59 thoughts on “Queen Victoria High School, Yarm Road, Stockton

  1. I remember the “Queen Vic” and its young ladies – 2nd only to those of Richard Hind – which I attended. The disappointment is that so few comments posted covered my era, 1947 – 1952.

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    • I was at Queen Vic from approx, 1948 to 1955 when I went to Cleveland School. As you went to Richard Hind, did you know David Lowery?

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      • Sad to say my father David Edward (Eddie) Thompson passed away earlier this year. He always spoke highly of and with great affection for Richard Hind Boys School as it was in his day as he did for Bickersteth Street were he grew up. There are quite a few Richard Hind ‘old boys’ who post on here so perhaps one of them may have know David Lowery ? I hope so .

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  2. I was at ‘Queen Vick’ from 1962 to 1969 and although I didn’t realise it at the time (does one ever about one’s schooldays?) it was one of the best times of my life. I remember all the little things that made the school such a fascinating place – like the narrow corridor leading to the biology lab, with its cabinets filled with curiosities including, I believe, a pupil’s appendix! The teachers stand out vividly in my mind, too especially Miss Linton, the history teacher, who demonstrated how the Assyrians went into battle by charging round the classroom with a window-pole. Miss Barnes was terrifying to me, yet in spite of my total ineptitude with maths she encouraged me to take music at ‘O’ level, beneath the forbidding exterior, I believe she was really a kind-hearted person. Mrs Wotherspoon ‘Dithers’ was a lovely lady who taught Latin and gave us a wonderful mnemonic for remembering the imperatives of the irregular verbs dicere, ducere, ferre and facere: Dic had a duc with fer on, and that’s a fac! She was the housemistress of St Cuthbert’s, which was my house. One thing that still intrigues me is how they instinctively (and unerringly, as far as I could see) knew which house to place us in based on our abilities and aptitudes – or perhaps we acquired some of those by association with others in the same house! Whatever the reason, it was all very reminiscent of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter books. Great memories. Susan Oliphant as was, if you read this, I remember you well!

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    • I was at QVHS 1955-69 and remember Lesley, I often walked into town with her, Sue Coulthard and Carol Annat. Most teachers were female, but we did have Mr Willis for Geography. I remember changing for gym in the corridor and him starting down the stairs, then quickly retreating to find another way round. Later we had Mr Atkinson (“Batty Atty”) for Maths for a while. In the late 60s younger staff arrived, Mrs Lumb and Felicity Smith, who were refreshingly approachable.
      From early years I remember Miss Maughan. Mrs Turner, Mrs North and Miss Langhorne (the juniors’ Miss Barnes) – I met her later and was surprised how tiny and un-terrifying she was. There were a few boys in kindergarten at the time including Peter Tanner and David Vane (the naughty one, Margaret Vane’s brother I think).
      I also remember the school dinners – Miss Creasor in charge of the kitchen and Leah dishing up mashed potatoes every day. Worst was liver and onions, and rice pudding (ugh) but fish fingers followed by Arctic roll was a red-letter day!

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  3. Ros. The playing field was not so far away. Up Oxbridge Lane past Raby Road, under the railway bridge and there up on the left was the field with its pavilion and tennis courts. It was ‘our’ playing field too as we lived on the other side of the railway in Oulston Road.

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    • Oulston Road, eh, Ken Sawyer? Didn’t know you lived there – so you shared it with Clifford Fowler and Julia Leanord, both Richard Hind. Eddie Thompson – one of your 1952 GCE successes!

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  4. I remember leaping along the long corridors and sliding down the bannisters. It was a lovely building with solid wood panels. I was sorry to see it had been knocked down! Looking back I did enjoy going to the school although I didn’t think so at the time. We were lucky to be in a school with such small class sizes. In one of the junior school classes there were only 12 of us! I remember some of us offering to do gardening in the front of the school so we could talk to the Richard Hind boys! The only draw back was that the school playing field was quite a long way but it was within walking distance.

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    • Hello Christine
      I can remember you were in my form. I am trying to find Mollie Danby also in our form. My maiden name was Jean Mcnaughton. I’d love to hear from you if you have the time.

