††South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys
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Welcome to the Guestbook
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only rules are: real names only, no personal attacks and no unrelated messages (inappropriate messages may be edited/withdrawn without warning).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 181 to 190

Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Well then Eric,let's see.(Eighty four and keeping well, I presume).
For us, in 1939, war began without fanfare. If I remember anything about that year it would probably be paddling in the sea at Marsden Bay. That experience would be short lived, for soon after, the beach would be mined and strung with barbed wire, effectivly
closing the beach until hostilities were over.
1940 saw us starting school,when the war was still something grown-ups talked about. Even the Battle of Britain, in the autumn of 1940 was being fought mainly in the South of England, although I do remember a British Air Force Spitfire making a forced landing on Cleadon Golf Course. (but it might have been later).
1941 was when the air war became a reality for the people of South Shields.Heavy bombing caused much damage in the downtown area and the night sky was often criss-crossed with searchlight beams, which reflected off the numerous barrage balloons strung across the night sky.Ocassionally a German aircraft would be caught and held in a beam and the anti aircraft fire would intensify. All households on Sutton Estate were provided with an Anderson shelter, which were generally partly buried in the back garden and which became the family refuge during air raids.It was all very exciting for kids our age. Almost a Guy Faulkes event. It was also a time of austerity and ration books, queues and blackout curtains. As the war drew to a close, kids our age were finally becoming aware of major milestones in the conflict; D-day i944, the surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945 and the horror of atomic warfare. It's a tall order you have, Eric, to condense it all to five minutes. Do Fred Grey proud and remember his rules on precis writing. Good Luck.


Sun 1-Sep-2019 23:55 - VICTORIA BC
Eric Moyse | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
I have been asked to give a five minute talk on growing up in the Second World War. Has anyone any memories that I might purloin?
Sat 31-Aug-2019 10:22 - Reading, Berkshire
john orton | jeorton~AT~outlook~DOT~com
reply to jean-paul - i remember two French assistants - both were great - one of then was lodging in the Lake area - Farding Square and I remember him on a late bus with several girls who loved his accent - may have been you?
Sun 4-Aug-2019 15:17 - Portishead
Edward Forrster | r2edforster~AT~live~DOT~ca
I've been sitting bored & the ancient brain has started to reminisce about my time at school. I was a rotten pupil, always getting into trouble for such as smoking, playing truant

bottom of the class most of the time I was only 15 when quitting, Because my pal who worked in a shipyard & started night school, I joined him. The teacher got me a job as an apprentice shipwright & because I was the only apprentice who went to night school I was put into the mold loft, When I was 25 I saw an advert. for a loftsman in Montreal, so off I went. A few years later saw an advert for a draughtsman in in aircraft so back to Coventry England. More night school. Later an advert for draughtsmen in Montreal appeared,so off I & my family went there, more night school & ended up as a senior structure design specialist All that diatribe shows is that one can improve oneself with a bit of hard work.
Fri 10-May-2019 00:28 - PEI Canada
Jean-Paul G. POTET | potetjp~AT~orange~DOT~fr
Hello. I was the French assistant under Dr. Skilling during the academic year 1965-66. I have devoted a whole chapter to my experience in South-Shields in my French book "Concombre en Absurdistan". Do you think I should donate a copy to the school library? Also, among other things? I have written a sitcom "Spiffies and Loonies" (French version "Fringues et Dingues") that also exists in a bilingual version (English-French) "Mirrored in French" (two volumes). Do you think the theatre club might be interested in playing some episodes? Best regards
Wed 13-Mar-2019 22:50 - Paris area, France
NEALE Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Ed
Congratulations on your 93rd birthday. Hope the nasty leg pains have cleared up.This is the time of year when we (here in Victoria) start bragging about our early spring flower count. Well not this year. It is snowing heavily at the moment (5.00pm pacific time) and the forecast is for 25cm by tomorow. Not quite in your ballpark on PEI but enough to keep our boastful Chamber of Commerce quiet for a while longer.
Hope you still have your driver's license. After all Prince Philip has recently set the standard in surrendering his licence at age 97. But then he could walk away from a car crash without a ticket!
Best wishes Ed and stay healthy. Neale.
Tue 12-Feb-2019 01:25 - Victoria BC CANADA
Edward Forster | r2edforster~AT~live~DOT~ca
Just been reading Patterson's piece about Xmas. Unfortunately I spent Xmas day in the hospital. At 6am I got up & could not straighten my right leg without getting a terrible pain, Paramedics came & took me to the hospital where eventually was injected with something & the pain eventually disappeared.
I'll be 93 this month, so I guess bits & bobs like that are going to happen.
Great New Year to all.
Mon 14-Jan-2019 19:41 - St . Felix Prince Edward Island
Derek Mason | dek~DOT~mason~AT~hotmail~DOT~com
Just heard of the death of B.S.Barber, taught us Physics in the 60's
Thu 27-Dec-2018 12:52 - Atherstone England
Alex Patterson, VUA, 46-51. | ad1935ap~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hello Mike and anyone else whoís reading this (You should be with your family instead of looking at a computer).
Itís 4:30 pm on Christmas Day and weíve just finished swapping and opening gifts here at my daughterís home on Georgian Bay. The whole family is here and the weather is fine, so far...no snow in the forecast. We did well in the gift exchange and are well stocked up with Tullamore D.E.W and, chocolates and liquorice allsorts as well as Tim Hortonís coffee cards and movie cards.
We managed a trip to England this year and stayed for four weeks in South Shields with the Little Haven Hotel as our headquarters. We were amazed at how quiet King Street was on Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm. I took a photo (that I wish I could send to you) to show the only five peopleto be seen around. Iím not sure that this is typical but the whole of down-town (or down-street as I used to call it) was deserted with shops shuttering up as we walked towards Fowler Street.
We loved the Word and spent a couple of afternoons there in the coffee shop and the family history section. We were lucky with the weather...no rain for four weeks!! The food was great and we went to Spanish City for afternoon tea where the old ballroom had been. The refurbishment of the tatty, old domed building has been superbly completed and the new road arrangement and free parking makes for an enjoyable afternoon out.
We took a drive to our old school to see lots of boys and GIRLS in uniform coming out. How long has this been going on? The school looks great and being there brought back many memories. So while itís still Christmas Day there Iíd like to thank you Mike for keeping the site alive and wish everyone a happy and healthy 2019 and one of my New Year resolutions will be to write at least one letter in the middle of the new year, instead of just one at yearís end. I canít blame my lack of resolve on Backhouse, because heís written at least two this year.
Best wishes to all and ďlang may yer rum leakĒ
Alex Patterson,
North York, Ontario,
Tue 25-Dec-2018 22:03 - North York, Ontario, Canada
Neale Backhouse (Sep 1946 and counting) | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Eric was in possesion, going for goal, was tackled, a ruck formed, Mike picks up and hands off to Backhouse (always where the ball is) who looks to left and right for support. Where is Kenny Oliver ? .......Sorry I'm getting carried away anticipating the World Cup in 2019.

May all Guestbook fans meet with the same success that I hope will be enjoyed by England and Canada at the tournament And a Merry Christmas in the bargain!!

Oh, and as usual, thanks Mike for your continued dedication to the site. (thanks for indulging my foolish whims}
Mon 24-Dec-2018 20:04 - Victoria BC CANADA

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