South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys   
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  Welcome to the Guestbook
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only rules are: real names only, no personal attacks and no unrelated messages (inappropriate messages may be edited/withdrawn without warning).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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There are 381 messages in the guestbook
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Viewing messages 21 to 30

Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Do I sense the possibility of a mini-reunion of octogenarians in 2020?

Sat 18-Jan-2020 21:07 - ruskington lincolnshie
Eric Moyse 1947 to 1953 | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
Thanks Neale and Alx. Happy New year to you and to Mike and all other contributors and readers.
It occurs to me that if Alex is coming to England this year we could maybe arrange to meet at say Rothbury or South Shields and if possible have a visit to the old ALma Mater (which of course is still revered).
What do you think?
Mon 6-Jan-2020 10:18 - Reading Berkshire
Alex Patterson, VUA 1946-1951 | ad1935ap~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hello Mike,
Why was NEALE shouting at you (MIKE) in his recent email? I’m just a naturally curious person.
Reading Neale’s letter led me to thinking about dates and the actual site itself, because if Neale has been writing for 14 years, and the oldest letter in your list of 358 letters is dated 19 August 2010, there is an overlap or ‘underlap’ of at least 4 years of letters to the Guestbook.
My questions to you are:
When was the first letter sent to the Guestbook?
Who was the author?
Where are all the other letters prior to 19 August 2010?
Will we ever be able to see them again?
The reason that these questions came to me was because I used the “Search” feature in the guestbook for the first time and was delighted to read some my old entries; I looked at mine first of course. One of my grand-daughters who was looking over my shoulder said she would like copies of the letters I’d sent because it gave a synopsis of some of my times at school and made me more than “just my Grandpa”. I’m sure there was an unintended compliment to be derived from her comment.
I showed her some of the entries from other contributors and she was more than favourably impressed asking “How did you fit in with all these brainy guys?” I had no witty riposte at the time, but I comforted myself by thinking that “all these brainy guys” have grand-daughters too, who may have had similar thoughts about their grandpas.
Mike, I know how busy you always seem to be and that you have a life outside the Guestbook, but is there some way we could access the previous letters (prior to August 2010) so that I could complete my collection of letters from a number of school friends and acquaintances and help put some flesh on the bones of my schooldays‘ recollections. It would be greatly appreciated by me and my offspring, the youngest of whom, my first great-grandson Ben, has already been subjected to Sonnet 29 which has become a family tradition thanks to “Basher” Grey’s indoctrination.
By the way, Mike, I read all 358 existing messages at one sitting last night, Marjorie’s querying voice asking, “ Are you watching Shearer’s 200 goals again?” “ No, my dearest, I’m studying contemporary authors.”
It’s evening here in Toronto, our niece and grandniece, leave for their home in England tomorrow and all will be peace and quiet again, but we are going to miss the mayhem. So even though it’s late, it’s not too late to wish you and all your readers a Happy and Healthy New Year,
Best of Everything,
Alex Patterson
Fri 3-Jan-2020 01:22 - North York, Ontario, Canada
Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi MIKE
My email address when I first visited the Guestbook was Neale 70, so as I'm now 84, that means I've enjoyed 14 years of reading and contributing to your admirable site.
Many thanks,Mike. May you continue in good health and enthusiasm for your endeavour. As long as we have it we will pay attention and sing your praises. The very best of good wishes for the coming new decade to you and all my fellow Guestbook fans. NEALE.
Tue 31-Dec-2019 04:18 - Victoria BC.
Alex Patterson, VUA 1946-1951 | ad1935ap~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hello Mike and all your readers,
It’s just turned midnight here in Toronto on christmas Eve, and it”s been a glorious day, (9C) and hardly any snow on the ground...it’s not going to be a white Christmas either. We’re having a different holiday season this year with Christmas day at our youngest daughter’s home here in Toronto. Boxing Day our niece and her daughter arrive from Gosforth, Northumberland and spend 10 days with the family. On Saturday we all head up Georgian Bay where our eldest daughter lives, until New Year’s Eve, when we head back to Toronto to our middle daughter’s home where they will host the New Year festivities. They’re in Florida until the 30th December. Then after everything has settled down, one of our granddaughters arrives with our first great-grandson on the 7th Jan 2020 to stay for a few days before heading back to Edmonton.
I guess this will be typical for anyone who reads this, this getting together at this time of year, except for the locations and climate. It’s such a great time of year for all those of us who are lucky enough to have family and friends to see and to reinforce those relationships. I know I appreciate it every time I sit down to figuratively put pen to paper and compose this letter. So Mike, I hope it will be next year in Rothbury for that long awaited pint and I offer my thanks to you for keeping the Visitor Book going and my best wishes to all for good health and happiness in the New Year.

