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Another Joni Quote

' They paved paradise put up a parking lot'

Our government and local planners will soon have no green space left.

 

Or torn down perfectly good houses to build parking lots??????  

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When our queen was crowned,back in 1953....was it...?,correct me...i know i shud know,we under-12's got a lovely Coronation mug to keep, to commemorate the occasion.

So my older Brother and me each got one,at the old Whitley Memorial.

Now,the older pupils,of which i have two Sisters who fell into that category,each got a lovely gilt embossed book,entitled....."The History of Northumberland".

An entry in that book stated that the old keep dated back to the reign of King John,who stayed at the keep,overnight,as he fled from the Barons,upon the return of His Brother King Richard,from the Crusades.

When Richard found out about his evil Brother's nasty deeds,he went after him like a dog at broth...so ti speak.

John fled from the old keep,down underground tunnels,which led from there to the site of the old original Post Office,beside Bache's ice-cream shop,in the market-place,then farther down to the river blyth,at the bottom left-hand side of Bedlington bank,where the cliffs overhang that part of the now riverside walk.

....onto a boat and away ti France.......but they catched him didn't they.

Now,when I worked doon Bates pit, I related this story,to my marra's,just taaking aboot Bedlington's history,and of course you always get ONE ...don't you?!!

Big Bill,the comedian,said..."Haddaway ti hell,a bet he had a game o snooker and an ice-cream,off aad Bache...did he?!...lads,hae yi hord wat Alli says here.........[Alli was my other nickname then...]..and so the pittle-tekkin' went on so much,a wished a hadn't tried to provide a cultured conversation,away from the usual "club-taak"....like who was gaan wi hoo's wife,and who had de'ed...and so on..!!!

But seriously,this historical event has never seemed to be publicised in any other history book I have ever come across,in fact,on this very site,the date of the Keeps existence,seems to conflict with this story,so who is right?

My philosophy is "believe nowt wat yi read,and ownly haaf wat yi hear!!"

When we were kids ,we played down where the tunnel entrances were,but never got past the first few feet,due to deep stinking water.

The tunnel entrance on the opposite side of the river can still be seen.

John,hae yi any info on this subject?

Me and my mates,one of whom lived in the Old Hall,adjacent to the Keep,used to try and dig our way into the little tunnel which was around the south facing wall of the Keep,and which was slightly below ground level,I have a vivid image of it in my head even now,it was only about three feet high,typical cathedral-arched and about two feet wide,just big enough for a body to squeeze through.....not forgetting that the generations were smaller in those days

than they are now.

When Bill,[the comedian marra of mine],got a colliery house at Doctor Terrace,in Bedlington top-end,many years ago,he drew my attention to his front door,when I asked what aboot ya front door,wat's a metta wi' it?,he said luk at the size o' it!....they musta been little blokes in them days,when these hooses were built!

Ye knaa wat?....he was reet!..aam ownly five foot ten...an a bit,an' aa had ti stoop ti get in the doorway!....HE is six foot two,so yi get thi jist aboot this little tunnel?!!

GONE NOO!

Nae proof of existence is there?

Shame!

Nuff sed,HPW!

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Maggs wrote: "... soon have no green space left. Maybe we should all leave Blighty and join Symptoms."

 

Just before Xmas I flew to Blighty for a couple of days on business, arrived at Gatwick, got the toot toot up to London Clapham Junction, changed trains to get to Chelsea Harbour where I was staying.  Built-up all the way, crowded all the way, litter all the way, graffiti all the way, hardly anything green all the way ... it was all so downheartening.  Yes, I'd lived in London all my adult life but, having lived elsewhere for about four years, I'd forgotten how much the place could grind-the-sole. 

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Hi Wilma

The only people in the classrooms in 1956 were the builders.

I can assure you the school opened in Sept 1957, ask some of your old school pals.

In Paul Mann's book he writes about the school opening for the first time in his chapter on "1957"

I'm sure there must be a few old pupils (othere the two of us) that can help us confirm the date.

Hi Norman!

Many many thanks for saving my sanity!

I have tossed this subject of Westridge's first day in my head for months now,even though I KNEW I was right,like,HOW can you forget your first day at a brand new school,mixing with pupils from all the other schools in the area,making new friends,bullied by new bullies,etc.......?

Last night, I accessed the County Council's archives,for 1957,and it does say that Westridge was erected that year,which threw me into a turmoil,then I thought,yes,theoretically,for their purposes,being on budget etc,THAT date would be the finalising of all the handover paperwork,etc....

