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Alan Edgar (Eggy1948)

Westridge - End of term class photos

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No problem Eggy.  It was an attempt to show that all  the smarties had not ended up at grammar school. At first there was straight forward A,B and C classes in all years. Then they realised that kids don,t all mature at the same age and the ones that showed potential as they got older were "removed" above the A kids. Finally sraying on at school for an extra year and ending up in form five  and took GCEs. Which I did in 1961 and really owed Westridge a lot as it set me up for life.

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10 minutes ago, bluebarby said:

No problem Eggy.  It was an attempt to show that all  the smarties had not ended up at grammar school. At first there was straight forward A,B and C classes in all years. Then they realised that kids don,t all mature at the same age and the ones that showed potential as they got older were "removed" above the A kids. Finally sraying on at school for an extra year and ending up in form five  and took GCEs. Which I did in 1961 and really owed Westridge a lot as it set me up for life.

Cheers Bluebarby never knew they did that. So where the Bedlington Station Secondary Modern late developers sat the 13+ and had the chance to join the Grammar School, the Westridge school saved the 'Remove' pupils having to move school.

Pity today's education secretaries can't see that what was done in the 60's - 13+ and Remove forms etc. is a good way of allowing kids to develop at their own pace. Don't think I would ever agree with the current system of forcing kids at 6 years old to sit SATS (Standard Assessment Tests). Can you imagine if they take that a further level and the junior schools have A, B & possibly C streams!

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Hi Blue Barby!

The school Headmaster,and Mr Platts,[Nothumberland Schools Governer] as well as Mr Freeman,[maths],Mr Johnson,[science],all tried for an hour,in the Headmaster's office,to persuade me to stay on for the extra year,to take G.C.E.'S ,but I was adamant not to,and so left at fifteen,and went down the pit!...that was in 1959.

I was an electronics whizzkid,at 14 yrs,but bottom for Maths,which was a compulsory subject,so I left.

Plus,a certain element of my class,one of whom was the Northumberland champion Runner [T.H],verbally bullied me for a year or two,and I told no-one...not a soul!

Only my classmates knew and they used to encourage me to ignore the lot of the bullies,who,incidentally,were cowards when on thier own!!

One of them was a good cricketer,at 14yrs old,[batsman],and I often see the same name in the sports page of the Leader,and wonder if it is his Son who is on the team....[I. CAMBELL]

SO after all that,I was pleased to see the back of Westridge,the day I left,in the summer of 1959!

I am wondering how you left in 1961,after staying on the extra year?

Got me puzzled....typo?

Heh heh!,I often wonder how everybody got on in life,and if the bullies had kids who were bullied themselves,what they would be saying to them!

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13 hours ago, HIGH PIT WILMA said:

 

I am wondering how you left in 1961,after staying on the extra year?

 

When Westridge first opened in 57 I was in the second year, I should have left in 1960 but stayed on until summer 61. 

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Ah!

NOO! ,wa getting sumwheor!

Ye see,aa started when Westridge school opened its doors for the very first day,full stop!......in 1956,after the four weeks school holidays!

When ye left school,in 1961,aa was alriddy daeing a man's job,for a man's full pay,doon Choppington High Pit,and had been for two years![nowt proud ti be bragging aboot,just a plain simple true fact!]

Thi first pitman who was ever in charge of me for the statutory 20-day period of close personal supervision just happened to be a canny fella

caaled Pat..[Patrick] Purcell....who was the Father of one of my Upper Remove classmates,a lovely lass caaled........Pat Purcell!

She was a clever lass,and I think she stayed on for her GCE exams..leaving in 1960.

Noo a nivvor wanted ti dae this but aam gaana hev ti ti prove me integrity,against all those who must think aa divvent knaa hoo owld I am,and wat day a started a new school!

So here we go!

Classmates in the remove class..[first the bullying gang who were also good athletes and sportsmen],Trevor Hale,gangleader!,Ian Cambell,Jimmy Scott,Billy Brown,[me Hollymount Square neighbour and friend],......then....Eddie Hedley..[nice lad!],Mickey Lucas,[Seargant Lucas's Son],[gud mate!],Derek McGregor,[ditto],Barry [?]........

