For the first six years of his school life, Albyn Snowdon attended the Laygate
Lane School in South Shields, after which he went to the South Shields Grammar-Technical
School for Boys. He started in 1R in 1958, and stayed in the school until he was
20 proving himself a very capable footballer and outstanding student.
He left in 1967 to go to St John's College, Oxford, from where he graduated
in 1970 with an honours in Modern History. Following a year at the University of
Newcastle to gain his teaching certificate, he returned to his old school in September,
1971, to teach History.
Albyn Snowdon brought an original and fresh dimension of scholarship to an already
high standard of History teaching. In his short time at the school he introduced new
texts and radical historians to the classroom, yet insisted on the most rigorous standards
He was a Bob Dylan fan and he argued that Dylan's symbolist lyrics of 1965 to 1968
were of enormous significant, a view which has been subsequently confirmed by university
In the classroom, Mr Snowdon would not tolerate copying. On one occasion, and with
a glint in his eye, he is reported to have said "copying from one book is plagiarism,
but some say copying from a few books is research."
He left at Easter, 1976, to become Senior History Master at Mortimer Comprehensive
School, becoming deputy Head in 1982, and Headmaster in 1984.
He retired in April, 2003.