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mickypotts

Whitley Memorial

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HPW. Have you ever considered Self-Publishing? I was chairman of a writers group - up until last year - and one of the team got his work published via self-publishing. (It is also called vanity press.) The books were really good and everyone in the group was impressed by the standard of the printing and presentation. I think it cost him about £300 but that varied to his needs. He got eight or nine copies out of that. One of the other members followed suit and I thought it was a great way to get your personal feelings into book form for the family - instead of piles of loose paper - like MickyPotts experience. (Heartbreaking that - I think I would have come back and haunted her.) But it's just a thought, HPW. Good luck.

Edited by keith lockey

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We came across this picture whilst sorting through Dad's albums. I wasn't sure which was the best place to put it as it has some relevance to Whitley Memorial School, Bedlington Terriers FC and Hollymount Square. The picture seems to have been taken from St Cuthbert's Church and shows what I believe are the grounds and buildings of Whitley Memorial School, with the Hollymount area and what is now the park and the Terriers ground also featured. The windows of the building at the bottom left are still evident today above the general dealers next to the solicitors office close to the Northumberland Arms. I've seen quite a few pictures taken from the same position showing the Neuk and Dr Pit area but haven't seen this view before.

post-3028-0-16150900-1384611513_thumb.jp

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Brilliant photo, Reedy. I recognised the Whitley straight away but the side buildings look different, and, of course you had Matty Hall's annexe at the forefront of the photo - opposite the main building. Nice one.

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We came across this picture whilst sorting through Dad's albums. I wasn't sure which was the best place to put it as it has some relevance to Whitley Memorial School, Bedlington Terriers FC and Hollymount Square. The picture seems to have been taken from St Cuthbert's Church and shows what I believe are the grounds and buildings of Whitley Memorial School, with the Hollymount area and what is now the park and the Terriers ground also featured. The windows of the building at the bottom left are still evident today above the general dealers next to the solicitors office close to the Northumberland Arms. I've seen quite a few pictures taken from the same position showing the Neuk and Dr Pit area but haven't seen this view before.

Had a look on Google Satellite view and took a screen dump. Couldn't get it to map perfectly onto your photo but did mange to get the, what I think, are the same houses in Hollymount Square. You can see the block of four house followed by the two semis. No idea when Hollymount Square was built but sure someone will know.

post-3031-0-60613200-1384634597_thumb.pn

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Aye,Lockey,a realise that,and while a sentimentally agreed aboot protecting the innocent,a canna help but feel it's ALWAYS the perpetrator,or their families that people want to protect,while the victims and their families seem to be ignored and forgotten about.

I bet Dennis's family are still hurting,nearly fifty years on.....

Nicky caned me a few times as well as all me mates,lads and lassies,for the most trivial things,like being late for school,etc.

This was in the mid-fifties.Mr Davidson [Wonk was his nickname!],was a real Fatherly natured teacher,liked by eveverybody,he used to make us laugh during"art" class cos he always had us making things out of nothing!!

He showed us how to make a santy out of papier-mache,using a milk bottle to stick newspapers around,in narrow strips,using also what he referred to as "claggum".."staggum".."stuckum"..."tikkt-stuff"....etc..!

We used to be howling at his vocabulary!!Wonder if Dot can remember all this ...Vic,have her asked will you please,to prove i'm not romanticising here!

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My family moved into number 13 Hollymount square in 1948,it was the first building programme after the war ended,by the Bedlington Urban District Council.

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Thanks Vic,pleased to hear that!

Wish i could have caught up with Dot,[or Doreen..as I was brought up to call her from younger than four years old!],last time you were over here,for a natter...and a few hugs while you were'n't looking!![give her one from me for Christmas Vic....and aal thi best ti ye as weel marra!...sorry for going off-topic there...carried away with reminiscing!]

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My family moved into number 13 Hollymount square in 1948,it was the first building programme after the war ended,by the Bedlington Urban District Council.

HPW, did you know Alf and Peggy Brown in Hollymount, They had three daughters, Yvonne. Joyce and Pauline. Peggy was my mother's sister. She died just this year. I think the Chivers lived in Hollymount as well, Brian and Les. i know Les well, a good lad, Brian died also this year.

