man in Whitehaven who had a billiard room which he kindly allowed us to use whenever we liked. As it happened this room was on the third floor of his house, the table was a half-size slate-bed, and we sometimes wondered how on earth they could have got it up there.

As Whitehaven County School played rugger rather than soccer there weren't any goal posts of the right shape for us to use. Mr Dobson spent hours trying to teach us rugger; unfortunately neither he nor the boys were particularly taken with the results.

Our schooling was really quite adequate despite all the unusual features. However it seemed that the headmaster and staff were a little concerned for those who would be taking important exams in the summer of 1940. No serious bombing had been experienced on Tyneside up to that time so our parents were asked if they agreed to their sons returning to Heaton. The end result was that most pupils returned to prepare for their exams. I think this was around Christmas 1939.

I became (with my friend Ron Tennyson) a fifth form prefect on our return from Whitehaven. I suppose this must have been a wartime idea as a photo of the prefect's panel of that year has only about five sixth formers in it.

Due to all the uncertainties caused by the war, and expecting that I would be called up within about eighteen months, my father suggested I try to join the BBC as a trainee engineer. He was in the BBC so I was fortunate to get an interview and eventually joined the Corporation in Newcastle. After a few months I was transferred to BBC Bristol where the studio centre had taken in a lot of the well-known programmes as a precaution from the bombing in London.

As I had fiddled about with home-made wirelesses for some years I was in my element. A BBC control room was like a magic cave so it was a great pleasure to be attached to a team building a bomb-proof one in the old Clifton Rocks Railway tunnel. This was a funicular railway used by the Victorians to go down from Clifton to the hot wells in Clifton Gorge. It had long ago fallen into disrepair so the BBC had refurbished the bottom end of the tunnel with a studio, recording room, power room and control room. As it had about a hundred feet of solid rock above it, it was inherently bombproof. On completion the control room took over from the old one at Broadcasting House in Bristol, but the studio and recording rooms were never used as BH escaped all the air raids on Bristol.

A less salutary episode for me was being a member of the BBC Home Guard. We were absolutely hopeless - much worse than "Dad's Army" - and we were honoured with a telling off from the local colonel for our awful foot-drill.

In November 1941, on having to register for service, I opted to join the RAF hopefully for pilot training. I was successful, but my call-up was deferred, due to my occupation, until May 1943. Eventually, after training in the Coastal Command scheme run by the US Navy I became a Catalina flying boat pilot. My time in the RAF was largely uneventful and after the war in Europe came to an end I transferred into the Fleet Air Arm to go to the Pacific area. Within months that part of WW2 came to an end and I was soon demobbed.

As it was the Spring of 1946, I had spent three years in the services. it would appear without any particular advantage; however I had learnt a lot about human nature, I had learnt to fly, I had gained confidence and, I found later, that I knew much that would be useful in my industrial career.

Belatedly I applied to enter King's College, Newcastle, at that time a college of Durham University, to follow the Applied Science (Electrical Engineering) degree course. I had imagined that I would be an oldie alongside a class of school leavers, so it was a surprise to find that most students at that time were ex-service and only about four in the class of thirtyish were fresh from school. One of these, Les Ford, became a lifelong friend who sadly died some years ago. Another to become a family friend was George Murray, an ex-Royal Engineer officer, son of the Durham pits, and a lovely man who is also no longer with us.

The three of us, after graduation in 1949, set out on a hilarious hitch-hiking tour of France, very little of the details of which has ever appeared in our family archives.

By modern standards our time at King's would seem pretty lame. Of course we had the Saturday night hops aided by bottles of Newcastle brown, mixed lads and lasses fell-walking trips to the Lakes, weekend hikes along the Roman wall - staying at Twice Brewed Youth Hostel and so on. However most of us wanted to get on with our delayed careers, some of us were married, so the atmosphere was perhaps a bit subdued. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and felt I had been privileged to experience it all.

Just prior to our degree finals many of us were invited to go for interviews with potential employers. I chose three in the London area and eventually, in September 1949, entered the GEC Research Labs at North Wembley. My future boss turned out to be an ex-RAF squadron leader who had been developing acoustic homing torpedoes during WW2. This work had transferred to GEC and with my background in Catalinas there was an immediate empathy between us.

The development work in this anti-submarine group took the form of a period of development and construction of prototype homing equipment followed by trials in Scottish Lakes such as Loch Long and Loch Fyne. Some of these trials employed, as targets, RN submarines the manoeuvres of which made one's hair stand on end and I was always astonished to see how young their captains were at that time.

Also, of supreme importance to me was that at this time I met my future wife, Eileen. We married in 1951 and are still pressing on together, although perhaps a little more slowly these days.

Around 1952 a notice appeared on the main Lab's notice board that an associated laboratory, the GEC Applied Electronics Laboratory, would be needing staff for a new rocket trials establishment at Salisbury, South Australia. After about one year's training and familiarisation, the first team would go out there. Eileen and I discussed this chance to see a part of the world which had always been of interest to us, so I applied and was accepted.

