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|The Second World War - South Shields|
|School at War - Chapters 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6|
Back in South Shields
In addition, an underground air-raid shelter was constructed at the eastern end of the site (under the grassed area to the east of the metalwork room). George Thompson recalls that it was accessed by going down steps to its metal door entrance, and that there was at least one manhole exit - "I remember popping out if it, carrying my tin Oxo box bound with black insulating tape containing 'emergency rations'".
The school itself underwent some changes. Perhaps the greatest being the arrival of those girls from the Girls' High School who were not evacuated (to Kirby Lonsdale, about 30 miles south of Appleby). The girls' library was transported to Harton, and to provide space the fiction library (which initially occupied room 5 at the other end of the front corridor) was moved into room 2, the non-fiction books in room 2 were moved into room 3, and a door was constructed to link the two rooms.
Very few school societies were able to continue, although this was largely due to problems conforming with blackout restrictions. Most of them were able to resume once these problems had been overcome.
The 1940 ATOM reflected the temporary co-ed status of the school. It was double the normal size, and was a combined publication - the first half was the normal ATOM, and the second half was the girls' school publication, The Chronicle. A second war-time ATOM was published in April, 1941, but this appears to have been the last until publication resumed after the war, in April, 1946 - in the 1941 edition, there is no mention of the girls still being present in the school.
But one thing reflected in the 1941 ATOM was that the school schedule was largely returning to normal although, due to visiting teams not being permitted to enter South Shields, sporting events were somewhat curtailed.
The school itself was to escape bomb damage - not so the houses in Lisle Road. The three photos below show the damage from a parachute mine:
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