77 thoughts on “William Newton School. c1961

  1. I went to William Newton 1961-1965. It was a great school. My maiden name was Wigham.
    The headmistress was Miss Pott. We had Miss Spencer for English and Mrs Melrose for Geography and Maths. And the fearsome Miss Wood taught needlework.

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    • Miss Potts, with an S. The “fearsome” Miss Woods came from a generation of strict teachers, but she was talented, knowledgeable and very effective. I’ve personally benefited from her teaching, made wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and bridal hats.

      I had Miss Gaunt for English, Mrs Davis for PE and drama, and Mrs Thomson for history and geography.

      I attended William Newton from 1956 through 1959. My name was Marianne Reynolds.

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      • Hi, yes I think I remember you I attended (in the B class) from about 55 to 59. My name was Marilyn Miller (now everyone calls me Mandy) Wood. I live in Billingham. Yes, I remember Miss Gaunt, for English. She gave me my love of poetry. Miss Thompson for Geography and Miss Spencer for history – her hair was white as snow. I also remember Miss Wood needlework, though I obviously don’t have your talent. I marvelled how her sewing was so good considering she had a weak left arm, probably due to cerebral palsy. Little did I know Wood would be my married name! I also remember our class was the first year to ‘trial’ a new idea of doing an exam called ‘Northern Counties’ in which we had to pass a minimum of four subjects, two of which had to be Maths (Mrs Lee) and English. I also sat biology and geography but failed art – I’m still rubbish at it, haha!

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  2. Hi I’m Lorraine Wilson [nee Whelan ] I went to William Newton School. I left in 1972. I had Mrs Brown. I would love to see a class photo. When they closed the school they turned it into a further education centre. I ended up with a job there.

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  3. Hi my name was Joyce Neal, I left William Newton School in 1970, I was in New Brown’s class, I can only remember some of the girls first names that were in the same class as I, Jacqueline, Lillian and Barbara Phillips. We had a lovely teacher called Miss Endalsbe. Don’t know if that’s the correct spelling for her name. She taught art and religious education. I have to say out of all the teachers that I had during my school years she was the one that made the most impact to my life! A wonderful compassionate lady. I think thanks to her I am the person that I am today. Maybe somebody will get in touch, thank you.

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  4. I attended William newton from 1961 to 65 and remember those wonderful teachers, just wish I hadn’t been quite so cheeky and had worked harder. They did their best. I liked Miss Spencer who taught English and History and also the very stylish art teacher whose name escapes me (Miss Walker?). I was terrified of Mrs Melrose, the Maths teacher, as I was and still am hopeless with numbers. I still keep in touch with Christine Evans and was in touch with Barbara Cooper who sadly died about 10 years ago. Some of the girls in my class were Susan Chipchase, Susan Wigam, Kathleen Wathey (who had fab. long hair), Sandra Clark and Christine Crawford. I also remember Marie Hays? Heyes? who lived on the Blue Hall estate, she had two brothers called Alan and Brian. Does anyone remember going to the KD Club at Billingham?

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    • Hi Lyn
      Susan Wigham here. I live in Norton again now near to the scool. So sorry to hear about Barbara. I lived at Ragworth, round the corner from Kath Wathey (now Baume). The last I heard of Kath she was living in Corbridge.
      Good times ☺

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  5. Hi I’m Elaine Headlam nee Wright and went to William Newton Girls School from about 1966-1971. I knew Valerie Coburn and she was in the same year as me. I was then moved to different classes as the years went on. I ended up in 4CSE DA and then I left to go to work. I am in touch with my friend Innis Freeman;Pamela Boston; Valerie Wilson; Susan Gobling and some other school friends on Facebook. If you want to get in touch look on Facebook as we’re all there, with different surnames may I add. Take care and nice to visit this site. I do have an old class photo on facebook if you want to see if you or you know anyone on there.

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  6. I attended William Newton school from 1962 – 1967, Miss Potts was headmistress, Miss Wood for needlework. I loved that school. In my year was Christine Lambert, Janet Sills , Julie Ward and Judith Ward. My name is Jennifer Swales (now Hill)

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      • Valerie are you by chance related to Ann Morgan who also went to William Newton,she was a very good friend to my sister who sadly died 3 years ago.

