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


"To the hills we lift our eyes" Nah. It was more De Profundis for meI or Non carborundum illegitimus! AB

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"To the hills we lift our eyes" Nah. It was more De Profundis for meI or Non carborundum illegitimus! AB

I'll believe you - Je ne comprends pas (and that will probably be wrong).

Only remember Semper Sersum as 'Ever Upwards'. So after reading that off the school badge no more latin for me - 'B' stream all the way, couldn't spell french but the Bedlington accent was excellent for speaking the lingo.

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Being in the B stream at the Grammar I never did latin either, the only latin I ever learnt was school and army badges and the non carborundum illegitimus was army slang that may have latin or outer Mongolian as far as I'm concerned. It is supposed to be latin. It's supposed to mean "don't let the b------s grind you down". The line "to the hills we lift our eyes" was the second line of the grammar school hymn written by Miss Humphries who was quite old then, She taught my mother when she was there. AB

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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!

Heh heh!....Vic,"snotty noses"....wat a blast from the past!

Ivry bugga had stiff white-ish mucky jarsy sleeves .....!

Can ye imagine aal thi kids from 10 years up owa,waaking aroond wi Bowie knives in leather sheath's hanging in full view from tha belts,and gaan ti skyuul wi thim on an aal?!![ it was the equivalent of x-boxes at christmas time,ivry bugga wanted a Bowie knife,cos wa hero was Jim Bowie on a Saturday afternoon,in the sivvin'pinnies,at thi the top-end flea pit...!]

Vic,did ye ivvor gaan up the river ti thi dam,past Humford Baths,and climb up onto the two big waata pipes wat crossed the river from bankside ti bankside?

Wi used ti say,if wa Mutha's cud see wi running owa thi pipes,and hanging owa thi side ti scratch wa nyems on thi pipes,wi a raging river in full spate,below us,wa Mutha's wud kill wi!

Ye had ti climb up the brick pillars at the bankside,speel aroond the 3-inch sloping concrete haunch on tip-toe,ti get onti thi pipes,mighty dangerous,but a nivvor saw anybody faal yit!

Catapults,nivvor knew of anybody being fired at or hit by a 'pult!

Aa used ti climb the big Beech trees,[thi "King trees"],and gaan reet up ti thi flimsiest branches,aboot 70 feet up,and just wedge mesel in between the branches,and sit there,swaying in thi wind,firing smaal whin chippings from the roadside,oot me catapult,at nowt in particular!

Boredom,has NEVER,EVER, been in my vocabulary,and at 70 years aad in July,nivvor will!

Thi ownly "bored" aa knaa is thi bords doon thi garden!

Thanks for your P.M Vic,hope my reply was successfully sent,cos aav had bother trying ti send other mail ti folks.

One last one,did anybody ever chew lumps of black pitch,when the cooncil decided they shud put some tarmac doon on the clarty roads...in the early 'fifties?

We used ti smash bits off the big lumps, the size of a bit of bubble-gum,and chew the bugga till wa eyes waata'd!

Those were thi days my friends!

Gie me love ti ya boss!

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Hi HPW, Yes we received your reply, Wor lass says Aah can be boss until she's aall mended! says thanks.

No we never made it past the dam, it was a long day for us going to Humford baths, towel and cossie in hand, trekking up through Blyth, Newsham and the prop yard, then through the fields, over the style and across the highway, more fields then the steppy stones, as you can guess there were lots of distractions! My first dive into the pool was my first lesson about the difference in density of sea water verses the non salty river water and it's non buoyancy! Aah thowt aah was niver cummin up!

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Aye Vic,aa droonded in the river blyth,up where thi "big bather" pool was,before yi get ti Humford.

Thi big lads aal went up there ti swim,used ti leet a fire on thi flat styen bankside,ti dry thasel oot.

Whey aa was aboot ten yeors aad,and helping thi big lads,[wi me aada Brother],ti build a dam owa thi waata,cos thi floods had weshed part of it away.

Next thing aa knaas is....aam bobbing aboot like a cork,gaan unda and swaalyin loads o' waata,and chowking.

Me last memory was seeing above the level of the waata,nose under thi waata,one of thi big lads,[aboot 14 years aad!],standing aside thi fire,and hearing me scream and gurgle on,diving inti thi waata and pulling me oot,and onto thi bankside.

