School day memories

Gazette reader Dougie Hedley wrote to the paper after seeing this picture published last week.

Friday, 2nd December 2016, 8:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 2:56 pm
Mr Les Bell from Bartley, county Durham (formerly Seahouses) sent this picture of Alnwick County Modern School back in 1950, he is pictured fourth from right, middle row.

It was sent in by former Seahouses resident Les Bell, who wanted to find out more about those in the picture.

Dougie was a pupil at the Alnwick County Modern School in 1951, but was not in the same class.

He recalled that the class was Form VII from that year and could name all but three of those pictured.

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Alnwick historian Adrian Ions also popped in to the Gazette offices and managed to add in the missing names to have a complete set.

Back: left to right, Bobby Dodds; John Waddle; Evelyn McQueen; Pat Matthews; Anne Robson; Joan Bright; Eileen Burns; Vera Drisdale; George Besford.

Middle: Adrian Ions; Derick Donison; Michael Sergeant; Hugh McLaughlan; Alan Hall; Brian Johnston; Les Bell; Freddie Goodyear; Gerry Swordy; Brian Earl.

Front: Rodah Robinson; Helen Marshall; Geraldine Tully; Rosie Snaith; Sheila Holland (holding the board in the middle); Ann Brotherwick; Freda Hattle; Jean Hush; Joan Peeps.

Seated on the ground at the front of the picture are Brian Chrisp and Alan Cairns.

Dougie, who regularly contributes poems to the Gazette, added that he had fond memories of his time at the school.

He said that a number of those in the picture are now living in Australia. Geraldine Tully is in Wollongong near Syndey, while Vera Drisdale is in Elizabeth near Adelaide. Margaret Snaith is also in Australia in the Sydney area, and Brian Chrisp is in the Melbourne area.

Dougie added: “My wife and I visited them all when we were living in Australia from 1969 to December 1973.”

Adrian added that the headteacher at the school at the time was Mr Thompson.

He started school life in Felton and then went on to the County Modern School.

He said: “I used to lodge with the Stephenson family, a lovely family, in Greensfield Avenue and I used to go through the back hedge straight on to the playing field.

“When you were at that school you knew what was coming next – National Service when you were 18.”

Adrian joined the RAF and went to the Arabian gulf.

Do you remember anything more about the Alnwick County Modern School in the 1950s, or about this picture? We would love to hear from you.

Contact Helen Millichamp on 01665 602234, 07803505723, or email [email protected]

If you have any old pictures that you would like to share with us, or if you have any that you are hunting for more information about, we would love to publish them.

You can drop pictures off at the Northumberland Gazette office in 32 Bondgate Without, Alnwick, or send them to Helen Millichamp, Northumberland Gazette, 32 Bondgate Without, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1PN.