School Badge

Muriel ABERNETHY (now LaTour) (1946 - 1951)

I attended HHS from September 1946 until liberation day in July 1951 and my name at that time was Muriel Abernethy.

Not an outstanding scholar, I started and remained in the 'C' form from beginning to end, but ended up with 7 'O' Levels conferred by the newly created GCE. The last two years were the hardest when I came to the realisation at the end of 3rd year that I only had two years in which to make up and do five years' work!!!!!!!!!!!  I don't have a particular 'claim to fame' except I played on the school netball team for 4 years and my penchant for running (track) - as well as a sixth sense - stood me in good stead when escaping the wrath of the teachers (or horror of horrors) the prefects when it came to them doling out 'black marks' for perceived infractions. I left without a black mark to my name!!! No mean achievement at that time.

I do have good memories of many of the teachers and fellow 'inmates' and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to attend HHS when I did, and when it was still a comparatively 'new' school.

I now live in Canada - since 1967 - and my son, Richard Feltoe, returned and attended the 6th form from 1971 - 1973.  I have 4 children, all grown and married with their own families.

About ten years ago, in response to a letter I sent to the Editor of the Evening Chronicle, I made contact again with some of my old  classmates and am happy to say we have kept in touch and meet together whenever I am in the U.K.  We all met again at the reunion at the Civic Centre on July 14th and it was a blast.  So happy to see so many other 'old' faces whom most of us had not seen since we left in 1951, or for the brainier ones, 1953.

I'd be happy to hear from any others out there who remember me  I can be reached at the email address above. Meanwhile, here's a picture of us back in 1948.

Doreen AGER (now Rowntree) (1951-1956)

I sat the ‘scholarship’ at East Walker School and passed for Middle Street. After a while I was informed that I would be attending HHS, due to girls having passed for the likes of Central High, Dame Allans etc. So it was 1D with Miss Knifton (later to become Mrs Romanis) as our form Mistress. During that first year I volunteered to be a guinea pig at the RVI for the new EEG machine that was being tested. I was told that a number of girls had put down their names but I was the only one who showed up. I guess there were better things to do on a Saturday morning than having the head wired to a machine. Second year 2C and C form thereafter, with Miss Elizabeth Hardie as form Mistress until January 1956.

At this point, I was hospitalized after it was discovered, as a result of the Mantoux tests we all took, that I had inactive TB – not that those two letters were ever uttered! I was in ‘Stannington’ until December. I learned, years later, that I was cured in July! Some of my friends and teachers may remember visiting me there during 1956. I immigrated to Canada in February 1967, married Stu Rowntree (HGS 1952-1957 - he played on the unbeaten soccer team of 1956 along with Denny Middleton et al) April 1968 – Stu wanted to be married April Fool’s Day! (even funnier - April Fool’s Day is Stan Winter’s birthday-HGS 1951-1956). We were married the weekend Pierre Trudeau was elected leader of the Liberal Party, so that was the only thing on TV the whole weekend !! Stu was diagnosed with MS in 1993. On looking back we know that he had it in 1980 when he participated in the first (of many) Terry Fox Run(s). One of the years we, mostly Stu, raised over $3000 with the result that we were invited to lunch, along with other participants, with Betty Fox, Terry’s mother. She was on a cross country tour to support her son’s Marathon of Hope to raise funds for Cancer Research. Stu went into long term care in 1998 and the following year to Chronic Care, where he still resides. The disease has reached a point where he can’t do anything for himself.

Girls I remember from our form – Mavis Carr (now Lamb) and Dorothy Williamson (Jackson).

We remained friends until I emigrated, when we lost touch. I did see Mavis & John in November 99 at Theo Winter’s (HHS 1949-56). Lorna Fitzpatrick, Brenda Peacock, Ann Carey, Joan Armstrong, Margaret Apedaile (David Reed remembers you), Sheila Chalmers, Wendy Smith, Margaret Padden, Elizabeth Howett, Norma Moore, May Moore (not related as far as I recollect), Margaret Aitcheson, Gloria Norton, Pat Newsome.

