15 thoughts on “St Peters Hall

  1. 4th Stockton Scout group was in there for a long time. I was a cub leader with Peter Gibson as group scout leader and Alan Rushforth was the scout leader. I was invested in that hall. I later became the caretaker of the church hall on a volunteer basis. St Peters church Sunday school was open in there as well.. St Peters Enterprises were based there and did screen printing.


    • Hi Gillian, I am trying to put together a story book for Dorothy and Kenneth Dixon (my wife’s cousin). I am told that he was a group scout leader at the 4th Stockton Scout group at the time of Peter Gibson and Alan Rushforth. I am looking to get some information and ideally photos of the time during this period, which seems the time when you were there. Do you remember Kenneth (and Dorothy) and do you have any memories or photos, or even contact details of Peter and Alan, who I understand still live in the area.
      Hope you can help


  2. My finest hour was not in PE at St Peters as I always ended up getting Sprig’s slipper which in the years I was there belonged to a lad called Crossley (size 13) – my fondest memories were of playing at the school concert 5B Xmas 1964 in the Black Barons band (group) with Roger Belt, Alan Coath, John McDougall and a lad called Archer (not Raymond). We brought the house down and were told afterwards by Mr Rosser that even though we won to the applause of the school the music was rubbish – oh what an inspirational man!


    • Oh that Mr Rosser, lets face it he was probably right, I played piano and did a classical piece for him he told me well done a few more years practice and I would be a moderate player, he should have heard me play “In The Mood” Glen Miller style. When he was releasing us by then prefects to look for work in November 1944 he told me if I reigned in my exuberance I would manage fifty years as a clerk in an industrial office somewhere. His straight face never gave anything away so I wondered if he meant I was useless or to go for it?
      Thanks to the education I got at Richard Hind it turned out to be an exciting, at times overly exciting life and never once did I regret any of it, it gave me what I have today comfort and free from worry.
      Of the three Headmaster, Mr Webster sticks in my memory as best, Mr Rawlings was a fire brand go getter who changed the Schools education paths and Mr Rosser who on a weekly basis massaged my backside with his cane, did it bother me, no, did it do any good, no, did I reign in my exuberance certainly not. in the words of the Song, “Bless them all” and lets face it Alan the sound of those three chord wonder bands would have got from me the same reply Rubbish, but then I was brought up in the real music era.


  3. I remember this venue from two standpoints, weekdays as a wet-weather sports hall and weekends as a Sunday School Meeting house.

    Smith (Sprig – how did he always walk on his toes, ballet dancer like?) was a ‘standard’ PE teacher of the period, free with the corporal punishment and barking orders, but in the main fair. He didn’t seem to be vindictive towards the physically less able as many PE teachers were, rather applying a degree of encouragement to those who tried their best.

    St Peter’s hall meant either large apparatus like ropes,box, bench and horse and those ‘Long (short) arm over-swings’ we would have to perfect… or Dodge ball and, best of all, Pirates…. Loved Pirates as I usually managed to stay uncaught to the end…

    Sunday school was held in the small room on the left past the entrance, in winter sitting round the blazing guarded fire which meant one side frying the other freezing.
    60 years later I can still ‘hear’ the sounds of the hall, the ‘clack’ of the door catch on the front door, scraping chairs on wooden floors, an echoing slam of the small room door and the thunder of heavy footsteps across the stage during Christmas time evening presentations for parents.


  4. Attended Richard Hind 1970-1975. Remember having piano lessons here with Mrs Hoy and the school discos were held here too. Lovely memories.


  5. St Peters wow, in the 60’s we used to get 2 minutes to get changed into our sports kit and woe betide you if you took a second longer. “Sprig” would be standing in the passage with one eye on his watch, and the second 2 minutes were up, if you happened to be in passage, you were stopped and given the obligatory slipper to the backside. It always seemed to be the same kids who were punished, strangely enough they were the ones who had to change furthest from the door. Apart from sports, loved murder ball by the way,which some of us tended to take more literally than others, we actually used the place to sit some of our CSE’s in our final year.


  6. I well remember St Peters hall when at Richard Hind (Central originally / was also renamed Secondary school) We had Tech. Drawing in the first room on left going in with P.T. lessons (including boxing) in the hall straight on. We Received a good education from dedicated teachers both male and female. I have always appreciated them – even if we were “caned” on occasions
    I was there 1944 to 1948 Mr Rosser was Head – Ken Walker.


  7. St Peters Hall, a large section of my life was spent there from 1940 to November 44. We learned there Ate there and under Bill Williams the Egyptian Swimming Champion (don’t ask I never found out how) we learned the gentle arts of Boxing, Cutlass Fighting, Epee, Rope climbing and in general how to kill each other indoors without actually dying a fine art indeed. We also did all the outdoor sports at Ropner Park in reasonable weather.

