43 thoughts on “Grangefield Grammar School 1958-1959

  1. Just came across the picture of 1W Grangefield Grammar School 1958/59. I’m (Mike Baker) 2nd left front row with Peter Bell on my left. School uniform policy required us to wear socks with our house colours (I was in Cleveland meaning a blue stripe; Peter, who lived up the road from in Glaisdale Avenue, was in Tees with green stripe.) Believe it or not we also wore a school cap with a similar coloured band.
    The comments above referring to boys and girls being in segregated schools didn’t stop us seeing them (incognito of course) after school and I wonder what happened to some of those girls Margaret Davis, Janet Roberts?

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    • Mike. I can help (a bit). Maggie Davis’ mum used to live next door to my sister near The Penny Black (Hartburn) and was seen regularly until her mum passed away fairly recently so she is still in the area. Janet Roberts lives in Melsonby with her (second) husband. Hope that helps.

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      • Thanks for that Jeff. I had lost contact with anyone from GGS until recently when dealing with the sale of my late wife’s uncles estate I met a very old GGS form member. Would love to make contact with Maggie and Janet if at all possible. Feel free to let them have my contact details. Mike

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  2. Intrigued by comments left by Chris Copeland. I have been trying to find David Copeland for some time. Might he have been Chris’s older brother. Dave was at GGS, as was I, 1956 to 1963.
    Peter Docherty [older brother of Brian GGS 1958 to 1965 -. sadly died a year ago]

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  3. I must agree with Brian Leak re his comments that the school was what you made of it. I also attended from 1952-1957 and came from Richard Hind juniors and never ever felt estranged. Incidentally, I seem to recall that Brian was friendly with Arthur (Archie) Berry who was also a pal of mine and we used to sometimes walk home together along the road past Rudds Rec and the scrapyard.

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  4. One O’clock in the morning? We were out of all the dance halls by 22:59 on the dot, for the last bus home if you had a girl with you and Dad waiting on the Green to make sure it was straight off the bus and home. 10:45 was the last dance and the hall cleared in minutes. The only Jazz we saw was the jitterbug, usually performed in one corner of the room whilst we dancers gave them a sharp kick as we passed them by. The war was still on and the halls filled with uniforms which was why young shavers such as I managed to dance with lovely ladies in uniform, there was always a shortage of males who could actually dance. We probably once in a year got a one night stand from some well known band, when dancing would be impossible for the crowd they packed in to see them. The dance halls were our release from the mundane hard work and drabness of things near the end of the war. Bright lights, glitter balls and wonderful music plus girls, it was our over the rainbow time of the week. I think before your time Alan.

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  5. You must have swirled around the Palais at roughly the same time as me Frank. I was probably aged like Adrian Mole, 15 3/4. I was attracted by the Friday nights jazz bands. Trad one week and big band jazz the next.
    I do remember there seemed to be more fans of the likes of John Dankworth, Ted Heath, Ken Mackintosh and Freddie Randall, Chris Barber, Ken Colyer, Mick Mulligan (vocals by George Melly) than there were dancers.

    The fans would mass up in front of the stage four deep then some, including me, to slip out to ask neglected delicious examples of femininity to glide around to a slow number.

    The mixed smell of perspiration and cheapish perfume were an afrodisiac to muscular apprentices such I. I had the time of my young life there. Sadly I had to run home after 1 a.m.as I worked on Saturday mornings.

    The Maison was an attraction on Monday nights, probably because there were less people there and more room to dance.

    Back briefly to the Palais. I remember the Ray Ellington Quartet with vocals by Marion Ryan. She had a very tight red sweater ( about three sizes too small) and a tightish black skirt on.
    Whle Ray was doing a vocal he gave her leering looks which caused our gang of jazz fans to assume they were having a ” special” relationship!

    Were we jealous —-no!

    I photographed the Building in 2007 and put the shot on the Picture Stockton web site.

