Golden Jubilee of Richard Hind School

Some extracts from a booklet printed in 1963 celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Richard Hind Secondary Technical School for boys. This was my final year at the school. It includes a page showing the four headmasters and a page with a group photo of all the teachers in 1962. All their names are included so should bring back many memories.

Photos and information courtesy of Ian Pirie.

30 thoughts on “Golden Jubilee of Richard Hind School

  1. I would hazard a guess and say that anyone attending any school in Stockton during the 50s would
    be able to tell tales of the punishment meted out by the teachers. In my junior school in the early 50s I was regularly caned by a female teacher because my handwriting wasn’t good enough. It certainly didn’t improve my handwriting at that time. My own father would give a clout round the head on many occasions. Me, being the eldest of 5 siblings would be punished for their wrongdoings, especially my two sisters. My own son didn’t get that treatment from me when he was growing up.
    Looking back at my time in the Royal Engineers, the training instructors would treat recruits in such a manner that it amounted to bullying. For example, opening a recruits locker, taking out private mail and reading it. If the recruit objected they received a thump from the nco concerned.
    I later spent over 30 years teaching in secondary schools and experienced being told by some pupils that “they didn’t have to do as they were told by teachers what to do in school”. That had come from their parents. Corporal punishment had been abolished by the late 70s in schools although any such punishment could only be given by a senior teacher delegated by the Head.
    Looking back on those times it taught us self-discipline and that was certainly reinforced in the Army. It would appear that under the current lockdown rules self discipline is lacking by that minority who flout the rules and then complain when they are caught.

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    • George, My time the 1940’s at the School only the Head or Deputy gave out corporal punishment, though saying that Mr Plummer threw the odd board rubber, usually missed, Mr Dawson would give you the odd tap on the head and the Art Teacher Mr Dobbin would give you a tweak of the ear as he told me I would always get a job white washing toilets.
      I can only imagine that the time being talked about on this forum the 1950-60’s were very different although my understanding was the Classes of Pupils were much larger and less manageable.
      My wife was at a school in Stockton for 20 years and told me one child in a class could cause utter chaos through lack of discipline.
      I was a trained Infantry man before being transferred to REME and sent to the Middle East among National Service men with only six weeks training, men with discipline and training obeyed orders and did what was needed I saw N.S. badly trained men freeze like rabbits in the head lights. I blessed the wartime NCO’s who had driven discipline into me.
      Years Later as a WO1 I found myself explaining that the DI was trying to keep the recruits alive not kill them.
      In my experience I alway knew when I had broken a line admitted it and took the punishment. My own children were never ever chastised but knew when my tone of voice changed it was time to stop, we all need discipline with differing situations calling for different methods, this argument will never end.
      Frank.

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    • My Name is Billy Smith. I think I was there from 1951-1955. I remember Daddy Dee the Chem. teacher. He was always very kind to me. My memories of Rosser were not as pleasant. Today he would be classed as a psychopath. He caned me so hard that I bled for standing up to an older bully and I remember that he seemed to take great satisfaction in the act. I visited Pop Carlin many years later at his home. He was a gentleman. In all I learned a great deal there and for this I am thankful. Some of the boys I remember are; “Bomber” Law, Atkinson, “Dicko” “Fatty” Brown. I am a retired Control Systems Analyst living in Canada. Does anyone remember me?

