36 thoughts on “Stockton Secondary Grammar School 1946

  1. Hi, does anyone remember the Rippon family who were evacuated from either Durham Road/Haverton Hill? They were lodgers in our house after two or three bombs hit the area.

    Jeanette (then Sayer)

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  2. Frank P Mee
    Gran Cooper the picture has given me food for thought, if the time line is correct it makes Tony five years younger than me? I knew the eldest boy but he was older therefore did not mix much with us lads apart from the occasional knock up at cricket when they did not have enough for their own game on the centre part of the Green. We always played on the triangle directly in front of you as you come out of Mill Lane. The girl I called Sheila, but something is telling me it was Marjory, so that has me a bit at sea, went to the Board and was in my class in the early days. My mother was friendly with their mother so I was often in their cottage not far from the Unicorn Pub. A bit further along was a shop and another girl Doreen Stephenson? Lived there also in my class at the Board, moving on down we had in Summerhouse Square a Samuelson a girl from a large family and across the road in the cottages next to the tram shed lived a girl called Samuels no relation as far as I knew. Dennis Goldsbrough lived in the top house in Summerhouse Square at that time later moving to Woodbine house on Station Road. Then near Bradleys fish shop lived the Greys (Gray’s) one lad older than me and one my age, then Skips girl and over the road Lumley’s, on to the Greens Cobblers one of the girls in my class. There was John Hutton from the Dairy come Sweet and Icecream shop. We also had some from Keithlands and Greylands Ave’s, Pat Ness, John Whitehead who was my best pal at that time, and was it Doreen Snowden among some where memory escapes me. Among others were the crowd from Station Road and Calf Fallow lane plus several from the Kendrews estate Alwen Orpen who died very young the Watsons, Robinsons, Bulmers, Edwards, and so many more who I can visualise though names are gone but the Fletchers from Beaconsfield Road because again my mother was friendly with them and the Bells. Most at school with me or at the same time. We all of us were the Green crowd although quite a few of the older boys and girls also got on the green we did not mix much so that has me a bit flummoxed as to why I remember Tony so well if he was so much younger than me? Sitting on the Green Saturday morning reading the paper and enjoying the sun, watching children play feed the ducks and just relax, it made me think of the stories that could be told. My Father lived there the best part of his life and was in the Norton Scouts. My Great grandmother Brown (Fisher) lived her life out in Norton and my early years that have such vivid memories of the green as our wartime adventure playground, trysting place and meeting place for all the boys and girls walking to the Town Dances so we could save the fair to get fish and chips on the way back. The green has changed yet has not, it may be one big car park most days although the green seems to rise above it all, I suppose writing those memories helps to preserve those hundreds of years of usage the green has had.22/08/2011 13:36:32

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  3. As I mentioned on previous posts not knowing why Peter Leach went to the FN because all Redwing Lane area went to Red House. I knew him as Leach. He was tallish and slim build and very fair haired. Of the Carbros, Margaret the youngest surname was Pearson. In the 1939 photo she would have been 2 years old. Re the Pattisons living on the corner of Cottersloe/Letch Close, the only ones I knew at that address were the Fletts. The eldest son would have been your age Frank, another boy a couple of years younger with a daughter, son and the youngest another daughter.

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  4. I should not write when I am tired. Charlie Addison, Tom Patterson, Cissy Hardy, Gladys Tighe, who became my mother, Philip Mee, Tom Seaton and Mrs Seaton plus quite a few others were a clique of young people who went out together, I gave the immpression Tom Patterson and Charlie Addison were somehow related, as far as I know or mothers diary tells me they were not, sorry about that will be more clear in future.

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  5. Was it Leach or Lynch I can now picture a lad on the green in navy uniform but there was also Mr Lister the author and school master who was also often on the green in uniform. Sheila (Sheilagh) Carbro Gerald and Margaret lived at number 8 Mill Lane. I was sweet on Sheila back then but as we all moved on to the high school some friendships fell by the wayside. I do have a photo of Sheila Gerald and Margaret with my sister and I taken at number 8 Mill Lane around 1939, it must have been taken before all the film was confiscated hence not many pictures of us all during the war. You are spot on with the Pearson brothers and Stan Slater was younger than me but I knew him all his life, he lived next door to me at one time and was a welder at ICI, he passed away a couple of years back.

