The Staff

Richard Merelie (S/Y 1956) admits to tampering with the school skeleton in the Biology Lab. He got detention at the time so he cannot be punished twice for the same crime. The likeness to Mr Cassius " He hath a lean and hungry look" Black, (Chemistry) is striking. Or Skinny Liz, perhaps. Or was this a member of the Skeleton Staff that kept the school going in the War years?

Staff 1900's

Staff 1921-26

Staff 1929

Staff 1933

Left click to enlarge
R FCoates, J G McNaughton, T L Main, J P Tuck, ? W R James, R Y Welch, N Hepple,  GLR Brown, R Harbron, Hammel, ? H A Wheeler, Clampet, E Rimer
H Ditchburn, G Rogers, K Brown, ? Yarborough, Otty, E Grey, E Hollis, V Ramshaw, ? ? S E Grey

Staff 1937

Staff 1947

Staff 1949

Staff 1951  
Left click to enlarge      

L Mock, W. Greenwell, Robertson, J R Brown, A Reed, E Fawcett, J Howe, C. Ridley, R. Cleasby, R. Warden, I.Tindle
R. Errington,L. Ure,T. Clayden,J. Doxford,F. Gilchrist,A.Simpson,S. Potts,Pattie,Greenstone,B. Henderson,M. Mordue,M. Thomas,M. Flintoff
F. Lamb, E. Rimer, H. Oyston, T. Main, W. James, G. Brown, V. Ramshaw, E. Clunie, M. Oates, B. Kitchen, E. Hunt

Please email if you can add to the 'names to faces' knowledge.

Staff 1960

Staff 1961

Staff 1962

Staff 1963

Staff 1965

"Few things are more distressing to a well regulated mind than to see a boy, who ought to know better, disporting himself at improper moments" The famous Fifty Few of Jimmy Petherbridge, Physics, These lines were impossible to write three at a time because each line was three lines long but after only a few months after Pethers arrived, no one ever had to write them again. You just had to buy them from the Fifty Few black marketeers. When lines were handed in to Pethers he threw them undamaged into a waste paper basket. These were recovered and recycled. Well done boys for reducing the School's carbon footprint!!

Louis Theakstone

and his more hirsute brother Anatole were brought up in St Petersburg and had started courses at Moscow Uni. Come the Revolution, they went to Scotland and took degrees at Edinburgh University. Both brothers joined the staff of the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle in 1931. Anatole stayed for the whole of his career but Louis was poached in 1954 by Gateshead Grammar to head up the Maths Dept. He collapsed at the school while still in harness and died shortly thereafter.

Bill James, deputy and G L R Brown, Headmaster photographed in 1961
This dynamic duo were around from at least 1947 until 1961, (Before Bill James was Deputy Head it was 'Foggy' Coates) per Old Boy Dr Miller. In 1961 James became Headmaster at the new coed Heathfield Grammar and G.L.R. Brown retired

This, by comparison, is the sprightly G.L.R. just 10 years earlier in 1951 

And here he is 1937. Hands up all those who knew that Geoffrey L R Brown had a glass eye

Dr. Caffrey came from a Borstal and took over as Head in Sept 1961 on the retirement of G L R Brown

 Photo of staff about 1960-61 supplied by PE Teacher Tom Maddison

Tribute to Mr Rimer and Mr Doxford

Eric Rimer was an Old Boy/teacher and was associated with the school for almost 50
years. Old Boys becoming teachers at the school is not that unusual but, so far as has emerged, Mr Rimer is unique in spending his entire career at the school. He
retired Christmas 1964. Elsewhere it is said how stern he was. In this tribute, written by Mr Howe in the Autumn 1964 edition of The Caprian, a distinquished Old Boy is reported to have said  "I suffered under Mr Rimer at school ...and have been grateful ever since" Mr Howe talks of the side of Mr Rimer, seen by his colleages in the staff room but not seen by pupils in the class room

James Doxford

Mr Doxford retired in the Summer of 1964...he became Head of the Art Dept in 1945, having previously been the Principal of Art Schools in Bridgewater and Barnstable. Born a Northerner but he retired to Canterbury

The 1964 edition of the Caprian also reports that in 1964 Mr Potts and Mr Black left for new posts and incoming were Mr Robson (Art), Mr Mitchell (French), Mr Doran (English), Mr Hawkins (Physics) and Mr Cook (Chemistry). Monsieur  Bereyziat (French) and Senor Ribelles (Spanish) also came for a year


Lyne Mock
known, incorrectly as Jasper Masculine Lyne Mock

Bill Hodgson writes

"It is said by a former pupil that his initials stood for Jasper Masculine Lynn and that he had been an Oxford Blue. Neither of these is correct.

The former is an 'urban myth'. The GRO (General Register Office) birth indexes show his first name as Maskelyne (not Masculinej) Mock. He seems to have added two further initials, because in the GRO marriage index he is listed as both Maskelyne and John M. L. Mock. In the GRO death index he is listed as John Maskelyne L. Mock.

He was always known as Lyne Mock (note the spelling) - try doing a Google search - and I assume this was the last part of the name Maskelyne. One would have to obtain a copy of his marriage or death certificate to find out what the final initial initial L stood for.

There was, of course, a famous individual called Jasper Maskelyne, who was a magician and responsible for organising various deceptions during World War 2 to fool the Germans. Having discovered that the M initial stood for Maskelyne (which they assumed was Masculine) some schoolboy must have assumed that the J stood for Jasper, and the urban myth began.

He actually attended Durham University, not Oxford, where he spent much of his time playing bridge.

