School Badge
S - T

Malcolm SMALLWOOD (1955 - 1960) malcolm@smallwood88.fsnet.co.uk

Having recently renewed acquaintances with some old "school chums" and a "Master" from the past I have been persuaded to follow their examples and post something on the web site

Starting life in 1B in 1955 I remember that there were 4 lads in the class (Jimmy Nelson, Joycey, Ed Watson and George Common) who all wore long trousers, we smaller fags had to put up with chapped knees in the days when we used to have Winters.

I progressed through 2B & 3B without too many significant memories but it was the progress to 4B with hormones kicking in along with a relationship with "Tabs" that my world became more interesting. I was fortunate to have Lewis Gordon as a teacher (He was married to the sister of a mate of ours) However I was not to be so lucky with many other teachers.

Tufty Taylor: He of the fine voice and close friend of Fanny Thornton, The School Secretary not the Deputy Head. Teaching me about Africa and that land mass referred to as "THE HORN OF AFRICA", (Ethiopia if my memory is working), I sniggered more loudly than the rest of the class and was taken outside at the end of the lesson and asked "Smallwood, Do you have a coarse mind?" There was nothing suitable I could offer by way of a response.

Fanny Thornton-School Secretary: A person who would leave no stone unturned. I recall that my mother had forgotten to give us (myself & my younger brother) our dinner money one day, so my Ma rang the school to make certain that we did not go unnourished. Fanny Thornton said not a problem and then went back through the records to discover that we had not partaken of school dinners for the last 2 Years. This information was fed back to my Ma.

Well what had I spent me Dinner Money on? Tabs!

I used to walk to school with John "JOE" Brown and we would pool our Dinner Money of a shilling each (5p for younger viewers) and call in at "Drings" shop on the way and buy a packet of Batchelors Tabs and a book of matches for 2 Shillings, which was then the day’s supply. Thereafter I went home for lunch each day.

Jackie Duckenfield: So called French master-How memorising sections of french prose from the text book was designed to teach me French was beyond me. He once struck George Common, Known as "Comma", who retaliated and was sent to "The Bloggs" (Barnes) Exiting the room with the immortal Words " I’ll get me Fattha on ye".

Timber Willy: "There is A Bad Noocleus in this form, they know who they are" God knows how many unfinished First Aid cabinets must be in that woodwork room, It must be full by now.

Lewis Gordon: Taught me English, but suspected about the Tabs and would suggest such reading as "Tobacco Road" and also ask me to refrain from smoking my pencil! He was a good teacher with a sense of humour and improved my English Lang & Lit significantly but disaster was around the corner in the 5th Year.

Askew had arrived to take over from Barnes and decided to change the rules on moving from the 4th Form to the 5th which previously had automatically put you in the same stream. Alas, I along with 3 others, including my mate Dave Bennett ended up in 5C, joining Doug Moran, Ray Humphries and other stalwarts. There I was to forget all that Lewis had hammered into me as I then encountered Chris "Titty Lips" Tansley. His favourite phrase "Smallwood, you’re nothing but a lout in a good suit" summed up our relationship. My response of "At least I’ve got one" did nothing to improve things. His wardrobe consisted of one brown jacket, a cream shirt, two pairs of trousers, one grey and one brown, and the infamous red tie, giving substance to our belief that he was a card carrying member of the Communist Party.

I have Ron Cherry and Alan Spinks to thank for identifying my histrionic abilities and casting me in "St Joan" and leading ultimately to my starring role as Mob Leader in "Julius Caesar" which caused me to have my hair cut in Roman Style much to the annoyance of Tansley.

I had been accepted for Huddersfield College of Technology to study "Catering" and needed 4 "O" levels including English Language. I managed 4 but not English Language. Tansley had had his revenge. So went to Rutherford College at Maple Terrace for a year to achieve it, which I managed and on reflection it was probably better, as a further year on Tyneside gave a bit more maturity to handle moving away from home.

I went to Huddersfield for 3 years and became the proud owner of a "Diploma in Hotel Keeping & Catering". Deciding that some practical experience would be of use went to London and joined the kitchen brigade at the Dorchester in Park Lane. Remained there for 2 years ending up as 1st Commis Chef on the Fish section. Deciding some continental experience would look good on the C V went to Switzerland working in St Moritz, Basle, and Montreux for 2 years in 1966/67. The victory in the 1966 World Cup was sweet as most of the brigade in St Moritz were German. Despite failing "O" level French 3 times I became fluent in French and competent in German.

Returning to The Dorchester I became a Chef de Partie being responsible for the Larder Section where all the cold preparation was done. After 2 years there it was a question of "dead mens shoes" for career progression and thought it was about time to consider moving into Management.

I joined ICI at their London Head Office as an Assistant Catering Adviser, before moving to the ICI Fibres factory at Doncaster as Catering Manager for a year, then moved to Billingham as Site Catering Manger for 2 years, moving over the Tees to Wilton to open the Catering facility in the new Petrochemicals Division Head Offices. After 5 years I relocated to Scotland to be Regional Catering Manager for Scotland & Northern Ireland for 2 years on the Ayrshire coast at Ardeer. Returning to Teesside as Regional Catering Manager for the North East in 1982 for the next 10 years.

This took us up to 1992 when ICI had decided it was rationalising, downsizing and concentrating on core activities, phrases that will be well understood by HGS students who have become "Captains of Industry". This presented myself and 3 colleagues with the opportunity to perform a "Management Buy Out" of the in house catering function, except it did not cost us anything. We created a company called "Carlton Catering Partnership" which ended up providing the catering facilities for about 65% of ICI and the opportunity to expand the business in other blue chip companies. Sadly all good things must come to an end and the Granada Organisation acquired us in 1997 as part of their growth. Continued to work for them whilst managing the transition before retiring in 2000.

Married in 1972 (sadly now separated) with 4 children, who have all done well in their academic achievements. Now living in Stokesley, North Yorkshire and being the proud possessor of Season tickets to both Middlesbrough (geographical influences) and Newcastle (birthright) I manage to see a fair amount of football with such luminaries as Doug Moran, Dave Bennett, & John (Joe) Brown where we meet pre match in Butlers Bar.

Am now running a small business on a part time basis providing Chauffeur Car Services to Teesside Industry and am seen regularly at Airports and Railway Stations.

On balance my time at HGS was a happy one and recent getting together of mates who I had not seen for years have allowed much reminiscing of those times. I understand the hut in Paddy Freemans Park is still there !!!!!!

Trevor SMALLWOOD (1957 - 1962) trevor.smallwood@btinternet.com

I started at HGS in 1957 in 1D, the proceeded to 2B, 3B, 4B and finally 5B. I left to become an apprentice with the GPO as it was then. (There was 4 of us from 5B joined the GPO:- myself, Dave Arkle, Brian Rowe, and Dave Carpenter). I am still in touch with Dave Arkle as we both do rally marshalling, still in the NE of England. I have been with the GPO/BT for 33 years and took early retirement last year on attaining my half century. I am very interested in PC's etc and the net. I liked the reference to Ron Cherry who took me for history a long time ago, other names spring to mind like Timber Willy, Messer, Puggy Walker to name but a few. I attach an old photo of the infamous 5B in 1962.