...then me ex-Whitley School mates.....Bob Cross..[brilliant actor and student,had a part as a Shotfirer in a coalmine in a weekly drama called "The Stars Look Down",on TYNE-TEES Television,...his Father was an Overman down Choppington High Pit!],Dennis Green..[his Dad was Engineer in charge of Bedlington A pit],Martin Nicholson,,Myself....[a mr nobody!], a big ginger lad called Len Thompson,[a real nice lad!],.....I think,[may be mistaken mind!],that Councillor Alan Stewart,was also there,[he was in my old infants and Whitley Memorial  classes all through school life!].Noo,the lasses were...Pat Purcell,Isobel Bowman,Rosemary Oliver,Lynne Hayes,Joan Hogg,Joan Henderson,Lorna Barker,Joan Holdsworth,........to mention a few,not forgetting my class teacher Mr Marley.

Can you never remember one solitary lad who always went into the science Lab at every breaktime,to mess about with old valve pre-war radio sets,and

electronic stuff?..that was me!......any stuff from the domestic science classes that needed repairing,such clothes irons,and also the stage multi-plugs etc,for drama productions,all came to me during my science lessons with Mr Johnson,he would tell the girls or whoever,to "take it across to Bill and he will fix it..".......I was about 14 yrs old at the time,and Mr Johnson put his full trust in my skills with Electricity and electronic stuff![and I wish he was still here to bear me out!]

One day,when the Grand National ,[or some big Horse race] was on the radio,I was in the science lab during break,as usual,when Trevor Hale and he's gang...[!!!!!!]

came and threatened to fill me in if I didn't let them in to the lab,[door was locked by me,on Mr Johnson's orders],cos they wanted me to fix up a radio I was building

with Mr Johnson's help.[to listen to the big race,as they had bets on........!]

I had to submit,cos they were gonna smash the glass to get in.

They came in,I got the radio tuned in,[this was an experimental project...open chassis-valves-high voltages!..and speaker just lying open on the bench.].....and just because his horse lost,Trevor went mental and picked up a big screwdriver,and rammed it repeatedly through the paper cone of the speaker,destroying it completely.

When Mr Johnson came back from the common room,after dinner break,and saw the speaker,he asked me wat had happened.

I remember being ashamed for saying that I didn't know,cos he had trusted leaving the key in the door for me to lock when he was out.

He asked if I had let anyone in and of course I pleaded ignorant.After that,Mr Johnson wouldn't allow me to stay in the lab without his presence,and he was always still very amiable with me,like old mates once the soldering iron was on and we were building projects.

I think he knew I was taking the rap for someone else,and as all the years went by,I hoped some day that I would see him,and have a good old man to man with him again..about old times,but sadly,never got the chance.

Trev,if you ever come on here ,be a man,give an apology,and let's have a laugh at how stupid we all were when we young!

R.I.P. Frank Johnson..my mentor in electronics.

Noo,I was nearly top for English,Technical Drawing,Science,Metalwork,Music,.....but bottom,and I mean BOTTOM!,,for Mathematics...with just 4% in the final year exams,so I left in 1959,and went straight down the Pit....following all my Family heritage.["Number Dyslexia" I called it.....just couldn't grasp Logarithms!]

The first day at Westridge lasted about an hour,with Mr Hemming telling us [all 500 pupils],that we were being sent home,because the Stationer's had renaged on thier contract,and we had no books,no pens ,no art  materials,no registers,......nothing!

So we started properly the next day,and just wandered about the whole place to familiarise ourselves with the School's layout.

Were you there that day,Barby?.....of course you weren't,cos this was in 1956!!.......NOW!,can we put the matter to bed!

Cheers Marra!

Let's not forget that buildings and big infrastructure projects,like town relief roads etc,open far in advance of the "Official" opening date,and I think that's how there

is a bit confusion about Westridge...but definitaley 1956!

Edited by HIGH PIT WILMA

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An apology would be nice HPW

These people may now be good citizens who wish they had treated people fairly.

 

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What your saying HPW is that Mr Marley, your class teacher at Westridge was actually moonlighting at Stalag Luft Guide Post teaching us first year lot history. Not only that but Mr Eadington the wood work teacher was at it too!!!! Both these guys moved from Guide Post to Westridge when it opened in 1957. Both taught me at Stalag Luft Guide Post in 1956.

Your list of names brought back memories though. I took over Len Thompson's paper round at West Lea for 35 bob a week.

Sorry HPW you can put it to bed how you like but in the morning it will still be 1957.