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  6. I saw the comments to this photo and was thinking of a comment. When I saw Neil Pallister’s comments.
    The teacher was Reg Atkinson and he was an old boy of Stockton Sec (the origin of Grangefield). Before he came to Grangefield he taught at Richard Hind. The comments Neil made brought back memories of about the first lesson he taught us in 3R(or near to the first lesson). We were a fairly unruly class having had Mr Piper teaching maths in form 2 and the noise was cheeky and “Reg” went to whack John Gregory on the head to exert his authority and John put his hand to his head holding a fountain pen (no biros in those days) and “Reg” cut his hand on the pen, much to the amusement of the rest of the class as he bled and had to wrap his hand in his hanky.
    But that set the tone and I thought he was an excellent teacher.
    He also tried to form a rowing team at Grangefield, I remember rowing on the Tees using Stockton A.R.C sculls, the Tees was pretty unpleasant in those days.

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  7. The Palais was in Skinner Street and the Jubilee in Leeds street. You cut your dancing teeth a bit late Neil, I was dancing in the Palais before I reached sixteen. I started at a very tender age in Norton Co-op watching Mother and Dad dancing and being got on the floor by ladies of a certain age who would show a willing lad how it was done. Church halls with an old gramophone or someone pounding an old piano lacking half its notes, came next. Cadet and Scout dances at the William Newton with a piano drums and accordion or banjo were the next step up then classes in Stockton at Ruby’s studio, the name has gone from my head but dancing a tango with Ruby was a schoolboys dream. So I started work three months before my sixteenth birthday, heard the big lads talking about the Palais on Saturday night, (we worked all day Saturday back then) and asked to go with them. They thought it would be a good laugh I suppose, so sure enough I turned up and waited with a small crowd until the doors opened and found my new dream world – lights, music and girls who could dance, what more could you ask in such desperate times in mid winter? Music struck up and I was away, a clear floor, no mates had arrived in fact a distinct shortage of men, so I danced my heart out until the interval. That heralded the arrival of my mates and an inflow of men who had started the night in the pub. My mates gave me a good lecture on the etiquette of the dance hall – Drink until the interval, stand around and pick out the girl you wanted the last dance with then wait until it came up. Imagine their looks when, as the dancing started again, a lovely ATS girl I had danced with came up saying “come on then Frank we are wasting time” and even more shocked looks as we swirled faultlessly onto the floor. There of course followed an inquisition on how I had managed to meet the lovely and where had I learned to shake a leg like that, was I some sort of? (well you can imagine). As I had already had two bare knuckle fights in the factory they knew better than ask. The Palais was always my first choice although the Maison had a dance on one of the nights the Palais was closed. Jack O’Boyle was the leader in my latter years at the Palais and Jack Marwood all the years I could remember at the Maison. We used the Jubilee when we all started a bit of courting, a more sedate dance hall with more of a mixture of what we called old fashioned and modern dancing. Wonderful places of entertainment and for meeting people, I never did get into the habit of going to the pub first (apart from being under age, not that it stopped you) but for an hour I had the whole floor to dance on and the pick of the girls, after the interval it got to a point where you all had to breathe in unison or suffocate. I met my wife in the Maison whilst on leave and we danced all our lives wherever we went, the highlight being in Vienna the home of Strauss. Wonderful memories.