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  2. My experience of Richard Hind was very similar to Frank Mee. Two years after leaving in November 1969 I joined York and North East Yorkshire Police after a couple of non jobs . Those who felt they were being bullied should have had a ex Coldstream Guards drill Sergeant at Police Training School. At our passing out parade we were the best officers he had ever had and those on the first day who were looking on were told they would never be half as good as we were. We had a Chemistry teacher called Ingram who tried with me and said, one day you will decide to work hard and you will then make something of yourself. Unfortunately I was married with two small children working shifts when I decided work hard and to study for my promotion exams. He was right and it was hard work but on the first of every month I thank Richard Hind and Mr Ingram. On retiring from North Yorkshire Police I had a second career in private security. I made sure that both my daughter had facilities for learning which my parents couldn’t give me and they obtained degrees in Geology and Environmental Biology from Liverpool University. My GCE in Engineering Drawing helped with my plan drawing of Road Accident scenes. The flying blackboard rubbers prepared me avoid house bricks on the Miners Strike and at Toxteth. I was one of the few recruits at that time who had not done National Service or had been in the Police Cadets. The discipline at Richard Hind got me through. All the Sergeants and above had medal ribbons it was like being in the Army. At school I learnt in the first year if you did what you were told you didn’t get the cane. In the Police in those days you did what you Sergeant told you no matter what. I still have my fruit bowls, tea caddy spoon and key rings i made in metal work and woodwork. I loved the boxing in front of the girls school. I think Richard Hind made me what I am and it suited North Yorkshire Police. I left Stockton on 2nd November 1969 never to return but of all the places I went nationally I took a little of Richard Hind with me. I learnt that if you don’t work hard you don’t get results. If the school had been easier I doubt I would have survived the early days in the Police. I saw everything that has been said previously and understand others points of view. I have not kept in touch with anyone from Stockton since I left. Dennis Brewer NARPO

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    • Dennis, People who complain about the discipline have usually not worked out the way you use it to your own advantage whilst seemingly being totally in abeyance. In my case it was the same at school in the army and as a Manager at ICI seen to be aware of how it was done but doing it your own way in secret Luckily I was never found out, in fact a blind eye was turned to things that got results in everything I ever did.
      In 1958 a group of us REME NCO’s were sent to the Guards Depot in Pirbrite to learn drill with the new SLR Rifle, the expectation was some of the Guards would rub off on us Grease Monkeys as the Guards called us. There was no love lost because as NCO’s with trade pay we got more than most of the mess.
      First off the RSM wanted to know how I already knew the drill. I was in the DLI Sir we never sloped arms, we had also had the Belgium FN rifle for a year to give it a trial, the SLR was the FN without the rapid fire switch. I was a marked man with the RSM from then on and even more so when our darts team beat his and his wife and i as partners took all the prizes at the Mess Whist drive. On the Square we did as told off the square we were our own men.
      From day one in the army I was the button stick on parade because it got you off a lot of things, as stick man (the smartest man in the duty guard) you were excused which meant I could then go dancing, you use the system and that has always been the way, do not fight it use it.
      Anyone who has been in charge of people knows that getting those people to work as you want them to can be interpreted as bullying, yet those same people know full well that getting them to start work on a Monday morning is an art in itself, sometimes a joke or a kind word other times a sharp come on lets move it.
      Richard Hind taught me many things along with English and Maths they showed me how to work the system to your own advantage and for all those things I bless my time at the School and what it made me, plus of course the comfort I now have in my quite old age, none of it possible in my opinion without my years at that school.
      Frank.

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  3. Having read all comments so far I am surprised that so many tell the truth about this dreadful school. When I made similar comments some years ago they were not published!
    I was there from 1958 until 1963. I can’t say that I hated every minute of it, but very nearly. I believe that the reason for the harsh treatment we recieved was because the philosophy of the headmaster, and accepted by most of the staff, was that we pupils should have had places at grammar school but had been lazy, and that harsh treatment was needed if we were to succeed. (A fundamental misunderstanding of the Eleven Plus system of selection which was used at the time. The Eleven Plus did not have a pass mark, it was simply a competition for the few grammar school places available.) Inevitably some teachers, with a bullying character, took to this with zeal, while others simply became corrupted by their colleagues. I knew virtually all of the staff pictured, but will resist the temptation to detail their crimes. Suffice to say that in present times some would have found themselves in court answering for their behaviour.

