Starting Year 1960
Gateshead Grammar School
L to R Back Jon (formerly John) Bratton Dougie Robson Dennis Sanderson Dave Young Middle Ian Burns Michael Gentles Barry Knock Help me
Ces Brown Front Angus Monro Fred Higgs (dcd) Keith Dixon Robert Scott Barny Younger Mr Curry (French)
Nicholas Sommer Bruce Foster Colin Johnson Norman Gallon Middle Phil Bex Doug Hudson Trevor Conn Ian Nichols Heggs Butterfield
Front Frasier McKay Michael Douglass Ken Atkinson John Davison Alan Davidson
Ian married Irene Dodds, one daughter He is free after a career teaching in secondary, FE and HE. Hardest of all in service teacher trainer. Currently retraining to enjoy LAT (Life after Teaching)
Keith Dixon has been working in various banks as a private banker mainly dealing with Spanish clients. (from Friends Reunited)
Dave Waugh writes
"Great to hear from you. Enjoyed the website and nice to see those old pals. Very shocked to hear about Fred. What happened? Is Joanna OK . I will contact Les Knight.
Jon, what is your email address. regards Dave"
This is it
Dave is married to Marilyn and they live in Stoke-on- Trent. He is a chartered surveyor, having spent time working in the property dept of Allied Breweries, in Stoke, Warrington and Liverpool. He is now with Legal & General and carries out the valuation and survey of houses
Trevor Conn Living in North Norfolk by the sea. Trained as a social worker and now manage social services. Remarried and have a 9 year old son!! (per his entry on Friends Reunited)
Nick Sommer, married with two boys. Organised mini reunion in 2000. More details Nick
David Rice writes
"Throat choking memories of the few days I actually turned up.
I last saw Jim and Vic at a party in the flats off Gateshead High Street round about 1966.
I did bump into Colin Oliver in Hexham about 1985 - he was living next door to the mother of my partner at the time. "
Snippets from Friends Reunited
David Alan Graham retired in Spain
Peter Bainbridge working..lives in Troon
John Brotherston retired Shotley Bridge
Alan Fairless Australia..NUFC fan. Alan mentions
Gordon Adamson, John Gallon, Alan Porteous
Ray Smith, married Angela Kehoe and begatted 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Divorced, and now sadly deceased (2004)
These are those who have been in touch and provided photos and bio updates
Ian Burns...after all these years.
After qualifying as a civvy airline pilot, he joined RAF in 1969
(tho, I recall, mentally he was in the RAF as a Foggy) Had 13 great years flying Hunters and Lightnings. Left for civvy street - ended up as Training Captain on Boeing 777 with British Airways. Joined UK Civil Aviation Authority in 2003 at Gatwick - still flying the Airbus now and again. Married in 1974. 2 boys aged 28 and 25. Living in a village in West Sussex with the same nagger (his words) and a golden retriever. Loves real ale - none of yer fizzy lager stuff!
Jon Bratton was married to Liz for 27 years, ( separated for past 20+ years ) two children Gary (b 1976) and Lesley (b 1979). Was a Principal Officer at Newcastle City Council for 10 years, then spent 7 years in Saudi Arabia..... returned for kids to attend the Royal Grammar School and Central High School respectively. Now retired and earning a pension supplement from Google Ads on the many websites he has created in the last 12 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angus married Sandra and lived in London for many years. Now married to Sue and living in leafy Cheshire. Has 5 children To follow Angus' career search on his name in Google and browse the 2 million or so entries. Currently retired from being a retail boss but it's likely he'll be head hunted and/or take on another challenge/business. Angus has top billing in the Famous Old Boys section
Athol Hall 1967-69 working (re-sitting A-levels), then college in Leicester. 1971 married Sheila (Scott - a local girl from the Girl's Grammar), college Nottingham then Bristol with Bristol Water, where, he remained as Microbiologist until 2005, BW closed the labs and Athol had luck to be made redundant/retired. They've got two children, Adele and Ciaran, both now married. Now time to live life properly and concentrate on travel, skittles, walking, music, real ale/wine/whisky and the allotment. "Could life get better" says Athol
Doug Hudson has remained in the North East and, as one would have expected, has continued to excel in cricket and rugby as a player and as a manager. Married with 2 children, he is a Company Director
Jim Harker worked all over the world, as an artist for a Computer Graphics company. He settled in Amsterdam with his Dutch partner Frances for a few years before returning to Gateshead. He is now a free range artist (his mother's words) based in an Art shop in Newcastle. Click below for the shop and his website
Barry Knock is found! 1967 Barry joined IBM.. Maths degree at Brunel University. 1971 full time IBM in Newcastle. 1976 met Carol and married 1980. Twin daughters born 1984.1986 Midland Bank in Sheffield staying until July 2005 when he took voluntary retirement. Saw the world (but mainly planes and hotels) . Now associated with a Special Needs School in Chesterfield and also helping out a mate with micro-brewery in Chatsworth . Carol still works part time as an Education Consultant...girls work in London.
