School Badge

Philippa CLARK (1964-1971)

I was In the B stream 1B, 2B etc then Lower and Upper VI Arts II .

I too remember all the mistresses from the "old " school very well, including Miss Clough "Salvate Puellae" ....I was sorry I failed Latin O level.

I remember too many of those who have posted messages or are referred to on the websites of the schools when the wall existed!

I remember the elitism which I began to question age 15

I remember also the most fantastic English teacher, Mrs Pontin. She was fabulous and I owe her so much. She is unidentified in the staff photograph on the HG website, second row I think looking very young and fragile to the right of someone called Crowther. She took us to Stratford and London to see some memorable theatre productions, Helen Mirren in Troilus and Cressida at the Aldwych and The White Devil at the Old Vic. Judy Dench in Twelfth Night. Once in London I knew I had to escape is a fantastic city.

It was drama/ acting that I loved. Miss Newbiggin introduced me to TS Elliot and I was in many plays and some competitions. My only regret is not taking up the offer of a place at drama school.

Being involved with Ron Cherry's productions and joining the People's theatre was a life saver for me as was school. Home life was somewhat dysfunctional. I was thrilled to see Ron at Mike Chaplin's 50th . His memory was incredible.

I am in touch regularly with Mike and Sue Chaplin. They too were life savers during my 3 years in Cambridge at the College of Arts and Technology. My god ,the ruling class were and still are in full flow in these universities. As a very naive 18 year old, totally unsophisticated it was mind blowing.Again acting also kept me sort of sane as did Mike and Sue.

My other dear friend is Charlie Bell who also came to Cambridge a lot and with whom I have always kept in touch. He is interesting,fun, talented, loyal and a fabulous father. I treasure these longstanding relationships. I am also in touch with Anne Marie Holliday a friend from age 13 and Heaton High.

I spent 11 years with Philip Bailes (his face is on the HG First XI pic 1969 -70 back row, second from left, lots of hair, lovely face) who was the biggest part of my life along with drama. However I became more and more immersed in left wing politics, trade union activism, anti racism, feminism, joined the CPGB and this became my life for over 35 years and it has been a privilege. I especially value the international comrades I met who have taught me so much.

I have been with my present partner, Charlie Whelan, for 33 years remaining determinedly not married. We are comrades, friends and I couldn't live with anyone else! He more than pulls his weight domestically, daily putting equality into practice, good on challenging racism, sexism and homophobia. We met through politics and trade union activism .We even weathered him being notorious in political and media circles and working very much in New Labour. I didn't care about the former but the latter drove me nuts!! Now that he is out of the game he is returning to his left wing roots thank goodness. He was absolutely hooting when,at the only school reunion I attended and he came too, the two Petes in my sixth form group were gob smacked at my politics. Charlie loved it when they said it was unbelievable as I was such a snooty cow!

My sister, Joanna, attended Manor Park and had such a different educational experience . She was told to leave school at 16 as she wouldn't amount to much. She achieved her M.Ed. whilst teaching in an inner city boys school in London and is now sought after by Heads to help turn around schools, not a la Gove, but to ensure the kids who are "written off " instead get a first class education,confidence and self esteem . She works with some of the most improved schools in the UK. She is very modest and her politics are spot on school really makes all the difference to breaking the barriers of class and racism and this drives her on.The two Heaton's illustrate this well.

I have enjoyed a life of politics, arguments, comradeship, sisterhood , the best friends anyone could wish for ,smoking and drinking. Possibly not what Doc Henstock had in mind but no regrets including life at Heaton High.

Joan COLEMAN (now Storey) (1935-1940)

I attended Heaton High from 1935 to 1940. Being the war years my education and that of those around me was disrupted but I still remember some of my teachers - Miss McGregor for French, Miss Carr for English, Miss Strong for history, Miss Hardy for domestic science and Miss Hall (whom I disliked immensely) for maths (or was it the maths!). Finally there was the headmistress' Miss Cooper, who was eventually replaced by Dr. Henstock who was still there when my son arrived in 1966.

While at school I played hockey, lacrosse and netball and can still remember how cold the open quad was, how draughty the classrooms were and how long the walk to Chillingham Road baths was (I have lived 2 streets away from the baths for nearly 50 years and have to report they have just been pulled down).

I find it difficult to recollect my classmates save Mary Robson, Betty Lambert and Audrey Jeffries who, sadly, died recently. In 1939 the whole school was evacuated to Kendal, where I took my matriculation exams. I also recall the caretakers house suffering damage from a near miss in, I think, 1941 but my most vivid memories are, like so many others I have read are of trying to see the boys from the other side of, not the wall on the field, but the area around the stages - the closest opportunity we got.