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While we are sorting out the anomalies about the opening of Westridge lets talk about what really went on. What actually happened was that not all that pupils were sent home on the first day. Just the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years. The first year pupils stayed put. The school opened on the Tuesday after 6 weeks of holiday not 4 and in 1957, Teachers do not like to work the day after they have been idle, so all years were sent home except the first year. Second year was told to come back on the Wednesday, (I spent the rest of Tuesday fishing off the steeths at Cambois with kanga worms left of Sunday.) third year on the Thursday and fourth year on the Friday. So by the following Monday all was well!

 

My ex-miner friends tell me that anyone in the 60's would not be on full pay until they were at least 21. I cant argue with that as I was never down the pit, they were. All I know is that pit nationalised pit yakkas were on twice as much as private enterprise apprentices. 1961 I was on £2-17/6 for a 44 hour week. Apprentices at the pit doing the same job were on twice that for 4 hours less! No wonder they pulled the girls and we got nowt! 

 

So you see HPW, I was there on the first day all be it just a couple of hours but I sure was there on the second day.

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This is a photo of Mr Marleys production of Julius Ceaser, not quite sure what year this is though.

JS 001.jpg

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Hi Foxy

If you look very closely you will see that Sandra is on the Julius Ceaser photo too. 

I thought I would put them on blank just to see how names many others could get. I can name all but 4 on the Middle Remove photo and about half on the other one.

If any one would like to number them up they are quite welcome, I don't have time this next couple of weeks or so.

BB

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Numbers added to both photos and I have passed them on to Una to see how many she can remember.

Do you mind if I share these with Joan Muckian (don't know if that's maiden name) on the Bedlington Remembered & Bygone Bedlington Facebook sites? Joan is the one who has shared the the last 3 or 4 I have added to the Gallery on this site.

Middle Remove 1959

Middle Remove 1959 numbered.jpg

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Do what you will with them, they are part of our history and should be shared.

BB

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To get the year for the Julius Ceaser photo it will take someone with a good memory. 

In 1961 the play for GCE English literature was Macbeth (I know that because to this day I see daggers in front of my eyes, trees with legs and scared of women with pointy hats)

I think but cant be certain that the 1960 play was A Midsummer Night's Dream and 1959 was Julius Ceaser. 

Any guesses? 

BB

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46 minutes ago, bluebarby said:

To get the year for the Julius Ceaser photo it will take someone with a good memory. 

In 1961 the play for GCE English literature was Macbeth (I know that because to this day I see daggers in front of my eyes, trees with legs and scared of women with pointy hats)

I think but cant be certain that the 1960 play was A Midsummer Night's Dream and 1959 was Julius Ceaser. 

Any guesses? 

BB

No alternative date offered - just a few names :-

Mr Marley's Julius Ceasar production c1960 named.jpg

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well Eggy 1948 as our maths teacher Froggy Freeman would have said "ummmm 4/28 MTH" 

Mind you I am not a lot better and I was in the flaming play! 

2. Brian watson

3. ?? Goodall

8. John Wilson

10 Janet Brewis

11 Frankie Moreland? 

12 George Mitcheson

13 Winifred ???

14 Ann Charlton

15 Helen Tryer

16 Mick Riley

20 Sandra Short

22 Una Henderson

29 Isobel Clough

Bob Cross was Mark Anthony but for some reason he is not in the photo.

Well, I got 13/28 NGE

BB

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On 15/05/2016 at 12:06, Eggy1948 said:

Numbers added to both photos and I have passed them on to Una to see how many she can remember.

Do you mind if I share these with Joan Muckian (don't know if that's maiden name) on the Bedlington Remembered & Bygone Bedlington Facebook sites? Joan is the one who has shared the the last 3 or 4 I have added to the Gallery on this site.

Middle Remove 1959

Middle Remove 1959 numbered.jpg

May be I can do better with these lot!

1, Geoff Cross, (Bob Cross's brother) 2, Raymond Lee, 3 Ken Allison, 4, ???? 5, John Wilson 6, Lyal Gray 7 George Mitcheson(6 Plessy Street, Netherton.)8 John Sharp (used to live in the 'tute' at Netherton) 9 Michael Mills 10 George Railton 11 MikeRiley 12 Peter Carter 13 John Storey 14 ???? 15 Helen Tryer 16 Ann Marsh 17 John 'Rockey' Thornton 18 Una Henderson 19 Maurice Sparrow 20 Brian Moore (17 Third Street Netherton) 21 Colin Hutchinson 22 Tom Logan  23 Ann Oakley 24 Tom Middlemass 25 ??? Brown 26 Ann Charlton 27 ????? 28????? 29 Janet Lyall 30 ???? 31 Sylvia Charlton 32 Christine Sutcliffe 33 Isobel Clough 34 Froggy Freeman (Maths teacher, nice bloke RIP) 35 Margaret Gibson 36 Lynda Mathews 37 ??? 38 Winifred ???? 39 Sandra Short 40 Janet Brewis. 