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  6. The Pattersons actually lived on Cottersloe but on the corner of Letch Close. My mother and dad were friends of the Pattersons, we were always going down there, that one was a fitter, as was Charlie who married Cissy Hardy from the Lord Nelson. I can remember going there and being fascinated with the big brass beer engines. Charlie and Cissy went to London before the war as Charlie was working for the electricity board in the Power Station, I spent some holidays and leaves with them, Charlie and Cissy also had two daughters. My mother worked at a big house in Norton High Street with some people called Volkers from Austria, he was something to do with ICI. Cissy Hardy also worked either with mother or at one of the houses near by as they were lifelong friends even after she went off to London and never came back. I cannot remember anyone from Redwing Lane as they were mostly older than me and usually went to Redhouse or some other private school. Bobby Guard was the police officer though he was in Stockton we did not see much of him. It is a strange world Bob, we thought the Redwing Lane Crooksbarn lot toffs and ne’er the two shall meet but from half way down the high street they thought we Green lot were toffs so we did not mix either. It did wonders for my boxing as I hated being called a toff so Bob Lonsdale and Dennis Luke from the Leven road area had to watch their P’s and Q’s.

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  7. Remembering now and how funny names come to mind. I wasn’t even thinking of the lad from Redwing Lane when Peter Leach’s name hit me. After leaving school he joined the Merchant Navy and on leave would be seen around the Green in his naval uniform. One of his mates was Stan Slater who lived in the new houses on the right going down Beaconsfield Road. Shiela Carbro had a brother Gerry who was a bricklayer 1st for Fletchers and then Head Wrightsons took over all their staff. Her sister Margaret went to school with me. The lad Tony Pearson, did he live in the cottages just before Bradbury Road and had a brother who had a serious accident when cycling down the Old Mill path and fell into a barbed wire fence cutting his face?

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  8. Frank – There was a lad living in Redwing Lane (estate) would be your age who went to the FN (which was unusual). He once had an owl which he would walk around the Green with. The Pattison girls, did they live in Letch Close which was a continuation of Cottersloe Road and their next door neighbours were Davies? Also was the father of the Pattisons a Gas Fitter for the Gas Board who we would see riding his carrier bike in the Norton area. Was John Guard from Finchley Road with a brother called Brian and whose father was a police officer?

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  9. Problem solved Bob and Gran thank you for that, I thought the old grey cells were letting me down. Marjory and Geof were the two at the Norton Board the same time as me and more of my age. Not being of a dramatic bent I am afraid Tony who for some reason has stuck probably because my mother who did go to church and watch amateur dramatics told me about it, I did say she was a friend of Mrs Carrigan among many of the Norton ladies mainly through her dress making. And maybe another reason I was not interested in the dramatic side, having to stand there with a wedding dress draped all over me whilst mother altered it yet again for a wedding where the Groom would be going abroad, and very red faced and protesting I might say, drove me away from ever wanting to do it for fun. Those weddings where the locals provided the food from stored rations and clothes for the bride usually altered by the ladies of the area and Mother, I absolutely refused to be the dress dummy when any of those ladies arrived to help, good grief my street cred would have vanished forever. More names have raised to the surface, Pat Middlemas from Mill Lane, Shielagh Carbro Mill Lane, Colin Campbell and Tony Pearson the green, Ken and George York also a Taylor from the cottages next to Toulsons butcher now Blackwells. Then the Hendersons two boys and a girl on the green next to Norton Hall Yard, Sylvia Nixon, Christine Pollard the Pattison girls all from Cottersloe Road. Ray Pigg, John Guard, Ian Downs, not to miss out Ken Sheraton or Jean and John Dent John Dietz. I was reading through some of the old files on here and saw that Les Barker from the farm had died at the early age of 48 also at school the same time as me. So many names, so many not with us any more it is sad to think a lot of them died young so us oldies should get it all written down before we vanish but like those gone before us are still remembered we hope.

