13 thoughts on “St Peters Hall and The Black Barons

  1. St Peters Hall still has memories for me at Richard Hind from 1940 to November 44.
    It was PT with Bill Williams the Egyptian swimming champion, don’t ask, I do not know. We had every sport from Fencing, Epee and Cutlass, what would H&S say about that today, Boxing where as one of the bigger lads I had to spar with Bill, and landed a lovely uppercut only to be promptly floored by his return punch. We did Cumbrian Wrestling and all kinds of indoor games. It was fun and I do not remember it being cold although in wartime it probably was not heated.
    Our other exercise was Swedish Drill in the School yard winter and summer. I think the army called it calisthenics. Cricket Football Rugby and Rounders were at Ropner Park on the big field.
    Swimming was the very odd occasion in Stockton Baths although I also went to Billingham baths with friends.
    Lunch was served to the boys in the hall, the Teachers sat at a table on the stage watching the two lines of tables for bad table manners and woe betide anyone catching their eye. My worst time was having to eat glue like boiled rice when there was a potato shortage, it put me off rice totally, dashing up to the Co-op store to see if they had any iced buns left, hungry boys always had room for more.
    We also had a couple of classes in the hall, Eggy Plummer took Technical drawing and some Math, we also had another teacher for Math as it was a large part of the teaching process, we had dropped all languages bar French. Give Eggy his due although I did feel his wrath at times he realised I had a flare for Technical drawing and drew it out of me, he also gave me Geometry and Trigonometry help which came in very useful after I left school.
    English sometimes was taken in the hall with Miss English, a lady I owe my love of reading and writing to, so the hall played a large part in my school life. The one time it had bad memories was the Bombing nearby where some people were killed including a very young child, we could not use the hall for a couple of weeks so it was dinner served in the School Hall whilst the Girls ate in their classrooms.
    We got the school bus from Norton Green to school then back home after school, we had to have dinner at school as it was impossible to get two buses home and back in the lunch time,
    You either loved or hated your school days, I think mine was a love of all things sport and not much love for sitting in class rooms but the Teachers of that time did a fantastic job of getting our interest, we in time came out of school with the best education one could get at that time and probably even now.

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  2. John Smith. After the incident I mentioned I always thought that Mr Lamb had been dismissed from the School. Apparently not, he must have gone on sick leave or something. He was a good teacher but under the environment of teaching at the annex of St Cuthberts Hall out of the way of the main school the pupils took advantage. I remember that he could recite figures from out of the Logerythm Book. Richard Hind was always disadvantaged. Lessons in St Peters Hall together with dinners until transferred to Marlborough Road. Sports at Ropner Park and then believe it further away at Ropner Playing Fields at the top end of Fairfield. Those were things that put me off being a pupil there as well as having to go by special bus from Norton. 4 journeys a day.

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  3. Bob Irwin; I was at Richard Hind 1952-57 and clearly remember “Chuz” Lamb. In later years I was taught again by him at Billingham Tech. By then we were more concerned at getting our ONC and Chuz, without the pressure of unruly kids, was an excellent teacher and a really nice man. Too nice for a bunch of kids who (as we all did then) seized on a weakness and made a teachers life hell. Perhaps it was guilt, but I remember at the time being pleased that “Chuz” Lamb had found a good position. Cheers, John Smith.

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  4. Hi Bob, indeed we were at Richard Hind School together, in the same school-year but different classes. I was always in the “A” class and after the second year put into the “F” for French classes until we left school in 1954. God knows why I qualified for the “F” classes as I was useless at French but quite good at Woodwork and Technical Drawing which were dropped in favour of extra French and English Literature. Despite being a duffer at school French it still amazes me that in later life I earned my living in a foreign language. I also remember “Chuzzlewit” Lamb who, I believe, owes his name to the charecter portrayed in the story “Help! Our Wooly Lamb`s Gone Wild” which was serialised in the boy`s comic weekly “Adventure”. I can remember him being given the run-around even by first-year students. We only had the pleasure of his teaching on very few occasions as the Headmaster`s son was in our class and Johnny Rosser, aka “The Boss”, obviously thought that such lessons would not improve his son`s education. On one of the few occasions that we were entrusted into Chuzzlewit`s incapable hands I can remember him being pelted with slop-balls which were, for the uninitiated, chewed-up paper providing a gooey missile which, due to the saliva content, stuck to any surface on which it landed. Revolting but providing one of the few lighter moments in an otherwise very strict environment. Regarding the blackboard incident, I can work out who JB is but can`t for the life of me identify GE.

