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There are 500 messages in the guestbook
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Viewing messages 411 to 420

Neale Backhouse '46- '51. | neale70~AT~shaw~DOT~ca
Grahams Galore!

I wonder, Bruce, if you are maybe mistaken on the initials of the third Graham in your brother's form.
I recall a Graham DH. better known as Donnie Graham to members of junior rugby teams (under 13 and onwards).
Donnie matured early and was a commanding figure on the under 13 fifteen. I have one of those vivid schoolboy memories of our very first game at that level at Bede Grammar School in Sunderland. I remember the kick off was at 9:30 AM and distinctly remember the keen early September morning air. Donnie was dominant in that game. He scored the only try of the match, collecting the ball at a lineout and rumbling almost the length of the field for the touchdown. Donnie stopped being such a commanding figure in the years that followed as the rest of us began to catch up to his physical stature. Another piece of evidence, concerning the DH initials was an occasion when he showed up in our form room(Doc Skilling's class) and, I suppose because of some earlier indiscretion, was given several swipes, hand held high, from Skilling's razor strop. I clearly remember his embarrassed countenance and the teacher's comment, "You're slipping DH."

Maybe I should stop now and say "Your Witness"
Mon 7-Nov-2011 01:51 - Victoria BC, Canada
Michael Lawrenson 1946 | lawrenson~AT~hollyburn~DOT~plus~DOT~com
Hi Mike

Bruce’s story of the Grahams in the same class has a more modern version. At the end of the sixties I moved to Fife from Shields and, by sheer coincidence, my cousin also moved to this area at about the same time. Both of us had daughters the same age and both daughters were called, again coincidentally, Helen Judith Lawrenson. After separate primary schools they ended up in the same year and same class at Bell Baxter High School. To add to the confusion they were both blondes and their handwriting was similar. I gather their teachers had problems!
Sun 6-Nov-2011 19:48 - Scotland
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
The Long Plunge saga continued.

The reference to J Graham as the record holder in the 1948 Atom reminded me of something that those of you who were there in that era - ie immediately post-war - may recall. My brother entered the school in 1945 and left after matriculation in 1950 - the term before I began my odyssey.

His first name was Cecil - a name which he hated, having been given it by our father to honour one of his brothers. When my sibling left school he quickly adoted one of his other given names, Douglas, and remained called by this name for the rest of his life, apart of course by our father!!

The curiosity is that when he entered the school in 1945 there were 3 boys in his year named Graham, all with the same spelling. Not only that, they were all in the 'A' Form of their year. Inevitably, they were known - by classmates and masters - by their initials. My brother was CD (rapidly shortened to Seedy) one of the others was GG (he lived on the Sutton Trust Estate like us) and the other was J but I can't remember his second initial. Unfortunately my brother is no longer with us so I can't ask him.

Now I wonder what the odds are of 3 boys of the same surname passing into the school in the same year, then being placed in the same Form?

Fri 4-Nov-2011 20:22 - Ruskington, Lincolnshire
Eric Moyse 1946 to 1953 | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
Re John Graham, when I was young I was frequently accused of basking in the reflected glory of my brother Alan. How about this then, Long Plunge Champ John Graham is my cousin (well maybe second or third). But does anyone remember the famous fight between him and Skelly Elliot outside the music room? Big Grahamy got caned by Pan Headley I seem to remember but I do not know what happened to Skelly.
Fri 4-Nov-2011 09:55 - Reading, Berkshire raining
Neale Backhouse '46- '51. | neale70~AT~shaw~DOT~ca
Whatever happened to Baby Jane? At last the truth is out. Patterson, the fifth form Lothario, (at a time when all I knew about girls was that they danced backwards),is finally unmasked. Hiding away in Beaconsfield, clubless and memberless, (incidently Alex, wasn't that one from Woody Allen via Groucho Markx?)his libertine past is about to catch up with him! Warm and sunny in Montreal indeed. And I'll have you know that I still use Kodachrome!