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      • Hello Jean, I am Mollie Bowlt (nee Danby) eldest daughter. You contacted me on Facebook but it will not let me reply so I am now trying to track you down in return in order to put you both in touch! Please email pictures@stockton and ask for my email so I can pass on her contact details and vice versa. Joanne

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  5. Wish I had seen Margaret’s post about the Old Girls Assoc last year. I went to Queen Vic from 1949-1960. I was in Form 1 thru Upper 6th Form. After graduation from Newcastle University I went to Hillsborough California for a year. I am still here because I met my husband Bill Khouri there and we have lived in Southern Ca since. I would love to connect with old girls from those days. Its a shame they demolished the building, I remeber every nook and cranny: netball in the playground, making toast over the fire in the lower sixth, Speech Day with Miss Hay handing out prizes – oh and the school plays both at Queen Vic and with the Boys Grammar later in the 6th. The 6th formers were allowed to use the front door!25/02/2012 23:19:59

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  6. I too passed the 11+ to attend Queen Vic and indeed remember Susan Oliphant, and Margaret Vane(I was Sue Baker at the time) and was friendly with Jackie Griffiths, Angela Davis, Margaret Hill and June Kelly in particular, although I cant remember anybody not being friends. Sadly I left in 1964 when my folks moved South but I remember my days at Queen Vic as amongst the happiest school days ever. Miss Barnes was wicked – I remember her even now! I remember getting an order mark once because she said my hair was so tidy I must have removed my hat whilst in uniform in Stockton High Street. And unfortunately I did slide down the bannister once and had 100s of lines to write as punishment! I went back to visit Stockton in the 80s and was very sad to see this marvellous building pulled down.

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    • Hi Sue, so lovely to hear your comments. I often think about my holiday with you when you moved South. Can you remember our Country Dancing – we were very good together! Would be lovely to hear how you are. Best wishes June Kelly (now Simpson)

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  7. Does anyone have any information relating to the opening of Teesside High School in 1971? Personal memories, a programme from the opening or photographs. The Old Students’ Association is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the opening in March and would like to borrow or be given any such memorabilia. If you are a former pupil and would like more information please contact me through the Picture Stockton team.

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  8. Researching our Stockton families of Sutherland/Riley/Gooding I came across this site. My Sister, Ann (Nan) Sutherland was at QVHS from about ’49 to ’56 (?) when she went to Rolle College in Exmouth.
    Riley Boilers Company is a focus. My wife is Peta (Riley)Sutherland – her Grandfather was the last family Director of Riley Boilers and her other Grandfather was Alderman Joseph McLauchlan of Middlesbrough who promoted and laid the foundation stone of the Transporter Bridge – centenary of the opening in October 2011.
    Another connection is Stuart Inkster whose Mother was Susan Riley and she was a QVHS girl. Maybe a year behind my Sister ? Susan was the daughter of Tommy Riley, a cousin of my Father-in-law, Jack Riley, and a Director of Ashmores when I was a Student Apprentice there.
    Interested in the entry by Helen(Frost)Sanderson also of QVHS and lived in Westfield Crescent as did we! Any connection to Tony Frost of the Crescent ? – younger than me – his Father was very helpful to me during technical studies – and Tony came up to Kings College in about ’58.
    The Queen Vic pub on the QVHS site is a pretty dismal place these days.

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  9. I attended Queen Vic between 1955- 1960. Miss Hay was the headmistress along with Miss Broadbent, Miss Barnes, Miss Linton, Miss Wutherspoon, Miss Lavender and Miss Hood. Does anyone remember poor Miss Barnes falling over the milk crate in her Maths lesson? For sports we had to walk to the playing field at Hartburn. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me and our threesome gang of Cath Defty, Judy Malpass and myself.

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    • I remember all the teachers mentioned, I was at Queen Vic between 1963 and 1968, Ros Madden, I actually work in the same building as her now, was in our class as were Sue Oliphant and Louise Sharing I am in touch with Lou and Olly, also Kay Thompson, Sheila Black and Helen Murray. If there are any more from our form out there it would be good to hear from you all.

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    • I attended Queen Vic from approx. 1948 to 1955 when I went on to Cleveland School. I remember the name Judith Malpass. I have the entire school photo from Coronation year. Unfortunately cannot scan as too large.

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  10. I also used to go to Queen Vic and would like to be remembered to Susan Harrison nee Oliphant. Hope you remember me Susan as we went through school together with Louise Sharing, Helen Murray, Heather Kitching and the rest of the gang. Would love to hear from you and Helen some time.

    I also thought it was very sad to see the old school knocked down – it had such a lot of character.

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  11. I started Queen Vic in 1948 in Miss Maughan’s class and worked my way up to the senior school. I have a photograph taken in 1953 to commemorate the Coronation and remember being very envious of the other school children who were given a Coronation mug, whereas we were not. Lovely memories of most of the teachers, though Miss Hay was a formidable character.

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    • Lovely to read your comment. I started there also in Miss Maughan’s class in 1948 and have the Coronation photo in my possession. Agree Miss May was a formidable character.