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    • David i agree fully with your comments having been at this institution from 1954 to 1959 and seeing first hand the bullying not by pupils but by the teachers and headmaster and please do not tell me like the two other comments on this post that hitting people makes your education more agreeable i find that just pathetic and does not make you more of a man i did just as well as those, and my children and grandchildren have done very well and prospered in life without having been bullied and hit, and thank god the education system and the work place are more enlightened places now and the antiquated views are becoming a thing of the past i think it very backward thinking that there are still people out there who advocate that the birch or cat o nine tails should still be used or that they think that they benefitted in some perverse way from being bullied by supposedly educated people who should have known better i had friends at this institution who were frightened each day they went to school which of course really helped their education i am no soft touch and can certainly look after myself but to say that getting regular beatings at school helped your education or your future life in the work place just beggars belief.

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      • We are all people of our time, my time and others on here was 1930-40-50. A vastly different era, those of us writing up Richard Hind are not advocating beating education into children we are saying punishment was handed out by Teachers Choir Masters The Village Policeman we only had one, us children were in fear of his white glove full of dry beans which administered to the ear caused it to ring for hours. We are saying we endured and rose above what was common for the time.
        We had always the threat of Borstal and Birching something that went on well into the 1960’s.
        Parents (not mine) were often known to punish children for the slightest wander from the straight and narrow path they were required to walk, one friend who’s Father was a headmaster was often covered in bruises from a Father who did not take second best in his schooling. Being seen and not heard was the way it was apart from homes like mine where we discussed everything my Sister and I being allowed an opinion. That was mainly why I was punished at the schools I attended and the Sunday Schools and Church, asking questions about anything was not encouraged, if you were told something by an adult that was the truth?
        Starting work as an apprentice at 16 I discovered the Foreman was God on earth and hazing the young lads was the works sport, I never smoked and that made me stand out because even the works cat smoked in those days, tied to a beam with lit cigarettes pushed in every orifice all standing laughing but not when I broke loose and proceeded to sling some angle iron fence posts like spears and they all did a runner. I still got hazed but more gently, I was a big lad and boxed or so they soon found out.
        The Hazing we got in the military and other National institutions was to toughen us up for the future, landing in the melting pot of the Middle east I was thankful for those training Sergeants.
        All things change, by the time I became a WO1 in the Army I was not the ramrod straight button stick handing out punishment but more Dad or even Granddad to the boys and girls explaining the discipline they endured was to keep them alive in dire situations not kill them.
        What changed? the only people allowed to give punishment in my time were the Head and Deputy, teachers sent you to the office for the cane, Eggy Plummer some times let loose with a board rubber and Mr Williams would at times give you a technical beating in the boxing ring, we did have Women Teachers who because we were all boys sent us for punishment, of course with around 200 boys in the school the Head would have been at it day and night had they all suffered.
        Lets keep it in context.
        Frank
        PS, My own children tell the Grandchildren Dad never once laid a hand on them, no I did not knowing what it had been like and what good it did.

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        • i honestly do not know what your keeping it in context means Frank you seem to be saying on one hand that yourself and others of your era suffered beatings and bullying and that it did you no harm yet on the other you are saying that you learnt that it was not the way to go and that you disagreed with it to such an extent you would never put your children through the same ordeal keeping it in context would be to say that beatings and bullying is wrong and should not be tolerated in any circumstance i could look after myself as well so the beatings i got i took and got on with it but this just festers a hatred and a stubbornness to the extent you stop listening to the bullying behaviour from people who professed to be the educators you dont have to hit people to instil fear into them you just have to intimidate them every day until they are frightened of even coming to school believe you me i have witnessed this i know i am a decade behind you Frank but with very few exceptions the teachers in my time at Richard hind hit you with one thing or another, and to dismiss lightly the fact that one teacher is throwing things at pupils or another is beating you in a boxing ring is totally and utterly wrong, the older you get the more people seem to look back and then that old adage comes out they would not have done that in my day or you got a belt off the bobby or your parents give you good hidings and it never did me any harm well thank god those days are gone and thankfully it did teach you that sort of thing was wrong and wasn,t passed, on beatings bullying and intimidation should never be tolerated my Granddaughter is a headmistress and she teachers with a kindness i would have welcomed and responded to and i believe this is due to myself bringing my children up to believe that bullying and beatings were wrong they picked that up and passed it on to their children which i am proud of, so please no more of these posts where it seems to be tolerated

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      • You are quite correct, Gordon.
        If we had been taught by sympathetic teachers rather than bullys we would have all fared better. Schools are very different now. It is hard to believe that we lived through an era when it was considered normal for teachers to hit children with sticks!

