Thanks to Don Scott ('pirate' on the extreme left foreground) for these momentos
|Don remembers :
The Operas were a special feature of the boys section of the school under the main leadership of Mr. Jukes and Lennon with many other masters and pupils taking part in every aspect of the event behind the scenes which included the stage scenery, props construction, lighting and artwork. The wardrobe was supplied by the D'Oyly Carte Co. delivered in huge wicker baskets. Greasepaint was applied liberally on the week of nights by masters and helpers - some better than others as will be seen if you can zoom in on some of the individuals! Another special feature was the tinted leaded panels that were produced by the pupils under Mr.Thompson (Art) after each annual opera production and placed in successive windowframes along the main downstairs corridor. I wonder if any of them survive today. At that time the school was subject to very strict discipline where all groups had to walk silently in single file from classroom to classroom. Canings were a regular occurence for some and very painful but I wouldn't mind betting that anyone from that period will have some pleasant memories of that place and some of the better masters - 'Johnny' Wigham, 'Martie' Lennon, Mr. Scott, Jaques, Oliver, Armstrong, Lees and others. There will be other memories too of those teachers who may not have been quite so popular but characters anyway in their own right - 'Pip' Lawson, 'Basher' Burton, 'Bomber' Thompson, 'Paddy' Norman, Mr. Jukes and others. Last but not least was the headmaster - George Kellett who was for most of us nothing less than Godlike. I remember the 'ritual' milk drinking at morning play time, blackboard dusters being hurled around the classroom by one who shall remain nameless but who used to run a foreign stamps sale during his lessons. I remember the fierce rivalry between the four 'Houses' as they were called (Hebburn, Whickham, Dunstan and Hedgeley) These names I believe had something to do with the family movements of the Carr-Ellisons. Ah, Those were the days!