Still,my mind said this was wrong!

I started the first day in 1956,just after my twelfth birthday,when the school holidays ended in August of that year.

Like you,Norman,I left in 1959,and went down the pits,and stayed in the industry till thatcher-the-hatcheter destroyed our jobs and communities.

I have vivid memories of my years at Westridge,mostly good,some bad.

I would dearly love to see your class photo,although you were a year ahead of me at leaving.

I would also love to go back for a visit to see what remains of our old abode,cos looking from the outside,driving past,it's almost unrecognisable now!!

Maybe James will be convinced that WE were right!

Thanks again Norman,I am trying to place you,but having difficulty,both the Normans who were in my class sadly passed away years ago,at a very young age.

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I have very fond memories of Westridge an yes the school did open in 1956 and I remember the first day there beinsg sent home and my worried mam asking what I had done wrong to be sent home. Coming like many of the others from the good old Whitley it was like landing on a different planet. I was selected for the Upper Remove and remember our form master George Marley. George Hemming explained that in other schools the remove classes were where the pupils who had problems and were slow learners, which worried those put in the Remove until he explained that he was reversing the trend and pupils selected for the Remove class were those they considered bright enough to go on for GCE. I never did take Northern Counties or GCE's as I left at Christmas 1958 to start in the pit, however I was lucky enough to get out of the pits in 1960 to pursue what I had always wanted to do and that was to train as a chef. However in 1975 I joined the Army Fire Service a Civilian organisation working for the MOD and served until 2003 when I took early retirement with the rank of Senior Divisional Officer.

Aye Norman,MY Mother did exactly the same thing.Quizzes and questions,why are you home,you just went away......!

A think most Mothers would have reacted the same way!

A can picture Geordie Hemming standing on stage,saying.."Now i bet you all wish you had another day's holiday....well...thaat is exactly what is going to happen!"

He said that the stationer's hadn't completed their contract on time,that we had no books,pens,or paper,etc,so we would be sent home,with a veiw to starting the next day.

As he was talking,a pleasant ginger-haired kid from another school,therefore a complete stranger to me,spoke to me in whispers...."Halloww killer"..

were his exact words,which struck me as a really good way to strike up a friendship!

We became good mates from that day,me going up to West Lea,to his house,then over the Netherton fields and pit-heaps!

That friendship was struck within ten minutes of going into the hall with 488 other pupils,all from different schools in the area!

Aye,sum canny memories of that lovely building!

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When I was young,after the first few weeks at Westy,I had bad dreams that I was late for school and couldn't find the classroom where the lesson was being held!

In my dreams I was frantically running up and down the stairs and going from room to room....of which there were millions!!...opening doors where lessons were in progress,and being reprimanded by each teacher for interrupting the lesson!

See?....at the gud old Whitley memorial,you usually sat in the same desk,in the same room,and the different teachers came to you,with the odd exception to the rule,such as having to go for woodwork,obviously,or going into old Mouldy cheese's classroom for music lesson,where she thumped the life out of the piano keys till it was grossly out of tune!!

So we from the Whitley,were totally bemused at seeing all these classrooms,and having to walk a quarter of a mile to go from maths,with Mr Freeman,to the other side of the school,to have history with Mr Abrahart!..[carrying a haversack on your back,equal to your own body weight with books!]

At the Whitley you went in,empty-handed,did your lessons,and came yem,empty-handed!....tea,and away doon the woods ti play,or gaan fishing,or stuff like that....nae homework!!

Westy,didn't haaf shake us up for adulthood...did it not?!!

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Brilliant pics,and a reminder to see my Sister about howking my mug oot...[the drinking one ...for all you clever-clogs!...],a think she boxed all me Mother's china away,when Ma died.

Do you know of anybody who got the blue history book?

Did you go to the Whitley as weel Maggie?

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post-2987-0-60642600-1391437521_thumb.jp

Hi Norman!

Many many thanks for saving my sanity!

I have tossed this subject of Westridge's first day in my head for months now,even though I KNEW I was right,like,HOW can you forget your first day at a brand new school,mixing with pupils from all the other schools in the area,making new friends,bullied by new bullies,etc.......?

Last night, I accessed the County Council's archives,for 1957,and it does say that Westridge was erected that year,which threw me into a turmoil,then I thought,yes,theoretically,for their purposes,being on budget etc,THAT date would be the finalising of all the handover paperwork,etc....