Henry SMITH (1958 - 1965) henry_smith@sky.com

My first memory is being thrown into the air and hitting the sandpit with a sickening thud. Ever since I've preferred women's company - they're not going to harm me physically! That was the only bullying I ever experienced, but I kept quiet about being from Byker after seeing how a boy called Pongo was ribbed mercilessly about it.

I enjoyed sport and if I have problems going to sleep I recollect being in the outfield on the cricket pitch on a sunny day. Relaxing then and soporific now. I played hockey (20 goals in 11 games in my last season) and once scored direct from the bully-off. Afterwards the teacher in charge of the team asked me if it was true that I was doing A-level Divinity as the goal I had scored could only be due to divine intervention. I was under the impression for several years that the Victor Ludorum trophy had been presented by an old boy with that name. It wasn't till I started Latin with Mr Tansley that it dawned on me what it meant.

The masters were generally what used to be called 'good eggs'. I once stood outside an open classroom where a terrific amount of noise was being made, and ordered everyone to 'Stop chuntering' in the voice of a Mr Norbury. Immediate silence was followed by my awareness behind me of the presence of 'Pug' Walker. Instead of telling me off he merely told me he was looking forward to following my career as an impressionist. 'Bumbly' (why?) Pennington I remember as being one of the funnier i.e. most humorous teachers, 'Timber Willie' as being vaguely frightening, especially if you didn't put your name on your wood.

I regret not keeping in touch with anyone I knew, though someone told me that Barry Speker was a millionaire solicitor (well done, Barry!) My closest mates were Geoff Reid and Geoff Dancer and I was sad to hear of Geoff Dancer's recent demise. He started me off appreciating classical music. As for the Reverend Geoff, I would love to have a pint with you sometime so get in touch!

I've been a librarian in Liverpool for 40 years and retire soon. Married 30 years but now separated, with two kids and a new girl-friend, who has promised not to throw me in a sandpit. I spend most of my spare time playing billiards (sorry, Mr. Askew).

Update September 2012: I retired from Liverpool John Moores University last year. I spend my time playing billiards- about three times a week, reading and walking about West Kirby where I live, sometimes with my friend Janet. In my spare time I perform complicated brain surgery operations at cut-price rates. Actually this is not true but I know you are going to get people from HGS telling you about the wonderful things they do and I thought I would make my response as interesting as theirs. Janet and I spend most weekends together and go on holidays as often as poss.. My daughter Llucy works as a researcher got the Office for Public management in London. My son James is in the Royal navy.

Lyall SMITH (1945 - 1952) lyall@sunrise.ch

Even if you struggled with mathematics at HGS it shouldn’t take too long to classify me as one of the HGS website’s “moderately older brigade”!!!

Reading through the website entries (January 2014) made me feel I have a very inadequate memory!!! However the combined memories of other former pupils have reminded me of all my old teachers’ names – and a small number of old school friends’ names too. With some 120 pupils in any one year it was not surprising that you didn’t get time to be familiar with boys outside of your own year. The exceptions to that rule were the sporting or music “captains”. They were regularly called up at the end of each morning assembly to briefly relate house or school football and cricket scores – or a summary of the latest musical event.

The start of the post war era was indeed a period of austerity - as several contributors have already noted. Food rationing even got worse by including bread – which was never rationed during the war as such. Some compensation came from the daily gill of fresh milk - readily consumed at the morning break in lessons. I often wonder how long the “school milk” supply continued (my wife thinks it was stopped by Maggie Thatcher). Nevertheless the early post war years pointed to a brightening new future for most young people. The country was financially bankrupt but great plans lay ahead for a National Health Service, extensive motorway networks, modernisation of the rail network, nuclear electricity instead of bombs - and full employment. Those lucky enough to survive the war in reasonable health could even resume their studies or careers - including several of the HGS teaching staff and of course many parents of pupils.

A subject that has not been so far touched on by other contributors to the website is “out of school” leisure activities In those post war years most young people were lucky if they got the money for a once weekly trip to the cinema. Most social activities were nearly always linked to youth activities which used the infrastructure of the large number of active church communities existing in Newcastle. These were Boys Brigades, Girls Brigades, Scout and Guide companies, football and cricket teams, dance classes, badminton and table tennis clubs and amateur dramatics. One or two evenings per week plus Saturday were a typical involvement. These were opportunities to meet, mix, compete and play with young people of all ages from the north of Newcastle. My own activities were Boys Brigade and the Badminton club from Heaton Presbyterian Church - and badminton at St Mark’s church in Byker. At the end of the evening there was always a long slow walk home in groups – when times were good via the local “Chippie”. Pubs were “off limits” – not as a contribution to temperance – simply a reflection of how much money we had.

I had a really happy seven years at HGS. I was lucky enough to live locally so that I was home for lunch and thus avoided school dinners!! Because I was not much good at either sport or music, (although I enjoyed both), I guess I must have had a relatively low school profile. From the start it was clear that Music and Sport were the essential ingredients in order to have officially “excelled” in anything. I stayed in the “B” stream all through the first five years until the 1950 school certificate examination – which went well. Then took sixth form science and maths emerging with a 1952 “A” level certificate.

The main credit for any successes I achieved undoubtedly goes to my teachers.
I remember each and everyone as being professional and competent. They were always kind and helpful to me. Without exception they always took time to answer any questions I had. Each lesson included writing up and sometimes illustrating the content of the lesson. Each entry was marked and rated by the teacher involved – an extensive additional (unpaid) chore for them. One effectively authored a series of personal exercise books right through the school. I valued these very much and kept a number of them for many years reference later in later life. Overall my impression was that these teachers really cared about educating each individual pupil. I don’t know but perhaps that was not so generously reflected in the “C” and “D” streams of my year. With thirty boys to each class and four streams to each year it was enough to remember 120 contemporaries - never mind the additional 500 or so older and younger boys in the school at any one point in time!
The teachers I can remember were Messrs Rochester, Norris, Whitehead, Loughton, Rowell, Clapperton, Wake, Bullen, Fletcher, Friend, Nicholson, Quickfall, Waldron, Bamborough, Simpson. Fullerton, Barraclough, Plenderleath, Peel, Tunnicliffe, Sallinger?, and of course Barnes. Probably many of them are now dead. I regret never having had time or opportunity to thank them for the priceless education they gave me. I can well believe those contributors who claimed that HGS at that time was the best grammar school in Newcastle.

After leaving HGS there followed a disastrous one year encounter with Kings College in Newcastle. The only useful thing I learned was that “tutors” at that time had never been taught to teach - and were not to be confused with “teachers”.
Then two years conscripted service in the RAF. Strangely enough, although I never once considered a Service career, I profited significantly from the experience. I was trained to be a technician servicing airborne radar equipment. Training took up half of my two year service period, and was extremely intensive – five and a half days each of nine hours every week. The subject matter was mainly scientifically based - albeit prior to the arrival of solid state physics. The RAF had trainers – not teachers! The trainers were every bit as professional as my HGS teachers - even if the lectures were extremely regimented. As was the case at HGS, these trainers took time to answer any of my questions – a feature I have always valued highly.

