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HALL, Albert Avondale to Main Staff Index
born: 8-Apr-1892
died: 20-Mar-1961 (in South Shields)

joined: 1-Mar-1915 (South Shields High School)
left: 25-Mar-1946 (Westoe Boys' County Secondary School)

Albert Avondale Hall was born in Sunderland to George (a mechanical engineer) and Prudence Hall. It is not known whether he was given the name in honour of the Albert Hall in London, which had opened some 25 years ealier.

His secondary education was at Bede College, in Sunderland, where his final year included a spell at Diamond Hall Elementary School as a student teacher. Then, in 1910 he went on to Armstrong College, Newcastle, where he studied Geology and Physics.

Armed with his BSc and his Board of Education certificate, he joined the staff at Thomas Street Elementary School, Sunderland. However, he was there only 18 months when, in March 1915, he was appointed to the South Shields High School for Boys.

In 1917 he left to join the Inns of Court Office Training Corps after which he served with the 6in Howitzer Brigade and became education officer for the 3rd Corps Heavy Artillery. He was also the conductor of the military orchestra in Brussels for the Armistice celebrations.

He returned to his teaching post in South Shields, and on 1st January, 1920, after the death of the Headmaster, George Kirwan, he replaced Bill Lucas as Second Master. He moved with the school to Harton in September, 1936, but lost his position as Second Master to Mr Newby, who had been Head of the Westoe school.

He was one of the masters who went to Appleby during the evacuation, and had an active life outside the school. He was musical director of the South Shields Operatic Society from 1925 to 1929, and organist/choirmaster at several churches (St Thomas's and St Hilda's in South Shields, and St Lawrence's in Appleby). But he will probably be most fondly remembered as the composer of the School Song (to words by Frank Wade).

On 25th March, 1946, he left to take up the Headship at Westoe Boys' County Secondary School, where in 1953, he wrote their "Coronation Hymn". He retired in April, 1957.

AA Hall was known affectionately as "Tanker" Hall by most, although the ATOM on more than one occasion refers to him as "Mickey Hall". One Old Boy recalls that he was "a well-built and jovial man, always with a big smile".

Tanker Hall died in 1961 living, as he had done for over thirty years, at 36 Hepscott Terrace. Alf Headley wrote in his obituary:

his smiling friendliness and his completely natural gentlemanliness marked him as one of the real characters in a classroom which contained several gigantic personalities ... In recent years, sickness laid a heavy hand on him, but it is a great pleasure to pay tribute to a warmhearted colleague of his sunshine days. The mention of "Mickey" Hall will always let loose a flood of happy memories

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