Still,my mind said this was wrong!

I started the first day in 1956,just after my twelfth birthday,when the school holidays ended in August of that year.

Like you,Norman,I left in 1959,and went down the pits,and stayed in the industry till thatcher-the-hatcheter destroyed our jobs and communities.

I have vivid memories of my years at Westridge,mostly good,some bad.

I would dearly love to see your class photo,although you were a year ahead of me at leaving.

I would also love to go back for a visit to see what remains of our old abode,cos looking from the outside,driving past,it's almost unrecognisable now!!

Maybe James will be convinced that WE were right!

Thanks again Norman,I am trying to place you,but having difficulty,both the Normans who were in my class sadly passed away years ago,at a very young age.

I hope this clears up any confusion about the year that Westridge opened.

I have attached a photo of the 1956-57 Whitley Memorial Seniors football team. Its last game was in April 1957 and was the very last senior team to represent the school. With the opening of Westridge in September 1957 the Whitley Memorial operated as a primary school only. Matty Hall (see photo) was the sports teacher who ran the Whitley Memorial Senior team and Alan Davidson ran the Intermediate team, (has anyone got a photo of the 1956-57 Intermediate team?)

A few of the players in the photo went on to represent the first Westridge team under Danny Douglas. Their first game was in Sept 1957.   

 

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Sorry if I sound arrogant,James,but the excellent,and rare,and very much appreciated pic of the team,doesn't really mean a thing to us who started on the first day Westridge opened,and have very vivid memories of that day,in 1956.

It makes no difference when the last game of football was played,and,if you seriously think about it,rather than trying to "clear up confusion",try and see that what you are doing,is,in fact,doubting the intelligence,and integrity,of both Myself,AND Norman,who both started that day.

It really is insulting,even if unintentionally!!,to try and convince someone, on what day they started a brand new school,after the post-war years of austerity,and suddenly find you have to attend wearing a ...uniform....!!...at 12 years of age!

I was already studying electricity,and electronics,valve wireless theoretical circuit diagrams....magnetism,Faraday's Principles,Ohm's laws......etc.......

building small two-valve radio sets etc,as the years went by,....from 12 years old...but I knew bugger all about football,and was always bullied by the "sporty" lads....cos I was different..and hated sport lessons!

So I think I have the intelligence to know what day I started my new school!

Right?!! [Rant over,and hope I haven't come over as being stroppy...!!!]

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James,I really am chuffed to hell that you posted this pic,cos the Captain holding the ball,left school in 1956,Mick Rutherford,he lived a few doors away from me in Hollymount Square,and was My older Brother's best mate,and I used to follow them around...they were three years older than me.[15 years old in 1956!]

Dicky Mitcheson back left,it looks like Yice Hale next to Dicky,[maybe wrong!],Brian [councillor] Richmond-goalie[sat behind me all the years through school from starting infant school],looks like one of the Wood twins next to him,then I cannot  mind the lad's name on the right,even though I knew him well.

Front row was...[pass!],then, My long standing school-mates through every class Alan Wikinson,[sat next to me in the same desk],Ronnie Leyland,[sat behind me and Alan],Mick Rutherford,Mick Bradley,[in the form 4 who finished school that year this pic was taken!]

So it puzzles me how Mick Rutherford played his last game in 1957,as a school-kid,when he would have been working in the pit for almost a year,as did my older Brother who also left in 1956,and missed starting Westridge in the school term following the summer holidays........obviously the pic had to be taken while there was still a team,for posterity,and other political purposes,but in reality is meaningless!!

Seeing this pic has had the memories flooding back in my mind,how A lan,and Ronnie,and me [with other friends]used to go down the Ha'apenny woods after school,and have lots of great times!

Thanks for posting the pic,James.

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How about only a few people there for the first trial year and then the official start was the next year.

That way everyone can be right.

Either way our lot started in 1958.

A good year some might say.

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Hi Maggie!

O n the first day Westridge school opened,there  were 500 pupils in the school hall,which was the full count for the school.Mr Hemming introduced all the staff members,and then announced that,because the stationers had renaged on their  contract,there was no books,pens or paper ,or any other kind of stationery supplied to the school,so we would all be sent home,with a view to starting the next day.

Now we did attend the

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What's gaan on heor?,a been clartin on owa an hoor,and ownly haaf me taak has gettn posted,did a not put plenty stamps on or wat?!