Geologist Colin Laidler has worked in the mining (non coal) industy in the UK and Africa all his career which was foreshortened by a life threatening illness which brought him back to UK. Fully recovered, here with the bearded Mike Gentles and the folically challenged Ian Burns is the twice blessed Colin at the 2007 reunion
Speaking of Mike Gentles, he got married '74 to Girls Grammar lass Jane Welsh. Moved to Redditch, Worcs then in '81 to Lichfield, Staffs. Partner in Chartered Surveyors Co letting retail park units. Still working (sort of). 3 kids. Gareth 28, Isla 26 (2 grandchildren 3 and 1) and Kathy 20(oops!). Jane was originally a music teacher but returned after kids and now a "SENCO" (Head of Special Needs) and also still working. Hobbies: Still sport-Armchair Magpies supporter, Rugby(ret'd), Golf (still trying). Music as ever was; Still singing - with Jane and in 5 or 6 piece band. Mostly folky these days but still some jazz from time to time.
The boy's back....John Davison IT Manager based in Northumberland but operating across UK and Morocco Married 1971 to Sheila, 2 sons Chris and Peter, and 1 (so far) granddaughter. Still local (High Spen) and still working, including the 'Morocco' bit. Interests Granddaughter Caravanning Football (Newcastle United)
From boy to man.... Michael Douglass rediscovered. Leeds University 69-'71 then worked for National Coal Board and Northumbrian Water Authority until 87. Married to June in '76. Daughter Rachael 21, son Simon 17 Now living in Gosforth. Licensed Lay Reader at All Saints', Gosforth trained with NEOC. Revd Douglass was ordained 3 July 2005, and is Assistant Curate at Gosforth Parish Church of St Nicholas
Vic Hall at The Black Horse, Kells Lane, Low Fell, Gateshead on Thursday 3rd Feb 2005. Vic lived in Reading and worked for S & N Brewery... few of us have been lucky enough to earn a living from our hobby ! Vic had two daughters, Louise, and Amy who lives in Australia. He has four grandchildren with another one on the way! Sadly, Vic passed away in 2015. Daughter Louise has been in contact and is happy to see that her Dad is remembered on the website
David Collingwood Teaching: finished as Head, Trent College, Nottingham. High points were expeditions - mountaineering -East Greenland, Iceland, Lake District and music - choir tours in Germany and Georgia. Married 1971 Mary. No children. Currently living in Burton upon Trent, working part time as Education Consultant, ISI(OfStEd) Inspector, free-lance tutor. Enjoying freedom and doing lots of travelling.Sees a lot of Mike Gentles, as he lives nearby in Lichfield, and both are members of the Rotary Club
Norman Gallon now, living in Low Fell. Norman, can you give me a bio
Ernie Craggs. Working as Project Ofice Manager for Huntsman Tioxide on Teesside. After leaving school he tried jobs with British Paints at Bill Quay, Inland Revenue in Gateshead and then did a 4 1/2 year Engineering Officer Cadetship with Royal Fleet Auxilary. IHe married Ruth in 1971 and did a Mechanical Engineering degree at Newcastle University. Worked for British Steel at Scunthorpe for 4 years before moving to Teesside with British Titan Products at Billingham. 2 children, both married and both with children so a granddad. Lives just outside Middleton-in-Teesdale, having adapted to rural village life.
Alan Davison, blurred,still in the insurance industry and still living in Low Fell. Alan could do with a bio and better pic
Roger Scholes ...Left GGS in 1962 when family left the area. Finished schooling in Widnes and Corby. After leaving Newcastle Polytechnic in 1971 he worked as an Electrical Design Engineer at Brush Electrical Machines in Loughborough for nearly 30 years. Married, one child. Moved in 2007 within the industry to Stamford in Lincolnshire. Now in Nottingham.Newcastle United fan and many other interests
Malcolm Magnay 1960-1966 has posted in the guestbook as follows
"A fantastic collection of memories from my grammar school days. I was saddened to learn of the passing of Billy Morton who was a good friend at school, although we had lost touch. If you do arrange a reunion I would be pleased to attend."
Keith Dixon was Head Boy from this Intake Year
Jon Bratton met Keith Nugent in the Black Horse in Sept 2015. We were in 1A together for the first term. He is now retired from De La Rue. Always knew that lad would go on to make money!
Malcolm George Wood writes
Sending it to you was prompted by visiting your Boys’ Grammar website for the first time in over 10 years. I don’t remember ever seeing that “Grammar School Admissions List” that you have on the 1960 intake page. Very interesting. I knew that I had been ranked 25th in the 11+. I was the top achiever at Lobley Hill that year. A girl in my class called Jacqueline was ranked 25th girl. It’s good to see all the names I recognise. I’m in touch on facebook with Peter Bainbridge and Ken Younger. Peter Bainbridge has recently moved from Troon to Haddington.
What came as a surprise was number 91 Brian J. Rothwell. Don’t think I knew him but his address is given as 12 St Alban’s Terrace – the house where I was born and lived until I was 6 or 7 !