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Hi Keef 2, I remember Brian Chivers, he used to go to Westridge, and I also remember him fishing on "Coopen Spoots". Stocky built lad as I remember. I think we are at an age where it is apparent that we will start dropping like flies, the more dropping as time goes by. What did he die of Keef 2?

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Great picture of the Whitley Reedy, with the allotment gardens in the back and then were Allens fields where he kept his Aad grey Mare and the broon and white pony, any body mind the air raid shelter at the top of the field????? I suppose that was 2nd world war since it was formed concrete.

we rode bareback on the horses aal the time, they were always nice if ye brought a few slices of bread and some water.

Up at the far right at the top of Allens field was a small group of buildings with abandoned cottages and stable and such, yellow fire brick is what the were built with, I presume this is all gone now for the new school //

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Hi Keef 2, I remember Brian Chivers, he used to go to Westridge, and I also remember him fishing on "Coopen Spoots". Stocky built lad as I remember. I think we are at an age where it is apparent that we will start dropping like flies, the more dropping as time goes by. What did he die of Keef 2?

Don't quote me but I believe it was a heart attack. I see his brother Les quite often so I'll confirm it when I see him next.

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Having some trouble with something here, folks, sorry about the repeat messages!!!

Edited by keith lockey

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Hi Micky,you mentioned Allen's field,well,i wonder when it changed hands,cos from 1948,as far back as i remember it was alway's Knox'y's field.

We kids used to try and get into the air raid shelter,but in those days,it had been blocked off so you couldn't get in.

Once some of the big lads...[....big lads!...aboot 12 year old..!] [when i was aboot 8 or 9 years old..!]..dug out a wasp's nest,at the entrance to the shelter,

and when the swarm came out,they ran away,leaving a little tot about 3or 4 years old,if that,in the field on his own.

The swarm of wasps came down on the wee tot,and almost stung him to death,there were stings all over his little body,in his eyes ,up his nose,in his ears ,just everywhere......and guess who got his older sister's tongue lashing at him,and gettin all the blame....?

Yep!...poor HPW  seemed to get blamed for lots of things in those days!

Fortunately,after a lot of suffering ,the little tot recovered,but i never forgot the feeling of being accused by folk for something i knew nowt about cos i wasn't even in the field when that happened.

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Hi K.L.,what year did Alf and Peggy Brown move into Hollymount Square?

From My family moving there in 1948,the only Brown's i knew,didn't have Daughter's with those names.Now i started

courting my Wife in 1962,when I was nearly 18 yrs old,and as our five year courtship progressed,I saw less and less of my neighbours.

People moved out and new people moved in,but there was a Mrs Brown moved next door bar one,to My Mother,and I'm pretty sure that her name was Joyce.

That would have been number 11.

She was a real nice canny Woman.

As kids,My Brother and Me used to lie in bed,[in the days when you were in bed at 7-0pm,not a minute later!],and we used to rhyme off every tenant's name of every house,starting with number 1.

There are 66 houses in the square,many of them privately owned now,and the place,as I knew it,is barely recognisable.

I remember the Chiver's family,they lived down near the cut which takes you to Haig/Beattie roads.

When I was about Four,or Five years old,Jimmy,[i think that was his name],had hit me,and sent me home crying.

My tyrant of a father sent me back around with orders to hit him back,cos if i didn't,he would "bray my bliddy arse..."

Can you imagine the trauma I was in? I was a shy quiet kid,being forced by fear,to hit another kid to save my skin,with the idea of learning me to stand on my own two feet!

Good old fashioned victorian values eh?!!

The Chiver's didn't stay long at Hollymount.

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At the risk of being criticised for "hogging the channel"..[C.B. speak!],may i recount the worst trauma I ever had

in my young life,full stop.

One day,when I was about 11 years old,in Matty Hall's class,at the old Whitley school,in 1955,I asked to go to the toilet.

As I went through the cloakroom,to get to the toilet,[this was in the prefabricated building-opposite the main building],I saw what looked like an important-looking letter lying on the floor,and picked it up and put it my back pocket,intending to tell the Teacher what I had found.

Well,by the time i got back into class,i forgot about it.

When I got home,I gave it to my Mother,and she put it under the old clock on the sideboard,with the intention of it back to school next morning.

Mr Nicholson,[the tyrannical headmaster],announced at morning assembly,that a letter had been stolen,from a coat pocket

hanging in the cloakroom.

The letter had contained a £1 note,which was a lot of money in 1955!