So, in 1954 we arrived in Australia, and for three years we lived in Adelaide, I worked for the GEC at Salisbury Weapons Reasearch Establishment, and I flew to Woomera for flight trials, when required, Our weapon was actually a Naval anti-aircraft missile which had undergone some trials over the sea at Aberporth in Wales, however we had the advantage of being able to recover, from the desert, parts of the rocket for analysis and design feedback. On return to the UK at the end of my contract I continued my career at GEC Applied Electronics Labs.,Stanmore.

After a few more very interesting years, and needing a change from military electronics, I moved to the UK subsidiary of a USA company - Microwave Associates Ltd - and was soon engaged in design and manufacture of parts for - - - - - military electronics. We were specialised in components and sub-systems for radar and guided weapons with a very high graduate population. As a reward for undetected crime I was appointed a director and I eventually retired to Devon in 1987

There we lived very happily at Exmouth, joining the Probus Club, Bowling Club and Retired Charterd Engineers' Club but also spending many holidays all over the world. By now our immediate family comprised two Australian-born daughters,a Brirish-born daughter and a British-born son. The daughters and their families were all living happily in Australia and wanted my wife and me to join them. This we did in 2006 and now live in Normanville, a country town about 50 miles south of Adelaide.

Armstrong, Collingwood, Stevenson, Grey,
Worthiest sons of the banks of the Tyne,
We now at Heaton are striving today.
Proudly to add to the end of the line.

(First verse of School song in my time)

Jim JACK (1958 - 1965)

1A, 2,3,4,5 G ; LVIM UVIM. Have just come across the excellent website; rolls back the years!! I was at Heaton from 1958 until 1965 and have to say enjoyed my time at the school. Many memories, most of them not class room related but the introduction to music and singing (still playing guitar, accordion in a folk band which has been going for 46 years years); the chance to play cricket occasionally although not very good, badminton against Derek Talbot and Eliot Stuart (losing games to both without scoring a single point); an enthusiasm for but relative incompetence in sport (one standard point in athletics in 5 years), finally finding a niche with hockey which took me through university, and then as a teacher running teams and roles in hockey clubs throughout my working life _ huge thanks to Joe Messer and Denis Fox for this. Ken Quickfall could never believe that someone who had spent his entire PE career at school in the ‘scraps’ could finish up as a hockey coach and club captain!!
The education, including a love of History from Ron Cherry and Weston Walker, an introduction to economics from Malcolm Frost which took me to Newcastle University – and enjoyment of school led me into teaching as a career. I walked into an interview room for my first job -  in Darlington to introduce Commerce and Economics to a new comprehensive school – and found myself face to face with the headteacher – one  Lewis Gordon!  Got the job, thinking I’d stay for a couple of years but was greatly supported by LFG and stayed until 1983 when he retired. He ran a great school, with high standards of teaching but- no surprise , a great supporter of school sport – including the introduction of hockey for boys.

I married a hockey player, Jan, and we moved to Kendal, having three different posts in Cumbria before coming back across the Pennines to work at Richmond School from whence I retired in 2002 to do part-time work for North Yorkshire LA, school leadership training and an educational consultancy group based in Newcastle. As part of that work, it was a strange experience to go back into the new Heaton School!!
Still busy, still singing, still have links with hockey. One son (in London – an economic migrant working for Civil Service in IT, a daughter in London with a Music degree and working for the British Legion) and a married daughter teaching PE in Richmond.
Still an avid Newcastle Utd follower and a member of Durham CCC; occasional contact with Deryck Holdsworth ( a professor of Geography in the States – Paul Hughes, Howard Stanfield and others may remember going to his house to play cricket on the Medicals Sports Ground where his dad was groundsman) and wondering about where everyone from the years gone by have got to. Is Denis MacAllister who writes to the D & S Times from Bedale the same one who was at Heaton in 1958? Did Rob Ashwell ever recover from being given the first detention in 1A for making a joke in Fanny Laughton’s lesson? (I rather suspect he did) Did Julian Laite make great strides in economics and in acting – a huge talent for both? Did Stu Calder carry on swimming? I was sad to read of Geoff Dancer’s early death. Where is Jackie Fairbairn, a superlative linguist who did languages at Bradford and I believe moved from chess to play a Japanese game ‘Go’, I think married a Japanese girl ,moved to Japan and played Go professionally.  The successful chess team, led by Geoff Swinburne, with Jackie Fairbairn, Alan Beaton, Colin Davison, Kuldip Bedi.. where did life take them?
I have the same memories of staff as other contributors, without having the appreciation at the time of some of the impact service in one of two world wars must have had on their lives. Sorry I haven’t many rebellious memories of life at school – I suppose it wasn’t ‘me’ at the time. Really chuffed to hear of everyone else’s lives and where life has taken them.
Didn’t mean to write this long .. and there’s a lot more which could be said. Must indicate that Heaton got into the blood.. and has never really left! Very good wishes to all

Edmund JAQUES(1960 - 1967)

Class mates remembered: Doug Veitch (art) Waugh - Dawes red feather. Williamson (hairy shetlander) Carr (middle name Occletree - can't think why I recall that).  Ralph Measham ("gan poppin"). Barry Gattoff. Richard Yates Graham. Alec Pearson. John Pearson. Dave (?) McKay.  Dancer.  Bell (aka Leb for some reason) Brown. Keddie (too clever for me) Johnson & McBeath - on a scooter, joined at the hip? Chris Ord.

