††South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys
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Viewing messages 281 to 290

Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Mike
Alex raises an interesting topic, (although I think we have hashed the question out a few times now.) Anyway it's good to test the old grey matter in today's climate of (so it seems)rampaging dementia amongst our generation.
The first thing I recall about this event was lining up outside the dining room in a sort of queue until, I suppose, all was ready inside and then we were allowed to enter and to park ourselves at a military style arrangement of tables(the usual 8ft by 4ft type). After grace, led by the day's duty master, we marched up to the serving counter, one table at a time, where the day's fare was ladled out by Alex's favourite serving lady (and others). Following the main course this routine was repeated for dessert and finally used plates were placed on a separate side table for collection. The staff table was to the right of the entrance door but they sat on forms rather than metal stacking chairs. I remember this because I distinctly recall Ma Goudy swinging her leg up and over the form in an interesting but less than flattering fashion.
On the question of memory in general, I recently read an article about a Russian phenom. named Solomon Shereshevskii who lived in Moscow in the early part of the 20th century and had a memory so perfect that he could recall every minute of his life in graphic detail. On one occasion he was tested by a psychologist who read out lists of random numbers(up to 70) and was amazed when "S" repeated them without error and then repeated them again in reverse order! "S"'s memory capacity was virtually boundless but he became a tragic figure as he was unable to reduce the pile up of images that crowded his mind. He held dozens of jobs until finally earning a living performing memory stunts for paying audiences.
Maybe we're better off if memory lane eventually becomes a little muddy!
Mon 24-Mar-2014 02:32 - Victoria BC Canada
Michael Lawrenson 1946 | lawrenson~AT~hollyburn~DOT~plus~DOT~com
Hi Mike

Just read all about the school dining room and thought I would let Alex know that he has been let down: Iím afraid that on this occasion the collective memory which seems ensure some old boys remember everything hasnít worked. Iím sorry to say I can hardly help at all. I always went home for lunch apart from three or four days when the family was in chaos after my grandmother died Ė she had spent her last few weeks living with us. I was despatched for school meals and can recall being completely lost as everyone else seemed to know each other and the regular routine of the dining hall which, unlike Alex, I never managed to mix up with the national service variety. My own recollections of the latter Ė which I can clearly remember Ė is of a great barn of a building which seemed to cover half of Hampshire.
Sun 23-Mar-2014 23:05 - Scotland
Mike Todd
On the history of the dining hall ...

When the building first opened, the dining hall was at the north-east corner of the main building, on the front corridor. It was also earmarked as a junior library, and I've no idea exactly how this worked out (although the room eventually became part of the staff room).

At some point (not clear when) prefab buildings were constructed adjacent to the tennis courts opposite the main front entrance.

Around 1961 a new dining hall was built just outside the east end of the front corridor (both can be seen in the 1963 aerial photo http://www.boyshighschool.co.uk/photos/aerialphotos/1963-aerial.htm).

Some of the dining hall buildings were demolished around 1964 to make way for the new Art and Music Block, and the dining hall was turned over to the sixth form.

Around 1970 a new dining hall was built adjacent to the Lisle Road entrance, and this was later rebuilt into a much more modern facility. The old dining hall just outside the east end of the front corridor was later demolished and a new library and community building was built (and is still there).

The dining hall is now a self-service "restaurant" and takes up a large high-ceiling area at the heart of the new sixth-form building.

That's as much as I can remember off the top of my head, and I'd be really pleased to learn more specifics.
Sat 22-Mar-2014 21:57
Dennis Maccoy | dennismaccoytyne~AT~aol~DOT~com
During my time at the school (1959-64) the dining room moved to a new building to the north-east of the main building, adjecent to Lisle Road. I think that the site of the previous dining room became the sixth form centre. Google Earth currently shows a building on the site of the "new" dining room, but I don't think it's the same building.
Sat 22-Mar-2014 21:11 - South Shields
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
When I joined in 1950 the "Dining Room" was a prefab building opposite the front of the school, towards the Lisle Road entrance. The food could be best described as "average" but this was in the era of severe rationing.

I think that Mike has previously queried the location of the dining hall??

Looking at today's facilities it is a completely different world. I bet they even have a vegetarian option!!
Wed 19-Mar-2014 19:57 - Ruskington, Lincolnshire
Ed. Forster | r2edforster~AT~live~DOT~ca
Re memories, I was at the school '37 to '42 & do not recall a dining room. Perhaps it's because I lived at Lisle Road & always ate at home. I do not recall any female teachers or girls at the school. I do recall getting whacked after being caught smoking out in the play ground. Always had a rotten memory, It seems to me that home work, classwork & exams were just memory tests, only learned anything after going to night school off & on for eight years.
Wed 19-Mar-2014 15:57 - Sunny but cold PEI
Eric Moyse | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
Thanks Alex
Hope you are well by the way.
Within that trip down memory lane you mentioned grace. We did say grace and it was of the accelerating type. It went "Bless us O Lord and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen".
The acceleration began round about the word "receive" so that grace ended in a gabble as all the behinds hit the seats(or were they benches?)and the wolfing began.
Wed 19-Mar-2014 09:48 - Reading, England
Alex Patterson, '46-'51, VUA | alexpatterson~AT~videotron~DOT~ca
Hello Mike,
We donít seem to have had a topic for a while...so here goes.
The Dining Room.
Does anyone remember anything in detail about it? Did we have to pay and was it available to all pupils or, like the scouts and form photos, only open to the A Form pupils. Was it cafeteria style, or were we served at the table by the dinner ladies. Were there long tables or tables for four, did we have tablecloths and napkins?
I get my Ďdining roomsí mixed up, confusing the RAF mess hall, with the Outward Bound School (OBS)and the High School. Details elude me. School life to me was like an impressionist painting, whereas to people like Michael and Neale, their school days must be like ultra-realistic paintings with all the details finely portrayed so that they can draw upon their memories at the drop of a hat.
Iím frequently surprised at the things former pupils remember and how often their memories trigger off something in the inner reaches of my grey matter.
I remember one of the dining rooms, maybe the OBS, where the meat was pre-served on the plates at each seat and the old hands at the game would run in, pick up a fork and spear as many pieces of meat as possible when running to their seat. Or was it the High School?
I think there was always a teacher on duty and I think we said Grace before each meal. Were the meals good? My Mum was not a good cook and I tended to look on any meal outside as being delicious. People in the RAF couldnít believe it when I wolfed down anything that was served out.
I vaguely remember one of the dinner ladies, who was like a shorter and plumper version of Ma Goudie, She was always very pleasant and tolerant of the boys who ate there and would often offer a second portion. I used to call her Mrs. Cannybody; that was a term my Grandma used for any kindly lady and it certainly applied to her. Perhaps someone out there with a photographic memory would remember her and could answer some of these questions.
Itís --17C right now, with 15-20 cm of snow on the way tomorrow but spring is on the way.
Regards from a cool and dry Montreal,
Wed 19-Mar-2014 02:59 - Montreal, Canada
Ivan Collinson | iccollinson~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Thanks for all the info gathered here. I remember all of the people in the photographs and it is a great trip down memory lane. Would love to know where any of them are now.
Mon 24-Feb-2014 15:55 - Isle of Wight
Bob Snelgrove | rob~DOT~sidmth~AT~virgin~DOT~net
I attended the school from 1933 to 1942.

Does anyone remember my name?

We now live in Devon.
Sat 8-Feb-2014 13:04 - United Kingdom

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