17 thoughts on “Sixth Form at Grangefield Grammar School 1954

  1. I was a student at Bede Hall Grammar School, Billingham, during the 60s. I was lucky enough to have Clive Bell as my form teacher and geography master during that time. I would very much like to track him down. I know he went to Egglescliffe comp as head of dept in the 70s, but lost contact after that. Can anyone shed any light on his current whereabouts? I would dearly love to buy him a drink!

    Like

    • It’s really nice to hear your comments about my Dad. Unfortunately he’s no longer with us as he died back in the early 1990s. He would have very much appreciated the comments and liked the pint though!

      Like

      • Hello Julian, I’m so sorry about your dad. He was a great guy and a seriously talented teacher. I had a deep respect for him and was lucky enough to visit him when he was at Egglescliffe comp. Sadly, that was the last time we met. I was a Police Officer at Darlington at the time, and joined the Royal Air Force shortly after. How I wish I could buy him that pint.
        Please accept my apologies for the lateness of this reply. I think someone is sat on my shoulder tonight, telling me to visit this site…:) Thank you for answering though. It’s been driving me nuts trying to get info on him.

        Like

        • Clive taught me “A” Geography at Grangefield Grammar in 1960. He was a great bloke but as our class only had two students he probably didn’t have an easy time! Anyway he and Ken Whitfield were instrumental in me achieving a distinction in geography which surprised me but both of them even more so!

          Like

          • Derek. Any connection with the Derek Graham at Richard Hind, who was a close friend of Frank Kirkwood? Or is it just a coincidence?

            Like

            • Yes Fred, John Calder and I went to Grangefield Grammar for 6th Form whereas yourself and Geoff Burns? went to Stockton Grammar for the 6th Form I believe. John sadly died a year or so ago but Frank is still going strong as an architect/demolition man somewhere near London

              Like

              • Thanks, Derek, I kept wondering about you, whenever your name came up on Picture Stockton!

                I had forgotten that it was John Calder who went to Grangefield with you. The people who went on to Stockton Grammar, were all doing Science subjects. There were four of us. Brian Burns, Geoff Burns, Jim Turnbull and myself.

                Mr Rosser, the headmaster at Richard Hind, encouraged all of us to try for the Grangefield Grammar Sixth Form. However, the head master, at Grangefield, explained, apologetically, that he had over thirty pupils in the Science Sixth and it was full up, which is why we four ended up at Stockton Grammar. But I had absolutely no idea that the main reason for joining the Sixth Form was to get into University.

                The Science Sixth at Stockton Grammar was a bit like your Geography class in terms of size. There were only seven or eight of us, The lessons were done round a table in a small room, off the Science Lab, in which was kept the stocks of chemicals.

                The last time I saw Frank was around 1962, when before I went down to London, I saw him outside of Constantine College. He accused me of joining the upper crust!

                I got a lot out of stringing along with you, Frank, and Barbara? in our lunchtime walks around Ropner Park. If you are in contact, please give him my best wishes.

                It is a pleasant thought that kids from Richard Hind, who had not been completely successful at the 11 plus, could more than hold their own with the Grammar School lot!

                Like

                • True Fred when I went to Grangefield I found that many of those from my primary school who had passed the 11+ when I failed had in fact obtained poorer G.C.E. results than me and many not enough to go into the 6th form. Good old Richard Hind eh?

                  Like

  2. The Grammar schools being allegedly a ‘cut above the rest’ of the educational establishments tried in vain to hold back popular contemporary culture of the time. This was more or less successfully achieved until the breakthrough of the Beatles in 1963. There was a snob value attached to not liking popular music at the Grammar schools and dressing like your father out of school. There always was an underswell of Grammar school pupils who preferred popular and rock’n’roll music and the clothes and the look and the hairstyles that went with it. With the breakthrough of the Beatles and the northern pop groups the flood gates could not be held back. Not even by Rupert Bradshaw, headmaster of Grangefield Grammar School for Boys, who much preferred the words of Sir Arthur Quiller Couch to the words of (Little) Richard Penniman, Chuck Berry or Lennon and McCartney. The clothing worn today by young and old alike is much more sensible and comfortable and smart. Compared to for example, Harris tweed sports jacket, cavalry twills and brown brogue shoes.

    Like

  3. Bill, ‘I could talk a donkey’s hind leg to sleep on this subject’… Yep, I can certainly vouch for that as I have spent many hours in your company with that fabulous record collection. Along with Fats Domino, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and every Rock ‘n’ Roll or Blues singer that ever lived. You, sir, are a complete authority on the subject and a living legend 🙂

    Like

  4. Anon, Teddy boys first made a showing in the year of the photograph. I was a user of the delights of the Maison de Dance and was suprised to see lads with dark brown patches on the lapels of their draped jackets. I was wearing conventional two piece suits at the time.( As you say, like my Father!). You are the first person I have met who observes the trend for young, and not so young, Fathers dressing like their kids. When my Grandaughter was of Junior School age I, being retired, was called upon to go to her Primary School to meet her coming out. I couldn’t believe that most Fathers had white trainers and baseball caps on. ( Plus, of course the obligatory tee shirt, or football shirt.

    Like

  5. Unfortunately our parents were right, at least as far as pop charts were concerned it didn’t last. Very few real rock n roll records were hits after 1960, but to us fans of real American 1950s rock n roll music, it will never die. The real rock n roll singers still come over here to play packed houses 50 years later. Specialist record companies still issue & reissue the geniune stuff, along with unissued
    tracks from the 50s. Will present chart acts still be at it in 2059, I doubt it. Modern music fans are too faddy, here today, gone tomorrow. I could talk a donkey’s hind leg to sleep on this subject so I’ll pack in now and go and listen to some Sonny Burgess records.

    Like

  6. Indeed what would he have made of it all. These are times when youth decided they could enjoy themselves. Rock & Roll was here to stay, “it will not last” said the parents of the day but here we are more than fifty years later and still we older ones moan about what still is basically Rock & Roll.

    Like

  7. These Grangefield Grammar School 6th formers in 1954 must have been some of the last young men in Britain who dressed like their fathers. On 12 April 1954 Bill Haley and His Comets cut ‘Rock Around The Clock’ and Elvis Presley was cutting his first sides for Sun. Fashion sense and style and independence and rock’n’roll was about to be unleashed on the ‘teenagers’ of Britain and the USA. The vanguard was rock’n’roll, the music which was initially taken up by the so-called working-class youths ‘teddy (Edwardian) boys’ and not (as Mr R E Bradshaw, headmaster of Grangefield hoped) by grammar school boys. His hope was in vain as the music and the clothing styles swept away ‘father’s clothes’ and created a ‘generation gap’ which has now closed and father’s now dress like their kids…What would Mr Bradshaw have made of all this…?

    Like

  8. Front Row: Clive Bell – another student who returned to the school to teach, arriving in 1958 after obtaining an Honours degree in geography at Liverpool University.

    Like

  9. Top row: Tom Bellis, Paul Dee, Graeme Dewison, John Hutchinson, Peter Williams Middle row: Jack Candlin, Brian Brand, Chris Willoughby, Dave Nash, J Wrigglesworth, Paul Hellliwell, J Gilliland. Front row: Gordon Craggs, John Milner, Clive Bell, Derek Lyth, David Pilbrough, Eric Holmes.

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.