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There are 355 messages in the guestbook
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Viewing messages 91 to 100

Neale Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hello Mike

I have just finished speaking to Alex on the telephone and he informed me of Michael Lawrenson's passing. I had not visited the Guestbook for a while so Alex's news came as a shock,even though I knew Michael had been having health problems for some time. Like Alex I have enjoyed an ongoing conversation with Michael over the years. His emails were always entertaining and witty. I shall miss the connection very much.
Michael was a quiet, scholarly boy at Harton Junior School, which we both attended from 1942 to 1946, before moving on to the High School in the September of '46. As Alex noted, we were in different forms for the duration of our time at the High, so we were all engrossed in the the affairs of our own form, with little interaction with others, apart from sports afternoons. So it was a pleasant surprise to hear from Michael again after so many years, via the Guestbook.
One fact that never occurred to me at the time, but became immediately apparent when Michael casually mentioned his uncle, who for a while, was our English teacher, Mr Lawrenson. The connection was immediate. Mr Lawrenson was a quiet, unassuming teacher, at times given to a funny anecdote. I think we felt he liked us, and we liked him.
Although I have never met Michael's family, I have become familiar with their names over the years, thanks to our email conversations, so I hope Fiona and the children will accept my heartfelt condolences for the loss of their loving husband and father.
Wed 4-Mar-2015 02:48 - Victoria BC.
Alex Patterson '46 - '51 | alexpatterson~AT~videotron~DOT~ca
Hello, Mike,
I was saddened by the news of Michael Lawrenson’s death. It was such a shock to me; we last corresponded in December. We were contemporaries in school, but never talked or met each other. It was one of those things, we gravitated to certain people in the first few days and generally interacted with them throughout our school lives.
I really only got to know Michael through the Guest Book in response to one of his letters. We seemed to connect and ultimately corresponded off-site from time to time. His memory for detail always surprised me. He seemed to be able to recall the smallest detail of any topic we discussed and in doing so clarified my somewhat blurred image of the same event...and triggered off my own memories and engendered a renewed interest in my own schooldays..
We always planned to meet up some day at Minchella’s in Ocean Road to attack a couple of Knickerbocker Glories. Unfortunately that never came about. At the first attempt, the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupted, leaving me stranded in Paris for three days, overlapping our scheduled ice-cream. The second attempt was cancelled due to an emergency return to Canada. So, sadly, we never did meet in person; we never spoke.
But I like to think that I gained an impression of him through his e-mails to me and his letters to the Guest Book. If you knew him, you should do a search on ‘Lawrenson’ in the GB and you’ll be interested in what he had to say. He was one of the more generous contributors, either introducing a new topic or clarifying another. I’ll miss that, because he was always interesting. We found that we had many things in common, one of which was the Goon Show. When I lived in Los Angeles, I came across a book of the Goon Show scripts in a sale...it was fairly dog-eared, my children used to read the various characters’ lines until they became too grown up for it. I sent it to Michael and he thanked me profusely for it.
To me he was a kindly man, with love for his family and his fellow man and I feel that I have lost a dear, dear friend. I am sure that those who knew him better than I did feel the same way. My great and lasting regret is that we didn’t manage to meet up with each other. My condolences are extended to his family and friends.

Requiescat in pace, Michael,

Alex
Tue 3-Mar-2015 02:37 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Brian Lawrenson | b~DOT~lawrenson~AT~lineone~DOT~net
As already reported, my cousin Mike Lawrenson died peacefully in hospital early on Thursday morning 26th February after a short illness. He will rest in the cemetery in Falkland, Fife, not far from his home. We last saw him at Hogmanay, when he and I gave a spirited rendering of The Blaydon Races and The Lambton Worm with my son Andrew playing along on his Northumbrian Smallpipes. Mike was very-much liked by all of the Lawrensons (and the McLeans) and he will be sorely missed.
Sat 28-Feb-2015 23:15 - Fife, Scotland
Ed. Forster | r2edforster~AT~live~DOT~ca
Very sad news, Mike Lawrenson died last Wednesday.
Sat 28-Feb-2015 11:21 - PEI Canada

