54 thoughts on “Robert Atkinson School, Thornaby

  1. Hi, I was at the Arthur Head school from 58 to 62, I knew a lot of the boys at the central aka Robert Atkinson school from Queen Street. I knew Phil Lowery very well he used to live near my cousin in Walker Street. Also I went out with a girl Jennifer Ogelsby who was at Robert Atkinson, good days I enjoyed my school days.

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    • Farndale – Yellow, Rosedale – Red and Westerdale – Green. I was in Farndale 1961 until 1966, the first year of CSE.

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      • Hello. You will not know me. I am Sandra Dover and I was at Robert Atkinson from 1963 till 1968. I was in Yesterday. Does anyone else remember me? I also was in the choir.

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        • Hello Sandra. My name is Angela Plane. Nee Frost. I was a year or two ahead of you at Robert Atkinson. I was also in the choir. Our mothers went to school and then worked together at Power Gas Corporation in Bowsfield Lane, Stockton. I knew you very well and used to come to your home in Lanehouse Road. I would love to be in touch with you again. I look forward to your reply.

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          • Hi Angela. Nice to hear from you. Hope you are well. I am now in Rotherham. I am a retired teacher. I am happy and have a good life. I remember you well. As for Lanehouse Road, I had to sell it after dad died am afraid. Take care x Sandra

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          • Hello Tom. Thank you for contacting me. I now live in Rotherham and am a retired teacher. Have a good social life, am in 3 Choirs and still support my beloved Middlesbrough. Nice to hear from someone from Lanehouse Road. X Sandra

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  2. I left Robert Atkinson in July 1952 at age 16 before the apparent rearrangement re Arthur Head. In my time (1947-1952) there were 3 classes of about 40 per class for each year. eg Lower 1, all boys mainly ex Queen St. Lower 2 all girls and Lower 3 mixed boys and girls mainly ex Westbury St. The years were Lower, Middle, Upper and Technical (boys)/Commercial (girls)

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    • I was one of those boys who were sent to the Arthur Head School, when a pupil share-out (to even the numbers) was organized between the Robert Atkinson School and the Arthur Head School. My time at Robert Atkinson‚Äôs was totally wasted mostly because I could not see ‘how what they taught – had any relevance or practical use’. The new school the Arthur Head was no better and, at both schools, there was a vast gulf between the teachers and the pupils. Suffice to say both teachers and pupils kept their distance from each other. I can name 10 boys similar to myself who had a bad attitude to attending school, maybe it was because none of the teachers tried to explain why we were studying certain subjects, subjects that we thought had no earthly use to us at all. In my opinion the teachers failed to understand that they had bright pupils in class who were judging has best they could what they were trying to teach us with what we/they felt they needed to know to get what was called in those days a good job. We were not taught about Universities, or about the professions, or how to enter a profession and to what was required to qualify as a 1st year trainee. The end result was we left school no better off than the eleven year old children who were replacing us.

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  3. The late David (Satch) Simpson in this photo was a welder in the Head Wrightson’s Bridgeyard, Thornaby & David Jarrison played football for Thornaby Juniors.

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    • Hello, I was there 1960-64. My name is Richard Cousins. I was born in Surrey but my mother re-married and went to Thornaby. It was a bit of a culture shock for me coming from leafy Walton on Thames but everyone was so friendly. I left Teesside in 1971 and live in Kennington, south London now. I still go back to see Thornaby but it has changed so much and not always for the better.

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      • Hello Richard. Did you by any chance go to Billingham Technical College? I was friends with a Richard Cousins there from 1964 to 1966. Great days. Tony Garrett

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      • Richard please read at the end of the list, my first reply has been placed below John Magson attempt to identify pupils on above photo.

        Tony D.

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      • Hello Richard ! You were in my class at school and you, Jack Wyatt, Graham Atkins, Chris Johnson etc used to hang out together occasionally. Last time we met you were reading Russian at a University in the south. Hope all is well with you. I live in California.

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      • Hello Richard. I cant remember you sorry. I understand what you mean about Thornaby. My dad recently died in October. I have put the house up for sale. It is sold. Just waiting for the paperwork. I shall not be going to Teesside for a while, but remain a fanatical Boro supporter for my sins. Do you remember any others at Robert Atkinson? Love sandra

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      • Hi Richard, Can you remember me – Ann Murphy – Russian at Portsmouth. I am sorry that I have lost touch with everyone. I am still living in the North East.
        They were some of the best times I have ever had. Take care. Anna P.

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    • Hello Sandra,

      I believe you are from Lanehouse Rd – Hope I am correct, because Jeanne and I are hoping you are getting over your recent family loss okay.

      I was just looking at local schools the other day and I noticed Richard Cousins – I have not heard from Richard since we all went our different ways as young men during 1972.

      Richard after attending Acklam College where I believe you also studied at, went to Portsmouth University to gain a degree I believe in Russian Economics.

      Please note are the dates incorrect when you were a pupil at the Robert Atkinson – I thought you attended there 1960 to 1964.

      Regards,

      Tony & Jeanne

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      • Hi Tony and Jeanne. Just decided to come on the computer at Wickersley Library. Thanks for replying. I am ok thank you. Some days are better than others. Have sold the house. Just waiting for the paperwork. Hope you are all well. Love Sandra.

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        • Hello Sandra,

          We hope you have more better days than bad days – Also hope your House sale paperwork goes smoothly for you.
          We are both well thank you.
          I noticed you have replied to Richard – But as far as I can see Richard has not managed to reply to anyone as yet.
          I did not attend the Robert Atkinson School – But I had a few friends who did. I attended the Arthur Head School 1958 to 1962.

          Tony & Jeanne.