After assembly was over,i told Matty Hall,[my class teacher]about the letter,and he sent me around to report it to Mr

Nicholson.[aad nicky!]

It's now 1-30 am and i am falling asleep,I will continue this long story,if i may,as i think it shows how victorian it was even in 1955!!

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Mr Allen was the milkman and owned the shop across from the coffin chapel, we called them Allens fields cos he kept his horses there but maybe he rented the fields or knoxy let him keep them there so the grass would be kept down.

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HPW - with regards to Alf and Peggy Brown at Hollymount Square I would hazard a guess at the early 1970s when they moved there because they used to live in the Prefabs before that. They lived in the fourth house in from the Front Street if I remember. 

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Hi Lockey,just saw my older Sister yesterday,asked about Alf and Peggy,and she told me that they swapped Mrs Lowen houses.

Mrs Lowen,came from Netherton colliery village,when the second half of the square was completed,somewhere around 1950-ish.[They didn't "throw" houses up in a week,in those days,like they do now.]

The whole of that side of the square was occupied by all the Netherton colliery families.

She,[Mrs Lowen],lived there for a lot of years,but the swap must have happened after I got married,and moved to Grange Park.

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I remember the Whitley well was there during the time WILLIAM NICOLSON was headmaster I have a very good reason for remembering him, five stiches in my right hand from his cane still carry the scar to this day. Teachers I remember were Misses Ginny Palister, and Nancy Molden, Alan Davison, Matty Hall, Bill Hedley, Jack Dodds, Mr Wood. We had a song about William Nicolson as follows

Wor schools a good school

Made wi bricks and plaster

The only thing that spoils it

Is the baldy heeded Master.

We also had one about Ginny Palister,

There is a happy land far far away

Where Ginny Palister Stands teachinh all the day

Oh you should see her run when she sees my father Come

For choppin slices off me bum three times a day.

I hope this brings back a few memories for the older generation of Bedlington Terriers, I do not like being called a Bedlingtonian (whoever they are)

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I mostly remember Matty Hall and Mister Butler. Now Matty was one of the teachers in the top annexe building but who was the other? Was It Butler.

 

One other thing that stands out - or rather one person I recall. He was called Colin Cooper I believe, and he was a bit of a child genius. His parents lived down Hirst Villas opposite Clouson's Shop. Well this Colin Cooper actually gave a talk on building a go-Kart or something. He stood in front of the teachers and the class and explained the ins and outs of the go-kart's mechanisms. We were all gobsmacked.

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Heh heh!Mrs Pallister....!!!

I had two older Sisters,and an older Brother,ahead of me,at the Whitley,so at aboot 8 years old,I was forewarned with terror stories of Mrs Pallister!

The very first day in her class,before she came into the room,in the morning,45 kids were making a hell of a racket,just talking loudly across the room to each other,as kids do.[yes...45 kids in one class!!]

The door opened and a loud,and I mean LOUD..voice,shouted out...."SHUT UP...AND SIT UP....."..

Then when a deathly silence fell across the room,she shouted,"I'm Mrs Pallister......Paddywhack

the drumstick to you lot...!!"

Well,we kids just fell about laughing,and I remember this occasion as if it was yesterday!

She waited till we stopped laughing so much,and brought us all into order by just talking nicely to us all....asking our names,etc,talking about how well our older families been and expected us to be just as good ,or there would be war on!!

We fell in love with her as a teacher,nowt like our older Sisters had said!!She was really lovely,as long as you didn't talk in class![and even then,it was just her face and voice that made you sit to attention...no straps or canes][come back Peggy Mount!!]

Am i right,Norman?

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Norman,sorry to hear that you were scarred by aad nicky,I wasn't physically scarred,but I was mentally,even if folks think it is trivial.

I cannot walk onto grass,any grass,even my own lawns,without getting flashbacks of aad nicky swishing his cane in front of my face,to terrorise me,even before actually hitting me across the palm of my hands,mainly across the middle joints of all my fingers,both hands,three times on each hand.[This man was a pervert,not content to just thrash you,but watching you quaking in your shoes,and some poor kids wet themselves,and got extra caned for that..........if I told my Mother I had been caned she would say...

...."Whey,if ye got wrang,ye musta done summick wrang,or else ye wudn't got wrang....."[and i quote!!Mother...R.I.P.]

