Granville Cooper

We’ve had some sad news sent to us from Ben Brown about one of our regular contributors, Granville Cooper:

Sadly I wish to report of the death of a well known Teesside Sportsman Granville Cooper who has contributed many articles to this site over the past years.

Gran as we all knew him died aged 86 years after a mammoth battle with leukemia over the last ten years. Gran died in Bristol on Saturday 14th November. He was a one of the longest surviving sufferers of this very debilitating disease.

Gran has posted many articles on this site over the years. He was a top class centre forward playing for Billingham Synthonia and and Whitby Town for many seasons, being top scorer at Whitbty Town during his stay there. In later years he played for Head Wrightsons in a very successful Teesside league team. During his National Service in the Royal Air Force he was stationed in Singapore where he won the player of the year award for the top league.

Gran served his apprenticeship at Head Wrightson Stockton Forge as a template maker and graduated to a draughtman position before embarking on a career of Construction Management. Gran was Construction Manager for BP and Foster Wheeler for many of the European major projects in his position as Construction Manager and on several occasions had the prestigious position of introducing the Queen to the top people of many successful projects. At times his staff numbered over 2500 employees. Gran is a shining example of what local talent can achieve with the right sort of attitude to their careers.

He will be sadly missed. RIP Gran Cooper.

Granville Cooper meets the Queen in Cologne , 1992.

Greg Cooper, Granville Cooper’s son, has also sent us these lovely photographs to accompany this post.

St Bedes school class of 68/69

Are you on this list?


1 David butler
2 Anthony Ridge
3 John Sawdon
4 Craig Palfreeman
5 Me
6 Michael Pearce
7 Terry Fahey
8 Kenny Etherington (deceased)
9 Mike Harrington(deceased)
10 Les Wilson
11 Mick Brewster
12 Paul Metcalfe
13 Phil Lipton
14 John Boyle
15 Ian Macintosh
16 Peter Burns
17 Terry O’Conner
18 Phil Davison
19 Mick Thompson
20 Ged Burns
21 Ken Williams
22 Mark Redhead
23 Stephen Woods
24 Stephen Connolley
25 Mick Twomey
26 Paul Cohen
27 Mrs. Short
28 Patrick Keane
29 Martin Smith (Smyth)
30 Joseph Gaffeney
31 Paul Saint

Photo and details courtesy of Dave Wiley.

MV Vanja

Photo one shows three men posing on MV Vanja, built on Haverton Hills shipyard. I suspect one of the three men to be my father’s very good friend, Frank McGee who lived at High Clarence. He is on the left in the darker coloured overalls, if indeed it is him?

The second photo shows my father Jack Cushin quite possibly on the same ship with my older brother Malcolm Cushin – An open day perhaps prior to launching?

Photos and detail courtesy of Neil Cushin.

On the Buses and in Woolworths

My uncle, Jack Bailey, is the conductor shown in this photograph. He was born in 1905 and worked, ”on the buses” from aged 14, when he started as a tram conductor, until his retirement as a bus inspector, as did his older brother Frank and younger brother Billy.

Supervisors from Woolworths in Stockton. My mum, Eileen Southall (nee Bailey) is the lady on the right. This would have been taken in the early 1950s in the Parish Gardens. The ladies’ very smart uniforms were made by my grandmother Lillie Bailey.

Photographs and details courtesy of Jan Hemblade.

Queen Victoria High School Assembly

Queen Victoria High School assembly taken in 1967 by Jack T Marriott who had a studio in Stockton.

I think this is the whole school, apart from the two Kindergarten years, probably singing the school hymn ‘Now thank we all our God’ since all the hymnbooks are closed. Form I are at the front through to UVI at the back. The Headmistress, Miss Gosling, is on stage at the extreme right of the photo. Other teachers are under the arches. In the right-most arch, the tall lady in a pale outfit is Mrs Payne (LIIIB) (or just possibly Mrs Heavisides (LIIIC)), and the shorter lady to her right is definitely Miss Langorne, terror of Form II. In the next arch are teachers from the senior school – I think I can see Miss Lavender (English) and Miss Jones (Music) and the first teacher in the third arch may be Mrs Squires (Art).

The hall was also used for indoor games – there are vertical bars along the back wall and two raised climbing ropes above the middle arch. I also remember an impressive contraption that came down from the roof with a parallel bar of adjustable height.

Photograph and details courtesy of Roz Sherris.

King George V Coronation 1911

This “Coronation” picture has me puzzled, does anybody have any idea about what could be happening, there are an awful lot of people, all men, standing around a bus, there are far too many to all get aboard.

Also there are no signs of street decoration that normally accompany such events, the only thing I am sure of is the pickup point was in the high street outside the alleyway leading to the Blue Post Hotel. Judging by the way the men are dressed I would say that 1911 is a very likely date for the picture.

Photograph and details courtesy of Bruce Coleman.

Newham Grange School Sports Badges

These are the School representative badges for the Newham Grange School won by Marie Brown (Kennedy) in 1949/50. Marie was also an accomplished Athlete representing Stockton Lady Harriers in the !00 yards and Relay races at the Local Athletic Meets such as The Richmond Meet Many. World class athletes competed at the Richmond meet, such as E McDonald Bailey, Fanny Blankers Kohen (5 Olympic Gold Medals), Bob Richards the American Olympic Pole Vaulter, Arthur Wint the World class Jamaican 400 yard runner and many others. These Athletics Meetings allowed the local athletes to compete against the Worlds Best, and gave local people in the North East a chance to see the Worlds best which was usually restricted to the London areas such as Wembley Stadium and the White City Stadium.The Meetings had wonderful atmospheres with Cycling also featured. I suppose that Gateshead is the only place North East people can now see these top athletes in action.

Photograph and details courtesy of Ben Brown.

Memories of the Green Howards WWII

The 50th (Northumbrian) Division included the Infantry Brigades 149th, 150th (4th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, 4th and 5th Green Howards and 5th Durham Light Infantry) and 151st. The division was mobilised on 1st September 1939 and in October 1939 was under the command of Major-General Giffard Le Quesne Martel, focused on training in the Cotswolds. Then in January 1940 embarked to France to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). My father (Pte RL Hymer), in the 4th Green Howards fought in France and retreated to Dunkirk. After which was sent to North Africa and in the Battle of Gazala, Rommel surrounded the 150th Brigade Box known as the Cauldron until it was gradually reduced over a stubborn defence and overrun by noon on 1st June 1942. Prisoners were then taken through Italy to German camps and Stalag XVII B [Pottenbrunn, Austria] is where he was taken. His mother, Margaret Hymer (21 Salisbury Street, Thornaby-on-Tees) sent a parcel to him on the 31st December 1944, rather than the Red Cross. Home from the battlefields, the Green Howards honoured with the freedom of Middlesbrough – 1946.

Photographs and details courtesy of Michael Hymer.

Old Coatham Bridge

A friend and I went to explore the Old Coatham Bridge a few weeks ago. There was obvious signs that someone was rough sleeping down there. I remember riding a bicycle and later motorcycle and car across that bridge many times back in the 1960’s and later.

Photographs and details courtesy of Michael Thompson.

Model of Stockton Station – Canopy Removed 1979

This really was the start of the model railway four years ago and inspired by my trip on a train from Stockton to Newcastle in December 1978. The desolate views really were depressing given a cold winters day. This model still requires more detailing in the station area as time permits. I therefore recreated in the model a brighter time in the days of Stockton Station.

Photograph and details courtesy of Alan Davis