South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys
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Feel free to add messages relating to the site and the school. The only rules are: real names only, no personal attacks and no unrelated messages (inappropriate messages may be edited/withdrawn without warning).
It would be appreciated if you gave an email address, where you now live and said when you were at the school, but you don't have to.
Plase note that if you click on an email address below you will need to replace ~DOT~ with . and ~AT~ with @ in your email program. The Guestbook presents these this way to avoid email address harvesters collecting your email addresses from the page. I know it's a pain, but it's very much better than the alternative.

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There are 500 messages in the guestbook
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Viewing messages 111 to 120

Neale Backhouse
Hi Alan
I tried to access the site register but couldn't get through.
Anyway my email address is; and hasn't given trouble in the past
Fri 26-Nov-2021 02:00 - Victoria BC
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Too many Alans - and Alan W's at that - for my octogenarian brain to deal with in the recent (very welcome) thread of memories!!

I wasn't a member of the Odeon Saturday morning Club but I do remember attending and hearing the wonderful cinema organ. I also recall that the Saturday market was open and you could buy a bag of cockles to take in with you.

Looking back and reminiscing of how we didn't necessarily connect with people living near us made me think that I would have great difficulty remembering the names of people in my own year at our school outside of my own immediate form were it not for the lists of names appended to the photographs on Mike's excellent website. (We usually have some input from Mike but not much recently - hope all is well).

Back to not necessarily knowing people who lived close to you and the Sutton Estate in particular I think it relates once again to the way that groups integrated. Neal Backhouse would not remember my brother (one year ahead of him) but did remember his namesake George Graham (in the same form as my brother) because of the Rugby connection. George also lived on the Sutton Estate.

One last Sutton memory. Do you recall the Friday night teenage dances - very innocent and all old time dances - conducted to a band composed of (mainly) members of the estate maintenance crew.

I'd better stop - my brain is beginning to hurt.
Thu 25-Nov-2021 19:38 - ruskington lincolnshie
Alan Whittaker(53-59)
Neale,I tried to send you an e-mail but both addresses on the website were rejected.Do you have a different address now? Mine, in the contact register, is current.
Thu 25-Nov-2021 14:18 - Langford Budville, Somerset
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com

Scenario: The Trojan War'(Homer's Iliad).

The first fight in the film with Brad Pitt portraying Achilles when he is challenged by the Champion of the opposing army. Achilles swiftly delivers the 'killer' blow and then 'appeals' to the massed, enemy army with the question: "Is there anybody else"?
Reply was Silence.

Scenario: Contributors to this web-page.
"Is there anybody else?" (Appeal).

'Sandancer'/ 'Geordie'.

Thu 25-Nov-2021 10:37 - South Shields
Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Alan
Apart from Joyce,your sisters are beyond my ken. Joyce is Liz's age, but managed to avoid me.
My Dad spent thirty years as maintenance joiner on Sutton Estate. In 1964 and at age 64, with only one year left before retiring with a company pension, he suffered a heart attack and died. Liz and I had emmigrated to Canada in 1963 with eighteen month old Caroline. Sad that my Dad never saw her again.
Wed 24-Nov-2021 18:35 - Victoria BC
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com

We 'constructed' a single 'column' with a boy acting as a 'buffer' as a preventative not to hit the frontal wall. 'Cemented' together as one in 'tight-scrum' fashion to impress Eddie Jones today. We were now prepared for the waiting lads, in turn, take a 'running jump' and land on our backs with the gleeful intention of 'collapsing' our structure & bringing us all down to the ground in a heap. We resisted as each lad moved himself forward towards the 'buffer' by which time this could mean bearing a considerable combined weight of the older lads some of whom I recognised from the 'Dumps'. This was another version as we ended dumped in a heap.
We were the little newcomers with the stature of 'Wee Bobby Thompson & endured the laughs & merriment of our 'Seniors".

BT: 'Ah bowt this packet of Woodbines 30 years ago. Ah hav 2 left - they greed them off ya'. (Witnessed at our school!)

'Fun' over & uniform not standing the test of time of these first days. The school was certainly proving to be 'selective' from 'top' to 'bottom'.
Poor lads at the 'bottom'!

BT: The air-raid siren went off & with wife headed for the 'Anderson' shelter.
"Bobby, Hav left me teeth behind".So ah sez, "Howay woman,they're dropping bombs not pork pies".

Tue 23-Nov-2021 12:19 - South Shields
Alan Whittaker(53-59)
Hi Neale, I had three older sisters: Betty1931, Jean1933 and Joyce1938.Betty left school at 14 to help support the family, Jean went to the girls High School and became a teacher and Joyce was head girl at Redwell school before becoming a comptometer operator.
I must have seen you on numerous occasions going back and forth but have no recollection!
I do, however, have strong memories of your Dad going past our house to work at the Estate Office.
Best Wishes
Tue 23-Nov-2021 10:29 - Langford Budville, Somerset
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com

Harton Academy: 'Respect the property of the school and that of other people'.
Respect the working ethos of the school in their appearance, punctuality and attitudes'.


First day at our 'selective' school fulfilled the 'appearance' via a brand-new uniform crowned with that 'elitist'
cap and badge.

Punctuality by my enthusiasm fulfilled by arriving at least 10 minutes early.

Attitude very positive as I entered to fulfil my dream at this 'Kingdom of Learning'

I was quickly surrounded by a group of older boys tussling to begin the initiation ceremony of 'Getting the Dumps'. Picked up under the arms, legs held, and 'dumped' repeatedly on the school field from about waist height.
No specified number of times, but other boys eager to complete their 'duty'.

Now 'distorted' and 'soiled' uniform as the grass had been wet from over-night dew. However, managed to find my cap!
Punctuality had in part been my 'fall' as early arrival meant an easy victim.

Attitude unchanged and maintained silence on my return home despite the questioning looks from the family.

No thought of 'Health & Safety' when
'Those were the Days'!

Mon 22-Nov-2021 13:03 - South Shields
Neale Backhouse. | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Alan
Good old Marks and Spencer,a mecca for shoppers in South Shields when we were growing up, but here in Victoria they had a hard time trying to attract local shoppers away from Canadian name brand stores and eventually gave up and closed shop. The food section always did well however. They had a loyal contingent of ex pats from the UK who had fond memories of shopping at M&S back home. Liz would often bring home a fruitcake from the Victoria store. That would be in the eighties, when you were buying your sausages. Another small world coincidence!
You also mentioned living on Sutton Way. I wonder if you had siblings closer to my age who I might remember? I tramped Sutton Way from 1940(infants)via Harton Juniors and the High School, until 1951. I'm sure our paths must have crossed, but have no recollections I'm afraid. Thanks for the memory, Alan. Cheers, Neale.
Mon 22-Nov-2021 03:36 - Victoria BC
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
'Silence of the Lads' as exemplified in
'Tom Brown's Schooldays' when the Rev.
Thwackum got a chance of delivering 'moral improvement' when Tom refuses to 'grass up' on a local poacher. Tom gets a whipping but nobly keeps silent.'

Harton Academy: 'In general students are required to act in a reasonable and controlled manner at all times'.

In 'Goodbye, Mr. Chips', such discipline was seen as a deterrent by 'Chip's when he thrashed a boy.

Harton Academy: 'Respect the authority of teaching and associate staff'.

I personally still 'feel' for my days at High School!

Sat 20-Nov-2021 10:16 - south shields

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