After a got thi waata squashed oot o ' me lungs,and stopped coughing waata up,a went stryght back doon ti help thi lads wi thi dam!!

This wudda tekkin a haaf -oor probably,but mind,a can vividly remember every second,as if it was yistidi!

A had a few faal-ins,but nivvor as bad as that one,a wudda been fish-food if that lad hadn't saved me life,and aam forever grateful ti him.

Funny thing was,it waasn't owt startling ti anybody else,cos ivry bugga fell in the waata sometime in tha life,cos we were doon thi waata ivry otha day!!

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That reminds me,[off-topic again....but aal forget if a divvent say it noo!],Vic,ask your lovely lass if she can mind thi time a nearly killed mesel,and her Brother-in-law carried me,fireman's lift,owa his shoulder, aroond from Brian

Redp.'s hoose,[next door to her..],back to my hoose.

Brian,[me friend],and me,were aboot ten years aad,and poaching aroond in he's mother's kitchen draa's,looking for summick ti eat,cos we were both hungry.[rations were still on,and we were hard-up in them days!]

Aa found a smaal roond silvery tin wi a little hole in the side.

Brian told me it was Snuff,and I didn't knaa wat it was for.He told me the aad men sniffed it,and for me ti try it.

So,a sniffed,and couldn't smell owt.

Last thing a remember was,cocking me head up in the air,tekking one gud lang,hard,sniff,at this tin,and feeling a terrible burning pain down my throat,and in my lungs.

A collapsed on the floor choking for breath,and started vomiting aal owa the floor.

A crawled ti thi doorstep gasping for air,and Brian ran to your Lass's Mother's hoose screaming for help.A can mind seeing the road moving,as Aa was hanging upside doon owa thi fella's shoulder,and after that,it went blank.

Aav got no memory of whatever happened till a came aroond,so a divvent knaa if a went ti hospital or wat,but a dae naa a

was off school for aboot a week or more.

A canna remember having any after care at home...just a complete blank.

Mind,a learn't not ti gaan poachin in folk's drawers,even if me mates did!!

Aav even forgotten Joyce's man's name,shamedly!,but a have him ti thank forever more for saving me that day.

Later in life,down the pits,thi men used ti use snuff,cos they couldn't smoke doon the mine.

First time a ever dared ti try a pinch,just ti break my phobia aboot it,a kept it away from me nostrils,and gently sniffed,mind thi bugga was still red hot,nae wonder it nearly choked me.!

Happy days eh?!!

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Can anybody remember Mr Epsly buying an old 1948-ish car,for the metalwork students ti pull apart and learn how re-build

it.[aam saying old...it would only have been aboot eight years old,but in them days cars were ready for massive welding jobs,or scrapping!!]

This was in aboot 1957-8,and the Evening Chronicle,or Ashington Post,[not sure which..]ran an article aboot thi project,

making it oot ti be an exciting new way of educating students with hands-on capability......with a picture of Mr Epsly,and some of the pupils,standing with the bonnet open,looking interested....[they were the bully-boys I keep referring to.....]

Wat a load of tosh,and expensive P.R. for the new £240,000 school, that project was.....it never happened!!

That car stood till the grass was growing up the windaes!

A dae remember the carburettor was taken off,and lay in bits on the bench till aa left school,in 1959.

Another thing that sticks in my throat was the Electric motor project that aa had painstakingly built,cutting out,and hand-filing every single lamination,from sheet-iron plate, of the rotor,and stator,hand-riveting and smoothing them off ready to do the windings,months of hard labour,then when I went to my cupboard to get it,to take home on the day I left,finding that some spiteful thief,had taken it away,not even knowing what it was,cos I was the only one at the school that had

the gift of knowledge in electronics..every body knew that.

I wasn't much good at history and geography and the dreaded sports,but near top in technical drawing,science,and English.

Bottom,and I mean rock-bottom in Maths!

I think one of the lads who used to gang-bully..verbally,not physically,Me,may have taken it for spite and just chucked

it away.

Vic,it was only a D.C. three-pole rotor,but to wind it was gonna be an education for me,doing it,and the field coils

by hand.

Anybody who knaas owt aboot this please tell Northumbria police,so a can get a ....crime number........!