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  12. I attended Queen Vic from 1963 until my lower sixth year in 1970, when my family left for Australia. I too loved the school and was grief stricken to leave, although friends and teachers may not have realised that. (Jean Miller above – we were in the same class). I was a bit naughty at times and “won” my fair share of order marks and detentions – if any of my teachers read this, sorry if I caused too much trouble, I loved you all really – particularly Miss Linton (history), Miss Lavender (English) and our geography teacher, whose name I don”t remember, but she came to Southampton to wave us off. I too remember with delirious pleasure the activities we shared with Stockton Grammar, particularly the drama classes with Mr Berriman, including the performance of “Our Town”, and the times we took the sixth form boys on at hockey and badminton and won (sometimes). I returned to Stockton last year for the first time in 37 years and was very sad to see a pub where our lovely old fashioned school used to be.

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      • No, she was Felicity Jennings Smith! She lived at Bentley Wynd in Yarm. She used to talk about her boyfriend Bill and her cats.

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    • Lorna! I have often wondered how you got on when you went to Oz. I remember you so well – doing the teas together at the Billingham Symphonia Rugby Club on a Saturday (heady days!! – do you remember any of those guys’ names?). We had a great gang while we were at school, though the only one I can now remember apart from yourself is Jackie Hardy. (And Ann something who lived in a flat in Carlton Hall) Miss Linton I can picture so clearly. Those tweed skirts and brogues, the ‘lived in’ face. Miss Barnes can take the credit for my love of maths. (I was terrified of it before she sorted me out). Aaah, the excitement of not wearing your hat – remember you were ‘cool’ if you had the right sort of fold down the middle, showing you were a rebel. Pamela (something) was one of those rebels too. What are you doing these days? Believe it or not, I’m a teacher. How’s that for irony as I was a rather reluctant learner? – Anne Jones as was – ‘Jonesy’.

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  13. I was a pupil from 1963 when I was 9, and the memories come flooding back. I remember going to the kindergarten classroom – with open fires in the winter – for recorder lessons, to the room in Cranbourne Terrace for O level music classes with Miss Jones, and practising our handwriting and sewing with Miss Langhorne? in the large classroom upstairs with the folding partition. Also the “art cupboard” upstairs where art palettes and vases of faded flowers were cleaned out – I can remember the smell. Does anyone remember wrapping up our text books at the end of every term with brown paper – getting splinters in hands and knees as we knelt on the lovely old-fashioned wooden floors? Oh dear, I wouldn”t like to see it as a modern pub!

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      • Hi Dorothy – I’ve only just seen your message which you posted months ago. Just indulging in a bit of nostalgia! Haven’t kept in touch with anyone from schooldays unfortunately. Have lived all married life in Kent, but moved to Sherborne in Dorset in April. Not regretting it! My husband is still working in Tonbridge for a couple more weeks, then it’s retirement. Has been coming down weekends since the move. 3 grown up offspring, surprisingly all married, and our first grandchild Annie (born March) is on Anglesey (her Dad’s RAF)

        Would love to hear from you. Margaret Lucas

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  14. I was so proud to pass the 11 plus exam and to go to “Queen Vic”in 1962. The building was beautiful and the bannisters curved down like something out of a Bunty story. I would have loved to slide down them but would never have dared. Less than 300 pupils in the whole school from kindergarten, juniors through middle school to sixth form. I was in St Aidens House and broke the backstroke record in the annual swimming gala. Miss Linton was my favourite teacher and gave me a life-long fascnation with social history. I didn”t like to get her homework back with cats paw prints on it and cat hairs in between the pages. Miss Lavender taught English and Miss Weatherspoon Latin. Miss Barnes was the most fierce teacher(Maths) and had a nasty habit of throwing chalk. She also sucked her pearl necklace and walked backwards a lot, often bumping her head on the sloping roof on the classroom on the second floor. We were also badly behaved in Miss Broadbents French classes but she really was a very sweet lady. We teamed up with Stockton Grammar (the boys school) to form a choir under Miss Jones. Initially because there were BOYS there but one of the fondest memories of my schooldays was performing Handel”s Messiah in the Parish Church in Stockton High Street. I still attend any performance of the Messiah and remember our triumph of the 60″s.Thank you Valerie Jones. My BF”s were Louise Sharing, Helen Murray, Christine Evans and Denise Richardson. I am still in contact with Helen who is Atkinson now and lives in Hampshire. Where are the rest of you AND you boys from Richard Hind who used to try to knock off our school hats with snowballs – you know who you are!

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  15. I have just discovered that my Mother Gertrude Sowerby was at Queen Victoria High School from 1927 because I have found a silver badge with the initials on. I expect she knew why Janet”s Mother was expelled, unfortunately she died 2 years ago aged 90.

