Who remembers this ‘knockout’ Hartlepool teacher?

Former head teacher Bryan Cross with his new book.
Former head teacher Bryan Cross with his new book.

Bryan Cross is unlikely to forget his time at a Hartlepool primary school – he was a knockout!

And the chances are his pupils won’t have forgotten that infamous day either at Fens Primary School.

Fens Primary School.

Fens Primary School.

He remembered a ‘leap’ into a classroom which didn’t go to plan. He knocked himself out cold.

And that’s just one of his many memories of his days in the education sector, most of which are recalled in his new book.

It is called Quit while you’re a-Head’-Terrifying Tales of a Teesside Teacher! and it is available on Amazon.

He described Fens Primary as “my old stomping ground” and said it was “still standing in spite of my infamous leap into the classroom one day and knocking myself out! It’s in the book.

Perhaps the number of years there (13) will be a pointer to the events that took place. I jest, there were some splendid times with lots of achievement over and above the bread and butter work with wonderful pupils and staff

Bryan Cross

“Perhaps the number of years there (13) will be a pointer to the events that took place. I jest, there were some splendid times with lots of achievement over and above the bread and butter work with wonderful pupils and staff.”

Bryan added: “Thanks to some wonderful work by staff and pupils - ably supported by parents and governors, we were during those years, as the current saying goes ‘on a roll’”

Bryan qualified at Middlesbrough Teacher Training College, Durham University in 1966 and taught at Frederick Nattrass Junior School Norton on Tees, Fens Primary School Hartlepool as deputy head, before working as headteacher at Grange Primary School from 1988-97.

Since retirement, he has tutored English and Maths (KS1– KS4) at the Kip McGrath Education Centre, marked English KS2 SAT papers and acted as a part time supply teacher in various schools.

Bryan was “born in Teesside and lived there until one year ago when I sought solitude in Castleton, a moorland village in North Yorkshire,” he told Memory Lane.

“I have written a book which tells of interesting stories from my trainee teacher days until my days as a head.”

Ex-pupils under Bryan’s tutelage, he said, include footballer Gary Pallister who played for Middlesbrough, Manchester United and England who has written a foreword for Quit while you’re a-Head.

Bryan added: “It is packed with amusing tales from behind the school wall.”

He is currently on a schedule of book launches which has already taken him to Teesside Park, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Guisborough Bookshop. Next comes an appearance at Fens Primary, the place where he made so many memories, and that is scheduled for 5pm on Thursday, September 27.

Bryan added: “It is my first book and the biggest thrill will be rekindling friendships with ex pupils, parents and staff and recalling some wonderful times with some wonderful people on Teesside and Hartlepool.”

The book is available at £6.99 in paperback from Amazon where it is described as an “often hilarious journey.”