    Eggy Plummer had his own room in St Peters where he taught us Maths, that was Geometry and Trigonometry also Technical drawing, we also did Normal Math calculus etc. at the main school.
    Miss English at times used another room at St Peters for English (well named for it) though most other lessons were at the main school. Miss Dufney never came down to St Peters, I do not think she and Eggy got on, last I heard she is still around.

    We had School meals as there was no going home to Norton and back, the tables set out in lines with a table on the stage, the Teachers sat up there looking down the rows and woe betide if you used the wrong utensil in the wrong way, eating peas off your knife was a definite no-no.

    There was a potato shortage at one time and they boiled rice of which there never seemed to be a shortage worse luck, it was a dark gluey mess which stuck your teeth together, I refused to eat it and was hauled up in front of the Hall and told I was losing the war all on my own, sailors died and I was refusing to eat what they fought to bring us then six of the best, still hate any rice apart from Rice Pudding and the cooks could even spoil that.

    When Dennison Street was Bombed and all those people including a child killed we could not use St Peters so the Girls school who had their meals in the School Hall ate in the classrooms and we had the hall, we had PT in the hall or the School Yard, Swedish Drill being all the rage at the time, all in lines arm swinging leg swinging twisting and turning the body in vests and pants, it got you a sweat on in winter. After a few weeks we returned to our routine at St Peters. The class I was in only had 18 pupils to start and 14 at the end, it was almost personal tuition, it did dawn on me in time how lucky we had been, a top class education which took me places. I came to bless Bill Williams chasing us all up to the Ceiling on the ropes every lesson when it came to the army they called me the monkey with the drill Sergeant saying show these wimps how it is done.

    Richard Hind will always be in my memory as a happy time, I have what I have today because of the education those wonderful Teachers gave me, now it is gone though not before my Daughter got her education there.


    • Apologies, I slept on it and around three in the morning remembered it was Sid Williams not Bill. He once floored me in Boxing, he often shadow sparred with us lads and knowing I had outside boxing lessons we would enact guards and attack. That day he kept leaving his chin unguarded as he talked and it was too good a chance, I landed one right on the point not expecting the instant reaction that put me down, I could see he regretted it as did I, we live and learn.

      Ken, Mr Rosser was the third Head Master for me we agreed to disagree most of the time. My first year was Mr Webster a lovely man who loved his boys, the year he retired we the choir went round at Christmas and sang all the Carols, he lived in Hartburn Lane. Then came Mr Rawlings, he went through the school altering the whole set up as the Government wanted Engineers not Bank Clerks, quite a shake up though one that suited me. Mr Rosser was next and by the pictures on this board was there many years after I had gone. If I remembered right the Head Master was the only one to give out corporal punishment, Eggy would throw board rubbers Sandy Dobing would twist your ear, Mr Dawlish always had a piece of wood in his hand so we did not argue, Miss Dufney, Miss English and Miss Dupre sent you to the office. Another female teacher tried to teach us all Esperanto and could not keep discipline in her lessons so more visits to the boss.

      Our worst enemies were the Prefects especially the ones on the School bus, you would find your name called out after morning Prayer not knowing why. You found your self with half a dozen others to be called into the office one at a time to be told we had taken our caps or ties off on the bus in one case I was eating an apple on the bus? You never denied it just took the punishment, if sent to the office by one of the Teachers you told it exactly as it was, no fudging or excuses, we never even dreamt of lying. Other Teachers came and went, in wartime we had what would be supply teachers today who filled in for a few months then went. Those who had served in the first world war Sandy Dobing and was it Mr Dawson? Science teacher were there throughout my time.

      Each one added something to my experience of growing up and yes my turn came as a Prefect, woe betide any one taking a cap off or eating in the street or school bus, we gradually become our elders and rules are there to be obeyed, funny I then lived a good life breaking them.


  8. “Murder Ball” and “Pirates” were two of the St Peters Hall activities that Mr “Springer” Smith, PE teacher in the 60s, favoured to toughen us up. Then there was boxing during the Autumn term with circuit training and gymnastics using the benches and the horse at other times. Looking at the size of the hall I am surprised that a class of over 30 teenage boys could fit in let alone take part in Physical Training exercises.


      • Yes, Sprig measured out the length of the playground and decided that we had to run 17 lengths of it to complete a mile. I pitied the other classes trying to concentrate whilst the thundering sound of 30 or more boys echoed through their classrooms. 17 walls was always suspended whilst exams were taking place.


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