In 1955 I took employment with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority starting at Dounreay then moving down to Winfrith Heath in 1964. The work centred on materials research for power generating nuclear reactors. I took to this research work like a duck to water and stayed with it for a life long fascinating career.
In 1974 British politicians lost interest in nuclear power generation and proceeded to rapidly reduce funding for further research. So I took employment with the Swiss Government at their Reactor Research Centre in Northern Switzerland. My work in Switzerland led me to participate in many interesting research projects in a number of different countries worldwide. I still live in Switzerland and finally “fully” retired four years ago.

The scientific lessons at HGS were all based on atoms being the smallest component of all elements and compounds. My subsequent career almost exclusively involved the products resulting from splitting the atom!! Research of this nature involves participating in the solutions to endlessly evolving scientific and engineering problems. Looking back over a career lasting 55 years I am still amazed that 95% of my contributions were based on the scientific and mathematical laws and rules that I learned at HGS!!

There has been much mention of that famous impregnable wall separating HGS and HHS. During my school certificate year I had the good fortune to fall for someone from the “other side” of that wall - one Pam Wake (HHS 1945 – 1950). Our first date was to see a HGS performance of HMS Pinafore! We married in 1954 and are still happily married with four children, eight grandchildren and at the most recent count five great grandchildren. HGS has a lot to answer for!

Contemporaries:
Having left Newcastle so soon after leaving HGS, contacts with school friends were rapidly lost. About thirty years ago I had brief contact (subsequently lost) with Trevor Maynard and Geoff Williamson (HGS 1945-1952). If I remember correctly at that time both had become schoolteachers in Kent. Around about the same time, I met Denis Feltoe (HGS 1946-1951) at a Scottish Country Dancing Club in Switzerland! Our paths never once crossed despite being at the same school for the same 5 years, and both of us met for the first time in Switzerland! Denis recently returned to Canada following his retirement. Unfortunately I have no address for him. It would be interesting to know what happened to “Noggin” Holmes and Alan Pandrich (both HGS 1945-1952). Together with Geoff Williamson we four spent some fun weekends clambering around old lead mines in Weardale during summer weekends in the 6th form!!

Tom SMITH (1934 - 1939) tds@galaxynet.com

In 1934 I became a "Heatonian" in what was then Heaton Seconday School.  (I lived on Chillingham Road.   I enjoyed the email of Len Lambert as he recalled so many teachers I had, but omitted Tommy Wake (I think that's right) who was my chemistry teacher.   Tommy imbued in me a love of chemistry and that became my profession.

Heaton gave me a sound education. Other teachers I remember were Booth (English) and Davidson (subject?). I still remember Mr. Davidson coming into the classroom and without saying a word hurled a piece of chalk at the blackboard with great force.  He turned round to us and said "That's the way I feel today so look out!!"   I suppose you couldn't do that today but he certainly got our attention.

Len Lambert mentions the G&S operettas. I was in the chorus of "Ruddigore" which has remained one of my favorite G&S operattas.

I got my High School Certificate in 1939 (which surprisingly I still have) and started my first job the day after war was declared.   I joined the Heaton firm of C.A.Parsons & Co. on September 4th 1939.   Doing "war work" for Parsons I became what in those days was caled a "boffin' or "back room boy".

I married a Heaton girl (she lived in Heaton and went to the Church High School) in 1947, got my Ph.D. in Chemistry the same year at the University of London and we sailed to the United States in 1948.

To make a long story short I ended up as a Director of Research in the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware.   I have lived in eight of the United States and am currently in the State of Washington.  My lovely wife died in the year 2000 and I am currently close to my younger son and not that far from my daughter in Southern Calfornia.

Tom Smith.  679 Fort Ebey Road, Coupeville, WA 09239 360-678-1076

Alan STEPHENSON (1961 - 1968) aste@lineone.net

I attended Heaton Grammar from 1961 to 1968, or to be more exact 1967. My final year was at the new, co-educational, comprehensive, Heaton School. This picture shows me in 1962 in 1Pennington and here I am again in 1966 when I was in 5R.

The move to comprehensive education did not make that much difference to our final year. The main changes I remember were a lot more petty regulations, supervised private study periods, and an ability to mix with girls in school time. Before then all social intercourse of a mixed sex nature had to take place in our own time - normally at some Saturday night party in Jesmond.

The other favoured social haunt was the "Dene Lounge" at the Corner House with its dartboard, pinball machine & table football. It became the unofficial social club, where many of us first experienced the delights of underage drinking and set eyes on the first (and perhaps worst adjusted) colour TV we had ever seen.

My Heaton CV reads; 1Pn, 2R to 5R, Lower & Upper 6th Science. 1Pn was the annual intake to Collingwood House. The "Pn" related to our form master, Mr Pennington, whom we rarely saw.

My sporting ability, never higher than "standard points" level, meant I never played for any school team but was recruited into the "Stage Crew" by Ian Matthew to build the Sets for the school play. I remember doing the "Caine Mutiny Court Martial" and "Henry IV, Part1"

Post Heaton, my life has been somewhat mixed. In November 1970 I was injured in a road traffic accident, thrown from the rear seat of a car, and suffered a broken neck. My spinal cord was damaged and I am now tetraplegic, paralysed from the chest down, with limited use of my arms. I live my life from a wheelchair.

I have been this way for 28 years. It is a different life, with many limitations. My disability prevents me from doing many things - things like climbing ladders - but disability does have its better points - my shoes rarely wear out.

From my year I know that Colin (Col) Beeton is a Consultant Anaesthetist in Darlington. Geoff Walker is a teacher, Head of History/Head of Year in a Birmingham school - where he is known as "Crispy Walker", and John Rook (Rookie) was last heard of living in Hexham and Property Director for Greggs of Gosforth - Greggs the Baker.

Of the Staff I know that Matty, aka Ian Matthew, left Heaton not long after the school turned comprehensive. He did work for several years in a Midlands selective school, Worcester Royal Grammar, but do not know where he is now. I could probably find out.

Another teacher, many will remember with varying degrees of affection, is that man with a nose for musical talent, John (Sneb) Healy, our onetime music master. (Sneb died January 1999.)  I know his cousin Peter Healy another Old Heatonian.  Peter started Heaton in the 30's.

I have many other happy memories of life at HGS including the Great 1966 Masters' Cricket Match Scandal - I know who did the dirty deed! 

Joe STRATFORD (1951 - 1956) cstratford0320@rogers.com

References in this contribution to "the photograph" are to that of 5B in 1956

It was an idle, reflective Sunday afternoon, (not a dark and stormy night) a few weeks ago, when a sudden whim led me to punch in "Heaton Grammar School" and I was amazed - and excited! - to see the old escutcheon pop up!

Thank you both for your efforts, initially and continuing --- an excellent job and one that , may we hope, will come to enfold many more of us who maintain vivid memories, warm, and perhaps some not so, of relatively halcyon days.

I started in 1D with Sammy "Toto entre" Friend ("Yah Boo Sucks" to Toto, as the sage Molesworth would have said, Toto being a weed and utterly wet) then to 'B' for the rest, picking up Ducker, Raggy , and Puggy as form masters along the way. All in all it was a pleasant time, though I vowed never to say I wish I were back at school, and never have, I believe.