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  4. I was there from 1965 to 1970. Some of the teachers were just bullies. When they should have been educating, supporting and developing their pupils, they would take pleasure in embarrassing and humiliating them. George Keir was obviously unbalanced, and not fit to teach. Smith (Sprig) picked on the weaker lads, a typical bully. Graham Benzies (Bill) was vindictive and sarcastic – he was my form master in 1A – my first year in senior school and he tormented me every day.

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    • Graham is right. There is no excuse for the bullying and undermining of confidence at Richard Hind by some, if not most, of the teachers. I was hit so hard on my backside by Sprig that it left a size 10 imprint for three days. My offence – my PE kit was not clean enough, which was not surprising as we had used it the day before at the Muddy Football fields – incredible. At our reunions many of the boys talk of their miserable time at the hands of some of the bullies who had the gall to call themselves Teachers

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  5. I was at Richard Hind 62-68 . Mr Carlin was the music teacher . Mr Kear was the Geography teacher . One day he upset the smallest boy in the class . The boy took a chair to the front of the class next to Kear and punched him in the face .I think Mr Heslop had a comb over and whenever the wind blew it stood on end , I think he was Physics or Chemistry teacher . Mr Benzies was the English teacher . Mr Bowman was abit strange I think he might have been the Physics or Chemistry teacher . Mr Woodward was the Maths teacher who did not like me for some reason . One day he asked me what 1.25 squared was , instantly I told him 2.25 you should have seen his face he couldn’t believe it . Miss Hall was the French teacher .Mr Turbull was the Woodwork teacher , he used to chase boys around his class with a long cane and a Fairy Liquid bottle full of water . At the end of one year the boys who were leaving put sugar in his petrol tank , not nice . Mr ” Sprigger ” Smith was the sports master . He was always on my case even after scoring 49 goals in a season , 6 in one County game won 9-4 , and the winning goal in cup final game played at Roseworth school . I was hoping the final would be played at Stockton football ground , as it had been all the previous years , but it had just closed shop .
    There were good times , but I should have concentrated more on my subjects and not just on one , football . Now living in Cape Town with my wife , two daughters and three grandchildren .

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    • I remember Mr.Bowman although I did not go to Richard Hind. His nickname was ‘Dizzy’ Bowman and I met up with him as he helped out at the Crusaders Bible class I used to attend. He was interested in railways and used to take some of the boys in his van, and later a land rover, to see trains in the area.

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  6. i was at Richard Hind penal institution 1954-1959 and hated it with a passion the headmaster at the time mr Rosser was a brute unless of course you were in the favoured few i agree totally with Peter about the borderline sadists every teacher with the exception of a couple would hit you with anything at hand or their knuckles i was caned almost daily by the english teacher for writing backhand something i still do and despite the dire warnings that i would never amount to much i did very well for myself thank you the only time i celebrated anything to do with this institution was when they reduced it to rubble as Frank has took to pointing out this is just my opinion

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  7. I left Richard Hind in 1959 and I think the only staff in the picture who were there and taught me were Mr. Carlin, Mr Kear, Mr Fenny, Mr Gibson and Mr Turnbull, although I only lasted one year in Woodwork with him as it quickly dawned on both him and me that I wasn’t going to “shine” in the subject! Also Mrs North and Mr Rosser with Paul Sutheran being a pupil for part of the time I attended the school. It was a good school where we were told very early on that we had failed to get into Grammar school but we could still succeed if we were prepared to work.

