South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys   
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Feel free to add messages relating to the site and the school. The only rules are: real names only, no personal attacks and no unrelated messages (inappropriate messages may be edited/withdrawn without warning).
It would be appreciated if you gave an email address, where you now live and said when you were at the school, but you don't have to.
Plase note that if you click on an email address below you will need to replace ~DOT~ with . and ~AT~ with @ in your email program. The Guestbook presents these this way to avoid email address harvesters collecting your email addresses from the page. I know it's a pain, but it's very much better than the alternative.

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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
Alan Whittaker(53-59) | alan~DOT~diwhittaker~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Why not start the ball rolling with the Sutton Estate members? I'm sure that some of their stories would spark off quite a bit of interest and debate
Mon 29-Jun-2020 09:13 - Langford Budville, Somerset
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com

Your input usually provokes a response from your compadres, so let's see what happens.

You're correct about the weakening of the grip on the perch. As sprightly 81 year-old it is very evident that tempus is fugiting!!

I think your wish for additional contributors from our age group is perhaps a little hopeful.

Fri 26-Jun-2020 20:05
Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Well Bruce, further to your comments on those contributors still clinging to their perches, my own grip is feeling a little wobbly these days. (I nudged past eighty five last week.) Although still a youngster, compared to the ninety something year old lion on Prince Edward Island, I'm still proud to stand alongside other members of the 1951 fifth form. Alex(February)will always be in the vanguard, while young Eric(October) brings up the rear. As we've often repeated, we would really like to hear from more of our year.
Thu 25-Jun-2020 20:13 - Victoria BC.
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com

That's a great relief!

There may not be many active correspondents but I'm sure that we (happy) few can now relax knowing that the firm hand is in charge of the tiller.

While I'm wittering on I was recently reflecting on the words of a Jimmy Nail song about the River Tyne - "A big river" - and how it was then. South Shields alone had two dry docks, a shipbuilder, 2 ship repair facilities and Tyne Dock itself. If you add in all of the other shipping-related activities on both sides of the river the words of the song make absolute sense.

When I took my granddaughters on a day trip to SS a few years ago it was difficult to describe how the river was back in those days when all they could see was the current environment. I wonder if the school teaches students nowadays about the heritage of their own town?

Mind you they, and I were mightily impressed with the work that has gone into the development of the Roman Fort site.
Fri 19-Jun-2020 19:05 - ruskington lincolnshie
Mike Todd
Thanks for the concern, Bruce - much appreciated. I did actually reply to your email earlier this month, but maybe it didn't make its way through the ether.

I get copies of messages emailed to me, but there seem to be far too few hours in the day. The result is that the site has been badly neglected over the past few years.

One of these days I'll learn to say "no" to taking on projects.

I hope we're all well, and surviving through these difficult times.

I hope everyone is well, and
Thu 18-Jun-2020 21:36

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