Still, I look on that set of young, with-all-before-us faces with fondness and wistfulness, and hope it has gone passingly well for you, Johnny Miller, Eric "Washy" Wightman, Ian "Ginty" Heward, Duncan Brown, Alan Robertson, "Ginty" Patterson (of whom more later), Lanky Haig, Chas "Ginty" Thompson (Ginty's galore!) Roger West, "Woody" (Jimmy Wood's younger brother), Jack Trevorrow (who once translated "Satan's" sentence "La vache sortit de l'etable" into The cow sorted out what was eatable"), Terry McConkey, Dick Lowery, Neil Lowery, Ian Coffer, Jackie Cooper, Eric Howe, Sewell, Waller, Savage, Mickey Turnbull, Jimmy Marr, Freddie Brennan, Willy Dear, Phil Thornton, Mike Tebby (my nemesis at the shorter distances), Eddie Bowman, 3 years ahead but a good childhood friend ( went to Australia, I think I was told) and Stuart Graham, 2 years behind, another childhood chum.

Tragically, Dave Wells (1st row, 5th from left) was lost to a motor-bike mishap prior to '62 when I learned of it. He was perhaps engaged at the time to Sheila Chalmers of HHS (also 51-56) Both of them, with me, were ex-Chilly Roaders, as were Neil Lowery, Ann Bennett (HHS) Ian Coffer and Terry McConkey.

I was average academically, I suppose, French, English and History being strengths; Maths, Physics and Chemistry not quite so. As to Civics, Puggy wrote on my term report that "for a boy of his seeming ability to know so little of current events and world affairs is appalling." I got on well enough , nevertheless, with Mr. Walker, also "Satan" Simpson, while "Raggy" Rowell and "Beefy" Bambrough (a.k.a. Cancer Dan because of his nicotine-orange fingers) tormented me ruthlessly throughout. I have memories similar to those of other alumni, of Ken Quickfall ("'Please, sir'," the boy cried out, having difficulty with a piece of apparatus, 'I think I'm going to break my neck-please help me!'" was a favourite joke of his), "Woody" Waldron, on whose behalf I attended Court in 1953 as witness to a mild car accident he had near my house in Warwick St. He won, without my having to say anything; Hank Peel, a kindly gentle man, as were Tom Wake and "Basher" Bell, the latter upon entering a particularly rowdy classroom, calling out loudly but jovially: "God gave you nice round bottoms, boys-please sit on them and be quiet!" Both of these much -liked gentlemen retired in 1954.

I remember M'sieu Friend, beet-red and spitting, yelling at Chas Thompson: "You'll find that Sammy's not so simple!" We never really thought he was, and he was always kind to me. Taylor seemed at first, in 1D, a good sort, but later experiences of him were not consistently pleasurable. He could be vicious and too often aim-accurate with a piece of chalk or the blackboard duster.

"Sneb" Healy (R.I.P.) once had me solo before the class on "John Peel" and told me I was "much better" --- than what, I don't know as I hadn't done it before and my group contributions could not have stood out. Many years later I sang with a band and did a lot of Elvis and similar things --- never 'John Peel,' though!

Mr. Duckenfield, knowing I was a fatherless lad, once gave me a kind, very paternal encouraging talk, which I greatly appreciated and have never forgotten.

"Lefty" Hutton, rumoured to be a little Lord Montague-ish, though I never saw anything of it.

Reed, like Taylor, initially deceived with gentle winning ways before becoming generally a swine.

Joe English who, most unjustly, gave me three clinks (detentions) sentences to run consecutively. "But Sir, you can't be serious!" 'I'll show you if I'm serious or not, Stratford." And he did, and was.

Again Puggy, to the class: "Someone, anyone , tell me what 'imperial' means. Silence. To Johnny Miller: "Miller, give me a sentence containing the word 'imperial'." JM., sans hesitation: "The boy offered me a Mint Imperial." Grateful response from the class, and clink for Johnny. Wit should have been rewarded, not punished.

So, as to teachers, good'uns and not so good'uns, though such elements are mostly subjective, of course.

I was unexceptional at footer and cricket (Johnny M. and Mickey Turnbull were the stars of our class there) but I ran quite well and generally scored high in the annual Standard Points competition. I was on the cross -country team and have strong memories of John "Acker" Atkinson and George Hepburn, 1st row 5th from left and right respectively, sitting in the team picture. George was also the school's star miler. Marvellous runner.

I clearly remember Ginty Patterson`s fatal run-in with Raggy Rowell during our 4th year. R.R., crimson and quivering grabbed Ginty's lapels and shook him, really shook him. I am not sure what exactly brought this violence on, but Ginty was a good bright lad with lots of promise (from Byker, and not a lot of lunch money) and whatever the sin, it would not have deserved that demented response. Ginty yelled: "Leave me claes alone- I'll report you to the Headmaster!" "You'll what! You'll what!" Rowell was apoplectic. He dragged poor Ginty from the class and to the Bloggs' study. We were all deathly silent, stunned. That was the last time we saw Ginty. He was gone that day and nothing more was ever heard. Hope you did O.K. Ginty, wherever you went. You deserved better. Teachers would not get away with such physical brutality now.

Another sudden exit was "Fatty" Tweddell (or Tweddle?) a strong shot-putter, including at the County level. He won lots, none of which prevented his shameful expulsion for the Dickensian offence of taking a bottle of milk from a door-step while working as an auxiliary post-man one Xmas (students did that often then). This was the 1950's, remember, not the 1850's! Why didn't they just shoot him! I suppose the Victorian Age did finally end in Britain's school system, did it?

Brian Cox, an excellent sprinter and long-jumper, 4 years ahead of us, who joined the R.A.F. and was killed on a training flight in Canada in '56 his parents donating a memorial trophy to the school.

I heard, from Johnny Miller, in 1968 (the only time I saw him again after school) that Dave Godden (one year ahead) had died on his motor-scooter in Jesmond in the early sixties. Dave was a friend of Clint Edmonds, who has contributed to this site.

John Edwards, 3 or 4 years ahead, very theatrically talented (though a bit priggish out of make-up) and outstanding in the Gilbert and Sullivan things. His Jack Point in "Yeoman at the Guard " was exceptional. He was memorable in "Ruddigore," too. Hart (51-56) was a good turn also, described by Sneb as "the best soprano the school had." Ah, but how was he on "John Peel"?!

Jezzy Dene was for us, as for so many others, an ever-popular hunting ground, the unsuspecting prey (yeah, right!) being the delectable nubiles of HHS and 'La Sagesse' (whose generous apple orchard we raided regularly). Margaret Yorke was my first serious pash as I became 14, she 2 years behind but inspiringly advanced and very pretty. I was shattered when she moved to Salisbury just months later. I was made anew again the following year upon discovering Joan Stephenson, whose name has appeared in more than one of the previous contributions, and Moya Reed, both of whom I was far too timid and awkward to approach. "Is she yours, Stratford?" Puggy enquired, observing my lustful ogling of Joan on Sports Day. "I wish, Sir!" So much did I wish that I briefly befriended her younger brother, John (2years behind, I believe) in a laughable attempt to achieve proximity to the fair and lovely goddess. Pitiful, Stratford! I once sent Duncan Brown as my emissary to Moya. She told him that I could speak to her myself if I was interested. Even that tacit encouragement was not enough to overcome my cowardice. I'm bolder now, of course, but too late, too late! Johnny Miller (1st Row 2nd from left) never knew how I envied his quick easy way with The Talent. I always thought I was better-looking, though (1st row 3rd from right).

