Days of ’hope and glory

Stanhope Road Secondary School in the snow in February 1972.
Stanhope Road Secondary School in the snow in February 1972.
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School days can be a bit of a “Marmite” subject, with some people loving them and others loathing them.

But when we posted a 1972 photo of Stanhope Road Secondary School on Facebook recently, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive – apart from the steps.

Barry Feetham said: “Great schools, went to infants, juniors and seniors, 49 to 59. Lived in the same street as the school, Revesby Street” while Mary Oliver told how she “went to all three schools, left in 70. Used to walk to and from school under the bridge in West Way, and when it snowed there used to be massive icicles hanging down under the bridge. I used to worry in case they dropped off and landed on my head lol.”

Nathan Gray took to social media to say: “Loved that place. Absolutely huge! Went there when it was a community centre before demolition.”

Susan Sybenga recalled going “to the infants and juniors in the late 70s. The secondary school was a community centre by this time.

Fantastic schools and teachers.

Trevor Ord posted: “Went to Stanhope infants and juniors. Many years after leaving I got a phone call from Mr Coates to do some electrical work in his house in Simonside. He told me to call him Stan, I couldn’t do it. He was a hard taskmaster but a very, very good teacher.”

Peter Longstaff talked about: “Mr Stanton’s green and black army, loved playing for the school team. Learned to swim in the Olympic-size swimming pool, also had the best school teacher Mr Bailey, happy days, fantastic school.”

Ann Cooper revealed how: “I was in the juniors in 80s and my children went there too. Can anyone remember the headteacher Mrs Mitchell, we always thought her office was haunted.”

Maria McDonald Searle said: “Yep I went there for a few years, about 72. Took the first part of 11+ then they stopped it, gutted, I thought I’d done really well too.”

Gloria Lawlan tells how she “went to that school, loved it, a lot of memories” while Paul Allan said: “Went there in the early 80s, loved the place.”

Elizabeth Boyle spoke of “Happy memories of this school, 1953 to 1963, I walked there every day, no matter the weather.”

June Pearce said: “Did not have far to walk as I lived in Whitehall Street, my name then was June Pescod” while Margaret Todd spoke of “great memories of this school, was there until 1977 when it was changed to West Park.”

The old photo (which encouraged Melanie Jane Corrigan to post: “Wow that was the year I was born”) attracted more than 10,000 views, prompting even more of you to share your memories.

Mark Welch to how she: “Went to that school in the 80s” while Agnes George told how she: “left in 1969. I was 15, and went straight to work at John Colliers.”

Gavin Hope said: “I only went to the juniors but the building is familiar.”

Ann Southern asked Fred, Billy, Nathan and Gary Southern if they had “any fond memories dear brothers?” while Sylvia Neilson had her own question – “was there a baths at the back?”

And what about the slippery steps?

Chris Barron explains how the “‘Stanhope Steps’ behind this building were a sheet of ice early 80s, painful but funny” while Sherry Coutts said: “Yep those steps were lethal” and Debra Bone admitted: “I hated those steps too.”

Jacqueline Jobes took to Facebook to say: “Aw that was my school, I loved it, I was Jacqueline Dowell then – those steps were a killer though” and Joan Emmerson told how she: “chased my friend around the play ground and slipped over on my face smashing my front teeth in 1976, I had crowns put in, but great memories.”

What are your memories of Stanhope School?

What was your old school like? Please drop us a line with your recollections.