This was just because I stepped onto the play area which was out of bounds for the winter,to get the ball....about five seconds of crime!]

Pleased you confirmed my stories about this evil man,Norman,thanks a lot!!

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Noo,ti continue on about me traumatic event,which I started a few days ago..........regarding a letter which I had found,in the cloakroom....

Thi next morning aad nicky,thi headmaster,came to my class,which Matty Hall was taking,and told me to come to his office.....to which I started shaking with fear,not knowing what I had done wrong.

When I followed him into his office,I nearly passed out with fear,there were two men in "Macs"..[caped raincoats],and trilby hats on,sitting behind his desk.[smoking as well..]

Well I knew from the top-end pictures,on saturday matinees,that these two men looked like detectives..[straight from "the third man" movie]

They systematically cross-examined me about the pound note,which was missing,and blatantly ,to my face,asked me what had I done with the money...

Had i bought sweets?...had I shared it with my friends?...had I hidden it under my rabbit hutch?....it went on and on,asking me to recount my story over and over,from going to the toilet,and going home with this letter in my pants pocket..

They made me stand outside,in the cold corridor,[it was in the middle of winter]to think over carefully,and then took me back into the office,again to recount my story.

They kept saying,"Come on William,you are lying,now tell us the truth..."

I was nearly in tears,after about two hours,then they sent me back to my class.

When I got home,I told my Mother i had been questioned by two detectives,and she hit the roof!

She grabbed me by the neck,shoved my coat and boots on,[we used to wear tackety boots,like small pit boots..with metal studs along the heel and soles..],and she dragged me faster than I could walk,up to Bedlington Police station.

Well,she knew Jimmy Mann,the constable,[everybody knew Jimmy,!],and she started tearing strips off him,wanting to know who had questioned her Son without her permission,and called him a liar...

Jimmy tried to calm her down,then the two detectives,came out into the street,at the station doors,and asked my Mother to bring me in for further questioning.

After about two hours,typical movie scene,low lamp over table,smoke-filled room,one of them said"the boy's definitely lying.."

THAT was a red rag to a bull!!

I vividly remember my Mother jumping up from her chair and grabbing the detective by the throat..shouting in a blind rage...and crying...."Aal throttle ye,ye bugga,if yi accuse my kid o' being a liar and a thief...!!"

Make no mistake,here,this has lived with me all my life....

The detective musn't have expected it,cos he fell back,wi me Mother still gripping his throat,and me standing crying,and terrified with all the shouting...

Jimmy Mann got hold of my Mother and sat her down,calming her,and said "Jean,tek ya laddie doon yem,and calm yasell doon...."

We went doon home,and aa was just a lump of jelly,shaking like hell.

The next afternoon,when I got in from school,it was a repeat,straight up to the station again!

Another two hours examination,and sent home,this time in a quieter fashion,maybe Jimmy Mann told them My Mother acted out of passion,and totally out of character,in defence of her son.

The lad who had lost the letter,bullied me in the playground,telling everybody that I was a thief,he was about four years older than

me,nearly ready to leave school,same age as my oldest sister,and She got hold of him telling him to leave me alone.

The situation just seemed to get more nightmarish,as each day passed.

Then it went quiet,and I never heard another thing about it.

A few weeks later,my Mother found out that the real thief had been found,and we never got an apology from aad nicky,or the Police,

it was like it had never happened....

Nowadays,folks in that situation,would be suing them all for wrongful arrest etc.......

I was just left completely traumatised by the whole affair,so much,that every time I saw a policeman,which was every day,in those days,

i just started feeling sick,and would shake uncontrollably.....

I was about 18 years old before I overcame that fear of the Police.

In 1971,I related this story,word for word,to another pit Deputy,while getting our bait,underground,and he called me a liar,and said there was no way the Police would spend that amount of time on a case,for a measly pound.....[a pound was a lot of money in 1955,but he just wasn't going to listen.............then he showed me his "card I.D."......Special Constabulary....]

I found out that he was one of the nastiest men in the pit...as time went by...it figured why he didn't want to listen to me....

He didn't half bring my hackles up,calling me a liar.....after what I had went through as an 11 year old child..

End of story....only real bad memory of the old Whitley,cos apart from that,and aad nicky I liked the school.

Thanks to all who might spend the time reading my story!!

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