26 thoughts on “Demolition of Grangefield Grammar School

  1. No idea what this Latin verse meant, but I recollect that one had to have Latin to get into Oxford or Cambridge.

    And for other Universities, French or German was essential. A key reason why, for me, the idea of going to “college” was never even a dream…

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  2. It is strange seeing the new building instead of the old school. It is 30 years since I left, but I remember playing and keeping dry in the quads. Friends having the ‘bumps’ on the grass. Having Mr Ramsey as a teacher and going back there 20 years later for him to produce a register with my name on when I went to work there in the office.
    I remember the corridors and the little old man you had to go and see if you where feeling unwell – Mr Whitfield? No such thing as a school nurse or welfare officer.

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  3. My late father, Trevor Wilson Jones, was a pupil at Stockton Grammar long before it relocated to Grangefield, probably 1926/1927 to 1934. I remember him pointing out the buildings in the 1950’s when we headed to the freight line close to the school to watch the heavy steam locos passing by. In the early 1990’s, I visited Stockton Cricket Club to watch Durham play and found it was almost opposite the school.
    I have been back several times since – my grandparents living in nearby Raby Road for the whole of their married lives – and I agree that latterly the buildings there were looking tired and old and unsuited to a 21st century environment. A similar fate befell my old grammar school in the south of England some 6-7 years ago, and whilst we mourned the passing of the buildings that we had grown up with in the 1960’s, we could not fault the new buildings which we were shown around a couple of years ago.
    I hope that something similar happens at Grangefield and I look forward to seeing what is going on later in the year when my family commemorates the centenary of my father’s birth with a visit to Stockton.

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  4. Its sad to see it go as I had lots of happy memories from going there in the 80s, but I went on one of the tours they ran before it closed and I had to agree that it was the right thing to do as it was looking very tired, tatty and old and didn’t feel like a very inspiring place.

    It was built for pen and paper learning not today’s high-tech methods of teaching, so it would have taken much more than renovation to bring it up to date – and the cost to do so would have been phenomenal, without even touching the heating problems, asbestos, etc. That huge cost I think would also have put off any potential buyer using it for anything else so it would have just fallen into disrepair which would have been just as sad to see.

    So yes, I’ll also miss seeing it every time I drive by, but sometimes change does need to happen (and I’ve got that little bit of sandstone which I pinched from under the security fence to keep as a memento!)

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  5. In the late 50s and early 60s, my brother Geoff, my sister Margaret and I all were privileged to attend Grangefield Grammar School, which provided a wonderful level of education and a glorious environment for rugby in the winter months and tennis and cricket in the everlasting summers we enjoyed then. Memories of cross-country running on Wednesday afternoons coming flooding back, together with images of what seemed like sunlit classrooms, the central dining hall where one young man would stand on a table and proclaim to the awe-struck boys and girls his decidedly odd opinions of his school, his teachers and fellow students.

    Now it seems the school has gone, but not so the memories we all carry with us in many parts of the world. This was an education that gave so much to people of my generation.

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  6. I hated every single minute at Grangefield Grammar School (1969-1973) but seeing it demolished has made me feel unaccountably sad!

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  7. ‘Vivat scholar Stocktonensis’ – apologies for spelling but I studied Latin (badly) for 2 years at Grangefield and that is one of the few phrases that have stuck

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    • Vivat Schola Stocktonensis,
      Alma mater eruditrix,
      Sicut taeda radiosa,
      Noctis in aeternam victrix,
      Lucens, propria, semper lucens,
      In aeternam gratiosa.
      Chorus:
      Vivat Schola Stocktonensis!
      Vivat Schola Stocktonensis!
      Vivat! Vivat! Schola Nostra!

      Verse 2 escapes me. Sung lustily on Speech Day.

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  8. Grangefield School has now gone, but don’t forget there is already a brand New School up and running on the same site.

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  9. Dear Derek …Not much is left of our childhood. I share with you the regret that Richard Hind was pulled down. But in my case the Stockton Grammar site was built over, and its out of town successor remained. Battersea College, where I did my metallurgy degree, is now rebuilt as apartments for not so successful multi-millionaire Russian “entrepreneurs” and the like.My hall of residence bordering Battersea Park has been destroyed..

    I can almost understand some of this, including the demolition of Richard Hind and Stockton Grammar, which were perfectly good state of the art school buildings….Richard Hind even had a first rate metalworking shop just across the road!

    What is completely beyond comprehension is why Portrack Primary School was renamed Tilery, when it was built to serve Portrack and where for part of existence, all the housing in Tilery had disappeared.

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  10. Having spent 6 years at Norton Nursery, Juniors and Infants, 5 years at Richard Hind Secondary Technical School, 2 years at Grangefield Grammar School and 3 years at Nottingham Teachers Training College I wonder if it was something I’ve said, because they’ve all been pulled down, remodelled and changed their names!
    Thank goodness the schools I taught in are still standing!

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  11. Oh no! I went there after passing the 11+ in 1952 when the school had just opened. It was a privilege to attend such a wonderful school with all the up to date facilities such as a fantastic gymnasium, science labs, tennis courts & of course the spacious playing fields. Why oh why is it being demolished?

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  12. Sure its sad to see your old school go, but sentiment shouldn’t hinder the education of current and future pupils. The building was past it’s best a long time ago. There are better things to spend education budgets on than the upkeep of old relics. Rather than the end of an era, it’s the start of a new one.

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    • It wasn’t that old Jonathon, some schools last for a 100 yrs or more with a lot of history behind them! I think these days we are too quick in demolishing decent buildings surely there’s room for renovation.

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      • By “your old school” I meant “my old school”, so I will feel the loss too. But if its not fit to be a modern school then that’s what matters. Remember it was a 1930’s design so has been playing catch up from day one, which can only go on for so long. If the new building is cheaper to run, fit for purpose and inspires a few scholars then we can’t really complain.

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    • That’s a bit skeptical Robert, but the plans show the site will not change in purpose. The site of the existing school buildings is to become a mixture of sports facilities and the remainder landscaped.

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  13. Oh! How the years go by. I recall the closing of Stockton Sec. and the building of Grangefield – on land previously farmed by the parents of Fred Kidd, an early boyhood friend of mine. Hard to grasp the fact that that significant edifice had to come down in what is a relatively short life-term. How many students in total went through those class-rooms?
    As an expat I would be interested in learning for what the property is now ear-marked?

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  14. Well now: had a few tonight… but after all these (55 Huh?) years, might well shed a tear. Requiescat In Pace, G.G.S. and all that! Ahhh, the memories.

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  15. Thanks for posting this, my late Father, Brian Thompson (1928-2011) was a teacher there from 1952 to December 1955, does anyone remember him?

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    • Stephen, the Old Stocktonian yearbook for 1952-53 records the changes in staff at the school and your father’s arrival as follows –
      “Mr. B. Thompson, B.Sc., is assisting in the chemistry department and comes from West Hartlepool and like his colleagues is also a graduate of Kings College, London.”

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    • Hello, Pearl. I’m pretty sure that Derek Richard Smith was in the same class as me, and would have been born in 1940-41. He was known as “Rick Smith” or “Smitty” to us. A good friend and a lot of fun. We got into a lot of scrapes together. He was slightly built, but wiry. A good athlete, he played scrum half on one of the school rugby teams. If you go on this site to “Categories”, then “Schools” and scroll down to an entry July 6th, 2006, you will see a photo of Form 4R, 1956. Rick is first on the left, middle row. (I am third from the right, bottom row.) Very sorry to hear of his passing.
      Neil Pallister

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