Anyone remember Maureen Scandal! (marvellous name for a friendly girl!) Did she make H.H.S. the School for Scandal?!

I remember Chas Chandler, loud and rowdy, whose school cap was at least a size too small, and who in time became an "Animal." And David Someone or Other, who went on to record - for Decca, I think -- a cover of The Fleetwoods' 'Mr Blue' under the imaginative name of David Blue.

It was interesting to learn of several Old Boys being here in Canada - Clint Edmonds, and Alec Urquehart being two (if "Urkie" still is - last seen in Toronto in '77, I read elsewhere) We once found him unconscious on Jesmond Park West after school. Seems he'd ridden his bike into a parked car. Obviously no lasting harm!

I grabbed my measly four O-levels and moved to London in Sep.,'56 starting work at Hector Powe Ltd. (men's fashion) in Regent St., the same day school went back after the hols. It was quite a change! K. Nicol, a prefect in my time, came in for a suit one day in '57. He didn't know, and clearly didn't care, who I was. I met Carole from Wembley (a doll I didn't, don't deserve) in Dec '57, married her March '61 and arrived in Toronto a month later, where we live still, in good health, 3 cats, no kids (our choice, though I always tell people when they ask that I'm impotent, and maybe I am!). Got all my hair, though, and just 20lbs. heavier that I was at 16. Got all ten issues of "The Heatonian", too, from Autumn 1951 to Summer 1956. I kept a daily diary for all my time at H.G.S. except for the four months Sept-Dec., 1951, which is good for a laugh once in a while.

Didn't set out to ramble so long and disjointedly, so forgive me, please. Enough is enough, and often , as possibly now, enough is far too much! Seems the old place was about to get the wrecker's ball and probably has by now. Ah, well. My Aunt Nora was among the first girls in 1928. The structure they can take down, but they can never take away what it was, or what we were, and what it all meant to us, and means still. Up the school! And much happiness and the best of health and memories to all! (Joan, Moya -- anybody! -- get back to me, I beg you!)

Nostalgically - and gratefully, Joe "Le Beau" Stratford

P.S. Recently on the telly here was "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet." with Jimmy Nail and that lot, and Mark Knopfler's marvellously complicated theme song -- "Why aye; why aye, man, why aye!" it's wonderful to hear English spoken and sounding as God intended it to!

Geoffrey SWINBURNE (1957-1964) Heaton57@hotmail.com

63 years (from 2020) ago, a day before classes started, my Dad and I made a trial visit to the HGS grounds to ensure I knew which bus to take and become familiar with the long walk to the boy’s entrance to the school

The next morning ,after learning which classroom to go to we gradually began to gain knowledge about our classmates . There was Arkle from 'uddersfield and M i l l s with his slow speech style. A large contingent from Cragside Primary School were in Form 1 A - even then Good Housing, Education and Money were a never ending circle.

Enjoyed 2nd. Year maths with Mr. Messer and his “deliberate mistakes“ on the blackboard .

Fourth year was a trip to Innsbruck and Venice . Some of the older boys located an empty sleeping carriage and had an opportunity to use their German with ist nicht where we were going. The carriage had been decoupled during the night!

Thanks to Mr. Morton and his persistence and resourcefulness in obtaining funds to keep the Chess Club going . The team enjoyed much success under his guidance .
Left for Toronto , Canada immediately after 6th. Form . After 2 accounting jobs a friend recommended I follow him to join the Canada Revenue Agency . Took to the job straight away and loved matching wits with the Artful Dodgers during my 35 year career. Enjoyed seeing their expression change when I advised them they were more successful than they reported .

Began to see the irony in my adulthood , playing chess in my youth I could usually find the mate but real life was different . Eventually, office romances blossomed into love and marriage . Unfortunately I’ve been a widower for 8 years .

Life is what you make it . I’m still in good health and have a widowed friend .We have been enjoying our sunset years from the balcony of cruise ships as we both enjoy travelling .
 

John SYRETT (1962-1968) syrettp@gmail.com

I came across this site when looking for information about my brother, John Syrett, who attended Heaton Grammar from 1962 to 1968. He went on to Leeds University, where his studies were secondary to a passion for rock climbing. He became one of Britain’s foremost rock climbers in the early ‘70’s, but was sadly killed in a fall in 1985. If anyone knows anything of his schoolmates, I’d be very interested to hear from them. Pauline Syrett.

Geoff TATE (1963 - 1969) Geofftate2@aol.com

'Struth..here I am wondering where everyone went and I find this on my browser.  I've lost touch with everyone except odd times I've bumped into Micky Clark in the Lochside. (Well maybe that was a while ago), and a couple of others from around our year worked at BT (Alan Lockey, John Wilson) .

Pals I used to hang about with were Stuart Dunn, John Harpin, Alastair Grey, Ronnie Hetherington, Graeme Jukes, David Lerner, John Lacey, those are off the top of my head.

Paul Tempest covered loads of the stuff in his notes...I remember the head boy being strapped to one of the gates off the locker rooms and being left in the middle of the Quadrangle, and also locking all of the teachers in the staff room with a padlock and chain while they were having a staff meeting!!  Not to mention a manic school trip to Norway, when Stuart and I were grounded for dissappearing with some Norwegian girl we met in Bergen...oh  and those geography field trips, then there was the Scott Brothers line writing business.

I also remember the great excitment when our lower 6th form became co-ed!    Unlike a lot of my classmates I didn't graduate from uni, but went to spend 21 incredibly boring years at BT. (while also spending 12 not so boring years as a club DJ in Newcastle)..not any more....Since I left BT I've had my own business (since sold)...spent a while in Tenerife, lived in mainland Spain (Valencia) for a while,  worked for British Airways for a while(strangely enough they want me back), spent a year and a half travelling around the world, and now spend my time between my two homes ,one in Florida and the other in Corbridge, playing golf . listening to some blues, and doing some freelance journalism.(I may go back to BA for a while).

Divorced once, I am now happily married to Christine, who thankfully puts up with my lousy guitar playing, loud music, and fast cars.(well most of the time).   I'm not surprised that I haven't seen anyone since you all seem to be scattered around the 4 corners of the world, there again I went there, and still didn't see you!

Jim TAYLOR (1966- 1968) jwhat20@hotmail.com

As you can see, I only spent a couple of years at HGS but I still remember certain things about my time there. I am pretty short on pupils & teachers names due to the short period of time but I do remember two blokes I went there with after our 11+ at Welbeck Rd & they were Trevor Douglas & Eric Taylorson. The only teacher I remember is a tall skinny streak we called Lurch. There are two other blokes I remember started there at the same time as myself. They were; Melvin Topp & Paul Taylor who was a very good rugby player.

Some of the things I remember from my time there are; rugby practice on the Himalayas from which came more injuries than actual games; coming back in the bus from swimming lessons & everyone keeping an eye out for the 'Diddy Woman' (a very short old lady); lunch times in Jesmond Dene spending my dinner money at the little shop there; finding girls in the classrooms at the start of the '68 school year & the '68 cruise around the Med on the SS Uganda which was its first cruise after its conversion. One memory from the cruise is of myself & a few others plus Lurch running down the wharf in Piraeus to catch the ship after missing our train from Athens.