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  16. This is a long shot, as it”s been almost a year since anyone posted anything on this photo. My mum went to Queen Vic and left in 1957 I think to go to teacher training college in Liverpool. She was called Anne Petty (later Gray) and her best friend was Judith Flintoff. She told me a few tales of her days at the school, and as it”s her 70th birthday approaching on New Year”s Eve this year, I would love to have anything about the time she was at this school posted so she could read it. Some of your comments do refer to that time (she later knew Miss Broadbent as they lived in the same part of Eaglescliffe and was very embarrassed at their first meeting as she recalled being rather badly behaved towards her at school …..) but if anyone knew her, and could post a personal comment (polite ones only!), I would be immensely grateful. Thank you!

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    • I have just found this post about my class 1950 11+to 1955 GCE. I remember a few names etc .Anne Petty I know. Judith Flintoff and Adela Abel were about the tallest and I was about the smallest. I also have the Coronation photo but also a mug so if it was not from school I don`t know where it is from. My sister was there also from 1946 to 1951 (Nancy Bell). I remember having an art lesson in Ropner Park and a swan chasing the mistress .I dropped maths but had to continue arithmetic.

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  17. I was a pupil at Queen Vic from 1968 until its merger with Cleveland School, and I moved up to the new premises at Eaglescliffe until I left in 1977. I loved Queen Vic. It was a very happy place and I”m always sad to see the area that was our playground now a pub carpark! There used to be an old gentleman who used to come in every morning and peel the potatoes for school dinners in a shed at the end of the playground. We used to go in and chat to him during morning break. If we were really lucky he”d let us turn the handle on the big sand-paper lined drum that rubbed the skins off the potatoes, all done by candlight as there was no heating or lighting in there! I loved the building and all the school rituals – House Saint days when each house took pride of place in assembly and had a party tea in the afternoon, deportment sashes (much coveted!), sports day at Ropner Park. We used to take the bus on Thursday afternoon to Stockton old baths for swimming lessons – no teachers escorted us, just small groups of 8 yr old girls getting the bus into town! I remember being given my one and only detention for being seen running in school uniform to get the bus! Apparently it brought the school into disrepute for young ladies to run! Was this really only the 1960″s?

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  18. I used to live in Shaftesbury Street in the 60″s and the lady next door to us was Miss Edith “Edee” Linton who was a history teacher at QVHS until they merged with Eaglescliffe High, She was an extremely nice lady.

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  19. Hilary, I remember your name. My maiden name was Cairns and my sister is called Catherine.I might be wrong but you might have been in a form between me and my sister. I started in 1957 and I think Catherine would have started in September 1959. I remember the hockey field too, a bus ride away and I remember going to the Grammar School for the Drama Club. The teacher who took it was Mr. Berriman.I seem to think that you lived in Hartburn. We did too.

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  20. My twin sister Sandra and I were at QVHS from 1959 until in the 5th form when we went to the merged school. It was sad packing up things from the old school to take to the new one. Everyone knew each other because the classes were so small. I remember the French teacher Miss Broadbent who was such a sweet lady but we used to misbehave when her back was turned. The History teacher always showed how spears were used by charging across the classroom with a window pole. I joined the drama club and I went to Stockton Grammar to do plays and used to go to Newcastle on a coach with the lads to see plays. We had to go on a bus to get to the hockey field and P.E. was done in the assembly hall. I used to go pass the school as it was being demolished and I found it sad to see the last gable wall standing.

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  21. I remember walking past Queen Vic as we went to the Dinner Hall, which was remote from the school. Some girls used to hang out of the windows whistling and yoo-hooing looking like the girls from St.Trinians. ( not a criticism ! ):-)

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  22. Christine, I remember the one lab on the top floor. I remember a new lab and art room being built in the playground. The lab on the top floor was for Biology and the lab in the playground was for Chemistry and Physics. I can”t remember the exact date though – I know it was there when I took my O Levels in 1969. I remember the Dining Room being on the top floor too, I think that might have been a classroom too. Do you remember the Library? I remember taking my O Level French oral exam in there.

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  23. I was at QVHS from 1953 to 1959, when I left to go to Grangefield”s 6th form as they did A level physics and Queen Vic did not. My year was certainly not fully 11-plus passes – we had one quarter with “foundation” scholarships – came top in the school”s entrance exam, another quarter on 11-plus based “direct grant”, and the other half sat the entrance exam and were fee-paying but didn”t need the 11-plus. Perchance we would probably have passed the 11 plus if we sat it. Fond memories. But when direct grant schools were abolished, with their mix of fee-paying and state funded pupils, the school chose to merge with Cleveland School on their much bigger site and progress as an independent school. With “modern” facilities and a wider curriculum. And more than the single lab, located on the top floor between the art room and the geography room. There was definitely one year when we used to watch Richard Hind pupils walking to and from their school about 12 o”clock, when we had a short break between lessons!