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  10. Frank, you are right when you mention Sheila and Marjorie. In the Carrigans there were 3 boys and 2 girls. I think Sheila was the oldest or maybe Terry, then Marjorie, Geoff who played football for Richard Hind and was in the famous town team that were beaten in the final of the all England schools trophy and then Tony the youngest. He was very keen on amateur dramatics and was very friendly with Judith Wood whose father owned the Moderne and Avenue picture houses. Both Tony and Judith always played leading rolls in the Church Christmas plays and were members of the Stockton Amateur Dramatics Club. Doreen Stephenson was the sister of Eric Stephenson who served his time as an electrician with my brother at Pickerings lifts. In between these 2 cottages on the High Street lived Mrs Lee who was the mother of Ronnie Lee, who was the local property repairer and undertaker. I tell you these things Frank thinking you may have known Tony better through his activities at the Church and the friendship with Judith Wood.

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  11. I think that you are confusing Tony with one of his elder bothers, Geoff who played for Stockton Boys in the English schools football final against Leicester in 1946,Frank. Tony would have been 77 if he was still with us,his full name was Ralph Anthony,which along with my christian name gave us quite a few schoolboy laughs. Bob, I did not know of Tony’s sad passing. Tony did live where Frank says,but though I know that area very well, I lived on Grange Estate.

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  12. Tony Carrigan emigrated to the US of A and lived in Winchester Masachousettes. He has a family of 2 daughters and 1 son. He died approx 7 years ago. He was still playing cricket in his 60’s and was a wicket keeper.

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  13. Frank P Mee could be interested in this class photo as Tony Carrigan is fifth from left in second row from back, immediately behind myself. We were part of the same little gang and later discovered our respective fathers worked together at the Synthetic.

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  14. In no way Anon would I ever denigrate the tradesmen of this world I have the greatest respect for them having served my apprenticeship as Template Maker/Plater at Stockton Forge. or as they are all called in Australia Boilermakers, even though the majority of them have never seen a boiler. When I look back at some of the work turned out by these men I often wonder why they are not held in much higher esteem than they are. The term blue collar worker conjures up a not very skillful person when in fact some of the skills in my own Boilermaking Trade leave me in wonderment at what the tradesmen achieve in their every day working life. My own experience as a twenty year old apprentice marking out, and then getting all the various pieces either gas cut, welded or pressed into shape by the Angle smiths, then assembling and having the rollers machined, then final inspection of a Two Coal Truck Tippler assembly, with final trial running completing the task. Even though I enjoyed this type of work I would never have made a top tradesman. but was lucky to get steered in to a profession which suited me down to the ground in which I loved every minute of my career. Last evening I watched a TV programme on the Rolls Royce Aero engine development and manufacture, I recommend this viewing to any one who looks down on the blue collar worker, a wonderful piece of British Engineering and Workshop Skills. By the way I still consider the term Grammar School to be appropriate for the old Secondary Grammar school in Nelson Terrace, in regards to Norm Brown being an ex Grammar School boy.

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  15. The point Benny Brown makes about becoming Factory Fodder is debatable, it is just a question of did you want to go to work in a collar & tie (some thought it was a status symbol) or did you stay on the shop floor & earn more money on bonus work, as a lot of good tradesmen did in their younger days.