I eventually got 10 O levels and four A levels and rather accidentally went to Dental School in Newcastle (along with Barry Gattoff as above.)  I very nearly applied to art school (as Doug Veitch and Rob Walker ) but chickened out in the end. After qualifying I lectured for a bit, practiced in Hebburn for a bit then opened dental practices in Northamptonshire, Cambridge and  Northern Ireland.  I'm long retired.

I have been married for 40+ years (to an Irish girl, Fenham educated) and we have 3 daughters. One a Cambridge graduate in biological science, the other two Imperial College London - both in medicine.

We live in London but also have a house in Suffolk. We are probably about to emigrate to France in the next six months or so, we spend a lot of time over there now.

In retrospect I have an immense gratitude to HGS and many of the staff especially H. Askew esq.  He had a son and a daughter, I wonder what they are doing now.
And to Guy Massie Taylor I owe my considerable thanks for him opening my eyes to art. I still paint and have exhibited quite often - Westminster Gallery, Pall Mall Gallery, Grantchester open etc.  And. last year a 12 piece in the London Oratory.  All because I hated games and took up art to avoid the torture.

I remember: Always getting caught (and "the whacks”) for smoking.   Pasties in the Dene cafe.(In my first year at University I lived in Deep Dene House);  Playing bowls with the old guys at Paddy Freemans; The cheap but somewhat off cream cakes up at the shops;.  The little sweet kiosk at the end of Armstrong Bridge; the science block when the end wall fell off.  The school shop under the arches.  Aztec room (disco) in the Corner House;  "swimming" in Chillingham Road baths with the cockroaches.  And loads more no doubt will come back after I've posted this.

Please feel free to contact me.

Kind regards to all, we were very lucky in retrospect.

Edmund (or in Pug Walker's lexicon)   Jeeeayks - " ye've got nee cultcha".

Colin JERVIS (1965 - 1972)

I was delighted to find this site through a link at a friend's web site.  It took me on a nostalgia trip lasting several hours, fed by the site content.

I have fond memories of my time at Heaton Grammar School, as it was when I arrived in 1965. I left in 1972 and well remember the walk that took me out of the gate onto Jesmond Park West for the last time. I still have some old form photographs from 1G to 5G and some of the sixth form as well. I think I also have a few of the school magazines somewhere.

I went to UMIST, Manchester on leaving HGS for my first degree and I also have two Masters degrees, the last done about 10 years ago when I changed careers into IT, a move I have never regretted. I work in consultancy and live in London with my wife Sue.

I went to University with one of the Robson twins (David), someone called Ballantyne (Michael?) and John Cockton. I have since lost touch with them. I am still in touch with Michael Taylor and Tony Hannington, who have been my friends now since I first met them at the school at age 11. I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who remembers me, especially any classmates from 1G to 5G 1965-1970. You can see us looking expectant in the photo of 1G 1965, which Neil Atkinson has posted.

I was active in the Chess, Debating and Archery Societies in my time. I sang in the choir as part of a performance of "Solomon" ("Your hearts and cymbals sound!") My strongest memories are of those old, dark, draughty corridors with the black cloaks of the Masters flowing behind them, like hunting bats. I also remember those tedious Speech Days at the City Hall with Ralph Stenner playing the organ. Askew was the Head in those days, and was, I understand, considered very liberal by some of the Masters who had taught under the previous Head, who had a reputation as a martinet.

I tended more to the intellectual side and never really associated with the footballing and cricketing fraternity. In fact, I assumed that I was useless at sport (always amongst the last to be picked in choosing sides.)   It wasn't until I went to University that I found out that I wasn't that bad and became a good squash player and a reasonable triathlete.

Here are some recollections:

I remember best "Pug" Walker ("Did you borrow those suede boots from Khruschev, Jervis"), D.H. ("Daft Harry") Walker, Ron Cherry, Joe Messer, Tunnicliffe, Tony Cressey, Ron Dixon, Massie-Taylor, Howard "Tufty" Taylor, "Fred" Barker and someone called Mrs. Hobson, an import from the merger with the Heaton High, who taught French.

In the days when we used to have to stand when a Master entered the class, I remember Ron Cherry, "conducting" the class, to have parts rising as the others sat down. He was the best teacher of History that we had, apart from someone called Gray(?) in the first year. For the rest of the time we had Pug Walker, who often spent lessons manicuring his nails. On the positive side, Pug did have a sense of humour and, I think, a good heart.

