Richard Hind Speech Day, February 1960

The picture includes Mr Rosser on the right, and Alderman CW. Allison seated. Ken Smith, my friendly rival in science subjects, who got the chemistry prize, is next to Rosser. I got the one for Physics. Two others, I recognise, are Frank Kirkwood, third from the left, whose face is partly obscured, and John Calder, next to him, who is even more obscured. Frank was a good mate. Along with him and Derek Graham, who also received a prize at this ceremony, I had many, many happy and thoughtful conversations with them at lunchtime in walks through Ropner Park.

Images and details courtesy of Fred Starr.

9 thoughts on “Richard Hind Speech Day, February 1960

  1. Dear George
    Harry Rigg was still headmaster at Portrack Primary when we took the “11 Plus” in 1959. He would have moved on to Tilery a few years later. Perhaps 1962?
    I have remarked earlier that after five boys getting into Richard Hind and one girl into Queen Victoria in 1959, I don’t think anyone from Portrack got anywhere for several years. A complete scandal. I am pleased you got somewhere after getting into Tilery

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    • Dear Fred,
      I think age has got the better of us both. Hahaha.
      I left Tilery Road in 1959 and my last school report was signed by Harry Rigg. I still have my reports from my time at Tilery Road and the first three reports, 1956.57 and 58 were signed by Albert Griffiths. The last one, in 1959, was signed by Harry.

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  2. My diary entry for the day confirms that the Speech Day was, as usual, held in the Corporation Hall in Prince Regent Street. Both Hall and Street now demolished.

    I attended to collect my prize for getting best marks out of the class in the GCE “O” Level exam for Physics. On the advice of the Physics master at Stockton Grammar I chose “Optics” by CB Daish, which was much more understandable than the books we were given.

    I went along in my Stockton Grammar school uniform, and as was to be expected, was booed when I collected my prize! I always laugh about the prize as Rosser was completely against me sitting the exam as I never could be bothered to do any Physics homework. He never looked at the end of year exam results. Rosser was all over me at the end of the prize giving.

    Another reason for going was to meet up with Frank and Derick. I met Frank first and we agreed to go along to an Ice cream shop in Dovecot Street. A group of us hung about until Pop Carlin the English teacher said we ought to leave. Frank must have arranged for Christine his girlfriend, to meet us. She was a joy to look at.

    Mr Rigg, my old headmaster at Portrack Primary, turned up and I had some words with him about going on to University. Coming from my background I had no idea that the reason for getting into the sixth form was to go on to University. But after five months at Stockton Grammar I had worked that out. But the only way that this was possible, it seemed to me, I told Mr Rigg, was to get a company to sponsor me. Rigg thought this was a good idea.

    Can I just add that in those days to get into University, everyone had to go along for a face to face interview. This was impossible for me, given the cost of train fares and the family circumstances of my mother.

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    • I remember Harry Rigg when he was headmaster at Portrack Primary School. It would be about 1956/57 when he moved to become headmaster of Tilery Road Boys School, the school I went to in 1955 after leaving Portrack Primary.

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