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  8. Yes, Joyce Jobling, the teacher in the pic is (Reg.?)Atkinson. I remember him well. He was my math teacher from about Form 3 until I left school after the Upper 6th, about the time that picture was taken. He was a great teacher, introducing us to differential and integral calculus way before it was required on the syllabus. He used a lot of what he called mnemonics (aids to memory)- most of which I retain to this day. For example:
    OHMS (On Her Majesty’s Service), found on all government mailing, was used to remember “Opposite over Hypotenuse Means Sine”. Likewise CASH, “Cosine = Adjacent Side over Hypotenuse”. A rhombus became a “rum bus”, – he would draw a square representing a side view of a double-decker, then ask us to imagine the bus getting skewed into a diamond shape after trying to pass under a low bridge!
    Simplistic but effective. We were a troublesome lot, and, like most of the masters in those days, he had to rule with an iron fist. He would think nothing of hurling the heavy wooden-backed board rubber at some miscreant in the back row, or striding down the aisle, grabbing the hair of someone talking, and yanking the head from side to side until he “had his attention”. I was sorry to find out he died in 1996, relatively young I would think, since he was only a few years older than us senior boys. In fact, we would sometimes see him at the local Maison (de dance) on a Saturday night when we 17 year-olds were first starting the social scene. The Maison was on Yarm Lane, just a few yards from Holy Trinity School. If I remember well, it was Jack Marwood and his band providing the music. All ballroom dancing then, with steps painstakenly learned from library books or from TV’s Victor Silvester “Come Dancing”. There was another dance hall in Stockton called the Palais. I don’t recall where that was located. They were huge places though, accomodating several hundred people. Memories…
    By the way, I completely agree with Brian Leak in that Grangefield was what you made of it. I came from a relatively poor background too, but have no recollection of this being some sort of effete school. In fact, it was quite rough and tough, in keeping with most such establishments in those days. I have nothing but fond memories of my years there and the friends I made. Incidentally, anyone wishing to contact me can get my e-mail address through the Picture Stockton team.

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  9. This is the teacher who taught at the Richard Hind when I attended from 1949-53. His brother married a girl who worked at the Stockton Library in Wellington Street.

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  10. The teacher in pic is R M Atkinson, he was my cousin. He taught at Grangefield, then went on to the Poly in Middlesboro and died 1996. His brother Ken Atkinson may have taught at Richard Hind, but I think he worked at British Titan in the labs. He died in his early 40`s.

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  11. I must disagree with the thoughts of Brian Bennison in his comments to this photo. I was at Grangefield from 1952 / 1960 and I believe Grangefield was what you made of it. I also came from Mill Lane and in the year that I sat the scholarship eight boys went to Grangefield and two to Stockton Grammar from Mill Lane. Of those boys at least three of them went on to university. I made many long term friends there and had a reunion with with four of them last year on a visit from Australia.

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  12. Geoff Daniel – I do remember you vaguely, I lived in Londonderry Road and was a friend of Paul”s before we started infants school. Paul and I lost touch for many years but I found him again a couple of years before he died. At the time he was teaching (& form master I think) at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook near Ipswich.

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  13. Brian Swales: Your reference to Paul Steer was interesting. He lived over the road from me in Vicarage Street in the early 1950s and I always used to give my Brownie 127 snaps to his father Jack to be developed. I still have a lot of them! I recall that Paul became interested in “The Blues” as we got a bit older. Sorry to hear of his early death. Weren”t you on Vicarage Street too, Brian… or is my memory at fault?

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  14. Brian and Chris – The following is an extract from The Stocktonian Year Book 1961-62. “Alec in Strangefield” December 1960 This was …a rehash of the first of our pantomimes given in the almost prehistoric days of December 1952. All of the boys (and most of the staff) then at the school having left it was considered permissible to cook up the old dish again, with some quite considerable additions. The large cast of first, second and third form boys entered into the spirit of the thing in a most lively and spirited manner which entertained the audiences.” There then follows a long list of members of the cast which includes “and the Bull by B.Bennison and C.Copeland.”

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  15. Chris Copeland, Of course I recalled your name. I just thought that some deep-seated embarrasment or rampant vegetarianism led to you seeking anonymity. Does anyone recall the group (presumably from a higher form) that played in front of the curtain? In the light of previous discussions about Grangefield musicians it would be interesting to know who was involved.

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  16. Fascinating as the discussion on Lindy Delaphina is (who, incidentally, deserves a place in the pantheon of early coloured footballers), I fear the whole debate may have been started on a false premise. It is my albeit imperfect recollection that Edmuson acquired his original nickname after a reference to him or his hairstyle resembling Del Shannon. This would then have been corrupted, as was the way of things, to Della. By this time Delaphina had probably left the Boro for Mansfield.