I left the school at the end of the '68 school year as my family ws migrating to (would you believe) Newcastle, NSW,Australia. I spent another three years in school & then joined the R.A.N. where I spent 23 years as an engineering sailor. During that time I took part in the clean up of Darwin on HMAS Hobart after Cyclone Tracy destroyed the city on Christmas Eve '74 & deployed to the Persian Gulf for the First Gulf War in November 1990. Nine days before that deployment I married my wife Heather with whom I have two step sons, a foster daughter, five grandchildren & fifteen great grandchildren (must buy those kids a tv).

I retired from the navy in '95 with a disability pension for PTSD & two torn rotator cuffs. Heather & I now live in the Gold Coast hinterland in Queensland, about 20km inland from Surfers Paradise.

Update March 2016: Since my last post I've had more trouble with my shoulders resulting in 3 more ops plus I also had a mini stroke. My wife Heather passed away in August 2014 which did my head in. I "went bush" for 6 months to sort myself out, only going into the nearest town for supplies. Since coming back I've met & married a wonderful girl called Kris who is doing a wonderful job of keeping me on the straight & narrow

Further update April 2019: Now living outside Mackay Queensland in a small town called Mirani. We are surrounded by sugarcane which will be harvested starting next month (have to watch out for cane trains on their way to the mill). Got a surprise email from an old classmate Melvin Topp who was looking through the site & saw my name. Wonderful to hear from him after all these years.

Michael TAYLOR (1957- 1962) symco@clara.net

When I found the HGS website I was immediately transported back to the 1950's. It was like discovering time travel, Sammy Friend materialised in his black robe, heading along the corridor for another encounter with a packet of drinking straws, carefully balanced on the classroom door. Taylor take fifty lines!

Double history also had a certain something, recalling Puggy Walker's professional style of presentation and accuracy with the chalk, combined with my inability to recal dates. What civil war? More lines. Physics though was fun. In particular, I recall the secret tests we conducted (now that's an appropriate word) using a borrowed 10,000 volt accumulator which, when hidden in an RAF haversack and cranked furiously, demonstrated the principles of electricity to visiting football teams, on shaking hands before a game.   

Somehow I had forgotten Chilly Road baths, I must have blocked its many pleasures from my memory. The walk there in the rain, the freezing water, the pungent smell of chlorine, the cork floats and Quickfall on the edge promising we would still float without one. Hardly surprising it was ten years before I began to enjoy swimming, in the Mediterranean.    Many will remember that rather special day, when the tea urn in the master's study was dosed with Sennacot and the door handles were tied together, trapping everyone inside. I think it was Ron Cherry who leant out of the study window (over the archway) to threaten the nearest of us with double detention if we didn't untie the rope. I am not sure of the outcome, if you see what I mean.  

Does anybody remember our school trip on the Dunera to La Corunna, Gibraltar and Lisbon, wandering around Lisbon on our own, unbelievable these days, but I still have the two-inch square black and white photos to prove it really happened.  

I vividly remember taking a tram ride from The Castle Keep across the High Level Bridge. It was probably a little while ago (a mere fifty years?) because I hear there are plans to bring the trams back! Whatever happened to the yellow trolley busses, which ran from Gosforth Park to The Hancock Museum. Just waiting in the wings to return when the petrol runs out, I guess.  

After leaving HGS in 1962, I studied Industrial Design before changing tack and joining IBM in computer sales. In the 70's I started a holiday company, specializing in skiing in Switzerland and the Greek Islands (more fun than computers). In the 80's I fell for the Mediterranean and started a property company in the South of France and Italy and an aircraft rental business, then in the 90's starting a small flight-simulator business and a software development company, currently working on location based services for 3G phones. I now live in rural isolation in the Surrey countryside south of Guildford and following my third mid-life crisis, have recently learnt to fly helicopters. It would be good to hear from anyone from the 1957-62 era. Friends who come to mind are John Leigh (left in 1960 I think), Gus Campbell, Martin Philipson, David Hare and Richard Moreland, plus many others. I am in touch with Martin Wrate, Graham Rogers and recently with Les Oswald.

Paul TEMPEST (1963-1970) paulr@tempest.karoo.co.uk

After graduating from Benton Park Primary, I joined 1Gray in the summer of 1963 with "Ollie Beak" (sorry Mr Ward) as my form teacher. Class mates included Dave (Sherm) Thompson, Billie Bird, Nick Lambert, Ian (Sly) McKay, Dave Whitelaw, Stotty, Robin Grant, John Fawcett, Lockey, Colin Humphrey, Coatesy, Metcalf, Scotty, Carter, Richy, Ken Ainsley, Tom Patterson, Peter Minikin and Coley. That year being spent in constant fear of Ron Cherry (history), Tufty Taylor (geography), Joe Messer (maths) and Pug Walker.

Not being any good at languages, and the worry of getting Lurch (Mr Pearce) I went into 2R to specialise (!) in the sciences, with a new form teacher, Bob Cunningham ( the staff cricket team pace bowler ). Our house tutor group was now split up and new friends were made including Ian Falconer, Rob Saunders, Dave Ellis, David Cole, Knoxy, Harper, Dukesy, Spud Tate, Rob Saunders, Lanky Henderson, Tufty Taylor, Sadders, Norman Elliott, Bruce Chapman, Brie Blackburn, Brie Turner, Harry Gattoff, Scotty, Daysy and Mickey (Romeo) Clark.

Then in 1965 up into 3R with another new form teacher – Mr Ian Grey, our very successful football team being ably led for the following seasons by Roger Dancer, with Mickey Topping (cousin), Alan Turnbull, Alan (Fud) Rutherford, Cookey, and Nev Render also playing prominent roles. The cricket team was equally successful, again led by Dancer, but new sporting names surfaced such as Pete Brown, Trevor Howard, Daysy and Trevor Darling keeping wicket.

After 4 years together, Hal Gibson being our form teacher in the 5th year, we did our GCEs and proceeded into a brave new world of comprehensive education – with girls!! Parties and booze ups in the Cradlewell (Tartan @ half a crown a pint) took preference over studies and new acquaintances from Heaton High School were made (Linden Stewart, Susan Hope, Anne Stark, Lilly Elliott, Linda Hoult, Pam Harwood, Hilary Charnley, Gyneth Luke, Olwyn Mann, Pamela Blake, Morag Smith, Barbara Woodhouse, Denise Lyons – and many others) Throughout the sixth form Mike Good was our form teacher and characters such as Boney and Troutsdale kept us all entertained during registration, while Tich Fullerton/Fanny Loughton (geography), Zeke Paterson/Budgey Burn (chemistry) Bramwell/Goody and Freda Crabtree (biology) attempted to keep us on the straight and narrow and get us through our A levels.

