Famous Old Boys/Girls

Most of these were found in the public domain, normally via Google. Some are from personal knowledge of contributors

Angus Monro b 1949
Gateshead Grammar School 1960-67
York Uni, M&S, ultimately Head of Matalan and £-Stretcher
formerly London, now Cheshire
Retail Boss,
Multi millionaire,

Sits on the board of several companies but otherwise is retired for the time being. Lifelong Newcastle United Supporter

Thomas Wright


"English amateur astronomer, private tutor, and instrument-maker who, in An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe (1750),1 was the first to propose a reasonably modern view of the Milky Way in which the Sun is not centrally located".

He is our oldest famous Old Boy if, as the evidence suggests, he studied for a time at the first grammar school in Gateshead founded by the Rev. Dr Pickering

"It is perhaps a little indelicate to ask of our Mother Earth her age, but Science acknowledges no shame" Arthur Holmes 1913 (Aged 23)
Looking back it is a slight consolation for the disabilities of growing old to notice that the Earth has grown much more rapidly than I have-from about six thousand years when I was ten, to four or five billion years by the time I reached sixty" Arthur Holmes 1964 (Aged 74)

Arthur Holmes
Gateshead Secondary School (which became Gateshead Grammar) 1901

14 Jan 1890-20th Sept 1985

Durham Uni 1924-1942
Edinburgh Uni 1943-1956

The whole story here


and here



Sylvia Waugh, S/Y 1947 nee Richardson, writer of books for Children, the best known being the Mennyms which won the Children's Guardian Prize in 1994, was published world-wide, and picked up other prizes later. It emerged into a series of books.  For details of other books click the link for more books by Sylvia Waugh.  She taught English at a Gateshead school for many years but gave up teaching to devote her time to writing. She has three grown up children and two grandsons.

Sir George Russell b 1935
Kells Lane Primary School 1940-47
Gateshead Grammar School 1947-54
Granada plc and Camelot

George Russell was a founder member of the Caprians

See biography here


Emily Hilda Young b 1880
Gateshead Grammar School 1891
This book, one of many, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1930.



John Steel b 1941
Gateshead Grammar School 1952
Drummer, The Animals
(This was disputed by one old boy who said John Steel attended Jarrow Grammar School (That was Alan Price) but, for example, John Robinson (Starting Year 1951) has confirmed that he used to walk to and from school with John Steel who lived in Carr Hill. From Colin McLaren (Starting Year 1958) another memory of John Steel  was that his parent owned the wet fish shop at the top of Sheriff Hill .... ) 

Tom Hill
Bass Guitar, Geordie
...also has Fish Shops


Alex Glasgow
 born October 14 1935; died May 14 2001
(died only 65 years old)

Photos courtesy of Hugh Hedley.
The first one is Alex in 1954 and the second is Alex on a trip back to Low Fell from Australia in 1997

Gateshead Grammar School 1947-54
Songwriter ("Close the Coalhouse Door" et al)
Sang the signature tune to "When the Boat Comes In" 
Went to Kells Lane Primary School and the Grammar School in the same year as Sir George Russell. 1935 was a very productive year for Low Fellers

Caprians formed in 1953 by Alex Glasgow and other Gateshead Grammar lads, including George Russell.
A blue plaque is erected on 59 Church Road, Low Fell where Alex used to live

Jon Bratton writes

"He grew up next to my Grandparents in Selbourne Ave in Low Fell and then came to Low Fell School, his old school, as a trainee teacher. I recall him taking over Mr Wood's Maths lesson and within minutes of Mr Wood leaving he asked whether we would prefer a song or two or Maths. As 10 year olds we naturally chose Maths, but despite that, he got out his guitar and sung us a song about a cowboy who despite rubbing on to his chest lots of lotions of various hues, was unable to grow hairs on his chest. I loved it. I grew to love folk music, I watched 'When the Boat Comes In' and passed Maths 'O' Level but not necessarily in that order. At about 17, I was alcohol influenced with some pals, on a bus returning to Low Fell and we shared the upper deck with Alex Glasgow. To my shame, I said something loudly but not unkindly about Alex. He didn't know who I was, I'm glad to say. To this day, I am a fan and, in compensation, I have added to his fame in my Low Fell history website and, Worldwide in Wikipedia"


Old Grammarphone record


H. T. Dickinson
Gateshead Grammar School circa 1951-58

H. T. Dickinson is Richard Lodge Professor of British History at Edinburgh University. He is a former President of the Historical Association and a former Vice President of the Royal Historical Society. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond. His numerous books include British Radicalism and the French Revolution 1789-1815 (1985), Caricatures and the Constitution 1760-1832 (1986) and The Politics of the People in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1995). He was also editor of the journal History from 1993 to 2000.

