Head Pupils at Billingham North Juniors c1954

Back Row from left to right: David Clish (Head Boy), The infamous Mr Phillips (Headmaster), Billy Davidson (Deputy Head Boy).

Front Row from left to right: Pauline Jackson (Head Girl) and Eileen Alderson (Deputy Head Girl).

David Clish became a doctor, both Pauline Jackson and Eileen Alderson became teachers, the latter appears in the Billingham Roseberry Teachers photograph on this site.

I am sure there are many visitors to this site who will remember Mr Phillips unusual military style of running a school. This photograph of the head pupils at Billingham North School was loaned to me by Pauline Jackson.

Details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

7 thoughts on “Head Pupils at Billingham North Juniors c1954

  1. As it’s Fathers’ Day, I’ll mention that John (Jack) Phillips was my father. I can imagine he was strict at school to both staff and pupils, but a wonderful father to his 5 children with a terrific sense of humour. Evenings and weekends were spent playing with Meccano, making zoos from plasticene, bonfires and trips to the moors and sea. I was ungrateful for his patient help with homework and he would say that it was we five who turned his hair grey not the 500 at school. I naively thought his job was easy as he spent so much fun time with us, not realising until much later that he got up at 4 a.m every morning to do his school work. His passion was literacy and numeracy, and helping all children, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds (he was from a working class mining family) into the grammar school, and professions and trades. He loathed laziness, vandalism, hypocrisy and dishonesty so could be an idealist taskmaster.


    • Hello Margaret

      Many thanks for posting the comments about your father, when I started at Billingham North School in 1951 miss Roxby was Headmistress of the infants and your father was headmaster of the juniors, your father was strict, fiery and didn’t suffer fools, this of course was his “Working” face, we never saw the man you knew, we didn’t actually fear him but were fully aware that stepping out of line would lead to a swift and painful punishment, this was extremely effective and kept the more rumbustious pupils very much in line, it also ensured that every pupil could read, write and do arithmatic when they moved on to secondary education, for this I applaud your father.

      Would you allow me to use your comments in a School Photos & Memories album that I am working on, I am always looking for comments and memories of school years in Billingham from 1951 to 1961, remembrances of former teachers, fellow pupils, activities, anecdotes, mischief you got away with, mischief you were punished for, in fact any thing to do with childhood in Billingham in the 1950s, I have a new version of the album which I intend loading on to the Internet for people to download for them selves, I would really like to include your comments before I post it.

      I can be contacted at billinghamlad@gmail.com if you or anybody else are interested in having a copy of the album, it is an interactive computer program for use on a Windows computer, there are 66 photos of school life in Billingham and Haverton Hill and a reasonable selection of memories from former pupils as well as 1200 plus names of pupils and many photos depicting childhood from that period.

      Previous versions of the album have been deleted from the download site so the new address, when ready, will be the only one.



  2. I don’t remember Mr Philips’ style being military! I wasn’t taught by him and actually liked him. By the time I started in 1954 (age 7, having moved from Eaglescliffe) he had a Ford Prefect.
    Billy Davison and Pauline Jackson later went to Henry Smith’s in Hartlepool, which is where I know them from, and I think Eileen Alderson did too. Bill’s sister Joan was in the same class as me at both schools. I don’t remember David Clish so presumably he went to another secondary school, possibly Stockton Grammar.


    • I was head girl 1957-8. Not boasting, just saying! Philip Hunt was head boy. Our teacher was Mrs Marshall, whom I really liked. For the following two years she was my sister’s class teacher but she didn’t like her! My maiden name was Buttle.


  3. I was at the school in 1952 when Mr. Phillips was our class teacher who arrived each day on a motor bike. He terrified us each morning when he questioned the class over the times tables whilst using a wooden blackboard ruler like a gun. Woe betide anyone not listening as he regularly threw a blackboard board rubber at you. He was an excellent teacher and many in his class passed the 11 plus exam as a result.

    Sorry this was Colin Quinn not my wife.


    • I have been in touch with Pauline Jackson and she says that Eileen Alderson’s mother did teach at the Billingham North School for a number of years, she can forward a message to Eileen if you so wish, Picture Stockton can put you in touch with me and I can then forward any message to Pauline.

      Pauline has no information on David Clish.


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