Mind,a wud love a copy of that photo for posterity,it wud be gud ti post up on here also.


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I am pleased it has stirred some memories Vic.

At a certain age it is nice to remember your old friends and fellow pupils.

Although I have to admit some names escape me.

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Westridge looks neglected ... almost as if it's waiting for the demolition men to arrive.  Maybe the 60 year-old buildings are now 'not fit for purpose' and need to be tumbled for new stuff to be built.

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Hi Maggie!

Lovely ti see thi aad schyuul,but very disheartening ti see hoo it's deteriorated since aa was there last,at a school prizegiving evening,ti see me Nephew's

Daughter receive her prize..a canny while back mind,and it wasn't in this state then!

Mind, a ownly went inti thi schyuul haal,and naewheor else.

My last proper memories of it was a very well-kept immaculate premises,only 3 yeors aad mind,from being built![so yi would expect it ti be kept nice!]

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Well I made it through the doors to the OAP party.

Photos not allowed.

Child protection issues.

Anyone caught would be thrown out.

Thing is the kids themselves were doing 'selfies'

Strange times!

What memories !

There is now a lift from outside Mr Hemmings office up to the old cookery rooms.

Maybe they can now access the library and other rooms.

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Westridge now August 2014

Heh heh!!

                "Reserved for headmaster" bay!

When aa started.....IN 1956...[!], tha was nae car parking,cos nae bugga had cars!..[or,if they DID,they were left at yem!!]

Aal thi teachers waaked up thi road ti school,syem as us!

Mr Cook..[?],who was the woodwork teacher,came inti thi yard on he's aad green "Sunbeam" in-line twin motorbike and sidecar combination.

It was a gud aad workhorse,but cars?....definately not!

A used ti speak ti Mr Freeman,our maths teacher,on he's way doon past thi Market Place,gaan doon Vulcan Place,after school hours,carrying he's briefcase,lang after aa left school,and was working doon Choppington High Pit by then!

Everything was absoloutely pristine in the school grounds,in them days,having been newly built and landscaped,worthy  of being photographed!

It's sad ti see it noo,lukking dilapidated!

The two class pics musta been aboot 1960-ish,cos a recognise a few faces among the lasses,who were in my class,in 1959,when aa left school.

Aa was in the Upper Remove when a left...[the G.C.E. stream.].....stupid name for a class aa thowt,.....it suggests yi were removed from class for being a baddie....methinks!

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Maggie,dae yi not think that sumbody in high places have created this culture where they've poisoned thi ordinary affectionate folks like us....

....child issues...! ...one time yi cud stop and coo ti a bonny babby in a pram,even used ti put a peice of silver in it's little hand.....noo yi daren't even think of it

or yi might be regarded as a ..............

Aam pleased we lived and played,and grew up in the times when we did.....hard up,but sociable and friendly,and affectionate with one another....

.....mainly cos everywhere was  mining communities with a close bond.[ a knaa not ivry body was,a said mainly...which was aboot reet...!]

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I agree HPW.

Life has changed and ( in some cases) not for the better.

My life here was surrounded by kind and inspirational people .

Simple humanitarian principals.

Often an act of kindness can be viewed with suspicion these days.

In Bedlington and many mining areas kindness was survival.

People shared and cared for their neighbours as well as their own family.

In current speak it is simple!

'Feeling Blessed '

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Correct Tony!

Shaft-drive,and water-cooled engine,no cooling fins like air-cooled motors have,just a solid-looking lump of metal,long-stroke-high torque,but purred along

like a sewing machine!

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Maggie,spot-on,and in full sympathy with my view of how it was, and how it is now!

Nobody even seems  to want eye-contact nowadays,I speak to anybody that passes me,whether they have a dog,[which I usually have],or even just standing at a bus stop!....sometimes I get a queer look....as if I was about to attack them or summik.......[at 70 years old!!!]

I think one dog-owner was right in his views about evolution.....thoosands of years time,people will be born with only two thumbs...and no fingers!

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Westridge looks neglected ... almost as if it's waiting for the demolition men to arrive.  Maybe the 60 year-old buildings are now 'not fit for purpose' and need to be tumbled for new stuff to be built.

Excuse the ignorance but does anyone know if there are any plans for the development of Westridge?

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