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  8. Hello Ian, this brought back memories. I too kept my copy of the programme and remember the day at Corporation Hall.
    That school had a major impact on me and not in the best way.
    I think you were in the year above me. I left in 1966 post ‘levels’
    The photo shows us in the yard last day of term July 1966. I am on the right.
    Cheers
    Loops can’t attach image 😥

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  9. I cannot view this picture with once again, remembering a chance meeting, with Mr Rosser, outside of the old Smiths Bookshop, in Stockton High Street, just a very, very few years after this booklet was issued .

    Mr Rosser, was in an almost tearful state, and was with his wife. She kept apologising for him. As far as I could make out Rosser was telling me that Richard Hind was to be no more and that he in effect, was being made redundant…..Not a word that was common in those days .

    I suppose this was associated with the coming of the comprehensive school system, but the ending of a great school like Richard Hind and what it stood for must have been a terrible blow to Rosser. In his twenty years of headship, the school had provided pupils with he basis for making themselves a good and useful career. Here I would highlight the art, wood work and metal working classes, each of which would have got some of the pupils into well paid apprenticeships. Indeed in my time a big metal working building was built just across from the main building.

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  10. I remember three of those Headmasters, Mr Webster retired the first year I was there. He lived on Hartburn Road and as part of the choir went to his house to sing Christmas Carols, we were invited in to sing, he was a lovely man.
    Mr Rawlinson although I did receive the cane from him on a couple of occasions was not a sadist as some where he would ask why I was at his Office you told the truth and it was usually my fault anyway, he would explain why he had to cane me though he laid it on lightly, I liked him.
    Mr Rosser and I agreed to disagree our normal weekly punishment sometimes more usually ended with him not being happy with my attitude. You did not question your seniors, you did not answer back with what to my mind were quite logical thoughts, you had to do things as they had always been done? “Why”?
    It was a time when Children were seen but not heard, in my home where Mother Father Sister and i sat round the table and discussed everything, being told my thoughts were not relevant was a red rag to a bull. When Mr Plummer threw a board rubber at a boy and it hit me, I threw it back, he did not take kindly to that, I told him if he could not aim properly do not throw things. Later Mr Rosser did not see the funny side so six cuts of the cane later I upset him yet again.
    The process was knock go into his office state the reason, always the truth no point in waffling right give me a lift with the table and we moved a small table so he had room to swing the cane. Punishment duly applied you helped lift the table back again. That was not logical to me so I suggested we leave the table where it was rather than move it each time, the look he gave me and the timber of his voice made me leave rapidly. Our relationship never got any better even my year as a prefect up to leaving just before Christmas 1944.
    I did know Mr Carlin and Mr Rawlins though during the war we had Women Teachers as well, Miss English for English, Miss Dufney General Miss Rowbotham, Miss Du Pont (I think) French and several other lady fill in teachers among Men who had fought in the 1st war and should probably have retired but as with a lot of people worked on.
    The Richard Hind was a brilliant School I met many lads in my era who made good livings in later life. I rose through the Ranks in the Army then into Management at ICI and in my 90’s thank those Teachers for the knowledge and also the confidence they gave me to go into the world and fight my corner. It was a tough world snowflakes in my day just melted, it makes me wonder how the youth of today would have taken it.
    Frank.

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      • Stuart. My first years were at the Norton Board school from 1934-5 to passing the eleven plus for Stockton grammar. Discipline was the order of the day.
        Mr Fisher was noted for having a line of sticks belts canes on display, you had to pick your own punishment and it was laid on in front of the class. Mr Thompson was not quite as bad as that but it was a day of you do as you are told, do not question what you are told, be seen and not heard, coming from an extended Family who discussed everything in those dire times of the thirty’s I was never going to take what I was told as the last word. Richard Hind school (a Long story as to how I ended tip there and not the Grammar with a detour via Bromton and Northallerton) was a holiday camp to me.
        One thing though, none of the teachers used corporal punishment only the Head or deputy Head did that.
        Frank.

