South Shields cadets still have ejector seat

Air cadets with V bomber's ejector seat.
Air cadets with V bomber's ejector seat.
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Take a seat and fasten yourself in for more memorable moments from South Tyneside’s past, courtesy of the Gazette’s Facebook page – and our readers’ wonderful recollections.

The first set of online posts involved a picture preview of an open night at 324 South Shields Squadron Air Training Corps, taken March 1970.

Westoe school pupils with a donated Honda car engine.

Westoe school pupils with a donated Honda car engine.

It shows cadets gathered around an ejector seat from a V bomber, seated in which is Warrant Officer Leslie Gustafson.

Thanks to the members of 324 South Shields Squadron ATC, who got in touch to say: “We still have the seat,” while Mark Handy spoke of “great times! Made some life long friends! Even married one of them”.

Kenneth Nesworthy took to social media to say: “Absolutely class times, great people, ethos and a constant laugh,” while Lesley Norfolk told how “I was there in the 80s”.

From aeroplanes to motor cars, and a picture from November 1972 showing Westoe pupils, Neil Dixon and Paul Moore, admiring one of the Honda engines donated to the school.

Stanhope Road Secondary School.

Stanhope Road Secondary School.

It prompted Brian Goodman to state: “Lucky them. There’s no mechanics, woodwork or metalwork lessons now in schools. I found this out a few years ago when my sons did their options in senior school.”

Alan Cook said: “I left Westoe Boys School in the summer of ’72, would have loved the chance to work on the engines,” while David Ord told how he “left in 1974 and got a job at John Colliers, now I’m a careers adviser”.

And you were certainly motoring when it came to recalling memories of Stanhope Road Secondary School.

Rob Atkinson posted: “Had one of my early courting experiences on that street while waiting for school bus, oh how innocent!”

Joyce Norton said: “I went there early fifties, my last classroom was right on the top, opposite the cookery block, good old days,” while Claire Smith emailed “best school, so wish I could go back to the days I was there”.

Lynne Owens told how: “I went to Stanhope School, happy times,” as did Irene Moffett and Susan Bruce, who commented: “I left in 1968, good old days.”

Margy Allen took to Facebook to say: “I remember it like it was yesterday, loved it, was there in 1973.”

Michelle Tiny Yorston said: “I was there with James Sim, Glyn Gordan and Ian Bainbridge, left in 1976 as moved house,” while Lynda Donnelly spoke of “my old school, left in 1969, made some good friends”.

Michelle Whale recalled Stanhope being a “big building. Brilliant”, while Agnes George talks of “happy days” there.

Other former pupils who got in touch with the Gazette were Sheila Charlton, Diane Hart, Raymond Patrick (who went there from 1964 to 1968), Sue Scorer, Gloria Lawlan and Margaret Brown (who left 1966).

Janice Hutchinson was another former pupil who described her time there as “happy days” while Ann Southern spoke of Stanhope Road as “the best school ever”.

What was your old school like? Did you enjoy your time in the classroom or could you not wait to step out of the door for the very last time?

Please get in touch with your memories of your former classmates and the teachers who taught you.