        I was at William Newton from 1959 – 1963 and have to be totally honest when I say that I loved that school.The teachers were Mrs Lee (maths) and on a good day you could get her talking and not do too much work. Miss Spencer (history) she wrote that quick on the blackboard, and wasn’t bothered if she hit you or not with a lump of chalk, I’m still convinced to this day that she must have been at least 70 yrs old. My favourite teacher of all was Miss Thompson, she was amazing at teaching us both English and Geography both my best subjects. Once she had explained and written on the board she would go to her handbag and quietly put a cigarette in her handkerchief and pop off to the staff room for a smoke, it always made us smile. Mrs Lightfoot was a lovely teacher as well, but if you forgot your sewing she would make you go and weed the vegetable garden, how lovely was that. My absolute fear was Miss Wood, I was terrified of her, she would poke you in the back, and if she took a dislike to you well I’m afraid it lasted until you left. Miss Coleman was our domestic science teacher and was very good and also a very nice lady. When her back was turned we would grab handful of currants from a large jar. Mrs Melrose took the choir, always ready for speech days, we also had Miss Smith who had a lovely little sports car, and then Miss Skinner. I can name at least 20 girls from my class as well. Surnames of Twin girls Vowells, Fowler (head girl) Davis ,James, Watson, Walker, Ashworth, Brown, Johnson, Wilson, Bates, Nicholson, Longstaff, Crawford, Shields! Taylor, Darragh, not bad eh.
        Wonderful school days and I was really sad when I left. I wonder how many girls still live in Norton now, needless to say many will have moved away as I have myself, but I am still passionate about Norton and it’s heritage and so proud to have grown up there.
        ,

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        • Sandra was Miss Gaunt there as a teacher. She lived in 2 Ragworth Road, very small. Then you talk of Miss Spence I believe if the same person lived in 8 Victoria Avenue. Medium to tall height and well built.

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          • Hi Bob, yes Miss Gaunt was there and still living in Ragworth Road, I vividly remember her trying to sit on the top of her desk but had trouble because she was very short, really funny, Miss Spencer yes really quite well built but never smiled rather miserable,she would kick your satchel or haversack if it was in the aisle and not under the desk.

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          • Miss Gaunt was very tiny. She was strict but an excellent English lit teacher. They had to be strict, because any sign of weakness and the students would have pounced.
            We were all like a re-enactment of “Lord of the flies” in those days. I suppose students still are. LOL

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      • Hi
        My maiden name was Audrey Burdon, now Audrey Ditchburn, I remember Miss Potts and Miss Wood, also Miss Breazly. Do you know Anne Walker or Minni Kalks? also didn’t like Miss Wood with her dummy hand

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  7. We lived near her in Norton I think she was younger than me I remember she had brother Jimmy, I left school in July ’69 but sorry don’t have any photos.

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  8. Did any one know Christine Thurlow from 1957 to 1961? If so please let me know (you can get my detaisl from the PictureStockton team). She was a very old friend but we lost track of each other, please help if you can, thank you…

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    • Yes, I know Christine Thurlow, she is my Aunt. Please email your details to Picture Stockton and I will forward them to her.

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  9. Irene, did you live in the cottages at the top of Tanners Bank and was your father a bus driver and your mam work in a cake shop, maybe Sparks on Norton High Street? If so I know you. We in later years were very friendly with your aunt Elsie Sowerby (nee Haughton or Horton).

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  10. Julie Ward, did your cousin Valerie Smithson live in Wrightson Street, if so I went to school with her. We had many years together and I still keep in touch with her husband and family. This has brought back so many memories, there was a group of us that hung round together, Sheila Watson, Carol Lonsdale, Maureen Lowes, Christine Bunn and a few others and Valerie was very much apart of our group.

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    • I too went to William Newton in 1965 from Mill Lane Margaret Graham and remember your friends well. My friends were Wendy Cuthbert, Silvi, Pam Tiit, Marj Gunn, brings back happy memories and none of us will forget Miss West in a hurry. I have seen you and Carol in the library, but none of the others.

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      • I was friends with Pam, Silvi, Margory, Wendy and Tonya. My name is now Jane Foundling but I was Jane Mudd and my mum still lives in Stockton, I emigrated to Australia in 2002. Pam died last year so sorry I didn’t up with her last time I visited mum.

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  11. I attended William Newton from 1963 to 1967. My Mam, Ruth Ward nee Dixon. My aunt Joan Smithson nee Dixon & my cousin Valerie Smithson were also pupils over a period of time. The Quad always looked peaceful. You were never allowed to go in there. Sometimes the older girls were allowed to Study for their Northern Counties exams but that was an exception to the rule. Misses Wood, Thompson Gaunt, Lee and Spencer were there then with Miss Allinson who taught Biology -she was our form mistress for two years and everyones favourite teacher. Miss West taught Art & swimming, my two worst subjects, so we never really got on. I remember my years at William Newton with pleasure and can’t believe how long ago it was. 01/04/2012 19:14:23

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    • hi julie,thanks for the memories of our school, I remember most of the girls in our form, and your friend Pam Grainger. The teachers were special, when you look back at todays education! Take care Julie, thanks again!