Tony Cressey kept alive my lifelong interest in Science and Chemistry in particular. I have also had cause to thank the excellent Maths teaching that I received from Hal Gibson and Tunnicliffe, which I have fallen back on a few times. If any of you are reading this, thank you!

I came across Joe Messer's daughter, Maggie, in a pub a few years ago by complete accident, as I had never met her before. I understood that Joe had passed away: what a shame, he was a real character!

Falling through the ice on Paddy Freeman's lake with Charlie Young and being sent home to change by "Lurch" (Pierce) with strict instructions to be back in time for his French period that afternoon. He made us read "O WA TA NA SIAM" from the chalk board: make sure that you say it with hard, northern "As"!

Killing wasps, which infested the litter bins, using my school hymn book (I still have it!) and keeping score with "five bar gates" on the inside of the covers.

Cutting my finger with a saw in Woody Waldron's class (still bear the scar!)

The huge, threatening bulk of Massie-Taylor, surely the most unlikely art teacher you could imagine.

Ken Quickfall's cross-country running sessions, when we would run off briskly down Jesmond Park West, stopping when out of sight. We then made a leisurely return, after an ice cream in Jesmond Dene, just in time to get in behind the front runners. "This run is becoming too easy for you boys now," said Ken, "we'll have to make it longer!" Oh, yes, please!

Skiving off games on Wednesday to go to Alan Fairbairn's house, which was nearby, with other class mates and listen to Rock Music: Pink Floyd, Yes, Van der Graf Generator, Wishbone Ash amongst others. I became a life long "Yes" fan as a consequence of this and have followed the band through its various incarnations. I recently waited in a queue to meet them at HMV on Oxford Street and there was quite a lump in my throat as I stepped up to let them sign my book, and at my age!

I remember a school trip to Konigssee and going up to Hitler's Eagles Nest on the lift. There was a young female teacher on the trip, I think she taught German, who offered to tuck me into my bunk when she came back to the hotel one evening a bit the worse for drink. I was too embarrassed (and young) to take up the offer!

Cant, as Falstaff, running off the stage and out of the Hall door. The electifying performance of Jean Anouilh's "Ring Around the Moon" (was it Ann Stark?)

I understand that I missed a major school reunion, but if anyone is planning another, let me know. I usually visit the NE at Christmas time.

John KEDDIE  (1960 - 1967)

I attended Heaton Grammar School from 1960-1967 and was in the amalgamated Heaton School for my final term. Like the famous Mike Chaplin, I must be one of the relatively few people who originally came from Sandyford Road Primary. I returned to Heaton School as a maths teacher in 1972, survived the merger with Manor Park in 1983 and soon after became Head of the Maths Faculty.  I later became the timetabler, a very challenging job in a large split-site school. In recent years I tired of the management responsibilities and the ever-increasing pace of change so I left my post and concentrated on actual teaching part-time at Post-16 level.

People say it must have been funny returning to teach in your old school but, in fact, it was never the same school I was taught in, apart from some of the bricks and mortar. The staff, ethos, management structure and atmosphere were all different and have continued to evolve during my teaching career. Even some of those bricks and that mortar have changed or have at least started to crumble. The old quadrangles and the cherry trees are much the same but not a lot else is!   People naturally want to know whether it is better or worse. I would say that you cannot answer that question: it is just different.

I have seen them come and seen them go - Headteachers, Deputy Heads, Heads of Departments, Heads of Years and many other colleagues as well as all sorts of pupils, from genius to hard criminal (and possibly some in both categories!)

Funny memories from my school days:-

  • Howard Taylor trapping his elbow behind one of the vertical radiator pipes in the classroom
  • Frank Laughton staring at the ceiling trying to work out what we were staring at
  • Being terrified of Bill Tunnicliffe, especially after I had flicked ink over one of his theorem books
  • Listening to Arthur Prust eulogise about the gardens at Versailles in between discussing the subjunctive
  • Hiding behind the goal posts in footy games lessons and being long-long-long-stop in cricket
  • Joe Walton talking endlessly about inventing radar in the War
  • Dennis Fox telling us that 'der Fuchs' was strong masculine
  • Being exposed to the ear-splitting whistles of Tommy Rochester announcing, in assembly, that we were going to SSSing hymn SSSixSS hundredand SSSixSSty SSSixSS
  • Also in assembly, being told not to play about on Mr Waldron's erection
  • My best friend in the seat behind carving battleships and aeroplanes in his desk top - he is now a teacher!

