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mickypotts

Westridge Class Pictures From The 60,s

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What seems to be driving this thread are the few photos that are being published ... they are quite rare. We think that there were tons of cameras owned by folks back then - even as late as the 60s - but they weren't that commonly used ... cost of buying them and cost of film/processing was maybe beyond most working family budgets. What we tend to see are photos from schools or works (or photo booths or beach snappers) that were done on contract and then made available to the punters. But again budgets must have been tight even for those school photos, including group shots and individual snaps. Thankfully my parents were just able to scrape the few shillings needed so I do have a few. However, the most important one I remember must have been lost in a house move 'cos when I went to clear my Mum's house after she died I couldn't find it.

Spot on, Symptoms. I thought I had lost my school photos but found them by pure accident in a box in the outhouse. But a lot of people in my class, whom I met across the years, said their mams had thrown them out when they got older. I put my Woody School photos on Friends Reunited and found some others there - those Westridge photos were also on that site. I would suggest others scope it out. There is another site purely for school photos, but as you say they are rare and this other site can only publish photos that have been submitted and are available. Wards photography shop at Bedlington must have had tons of them - or at least the negatives. I did evening classes at the High School many years ago and they had a wall full of old class mates. There must be more photos out there hidden away.

Edited by keith lockey

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I recently spotted a note on the Northumberland County Council's archive site that all the Westridge records were transferred to High School (I think ... but will check). Maybe they have a vault full of the old school snaps or perhaps the NCC archive might have them ... I might contact them next week to see what they have and what they may give out.

Are there any Members here who have good contacts with the archive bods?

Further to my earlier post about the rarity of old snaps and Maggie's point about the 'old gits'. I'm not sure that many/most folks in their 60s or 70s are 'online' to see these posts and be tempted to dig-out and share snaps ... maybe I'm wrong. How about all the younger Members here going to nag their parents/grannies to look in the photo 'shoebox' to see what's there?

Get the oldies to talk and share their tales before they croak. I did this with my most of my elders and it proved to be invaluable when I researched the family tree; about 10 years ago I also got my Mum to annotate the back of all the photos in her shoebox and this has proved to be so useful.

Edited by Symptoms

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Hi Maggie,and everyone else on here!

I'm an old Westridge git,one of the pioneers,seeing as Mr Davidson,our social studies teacher at the old Whitley

School,took us up during the building of Westridge,to walk around the site,asking questions to the workmen,even up on the scaffolding gangways....health and safety?!!!!!....not even thought of them days.

We had to write essays on what we had seen and learnt on the site,the following week.

I remember vividly being up on the first lift of scaffolding,asking one fella with a funny-looking machine strapped to his chest,with a cranking handle on the side,like a hurdy-gurdy,and he was spraying the mineral ash

chippings onto adhesive which was already applied to the walls,this was around the back of the building.

The front had wood cladding on the upper half,is it still like that yet?

Noo!!as for being a pioneer,i started the first day it opened and was sent home along with 499 other pupils,cos the stationery hadn't arrived,so we started officially the next day.

That was in August 1956,after the school holidays were over...we got four weeks then,but the Grammar School got six weeks,then when Westridge started,we got six weeks also,cos the idea was to upgrade the standards of education

in a Comprehensive School,to be on a par with that of the Grammar Schools,G.C.E.Exams etc...so the holidays fell in line also.

Westridge was the first new Comprehensive School to be built in Northumberland since the War ended in 1945.

It cost £250,000 to build!.....wor aad coalhoose at West Terrace varny cost that much later on!!

Mr Hemming introduced all the Staff who were sitting in a line on the stage behind him,and he had us Whitley kids

baffled with talk of the "Vestibule",and the "Gymnasium",also the "Biology laboratory",we were simple-minded

Whitley School 12-year-olds who hadn't heard of these things before!

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High Pit - just a point of clarification: Westridge wasn't a Comprehensive School, it was a Secondary Modern.

The Tripartite system under the 1944 Eductaion act created, Grammar Schools, Technical Schools, and Secondary Modern Schools; entry to the first two was a pass at the 11+ test. I'm not sure if Northumberland CC implemented the Technical School part. The widespread changes towards Comprehensives started in the early 70s although in some parts of the country it happened much earlier, eg. Inner London had some Comprehensives in the 50s. I think that there are just a handful of areas that resisted and still cling onto the 11+ system to this day!

