South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys   
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Viewing messages 31 to 40

Mike Todd | m~DOT~todd~AT~miketodd~DOT~net
Thanks for all the kind comments, especially from Bruce & Alex. Yes, it's a shame that the girls' school doesn't have a site - but (and I really don't want to be sexist!) I'm not sure how many Old Girls would have had the technical interest, but also had the access to school archives like I did.

More than once I've been asked if I could do the same for them, but I've never had the time - indeed, just look at how rarely the site gets updated!

As for Gelson, public records show someone of the same name born in South Shields in 1939, and married in 1961 in Yorkshire, so would have surname of Tarver.

Fri 25-Mar-2022 10:20 - Rothbury
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Alex and all

I've looked for her too, with no luck. Of course her surname would have changed, but I thought that Gelson was an unusual name and someone may have known the family.

You're absolutely correct in our good fortune in having Mike's masterpiece at our disposal.

Thankfully her Aunt and my mother recovered from their time in the tuberculosis ward which many will recall was a great scourge at that time.
Thu 24-Mar-2022 19:21 - ruskington lincolnshie
Alex Patterson VUA 1946-1951 | ad1935ap~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hello Mike and O. B’s.,
I was intrigued by Bruce’s story regarding Vivienne Gelson, and her “duckling to swan” transformation. I’m sure that must have happened to many a girl (and boy whatever the male version is…cub to lion(?) ) and “she was also a very talented tap dancer “with an abbreviated gym-slip. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!!
All of this led me to go onto Facebook to see if I could see this tap-dancing goddess. Of course she will be an 80’s + goddess by now. Facebook only showed a Vivienne Gilson, who looks like she could be in the time frame…but no mention of South Shields in her profile. Then I went into Google to look at the Girls’ High School website, but there is no equivalent to our Mike’s creation.
This made me realize what a treasure we have in our website with some 10,000 names and photos and this correspondence feature. I’ve looked and still haven’t found anything remotely like it; our site is all about people, it’s all about us.
So thanks Mike for all the good work you have undertaken on this site, and, thanks to all the contributors who keep it alive and thanks to Bruce and the mysterious Vivienne Gelson, wherever she may be, for triggering this stream of consciousness.
Best wishes to all,
Wed 23-Mar-2022 18:43 - North York, Ontario, Canada
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
To add to the school dances story. One of the reasons I remember the girls from their 3rd year coming to teach us to dance was one particular girl. They all arrived in their school uniforms (gym slips in those days) and this particular girl was obviously still wearing the uniform purchased when she went to the school. She had grown and at 14 the hem of her gym slip was embarrassingly (for her)high.

The reason I remember this so vividly is that her Aunt and my mother were both patients in the TB ward at Harton hospital and she went to show her aunt her ball dress before coming to the dance. Talk about a transformed creature - ducks and swans come to mind - my mother was entranced and so were most of the boys!!

Her name was Vivienne Gelson and she became a target of most of the boys in my year (me Included) with lots of innocent dating and tennis matches at West Park, close to where she lived.

She was also a very talented tap dancer.
Thu 17-Mar-2022 20:01
alan wightman | aconlan111~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Good Morning, Mike & Everyone,

Rally round the flag, Old Boy,
Recruiting `scribes´ to re-deploy!
Shouts of "Hurrah" for billeted `Sandancers´
Legacy `armoured´ by Old Guard `Enhancers´!

`Sandancer´- `Geordieland´.
Fri 11-Mar-2022 11:33 - south Shields
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Ah, the 6th Form.

I didn't realise they had a separate school dance because I left the school after O Levels to begin an RAF Apprenticeship (just like Alan Whitakker a few years later)

The 6th Form. They were the ones with deep voices and needing to shave. Nowadays I seem to see these same teenagers at that stage in their lives at about 13 or 14.
Thu 10-Mar-2022 17:00 - ruskington lincolnshie
Alan Whittaker(53-59) | alan~DOT~diwhittaker~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi everyone. I remember a High School dance in the late 50's. In preparation we had dancing lessons, does anyone remember how to do the "strip the willow"! On the night the High School girls arrived en masse and went to the far side of the room whilst the boys got together as far away as possible! The evening started off slowly but eventually we became aware that teachers were patrolling the school corridors because some of the clasrooms were being used for a bit of human biology!
Thu 10-Mar-2022 10:33 - Langford Budville
Eric Moyse | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
Ah, School Dances. Doreen and I attended our Second-year Sixth dance together but it was the year before that when a famous incident took place. Charlie Conna announced that interlopers has got into the gym for the meal. In consequence some ticketholders had not been able to sit down to eat.There was a loud cry of "Hard cheese"and Charlie shouted "Get out, Horseman." Whether he recognised the voice or just assumed it was Horseman, I do not know. Ah, happy days!
Wed 9-Mar-2022 10:26 - Reading Berkshire
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Reference School dances.

By 1950 things were fairly well organised though Alex and his contemporaries would have been outside the zone for attendance.

As I recall, because of the numbers involved only the boys in the third year (Upper fourth in those days) and the girls inn the same year at the girls High School were allowed to attend. But here's the thing - the girls were bussed to our school on a couple of occasion (after normal hours) to try to teach the boys how to dance. As mentioned they were all the old fashioned dances but a great time was had by all.

I seem to recall also that light refreshments were laid on in the old gymnasium provided, I think, by our parents. Since I wasn't in IVUA until 1952 the worst of rationing was over.

Maybe there are some other memories out there. i
Tue 8-Mar-2022 19:50 - ruskington lincolnshie
Alex Patterson VUA 1946-1951 | ad1935ap~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hello Mike and readers,
I had a look at Alan’s Macarena letter and at the Youtube version he referenced and tried out a bit of it on the kitchen floor. It brought back memories of a 60th wedding anniversary party we attended recently where the DJ played a mix of The Macarena, YMCA and the Hokey-Cokey. Most of the guests were contemporaries of ours and most of the dancers were confused and knackered by the end of the third repeat. It was like musical chairs, and if you did YMCA moves to the Macarena you were a gonner. The winners received a six pack of Guiness. I didn’t win.
School dances seemed to be few and far between. I can’t remember more than one from 46-51 Maybe Neale, Eric or Bruce can recall more. I couldn’t dance for toffee and the only dance I ever attended I was stalked by this giant of a High School girl, Beryl I think, who for some reason took a shine to the little squirt that I was at the time. Thank Goodness for dances like the Bradford Barn Dance and the Dashing White Sergeant!!
Ma Goudie partnered by Alf (Pan) Headley taught us how to dance. They danced a mean Foxtrot….I think. Does anyone remember other dances in that timeframe?
Best wishes from a warm and sunny 16C North York,
Sun 6-Mar-2022 23:05 - North York, Ontario, Canada

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