A final note to Bruce on "the long plunge." I just checked the 1948 edition of the Atom (thanks to Mike's excellent records) and read that the whale like John Graham (remember him) broke the school record with a plunge of 46 feet. And I remember that was from the end of the pool. This may have been surpassed since but after a quick check through the later editions of the Atom, I'm guessing the record still stands. Cheers.
Thu 3-Nov-2011 03:26 - Victoria BC, Canada
Alex Patterson, VUA, 1946-51 | alexpatterson~AT~videotron~DOT~ca
Hi Mike,
I’ve just been reading Michael’s recent letter about Facebook, and while I’m not a member (why would I join any club that would let me be a member?), I have recently been receiving an e-mail from Facebook telling me “ you have friends waiting to talk to you” Out of curiosity I clicked on the page to find an old faded orangy coloured photograph, Kodachrome or the like, taken perhaps 50 years ago, of a young girl carrying a baby!!! The name that accompanied the photo was not one with which I was familiar nor did the picture look like anyone I may have known.
My 22 year old granddaughter, who is helping to navigate my new Macbook Pro, said, “Hey grand-dude, you old rascal....who’s this then? Do you have a mystery offspring somewhere?” Despite my protestations, she carried on with her imaginative scenario, “Maybe you owe 50 years’ worth of child support, or maybe your new found daughter is planning to visit us!! Whatever you do, don’t reply.”
I assured her I had no intention of replying nor to ever open another e-mail from Facebook again. I don’t want any strange woman with a grown up baby landing on my doorstep!!
However it occurred to me that really we, the contributors to SSGSFB Visitors‘ Book, are members of our own exclusive Facebook, even though we don’t have 1000‘s of ‘friends’, we might have one or two. I’ve often thought I would like to know what happened to all the boys who were in my class at school; what happened to them all, where did they work, how did they get to where they’re living now, whom did they marry, how many children, grandchildren? They could send photos of their schooldays and more recent others to show us how well they have weathered the storm of aging. What do you think Mike?
Regards from a sunny and warm (15 C) Montreal
Alex Patterson

P.S. My granddaughter has just calculated I could be on the hook for $549,120(Canadian) for unpaid child support. (It wasn’t me Sir, It was Backhouse!!)
Thu 3-Nov-2011 00:02 - Montreal, Canada
Michael Lawrenson 1946 | lawrenson~AT~hollyburn~DOT~plus~DOT~com
Hi Mike

Following Neale’s recent entry no one has yet volunteered to admit they have been bullied by the family to embark on Facebook so I’ll put my head above the parapet. Last year on one of her visits my older daughter decided humankind needed to know me and she opened a Facebook account for me. It remained untouched for a very long time but I reckon I can now just about keep ahead with the system. I have had less luck with Twitter. I bravely opened a Twitter account months ago and immediately retreated. About a month later Mr Twitter himself sent me a message saying that I hadn’t done much and that the world was waiting for me. They will have to wait I’m afraid. It’s all beyond me.
Fri 21-Oct-2011 23:34 - Scotland
Bruce Graham | bsgraham~AT~btinternet~DOT~com
The recent publicity concerning the 150th anniversary of the Marine College in SS, attended by HRH the Duke of York, may have been apposite for those members of the correspondence group who went into the nautical profession. It also prompted me to wonder if there is any furhter news on th 75th anniversary of our alma mater?

Then I read Neale's very recent input in which he mentions swimming. Most of the older correpondents will remember that long before the school had the luxury of it's own swimming pool we had to use the old municipal pool in Derby Street. This was also the venue for the annual school swimming gala. One of the events in those days was a thing called (I think) the "Long Plunge". Those taking part - mainly older boys with big lungs - woud dive into the pool at the deep end - was it from the top of the diving board or lower down, I'm not sure - and see how far they could get along the pool without making any stroke or taking a breath. I wonder what the record was?
Sun 16-Oct-2011 14:17 - Ruskington, Lincolnshire

From Mike T:   Bruce - regarding the 75th anniversary of the building, I'm afraid I have no news at all. If everything is on schedule, the building should be re-opening in two weeks. I wrote to the school asking if there has been any progress, and I'm awaiting a reply.
Dek Mason | derek~DOT~mason~AT~foodstandards~DOT~gov~DOT~uk
Class of 3N 1961 had their first reunion last week when 15 of us managed to get together, along with our old Form Master Brian Barber. A great night was had by all and it has been suggested to meet up again. So if any of you "Motley Crew" who are reading this,that didn't attend, get in touch and you can be added to our mailing list.
Sun 16-Oct-2011 09:41 - England
Neale Backhouse '46- '51. | neale70~AT~shaw~DOT~ca
Hi Mike
To Facebook or not to Facebook? How many of us I wonder now find ourselves, through the insistence of one of our eager offspring, catapulted into this frenetic outburst of 21st century technology? I hadn't realised how many people I know or who suggest they know me. A few of these people would even like to be my friend! And then there are the pictures. In some cases in the hundreds! I feel I have dived into the shallow end of the swimming pool and there is just no room to swim even a couple of strokes. Whatever happened to sitting quietly with a good book but I gather that even that time honoured pleasure might be under attack from the electronic zealots who would have us reading from I Pods (or whatever) and then announce it on Facebook!
Brave New World!
Fri 14-Oct-2011 20:53 - Victoria BC, Canada

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