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    • i think Frank you would find that the youth of today would have stood up to be counted just as much as they did in your time its wrong to assume that one generation had the monopoly of strength of character.

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      • Gordon. I do not denigrate the youth of today having Grandsons who do not rely on Government to hold their hands knowing their future is in their own actions and achievements.
        In 1947 Joining the army the RSM was god on earth who could call down a lightning bolt on your head. By the time I was in the same position I was basically Granddad to the boys and girls who found it all too much. Sir why does the D.I. try to kill me, drying their tears my reply was, he is trying to keep you alive in what could be dire situations. A cup of tea and biscuit later plus explanation of the training, I hope they understood.
        ICI sent myself and three others back to college for 26 weeks as very mature students, students union the lot, what an eye opener. No interest in study or research, having a good time top of the list. Crowding around us at meal times asking what was the best place to get the £50,000 a year job when they left college I do not think they took kindly to the reality check we gave them.
        As with the young of any generation they would learn and adapt to a situation as we all did in wartime and after. As I learnt in those dire situations you are on your own with your mates, they are the ones you rely on not Governments.
        Frank.

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        • Frank i never mentioned denigration i come from almost the same generation as you and i have two fine grandsons and three fine grandaughters and all i seem to hear from previous generations is how they would not last five minutes with what they grew up with, when i know they would step up to the plate just as they did in my time and i do not envy some of the things they have to cope with in this world of today i appreciate some of the harsh times endured not only in the forces but also in our schools who still clung to the old adage of spare the rod and spoil the child which gave free reign to some of the brutes that taught us and all they succeeded in doing was repressing people and create fear, i am glad your grandsons are doing well and that they know their lives are in their own hands and they can and have the freedom to think and make a life for themselves, but i am also glad that they do not have to go to work in the forces or anywhere else with fear, or can go to school without the fear of being beaten just because you have a mind of your own, i wish you well Frank stay safe and Merry Christmas

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          • Gordon A merry Christmas to you and yours.
            I know how it feels, my five years in the Army Cadets taught me that. The 1st World war men who were the officers told us we would never lace their boots, one Major told me I would never make Lance Corporal in the Army, how wrong he proved to be.
            The youngsters did move on to the firing step including two Sons and a Daughter.
            Falklands Iraq Afghanistan and as in my time the rest of the world got on with life without too much thought of what they had to do.
            That is life, we all live it in different ways and why not.
            I still think Richard Hind was a good school during my time there.
            Mr Rawlinson moved on to another school.
            Frank.

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    • Mr Rawlinson only lasted as head from April 1941 to December 1941 ? Did he retire with ill-health or just move on ?
      My father Gilbert Dee taught for some years at Richard Hind for some years ( after your time ) He moved there to teach because it was near our home in Hartburn. He was tortured by a duodenal ulcer and was later operated on. As a doctor I remember all the problems with duodenal ulcers from the 50s and 60s now virtually eliminated by modern drugs ( I even worked in Virginia with Barry Marshall who won the 1905 Nobel Prize for his work on Helicobacter Pylori and ulcers ) These treatments are a great fortune for this generation.

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      • P.S. to my comment above. Barry won the Nobel Prize in 2005 not 1905 ! His research was notable for him performing critical experiments on himself !

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  11. HOW GOOD TO SEE SO MANY FAMILIAR FACES .pAUL SUTHERN WAS IN MY CLASS AND BECAME A TEACHER THERE LATER ON I WAS THERE 1951 TO 1956 AND A LOT OF THE STAFF IN THE PHOTO WERE THERE IN MY TIME CRAIG ALLISON

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  12. I only lasted one year at Richard Hind in 1964 after I walked out after a disagreement with Benn., the English teacher. Every teacher was a borderline sadist and shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near a classroom. Perhaps it had something to do with them having fought in WW2. My new school was Bede Hall in Billingham which couldn’t have been more different, and it was mixed!.

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