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  16. My early school history is similar to yours Alan, as I missed three years plus of my junior school education at Newtown School. I was born with a heart problem, a hole in the heart, and in those days there was not an operation available to fix the problem, so when I did attend school I would drop off to sleep in the middle of the day and put the fear of God into the teachers thinking I was about to die. They would send me home and due to this problem offered to send me to the Open Air School. My mother refused this offer saying if I went there I would never recover. The problem was my mother was not educated enough to help me with any school work at home with the result that I could not read or write up the the age of 11 years, when the dreaded 11 plus was to be taken. My teacher informed the Class that at Newtown ‘we had no chance of passing the 11 plus examination so we should all take a days holiday’, this we all did. Up to this point in my life my heath problems also stopped me from playing any organised sport due to doctors orders. When I went to Newham Grange I had a great mentor in Ray Irvine the Sports Master who was instrumental in helping me with my football and cricket aspirations. My mother told the doctor I was playing sport and his comment was ‘it will either kill him or cure him’. All I can think is that the cure was due to me playing sport, I later passed my National Service Medical with flying colours. So as you see health problems could have a great affect on any child when confronted with the old 11+ exam, and I hope there are many others who can take heart from both yours, and my, experience with health problems and education.

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  17. Benny and Alan, I agree with both of you over the education system that was operated in Stockton. After failing to achieve anything at the time I finished my education at Tilery Road Boys.
    I left Stockton in 1963 and in 1973 I qualified as a Geography teacher plus I worked for a degree with the OU. I spent 31 years in secondary schools until I retired in 2004.
    As I used to tell my pupils, ‘it’s possible to achieve what you want provided you are prepared to work for it and may have to take a different route. In my case it was evening classes at the local technical college.

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  18. Benny and George, I fully agree with all of your sentiments regarding selection at 11+ in Stockton schools. I don’t know who was most disappointed, my Mother or me that, mainly due losing so much time at Holy Trinity with Asthma ( no inhalers or anti- biodrugs in those days) I failed the second half and stayed at Trinity. Due to passing everything they put in front on me from being 12 years old until aged 20, I gained a high technical certificate and after National Service I applied for and was successful in entering a craft teaching position in the Sixties. I became friendly with the School deputy head who disclosed the same facts of the unfairness of geographic location with Stockton one of the lowest areas with Grammar School places. I told him that prior to the onset of Asthma I was rarely out of the top six in a mixed ability class. Once the dreaded Lurgy took it’s grip I slowly slumped to the middle of the class. He said I should be credited with my progress.
    I told this fact to my Mother who was lifted by it. You are right in saying that the present system is much fairer. I ended up as an assistant head of Department in a Comprehensive School.

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  19. George Clement, you call the 11 + exam bizarre, I call it down right unfair and totally useless in deciding at 11 years of age who the successful and who the failures in life were supposed to be. I, like you, have seen so many cases of the 11 + failures being successful and and even in some cases making the millionaire status through their own endeavours after being labeled failures by this so called culling system to give the so called elite pupils the best education at the expense of the many who had to put up with a third rate Secondary Modern education. Thank goodness we had some very good teachers in the night school environment who encouraged and taught these failures the basics and the advanced subjects to allow these failures to advance in life and not be the Factory Fodder they were supposed to accept as their lot in life. Not only was the system unfair but areas like Teesside came out bottom of the class in the stakes of providing the numbers of pupils they they could accommodate at a Grammar School. The ratio for Stockton was 5 pupils for every 100 pupils who sat the 11 + Examination this ration was in comparison with Manchester where 25 pupils in 100 were able to receive a Grammar School education and I believe parts of Southern England had better ratio:s than 25/100 as did Scotland on the whole. I am not bitter about my not being able to achieve the Grammar school education, only that the system was allowed to crush many young pupils even before they had started life. Everyone needs help in achieving success in life and I had many a helping hand over my career, including Harry Soppett and Frank Shepherd of Head Wrightsons, Geoff Hardy and George Beaumont of Ashmores, and others too numerous to mention. I hope that this comprehensive schools system is now a much fairer way of educating our young men and women and, having two nephews who went through this system and are now in senior management positions with Major Companies at Director level, I can say I believe this is a much fairer system.

