18 thoughts on “Modern Robert Atkinson, Thorntree Road

  1. I attended this school in 1952-1953, and along with 25 or so other boys from the poorer areas of Thornaby, and absolutely hated it. Looking back in time – it would be accurate to state that the teachers wanted it to be an upper-crust school with prim-and-proper pupils, but where faced with teaching children like myself (and many others) who did not know what upper-crust mean. Most of us were totally ignorant about the outside world and had never been to London or Edinburgh, or had visited Oxford, Cambridge, Sherwood Forest or the Lake District. A large number of the pupils who attended this school including myself, formed a rough and ready bunch of bright kids, they were a true product of Thornaby real, and the sort of boys loved by the British Navy, Army and Air Force, but not by the staff of this school?

    To my knowledge no member of this school staff ever inquired into our backgrounds or living conditions, no one ever questioned or reasoned why we came to school wearing shoes with holes in the soles, wearing second-hand clothes, and in many cases unwashed and untidy. Sad to say we were poor children from poor forever damp, cold homes who needed the staffs help. This school got rid of the type of pupils mentioned by transferring the lot including myself to the Arthur Head School, I felt it was a dumping ground for the rough-house kids they disapproved off.

    The crime this schools staff committed was not looking into our home conditions and making allowance for this, for not balancing this with what they were teaching us, and estimating its true value to us in our later lives, in all honesty it must be said that they were teaching us absolute rubbish, gobbledygook that would have no positive input into our future lives, hopes and own dreams, with the teaching of English and Math’s being the two strong exceptions to this denunciation.

    With regards to the staff I recall, I have good memories of Hooky Brittan and Mr. Dawson but not the teacher called Joe(y) Hutton.
    Bob Wilson, (Five Lamps)

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  2. Hi. I went to Robert Atkinson 1963 to 1968. Was in the choir. Mrs Soulby was music mistress. I knew Miss Galloway. Mr Irvine was head. My mum Sylvia Dover, new Harris went there. Happy days. Regards Sandra Dover

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    • Hi, I was there 1961-1964 and remember Miss(?) Soulby. I left with only Northern Counties Certificate. On leaving I went to Stockton-Billingham Tech College and got 5 ‘o’ Levels. Eventually I did a degree in Russian and Soviet Studies at Portsmouth University and now live in relative comfort in a village in Oxfordshire. Not bad from someone who lived in Queen Street West in a 2 roomed house!
      Richard Cousins

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      • Hi Richard. You sound as though you are ok. I lived at 104 Lanehouse Road. I am happy here In Rotherham. Never thought I would leave Thornaby. Still a Middlesbrough supporter though would never go back to Teesside. Regards Sandra Dover

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  3. I know both schools very well lived in Thornaby from birth 1947 until 1973. I attended the Arthur Head school 1958/ 1962 the school roof photo with the air raid siren is definitely the Robert Atkinson school or as we knew it the Central good days

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  4. I went there and played for the school football team. I remember the teachers, Joey Hutton, the Dawson brothers, Tommy Wood, Mrs Mathias the music teacher. That would be about 1952 to 54.

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    • I remember them too. Joey Hutton was the Maths teacher and my form master for my last year there – 1949. He was like Marmite – you either hated him or loved him. I liked him because I was good at maths

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    • Stockton U3A (University of the Third Age) hold some of their classes here nowadays. When attending one of them one day I was told that the room we were using (room 2) was the same classroom used by my grandfather, Joey Hutton during his days teaching there. He taught maths and was also deputy head. I’ve been told he was a strict disciplinarian who didn’t show any favouritism to his three daughters, Connie, Marjorie (my mother) and Joyce who were all pupils at the school.

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      • He had a very posh bike he use to come to school on. No one dared go near it. In the mornings when we were waiting to go into class and standing in files Joey would be stalking around looking at our shoes. If he saw any dirty and unpolished he would make them report to him the following morning with them cleaned and polished. For all his faults he was a great maths teacher for those who wanted to learn.

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  5. Brings back so many good memories, left there in 1958, no disabled parking then, or nice chairs in the hall. It had good school dinners though, the cook was very good; made lovely meat pie and puddings, wonder if the science lab is still there, Mr Brook was the science teacher and Miss Galloway was the sports teacher. Happy days wish I had appreciated it a bit more, could not wait to start work.

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  6. Not sure this roof photo is the Robert Atkinson school … I do not remember this being on the roof when I left in 1959, looks very much like the one the Arthur Head school had on its roof ???

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    • I took these photographs six months ago and are of Robert Atkinson Secondary Modern School. I went there from 1945 to 1949 when I lived in Thornaby until 1960 and then in Middlesbrough until 2000. I know Arthur Head School well. My cousin George went there 1945-1949.

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      • I stand corrected Philip, I remember a siren on the Robbie Atk roof but not in the structure shown, but obviously if you took the photos recently you are correct. I did not doubt your word, just thought it was the Arthur Head roof… silly me… lol

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          • I attended RA from 1949 to 1953, remember Joey Hutton, went on the trip to Paris with German teacher Herman Woods & French teacher Mr Jones Hirst. Some of the other boys were Keith Barker, Mike Beckwith, John Harker, Dennis Wright, Eric Wardaugh & a few others, would like to from them, still have the group photo if anyone is interested.

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            • I have sent in my 1949 class photograph with names of those I remember. I hope that it will soon be included here. It should bring a lot of good memories

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  7. Went there in the late 60’s & 70’s… Wow what memories theses pictures had evoked! No picture of the “outdoor” loo’s though :¬)

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