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    • Hi Sandra, Sorry to hear about your Dad Tommy. My Dad Gordon Stewart knew him well. I lost my Dad almost 10 yrs ago and just recently lost my Mum Jean Stewart (nee Harris) she was your Mums Sylvia’s cousin I believe. She was 90 last year and sadly passed away the Feb 3rd. Lots of lovely memories though still takes a lot of getting over.
      Take Care. Keith Stewart. (I was at The Robbie Atkinson a few years after you and also in Mrs Soulby’s choir).

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      • Hello Keith. sorry it has taken so long to reply. Thank you for telling me about your mum. I did not know that your mum had died. So sorry. Yes, she was my mum’s cousin. My mum and dad talked of Gordon Stewart. I went to school with Neil and Ian Stewart. All my family seem to be going. I am still happy in Rotherham and am in 2 choirs here. Good memories of the choir and Mrs Soulby. x Sandra

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      • Hello Keith. Just been looking on internet. Did not know that William Harris was your Great Grandfather. He was my Grandad (Henry Harris) brother. I have a photo of him and signature when he was made an Alderman and Freeman of the town. Sandra Tommy and Sylvia’s daughter.

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    • Hello Sandra. My name is Angela Plane. I was Angela Frost and we were friends and in the Choir at Robert Atkinson School. I would love to hear from you and any others who were also at Robert Atkinson School at the same time as us.

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      • Hello Susan. Sorry for late reply. Only have access to library computer. I recognise your name. Yes. My mam was Sylvia Dover. Dad was Tommy Dover. Both sadly passed away. Am still in rotherham. Very happy. Hope you are ok x Sandra Dover

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  4. Hi my name is Rob Clark and I lived in Ellerburne Street and I have some great memories of Arthur Head School. I remember some of those names…….I dug out some old photos of the soccer team the other day…..Kenney Volkes, Brian Green , Stuart Lowery, Gerald O’Connor and Brian Gibson and others. I still keep in contact with Phil Lowery and we hook up now and again. I live near Toronto Canada, Being here for 35 years now, I am a Professor at a local College.

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    • Hi Rob, I went to Arthur Head from 61-66 my name was Barbara Elgie, I live in Russel Street and I remember all the names above , but Kenny’s name was Voules, I know because I married him in 1971. We had a daughter in 72, but sadly we split up not long afterwards. I still live in Thornaby.

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  5. Ron Ainsley & Frank Peacock went on to Head Wrightson’s apprentice school in 1957-58. Ron went on to be a partner in the Ainsley & Noble Company.

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  6. I was one of the people who had to move to Arthur Head School, I remember some names of my friends John Dawson, Peter Medd, George Gascoigne. It was a good school and the move was unfair on those of us who were 14/15 at the time.

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      • Hi John
        I know your name but I can’t put a face to you, after I left AH school I went to work at Uptons in North Ormesby and then worked for Rediffusion moving to Stafford.

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        • Rowan, Nice to hear from you. Those were the days!! When I left school I was a reporter at the Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough. Did you know a Cyril Magson, who I think was a manager for Uptons.

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  7. I was amazed sitting here in California to find this photo.I am John Preston and this is a fond memory. It was a good school and it was a great pity when the Government at the time 1953-54 chose to change the system so that some of us had to go to Arthur Head.

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      • Very late reply but the answer to the questions is yes. It is strange but exactly 50 years to the date my wife and I had lunch in what used to be Sun Laws Manor, now a 5 Star Golf resort Roxburghe Hotel.
        I left Thornaby in 1963 and lived in various countries but have been in California for the last 26 years.
        Good memories of Robert Atkinson.
        John preston

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  8. girl next but one to maisie phillips i think is cynthia brown . i used to live in grange road and recognise both girls . they were a very smartly dressed class

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  9. This is a school photograph of Miss Pool”s class taken around 1954-5 The names I remember are……Back Row – (?), John Magson, (?), Ronald Whelan, (?, David Simpson. Centre Row – John Preston, Stuart Fountain,(?),? Tunnicliffe,(?),(?),(?),Frank Peacock, (?), Ronald Ainsley,David Jarrison, Ronald Muir, Front Row – (?), Georgina Patterson, Silvia Umpleby, Margaret ?, (?),(?),(?),(?), (?), Cynthia ?, Jean Pinnegar, Maisie Phillips

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    • John, don’t know if you remember me. I lived across the road from you when you lived in Park Avenue. Although your back door led onto Imperial Avenue. Now; my name is John Vincent and I lived in Eric Avenue, so really we were quite close to each, address wise! I remember your dad, he worked at Uptons in Middlesbrough didn’t he ? It would be nice to hear from you.

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    • Yes and I thought you had come from Buckingham Palace with that posh London Accent and of course you did live in Windsor Oval.
      Pleased to read you are still around Richard – remember my Mini Van and your Master Voice wind up gramophone – Happy Times.

      I have recently wrote a few paragraphs of the Grand Theatre – Stockton-on-Tees, from mid 1890’s to mid 1920’s, its interesting read.

      Hope to hear from you.

      Kind Regards,

      Tony D.

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    • I can name all girls in photo: Christine Parvin, Gina Patterson, Sylvia Umpleby (USA) Margaret Dorringon, Valerie Doughty (Yarm) Valerie Smith, Christine Parker, Pam Walton (Yarm), Valerie Herron, June Stott (Hartburn) Cynthia Brown, Jean Pinnegar, Maisie Phillips (deceased) Pauline Green (Yarm)
      Back row boys John Hampton, 2nd row: John Peacock is next to Frank (cousins) Peter Fawbert is next to Christine Parker. I think is was Ronald Wheldon not Whelan, David Gerrison not Jarrison

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