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  20. I took the 11+ exam at Trinity Juniors in 1961. Then the exam was in two parts with a pass in part one and two giving boys a place at their preferred Grammar School, Grangefield or Stockton. However as there were limited places at Richard Hind Secondary Technical School not all those who passed Part one and failed Part two could be accommodated and it was a relief for me having failed Part two to find out that I had made it to Richard Hind. Additional marks were also awarded in the exams to those whose birthdays were later in the school year. I am sure that many an able pupil, judging by the number of ’11+ failures’ good record in later life, were placed in the wrong school. The opposite was also evident with some dismal performances at ‘O’ Level by some Grammar School pupils.
    It is a great pity that Secondary Technical Schools were abandoned. Perhaps it is evidence of their worth that Germany still has their equivalent and would appear to be leading the rest of Europe with it’s engineering prowess and success. My five years at Richard Hind were enjoyable with dedicated, sometimes tough, teachers many of whom had invaluable industrial experience.

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  21. Both Stockton Grammar and Grangefield Gammar Schools had their own entrance exam in the mid 1950’s. All pupils in the area sat the 11 plus and the successful ones, myself included, had the choice of sitting an exam for either Stockton Grammar or Grangefield Grammar. I opted for Grangefield as it looked a more modern school, duly sat their exam and failed. By the time my younger brother, some 11 years later, became old enough for secondary education he won a place at Grangefield based on a headteacher’s report and an interview. Those who failed to get into a grammar school in the 1950’s then were given the choice of sitting another exam for Richard Hind School. Looking back on that era it was a rather bizarre system of providing an education for the youngsters in Stockton.

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  22. I recall that the Grammar School had it’s own written exam and interview. I was quite pleased to fail the process – the old Grammar School was an exceedingly gloomy place. Nelson Terrace seemed a palace in comparison and then came the very fine Grangefield building. Perhaps the Grammar School was able to select what they considered the top 30 out of the pool by their selection procedure. I don’t think they took the top 30 from the 11 plus exam. Gran Cooper mentions the bizarre division of the entering pupils at Stockton Sec. into the Latin class and the Chemistry class. Latin class pupils did physics but no chemistry – somewhat of a disadvantage for anyone contemplating science at University. I was in the Chemistry class and never did latin – something I would have liked to have done.

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  23. I remember the formidable interview by Tommy Ridley, then Head of the Grammar School.
    I wonder how many of those boys possessed a bicycle which was then a traditional parental reward for ‘passing the scholarship’.

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  24. Ken is probably correct as I did have an interview at Stockton Grammar School which I failed. To Anon, yes Ian Brown came from the area you mention. I was one of only three who passed both halves of 11 plus from Oxbridge Lane that year, the others being Alan Merryweather and Geoff Mott. Our class 2M was made up from a large area covering places such as Fishburn, Billingham, Norton and Port Clarence. Kenny Monaghan lived in Port Clarence and played football for Boro Juniors and Whitby (another rugby rebel), I wonder if he is still around. Syd Dumble was our first form master,he was a bit of a rugby fanatic and there is no doubt Stockton and Billingham rugby clubs profitted from his efforts.

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  25. Yes Ian Brown played for Stocton RFC in the 1950’s. I am not sure about Gran’s assertion: When you sat the 11 plus those who passed the first half went to Richard Hind, if you passed both halves the top 30 or so went to the Grammar in Garbutt St and the remaining 70 or so formed the two classes at the Sec in Nelson Terrace. When having passed both halves there was a choice that could be made. Grammar or Sec. Places at Richard Hind went in attainement order to fill the places.