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HPW, I gather from your profile you're a biker too, R. E. if I'm not mistaken, good on yah! West Terrace, that has to be at Stakeford. My maternal family are from East Terrace (No 30 to be precise) and I went to Stakeford school myself from '55 - '62.

Symp, that was Helen Hurst for definite. Was Mary in our Geography class because I cant remember the taller girls name? Helen Hurst was very tiny probably only 5 foot tall.

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Here's another one to keep us going. Fifth Year group from 1966/7 - notice the Prefect lapel badges.

Again, help with missing names please.

post-894-0-11872800-1362328498_thumb.jpg

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And a couple more. These two are rehearsals for prize-giving evening, again 1966/7. The second photo shows the Headmaster George (Geordie) Hemmings.

As to other names ... fill-in the blanks folks.

post-894-0-70953000-1362329668_thumb.jpg

post-894-0-88802000-1362329673_thumb.jpg

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I'm on a roll here folks ...

Photos of the School Karting Club, snapped in 66 at the back of the 'new' sportshall. Taffy Williams was the Metalwork teacher and organiser of the club.

In the second snap I can't remember the names of the little guy with specs in the centre or the little guy on the right.

Note to GGG - is it possible to upload video here? I've got quite a bit of us Westridge lads racing the karts up at Boulmer as part of the Northumberland School Karting Association. My Dad, one of a number of volunteer dads who had cars to take us up to Boulmer in convoy, had a 8mm film camera. When my Mum died I got reels and reels of his stuff transferred to DVD ... what a suprise I had when I discovered the karting footage.

post-894-0-41567000-1362330132_thumb.jpg

post-894-0-32022600-1362330141_thumb.jpg

Edited by Symptoms
  • Like 1

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These last 4 pics are some of my class, and others, 1st pic next to #8 is John Bowman, little guy in right side front row below #5 is Charlie Roberts

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I think the lad on the far left on picture 2 is David Wilkinson, we were the best of mates, sadly he died that year of yellow Jaundice, his mother has passed the year before of the same ailment.

2nd from right on same pic is John??? he stayed on after his year left and joined our class to take O levels again

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sorry guys, that was keith Wilkinson in the pic not David

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Well!Where do i start?!

First,Symptoms,on the first day that Westridge officially opened -August 1959-i was a 12 yr old kid with no knowledge of School politics.

All i know is,Mr Hemming made his introductory speech,told us how much the school cost,that we should all be very proud to be here on the first day,on the opening of the first comprehensive school to be built in Northumberland,since before the war.[the war was only 11 years gone by!!!]

Now,it's official name was "Westridge County Secondary School"["modern" didn't come into it!-although you are right in that it was referred to in the press etc as a "Modern" school.

I still have my School reports,and also my embroidered uniform badge from my jacket pocket,which has the school name on it,and the school motto "De Profundis" [as discussed before on this site],along

the bottom edge of the badge.

I wonder how many of these badges survived from that day!

At the time,they just moved loads of kids from all the neighbouring schools [500 in total],and turned the other schools into Junior schools.

I can remember that day as if it was yesterday,a ginger lad standing next to me,from Netherton school,

[a stranger],in the morning assembly,just before Mr Hemming started his speech,spoke to me,and said "Hallowww Killer!"

That started a good friendship with the lad,who lived at Westlea...his name was John Moore,i wonder if Dougie Moore [deputy at Netherton colliery],was any relation......

Noo,Lone Ranger!I am puzzled as to what significance being a pupil at Westridge,is,to being a pitman at Choppington High Pit?!!!

I will answer your question gladly,if you clarify your question for me please!

Orloff,spot on wi West Terrace,also the R.E.in my Avatar...my Dream Machine since the 1960's.

Unfortunately,i never got my test back then,spent my 5 shillings pocket money on a guitar,so that was

my Dream Machine out of the question!

Noo,nearly 69 in July coming,i been a born-again biker for the last two years...done 3000miles on my little pocket-rocket!

Honda CBR125RW-7 [2008 MODEL]Pokey little thing!![bit different to the putt-putts of the sixties!]

