I started at Heaton High School in September 1945 shortly after my 11th birthday. It really was a time of great austerity but also a time to look to the future following the end of the Second World War.
My father joined the Royal Air Force in 1939 so my war started with evacuation to Belford in 1939. We returned to Newcastle in 1940 only for my family to lose their home in the Guildford Place bombing. Then followed a succession of further evacuations and living in a series of temporary rented homes. By 1944 we finally returned to Newcastle to live in Benfield Road. In 1945, (from North Heaton School) I won a place at Heaton High School. This was the first year when fee paying was abolished following the 1944 education act. For me this was the first stable schooling I had ever experienced - following a succession of eight completely different infant and junior schools!
I would really struggle to improve on Mildred Heslops (HHS 1944-1949) extremely detailed description of life at HHS in the years leading up to 1950. She reminded me of so many of those fine little details that most people have long since forgotten. The uniforms, the patching, the darning and the weaving lessons as well as the peggy purses and leather satchels. It brought back so many memories. Thanks for that Mildred!!
It was easiest for me to cycle to and from school which I did whenever possible. Otherwise it was a walk of a good mile and a half. The corporation buses did not link up well for the journey. It was also convenient for me to have school lunch every day. I have no recollections whatsoever of these school meals this seems at odds with many of the negative comment on the HHS and HGS website!! But with shortages and rationing still overshadowing peoples lives I probably had no reason to complain. Most people were still grateful to eat regularly after the war years.
My time at HHS was always spent in the B forms. I disliked all the sport activities and would do anything to avoid them. Forgetting sport clothes or equipment was my regular excuse. Punishment was extra maths lessons with Miss Henstock but as mathematics was my favourite subject it failed to deter me!! As a result of my sport vs maths syndrome, I had an awkward relationship with Miss Hall who taught me most of the mathematics but also took much of the sport!!! I coped pretty well with all the subjects I was taught by a set of very dedicated teachers. At the end of the 5th year I passed all eight subjects in what was to be the final set of University of Durham School Certificates. My love of mathematics was rewarded by winning the Mayfield Prize in the mathematics examination. Winning this prize resulted in a lot of pressure from Miss Henstock and Miss Hall who wanted me to stay on in the sixth form. But financial pressure in my family meant that I had to leave school and start earning!! The next few years was a mixture of office work and evening classes.
During my time at HHS out of school leisure time was centred on the Girls Life Brigade attached to Heaton Presbyterian Church and in ballet classes. In those early post war years, most youth organisations were based around church infrastructures which thrived with a large variety of such activities A trip to the cinema was a once a week luxury !!!
My last year at school had an additional life changing experience when I met the love of my life Lyall Smith (HGS 1945-1952) - from the other side of that wall !!! We married in 1954. So for the following 15 years my life was dictated by children and housework. Shortly after marrying we moved to the north of Scotland in Thurso. Lyall's employment in the Atomic Energy Authority came with a house provided!!! At that time social housing in Newcastle had a twenty year waiting list. And the banks would only provide mortgages for those whose earnings far exceeded anything in our dreams!!!
In 1964 we moved to the other end of the country in Weymouth still in the nuclear power industry. A few years later I also took up employment in the nuclear industry and managed to finally achieve a return to a maths education albeit part time. I finally qualified in computer programming and IT. Following that, the UK nuclear industry lost government support, and in 1974 we emigrated to Switzerland - where we have built up a happy life and still live there in retirement. We have four children, eight grandchildren and so far five great grandchildren!!! So HHS coupled with HGS has a lot to answer for!!
Probably my most useful contribution to this website will be the HHS Form 3B photograph from 1948. Whereas the HGS website is enriched with an array of photographs, alas the HHS site seems strangely devoid of pictures at this moment in tine (February 2014). Thats me in the front row on the extreme right. As you see I was relatively small in stature - which might also explain my dislike of sport against the jolly hockey sticks brigade. Third from the right front row is Pat Newby. My best school friend Sheila Petrie is also in the front row fifth from the right next to Miss Rowntree. Extreme left on the front row is Pat Henderson and third from the left is Dorothy Ferris. Middle row Extreme right is Jean Chisholm while fifth from the right is Norma Barnes - who I also knew from the Girls Life Brigade. In the back row third from left is Muriel Shaw and fourth from the left is Lucy Aspinall, while fourth from the right is Margaret Billany and second from the right is Pat Butler. I am ashamed to say I cannot remember any of the other names even though most of us were together for a full five years - but I do remember the faces. So if anyone can help naming those faces I would really appreciate the information.
Caroline WINGATE (now Drake) (1966 - 1967) firstname.lastname@example.org
I was new to the area when I joined and was bullied in my first year. I left 2 weeks before the end of my second year as I moved to Southport in Lancashire but I preferred my 2nd year as it was much happier.
I'm afraid that although I have a school photo I have virtually no memory of anyones name.
A vivid memory remains of walking to school one day to find the roof had blown of the Art department.
Theo WINTER (now Harrison) (1949 - ) email@example.com
Today I have been out with some "old" Heatonians and one of them commented that there were few people on the HHS site so I am trying to rectify this in a small way.
My maiden name was Theo Winter and went to Heaton in Sept l949. My brother Stan went to HGS in l951. We lived in Cochrane Park having moved from Heaton in l947. I went to Kenton Lodge College and trained to be a primary school teacher. I taught in Wallsend and Peterlee. I married late (enjoying the single life until then!! with holidays abroad for the whole of the six weeks holiday and M.G. sports cars). When I married I had reached the giddy heights of Deputy Head (at the age of 31).
I had a son in l979 and left teaching to bring him up. My husband and I opened a sports business in '81 , specialising in running equipment. I returned to supply teaching in 1986 and 2 years later went back full-time. Unfortunately the marriage did not last - my husband leaving in l988.
Christopher . my son, recently qualified from Northumbria University with a 2.1 degree in Marketing. He is working for a main Ford agency in Newcastle in the marketing department.
I retired three years ago, but started doing the odd bit of supply, but because of the severe shortage of teachers I have ended up doing more work than I planned to do. However, I do plan to stop this summer!! The world is calling me! Last year I visited Japan and Greece and I would like to go on a cruise - where I don't know yet. I hope I haven't bored you . I am not yet completely computer literate so I don't know if this is what you need to put on the site. I do enjoy reading the HGS site - especially if I recognise the names of old boy-friends!! Best wishes Theo