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Hi Maggie!

O n the first day Westridge school opened,there  were 500 pupils in the school hall,which was the full count for the school.Mr Hemming introduced all the staff members,and then announced that,because the stationers had renaged on their  contract,there was no books,pens or paper ,or any other kind of stationery supplied to the school,so we would all be sent home,with a view to starting the next day.

Now we did attend the next day,but as you can imagine,everything required to run a school,with 500 pupils,would take some organising! So Mr Hemming gave us all permission to just have a wander freely,everywhere around the school,to familiarise ourselves  with the layout,and to note where fire assembly points,extinguishers, escape routes etc, were,even though we would be drilled properly in due course.

So we went in our little groups of friends from our previous schools,and tottered around all the classrooms,which were locked,of course,along the corridors,upstairs and downstairs,marvelling at

What we were seeing,such as the metalwork room,and the gymnasium.....the what?!!!!....we hadn't even heard of the word "gymnasiumâ€,let alone be able to say it![we were from the Whitley School you know!]

The books and stuff started arriving by the van load,in the next few days,and it took best part of  a week,or more,to get organised for proper lessons.

This makes me wonder if  the reason we started when we did was because the school  cost a third of a million  pounds to build,and was the first modern school to be built in Northumberland,after the end of the war,not forgetting that rationing would have just ended not long before the start of building work,in the post-war years of austerity.

The County Council,would have been harassing the Government for the funding,and would have had to justify their case by occupying the building before it was totally completed,which it DID do,as the landscapers  were still doing their job when we started.

Happy days eh?...i have vivid memories of those days,and can picture Mr Freeman,Mr Johnson,Danny Douglas,Miss Thew......Miss Thew!![i blame part of my hearing loss on Miss Thew clapping my ear so hard with her flat hand,that it made my ears ring for days...for speaking in art class!]Miss Short,Mrs Nicholson,Mr Abrahart,Mr Epsley,Mr Cook on he's Sunbeam inline-twin green motorbike coming up the drive.....aahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

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Noo wa gettn sumwheor!,mind a had ti put anutha fowath class stamp on ti dae it!

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Heh heh!,Canny Lass,a musta gottn carried awa wi aal the clartin aboot copying and bliddy pyestn this an that,whey thi ownly pyestn aa knaa is on a pyestn tyeble puttn waalpyeppa on!!!!

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I only spent a short time at Westridge, a term or two, after refusing to go back to the Grammar school which I hated at the time. I must say it was probably one of my happiest times at school. I was rarely bored in the lessons and really took to subjects I'd never taken before, like metal work and technical drawing. Most of the teachers seemed enthusiastic and I had my mates around me. A lot of fun and I look back and sometimes wish I'd never passed the eleven plus, but hindsight is pretty useless really. I left at the end of the summer term in 1965. Although I was in 4r the lure of money made me want to leave so I did without a single qualification to my name. Great fun reading the posts on here. 

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I only spent a short time at Westridge, a term or two, after refusing to go back to the Grammar school which I hated at the time. I must say it was probably one of my happiest times at school. I was rarely bored in the lessons and really took to subjects I'd never taken before, like metal work and technical drawing. Most of the teachers seemed enthusiastic and I had my mates around me. A lot of fun and I look back and sometimes wish I'd never passed the eleven plus, but hindsight is pretty useless really. I left at the end of the summer term in 1965. Although I was in 4r the lure of money made me want to leave so I did without a single qualification to my name. Great fun reading the posts on here. 

Does that mean you were the first to go Semper Sursum!

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Heh heh!...Smudgy,you did right i would say,cos I did the same in 1959,and went down the pits,me having such a knowledge of electronics,but being bottom of the class for maths.[i always wanted to be a radio television engineer].

Stupid thing about exams etc is that you need them to get a good job,but never use the knowledge gained ever again,even bank staff have told me that!

My Son went to London 25 years or more,ago,with nine top O-levels and two O-A levels.

He had a job within a week,and nowhere to stay,as he was temporarily staying with my relatives down there.

His new boss said very impressive about his qualifications,but in this job,you only need TWO things.......a good sense of hearing,and dedication.

He said to my Son that he he could put his C.V. and all his qualifications in his bottom drawer and never look at them again!

The job?.....Sound recording engineer in a Recording studio,making records!

Now?.....He has his own small recording studio,with some very rare and sought - after equipment,gold discs on the walls ,and an impressive [for us!]previous client list!