Aaaaarrrabest and lang may yer rum leak,

Alex Patterson
Wed 25-Dec-2019 05:52 - North York, Ontario Canada
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
Ed

Thanks for your message. Just seen your picture on Facebook. Incredible to see you supporting such an attractive young woman!!

What a time to be caught between being eligible for service and doing the other things as a teenager that you mentioned.

As a child of the war years one of my earliest memories was when the blackout was lifted and we could see lights shining through curtains on house windows showing so many colours and patterns.

Psychiatrists today would, I am sure, tell us that it must have have had some sort of impact on our thinking. Who knows.

I had never tasted a banana before peacetime and they weren't regularly available for some time. I must say I didn't much like the taste at the time but got used to it.
Thu 17-Oct-2019 19:29 - Ruskington, Lincolnshire
Edward Forster | R2edforster~AT~live~DOT~ca
Just been thinking about the great war, I was 13 when it started & 19 when it finished. I was in a reserved occupation & was only called up to do evening anti aircraft duty, never shot anything down as it was the last year or so of the war. my Father was in the merchant navy, older brother had 6 yrs. in the army & two sisters in army intelligence, all survived. I'm the only one left. Sadly all have now passed away. If I don't kick the bucket earlier I'll be 94 in January.
Wed 2-Oct-2019 19:10 - PEI Canada
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
2nd World War.

As I was born just 8 months before the onset of hostilities I certainly don't remember much of the early years, though the Anderson shelter is a vivid childhood memory. Later I recall efforts to collect books to send to the soldiers and having a Canadian Air Force radar operator billeted with us in our Sutton Trust house - he worked at a radar station located somewhere at Whitburn.

Rationing, of course though with a serviceman billeted in the house we did, I think, get an extra allowance.

My brother started at our old school in 1945 but is no longer available for memories of those times.

By 1944 I had started school at Harton Infants and saw the 1945 General Election take place - my school was a polling station.

All a lifetime (and a bit) ago.

Thu 12-Sep-2019 16:54
Eric Moyse | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
Thanks Neale
You've forgotten my birthday again! Not 84 for another 32 days!
Very useful contribution,thanks. I had missed out, inter alia, searchlights and barrage balloons.
Regards
(Precis was my best exercise mainly because it did not require work beforehand)
Mon 2-Sep-2019 09:41 - Reading, Berkshire
Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Well then Eric,let's see.(Eighty four and keeping well, I presume).
For us, in 1939, war began without fanfare. If I remember anything about that year it would probably be paddling in the sea at Marsden Bay. That experience would be short lived, for soon after, the beach would be mined and strung with barbed wire, effectivly
closing the beach until hostilities were over.
1940 saw us starting school,when the war was still something grown-ups talked about. Even the Battle of Britain, in the autumn of 1940 was being fought mainly in the South of England, although I do remember a British Air Force Spitfire making a forced landing on Cleadon Golf Course. (but it might have been later).
1941 was when the air war became a reality for the people of South Shields.Heavy bombing caused much damage in the downtown area and the night sky was often criss-crossed with searchlight beams, which reflected off the numerous barrage balloons strung across the night sky.Ocassionally a German aircraft would be caught and held in a beam and the anti aircraft fire would intensify. All households on Sutton Estate were provided with an Anderson shelter, which were generally partly buried in the back garden and which became the family refuge during air raids.It was all very exciting for kids our age. Almost a Guy Faulkes event. It was also a time of austerity and ration books, queues and blackout curtains. As the war drew to a close, kids our age were finally becoming aware of major milestones in the conflict; D-day i944, the surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945 and the horror of atomic warfare. It's a tall order you have, Eric, to condense it all to five minutes. Do Fred Grey proud and remember his rules on precis writing. Good Luck.










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Sun 1-Sep-2019 23:55 - VICTORIA BC

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