Professor John W. (Wesley) Derry
Gateshead Grammar School c 1944

John W. Derry is Professor Emeritus, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He is the writer of many books on history from the 60's onwards
William Pitt
Parliamentary Reform
Politics in the Age of Fox, Pitt and Liverpool: Continuity and Transformation (British History in Perspective)
Reaction and Reform.1793-1868.. England In The Early Nineteenth Century
Charles James Fox
Charles, Earl Grey: Aristocratic Reformer

The Regency Crisis and the Whigs 1788-9
English Politics and the American Revolution
The Story of Sheffield


Professor Bill Heal

Gateshead Grammar School c 1944

In 2001 Professor Bill Heal was awarded Fellowship of Hatfield College, Durham University in recognition of his many and various achievements as an ecologist and science administrator, in which the College takes great pride. Said by a pupil of Gateshead Grammar " Bill Heal was well known throughout the school as an outstanding member of a very good rugby team (and one of those who helped with junior teams)."  


A E M Nairn
Gateshead Grammar 1939-46
Geologist Academic
see Starting Year 1939


Professor Bruce Pattison, PhD

Gateshead Grammar School 1920-27

University of London
English as a Foreign Language
Author  'Music and Poetry of the English Renaissance' and other publications


Verna Cornelius nee Clarke

Verna Clarke (S/Y 1950) Model then Realtor to the Stars


Peter Wilsher
b 16 June 1928 d 16 April 2008
Gateshead Grammar from about 13 to 16 years of age when he went to Cambridge Uni
Sunday Times  Business Editor see Starting Year 1939

Donald Tyerman CBE
b 1 March1908 d 4 April1981
Gateshead Grammar School 1919-1925
Journalist, Editor of The Economist

Born in Middlesbrough, he contracted polio at the age of three and was paralysed from the neck down, although over the next ten years he did eventually get back full use of the whole of his body except his legs - he needed splints to walk for the rest of his life. He was educated at Gateshead Grammar School (as was his younger brother Hugo...see below) and Brasenose College, Oxford and from 1930 to 1936 lectured in history at University College, Southampton. In 1936 he became a journalist with The Economist and soon became extremely influential, serving as deputy editor from 1939 to 1944. From 1944 to 1956 he was assistant editor of The Times, and then returned to The Economist as editor. He served in this post until 1965.

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1978.

Sir Peregrine Worsthorne on Donald Tyerman

"Donald wasn't a gifted writing journalist, but an academic and a good editor. He had a very strong personality, very commanding. And he was enormously strong physically, despite the fact he walked on sticks because of his polio. It was quite remarkable.

"There was a small group of young journalists who ate lunch with him - he called us his 'babies'.

Donald became editor of The Economist but it all ended in tears when he became an alcoholic. He was asked to go on a [television] programme, but he arrived drunk and had to be faded out by the cameras. One of the newspapers the next day ran a cartoon saying 'Econopissed'.
Whole Article here

Chris Macrae writes

Economist Trivia: James Wilson, 19th C founder of The Economist, declared that once its 2 main missions were achieved, the paper should be closed. The repeal of the corn laws happened quite soon in the life of The Economist, whereas the abolition of capital punishment in the UK did not happen till the middle of the 20th century.(8th November 1965).

At this time, its editor Donald Tyerman was quite a worried man, (indeed he left the Economist in 1965) but as my dad Norman Macrae quipped- no need to close Donald, the European Union is starting up the corn laws all over again.


Neil Nicholson
b  19th Jan 1945
Gateshead Grammar School 1957-
Swimmer, Team GB, Tokyo Olympics, 1964



Michael Hood

Gateshead Grammar School 1966-71
Mayor of Gateshead 2010

Is a Gateshead Mayor famous enough to be included?
Of course..name another out of the 9,000 pupils who attended from 1894

& by same token

Roger Scholes
Gateshead Grammar School 1960-62 (Family left area)
Freeman of City of Newcastle upon Tyne 2017


Terry Romeanes

1957 intake

Terry finished as assistant chief constable in Cleveland and might have got top job but for early death at only 58 .

Gateshead Grammar features in a novel

Everything Will Be All Right: A Novel  by Tessa Hadley 
"After the end of the war, when she turned eleven, Joyce Stevenson won a scholarship to Gateshead Grammar; she was one of the top forty..."
(Winning a scholarship was the same as what later was known as passing the 11+)

This is the Notable Alumni list shown on the GGS Wikipedia page as of Jan 2014.
It will no doubt change as new people find fame or, more likely, as new people wish fame

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