BB

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As an aside to this, No3 on Mr Nicholson's class photo is not John Storey as he is No 13 on the Middle Remove Photo. 

BB 

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15 hours ago, bluebarby said:

To get the year for the Julius Ceaser photo it will take someone with a good memory. 

In 1961 the play for GCE English literature was Macbeth (I know that because to this day I see daggers in front of my eyes, trees with legs and scared of women with pointy hats)

I think but cant be certain that the 1960 play was A Midsummer Night's Dream and 1959 was Julius Ceaser. 

Any guesses? 

BB

Una could not be certain of the year but her thoughts, that she is happy to post, are :-

"Hello, I remember (as part of the crowd) taking up the chant,"Beware the Ides of March". I left at the end of 1960. so it had to be during 1960 or 59. I'd put money on 1959 as we did very little in the School hall in 1960 because a tv was set up to follow as much of the olympic games as allowable. Could that narrow it down. I also remember A Midsummers Night Dream.  I think A class mate of mine, Janet Lyle, was Puck. Why do you think Bluebarby should be a bloke? I'd love to meet him/her.

Cheers, Una x"

 

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Blue Barby a bloke? Now that's a novelty! I think the genuine, real Iam, Blue Barby would differ with you there!

BB

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12 hours ago, bluebarby said:

Blue Barby a bloke? Now that's a novelty! I think the genuine, real Iam, Blue Barby would differ with you there!

BB

There you go, when I passed the photo's on to wor Una I did comment '....the fella that posted these photos...' but as you can see from her response she questioned my assumption - ....' Why do you think Bluebarby should be a bloke? I'd love to meet him/her. Cheers, Una x'

 All I know about Westridge is a) some of my relatives, Henderson's, and one E. E. Hall went there - b ) long walk from the gate to the school - c) much better to turn off the road the other way and go into The Ridge Farm for a carvery.

No more names to add, from the bedlington facebook postings, so I will post them to a wider audience on the sixtownships site.

   

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HI BB! Thanks for your comments,though I don't see the need to degenerate the discussion by using derogatory terms for the miners[pit-yakka's],who kept the country going through it's worst periods in British history.

No offence to me personally cos I have skin like bell-metal!!

Anyway,Julius Caesar above,was the second edition....so to speak!

We did that in 1958,with Trevor Hale as Brutus,Len Thompson as Cassius,Me as Publius..[with two lines!],Bob Cross as Mark Antony,Lynn Hayes as Portia,Micky Lucas

as the Soothsayer...["Beware the Ides of March...."].....and still racking my brain....!!!!

Mr Marley was pulling his hair oot,trying ti get HPW [Publius],to use proppa English for my two lines!!

....as the soothsayer approaches Caesar.....my line was...."Sirrah.....give place"....[forcefull...slightly middle-to-upward inflection....]

My version......."Sirraa.....give plaaace.."..[typical northumbrian downward threatening inflection!!....not what Mr Marley wanted!!]

"Good morrow,Caesar".........[happy bright greeting!]

HPW..."Gud morra Ceeza"!!!!!! [dull moronic tone ....being forced ti dae summik a didn't want ti dae!]

Mr Marley just had to live wi it,the audience nivvor tuk nae notice of it anyway!

Micky Lucas is number 5 above,Derek Goodall is number 3,and a cud be wrang,but number 1 is the spit of Ted Smout,who's Dad had the first bookie's in Bedlington

and  was an instructor in the training gallery at Bedlington A pit.

It wud be the second time for Bob Cross and Micky Lucas,on this photo;Isobel Clough and Me played together as little bairns,and I later worked beside her Dad

at Choppington High Pit.

Sandra Short was in my class all the way from the infant school at the Market Place in Bedlington.

Aal the kids in Middle Remove bar Geoff Cross,and Tom Logan,Rocky Thornton,are unknown to me,as I left in 1959.

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