Canna place ya family at East terrace,we knew everybody when they were pit hooses,great little community wi a lot o' spirit!! all gone now....thanks to maggie thatcher-the-hatcheter.

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HPW, My grandad was Bob Hall, was at High Pit, then Bomersund for who he played footie, he had four kids. Tommy, Doreen (my mum), Bobby and Margeret. Bob died in 1955 when I was 4, his wife (my grandma) Gretta nee Clarke died in about 1962/3.

Love your stories tho!

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HPW, forgot to add that my Grandma moved to Ellsmere Gardens in 1955 after Granda died. Istill miss him.

Don't get me started on Thatcher!

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Thanks Micky - I'd already clocked Keith in the 1st pic ... the second one was a shuffled pack of lads - mainly the same guys and snapped on the same day; ditto John Harmeson. Keith was a canny lad and would have been 60 this year ... I remember he had a hair-lip.

Micky is that your brother Jimmy in the earlier photo of Ford Castle that I posted in this thread (Westridge5)?

Edited by Symptoms

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The LH Photo.

Teacher Back Row Left is Mrs Woodman ( Geography ) married to WOODY`s SCHOOL games teacher , obviously Mr Woodman

4th Row. Martin Henderson , Paul Hewish, Simon Temple , Melvyn Jamieson , John Hewish , ? , Joe Lees

3rd Row. John X , ? , ? , Susan Lindsey , ? , Alan Henderson ( Popular Grove ) , ?

2nd Row. ? ,? , ? , Caroline X , ? , Dave Morris , Malcom X ( Nick Name ..Talc ) , ?

Frt Row. Janet Common , ? , ? , Michael Gibb , ? , Veronica Chadwick , ? , Helen Hirst

The RH Photo.

The only name I can add is the teacher in the middle.....Mr Carr - Biology

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Maggie,

Were you at Westridge with the likes of Kieth Barras, Ann Crosbie etc.? Because if you were you will know my sister Margaret, nickname Blossom I believe.

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And a couple more. These two are rehearsals for prize-giving evening, again 1966/7. The second photo shows the Headmaster George (Geordie) Hemmings.

As to other names ... fill-in the blanks folks.

I sent the photos off to Martin Henderson. Martin and wife(ex Westridge also) replied :-

Number 1 on westr1ithnames

Westridge 1

post-3031-0-22309800-1370550389_thumb.jp

Number 1 Martin Henderson

2 Barbara Ridge

3 Susan Lindsay

4 Michael Routledge

5 Paul Hewish

6 Melvyn Jamieson.

directly behind Melvyn is Carole Johnstone

to left of numbers 4 & 5 is Brian Corner

to right of Susan (3) is Marjorie Mayes

Westridge3:-

post-3031-0-55399500-1370550413_thumb.jp

Front Row. reading left to right

Carole Johnstone, Irene Ellison, Martin Henderson, Paul Hewish, Barbara Ridge, Michael Routledge, Melvyn Jamieson.

Middle row

Judith Oliver, Susan Lindsay, Yvonne Thompson, Marjorie Mayes.

Top row

Shirley Andrews, Alan Temple, Ann Graham, Brian Corner, Helen Hurst.

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Eggy - it's good to hear that you're in contact with Martin and Susan (childhood sweethearts). I'll amend the 'master' photos.

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Eggy - it's good to hear that you're in contact with Martin and Susan (childhood sweethearts). I'll amend the 'master' photos.

Martin = 1, of 27, of the direct descendant cousins on the Henderson line.

If you think there is anything else they (+ his two older sisters that both went to Westridge) can help with let me know and I will ask.

Edited by Eggy1948

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Both Martin and Susan were in the same class as me throughout our time at Westridge. I last spoke to Martin was on Percy Street, Newcastle, in 1970 ... I'd just arrived off the King's Cross train and was walking up to the Haymarket to catch a bus for the onward journey to my parent's place (alas, no longer Bedders). The last time I saw Susan was at a party in Bedlington Station (she was with Martin) in 1967 ... I think it might have been a school leaving party... it could even have been in her home (did she live at B/Station?). Martin, if memory serves me correctly, lived at West Lee.

Eggs - I'll send you a personal message through the Forum with my name and contact details which you might like to pass on to Martin & Susan; it would be great to hear directly from them.

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