Charlie LAMB (1963-1968)

September 63 crossed the Hallowed Portals for the first time and along with most other initiates burned the cap and thought I must get some long trousers. In the ensuing 5 years tried manfully to make sense of it all without too much success excepting that I was the right size for a punch bag as the hooker in the rugby team. In the round ball variety of the game I was exiled to the outer depths of the mudbath affectionately known as the "HIMALAYAS" where very quickly many a lads dream of Newcastle United and Wembley vanished without trace as the cloying waste encapsulated around ankles which would have made sparrows ashamed.
And so it went, 5 years later left after making a few educational plus marks but nothing extraordinary save some good memories and friends. On departure I went to London for a few years Bright Lights Big City scenario as they say but could not stomach the fact that at the time the only place that served the BROON was London Bridge Station's bar and that was only in half-pint bottles and well above room temperature, definitely not recommended.
Came back as an employee of the British Gas colossus where I later met Paul Hughes of Stocksfield, ending up as an Engineer in Industrial and Commercial Sales prior to the destruction of the company and the need to find something new. And that something is in the "New Media" department of the good old Chronicle and the internet.
I married Catherine in 74 (a really bad year all round if you can remember the cup final) and I am now the proud owner of years of accumulated debt on behalf of my daughters Claire and Helen. As it happened one of my last tasks with B. Gas was to install some new pipework at H.G.S. for the heating boilers in the Gym; whilst on site I happened to meet John Cressey whom I might add just has not changed and Mr. (Physics) Westwood who still looked remarkably tall. The building has deteriorated a bit due to some wrangle between H.G.S and the Local Authority but the main hall still looks impressive, the Quadrangle lawns are in great shape, the Himalayas are still mud but the rest is good and the apple trees are still there at the bottom of the front cricket field. More shocks - here we are, all fresh and enthusiastic in 1963!

Len LAMBERT (1933-1938)

Len does not have email so his son, Nick, will pass on any emails for him. Nick reports that his father is now (1999) 77 years old, and shows no signs of slowing down!

When Len Lambert joined form 1A in Sept.1933, the sixth form was taking in the first pupils from the original intake of 1928. The school was virtually brand-new, and quite innovative at the time. Lots of fresh air was the order of the day, with the corridors open to the elements, and the classrooms with their folding screens permitting work in the open-air on suitable days. Although run by the local authority, admission was by a 'scholarship', with fees payable by the parents, who also had to provide all books and equipment. The redoubtable F.R.Barnes was headmaster, and Len can recall vividly many members of the staff. Maths master Mr Bullen ("Titch") was reputed to be an ex-boxer, and although small in stature would occasionally give a good clip across a poor pupil's ear to get a point home. It worked! French master Mr Friend ("Sammy") on the other hand had a softer approach. The senior maths master, Mr Fletcher, was held in some awe, but several years later taught Len the rudiments of air navigation. Mr Rowell was an air force pilot who had served in the RFC in WWI. Some fifty years later Len was surprised to see his old uniform at a local exhibition. Art master was Mr Laughton, and woodwork was taught by Mr Waldron ("measure twice, cut once", never to be forgotten). Physics was taught by Mr Clapperton, to some effect, as Len achieved a distinction in that subject. Music master was Mr Danskin (shared with Rutherford College), and a Gilbert and Sullivan opera was a major feature of extra-mural activities each year. The gym master was a Mr Ongley (reputed to be of Swedish origin - "That daring young man on the flying trapeze") His replacement in 1937 was Mr Quickfall, who lived up to his name by falling down the stairs in school and breaking his leg in his first term.
There were two good football pitches for first and second teams, also a cricket square which was treated like hallowed ground. Those not selected for first or second football teams had to play as "scraps" on an unleveled pitch known as "the himalayas". Heaton Secondary School for Girls adjoined the Boys' School, but was very much a 'no-go' area in those days. Very few of the staff had motor cars, and some cycled to the school, as did very many of the pupils. A familiar sight outside the school gates was "Arkie" with his ice-cream barrow. Most of the pupils went home for their mid-day meal, although the school had a dining hall, which was a very progressive feature at the time.
At the end of five years Len sat the University of Durham School Certificate 'A' examinations with creditable success, and like most 16-year-olds at that time left school. He took up employment in an accountant's office at the princely salary of 20 per ANNUM, and studied at evening classes with a view to taking an external degree with London University. However, WWII put paid to that, and he joined the RAFVR, eventually to fly as a navigator with Bomber Command. After the war he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
The Lambert family has quite a strong connection with the school at Heaton. Len's two younger brothers Walter and Howard) were also pupils in the thirties. Walter left in 1939, going into the brick-making side of the coal industry before also joining the RAF. Howard followed a couple of years later, and was evacuated to Whitehaven, which was just as well, as the school at Heaton was hit by German bombs. Len's son Nick became a pupil in the sixties, and his daughter Katherine was one of Dr Henstock's last 'selected' pupils in the adjoining Girls School. Howard's eldest son Brian continued the connection a few years later. Walter's granddaughter Rachel and grandson Matthew became the third generation representatives of the Lambert family in the nineties.

