Remember these teachers from a Hartlepool grammar school

Duncan Graham will be remembered by many Hartlepool students.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 12:40 pm
Brinkburn Grammar School.

After all, he spent his entire working life at Brinkburn School in the town from the very first day he set foot in the premises in the Autumn of 1963.

Now, after spotting a Memory Lane photograph of the school on social media, he shared his memories of some wonderful times.

Duncan Graham.

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He remembered the headmaster EN ‘Nobby’ Houlton who was also known as The Count.

He recalled the deputy headmaster FM Leason who was fondly known as Maxy and he remembered the Headmaster’s Secretary. Eunice Moon.

Today, we begin a two-part look back on one man’s experiences of a school which affected so many Hartlepool lives.

Duncan ‘was despatched’ to Hartlepool by Newcastle University’s Education Department to do teaching practice in physics and maths. It was all part of his Dip. Ed. course following his degree.

Duncan added: “I first entered the building which was West Hartlepool Grammar School for Boys, in autumn 1963.”

He began work in the spring term of 1964 and was offered a junior post teaching maths and physics from September the same year.”

Forty two years later, in August 2002, he retired from the post of Vice Principal of Hartlepool Sixth Form College.

Duncan told us: “My memories include scores of incredible colleagues, hundreds of pupils, many of them unforgettable.”

There were high academic achievers and those with sporting, and artistic talents.

There were people with outstanding musical skills and others who excellent in a variety of other ways.

“My entire employment was in this institution in its various guises, albeit in a variety of roles,” said Duncan.

“I was there when Comprehensive Education was introduced; when ROSLA (Raising of the School Leaving Age) became Law; and when the establishment became Hartlepool Sixth Form College, still under the auspices of the LEA, and eventually an incorporated College managing all its own affairs.”

And as much as he remembers the amazing achievements of the pupils, he also remembered the names - and indeed many of the nicknames - which were given to staff.

As Duncan said, they were ‘not the only ones by which they were known to the boys (and their colleagues) but, again, as best as I can recall.

“Readers may well wish to put me right or to add to my list.”

Names included the mathematics team of FM Leason, and G Hudspith (Skelty).

There was GM Lindsay, (Bull), H Spence, (Shade) and C Reid in the English department.

Watch out for many more memories from Duncan next week including the names of more teachers you may recall.

But what are your own memories of Brinkburn in its various guises?