South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys
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Viewing messages 181 to 190

Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
On reading the messages concerning Fred "Basher" Grey I thought I would check on the Staff List to see what it said about him.

I was astonished to see to see that in addition to his duties as Head of Department for English he was also attributed with covering PE, Latin and Physics!

What a mixture.
Sat 3-Aug-2013 14:42 - Ruskington, Lincolshire
Eric Moyse | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
Neale's eloquent tribute to Fred Grey reminded me that to this day I share Fred's interests -- rugby, wild countryside and eng. lit., all of which must show the charisma of the man.
If you are lucky enough to have a copy of Bill Dodds' wonderful "A History of Westoe RFC 1875 to 1975" (mine's not for lending) you can see several references to Fred, especially when Westoe won the Durham Senior Cup in 1937, success that was built on the effort of the masters at wor skyul. Legend has it that Fred was arrested while celebrating at the top of a lamppost that night.
And a personal memory. About three years after I left school I met Fred while on my way to play tennis. His delight in seeing me, especially in sporting mode, remains with me to this day.
Sun 28-Jul-2013 10:31 - Reading, United Kingdom
Neale Backhouse '46 to '51 | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Mike
Fred Grey. What a teacher. What a man!
I count it a privilege to have enjoyed the tutelage of Mr Grey,especially during our final year in 5UA. Eric,lucky man,spent a further two years with Fred in the sixth form, so I'm sure he could add to and embellish any memories that I may have of Mr Grey.
Fred had that magic touch of engaging with his English class, treating us almost as family as he urged, "Train your mind, just as you would train your body" His teaching skills were not limited to the classroom but extended to the gymnasium where, usually, in shorts and gym shoes, like the rest of us, he put us through our paces with the various pieces of equipment, always encouraging and commending our efforts. He was especially thrilled when he felt that someone had "got it" for the first time. Fred's enthusiasm for rugby was also infectious for those of us (not everyone) who enjoyed the game. "You've got to have fire!" I can still hear him saying. He loved the "giving and taking of hard knocks" about the game and yearly lived and died by the fortunes of his beloved first fifteen. Eric and I spent many a Sunday morning on Marsden beach, honing our lineout skills,imparted by Fred. Such was his influence on us both.
Fred's love of nature was always evident in his teaching. He would constantly refer to his experiences while hiking or bird watching. I remember his sight of an eagle, "Half a mile of sunlight at one sweep."
Eric said it best many years ago(I remember), "There'll be Fred, hiking through Lakeland with a rugby ball under one arm and a copy of Wordsworth under the other!"
Tue 23-Jul-2013 19:54 - Victoria BC Canada
Mike Todd | old~DOT~boys~AT~boyshighschool~DOT~co~DOT~uk
Further to Eric's message about the celebration of Fred Grey's life, I have been exchanging emails with one of the organisers of the "Following Fred" project.

The project is developing a commemoration of Fred's life at the Customs House early in 2014, and is particularly interested in hearing from those who were at the school in the 60s and who were connected to Fred through the birdwatching society.

But in whatever decade you attended the school, if you were in Fred's birdwatching society, the organisers would like to hear from you (even if it's just to link your name with Fred).

Contact email is:
Fri 19-Jul-2013 16:28 - Rothbury
Eric Moyse | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
Currently on the Gazette website is an item in Cookson Country about Fred "Basher" Grey who taught pupils (including me) English at the School for many years. It refers to a walk commemorating his great interest in wildlife and mentions a walk that is to take place this Sunday, 21 July starting at the Lonnen bus terminus. Fred also coached the School's senior rugby teams of course.
Fri 19-Jul-2013 10:13 - Reading United Kingdom
Bryan Cooper | bryglen~AT~bryancooper~DOT~wanadoo~DOT~co~DOT~uk
My computer did something strange.... s/be
Wed 26-Jun-2013 21:10 - Old Colwyn
Bryan Cooper | bryglen~AT~bryancooper~DOT~wanadoo~DOT~co~DOT~uk
Check this Blog. Must be Ashgrove Ave.
Wed 26-Jun-2013 21:08 - Old Colwyn
Bruce Graham | bsgaraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
What exactly is an "Executive Head" and how can one person be in that role at more than one school? I think I can hear "Pop" Lucas harrumphing!!

Whatever, heartiest congratulations are due.
Sun 16-Jun-2013 12:20 - Ruskington, Lincolnshire
Mike Todd
I hope all here-gathered have seen the news that the current "Executive Head" of our old school, Ken Gibson, has been awarded the honour of Knight Bachelor in the Queen's birthday honours.

On a selfish note, I'm particularly pleased as I had written to the nominations office three years ago, and they sent me the necessary forms. Unfortunately I didn't have the right contacts to raise the necessary supporters. I tried again early this year, but got no responses from those I contacted to be supporters.

Sat 15-Jun-2013 21:52
Alex Patterson, VUA, 1946-1951 | alexpatterson~AT~videotron~DOT~ca
Hello Mike,
I am dismayed that Neale would even contemplate I would attempt to correct anyone's spelling or grammar.
Notwithstanding his comment, it was Theodore Roosevelt who said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." The derivation of which he attributed to an African proverb.
Neale's story of the cougar, reminded me of the Iguana that appeared on our back deck. Marjorie said, "There's a log moving around on the deck." So I grabbed my binoculars, (all ex-pat Brits have binoculars at the ready, something to do with the pioneering
instinct) and sure enough it was an Iguana. Now as most of you know, Iguanas are not indigenous to Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada; so after diving on it with an upturned laundry basket and securing the basket with a 2ft square paving stone, I called Public Security and Animal Control and told them I'd captured a wild Iguana. Well, it wasn't too happy being in the basket. He told me that it had been reported missing ten days earlier by people in the neighboring street. I went to see them only to discover that they were on vacation and their neighbours' ten year old son was baby-sitting it. He forgot to close its cage and as soon as the front door to the house was opened, it scarpered. The boy's father was delighted that we'd found it and said they'd come right away to repatriate it. I said, "Bring its cage." 'No need, it's very docile." said the father.
They came, the boy lifted the basket, the beast went ballistic, attacked the boy's arm then jumped in to our garbage can. I put the lid on the can and trapped this wild thing inside. I should say it was about four feet long...most of it being its tail. Anyhow they took it off home, we went out for the day and when we returned there was a food hamper and a couple of bottles of wine on our back deck from the baby sitters. We only found out afterwards it cost about $2000....the Iguana...not the food hamper.
On the subject of 'sporting old boys' I should tell you that I played for Smith's (Upholsters) United in the South Shields Sunday League...thought it was worth a mention.
Looking at the new aerial photos of the school, I note that the fish pond has gone and the old building has been swallowed up by the newer buildings. Has its charm disappeared? I loved my school and will always remember it as it was in 1946 when I first saw it and the happy memories it has brought over the years, largely thanks to you, Mike, and all the contributors who keep the memories alive.
Regards from a blustery but warm Grand Prix weekend in Montreal
Fri 7-Jun-2013 01:59 - Montreal

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