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      • Alison Hughes, now that is a blast from the past. I used to go out with your brother Richard. Still keep in touch with Chris Evans who now lives in Camberley. I’ve lived in Clitheroe, Lancs for years now. Can’t believe how many years it is since we were at school. Hope all is well with you.

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    • Hi Julie
      Susan Wigham, remember me? Thanks for jogging my memory about a few teaches whose names I forgot. I live near Junction Road now.

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  12. My mum went to William Newton School – I think the year would have been around 1966 to 1971. Her name was Violet Coburn. If anyone can remember her or has any school photos I would be so happy to be able to see a school photo of her.28/11/2011 19:31:24

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  13. I attended William Newton school 1955 to 1959, when Miss Potts was Headmistress. I remember the beautiful quadrangle in the center of the school and that we were introduced to German pen pals. We also had girl and boy German exchange students and the boys would hold doors for the girls after recess, which was mind boggling since it was an all girl school, and there were only a few of the boys. Remember Miss Gaunt (English lit), Miss Thompson (Geography), Miss Wood, Mrs Lee, Mrs Dixon. Does anyone remember putting on a show of the Pied Piper?

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    • Hi I expect I am a little late to add my name to the ex pupils, Margaret Bateman, I was a swimmer and was a friend of Marianne Reynolds. I too have fond memories of my old school, I also remember Mrs West, Mrs Lightfoot, Miss Askey and Miss Whittingham PE teacher

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      • Are you the Margaret Bateman who lived in Daventry Ave? I’m Sandra Wilson who lived in Droitwich Ave. Now in Perth, Australia.

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      • That wasn’t a dummy hand. I think it was either caused by a birth defect, or a severe injury. I remember one of my fellow pupils very loudly making fun of Miss Wood’s hand in class, and having Miss Wood burst into tears. Some children can be very cruel. Hopefully they can outgrow it.

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      • Hi Margaret, I don’t know if you remember me, my name then was Carol Nugent, sister Pat Nugent who also went to William Newton, my married name is Lloyd I have lived in Australia for over 40 years now but still come back to Stockton every year my daughter lives near Gatwick as she is flight attendant I have just found all these names from the past, it’s very interesting viewing.

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  14. I was a proud member of Sgt McNally’s No4 Squad and he taught us and drilled us well. I still have a picture wearing my first issue uniform which was far too big and managed to get it changed at Norton Drill Hall for a Parade in Stockton, I expect Frank Mee, that you also would be on Parade. Life for me went pear shape shortly after when I failed my army medical with heart problems. Paul Loraine bagged my uniform and I have not seen him since those days. We took it all very seriously and I enjoyed my time in A Company with Cpt Down and Lt Peel. The Drum Major who has also been mentioned on this site was a joy to behold throwing the mace. You never see it done today on any Parade. I wish I still had my DLI badge from my forage cap but it went with the uniform to Paul. Stand Easy!

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  15. This pictures stirs the memory of it being built and ready to open just before the war. One of my friends was Bruce Edwards who lived with his mother father and sister Ruth in a large Kendrews house at the top of Bradbury road. Mr Edwards was I think the first Head Master of the William Newton or was going to be when the war intervened. We all went to Norton Board and in the early years Mrs Thompson taught us then we went up to Mr Thompson’s class. They were very good dedicated teachers and unlike Mr Fisher did not resort very often to the strap or cane. My first real insight to the William Newton was as an Army Cadet, “A” Company, number three Platoon, number one section Bren Group. I had learned to shoot on the farm and joined the shooting team with plenty of practice on the indoor range at Norton drill hall. We held monthly dances in the hall and I did do the MC’s job on some of those occasions being able to dance from an early age through going to the Co-op Hall in Norton with mother and dad who were both competition dancers.
    I saw the school on a weekly basis until I left the Cadets for the Army in 1947 and guess what at Brancepeth Sgt McNally was my first guard commander, he was waiting for his demob coming through. My last visits to the William Newton was cookery for the older man and I did three years enjoying every moment with Janet Duberg (I think that is correct) taking us through the pitfalls of fairy cakes, curry and drop scones. I was amazed at how little it had changed in all those years apart from the hall seemed to have shrunk, when I danced there it had appeared to be massive. I have happy memories of that school but then I did not go there for my education as it was supposed to be a girls only school at the beginning or am I wrong?

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  16. I went to William Newton from 1963 to 1969 the house names when I was there were: Hardwich – Green Fulthorpe – Yellow Blakeston – Blue Can”t remember what the Red was, think it was Sheraton.

