South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys
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There are 500 messages in the guestbook
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Viewing messages 131 to 140

Alan Whittaker(53-59) | alan~DOT~diwhittaker~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Can anyone remember the name of the pupil who played the organ at the Odeon cinema during the intermissions in the 1950s?
Thu 4-Nov-2021 10:28 - Langford Budville, Somerset
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Stewart Hamilton: Charlie Constable once said at the time of 'Visual Aids' that
"Aall ya need is a piece of chalk and a blackboard".
Well, during 2 years 6th. that statement might be classified as generous on his part! He would dictate his class lesson at non-stop speed. We 'invented' our own form of "Pitman Shorthand' to take notes in preparation for an essay on the subject. Not a speck of chalk dust!

Bill, 'Pop' Lucas was my Headmaster ably assisted by esteemed Charlie Constable and equally Alf 'Pan' Hedley with Fred'
'Basher' Grey for the 6th. Form.

First day at school "Pop' came into the classroom & gave a pat on the shoulder with words of encouragement when he spotted the look of consternation on my face as I fell victim to a page of algebra. Then we were a few hundred, now about one thousand six hundred & fifty.
Some have left us Alma Mater,
Labours ended, tasks all done;
Gone aloft to their Creator,
Heard the Master's, "Welcome, son".
Though their deeds are not engraven
In the storied halls of fame,
Yet to their desired haven,
Have they borne an honoured name!

They are remembered by photographs on the wall of the main corridor.
Wed 27-Oct-2021 13:29 - south shields
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Black Dust' many, 'Black Gold' the few.

'In 1936, George Orwell spent one day down a coal-mine described in his 'Road to Wigan Pier'. It was vivid as he struggled
to describe the heat, noise, darkness, foul air and above all, unbearably cramped space. Just the walk from shaft to coalface, much of it spent stooping, crouching or crawling, reduced him as a fit 32 year-old, to agony. He noted that many of the miners had 'buttons down their vertebrae': life-time scabs stained with coal dust.
Coal was central to the war effort. It not only kept people warm but powered industry, railways and shipping.
Many coal mines used explosives to loosen the rock and coal for removal by using shovels and trucks. Pneumoconiosis
known as 'Black Lung Disease' was caused by long-term exposure to coal dust. The disease subjected miners to a shortened and debilitating existence until they ultimately succumbed to the ravages of the illness / 'Black Death'.

(I hope it will be agreed that we 'Old Boys' present a copy of 'Black Gold' for the school library which I shall be happy to purchase.)

Tue 19-Oct-2021 13:38
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
'The History of how coal made Britain'.
Literary review: J. Paxman approaches his topic with characteristic panache. His book covers almost every aspect of British history in the last couple of hundred years. It is punctuated by accounts of those moments - usually a result of pit accidents - when miners attracted national attention'.

(I sent the request to his Publisher's to be forwarded at their discretion.
Let's hope he continues as Presenter of 'University Challenge')
Sun 17-Oct-2021 09:04 - South Shields
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Bruce Graham wrote: 'Some time ago,
I suggested that it would be good to know that today's students were being taught something of the heritage of their town'.

Jeremy Paxman has just published his book, BLACK GOLD, based on our local heritage. In this context I have written suggesting he might consider signing a copy. We 'Old Boys' will in turn present it to the present Headteacher for the school library.

Tue 12-Oct-2021 13:16 - South Shields
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com

Hi! Robin and 'Old Boys'. Hope you are all well as I found our school on my visit yesterday guided by most-helpful acting Headteacher.
The 'old' school of 1951-58 is mainly recognisable as per the Headteacher's /
Secretary's offices. However, Prefects' room now used by Staff. I walked the same corridors and we are remembered by photos displayed on the walls.
Teaching facilities are excellent due to a huge financial investment.
Maybe we can request a group visit with Mike as much to compare and admire as per the 20 metre length swimming-pool!
I'm sure all staff, teaching and support share a pride and passion for the school which has been a light burning bright throughout its impressive history.


Maybe one day we can organise a group visit with Mike?
Wed 6-Oct-2021 10:25 - south shields
Robin Leslie | robin~DOT~leslie~AT~yahoo~DOT~com
It is good to hear that Alan Wightman is still around because I was at the High School for a brief two years from 1952 to 1954. I remember Billy Edgar, Ronnie Kemp, Jack Talbot( the England schoolboy international) Geoffrey Hilcoat, Ian Murray and many more. I enjoyed the High School but left for Barnard Castle School in Summer 1954. The masters I remember were Jimmy Emerson, Pan Hedley,Dickinson, Pablo Dunstan, Ellis, Halling and the Head. Happy days. Keep in touch and thank you Mike for a wonderful website.
Tue 5-Oct-2021 10:53 - Cobham Surrey
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
non illegitimi vos carborundum

non desperandum
Fri 1-Oct-2021 18:18 - south shields
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
I refer to my era of 1951 - 1958. Those were the days!

Wed 29-Sep-2021 18:42 - south shields
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi! Mike,

I'd like to add my thanks for your work on our behalf. I'm visiting the now Harton Academy next week by kind invitation. Hope I can recognise something of our past era which was special!
Wed 29-Sep-2021 18:36 - South Shields

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