I actually attended Heathfield, from 1963-70, where Mr Mock was Head of Mathematics. It was believed there, too, that he was Jasper Masculine Lynn Mock. I have always been curious about the name, so did a bit of digging, and found your website in the process."

Glad you did, Bill. He was certainly an interesting guy. It is my understanding (from a very reliable source) that he was plain and simple Lyne Mock and admired this guy and so, by deed poll, he added the Jasper allusion, after his namesake.

I read with interest your website entry for Mr Mock.

I knew Mr Mock at Heathfield senior High where he was probably regarded as a very stern and strict teacher. I was taught by him in the mid - late 80's (I am 43) We knew him as Jasper Lynn Mock....He loved golf at this stage and would teach us about averages using Jack Nicklaus as an example of golfing averages..

There are some teachers that you remember and Mr Mock was one of them. I felt him to be a very forthright but sincere teacher and one I had immense respect for.. he once drilled into me the following and said in jest that it would remain with me for has:

Russell..Repeat after me...." If the signs are the same the answer is plus. if the signs are different the answer is minus, This applies when we are multiplying 2 numbers or dividing by 2 numbers but not when we are collecting. We can only collect...."RUSSELL!... To which I would reply "Like terms sir"

Pupils in the mid 80's were generally quite intimidated by this fella but I thought I would add another side to this...

After passing all my CSE's and O levels I wanted to study Geology which meant leaving Gateshead MBC and getting an extra district Permit to go to North Tyneside where the Geology course was available...The council resisted this and wouldn't pay for travel etc..Mr Mock personally took up my case and wrote to the Education department..

As I said a forthright man but one I held the most utmost respect for. A true gentleman in my eyes and I still can remember his drill instruction some 25 years later despite forgetting everything else I was taught. One of the Old School.

Neil Russell


This Athletics Meeting poster is included here as this would appear to be an almost complete list of staff as at July 1961.  Once again, note the name of the school Gateshead Boys' Grammar School. A short while after this we were instructed, on pain of death...and capital punishment was allowed in schools back then... always to call it  the Grammar School for Boys, Gateshead. It's clear now why Mr Brown promoted that apostrophe-less name. Tom Maddison has been in touch and says he prepared the poster and was very concerned about getting the apostrophe right.
(It wasn't an issue for long because only 6 years later the Labour Government introduced the Comprehensive system so Grammar with a capital G, and with a small one, went out of the window)

Tom W. Maddison in 2018

38 Teachers

Geof Addison, M.Armstrong, K. Bennett, B. Bird, Peter Brewis, J.R. Brown, T. Clayden, R. Cleasby, A. Curry, R. Davidson, Mr. Doxford, D. Dyer, R. Errington, E. Fawcett, J. Foster, D. Gilchrist, R. Gosney, I. Graham, T.L. Hall, J.Howe, Frank Lamb, W. Matthews, R.S. Myers, K. Noel, Tom W. Maddison, Jasper M. Lynn Mock, D. Moore, Mr Oyston, J. Prest, A J P R Reed, C. Ridley
Eric Rimer, J.G.C. Robertson, L. Ure, P. Watkinson, R. West, W. Wilson

This is Robert Best who taught in the years just before and after the school became a comprehensive school in 1967. He is now active on the Grammar Schools Facebook page

Staff 1969
(Pic supplied by Robert Best, 6th from left, back row)

Jon Bratton writes "While on the subject of the above Athletics  poster, it's worth mentioning the House Names of Bede, Bewick, Eldon and Stephenson because I've just googled that name combination and very odd things come up...particularly American guys called Eldon Stephenson, of which there are surprisingly many. These are of course the surnames of some famous Geordies. Bede was Venerable, a Jarrow lad, who wrote much of the English history but I now know from Time Team that he made a lot of it up. Bewick, Thomas was an artist/engraver who lived in a house right next to the new town centre at the bottom of West Street, Gateshead, Eldon was just plain old John Scott, a fitter's son, when he was at the Royal Grammar School but he eloped with Bessie Surtees and became the Lord Chancellor and Stephenson, George was just an ordinary Wylam lad who invented a miner's lamp a rocket and the width of two Roman horses*. Allegedly, he, Geordie Stephenson, is why we're called Geordies so aa'm proper glad that wor school named a Hoose after him"

* He reputedly created the World standard railway gauge but it was just the width of two horses pulling a Roman chariot. My kids poem on the subject ends

The chariots were that size
Not very wide
To attach the shafts to two horses
Running side by side

The Romans should have used animals
Like an elephant or hippo or bull
If they'd had much bigger bottoms
Our trains wouldn't get so full

So next time your train arrives
And it's already full when it comes
Say loudly "All right... the Romans give us sanitation, roads, aqueducts,blah..blah...
But they should have used animals... ...with much bigger bums

Jon Bratton © 2009

Whole poem, with accurate historical data, is on this verses page

Sorry, I digressed


Non Teaching Staff

 Here we have "Crackers" Smith, Caretaker
 of "The King is deed, The King is deed" fame.
You have to read the "Memories" book to learn more

Mrs Thompson, The School Secretary is the only female on the main photo above and many other photos and was from 1956, when the last of the females went to the Girls Grammar School until the end of the Grammar School in 1967

 WARNING: The Internet is the misinformation superhighway...scholars, in a poor attempt at comedy there are two bits of misinformation on this page

That's a picture of Mr Doxford, not Mr Theakstone's brother Anatole and there wasn't capital punishment (killing) allowed in schools but there was corporal punishment (half killing)