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    • Hi from Carol nee Cuthbert – the Red house was Normanton, and it’s been lovely reading of the teachers names who are still fresh in my memory.

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  17. I remember William newton very well. I attended 1955 to 1959. Remember Regina Bailey very well. Have not seen her for a lot of years. Does any one remember the house teams?. I was in Normanton and I remember we won the swimming gala one year. I still have the photograph that was taken and appeared in the Evening Gazette. Mrs West left and went to teach at Blakeston Lane. She taught my daughter then 9yrs later taught my son.

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  18. I attended William Newton (Willy Wet)”65 to “70, and remember Miss Wood, she hated me, I never did finish my apron !I loved Miss Thomson who taught us History & Geography I think. Miss Nicolson had just become the Head teacher the year that I started. I loved the art teacher too but I can”t remember her name, she was small, thin, with dark curly hair and glasses, she had a great sense of humour. I will dig out my school photo”s and post them if I can find them.

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  19. I was a pupil here between 1965 and 1970. Miss Potts was still the headmistress then but retired while I was there, with Miss Nicholson taking over. I also remember Miss Wood (no “s” as far as I remember!) and also making the apron and headband for cookery! While I was there another school, Mill Lane, closed down and half of the pupils and staff came to William Newton…. unfortunately, this resulted in a very turbulent year with not a lot of teaching/learning going on and a lot of rivalry between the two former schools! Many of our former teachers actually left that year…. that was also the year we became acquainted with another “tyrant” from Mill Lane – Miss West! One thing, you could always hear her coming along the corridor as the callipers on her legs made her walking very noisy!

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  20. Hi everyone my name is june cole, i attended william newton school from about 1966 – 1971 i would like to get in touch with a great friend of mine yvonne orton she had a brother called gordon, if anyone has any details of where yvonne is now living could they post a reply on this site please,

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  21. Liz Brisby. I knew of your Father and his brother who lived in Eamont Road. I knew him as Herbert but only knew him through Ray. Your cousin Debbie has been in touch with me through this site. There wasn”t much info. that I could give her as your Grandmother and family emmigrated when I was in my early teens.

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  22. My father, Bert Brisby, and his family lived on Eamont Road early “50”s (I think). Looking for anyone that remembers him (or the family).

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  23. I became a pupil of William Newton in 1959, before Roseworth Secondary Modern was built. We were rapidly moved because we came from the condemed area of Stockton on Tees, the unaceptable. Poor families . We reigned there for 3/4 yrs. I was called back for an an award in 1961/62 for literature and recieved a book on wildlife. I pass this school every day, which has become an education centre for any age group, I wheel my grandson and my two granddaughter”s aged 7 and 9 walk down to the village duckpond which has a brand new fountain, but sadly the old oak tree in all the old photos is gone, but we picnic in the spot anyway,amd we make a day of it. The old village hall still stands as does the shop beside. I also remember the day when the school would send us out for a special lesson. We would be sent out to the village hall for nature study. This day the snow came down during the first half of the lesson and when it was time for the break, I will never forget the amount of snow which had fallen on the green. We rolled huge snowballs and had such fun, I can never forget it. I hope someone can remember this, I still live in this area, please get in touch, I am now 60 years old and still young.

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  24. It ia wonderful to read the stories of past pupils of the William Newton School. I remember very well the school being built, and the first sod cut and stacked into a huge pile big enough to pretend as youngsters that it was our Castle one lad fell off and broke his collar bone. I lived in Grantham Road opposite the school we had lots of fun there and in the sand quarry next to it fishing for newts and taddies. The last I remember was in the Army Cadet Force with Sgt Mc Nally our No 4 squad sergent, drilling us on parade on the playground at the back of the school. The band practice used to be on a Sunday Morning and had an immaculate Drum Major I can hear them now playing and marching up Junction Road after Parades. Cpt Downes was OC in those days. Four squads made up the company in total, I wonder how many came through the war.

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  25. Hi Jane. there was a mistake i lived in centenery crescent along with my brother keith and sister margeret we all attended frederick nattrass. I do know your brother graham.the hayes family lived in eamont and yes you were correct saying cristine and maureen,and brian they are the ones I remember.along with others i use to hang out with,gordon duffy and paul robson from hury road and john seaton and tony white and gordon ridsdale from leven road,also from greta road john lonsdale who had a brother called robert I think,jimmy muldowney from greta rd. fond memories of hanging out with them.