From the same year – Sephrone Stafford (now Webb) a friend from East Walker School. We kept in touch by Christmas cards and met again August 1999 after 42 years when she and her husband Jim and daughter, who was at McGill in Montreal, stayed at my house. In November, I was in the UK and stayed with them the night before I left for Manchester Airport and again November 2000. (Those two visits in November 99 and 2000 were to determine whether I could donate a kidney to a friend who lives near Huddersfield. That has finally been approved and is scheduled for 22nd October, so I’ll be back in the UK again – this time for a long stay, approximately six weeks.) Judith Stephenson, Pat Wallace,  Sheila Reid, Eileen Dobson, Maureen Brass, Sheila Halley, Mary Gaffney, Sally Taylor, Penny Gledson.

From other years – Norma Waters, Ann Gaffney, Joyce Oxenard, Joan Stephenson, Joyce Grieve, Brenda Porritt, and of course Theo Winter with whom I stayed when I paid a 2 day visit for the Reunion in the Civic Centre 14th of July. That evening was spent checking out chests looking for green stickers. Then checking the names and years, then the eyes travelling to the face and hopefully - Recognition !! I was talking to Norma Waters and Ann Gaffney who had attended East Walker School. I usually see Theo whenever I visit the UK and she has given some great parties – and I really did enjoy Sunday the 15th Theo. My sister Bett (1942-47) who was known as Betty at school. Since Miss Pellow taught Bett she more often than not called me Betty.

Teachers – Sheila More ( – whenever I hear "Il Est Ne" at Christmastime I always think of you). Like Sephrone, we kept in touch with letters in Christmas cards and I saw Sheila at her home in November 99. I seem to remember Sheila asked Dr H (‘the beak’ was it?) if we could have a Mixed Christmas Party! Not only did we not have the party with the boys but prep class in the Library was cancelled so we couldn’t watch the boys on the playing fields. Miss Grey – I was not crazy about History but she made it so interesting – definitely one of the best teachers we had. Miss Gilbert and Miss Arthur had been on vacation to Switzerland the summer we started at HHS – I marvelled at that and did go there in 1959. Mrs Bonsall had just returned from Oklahoma – haven’t been there yet. Miss Cookery Hardy Miss Hall Miss Henderson Miss Raby Miss Rowntree Miss Weedon Miss Garrett (Country Gardens) Miss Sinclair (made my likeness of Margaret Apedaile just right by changing the nose!) Miss Harbottle (directing the whole school marching round the quad for some special event). . . . . and last but by no means least Miss Pellow – small but mighty – told us we should not use the verb "to get" nor the adjective "nice" - we were not allowed to even cough during her class - and we didn’t!! We swallowed a lot but we did not cough!

HGS students – have been friends with Stu’s school friend, Alan Maughan (1950-55?) and his wife Win for many years and saw them at Theo’s in 1999. Also saw David (Tich) Young (1950,51-?) the same evening. Theo’s brother Stan has lived in Montreal since 1964. Two other students living in Canada – David Reed (1952?-?) who told me about the HGS Website and Steve Moore (has an entry in the HGS website) has been to visit Stu in hospital. I remember Dougie Bell’s tiny rock hard snowballs in the Spinney - and he was such a nice (that word-shudder) guy! I met Alec Urquhart (HGS 1951-? and East Walker School) and his wife accidentally in Yorkdale in Toronto in 1968 – then the only enclosed shopping mall in Canada. At that time Alec was living in Midland. I saw them again – again accidentally in 1977 in Toronto Airport when they were living in St Catharines. Tommy Boylen (1948?-?) played on one of the boys’ neighbourhood soccer teams my father managed, as did Bill Taylor Gerald Lock (last I heard he was a professor in Edmonton) and my brother Colin (1946-51). Alan Saunders Freddie Moffatt Brian Lord. Alan Lillington in Iolanthe – my brother was a fairy in that G&S operetta.

I remember one April Fools Day when most of the boys school marched around the field to the tune – "Oh, when the saints . . . ."

I’d love to hear from anyone who cares to send an e-mail.

Again with sincere thanks for these websites.

Kathryn Beattie (1964-1970)

I have just been on a trip down memory lane! I remember my first day (I started in 1B having come from Edgefield Primary in Fawdon) wearing a blazer so large it still fitted me in fifth form! I also remember Doc H and how scary she was. Miss Harbottle shouting at us not to faint as we practiced and practiced marching onto the quad in the summer. Then she fainted. Miss Bramwell taught me biology and then Miss Crabtree. FEAN was another scary teacher - chasing everyone with rubber bands to tie their long hair back. Miss Raby taking us for hockey with a pitch covered in snow- so she used a coloured ball so we could see it.