Nick LAMBERT (1963-1970)

1G,2G,3G.4G,5G,L6,U6...The memories come flooding back - were the staff all weirdos or was it just the way it seemed to us then? Some of them were still living out their WW2/forces fantasies in the mid-60's - Squadron Leader HG ("Joe") Messer - always disappearing in the middle of maths lessons for a sly fag! (The smoke from the staff room at breaks!) Guy Massie-Taylor, the art master - fresh from the colonial service in Sierra Leone - if in doubt, draw a rhino! If very much in doubt, hurl the boy at the nearest wall. If still in doubt, assault the fellow staff members attempting to extricate the boy from the wall. And the others (Tufty Taylor, Pug Walker, Titch Fullerton (the only teacher so short he had turn-ups on his underpants, they said) Ron Cherry already mentioned...) who else remembers Dickie Dawson and his big black Daimler? "Timber Willy" (Mr Waldron, the woodwork teacher) - "now, there's clean dirt...and there's dirty dirt.." Afraid I can't help to identify the detested metalwork teacher but I do remember falling foul of him when (in the upper sixth) I used the staff toilet outside the craft room!
But do they all pale in comparison with Doc H's loyal ladies? Talk about institutionalism - it was well nigh impossible to imagine that any of the High School staff had any life outside the school. And I don't remember any joint parties....what a culture shock it must have been to have the flood doors opened when the two schools combined and be thrust from their cocooned world into the cold new 1960's! Could FEAN have existed in a comprehensive school? And Miss Raby? Miss Harbottle? For a while I was taught French by Betty Crowther, who also taught my sister at a time when boys and girls were still in separate classes. My sister's class sat in rigid obedience whilst we ran amok! We must have made her life utterly miserable....but many of the teachers did their best to make our lives miserable. I was dreadful at PE and games; and just to help me, the teachers almost without exception mocked and made a laughing stock out of me. Others who were less than gifted academically, or at art, suffered equally at the hands of other teachers.
I enjoyed the debating society, being a librarian and taking part in some school plays including dancing a tango in "Ring Round the Moon". I managed to take one step too many at the dress rehearsal and Julia Stephenson, fell off the stage and into the piano!
So, after leaving. I somehow managed to leave Nottingham University with a degree in Law (and met my wife, Alison) and quickly changed to chartered accountancy. I never planned to spend my whole career in Newcastle but that's what I've done. I enjoyed auditing because of the huge variety of clients - mine ranged from Dexy's Midnight Runners to Mill Garages to landed gentry to working men's clubs. In the late 80's I moved into corporate finance and "did deals" - Karl Watkin and the Crabtree buyout, the Metro Radio flotation etc but in 1990 I returned from holiday to find the regional managing partner waiting in my office to terminate my partnership - recession had struck and in that one year one in five of all the firm's partners were removed. I spent a few years as an itinerate finance director/company rescue specialist but I am now very happily settled at Orchard, a Newcastle based software house where I am Finance Director by name but am able to get involved in many aspects of the business. You can have enough of accountancy!
My interests haven't really changed since I was at school - rock music (I am still an avid record collector), photography, "art cinema", travelling...we have three sons aged 17, 15 and 10 (at Gosforth High/Central Middle). My oldest son is doing his "A" levels and hopes to go to Nottingham University to study architecture - sort of full circle, really.
We live at Brunton Mews (on part of a converted farm), just north of Gosforth, slap bang in the middle of the bit of the green belt that is regularly in the news - will it/won't it be developed? Having spent almost all my working life in central Newcastle, I'm surprised how few familiar faces I see from the old HGS days. I'd love to hear from anyone who still remembers me. I'm in touch with Graeme Jukes, Nigel Cole and Brian Marley.  

Geoffrey William LEECH (1949-1954)

Well done for creating a facility for those nostalgics among us(and I suspect there will be many) who have wondered many times "whatever became of---?".
I remember so many things,mostly good,and mostly people.
Masters like; "Basher" Bell(Maths),"Beefy" Bambrough(Physics),Joe English(would you believe English !),"Woody" Waldron (guess what!) "Satan" or the "Bat" Simpson(French)."Hank" Peel(Chemistry) and Ken Quickfall(P.E.)-I still cannot believe that was his real name!
I was fortunate to be in the "A" forms,with the exception of 4th year when I was de-moted to the "B" form (some form of punishment I suspect instigated by the "Bat"!) I remember most of the guys in 5A(my final year). D.A.Williams, D.I.Williams, Eric Smith, "Malla" Potts (now to be called "Nick") Geoff Ironsides (Carver Doone !) Ian Stewart, Keith Burton, Neil Lander, Brian Curtis, Brian Storey (always immaculately dressed with a gorgeous "quiff") "Little"Tom Hall,Terry Tallentire, Peter Gill, Pete Coulson, Brian Reed(killed on a motorbike very young I heard) Peter Baker, "Professor" Geoffrey Denton,and Bill Speed and Geoff.Money.
I believe that most of the boys stayed on into 6th Form,and then to University (mainly Kings) and much as I would have wished to do the same there were other priorities and I left to join Midland Bank (I became a banker!) to get money to assist with the family budget.
Two years in the Royal Air Force followed at stations various in the U.K.and it was during this service that I met my future (and still) wife Pat.
After demob.,and as Bank rules did not allow marriage before age 26, and as I couldn't wait! I resigned from The Midland and got involved in the brewing and Public Houses business,first with Scottish Brewers at Claremont Terrace(next to the Town Moor) then with J.W.Cameron and Co. of British West Hartlepool for 24 years,and finally with Vaux of Sunderland until I retired in 1998.
For those who consider status important I was a "Senior Executive" responsible for,at one time some 440 public houses and hotels.
I have produced (assisted by Pat!) a family of three boys and one girl - the eldest, Richard, is a Surveyor, Michael is a Police Officer, Dawn works with computers, and Jonathan is manager with a large motor dealer in Perth, Western  Australia.
My caravan has finally come to rest in Stockton-on-Tees and it has rested here for 23 years.
Things I remember-