Other memorable things that immediately spring to mind through the 7 very happy years at Heaton include: -

    • David Cant as Falstaff in the school production of The Merry Wives of Windsor
    • School trips on the Devonia and to Interlaken
    • Staff vs. school soccer matches with Jack Frost giving no quarters and Ken Quickfall as the unbiased (??) referee
    • Speech days in the city hall
    • Cross country runs ending with coming up Cherry Bank
    • Barney Rubble encouraging the rugby team to greater efforts
    • Nutter Jordan’s suicide tackles
    • Jiffy Parker’s triple jump records
    • Freda Crabtree and Anne Graham’s parties
    • Dickie Dawson’s RE lessons
    • Ian Laidlaw’s drinking habits
    • The Messiah performance in the City Hall with Sneck Healey conducting the Northern Symphonia
    • Jock Mackenzie as head boy
    • The Victor Ladorum competitions on sports day
    • House colours and house captains
    • Playing "haversacks" on the yard
    • " As you grow up remember us who say, for your tomorrow we gave our today" being read by the head boy at the beginning of each term
    • Harry Askew in his gown on the stage during assembly
    • Dr Henstock !!!
    • Hitler Henderson (I still quake at the very thought of his fearsome look)
    • The stock room where we got new exercise books
    • Inter house drama competitions
    • Brenda Gosman !

It is an indication of how happy and formative those years were (or am I just sad?) that I can remember so many names and events – and a tribute to the old school and those who were an integral part of it.

In conclusion, I graduated from Hull University (along with Sherm Thompson and Alan Turnbull) in 1972, did a PGCE at Liverpool University, taught PE and Biology (along with Robin Hogg) at Gosforth Grammar, then Biology at Benfield School, moved to Hull in 1979 and have been Head of Science at Malet Lambert School since 1988 interspersed by a time as Science Advisor for the LEA.

It would be great to hear from any "Old Heatonians" !!

Irwin THOMPSON (1955-1962) Irwin.Thompson@tesco.net

1B,2B,3B,4C,5B,L6Sc,U6Sc School Choir member. Involved with G&S Productions and Drama Productions on the Technical side. BSc (London) in Mathematics and Physics. Research into Optical properties of thin metallic films at Newcastle Polytechnic.

1967 Started teaching Physics at Rutherford Grammar School West Road, then moved to Mathematics at Eastcliffe Grammar School Gosforth and then on to what was then Ashington Technical College now Northumberland College. Still there 22 years on having moved into computing and then on to the Management side. I have been Information Systems Manager since 1988.

One of my colleagues is an Albert Croney a (younger) HGS man. I am still living in Newcastle and married to Hilda (ex Rutherford Grammar) with 2 children (!) Graeme (20), a printer, and Katharine (18) who is studying Equine and Business Studies. I believe Howard 'Tufty' Taylor BA is still alive having seen his name recently in the local paper. I think he still sings with the Prudhoe Gleemen. (Was in 2004 - see photo) Didn't he leave HGS to become head at Hookergate? Bumped into Mick Grieve (same period as me) a couple of months ago on a local Caravan Site. First time for 27 years when we both worked in Newcastle Civic centre (Treasurers Dept). Remember Jimmy Nelson? He is teaching at Gosforth High School (taught both my kids!)

Ray TRENCH (1961 - 1969) r.trench@ntlworld.com

I was delighted to fond the Old Heatonian site and to see a photo of myself which I hadnt seen for 35 years!! I was at heaton from 1961 to 1966 and then from 1967 - 1969 (part of the first cohort to experience the reslts of the breaking down of a wall far more significant than that in Berlin).

I have a pic of the 1962-1963 Under 13 football team of which I was a member. I hope it is of some use to you.

I was in 1 Dawson and then in 2-5R during the time when it was decided to call the forms G, R, A, M so as to make it impossible for pupils to work out whether they were in the A stream or the D stream!!

I went to Heaton from Welbeck Road Primary School in Byker and well remember standing near the newly opened gym that first morning, new uniform from Parish's which never had quite the same quality as that from Raymond Barnes, complete with Stephenson House cap on head (the one with the red button), short trousers, socks with two red rings across the top and a haversack which was, in years to come, to carry academia home and more importantly, act as my gaol in 'haversacks'  at break time.

First teacher I met was 'Hitler' Henderson who, somehow failed to manifest the caring matronly charms of Mrs Graeme my primary school teacher. Mr Dawson, a heavy clogger, was a kindly yet forgetful man who tried to teach me the kerygma in R.E. and which I finally understood when I read Theology.

There are numerous stories I could tell and will if you would like me to. Highlights of Heaton? Playing for the U12 and Under 13 football teams and thanking God at Monday assemblies that I was not the captain; my first introduction to the magnificent main hall, gowns, making a complete idiot of myself by trying to obtain an extra exercise book from 'the cupboard' and Mr Taylor found out; Ron Cherry tripping over his cloak when he played Mark Antony in an amateur production of 'Julius Caesar' and reprising that trip as he entered the classroom next day; the charismatic teaching of Ian Matthew (the best teacher I ever had) and his examples of the use of words we learnt in vocabulary (e.g. IMPEDE - the girls impeded the traffic by doing the can can in the middle of Grainger Street); Charlie Robinson in the sixth form block in the middle of a lesson holding on to the rail at the top of the stairs as he gasped at his cigarette as if another minute without it would lead to death; volunteering to go into the girls' school to bring back some equipment and finding they had trees in their quad and called toilets 'johns'; Mr Cressey being put in detention by the prefects for walking across the quad grass; 'Fanny' Laughton giving someone 11/10 and a 6d; R.K. Humble playing Richard 111 and sitting beside me one day on the bus home, speaking to me (a fag!!) and looking even older than KQ; the gym wall collapsing in the wind; knicking off sports day to see the first jet land at Newcastle airport.... just a few of the many.

When I left in 1969 I went on to St Johns College at York and started teaching at Northallerton Grammar School. It was my privilege to spend two days teaching at Heaton and sharing a staffroom with the staff - from the frightening Cherry and Henderson to the gentle Mr Good. I then went to Nunthorpe Grammar School in York as Head of R.E., then back to Northallerton Grammar School as Head of R.E. and deputy Head of Year 11, then to Nunthorpe Comprehensive School, Middlesbrough, as Head of Humanities faculty and now at West Redcar School as Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum), gaining a Master of Education degree at Sunderland on the way. I could go on!! Hope the pic is of some use to you.

Keep up the good work!

Bill TULIP (1965 - 1970) billntulip@hotmail.com

I attended HGS from 1965-1970 and enjoyed every bit of it. Among the good memories, the sports, Paddy's, lunctimes down the Dene, the shops and those great teachers. I think my card may have been marked early on by some of those teachers, when on my first day at HGS, myself and a few others found a brilliant five-a-side pitch on the front field, the grass was perfect and it was even roped off. We hardly had time to put the coats down when teachers came running from all directions to hand out bollockings and detentions. This was the 'Square', the sacred ground, Bill Tunnicliffe was furious. This is 1C in 1966.

One of the teachers who came out that day was 'Tufty' Taylor who once stopped a cricket match against Rutherford while he was Umpiring to show someone correct forward defence, we were all quite used to this, but not the poor lad from Rutherford who was the victim of this impromptu coaching session.

Our history Teacher was the brilliant Ron Cherry, who would shout questions at us while he was still 30 yards from the classroom, many an unsuspecting lad would stand amazed when Ron shouted 'Triple Alliance' or 'League of nations' for no apparent reason while walking along the corridor. This is 5A in 1970.

Like Neil Atkinson I received quite a few of Micky Good's immortal line 'Misbehaviour in form' etc. However he handed out so many of these that he could never remember how many he'd given, so usually a couple of pages would suffice.