I now live in Australia in a small country town and yes there is another ex Heaton High student living here! I have just phoned her and sent her a link

When I left upper 6th I went to work at the Prudential Insurance Company. I had had enough of studying. I came out of the system with 9 O levels, 3 A's and an S level biology, my favourite subject -thanks to Miss Crabtree -who I do remember very well. Somewhere along the way I had dropped chemistry and taken Latin (!) so taking biology further was difficult even if I had been motivated!

I worked in insurance, moving to the Cornhill and then Norwich Union, until I was 25, when I had my first daughter. I met Peter the month after I left school - August 1970 and we married 1972. Peter was at Uni and I was the wage earner. We moved to Cramlington in 1978 when it was a 'new town' and struggled with a succession of interest rate rises and don't mention Margaret Thatcher!

Peter was by then a high school science teacher and when he was offered a job with the Service Children's Education Authority, we packed up and headed to Cyprus in 1981. It was an amazing 11 years there and our second daughter was born in 1982. During that time I worked in a pre school and then as a teacher's aide for students with additional needs.
We planned to return to Newcastle as the girls got older. The first Gulf War meant some big changes too, especially living behind a barbed wire fence and having the car searched for semtex! However one day we saw an advert for science teachers in Australia…. We arrived here in 1992 knowing we at least had one job between us! We had no idea where it would be (just somewhere within NSW) until a Dept of Ed person rang to say we were going to Albury on the border between NSW and Victoria.

We were there for 10 years, I worked in the welfare sector, with young 'at risk' children referred from DoCS, and eventually went back to study. Starting a Diploma course when I was 48.

We now live in Crookwell which is a small town in the Southern Highlands. We have built a house and really enjoy the country life. I work in Goulburn as a welfare worker and have studied more, becoming a qualified counsellor this year. Our eldest daughter is a science teacher and our youngest is having our first grandchild in September.

It was wonderful to read the comments on the web page. I was from a working class family and to be suddenly with a group of girls who had a family car or went on overseas holidays was an eye opener. I remember the strain on the family finances buying all the kit- from a hockey stick to a cookery basket, with cover. The good teachers made such a difference because they genuinely cared and were passionate about their subject.

When we joined with the boys and had a 9 form intake, some of the older teachers just didn't cope. I must admit my HHS education gave me confidence although that last day I couldn't wait to get out and AWAY! I left one Friday and started at the Pru on the Monday.

Some other names I remember are Catherine Evitt and Lynne Graham who came from Edgefield Primary with me. Then later Karen Pugh Jane Josephs Georgina Dance Lynden Stewart Susan Hope. As my brain cells connect I'm sure I will remember more.

When I was very new to Crookwell I joined a club for women called VIEW. I still have a Geordie accent (despite years of oral English at HHS to try and 'make me talk proper!') There I met Lyn Dingwall who said she was also from Newcastle. Once we got talking we realised we attended the same school although at different times. The common denominator was Doc H though.

Doreen BIRD (now Talbot) (1955 - 1960)

I have fond memories of days at Heaton High under the tyranical Dr Henstock.I was in 1B through to 5B.

My form mistress for the first 4 years was Mrs McKenzie then we had Miss Harbottle. My best friend during all this time was Brenda Graham who sadly died a few years ago after suffering fron MS for many years.

I left in 1960 with 9 O levels & like many others went to work at MPNI as it was then called at Longbenton.I married my husband Brian Talbot in 1964 and moved to live in Hetton le Hole which is near Durham. 

I left the ministry in 1968 and had a son Keith who is now a commercial artist .I later had a daughter Laura in 1975 who is a marketing coordinator.  I returned to full time work in 1987 working as photographic printer in Jessops in Sunderland then went to my present job with the Sunderland Echo as photographic assistant.

I still keep in touch with Jaqueline Bourne & met up last year with Ann Chard at a reunion at the school. It was organised for girls who had been there long after us but we gatecrashed and had a great time touring round the old building and it has hardly changed at all except you can now walk straight through to THE BOYS SCHOOL .

We were not even supposed to know that they existed & were in for a dire punishment if seen talking to a boy even if he did happen to be your brother! It was great to find this website.  I hope many more will join in & hopefully we can all meet up in 3 years time at the next reunion.

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