Pools fan seeks schoolpals

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A HARTLEPOOL United fan who still manages to get home games once a month despite upping sticks across the Pennines is keen to hear from his old school pals.

 Graeme Wheelhouse would like to hear from any of his old classmates from Brierton Comprehensive School and Kingsley Primary School, in Hartlepool.

 The former Hartlepool Borough Council highways department worker left Brierton, which closed in 2009, in 1989 and said staff had invited him to have a look around before it shut its doors.

 Graeme, now 38, lives in Burton-in-Kendal, in Cumbria, having left the town with his wife, Katharine, a 43-year-old former Rossmere Primary School teacher, 13 years ago.

 He particularly remembers Mark Boylan, Alison Hardy, Barry Matthews, Claire Rollo and Nina Harper from Brierton school.  Graeme said his form tutor was Denis Moore and the headmaster at the time was Stuart Priestley, while Eddie Gratton was an English teacher and Ian Pounder taught music.

 Barbara Hunter taught chemistry and Graeme Scarratt taught French.

 The dad of two, who was a keen member of Hartlepool Operatic and Dramatic Association (HODA), remembers taking part in the school’s production of Cabaret, which he said the governors found “a bit saucy and suggestive”.

 From his Kingsley Primary School days, he remembers Terry and Carl Bates, who were cousins, Claire Veart, Hartlepool boxer Alan Temple, Alexander Bell and Nicholas Watt.

 Graeme’s mother, Mary Horsley, lives in Trimdon Grange and his uncles, Michael, Colin and David Horsley, who are all retired Hartlepool firefighters, still live in Hartlepool,

 He grew up in Collingwood Road and later lived in Ventnor Avenue, Greta Avenue and Lincoln Road.

 Graeme said his brother Gary, who was friends with the late Colin Horner, a former Brierton pupil who died in November 2010 after suffering a massive heart attack during a game of football, has since emigrated to Brisbane, in Australia.

 Graeme, whose 10-year-old son, Jack, was recently a mascot at a Pools game, said: “I would love to hear from any of my old schoolfriends from both Brierton and Kingsley schools.  “I wrote to Brierton when I found out it was closing and they said I could go and have a look around.  “I met some teachers, Ian Pounder, Peter Middleton, Geoff Lewis, Mr Thomas and Cheryl Mills, the biology teacher, was still there.

 “It was quite sad to see the school like it was. There were 1,200 kids when I was there and it had some good teachers and good standards.”

 Graeme, now a highways network engineer with Cumbria County Council and also dad to seven-year-old Holly, played table tennis with the Hartlepool and District League as a member of the 7th Hartlepool Boys Brigade between the ages of 11 and 18 and still participates, playing for the Kendal and District League.

 Anyone who remembers Graeme can email graeme.wheelhouse@btinternet.com