School Buildings of Gateshead Grammar
The first four shots are photographs of the old school buildings dating back to 1883, the fifth is a sketch by an unknown artist. What was the separate small building at the front shown on pic 2 and the sketch?
Reg Snowdon's (S/Y 1939) poetic description of this magnificent edifice which Old Goat Frank Rogers (S/Y 1939) as a local councillor tried to save from municipal mindlessness. Where was Soc 'Em when we needed them (For those too young, it was a student lobby group in the Sixties called Save Our City from Environmental Mess which stopped Newcastle City Council from replacing gems with carbuncles
If the school had to be modernised the least that could have been done was to retain the facade just as happened with, for example, the retained Nelson Street facade of Eldon Square Shopping Centre
Per Bill Crow (S/Y 1950) the small building at the front adjacent to the entrance to the school, was a public toilet with entrances just off Prince
Consort Road - there were also entrances to these toilets from inside
the school grounds.
Left click the image
This next one is North Dene which was used as an annexe to deal with the overspill in the the fifties and early sixties, when the baby boomers came of secondary school age. The girls getting their own school in 1956 helped but the pressure wasn't relieved until 1961 when Heathfield Grammar was opened. North Dene first got used in Sept 1953 and continued being used until 1961 or 1963
Eight of the next 9 photographs, taken 1963, are the property of Malcolm Burns who thankfully not only preserved them for posterity but has allowed us to use them here. Malcolm had a website but has been offline for several years but is returning soon.
"I am still living in Gateshead - I have taken early retirement from teaching Chemistry/Science at a school in Sunderland. I have a keen interest in digital photography and I am President of the local Gateshead Camera Club. In my last year at the Grammar School, I made a photographic record of the old buildings before they were demolished. These old pictures will soon be appearing on my new website http://www.malburns.dsl.pipex.com "
The Main Corridor
The Art Room
War Memorial, Teachers Seating and Pulpit in the Hall of the Old School
The Prefects' Room known as "The Ducket" as it was in 1954 (photo by C. Kilburn)
In 1947 it was decorated with stolen street furniture, which were removed by Police on the instigation of the Deputy Head, Mr W. James. Click here for the story. After this period of restraint in the 50's, in the early sixties, street furniture reappeared recalls Jon Bratton who as a, say, 2nd former happened a glance into the part open door of that, to him, forbidden place
More about the Ducket, please
Pond used for calcium carbide power boat racing
Was a teacher's mini parked sideways in the alley?
Seek and ye shall find
Within 24 hours of appealing for pics of the 1963 replacement school these three gems arrived from Old Boy and Teacher Mr David Heslop Walker, the first one of which he billed
I saw the new moon late yestreen,
Wi' the auld moon in her arm:
And if ye gang to sea, maister,
I fear we'll suffer harm.
From the anonymous Scottish ballad Sir Patrick Spens
First Formers taught English by Mr Walker will no doubt remember that little ditty
Toil No Soil, Nor Sea,
Per the 1964 edition of The Caprian, the new school was officially opened on 25th April 1964
Left click on the above image for a splash of colour
Left Click the image to see which is better
New school with main entrance facing onto Avenue Road. Building the new school facing west onto a minor road made sense. When the old school was built in 1883 it faced east onto The New Durham Road which had been built a few years earlier in 1826. It was the main road to London and Scotland but very few of us wanted to go to either, so traffic was light. We, who went to the school in the fifties/sixties and lived in Low Fell, Beacon Lough, High Fell, and all points east of the school, had to negotiate across, what had become, the juggernaught infested A1. But that was when we played pirates in the gym, went rock climbing in plimsols and got strapped, caned, slapped and blackboard rubbered by teachers. The Nanny State hadn't been invented yet