Starting Year 1962
Gateshead Grammar School

Snippet from Friends Reunited

Cliff Starkey..Still working. Lives Rowlands Gill, Runs Dunston Fed Junior Football


Major (Rtd) Dr Alan Biggins writes

"I attended between 1962 and 1969. I cannot recollect meeting you, but if I have I apologise for not recollecting the fact. I have two form photographs for the classes indicated below. Although I do not have copyright, I believe the photographer (Geo. Holdsworth & Son) has ceased to trade, so I presume there will not be a problem in showing them on your website, if you should so wish. Unfortunately I have a dismal memory for names and could only indicate a few of the other members of the form. I will send scans if you wish. Form 2B 1963,  Form 4L 1965

 I find your website fascinating and with that as an aide-mémoire some of the events and personalities are restored to my ageing brain. Well done for persevering. Do you know if Mr. Thorne, the history master, is still alive? It was he who used to use a tawse on me every week because I failed his history test (as I did most other tests). It took a while to work out, but I eventually moved from the front to the back of the class; there I could cheat to my heart’s content. He would be astounded to know that I have been elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London."

Here are those photos

Form 2B


Form 4L

Brian Cook was Head Boy from this Intake Year


David L Thompson writes

I went to the Grammar School from 1962-67. I was in 1C, 2D, 3D, 4D and 5C. I was never the academic sort and left after obtaining 1 Grade 1 CSE. It wasn't until I left school that I discovered I had received a wonderful education. It is a major regret of my mine that I didn't immerse myself in education to the extent I should have.

I attach a photograph of staff members around the year 1959 - 60. Certainly before Dr. Caffrey became Head. It bears the signature of what appears to be, JGC Robertson on the reverse. The picture has been stamped with the splendidly named  'Philip Boggett, Commercial and Studio Photographer, 496, Durham Road, Low Fell, Telephone Gateshead 77202 & 78005'

The story behind me obtaining the photograph is this.

I attended the Old School for its last year whilst the New School was being built. When we moved into the new building, the old one became 'out of bounds'.  The demolition crews started demolishing the old building in stages. The last part to be demolished was near Edendale Terrace. One day, having come out of the Edendale Terrace exit, I managed to evade some shuttering and made my way past what had been the Music Room and went up what seemed to be a long flight of very steep stone steps to my former classroom. The form teacher had been Mr Robertson. I went into the classroom and found bits and pieces of furniture still there including Mr Robertsons round, metal studded leather chair with wooden arms that were also round. Even at the time I thought that was a strange thing to leave behind. To the side of his desk, near the wall, there was an open filing cabinet which contained one thing. This photograph. I took it, and told no-one about it. I left the room and made my way out. A week or two later, the building was razed.

I was rarely in trouble at school and hated being the centre of attraction for whatever reason. I had the unedifying nickname 'Jumbo.' I also had a pronounced stammer that seemed to disappear when I sang, after I was recruited by Andy Forster for the St. Mary's Church Choir. Mr Noel was also in the Choir. I seem to remember a boy called Spraggon being taught to play the piano, and later the church organ, at St Mary's.

As far as teachers go - I remember fondly Mr Thorne (History) who had a high pitched voice and a very peculiar style of writing that was difficult to read. He was also my Tutor and the man who got me interested in History, for which I am forever indebted. I liked the brashness of Mr Brunskill (Geography) who infused me with his enthusiasm for the wider world. There was another Geography teacher, a small man, who inspired my love of cricket. On the downside, I feared Mr Rhymer (Deputy Head) like most others and I wasn't too keen on Mr Maddison (PE and Maths), mainly because he was too much 'in your face' for me. 

That said, I am retrospectively grateful for all their endeavours in trying to fill my head full of knowledge.


David L.Thompson