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  24. I attended the QVHS from 11years until 16 years and enjoyed it very much.I left in 1959 and have some lovely memories of my time at the school. It is a shame the lovely builing was demolished.

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    • Hello Jean, I wondered if you were the Mcnaughton family from Billingham. If you are I remember you being born, as Mum and dad were close friends with your Mum and Dad… I remember playing with Brian Mcnaughton, did you have a brother called Brian? If so I would love to hear from you. Regards Jacky (Guy) Mclean.

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  25. I was a pupil with my twin sister and we both attended this school from 1940 to 1945. My name then was Janet Nicol and my late sister was Bridget. Dad was stationed at Thornaby RAF base.I will always remember the victory celebrations marking the end of the war including the street party off Studley Road.

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  26. Mary Shiela Batey, my mother, was expelled from Queen Vic in about 1935. She told me this with a twinkle in her eye shortly before she died and I”ve been intrigued ever since. Anyone know the answer?

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  27. We used to pass Queen Vic in the school bus going to Richard Hind. The “older” boys used to lust after the girls there, but they were beyond our dreams.

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  28. I attended QVHS from 6 years of age to eighteen, leaving in July 1959 to go to Furzedown Teacher”s College in London. I loved attending the school. It was a very gentle atmosphere and in contrast to some of the harsher realities of living on Tees-side.(I had attended Newtown Infants earlier. Fortunately my parents removed me after I had been hit by a teacher!!) When in the 6th form I had the honour and pleasure of being able to go down to Miss Maughan”s class and help out with the transition class during my free periods. I loved the children but was a little scared of Miss Maughan! She expected the children to complete a page of letters before that they could play with the toys. I was more than a little helpful in seeing that the sheets were completed to ensure that they were able to play with the toys! I also came down quietly after the gym classes to make sure that the children had the help that they needed to put on their shoes!! Miss Hay was the principal in my time, very scholarly and very serious. Very simple discipline strategies were used in the school, merely “detentions” and “order marks”! I do not remember any one having a detention and an order mark meant that your “house” (Aidan Cuthbert or Bede) would lose some points. The “house” with the most points held the “cup” for a year. When I went out in to the teaching world I found the children to be very differently behaved from those in QVHS. Yes we did have little boys in kindergarten and transition. My friend Dorothy Armstrong and I came to Queen Vic at about the same time and have remained good friends ever since. She now lives in Chicago and I in Toronto. We visit each other and England quite frequently. My saddest memory was riding along Bishopton Avenue past Spark”s Bakery to go to my home on Westfield Crescent. It was the last day of school and I knew that this was it, I had to go out into the world! (We were located for the first year of the 6th form in Cranberry Terrace where we waited for the teacher”s to come to us. We spent much time socialising and toasting crumpets on the small fire in the back room.)

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  29. Queen Vic was not single sex if you were under 7, I attended “kindergarten” there from about 1951 to 1954 with Miss Maughan”, excellent foundation, remember it as if it was yesterday!

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  30. When I was newly married in 1968, we rented an upstairs flat at 2 Cranbourne Terrace, our front windows overlooked the playground of the school. My student husband often stayed home, while I was at work, to study, however, he seemed to know an awful lot about the game of netball! We moved to Billingham in 1970 and that was the last I saw of the school.

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  31. Thanks Brian . I suspected as much . It”s amazing how much the area has changed even since the end of the 1960″s. I was born in Arlington Street..the bit they demolished and can only just remember how it was (we left when I was 3 years old in 1971.) I have vague memories of the tin bath, coal fire and outside loo etc., I think that the area had a lot more character in those days with the old, lovely buildings. Now, everywhere looks the same, bland, shapeless and boring.

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  32. I have a copy of the Prospectus given to my sister, who was a scholarship girl at “Queen Vic.”from 1943-1948. The fees for paying pupils, were £4.10shillings for under 9″s, and £5.10shillings when over 9. The headmistress was Miss E Symes.

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  33. Queen Vic was a single sex girls school and was a “Grammar School” in the sense that girls needed to pass both parts of the 11+ to go there. Stockton Grammar was also single sex for boys and we twinned with Queen Vic for those occasions where girls were required – school plays for example. Queen Vic girls were considered to have a certain social style that was lacking in the pupils of Grangefield Grammar.

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