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  26. Tony I think you are getting the Hayes families mixed up. The Hayes children that lived in Eamont Road were Christine, Carol, Brian and Malcolm they also had a younger sister Denise. I also lived in Eamont Road from 1957 to 1972 but can”t remember a family called Scott, when did you live there and what number ? If you knew Brian Hayes you must have known my brother Graham and sister Jacqueline.

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  27. Janice – I didn”t have to make an apron as my sister was a few years ahead of me so I used hers,(our initials are the same) can”t remember what I made instead. Do you remember Mrs. Lightfoot she taught Embroidery and the girls had to embroider their initials onto the bib of the apron, when all were complete they then wore them for cookery classes (Mrs Coleman in my day)

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  28. Jane, your mention of Miss Woods brought back another memory for me. William Newton was my first teaching post from Sept 59 through to Easter 60 when I was transferred to Mill Lane Girls. If the girls thought Miss Woods was terrifying, let me tell you it wasn”t very different for the young teachers! I also taught Needlework and of course wanted to change the world – do you remember those cookery aprons and headbands everybody had to make? I tried to bypass them and go straight on to something more attractive but finished up like one of the girls in Miss Potts office. To be fair, Miss Woods could certainly teach sewing and I learned a very valuable lesson!

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  29. Hi Janette, Yes my sister would have been at William Newton the same time as you, her name is Jacqueline. You might also know my cousin Maureen Reed, she was also there around the same time. Mrs. Lee was still teaching Maths when I attended. The other teachers you mention must have moved on by the time I got there. Next time I speak to my sister I”ll ask her if she remembers you and the other girls you named. Also love this site.

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  30. Jane I attended William Newton 1955-1959 with the same teachers was your sister there at that time i seam to remember a Londsdale happy days indead. I remember Mrs West the PE Teacher and i played hockey which i enjoyed better than going to the baths!!!!!!. We had Mrs Lee for Math i wonder if she knew we called her Tetly tea. I think the art teachers name was Mrs Wardelle and we had Mrs Farnaby for cookery i think it was because of her i learned to cook really well. Some other people in my classes were Pat Nugent, Barbara Gales, Regina Bailey, Elizabeth Mcdonald. I check onto this site everyday with my morning coffee to what new pictures and comments Barbara and Team have posted many thanks Janette candoind@adelphia.net

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    • I remember Tetley tea. What was it that the girls had to make nicknames? I was “Marianne, frying pan”, or “reynoldsy”. I was a year behind you in school, I think.

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  31. To Maureen hayes I think I remember you I think you had a sister called Christine,and a brother called Brian who used to work with me on the coop  – I used to live in eamont road norton.

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  32. Maureen – I went to William Newton from 1963 – 1969 and vaugely remember the name Hayes, what were your sisters names? Remember the store room under the stage, the entrance to it was outside the gym and there were also double doors which opened out under the stage into the hall. As prefects and house captains we were allowed to hold our meetings down there and quite often spied at the Music class through the cracks. Judith – Miss Potts was still Headmistress during my school days, but Miss Thompson was our Geography Teacher, she also taught my mother and older sister, so when I came along I was often compared to them especially my mother who used to play hockey for the school, naturally it wasn”t at William Newton, it must have been Norton Board in those days. I hated hockey and geography so wasn”t one of her favourite pupils, Miss Spencer was another teacher that taught my sister and mother (History) and Miss Woods was the Needlework teacher. I remember she had a paralised arm and used to walk around the classroom and dig you in the back with it if your sewing wasn”t up to scratch. Funnily enough everyone was scared stiff of her but I liked her, probably because I was quite good at sewing in those days.

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  33. Norton Heritage had the pleasure of visiting, on numerous occasions Miss Thompson at her beautiful Georgian house “HOYLAKE” in Norton High Street, plain but pristine wall and ceiling mouldings its original bow-windows and highly polished wooden floor . its cold root-cellar with wine-racks(empty). Miss Thompson told us of her family ties going back hundreds of years with the SHERATON family of South Durham, which gave her name SHERATON-THOMPSON, We always addressed her as Miss Thompson The present owners have kept this beautiful house immaculate

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  34. I went to the Wiliam Newton Sec Mod School from 1951 to 1955. Miss Potts was our head mistress. A Miss Thompson was our english teacher and she lived in Norton with her brother next to the fish shop opposite the Priory. I think that he was also a teacher. I now live in Australia and have many fond memories of William Newton and Norton.

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  35. I was at this school in 1964 along with 2 older sisters.I now go to the same school for my soft furnishings course,. The first time i set foot in the school since leaving was in 2001 & believe me it was like going through a time warp.  Nothing had changed but you can now use the teachers loo”s HA! HA!, it took me a good year before i plucked up the courage to use them. Fond memories only i was not a popular girl with the teachers.

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