South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys   
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Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Mike

I'm fascinated to know that There is a South Shields Boulevard in Oklahoma.

Some time ago I suggested that it would be good to know that today's students were being taught something of the heritage of their town.

On reflection, I don't remember my generation in the 1950s being taught much about our local history.

Plus ca change.
Sun 18-Oct-2020 15:48 - ruskington lincolnshie
Mike Todd | old~DOT~boys~AT~boyshighschool~DOT~co~DOT~uk
Thanks, Alex – I appreciate the concern, although I’m puzzled why the various emails didn’t get through. I don’t have any filtering at all on my various (actually 20!!) email addresses. But sometimes I do miss emails I’m afraid (although I check them many times a day).

I’ve never knew whether “John Rex” was a real name, a stage name or a nickname, or someone just drew that page and signed it “John Rex”, knowing that my Grandfather knew who it was.

But “John Rex” wasn’t unknown as a proper name [a curious aside: there is a John Rex school in Oklahoma, and it is on South Shields Boulevard]. Access to online archives is now a lot better than when I put that together (some 15+ years ago), but I still haven’t managed to identify him.

According to family lore, there is a second autograph album which ended up with my dad’s older brother. Supposedly it had the more well-known names, including Chaplin, Houdini, and Wilson Kepple and Betty. I wish I knew where it was today.

As you say, S Tyneside is something of a hotspot – in fact the whole of the NE is in a bad way. I really don’t think people understand the serious potential of this virus.

In that autograph album is a cutting from a newspaper c1968, and it has a highlighted paragraph: Someone has said that evil entered the world when the first man began to talk about 'my' and 'mine'. It seems to be true that selfishness is at the root of most of our troubles, national as well as personal.

I hope everyone stays safe through these difficult times.

Sun 11-Oct-2020 11:42 - Rothbury
Alex Patterson VUA 1946-1951 | ad1935ap~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hello Mike,
It’s Sunday, 11 October and I, like everyone else, was delighted and relieved to read your recent response to Alan Whitaker. I too had sent messages to any of your various email addresses I found on the internet. None of which proved to be successful. We were worried about you, Mike, hoping you hadn’t “popped your clogs”, however it is nice to hear that all is well with you despite COVID-19.
I must say I spent an interesting time looking at all the entries you have on the net trying to find an email address that worked. I spent some time looking at the photos you’ve taken around Rothbury in the different seasons. One of the items that really interested me was the Queens Theatre article and its attachments, particularly your grandfather’s autograph book. I found it really fascinating to read about his background as Musical Director for the theatre for the whole time the Queens was in existence. I was intrigued by the illustration in the book on page 67 by one of the performers “John Rex”. I think it’s meant to be the signature of King John at Runnymede, but a most unusual addition to an autograph book. Your grandfather must have been a “people person” judging by the warmth of the comments and effort the performers in contributing to the book.
I subscribe to the Shields Gazette and see that South Tyneside is one of the Covid ‘hotspots’ and people are complaining about pubs closing for safety concerns. When the curve started to flatten out some people in Toronto went berserk and crowded the beaches here with more people than normally go...and of course we had a spike a couple of weeks later...with some claiming “It’s my right not to wear a mask.”
Anyhow we’re hunkering down like everyone else and trying to take care of ourselves; we trust that all the other old geezers all over the world are doing the same. We are blessed with having family around us and one of our sons-in-law is a fabulous cook and has been providing us with cooked suppers at least twice a week since March. He provides enough food for two meals each time..thinks we’re gannets.
Take care everyone and as is said here frequently, “Have a good one.”
Alex Patterson,
North York,
Ontario,
Canada.
Sun 11-Oct-2020 05:34 - North York, Ontario, Canada
Mike Todd
Alan - that's the only one I can remember.
Tue 29-Sep-2020 22:22
Alan Whittaker(53-59) | alan~DOT~diwhittaker~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Does anyone remember what the kids from other schools called us?

"High School bloaters
Rusty motors
Cannot swim without a floater"
Sun 27-Sep-2020 12:16 - Langford Budville
Alan Whittaker(53-59) | alan~DOT~diwhittaker~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Great start Bruce! The Sutton Estate was well represented at the High School. A near neighbour of yours on Quarry Lane was George Robinson, he registered on the contacts list but hasn't kept in touch.Moving to Watson Ave,in addition to Neale, I remember Billy Wheel,Alan Smith, Donald Ward, George Lowery and Malcolm Cottenham to name but a few!
With regard to the buses I seem to remember that ,initially, the trolley buses couldn't get up to Marsden and would turn round in Carden Ave (at the bottom of Fremantle Rd) to back into town.The Trolley Bus was the no.11 and the 20 min motor bus from the top of Watson Ave was the no.33 I think.

Fri 17-Jul-2020 16:28 - Langford Budville
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Alan Whittaker's suggestion of trying to start off a thread relating to the parts of the town where we lived is worth a shot. I don't know how many people dip into the Visitorbook but someone may contribute ( my breath is not being held!!)

The Sutton Trust Estate was conveniently placed for access to the school, either walking or by bike. Similarly other parts of the town were reasonably close so getting to school each day was reasonably easy. Only those whose houses were in the more remote parts of SS would have to resort to buses. My trip from Quarry lane was very easy on my bicycle with a gravity assisted descent of Larch Avenue - the return ride home was less easy!!

I don't recall any school buses being laid on and of course in my generation there were no "school runs" in private cars.

The Sutton Estate was also fortunate in having two SSCT bus services.The trolley bus ran from Marsden along Price Edward Road every ten minutes and there was a twenty minute service that terminated at Watson Avenue.

So, how was your daily journey to school?

As an afterthought, the Sutton Estate had one other great advantage. Quarry Lane was at the top of quite a steep hill as mentioned above and Kyffin View provided a marvellous sledging slope whenever we had snow. In the 50's there were very few private cars around so with a decent sledge you could zoom down across Sutton Way and almost make it to Prince Edward Road.

Happy days!!
Fri 17-Jul-2020 15:26 - ruskington lincolnshie
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Of course what I meant was Brigham & Cowan. The Brigham I mentioned was the famous Mormon.
Mon 6-Jul-2020 13:47 - ruskington lincolnshie
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Very interesting.

I guess there must have been a lot of smaller dry docks to cater for all of the colliers and other small ships using the Tyne. I only remembered the larger ones like Brigham Youngs and Middle Docks.
Sun 5-Jul-2020 14:52 - ruskington lincolnshie
Dennis Maccoy (1959-64)
The changes in the river over the last few decades are even bigger than noted in Bruce’s comments (19 June). When I left the school to start my apprenticeship at Readhead’s in 1964 there were 31 operating dry docks on the river, no fewer than eleven of which were in South Shields! There were also six shipbuilding yards on the river.
Sat 4-Jul-2020 13:42 - South Shields

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