From Mike T:   Ed - Thanks for that very sad news.
Ed. Forster | r2edforster~AT~live ~DOT~ca
Tempest doesn't 'arf fugit, birthday this month & I'll be 90 on the next, seems no time since starting at the school in my short pants, if my memory is right, boys only started wearing long pants at the age of 13 & received a lot of ribbing from the older kids.
I'm told that I still have a broad Geordie accent after being away from Shields over 63 yrs.
In Canada & in the US I'm always asked if I'm from Ireland or Scotland.
All the best, Ed.
Thu 15-Jan-2015 20:06 - Caad PEI Canada
John Orton (1961-67) | john~AT~thedowns43~DOT~fsnet~DOT~co~DOT~uk
I just wondered whether any old boys might be interested to know that I've written a book about Shields - its based on the memoirs of 'Jock' Gordon who joined the Shields Police after fighting in the Great War, became a Sergeant and retired after the Second War - his son Tommy went to the High School - I think he started in the prep? school as he was nine when he got in. I came to know him in later life as he was a noted ragtime/jazz pianist. He let me have his dad's memoirs and they spurred me on to write the book - its called 'The Five Stone Steps' - most of the older contributors will not need me to say why. Its 'faction' - fiction based on fact and is illustrated with pictures from the South Tyneside Historic Images Site - (well worth looking at if you've not come across it before) The stories give a fascinating inssight into life in Shields a century ago. As it's self published you won't find it in bookshops but its available on line and those living in Shields can buy it from the South Tyneside Library shop.
Mon 29-Dec-2014 10:51 - Portishead, nr Bristol
Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Mike,
Apropos of Alex's latest.
Just when I'm attempting to sound professorial, one of these darned Aquariuses has to throw a spanner in the works. I should have known better. I live with one!
Neale.
Thu 25-Dec-2014 00:27 - Victoria BC Canada
Michael Lawrenson 1946 | lawrenson~AT~hollyburn~DOT~plus~DOT~com
Hi Mike

We got back about a week ago after a short break in Yorkshire to find that Ed had managed to breathe life into the site with contributors queuing up to have their say. The guest book had been quiet over recent months and I suspect one of the reasons is that the old brigade, who contributed so much in the past, are probably suffering from reminiscence fatigue and they look forward to the day youngsters in their 50s or 60s take over. We wait in eager anticipation…

Good to hear from the old crowd and to know that they are still going strong. Here in Fife we’re getting ready for the festivities but of course there are the usual inevitable hitches. I managed to pull a muscle in my back a couple of days ago and I’m now even slower and creaking more than usual. But, much more serious, our dishwasher went into some sort of electronic coma yesterday and no one can come to fix it until next week and we have hordes of grandchildren descending. OK, there are only four but you know what I mean! (I think I know who is about to be drafted in as dishwasher-in-chief, pulled muscle or no pulled muscle)

A Merry Christmas to all and all the best for 2015 when most of us will cross that 80 line!
Wed 24-Dec-2014 09:57 - Scotland
Alex Patterson '46 - '51 | alexpatterson~AT~videotron~DOT~ca
Hello Mike,
I can’t let Neale’s message go without comment. I have a bit of a cold and was feeling pretty miserable about being 80 in the next few months...I think I might be one of the oldest in the ’46 intake...but after reading Neale’s message I felt positively suicidal!!
Apart from anything else Neale even spelled his name incorrectly in the address line. I felt sorry for old Hardy, but even sorrier for Sassoon. What a misery, finding nothing better to write about than his observation of Hardy going “dotey” (losing one’s marbles).
Then I realised that this was one of Neale’s practical jokes, lulling us into a false sense of gloom and doom before ending with a cheerful Christmas greeting.
I must say I’m feeling OK and while I don’t care for the maturing process, I can tolerate it a bit better than Sassoon. As for gaining new wisdom, I think that can be a cheerful challenge to be faced everyday. I started painting again and writing...I’m 70,000 words into my third novel. Haven’t finished the other two yet...I’m going to turn them into unrelated parts of a trilogy. I’ll have to live until I’m at least 105 to finish all my plans for the future. But my immediate plans are to enjoy the next few days with our whole family here in Georgian Bay at our daughter’s new home the garden of which runs into the lake.
I’ll close now and once again wish you Mike, and you Neale, and all the other readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year,
Regards from a mild (plus 10 C !!!)
Alex
Wed 24-Dec-2014 02:57 - Montreal, Canada
Nele Backhouse | nealebackh~AT~gmail~DOT~com
Hi Mike
Here we are at the end of another year.How the years fly by!
We of the 1946 entry will be heading into our eightieth year in 2015. Is this the decade when all will be revealed, I wonder, and we will acquire true wisdom. Maybe I should be asking Ed. I'm guessing he'll be tackling his nineties next year.
I'm trying my best to acquire true wisdom but as soon as I learn something new I tend to forget it fairly quickly. I even tried reading Steven Hawking ,he of the parallel universes and Theory of Everything. Where's Scratcher Aichieson when we need him!
Maybe Fred Grey would be the consoling voice.
This is a poem he might have recommended from the "Selected poems of Siegfried Sassoon" describing a visit he made to the home of poet/novelist Thomas Hardy in the latter's declining years.

At Max Gate.

Old Mr. Hardy, upright in his chair,
Courteous to visiting acquaintance chatted with unaloof alertness while he patted
The sheepdog whose society he preferred.
He wore an air of never having heard
That there was much that needed putting right.
Hardy, the Wessex wizard, wasn't there.
Good care was taken to keep him out of sight.

Head propped on hand, he sat with me alone,
Silent, the log fire flickering on his face,
Here was the seer whose words the world had known,
Someone had taken Mr. Hardy's place.

Merry Christmas Mike and to all the gang who assemble here!
Tue 23-Dec-2014 01:08 - Victoria BC Canada

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