South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys   
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There are 400 messages in the guestbook
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Viewing messages 191 to 200

Alex Patterson, '46-'51, VUA | alexpatterson~AT~videotron~DOT~ca
Hello Mike,
I read with sadness the report, in last week’s Gazette, of Alan Brooks-Tyreman’s death. My contemporaries would not have known him, but from all of the comments I have read, I would like to have met him.
I wonder if he realised the impact he had made on his students’ lives. I often wonder if teachers realise how influential that impact may be. I look back on my time in school in South Shields and remember Miss Snowdon from Gilbert Street, Mr. McHugh from Barnes Road and a host of memorable teachers from the High School. We’ve read recently about “Basher” Grey; Others from that same era, Dr. Skilling, Charlie Constable, Arnie Josephs to name but a few, have left an indelible impression on me and on my contemporaries whose reminiscences are recorded in the Guest Book. These are memories from 60 to 70 years ago...and we remember them well. I’m sure the students of Mr. Brooks-Tyreman will remember him too and count themselves lucky to have crossed his path. At his young age he would have had perhaps another thousand students through his classes and I feel sorry for those who will have missed out on the experience of learning from him.
He has certainly joined the ranks of great teachers who have made their mark in our great school.
Regards, from a sunny, muggy, Montreal,
Alex Patterson
Tue 3-Sep-2013 15:35 - Montreal, Canada
David Thompson | davta60~AT~blueyonder~DOT~co~DOT~uk
Sad death reported of Mr Brooks-Tyreman,teacher at Harton for 25 years aged only 48.
Sat 24-Aug-2013 11:13
Neale Backhouse '46 to '51 | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Oh my God Alex! I'll have to keep Liz away from the Guestbook for a while. If she finds out that you read Sonnet #29 to Marjorie on your 50th wedding anniversary, I'll be in the doghouse for weeks!
Moving down the page to Sonnet#30,there is that magical first stanza,"When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrances of things past." Years ago that inspired me to tackle Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of things past" in three volumes (Penguin edition). Oh how I laboured. I managed, more or less, to get through vol.1, but that was it. What a tortuous road. I can't really remember any of what I read except that he went on and on over minute details. The kind of thing that a "lesser" novelist would have dispensed with in a couple of sentences. I suppose the purists will say that the beauty is in the details. Maybe some of my erstwhile colleagues may add some light on what I was missing. Hands up anyone who has read all three volumes.
Sat 10-Aug-2013 20:04 - Victoria BC Canada
Alex Patterson | alexpatterson~AT~videotron~DOT~ca
Hello Mike,
I have read with interest the recent reminiscences of life under “Basher” Grey’s tutelage.
I’m afraid I must have been one of his lost causes according to his comments on the four reports I still have in my possession. I tell my grandchildren that my mother must have lost my other ten or eleven “superb” reports while bragging about my academic prowess to her friends. She probably hid these surviving reports from sight.
I quote F.G.G. verbatim from the reports I have.

“Disappointing in Composition. He sometimes gives the impression of being easily satisfied. F.G.G.”
“Good. F.G.G.”
“Good. F.G.G.”
“He shows interest and ability. F.G.G.”
“Good. F.G.G.”
“Careless mistakes in ‘expression’, and lack of detail in Lit. answers. F.G.G.”
“Rather frivolous at times but he is improving. F.G.G.”

The “Goods” were for Gym and Games; the rest for English.
When I look back on my English lessons with Basher, it is with great fondness; I always looked forward to his classes. He did what he was supposed to do; he instilled a love of the English language in me. He introduced me to Sonnet 29, with the words, “Take this and read it aloud twenty times and next week tell me what it means.” I must have been fourteen or fifteen at the time and the impact it had on me was significant. The sonnet has become a family favourite. Fred’s influence has now been felt for three generations in my family. I recited it for my wife on our 50th wedding anniversary, my daughter used the words at her husband’s funeral and my granddaughter when she graduated from McGill, and always with the acknowledgement of “My Dad’s teacher” or ‘My Grandpa’s teacher.” Last night I used it as a lullaby to my one-year old grandson for whom I was babysitting. Well done Fred!!
I looked forward to his classes and loved it when someone would try to divert his attention from teaching by asking about bird watching. He sometimes fell for it
but always seemed to turn the question into a life lesson. I still don’t know why he was called “Basher”...but I assume it was because of his ‘full on‘ attitude to rugby and life in general. I’m also sure that it was Basher who wielded a leather strap from an old L.N.E.R. door window.
Happy days!
Best wishes from a warm and muggy (82 F Humidex) Montreal
Alex Patterson
Thu 8-Aug-2013 02:10 - Montreal, Canada
Ed. Forster | r2edforster~AT~live~DOT~ca
After perusing 'famous old boys' & reading about William ( Bill )Hewison I recall playing games with him & his younger brother, I recall the last time we met outside the fish & chip shop in Harton when I was 16 & had left school prior to sitting the final exam, he shouted out " Forster funked the Durham " & an old guy thought he had used the other " F " word & ranted at him. Sorry to see that he died a few years ago.
Sat 3-Aug-2013 18:07 - PEI Canada
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

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