Why pupils were ‘barred’ from South Shields school

Pupils are evacuated from Stanhope County Secondary School in 1967.
Pupils are evacuated from Stanhope County Secondary School in 1967.

Some pictures just make you stop and stare – and wonder what was going on when the photo was taken.

Today’s main image, for example, shows schoolchildren reaching through the bars of a metal fence surrounding Stanhope County Secondary School, in South Shields, in April 1967, while the teachers mill around in the yard.

Peter Marley helps launches a model boat in 1962.

Peter Marley helps launches a model boat in 1962.

It looks like the youngsters were clamouring to get inside, though they were probably happier to be skipping lessons. And the reason for the “lock-out”? Well, according to the caption, the school was evacuated that afternoon due to a fire alert.

The image, when posted on Facebook, prompted many of you to get in touch with memories of your time there and the teachers you remember.

Jacqueline Jobes said: “The only teachers I can remember form Stanhope Juniors were Mr Blenkinsop, the head master, and Mr Coverdale. From the seniors Mr Crowell, Mr Cussins, the head master, Mr Bell, music teacher Mrs Deardon and Miss Lamb, cookery teacher.”

Judith Payne emailed to say: “I would have just been starting Stanhope Infants, but I remember Mr Crowl from later on,” while Ken Ditchburn recalled Mr Swainson, Mr McDonald and Mr Crowell, to name “just a few”.

Charity bike riders pictured in July 1989.

Charity bike riders pictured in July 1989.

Kathleen Anderson got in touch to reveal: “I left Redwell School on a Friday, in 1965, and started work on the Monday, aged 15. My school days were great, not that I was very fond of school, I preferred the holidays spent at Marsden beach and Cleadon Hills. Happy days.”

Agnes George posted: “I left in 1969. Went straight to work at John Colliers aged 15,” while Julie Hindmarsh said: “We all went to work at 15, not like now, kids got it easy now, how times change.”

Taking it easy in November 1962 was 10-year-old Peter Marley, judging by the photograph of him launching a model warship in a local park pond.

At the time, Peter was described as the youngest member of South Shields Model Yacht club.

And the cyclists pictured show a group of charity fundraisers who had just pushed the boat out in order to raise money for a worthy cause thanks to a 200-mile bike ride. How many of the riders do you recognise?