Lecturers from Stockton and Billingham Technical College

t14817Stockton and Billingham Technical College, Engineering Department, Oxbridge Avenue, Stockton-on-Tees. If you worked at any of the Engineering Companies in Stockton you would have gone to the local Technical College for day release/night classes and probably had contact with some of the lecturers in this photograph.

The photograph shows four lecturers from the college who are L/R: John (Jack) Southern who took Mechanics, Harry Cardwell the college principal at Stockton, Tom Sowler who took Electrics, Joe Harle who took Maths

Photograph and details courtesy of Alan Harle.

18 thoughts on “Lecturers from Stockton and Billingham Technical College

  1. My dad Ron Sanderson taught electronics at the College from the 50s until early 80s and I used to go over there after school while at Grangefield to wait for him to finish so we could go home. I knew Tom quite well, being aware of his work on Stockton’s history (I have the book). I also met the others in the picture, particularly Joe Harle, and Henry Leake who taught electrical installation. Our family friend Len English worked at ICI and taught evening classes. I think there was a young chap surname Dean also teaching electricians. Then there were the technicians Eddie Petty and Arthur (I’ll remember his last name later).

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  2. I attended Stockton Tech. full time 1949-51 and remember well Jack Southern, “give me 100 Archimedes’ Principle for the morning Wilkinson.” I can still recite it! I also remember Joe Harle.A good teacher.

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  3. Tom Sowler was a clever radio enthusiast/specialist after(?) the War.. He was also the Borough’s official historian – the “Town House”, and not St. Thomas or Christopher Wren!
    Joe Harle was a very good maths teacher. He would enter the lecture room and commence teaching straight away, no messing around or delay. I owe a lot to SBC. Barrie Braney

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  4. Joe Harle was one of the very best teachers of mathematics I have ever come across. I owe him a great debt with the help he gave me and many others on the engineering courses he covered .
    Jack Southern made the subject of mechanics/ thermodynamics a really enjoyable subject.

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  5. Some of my memories are
    1) Jack Southern’s ability to write on the blackboard either left or right handed.
    2) Tom Sowler’s interest in Stockton History, which led him in to write “A History of the Town and Borough of Stockton-on-Tees”
    3) Not even escaping from being taught by my father.

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      • I was accepted into the “Tech” in 1947. It must have been newly created then as there was no fixed school facilities. During the class times we wondered all over Stockton to rooms in the Lit & Phil, YMCA, Hume Street near the gasworks & the workshop on Church Road behind Bill Beatties cycle shop and to the mechanical building in the yard of the secondary school. On Wednesday afternoons we bussed out to the edge of Hartburn for a football game. I definitely remember Jack Southern and I think Joe Harle also there was a Mr Smith who taught English.
        Acceptance to the Tech was a godsend to those of us that failed the 11 plus exam, It put me into an engineering career that lasted nearly 50 years. After completing my National Service in 1957 I and my family emigrated to Canada where for 30 years I was a Professional Engineer in process mining plant first learned in the late Head Wrightsons Stockton Forge Division.

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        • I remember the workshop behind Bill Beatties. It was still being used in 1952. There was a variety of machines, all run from a line shaft, providing belt drive to the machines. My memory escapes me here… the teacher was an old sea dog with a glass eye. He told us many a tale bout the area, including the number of families who used to live in the building before it became a workshop. He continued to teach maths when we moved to Oxbridge. Fitting & Turning Practical was taught by his nephew. Anyone recall their names

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          • The “Old sea dog” was called Williams. A fund of stories. Noted for his expression
            “You get up my Skipjack lad” to naughty boys. A real character.

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    • Alan, your Dad was a teaching genius at maths and a lovely gentle man. He used lots of old world terms like “whence” and “thus” and his influence made maths and numbers come alive. I loved maths then, and still do now.
      Jack Southern was a rail-man and all his anecdotes related to steam locos from his days as a designer in Derby. A hard task master, but like your Dad an excellent teacher.
      Tom Sowler was of course Mr Stockton-on Tees, a widely recognised and well read historian. It was easy to sidetrack him from rheostats, electro motive force et al, as all we had to do was mention something like “How old is the Town Hall, Tom”, and he’d be off on one of his historical adventures. Another gentle man, and incredibly knowledgeable about many things like all of that quartet that taught us to Higher National.
      Others worth an honourable mention, but not in the photo, are Sam Henderson (Theory of Structures and Metallurgy) and Harry Henderson (Theory of Machines and Thermodynamics). Harry moved on to be head of a technical college in Hull I think.
      Harry Cardwell didn’t teach me but again what a lovely gentle man he was and ran the organisation like clockwork.
      All those teachers/lecturers served us well and gave us the tools for a well rounded life in Engineering and I hope they are all resting very easily now from that great college in the sky, they earned it and truly earned our respect.

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    • I remember this lot from my Tech days back in the 60s, especially Jack Southern, who was a great lecturer as well as being seriously scary. He called everyone in our class ‘Bill’, all except me!

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