From age 11, James Young went to Middle Street Commercial
School, which he left in 1939 to attend a municipal college,
but being only 15 he was part of the evacuation of children
from South Shields. He returned to the college the following
year and attended in the evenings.
In 1947 he was accepted into Kings College, Durham,
where he studied geography (with History and Geology as subsidiary
subjects), and in 1950 he graduated with his BA. He stayed
on a further year to get his Diploma of Education.
His first teaching posts in 1951 and 1952 were as a temporary
supply teacher at Bedlington Grammar School, and Brown
Rigg Residential School. His first permanent post was
at Newham Manor School, where he stayed until Easter,
1955. He then taught at Middle Street Central School
(Newcastle) from Easter, 1955, to 1969 with a spell at Ashington
Road Technical School from 1955 to 1958.
In 1960 he moved on to Manor Park Technical School,
and on 1st January, 1966, to the George Stephenson Grammar
School in Newcastle until the end of 1967, when he joined
the staff of South Shields Grammar-Technical School for
Boys as Head of Geography, replacing Les Seaword.