St. Bede’s Secondary Modern School, 1959 – 1961

Frank Rochford aka Brother Francis taught at St.Bede’s School, Green Lane, Stockton in the 1950’s and 60’s. Brother Francis was held in high regard and ran both the football and cricket teams. When St. Bede’s merged with St. Mary’s Girls School in the late 60’s the De La Salle Brothers left Stockton.

Brother Francis at a later date left the order and got married and lived in Scotland on the outskirts of Edinburgh. He had two children Paul and Mikela. In 2012 Frank was awarded an M.B.E. in recognition of his voluntary work with CRUSE, a bereavement charity. Sadly, Frank passed away in February 2021, aged 88. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Intermediate football team 1959-60 season: Back (L to R): Jimmy Shepherd, Harry Pytelin, Kevin Mulgrew, Mick Cuerden, Pater Smyth, Tommy Murphy, Richard Hunter, David Hall.

Front (L to R): Tony Castle, Alan Brett, David Cook, Bobby Goldsmith (captain), Connie Walsh, Terry Mack.

Senior football team 1960-61 season: Back (L to R): Billy Taylor, John Turner, Alan Blakemore, Peer Smyth, Derek Brown, Tommy Murphy.

Front (L to R): Bobby Goldsmith, Jeff Nolan, Jonny Richardson, Tony Castle, Kevin Mulgrew.


Cricket Team 1960-61 season: Back (L to R): Turnbull, ??, Bernard Prior, Tony Castle, Colin Ledger, Kevin Mulgrew.

Front (L to R): Pete Smyth, Tony Maxwell, Mick Cooper, Jeff Nolan, Billy Taylor, Lol Hindmarsh.


Photographs and details courtesy of Mick Dea (great deal of help from Dave Whittaker for helping with the names).

A Transport of Delight

With thanks to Flanders & Swann.

When I first received this picture it brought back so many memories of my childhood and beyond.

My late friend Brian Storey and I were great ramblers from a fairly early age, we walked from our homes in Billingham to places such as Thorpe Thewles, following the beck, or to Greatham Beck and across to the old brickyard and Cowpen marshes.

When we went to “The Big School” at the age of eleven we were both given bikes, from then on we cycled to places such as Guisborough, Eston and Great Ayton so we could wander around the hills.

As we grew older the Cleveland Hills became our target, this is where Crowe Brothers came into their own, we would set out early on a Saturday morning from Billingham and catch the Crowes bus to Clack Lane Ends at Osmotherly, a climb into the village followed by a good walk along Black Hambleton to Sutton Bank or across the escarpment to Hasty Bank and a walk into Great Broughton to catch a Middlesbrough bus, great days.

In 1960 Brian read about a walk across the highest and widest part of the North York Moors and we decided to give it a try, every opportunity during the Summer holidays we travelled to Osmotherly on a Crowes bus and walked a little further every time, once we had managed the walk from Osmotherly to Castleton we decided we would be able to complete the walk.

In the October (Tatie Picking) holidays we set of on the 5pm Crowes bus out of Stockton, I seem to remember it was almost a full hour to get to Osmotherly in those days, at about 6:30 in the evening we set off from the Trig point above Mount Grace Priory, our school had provided a map and compass and we had our army surplus haversacks and water bottles and mothers sarnies, it was an excellent crossing which we both enjoyed and when we reached the Trig point above Ravenscar we whirled each other around in glee, that was the first of many “Lyke Wake Walks”.

In later years when Brian was teaching at Sheraton Comprehensive School he would organise hiking trips for the pupils and I would be seconded to act as marshall and back marker so that we didn’t lose too many pupils, nowadays, of course , this wouldn’t be allowed, but life was simpler then.

We continued our rambling for many years taking in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales as well as the North York Moors, Brian continued organising outdoor pursuits and qualified to teach rock climbing and canoeing, he also organised the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at his school and I acted as marshall and timekeeper when needed.

Workload, marriage, mortgages and children certainly restricted our hiking days but we did manage quite a few walks before age took its toll.

Our last “Lyke Wake” was in the 1980s but I have many terrific memories of the many crossings we made.

Details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Stockton Sledging

Since the snow is with us I’d like to show you a picture from the early 1970s. It is of a group of friends from the Newtown area (photo actually taken in Mellor Street with the Rocket public house in the background) sitting on probably the largest sledge in the North East.

There is actually room for six kids on there. I remember once dragging it all the way from Newtown along the black path and on to Newham Grange park. It was an epic journey for us young’un’s as like now the sun beat down from a cloudless sky. When we eventually got there the sun had started to melt the snow and not more than two of us at any one time could ride it otherwise it just sunk. After about half an hour it was a mush fest so we left the park and trudged back home. It only ever came out once more when we persuaded my dad to drive us on the moors Road (A171) to that big hill a couple of miles past the Lockwood Beck Reservoir. That lasted even quicker than the park trip when the farmer came out and politely asked us to leave. So back under my brother’s bed it went never to see any more snow. It went for scrap sometime in the late 1970’s. When I see kid’s with their plastic sledges they don’t know the half of it.

Photo and details courtesy of Michael Bellerby.