  • Sid Blanchard "butting" the Egg (Dr.Barnes) while being interrogated in the Head's office and doing a runner across the playing fields.
  • I was a fair cricketer and was instrumental in dismissing in a House match (Collingwood vs. Stephenson) the famous Pongo Long by taking a superhuman catch at mid-on.
  • Being given school rules to write out as a punishment by a prefect for hopping onto my bike before getting outside the school gates
  • Alan "Moke" Lillington who might have performed better at the Olympics if he had left "the weed" alone.
  • Being banned from French lessons by "Le Bat" for not answering his question "Do you take me for a fool,boy?" - however this acted as an incentive as I worked very hard on my own in an empty classroom and I succeeded in passing French "O" level.
  • Feeling embarassed playing cricket for the school wearing grey flannels and tennis shoes,when the other guys had whites and boots.

In conclusion it's true what they say-you don't miss it 'til you ain't got it and I am still proud today to say that I was lucky to be at the best Grammar School in town!

Terrence LILLEY(1951-1956)

I was one of the boys who entered HGS in September 1951. As I recollect there were three boys from my primary school (Raby Street, Byker) who went to Heaton that year (one was George Lowden and the other boy's name I can't remember). There was also one girl (Mavis Carr) who went from Raby Street to HHS. Not too surprisingly in retrospect, given the way things were then, not too many pupils from the Byker end of Newcastle went on to grammar school but those of us who made it were, by and large, happy with our good fortune. (Others I recollect from the Byker end included Colin Smith [who, after Procter and Gamble, became a chemistry teacher, I think], Les Jones [who left school asap], Raymond Fox [who went into surveying and lived in the Battlefield end of Byker] and Syd Ramsey [who again left school early].

The first two years were enjoyable partly because I enjoyed singing and so was involved in oratorios and G. and S. (this interest continued throughout my time at Heaton and beyond). (There are some photographs of G. & S. productions somewhere in my files: I will find time to send them on.) It was really from the third year on that school things started to excite me and most of the credit for this came from the fact that the "A" form was taught English and R.E. by Chris Tansley. I have seen something written by former classmate Jim Walker, who said that Chris taught him to be a human being and that's right but in the three years he taught me (he was also form master of 4A and 5A) he also taught me to "think around corners", what is these days called "lateral thinking". There have not been many weeks in my life when I haven't been influenced by those Tansley lessons.

It was also in 3A that I found one of the loves of my life - cricket. I did get pleasure from soccer (on the edge, but never quite making it, of the school team as goalkeeper) and there were some pretty good players around including Brian McCartney, Alan Jobe, Jimmy McClelland, Ron Kimber, Mickey Turnbull, George Ryder and especially Lance Robson. [Lance was a bit of a star, who signed up for Newcastle United a bit later but made the decision that there were more opportunities in professional dentistry than professional football and became involved with Darlington F.C. and had a practise there in later years. I heard from someone that I met in a professional capacity that Lance died several years ago as a result of an accident and this was confirmed by Alan Jobe (who also became a dentist along with others in 5A - Eddie Lowery and Alan Meldrum). I did discover that Lance's son (also called Lance) took over the practise and continues to work in the Darlington area.]

Cricket has continued to be a passion. I was never much good at it although it did consume much of my summer term school days and come Easter, each year the thrill of the cricket season starting still gets to me and an annual delight is attending the Scarborough Cricket Festival in late August. There really is nothing better that watching good cricket (I am a Yorkshire CCC member after all these days), drinking beer and eating seafood - all of which can be done at the Scarborough ground.

There were several teachers who encouraged us at cricket including, of course, Ken Quickfall (although he really was a soccer man) but also Howard Taylor, who at various times taught us geography (and was a nicer man than he pretended to be) and Lewis Gordon. I was particularly indebted to Lewis since he obviously noticed that, poor boy as I was, cricket boots were financially out of reach and he arranged for me to do some gardening tasks for him and his wife and consequently, after a few weeks the boots appeared. There were some really good times not only at school but also at County Club in Jesmond.

