No love lost for loo rolls in South Tyneside schools

South Westoe School, the old Girls' Grammar School, Iolanthe Terrace., in   August 1973.
South Westoe School, the old Girls' Grammar School, Iolanthe Terrace., in August 1973.

When the Gazette posted an old photo of South Westoe School, as it was in 1973, I made the point that many schools used to look like it.

And when I posed the question as to who remembers the stinky polish on the wooden block flooring, the outside toilets, the free milk or doing PE in the school hall in your pants and vest when you were in the infants – you came up with some “class” comments.

Dawn Gateshill went online to say: “Omg just walked the dog past the houses that are built in its place, and tried to picture it in my mind. I left there in 1983, the only school where the teachers were almost as old as the building.”

David Ord told how “I left Westoe in 1974 after doing my GCEs to go and work at John Colliers” while Lisa Smith revealed that: “We were the last first years at Westoe in 1984. We were there two years before we had to leave so they could wind it up.”

Yolanda May Parker took to Facebook to say: “Old school outside toilets were awful with the tracing-paper-like toilet rolls.”

And the quality of the toilet roll certainly brought back uncomfortable memories for many of you.

Lianne Douglas said: “Went to Ocean Road Juniors and remember that the outside toilets were disgusting and the tracing paper loo roll” while Doris Watling added: “Loved Laygate Infants except toilet paper xx”

Diane Haddon got in touch to reveal that she: “Hated using those outside toilets, and all classrooms had high windows, you couldn’t see out of, stuff of nightmares yuk.”

There were mixed memories from other readers, with Clare Hannard talking about the “good old days” at Stanhope Infants and Juniors 1977-85, loved it” while Brian Carlberg spoke of one teacher “who must have worn a cane out each day”.

Moira Powles said she went to South Westoe School “but only for one year, 1976 or 77 ish, not quite sure.”

Collette Watson posted: “My old school” and Jean Broughton McDonald said: “I left there 1958.”

Delaine Johnson spoke of “my old school (1977-1982)” while Mandy Linda Brown Hannard said: “Hated the place!”

Jan Lea took to social media to say: “This is the old Girls Grammar School” something which Valerie Nichol agreed with.

Belinda Newton went on Facebook to say: “Gosh, blast from the past, my old infants school, 1974” and David Crabtree said: “I was there from 77 to 79.”

Sheila Tebble, meanwhile, said: “I went to Ocean Road and Westoe Infants and Comp”. Finally, Dawn Gateshill asked: “Anyone remember Mrs Dawson and Mr Gordon?” Which teachers do you remember?

Take a look at the other photo on this page, which shows the washing facilities for girls at Westoe Annexe in 1970. It looks very primitive, was it as bad as the picture suggests?