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  17. Anon takes me to task for critcisiing a tv programme, citing my portrayal of the front-end of a bull in a Grangefield pantomime as proof that I am in no position to talk. All I can say in mitigation is that it was I who was given the speaking role and we did get a mention in the Stockton & Darlington Times. Anon has brought back some long-buried memories of, I think, “Alice in Blunderland”: the costume made from sacks painted with poster paint and the infectious choruses of “Toriador, don”t spit on the floor! Use the spitoon, that”s what its for!” In my opinion (already discredited by Anon of course) it was much better theatre than those dreadfully jolly G&S performances. Incidentally, was it during scene changes in the panto that a skiffle group performed? It would be c.1959. (Should Anon want to reveal more about himself to me directly, my email address is with the PictureStockton Team)

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  18. John the incident you refer to when the ball broke the net & rebounded off the back wall, Stan Anderson grabbed the ball & took a quick goal kick (Clever thinking) the game had been restarted & the referee Kevin Howley could not change his decision. It all happened that quick.

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  19. John Mcalees. The match in which Lindy Delaphena scored from the penalty and broke the back of the net was against Sunderland. It was a friendly in which was the opening match of the first floodlit game at Ayresome Park. I was at that match, truly. A lot of people refer to that incident stating that they saw it but were far away that night. I was in the “Hospital” end and the goal was at the opposite end of the ground.

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  20. Della was the nickname of a Boro right winger, he was a Jamaican called Lindy Delapena, the Boro”s Italian goalie was called Rolando Ugolini.

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  21. chris;; the boro player called della was lindy delapenna a winger with an awsome shot the goalie was ugalini (spelling // but sounds right) della broke the net and the goal was disallowed Lenny will tell us which game it was

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  22. The Edmunson is from Stockton & his nickname was “Della” after an Italian goalie who played for the “Boro. His first name might have been Ian.

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  23. Filling in a couple of gaps : Left hand end of middle row is Keith Bellwood and the teacher is R.M. Atkinson who taught maths and left the school for Teesside (then) Poly in 1960.

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  24. Ian Aufflick, I think you may well have been the form prefect. When I was trying to recall the pupils names when I first posted the pic I had a vague recollection that the prefect was called Austin, which of course now I”ve been prompted was clearly you. The table prefect in the dining hall was Charlie Gillett who went on to be a music journalist in print and on the wireless.

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  25. Sylvia Duckling, Sorry, I can”t shed any light on your brother except to say that he is not on this picture. I”m pretty sure the person you spotted is called Bell, and in any case the intake classes were strictly alphabetical and this class included only those with surnames A-D. There are others on this site e.g. Messrs Thornton & Renwick who seem to have more thorough memories of Grangefied than myself and may be able to help. Good luck.

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  26. One of my brothers – eric musson- went to grangefield grammar and i have a strong feeling that the boy on the fron row- third from the left – is him. Was thinking maybe brian bennison could shed some light on this query.

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  27. Cliff Thornton – Cliff I have to admit that I wondered if I was hallucinating because I too thought it was JVS! Bob sad to hear about Ken”s state of health, he taught me in first year & was one of the “good guys”. Anyone of you remember “Dicky” Boyd, chemistry, & his famous rubber tube catalyst. A fine adjunct to school discipline.

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  28. Brian Bennison.I think you are right the 1st time, the Teacher is Ken Atkinson. I remember him at Richard Hind, he had a very large framed bike with straight handlebars and cycled to work every day. He lived in Belmont Ave that runs off Durham Road. In later years I saw him shopping in M&S in Stockton. He was very ill and was escorted by his sister in law. It was shortly after this that he died. Probably 20 years ago. He had a brother who was a prefect a RH whenI started in 1953.

