South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys   
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Michael Lawrenson 1946 | lawrenson~AT~hollyburn~DOT~plus~DOT~com
That’s an interesting exchange and it only proves that the language I once knew is slipping away from me! ‘Grow’ in its extended forms I hadn’t noticed, but so much has changed. ‘Cool’ used to be the opposite of ‘warm’ and ‘like’ had fairly restricted usage. Nowadays it’s sprinkled, like almost at random, in any sentence. Offer to do a simple task such as opening a door for someone and you’ll find the simple ‘Thanks’ is giving way to ‘No Problem!’ (I never implied there was).
Wed 20-Mar-2013 23:12 - Scotland

From Mike T:   Language has always changed, of course. "Cool", for instance, was used to mean calm and composed in the 16th century, it developed to become an expression meaning assured - then along came jazz and it was used to expressed a relaxed and assured. Through ongoing usage, with an allusion to the jazz scene, it came to describe things that were particularly pleasant.

"Like", unfortunately, has just become a filler word with no real meaning.

As for "Thanks" giving way to "No Problem!", isn't it a response to "Thanks"?

We've always had responses to someone saying "thanks" (it should be "I thank you" of course) - "my pleasure", "you're welcome", "happy to do it" or something similar. "No problem" (or "it's not a problem") is just as valid a response in my view. In my view there's no implication that the other party thought there might have been.

Language changes in the distant past were part of an exceptionally slow and somewhat fragmented feedback loop that it took one or more generations before change (or even constancy) propagated.

With books and the rise of mass media, the changes gathered pace, and changes were seen within lifetimes.

Now, with instant global personal publishing, and the increasing compartmentalisation of society, the feedback loop is way too fast and restricted to too narrow a group. The result is that some changes have come and gone so quickly that the next round of changes are already in place before the wide population gets to see them.

That's why it is more important than ever for schools to pay attention to grammar, spelling and good communication. Sadly, they don't.
Neale | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Interesting (and thanks). I just feel that this is one of those expressions that suddenly caught on with people who make such claims. Once on the airwaves they spread like wildfire. Causing your business to grow, or resulting in a growth in business, don't have the zing effect that the messenger is after.

Maybe as Topsy said "I suppose it just growed" (except she said, I.)
Wed 20-Mar-2013 18:56 - Victoria BC, Canada
Neale Backhouse '46- '51. | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Mike
Michael's recent Rememberance of Things Past had me wondering what Charlie Constable would have made of some of the turns of phrase that pop up these days in news broadcasts and newspapers. Take for instance the inoffensive little verb, to grow. I don't know whether it's the same in the UK as here in Canada but we regularly read/hear expressions like "grow your money" or "grow your business." I knew you could grow potatoes or lettuce etc. but grow your business is like scratching a blackboard with your fingernails. At the same time I've no proof that there is anything wrong with the expression but I can just see Mr "C" rolling his eyes. I know that you're a keen etymologist, so is there some rule he might have taught us about the where and when of certain verbs?
Wed 20-Mar-2013 00:14 - Victoria BC, Canada

From Mike T:   Hi, Neale - interesting one! It's an awful expression, but "grow the business" seems to be in fairly common use these days. My belief is that the use of "grow" here is misplaced, although I suppose it could be argued that "business" was being given the attribute of a living plant or animal for figurative effect.

On the other hand, what about "Mr Eadington grew the crystal that sits in the cabinet"? There's an natural/organic implication here which isn't inherent in "business".

Yes, a business might "grow", but using "grow" in a transitive-verb sense only works when you're talking about something natural/organic.

As for rules ... nope, I don't think there would have been one (other than to stick to recognised usage).

Jim Davis | JimTDDavis~AT~AOL~DOT~com
Belay that last remark----I should have said 2H
Tue 12-Mar-2013 20:07 - Caterham, Surrey
Jim Davis | JimTDDavis~AT~AOL~DOT~com
Nice to see a photograph of 1H---I don't think I ever kept a school photograph--to digress,I do remember that Mr Jackaman lived at 1 Wescott Avenue ( a house that my grandfather and grandmother owned when they had fruit shops in the town/ sold to Quigleys I think) and I remember also that I "won" 6d from JNJ for learning the 1st verse of the school song ---I still know most of the song by heart--Hmmm
Tue 12-Mar-2013 20:05 - Caterham, Surrey
Michael Lawrenson 1946 | lawrenson~AT~hollyburn~DOT~plus~DOT~com
Hi Mike

Things have been quiet on the Guestbook front for some time so the other evening I spent a little time on the Harton Technology College site. It’s well worth a visit and old boys will be surprised (heartened? pleased? shocked? dismayed?) to see just how far we have moved from the Boys’ High School days. Even the school day is different. Did we begin at 8.30 with first lessons on the hour? (You can check this out at Home-Pupils-Useful Stuff-School Day.) We certainly didn’t have ‘Proms’ although I can recall a Christmas Party when, very daringly, we were joined by girls from the Girls’ High School.

It was interesting too to see that there had been a trip to New York. Changed days! I seem to recall an organised trip to France but my parents couldn’t afford the £20 although I did get to go on school outings to the Ford Paper Mill and the gasworks in Waterloo Vale. The whole setup is light years away from what we knew and the 1947 school photo looks very dated indeed compared with the modern versions.

All in all it’s good to see what it has become although I have a suggestion and a grumble. It would be nice if they held very occasional open days to allow aged old boys the chance to walk (slowly and carefully) through those corridors we once knew so well. And the grumble? It would have been good if they had kept the old school shield and motto. ‘Tradition – Innovation – Excellence’ are all right in their way but seem to lack the gravitas of ‘Nunquam Non Parati’.
Sun 3-Mar-2013 22:53 - Scotland
Jim Davis | JimTDDavis~AT~AOL~DOT~com
Very sad to hear of the passing of John West who was in the same year as me at SSGT.
Condolences to all of his family
Sun 3-Feb-2013 10:31 - Surrey UK
Brian Walker
According to his Wikipedia entry, Jack Brymer attended Westoe Secondary School
Sun 6-Jan-2013 11:19

From Mike T:   Thanks ... that's actually because I changed it two days ago.

It used to say South Shields Grammar School, but a couple of days ago I had confirmation from Alan Todd that Brymer was in his mother's class at Westoe Sec.
Ed. Forster | r2edforster~AT~live~DOT~ca
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all the gang & especially to Mike for producing this wonderful Guestbook.
Tue 1-Jan-2013 11:18 - Snowy PEI

From Mike T:   Thanks, Ed - and a Happy New Year to everyone here-gathered.
Mike Todd
Jack Brymer

I'm on a continuing quest to research famous Old Boys of the school, amongst whom world-famous clarinetist Jack Brymer is frequently listed.

He is often given as having been educated at the "Grammar School" in South Shields, but there were no grammar schools in South Shields during his time.

One source says he was educated at the High School in Mowbray Road. However, he does not appear in any of the High School's admissions records (which I have from 1885 to the 70s, and am currently transcribing)!

This led me to assume that he may have gone to Westoe Secondary School as I have only limited admission information - for boys who transferred to Harton in 1936.

Brymer was born in 1915, so would have joined the High School anywhere from 1923 to 1928.

I wonder if anyone had any information, particularly if they had his autobiography "From Where I Sit".
Sat 29-Dec-2012 10:19

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