The staff photos on this site bring back all sorts of memories not only about incidents but also about the men who taught us. I knew at the time (but perhaps would not have admitted it) that these were people of real quality who had decided at some point, that they would devote themselves to the education of boys. It has become increasingly clear in retrospect that almost all of them felt that teaching the young was, for them, a true vocation. To a man, they spent hours days and weeks, outside of school time supervising sporting activities, playing in orchestras, singing in oratorios, and so on and so on. Not only those, but often their wives were also part of some school ventures. I guess these days it is called "involvement" and it is something of which there is little evidence in some of the poorer schools, these days.

I did not appreciate what Mr Barnes ("The Boss") did at school apart from lead assembly and tell us that "because the weather is inclement, the school fields should not be used" and weep at Memorial Day, but it's pretty clear that his gift was choosing good staff and encouraging them to participate; obviously a good leader. As boys, most of us, I suppose, took most of these things for granted but my we really were privileged. So, all in all, great times at HGS.

I left school (reluctantly but was the eldest of four children of fairly poor parents) in 1956, after "O" levels and worked in a quality control lab. for what was Thomas Hedley (later Procter and Gamble). I did part-time education, got lucky and was awarded a scholarship by P&G to go to King's to read chemistry. This worked out fine, so did a PhD, then a couple of years as a Research Fellow at Newcastle before getting a lectureship at the University of Sheffield. After a while I became Professor of Biophysical Chemistry and some time later, Director of Research and Consultancy for the University. There was much travelling around the world and all sorts of academic type jobs, sabbaticals and duties but it was all great. Research consumed me for about 25-30 years and in this time I supervised lots of PhD students and had various national and international collaborations. I took early retirement a few years ago (and am now Emeritus) and have done various consultancies since then. The time is coming when these will cease, at least if my wife and children continue to press.

On personal matters, I married Mavis (Walker girl - still great - who spent her professional career as a social worker) more than forty years ago. We had four children, two boys then two girls. Our eldest, Christopher (named incidentally after Chris Tansley, although he never knew it) was lost in a climbing accident at Chamonix, some years ago. The others, Tim, Penny and Becky continue to thrive at different parts of the UK, and have produced between them four granddaughters for us - everyone a delight.

That's about it really. I suppose like most folk, the people who taught me at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, and the young people who were friends and classmates shaped my life. There were obviously later influences but the foundations at primary school and particularly at HGS, were critical and for me, solid. I thank God for my good fortune.

Gerald LOCK (1946-1951) (see note below about communication)

Like most boys, I recall those halcyon days at Heaton Grammar with fondness. Certainly there were challenges - not the least of which was to have to stand outside Bill Bloggs office first thing on a Monday morning - but my recollections are largely benign. Perhaps this was because I spent my years there in a D form (with the exception of 1C which I attribute to a miscalculation).

I lived in Walker Dene which meant a trolley bus and then a tram car along Heaton Road before running up Jesmond Park West to beat the "cloche". Lunch meant school dinners - oh that suet pudding! - before going off for a jaunt in Jesmond Dene or up in Paddy Freeman's. Class time merely separated the breaks during which we could get down to some serious football.

I confess that my richest memories come from sport. I remember the annual sports day when my cousin, Jimmy Thompson, would run away from the field in the quarter mile; or Gil Henderson or Brian Cox would show us why they were Northumberland champions in the 100 and 220 yard dashes. Then there was Allan Lillington who later became an Olympian.

Most of all I enjoyed football, especially playing for one or other of the school teams. In my day, the big news was Stoddart playing for the N's, the Newcastle United youth team. Both Davey McBeth and I had the honour of wearing those black and white striped shirts in the Newcastle Boys team.

Despite these predilections I did get a good education thanks to Mr Clapperton, Mr Rowell and, of course, Lefty Hutton our form master in 5D. Willy Waldron was correct - though less than prophetic - in predicting 80% of us would end up in industry. I did, but only after a chance conversation one day in the "bogs" when Pete Harold made me realize that life as a commercial artist would not be as exciting as going to sea as a marine engineer. Thus began an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner.

Looking at the current locations of Old Heatonians it appears that we have become a diaspora. I live in Canada where I worked for three decades as an academic at the University of Alberta (boring details if you Google "G.S.H.Lock"). But I left academic life fifteen years ago to become a full time artist (more boring details if you Google "Gerald St. Maur", my pseudonym). I think Pete Harold misled me.

Finally, let me say that while I have provided an email address as required, I have an old fashioned preference for correspondence by post. My address is 11711 - 83rd Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 0V2 CANADA.

Geoffrey LUCAS (1939-1944)

Presently residing in scenic beachside Scarborough, Maine, USA. Married Ann and immigrated in 1963. Have three daughters and three grandchildren. Haven't been home in a long time but watch the ever changing Newcastle skyline via the internet.

John LYNCH (1954-1961)

Well, bugger me. I input "Heaton Grammar School", and look what happened! I was there from 1954 to 1961 (I think that's right). B form all the way, then Sixth Modern. Married Anne, 3 children, lived in the Bahamas, Libya, Canada. Now back in England. I'm in touch (sort of) with Ken Redford, who was there 1953 to 1960. I'd love to hear from anyone else I knew.

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