Most lunchtimes were spent at Jesmond Dene, which was at that time out of bounds. A few friends and I were hanging out at the Dene Cafe (Bryan Marley in New Zealand, weren't you there?), when some toddler literally walked into the Ouseburn. The river would be about 4ft deep at this point, as I was nearest I went in and fished him out , by which time his parents came out of the cafe to see me carrying him up the river bank. I went back to the school soaked to the skin and covered in mud where Ken Quickfall dressed me in some old gym kit, and despite my life saving stories , he promised me a trip to the headmaster. Fearing punishment, the next day I feigned illness and took the day off, when to my surprise, two reporters and a photographer turned up at my door. Apparently Joe Messer heard of these exploits from the lads and had rang the 'Chronicle' who ran the story on the front page under the headline 'Heaton schoolboy hero' etc. When I eventually did go back to school, the visit to the boss had been mysteriously cancelled, although I did get a sly 'you were lucky Tulip' from Quickfall.

Other memorable teachers were Massie-Taylor with his great line 'does your mother love you lad?', Joe Messer with his awful habit of spitting phlegm into his Hankerchief. The 'Rev' Morton and his damn slipper or sandshoe or whatever it was he hit you with.

When my eldest daughter first went to Heaton School and I was invited  to a 'meet the teachers' evening, it felt very strange walking through the gates for the first time in over 20 years and I was a little bit nervous, however, first person I saw was John 'Fred' Barker, he recognised me and greeted me like a long lost brother, and there were others. John Dixon, Hal Gibson, Colin Kirkby, Westwell, Cressey, Freda Crabtree and Ann Graham. All keen to reminisce about earlier days, it was brilliant and I have been to many such evenings since, although most of the teachers I knew, have since retired.

When I left school in 1970 I entered the construction industry and  worked for 'Britain's biggest house builder' till 1983 when I left to start my own company and join the massed ranks of the self-employed and despite a few ups and downs that's basically where I am today, (pretty boring eh?). I am married to Lesley, a nurse at Northern counties school for the deaf in Newcastle. Eldest daughter Lindsey (21), works for a large computer software company based in Gosforth, Kate (19) is a student at Leeds University and son Harry (13) still attends Heaton Manor school. We live in Benton near the Four Lane Ends. Two ex-pupils live in my street, Stuart Davidson and Barry 'Barney' Russell who is also headmaster of  Welbeck Road school.

I still see loads of ex-HGS lads from every era, and I would welcome an e-mail from anyone who remembers me.  This is the entire teaching staff from 1970 - would anyone like to attempt the names?

Robert Tulip 1964 – 1970 robert.tulip@blueyonder.co.uk

What do I remember about HGS ?

September 1964 arriving in Class 1C (Collingwood later Percy) from East Walker junior school with Mr Spink as form master. Everyone sat nicely in alphabetical order, - Baldry in the top right corner with me, Tulip in the bottom left hand corner. Although I thought I was nicely tucked away in the corner, it was a definite disadvantage, as half of the teachers were always checking you were paying attention & I always seemed to be the brunt of their attack especially for a nasty English teacher called Harris (I think he was only there a couple of years). Tiger Tiger burning bright & the Rime of that bloody Ancient Mariner were 2 of the tortures that he inflicted on me -- "Tulip stand up and recite"etc.etc.

Looking back at age 11, I was pretty intellectually immature compared to most of the rest of 1C & it was no surprise when I didn’t make the G & R cut after the 1st year & ended up in 2M,3M,4A, & 5A for the next 4 years. I remember my old mam telling all of her friends I’d made the A form in 1967 (if only she’d known !!)

As many others have noted 1967 was comprehensive year & the year the wall came down, which brought a massive distraction in the form of mini skirts, nylons and sussys.

My first ever girlfriend quickly followed in the form of the very pretty Joyce Power.

I think she had a succession of boyfriends at Heaton after me. Wonder what happened to Joyce ? (Never seen her in over 30 years)

Thinking back I was only really interested in Football, Cricket & P.E.(X Country running) – I never did grasp the use of Kipps apparatus, potentiometers, Van der graaf generators, Spores, Amoeba & all that stuff in the Sciences.I used to do quite well at French until the dragon in the form of Betty Crowther turned up in the 4th & 5th year. I remember she put me in clink twice in a day, which later earned me 4 whacks from Askew, just for calling her "La grande cochon"

Talking about teachers there was some real freaks. Who remembers "Charlie" Robinson. He had a grey moustache, disgustingly stained with nicotine so in effect it was half brown half grey (Yuk). How Quickfall ever held the job of Sports Master I’ll never know. I swear when I arrived in ’64, he was already 75years old & the most unfit sports teacher of all time. (Obviously the 60 woodbines a day he got through must have had some effect !). My brother Bill mentioned Massie-Taylor & his famous "Does your Mother love you lad". If you answered Yes Sir to the question, his retort was always "Well she’s the only one that does". Then there was the Rev. Morton who became the very unreverend when indulging in the sadomasochistic pleasure of belting the whole classrooms’arses with a soft sandshoe, when he failed to receive one persons homework.

What about that metalwork teacher ? For those that have forgotten, his name was Anderson. He was absolutely menacing & I’m surprised he never stuck one of those garden forks we used to make into somebodys head. Mind you if I’d been listening to 30 lads, filing, banging, grinding & buffing for 8 hours a day 5 days a week etc. I think I might have lost it as well. Add the cruel giraffe Westwell, the sinister vice head Cope, some power crazy prefects, & a few school bullies, what an education !!

I inevitably failed most of my O Levels in the summer of ’69, which meant me & 2 classmates, Rob Broad & Pete Silver ended up in the Lower Sixth to re-take them in Jan ’70. Those 4/5 months were probably my happiest times at HGS, as we had an abundance of spare time & we had a real hoot. The newly formed 6th form centre had been opened in the Science block & the 3 of us went in 1 day and defaced some magazines – nothing serious – just a few lewd remarks between the Queen & Prince Philip (schoolboy stuff).

Well, someone shopped us & we were hauled before Pug Walker & some upper sixth kangaroo court & barred from the 6th form centre for life. (Surprised we weren’t given the death sentence). I can always remember one of the main lynching mob from the upper 6th was Trousdale (Hope he reads this). Needless to say we were back in the centre about a fortnight later after we’d served our life sentence.

I left HGS in Jan ’70 & have worked in the Electrical Contracting Industry in & around Newcastle since then. I’m currently employed as a Quantity Surveying Manager with Northern Electric. I married Ruth Reid (ex Manor Park) in 1976 & we had 4 kids.(2 of each).Unfortunately the marriage didn’t stand the test of time & we divorced in 1997. The kids however stay with me & we live in Benton near the 4 Lane Ends.

I had quite a successful local football career, before injuries (& age) caught up with me in ’88 & I packed it in.

Cricket, however was always my 1st passion & I’ve played regularly in a good standard Northumberland Cricket League over the last 25years. I’m currently Club Captain at a lovely little village club called Kirkley (about 3 miles N East of Ponteland) & still just about hold my own in the 1st XI as a middle order batsman. Our results appear in the Sunday Sun weekly.

I’ve never seen most of my classmates since the day I left, but do see a lot of old HGS lads in my local pub the Lochside in Cochrane Park.A lot of us will be attending the reunion at the Civic Centre on July 14th. Finally & beware, this is how I now look after 31years hard graft (Rob Tulip aged 48). Never changed a bit !!

 

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