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  5. Ged. Not only did they have PT there but we also had classes as well with Mr Lamb (Chuzzlewit). Always out of order classes. Remember once hiding Alan Campbell in one of the Sandshoe boxes before the wire cages and then piled other boxes on top of him. Mr. Lamb had to rescue him. Another occasion was when 2 lads soaped the blackboard so Chuzzlewit couldn”t chalk on it, and who turned up to teach the class? None other than Mr J Rosser, who would not start the class until he got an admission. The 2 responsible had to clean the blackboard on the Woodwork Class steps each playtime until completed. I do know the names but dare not print their names. Initials are JB and GE.

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  6. Well Ged it seems we started at the RH at the same time. I can”t remember much about you but it seems you were with the Newtown lads. Peter Dodsworth was in my class. I remember the boxing as you did. Ducker Smith used to hiss as he threw a punch. I still see Ginner Brittain in the Town. On the occasion in 1949 another person who did amateur boxing and appeared on that day was Robert McConnell. I believe that Ducker and Robert McConnell were in Yellow House the eventual team winners that day

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  7. In response to interest in St Peter”s Hall and the Black Barons Group, this photograph of them was taken just prior to the concert mentioned. Left to right, Alan Coath, John McDougal, Alan Davis, Roger Belt. I often wonder what happened to these good mates of mine we lost touch by 1966.

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  8. Thanks Richard Little, finally somebody remembered our moment of fame. The band played the Kinks – Tired of Waiting, the Animals – House of the Rising Sun, Roy Orbison and It”s Over, the Four Seasons – Rag Doll and the Shadows 36-24-36 and Frightened City. At the time our full repertoire and we really had a great time performing them. Glad we gave a bit of pleasure. Will send a picture to the site of the band, Alan Coath, John McDougal, Roger Belt and myself.

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  9. I was also a Richard Hind pupil from 1949-54 and remember this cold inhospitable place as the venue for our PT sessions. I also remember it being used to serve the school dinners which were not much more pleasurable than the freezing PT lessons. My fondest memory of the old place was as the venue of the end of term boxing matches. I remember in 1949 “Mighty Joe” Young nearly killing Ginger Brittain. Also the two Smiths, “Ducker” and Eddie providing us with a fantastic contest. “Ducker” was an experienced amateur champion boxer and was declared the winner on points but many thought that Eddie had won. I was only 11 years old and these senior boys seemed like giants to me. I`m sure that these contests would not be allowded these days but the Headmaster had the knack of matching any school bully with proficient boxers where they were given a good hiding, much to the delight of the younger pupils. Bullys didn`t last long at Richard Hind.

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  10. I remember the concert by the Black Barons especially a Kinks number ,I think.Even the teachers seemed impressed which took some doing.

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  11. Being a former pupil of Richard Hind School, I too, like Alan Davis, remember using St. Peter”s Hall for PT ( the initial we knew it by ). The hall must have been used by the school for many years, it was 1951-56 that I attended Richard Hind Secondary. We often used the hall for 5 a side football using a medicine ball for practice, a lighter ball was not practical in the confined space available. How we did not end up with foot injuries I will never know. Our PT/Football teacher at that time was Pop Fenny. As Alan Davis suggested if you were into sport you loved that hall, I most certainly did.

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  12. Remember this place as the hall used by Richard Hind Seniors for PE/Gym and the last time I was in there was Xmas 1964 as a member of a band called the Black Barons winners of the school concert. Anybody else remember my 15 minutes of fame. Also remember being put through PE in the cold cold winters in our shorts and vests with no heating in the building. If you were into sport you loved the place, unfortunately not me.

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