Starting Year 1942
Gateshead Secondary School
(later called Gateshead Grammar)
Geoff (Piggy) Wright writes
I entered GGS into form 3s2 on returning form evacuation in December 1944, a week before the Christmas holidays began!
He also tells of the Staircase Collapse
He now tells of another 1942 intaker (tho he started in 3rd year) Brian Kidd Ridley who is a Professor and the 2001 recipient of the Institute of Physics' Dirac Medal for outstanding contribution to theoretical physics.
Dr A Peter Miller
Attended Gateshead Grammar School from 1943 to 1948. He had come to England in 1939 as a refugee and had a different style of school career. Gateshead was his last of 17 schools in four countries that he attended, and he recalls"the best one". Several jobs after Durham University as a student and a member of staff there, and at Newcastle University, preceded his last appointment as the first Regional Director of the Open University in the North in 1969. He took early retirement in 1984 and remembers fondly "that we at the Boys` Grammar were considered to be the 'clotted cream'".
Noteable events at Gateshead Grammar School around mid-1946 to-1948
As recalled by Dr A Peter Miller (B.Com, DPA , PhD , FREconS FCMI)
Left click the images to see enlarged
The 1st XI Cricket team consisted of:
Waistell – Vice Captain
Miller (Israel) – Team Secretary
With Mr J.R Brown as coach/umpire, and Short as scorer.
Top L to R
J R Brown (Coach Umpire), Rogers, Leggett, Ken Norton, Short (Scorer)
Middle L to R
Joe Wailes, Peter Milller, Maurice Dingwall, Wally Walter Waistell, Frank Pentney
Front Row Lto R
Leslie Beck, Peter Johnson, Frank Holland, Dougie Roberts
Ken Norton was a Northumberland County cricketer
Top Left to Right
Gavin Winter, Walter “Wally” Waistell, Eric Howarth.
Middle Left to Right
Mr. JR Brown, Ron Cooper, Joe Wailes, Eddie Sanders, Alan Gofton, Mr. C Ridley.
Front Left to Right
Gordon Reid, Geoff Rodgers, Maurice Dingwall (c), Tom Hindley, George Saul.
Class 5A in 1946
Teacher/Asst Mr and Mrs Sedgwick
James Hood, Peter Johnson, Joe Brown, Jopling, Maurice Dingwall, Noel Gibson, Peter Miller, I. McKenzie, Thomas Jobson, A Lowther, R Nixon, Lorna Murray, Margaret Dellow (Tizer) Shirley Peacock, Aurea Green, Jacqueline Chapman, Joyce Morland, Phyllis Bulmer, Evelyn Cowell, Dorothy Chambers, Jean Powt
L to R
Jeff Sherrin, Mike Watson, Peter Miller playing Baby Football
To pick out girls from the LONG PHOTOGRAPH was even more difficult. But I could remember and recognize the following :
Joan Gwillliam, Eileen Little, Joyce Anderson, Maureen Robson, Betty Walker, Margaret Lemon, Margaret Harrington, Shirley Peacock,,Aurea Green, Pat Tyson
Audrey Douglas, Sheila Robson,and Hilda Lavender.
The boys were the following :
Dingwall, Howarth, Oyston, Ferguson, Johnson, Waistell, Lennox, Martin, Ridley, Pentney, Miller (Israel), Thornton, Geoff Rodgers, Fowler, Harrison, Watson, Winter, Short, Skinner, McDowell, Beck, Hawkins "
left school with a brilliant Higher School Certificate, after 9
distinctions in School Certificate in the 5th Form, two years before.
He was equally good at sports; Captain of Cricket, and Soccer. and Champion of Tennis Singles and a star of athletics to boot. He took a First in Sociology, a Distinction In PGCE followed.
He worked for Boots Chemists and the British Council in Afghanistan followed by management for the Gas Board. Then he joined the Open University and in 1973 aged 43 he tragically died while playing football for the Staff team against students. His old school friend A Peter Miller officiated at the funeral.
Dr Miller writes
"Students and Staff 1947 -1948 for me to try to remember many by name even in my year, was impossible.
Then in the ARTS Upper Sixth Form.
To give credit where it is due, I attained my Cyclist Badge of the Boys` Scouts with my strict examiner, Mr WR James and passed it first time.
My examiner was a keen cyclist, so much so that he was known to take on the Gateshead tramways in matters of speed, so in turn placing many pupils in detention since he did not wait for the absent trams but arrived at school in plenty of time.
Dingwall, Waistell and I did Geography for Higher School Certificate. As it turned out we were able to absent ourselves from School in favour of lunches at the then Co-op Ofiices, now the Baltic, and playing football on the sands at Tynemouth ! Our research projects were called “The Tyne as a Port”. They were placed in the archives of The Tyne Shipping Commissioners, long abandoned now.
Another useful deviation for Geography Highers was our choice to study Meteorology, with the sophisticated (then) equipment near the tennis courts. It had the advantage of our being late for school by using the back gate and thus –even though we were prefects - the wrath of WRJ self appointed “Duty” Late Teacher in “helping “ whichever Prefect whose turn it was to perform those duties officially.
But perhaps the funniest or most serious activity, if you had WRJ as your initials ,was the Ducket (prefects` own room) translation into Museum. The room was at the bottom of the science block and through it was the private lavatory of no other than WRJ. One of us miscreants decided to obtain a sign well known in wartime on buses “we are trying to get you a wider seat”. From that we obtained a blue Chemistry note book into which was entered a Roll of Honour into which were entered articles like ash trays from cinemas,signs Keep off the Grass from Saltwell park etc. WRJ then after waiting it seemed weeks and observing without comment, suddenly ordered the Caretaker (Crackers) to remove our Objects including our Roll.
All Hell was let loose, the police were called, and most of the prefects were dismissed by WRJ. The Headmaster redeemed the situation which was just as well for us. WAS THIS THE JUDGMENT OF SOLOMON ??
Finally, to my disgrace in the Staff v. School annual cricket match I was the opening batsman, clean bowled for 0 by yes, one - WR JAMES !