Having been brought up in South Gosforth and having cycled to school for 4 years I eventually settled in Sackville Road, Heaton, close to Jean Edwards, nee Robertson, who has also contributed to this board - small world!

Margaret COLLINS (1966-1973)

I was a pupil 1966—1973 and would love to be in touch with some of the familiar names I saw when I looked at the website at the weekend.

Freda Crabtree was my form teacher for one of my years. I don’t remember which.

I noticed that Cynthia Mynott, (in my class in 1966 together with the Chadbund twins??) had commented on the encouragement she received from Mr Walker to apply to RADA. This touched me as being one of the “poor girls from Walker” (Dr Henstock, as quoted by Susan Hutton in her piece) I also received a passing comment from the same man. He said that “I could hold my own with anyone at university”. I hadn’t even thought about applying despite doing well at school and being top of the year in geography for my mock exam under the auspices of Mr Fullerton. Well I am now a lecturer in English language at the University of Reading and was Dean of faculty in a Japanese college in Reading before that. I have also taught in Nottingham university in China. I have only used the geography skills for travel and being good at reading maps and as for my English language, it was my worst result at GCSE! Perhaps the Geordie slang got in the way?

Such a delight to see all those names from the past – teachers and pupils.

Barbara COX (now Rörqvist) (1965-1971)

To all the old Heatonians! I do hope somebody will remember me. My name was then Barbara Cox and I was at Heaton High from 1965-1971. I was friendly with Christine Elliott (I still am). We were in the C class. I remember some other girls: Susan Cunningham; Susan Smithson; Carol Coulter.

My sister was in the year above, her name is Penny Cox. She lives near the old school so I often walk past and go for a little trip down memory lane.

I remember the long darkish corridors and the large assembly hall. My favourite teacher was Mr Gray - he made history so interesting. Doc H was quite a character and I remember the cookery teacher Mrs Lambert, she developed my interest in cooking and gave us some really good tips to use in the kitchen.

It really would be nice to hear from anyone that remembers me. I now live in Sweden and work at the English School in Gothenburg. Quite different from our old school!!

Hope life has been good to you all, the years pass so quickly. I'm having a weekend in Stockholm with Christine Elliott at the end of September. We still laugh alot together as we did at Heaton.

Bye for now......

Freda CRABTREE (1963 - 1967)

I spent 4 years on Heaton High Staff before we joined with the Grammar School to form Heaton School. It was my second job –I’d spent one year at Luton High School.

I took on a lovely form and kept them for 5 years-my D form. I did my best to raise their self esteem-D didn’t stand for doomed or daft in spite of Doc H’s implications.

Can anyone remember Mark Readings? All cardigans off, all windows open even in freezing Winter weather !!!!!! The Staff were just as terrified as the students.

Good comments had to be written in red, bad ones in black so Doc H. knew what tone of voice to adopt before she started. (One member of Staff reversed the colours by mistake with predictable results.)

I have fond memories of many of the students I taught and would love to hear from any who remember me.

I have to confess that I was very glad to go co-educational in1967.  I stayed on as the School "changed around me" until 1999

Marilyn CURRY (1951 - 1953)

I attended Heaton High School from 1st term 1951 until last term 1953 - my father died then and we moved to Whitley Bay I have lots of memories some good some not so good.

My name then was Marilyn Curry - now it sounds better and is Lyn Dingwall and I live 300kms south of Sydney Australia - near another old girl.Kath Gribben (Beattie then) and we often laugh about school happenings although we were not there at the same time.

I don't know when Dr Henstock stopped being head of Heaton High but I sure know when she started - I don't think any human has scared me as much as she did. She changed the start and finish times of school so that we wouldn't be mixing with the boys. One of my friends got into great trouble for talking to her twin brother outside school!! We always thought it was great to swap scarves - the colours were slightly different - it was a great challenge to wear them at school and not get caught!

I remember playing lacrosse in the snow and not being able to see anything and Miss Raby yelling at us all the time =- she had great vocal cords! I could always climb up the ropes in gym but had great difficulty getting down and she had to climb up to rescue me - shouting the whole time.

Miss Rowntree was the scripture mistress and was a scrawny necked lady with her hair pulled tightly back into a tiny bun wearing coca cola glasses - she was absolutely wonderful to me when my Dad died - Dr H told me to get over it.

I don't remember her name but we had a great history teacher - her Francis Drake's ships impersonation was amazing.

Miss Weedon was an Aussie geography teacher and threw the blackboard duster at me and then made me write 100 times - I will not duck when a blackboard duster is thrown at me!

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