Unfortunately the music business has dropped like a stone,and it is becoming more difficult for record producers like my Son,to survive the downfall.

I digress,but the point I was trying to put over was that in most employments,you won't need a degree in religious studies,or history,geography,physical training,football etc..........!!

I think you should be encouraged to learn the subjects which will help you achieve your ambitions in life.

I actually went and knocked on Mr Hemming's office door,one day,[aged 14 years!],and asked if I could be excused from P.E. lessons,and to spend that hour,twice a week,in the science laboratory,studying radio electronics,and furthering my knowledge and gaining more experience actually constructing radio projects with Mr Johnson,the science teacher,who was my mentor,long after school hours,every night,sometimes till 10-pm!!

We were like two old friends,after school,but strictly pupil/master during class.

Mr Hemming agreed with my request,and said to tell Danny Douglas,[ahem....MR Douglas.....!],that he authorised me to do that.

Guess what Danny said....and DID!

".....Did he now?.....[referring to Mr Hemming..],well I'll tell you what we'll do ,Boy,[while lifting me off the ground by my ear,paining it like hell!....]...

...come with me and I'll SHOW you what we'll do with you!"

He pulled me by the ear along the long corridor from the gymnasium,to Mr Freeman's class,[who was in the middle of a math's lesson],and said to Mr Freeman,to give this boy an hour of Math's for not bringing his P.E kit in.!!!!!

Mr Freeman knew of my gift with electronics,and quietly whispered to me how he sympathised with my plight but had to comply,so there I sat for the next hour trying desperately to grasp Logarithims..[can't even spell it,never mind DO it!].

NOO!,.......HOO do ye knaa hoo actually USES Logarithims in their daily job!!

Danny effectively held me back from studying my chosen field,cos I didn't want to jump a vaulting horse or kick a bit of leather around a grass field!

BUT,I still thought the world of Danny Douglas,as did anybody else who he clipped,cos he was such a great character! R.I.P. Danny.

Eh,there a gaan again....!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by HIGH PIT WILMA

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I have to agree with a lot of what you say HPW, 1976 at my first interview here in Grande Cache I presented myself dressed in my suit and tie (to the great amusement of the other workers) with my brown C.V. envelope with all of my experience, references etc, I passed it over to the interviewer who didn't open it but pushed it right back saying anyone can get bits of paper tell me what you can really do! Nine years later my next interview was with the Government and I had to rephrase their questions so they made sense before I could answer them!

I was later involved with conducting many interviews, I always put myself in the candidates chair and remembered how it felt, trying to see them through the computer generated applications.

At school I was a poor student and didn't learn much, I later learned as I went, self taught, electrical apprentice (with no schooling), later mechanics, refrigeration and every aspect of building maintenance. I believe (early) schooling isn't a lot about what your going to do in life but more about who you are or going to be! I don't think that reads very well (told you I was a poor student!)

I sympathise with you regarding not getting excused P.T. but look around today and see what the lack of exercise does to our children! in the big picture I think they were right!

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Hi Vic,aye a fully agree wi ye aboot the kids nooadays,but remember when we were kids,we made wor aan entertainment!

Tiggy-in-thi-bay,hot rice,races aroond the block,climbing trees doon thi woods,wandering owa aal thi millions of fields we had then.....

.....and the lassies played bays,[posh people caaled it hopscotch....a think!],two-baaley,or for the clivvor lasses,three,or even four-baaley......

aye,a think we were a pretty fit lot in them days.

Me posting at the start of this thread,aboot Danny Douglas waaking inti thi new gym,and seeing me climbing a brand-new-untouched -by-man...lovely shiny white rope,hand owa hand,wi nae feet,like a monkey,up ti thi roof in seconds,was true in every detail!

We didn't sit aal neet pressing buttons,cos the ownly buttons we had was on wa sharts!

Nice ti hear from ye Vic.

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It's been a while HPW, I'll drop you a line soon.

The things/ entertainment we got up too would fill a book! begging for five more minutes outside and a bag of chips, (gis i chip man) rhubarb and a twist of sugar, freezing fingers and snotty noses, there wasn't many overweight kids then, (more underweight I'd guess!) don't think the word "boredomâ€existed.

If we allowed kids to do what we did how many agencies would you have after you? Family Services, Welfare, Health and Safety, Police, Fire, Life Boat etc. Life was good!

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