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  29. Brian Swales – Yes I think it was Brian Dobson, but I can`t remember the other. It doesn`t look to me like Paul Steer between Dobson and Burridge. The first years at Grangefield were arranged in alphabetical sequence. So Paul was with me in Form 1Z. Having said that, I felt certain that the lad at the left end of the second row was J.V.Smith! So who knows what was going on. I know most of the lads on your trip to Spain, I wonder what “Rock” Hudson would have said about them playing with a round ball – and not the oval one :-))

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  30. Cliff Thornton – Is it “Brian” Dobson and “Bobby” Edmundson (from Sedgefield) you mention? Also I”m sure it”s Paul Steer between Dobson and Burridge in the middle row. In 1965 I went on holiday to Lloret de Mar, Spain with five friends from Grangefield, Clive Skilbeck, Bobby Edmundson, Stuart Patterson, Brian Dobson and John Henderson, what a great time we had! We each took a red & white striped football shirt courtesy of Stuart Patterson and made out we were Sunderland youth football team on holiday. It impressed some girls in the hotel but not one of the male guests! He asked if we were Sunderland youth team, and went on to say, “I saw you all kicking the ball about on the beach today but you didn”t impress me very much” . . . . rumbled!

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  31. Brian Bennison – just to fill in some of the gaps on the middle row. Third from the left is Cowperthwaite, seventh is Dobson, ninth is Burridge. And I think you are right and the teacher was called Atkinson.

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  32. Pupils back row: Ditchburn, Bennison, Bruce, Beattie, Clapham, Armstrong, Edmundson, Dixon, Allen. Middle row: Brown, Andrew, ?, Cowley, Aspinall,?, Allen?, ?, ?, Clubley, Coates, ?. Front row: Carr, Baker, Bell, Bone?, Brown, Copeland?, Callender, Connelly, Coates, Bosanquet. Somewhere there is Cowpethwaite. No longer sure about form master. I originally thought teacher was Atkinson, but may well have been Stockdale. (Perhaps I was thinking of Miss Atkinson at Mill Lane, but hardly a resemblance)

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  33. Brian Bennison – Brian I agree with some of your sentiments, as in all walks of life, some of the teachers were “no hopers”. Having said that I managed to enjoy most of my time there & the grounding it gave me led to a long career in the chemical industry. Regarding the CCF, of which I admit I was a member, it was the only safe place on school grounds to smoke! As you didn”t find your schooldays “the happiest days of your life” I sincerely hope that your later life brought you more happiness. Apart from yourself in the form photo the only person I recognize is Brian Dobson who moved from Tilery with me. I have to say, that when I arrived there I found the site and the facilities were second to none. Having said that I do remember several of my contemporaries being let down by the system, particularly when it came to the fourth year “choice”. Finally are you still in the area or have you like so many of us taken residence elsewhere? If you fancy a chat “off site” my e-mail is miker2@tiscali.co.uk Best wishes – Mike

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  34. Although I didn”t attend Grangefield Grammar I had several friends who did. I recognise a few faces on this photograph, some I don”t remember their names. Peter Bell on the front row Trevor Burridge and Ken Aspinall in the middle row. I was a friend of Paul Steer from before starting Newtown school, that looks like him 6th from the right in the middle row? Sadly Paul died in 1990 aged just 43.

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  35. Mike Renwick, I did indeed attend Grangefield (about which I would struggle to say anything really positive,except for a few “masters” as I believe we had to refer to them) from 58-63. The above picture was of 1W and I am second left, back row. I can recall most of the names on pic and also recognised yours when I joined the site and checked you out on Friends Reunited. The alaphabet decided which first year classes (or forms as we had to call them)we joined in that “bulge year” of five intake classes. I always thought Grangefield were a bit tactless in the manner in which they labelled their classes. I went on to 5x but some leavers were facing prospective employers with 5z as their class. When I look back I think Grangefield had delusions of former grandeur: a new school aping a tradition – the CCF and all that nonesense. Coming from a poorer part of town and where only three pupils from my school – MIll Lane – passed the scholarship, I always felt a little estranged.

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