††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only rules are: real names only, no personal attacks and no unrelated messages (inappropriate messages may be edited/withdrawn without warning).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 355 messages in the guestbook
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Viewing messages 61 to 70

Bryan Cooper | bryglen~AT~bryancooper~DOT~wanadoo~DOT~co~DOT~uk
I read Neale's post with interest, although I think he has misinterpreted the changes made in the name of schools/sixth form colleges with an improvement in the delivery of education. The academy schools were introduced by the labour government of Blair & Brown as an attempt to funnel more resources into failing schools, this was, largely, successful. The name academy was then hijacked by the coalition government and Gove used the term and structure as a way of creating 'small government' and cutting out local authorities input to schools. The jury is still very much out on this initiative.
I think it unlikely that there would be the political will and the sharply focussed type of social engineering to ever allow or encourage selective schools to once again divide the population and, effectively, write off 80% of the schools population.
Thu 7-Jul-2016 17:29 - North Wales
Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi MIKE
Eric's question made me smile. I wonder what kind of comments he is after. Years ago the Labour Government did it's best to get rid of Grammar Schools and hence the appearance of Comprehensive schools in their place. After a while public opinion, being what it is, felt that there was a requirement for Independent schools, which were sort of Quasi Grammar schools. Later some establishments felt that their bright sparks deserved an even better delineation and called them Colleges. There must be too many Colleges because now their even brighter bright sparks need to be housed in an Academy. Maybe we will come full circle and rediscover High Schools and I'll be able to lift my drooping head and recapture the grandeur of gaining eight passes in "O" levels. I even, mysteriously, received the Kerwin prize for Geography for my efforts. But I have to be truthful, two of the subjects were GED and Metalwork,both generally shunned by the clever boys.
Wed 22-Jun-2016 02:43 - Victoria BC. Canada
Eric Moyse | eric~DOT~moyse~AT~sky~DOT~com
I see from the Shields Gazette online that Harton Technology College may become an academy. Any comments?
Thu 2-Jun-2016 11:34 - Reading Berkshire

From Mike T:   This raised its head in 2014, and the Governors were against it ("not the right time" etc) but agreed to review the situation in the future. I would hope that the same thinking will be applied, as the school seems to work well within the local authority framework and, as far as I can see, the only benefit would be if the school was failing - which it most definitely is not.

A local school here converted to an academy and it causes all sorts of significant problems for a feeder school that is outside its foundation group.
Bruce Graham
Coming across the school site "by accident" is, I'm sure, a very common occurrence.

As one of the older members many of whom have been regular contributors to the Guestbook, may I welcome John Stansfield to our ranks and encourage him to contribute his own recollections so that a more comprehensive picture of the development of the school can emerge.

There are tens, dozens, hundreds out there who look at the guestbook and, while interested, perhaps feel that they have little to contribute. Wrong!!

Us oldies would love to know more about the later development of the school so please put (I was going to say pen to paper) finger to keyboard and let us all know.
Fri 6-May-2016 19:37 - Ruskington Lincolnshire
John Stansfield | jstansfiel~AT~aol~DOT~com
I came across this site by accident and am so glad I have. I attended SSGTFB from 1960 to 1968 when Bill Egner was Head.
I would be very pleased to make contact with anyone who remembers me.
Wed 4-May-2016 11:43 - Low Fell, Gateshead
Mike Todd
Do you have Speech Day programmes from 1960, 1965 or 1950-1956? If you do, or know anyone who has copies, please get in touch.

These are incredibly valuable resources for identifying who is in the school photos, but also for other historical information.

The school's log suggests that there may not have been Speech Days between 1951 and 1955, but there should definitely be ones for February 1956, November 1960 & November 1965.
Tue 12-Jan-2016 15:30
Mike Todd
Thanks for all the best wishes of the season and for the kind comments about the site.

To everyone here-gathered and families, a very happy and successful 2016.

Work on the site continues, and a few more photos (from 1967) will be added later this evening, with many more to come in 2016. There are still around 300 from the school's archive to be processed and uploaded!!
Thu 31-Dec-2015 20:05
Bruce Graham
As it is New Year's Eve and as i Missed out on the Christmas greetings may I (as a fairly regular "regular") wish everybody a very happy, peaceful (if only) and healthy 2016.

Mike, your efforts have given a lot of people a lot of pleasure. Long may it continue.

And "lang may your lum reek" as the Scots have it. Some of the older correspondents will remember the traditional celebrations on hogmanay when the festivities seemed to go on all night after the ships in the river sounded their foghorns at midnight.
Thu 31-Dec-2015 17:39 - Ruskington, Lincolnshire
Alex Patterson, 46 - 51 | alexpatterson~AT~videotron~DOT~ca
Hello Mike and all the regular readers, (and some irregulars),
Itís 11:20 pm, Christmas Eve and Iím writing this from my daughters home in Georgian Bay, Ontario. Itís +11 C, no snow forecast, another record breaking day and weíre all getting ready for the annual mayhem festival tomorrow. Weíve had some great news on the health front and weíll all be celebrating for the whole family.
We wish you, Mike and all who read this, all health and happiness throughout the Christmas holidays and more for the coming year. Thanks again for all your efforts over the years and maybe 2016 will see us having a beer in Rothbury.
Lang may yer rum leak!!
Alex Patterson

PS
Mike. Itís now Christmas Day in Georgian Bay. I did start this last night before I went to bed and thought Iíd sent it, but being the Luddite that I am, didnít realise I wasnít connected to the internet. But my digital granddaughter managed to connect me so here we go again...Merry Christmas everyone,
Regards,
Alex
Fri 25-Dec-2015 17:26 - Georgian Bay ONTARIO
Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Mike
Here we are again about to wrap up another year. I hope we can all keep this up for a good while longer. If that is the case, then we have to thank you for your ongoing attention to the site, your constant efforts to polish and improve the product. I'm sure we all appreciate your dedication. Speaking of dedication, I recently read an autobiography by Paul Allen, the co- founder of Microsoft, titled "Idea Man" (good chance you have read it) in which he describes his early collaboration with Bill Gates,to come up with a marketable operating system for personal computers.They worked feverishly to stay ahead of the competition, putting in long hours of effort. He recalls Bill being so tired that he would fall asleep at his work station,his head slumped forward over the keyboard. After some time Bill would awake with a start and continue typing exactly where he had left off. All that hard work certainly paid off. Bill eventually became the richest man in the world and Paul, at last report,is good for about eighteen billion dollars. Maybe you should go public with our Guestbook, Mike, there might be the odd million or two to be made somewhere.
In the meantime, I wish you and all my fellow devotees of the site, a very Happy Christmas and Health and Prosperity in the New Year.
And for those of us looking forward to our 81st year, I'm reminded of the elderly chap who was asked, what it was like growing old, to which he replied, "Well, when I consider the alternative, It's fabulous!!"
Thu 17-Dec-2015 23:22 - Victoria BC, CANADA

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