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  26. With ref. to photo of Stockton Sec Grammar School in Nelson Terrace, this class is in first year and who left in 1950 at the age of 16. The next term began at Grangefield Grammar School which had stood empty during the war and finally put into use in Sept 1950. The building in Nelson Terrace then became Stockton Tech and night school. The S1 maths teacher was Joe Harle for the ONC course.
    There are many references to the Nelson Terrace school on this site and they can be seen in the Browse section. Going back to the class I was in, it was the Latin Class and there was a similar number in the Chemistry Class. When you sat the 11 plus those who passed the first half went to Richard Hind, if you passed both halves the top 30 or so went to the Grammar in Garbutt St and the remaining 70 or so formed the two classes at the Sec in Nelson Terrace. There were a lot of these who wished they had only passed the first half when we realised that the Sec were rugby only, no football. I know that quite a few of those on the photo have sadly passed on including some of my pals, Tony Carrigan, Joe Umpleby and Alan Hislop but I do know that Ian Brown is one of those in charge of Billingham Rugby Club currently, and I will be seeing Ernie Lynn at Ingleby Barwick on my next visit up there. For Benny Browns benefit, Brian Anthony was in the Chemistry stream and therefore not on this photo. To Cliff Thornton (grangefield grammar) just to say what an enjoyable book, ‘Going where Captain Cook has gone before’ is.

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  27. Back row L-R: I Brown, Clark, Williams. 2nd Back row L-R: R Manistree, Ward, G Riddle, S Watson, R.A Carrigan, Addison, A Hislop, Russell. 3rd Back row: K Reas, ?, ?, B Fenny, J Umpleby, G Teal, G Cooper, Jones?, H Piercy, ?, ? Front row: Lodge, ?, K Monaghan, D McLean, School Secretary, E Lynn, C Chamberlain, T Clayton, R Atkinson.

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    • Sorry Gran Cooper, but I’m late on this scene, are you still about ? My name is Conrad Raine, I along with Fred Ramage and Billy Elstrop, came from Billingham, but were in the Science stream so was not in that photo in 1946. I do remember Geoff Riddle though from that pic, he became a solicitor and lived in Billingham. I remember the late Tony Corrigan. I note your posting was 5 years ago, not too late I hope. A belated “ where are they now ?” Any one out there? Best wishes Conrad.

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      • Conrad, I am still around, though I do know of many on the photo are sadly not. I was up in Teesside visiting Ernie Lynn who is on the photo, posted in 2006 by the way. Ernie passed away in March. I mention him because we both played for Oxbridge juniors against Synthonia A team captained by Barry Butler with you being the goalkeeper. Billy Elstrop was probably in your team too. Peter Manrow was also in your team and he is still around in Billingham.
        Peter, Billy, and I were all in the 1950 intake into Head Wrightson Apprentice School.I first played for Synthonia in the Northern league in the 1954/55 season prior to National Service in the Far East.
        Best Regards
        Gran Cooper

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        • Conrad back, just noticed your great news Gran, I’m now living in Noosa Australia – there since 1975. I was a lecturer at Loughborough University (1968- 75) left to take up appointment at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. Retired in 1998. Actually will be in the Yarm, Billingham, Whitby area end of June this year 2018, if you or any others would like to catch up.

          You are correct I was a goalkeeper, remember Barry Butler well, sadly I believe he & Billy Elstrop have both died. I became a “dashing forward “& played N League for Billingham Synthonia & Whitby Town with lovely man Bill Jeffs managing.

          Going back to Grangefield school I was friendly with James Aitchison, Keith Murray, & Peter “Paddy” O’Neill – anyone know anything about them?
          You have a remarkable memory Gran, do you remember Barry Geldart, left winger & cricketer? I’m catching up with Ken Thwaites of Whitby, who played local cricket for 50 years! Probably enough for now. Hope to catch up. Good luck & best wishes Conrad Raine (1946-52)

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      • Just stumbled across these notes. I think I was in the same year as Conrad but in M. I remember Conrad as a demon bowler and I hated to bat against him. I also was a Head Wrightson apprentice. Didn’t use much Latin during my apprenticeship but glad that I still remember some. Billy Elstrop lived in York Crescent where I lived and, if I recall events correctly, Billy lost a forefinger on his first day as an apprentice when helping to turn over a mould in the Thornaby iron foundry. i might be a bit late with this comment. I.ll be 86 in August so maybe a few have gone on to their eternal reward.
        Kind regards to anyone reading this, Eddie Wood

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