I was good friends with Barry Knock for quite a few years – we both sang in St Mary’s Choir.
I have no regrets about choosing to go to Heathfield. In particular, the Music teaching was excellent. One thing bothered me (apart from Mr Davidson writing in my 1st year Report that I was “Weak and lazy. May improve elsewhere”. My mother had to be physically restrained from driving up to the school to batter him one!) Anyway the thing that bothered me was that nobody seemed to have told any of the staff at Heathfield that those of us in my year group and above were not picked to go there on the lines of so many from the top stream, so many from the 2nd stream etc etc. I was, in fact, the only boy in Heathfield’s 2A who had been in the top stream at the Boys’ Grammar. This resulted in a lot of teachers bursting out in frustration that we were the worst A-stream class they had EVER had the misfortune to teach.
I was born and brought up in Gateshead, County Durham, grandson of an engine driver! I train spotted a bit in my teens - mostly locally, at Low Fell Station and trips to Heaton Sheds. I really was more of a bus geek privately, but as there was no internet and I had never met anyone else in the world who was the least bit interested in buses, I decided that this was best kept to myself.
I graduated from the Royal Manchester College of Music as a Singer and Pianist and began teaching in Lancashire. I had not been your typical Music student. I threw myself into the life of the University Chaplaincy Centre and also became very involved with the British Council, organising activities for the astonishingly high percentage of overseas students in the Manchester area.
From the age of 12, I had been introduced to the Scottish Schoolboys' Club (by my best friend who went to Dame Allan’s) and attended my first annual summer camp at Bruar in 1962. I do remember that my (cardboard) railway ticket said "Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central to Struan via Glenfarg." Well, by 1973 I was still going to Bruar and many other activities too as a voluntary Officer in the SSC, which employed one full-time person as National Organiser. This position became vacant and I applied and got the job, based in Edinburgh. Music teaching was "on hold". The next five years were probably the best in my life.
There were a lot of "unsocial hours" but as well as doing the youth development, the massive amount of admin and the mechanical engineering which goes with keeping 350 people fed and watered for 4 weeks in a field without electricity, I found time to sing in St Giles' Cathedral Choir, Scottish Opera Professional Chorus and do quite a bit of solo work, mainly with amateur operatics but also some with the BBC.
However, I knew that I had no paper qualifications in Youth Work or admin so after 5 years I got back into teaching and landed a job at Inverness Royal Academy which then had a huge academic 5th and 6th form as there were so many remote parts of the mainland (and also several islands which were part of Invernessshire) where the Secondary Schools only taught up to 4th year. If you were bright and you lived in one of these places, you transferred to Inverness and stayed in the Hostel. The pupils from Barra only got home once per term.
As well as all the extra-curricular Music activities at IRA, I was recruited to help Charlie Bannerman (Chemistry Teacher) with athletics and cross-country. Two nights a week after school I donned my singlet and shorts and led all the mobility warm-ups and then took all the distance runners out into the hills while the two other staff dealt with the sprinters and hurdlers. Cross-country fixtures were dawn till dusk affairs on Saturdays, often involving three hours in a coach to somewhere like Thurso or Fort William or Banff and then standing around on a bleak headland for hours, marshalling the race with nothing between the fillings in your teeth and the North Pole. We all loved it!
The quality of life in Inverness was excellent, but promoted posts scarce, so after 3 years I reluctantly returned to Edinburgh where I spent the next 10 years as Head of Music at Tynecastle High School. You name it, I did it. Oh yes - including the Cross Country teams, who won some prestigious silverware.
Then, being me, I worried about getting stale, so I resigned . . . . . and bought the Co-op Stores and Post Office at Kinloch Rannoch! So for most of the 90's I was an Independent Licensed Grocer and Subpostmaster, bringing my own brand of entrepreneurial skills and an unequalled selection of chocolate biscuits to Highland Perthshire.
After selling up the shop, I became expert at making a living out of supply teaching and eventually moved back to Edinburgh. After several years I was drawn back in to a permanent post - at Dunblane High School, and then in St Andrew's (R.C.) High School, Kirkcaldy. Because I had had a break from teaching and because I wasn't in a promoted post, with all the politics that that entails, I really enjoyed teaching right up to my retirement.
I've absolutely no regrets about any of the bizarre twists and turns I've allowed my life to take. Things are much less hectic nowadays and I've much enjoyed the welcome extended to me by FoFNL
Retired in 2010
Moved from Edinburgh to Ardgay in Sutherland in 2012.
From 2014 have been doing supply teaching for Highland Council. For most of 2015 I taught at Portree High School, where they were so desperate that they paid my accommodation costs too. The last couple of years I have been mostly at Dornoch Academy and Fortrose Academy (my favourites). Dornoch is my nearest High School at 17 miles (of empty roads) and I’m hoping they’ll need me for 1 or 2 days a week when the new term starts. I miss the banter.
Jon Bratton adds
Good stuff Malcolm
Nothing wrong with Heathfield... but where's their website?
You're now very very old ...put yer feet up!!