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Andrew McKinnon  1954 – 2020

Members will be saddened to learn of the death of OB Andrew McKinnon, who passed away on May 9th at his home in London, following a short period of illness. Upon arriving from Bolton in the Junior 6th form, Andrew made a great many friends and also became captain of the Chess League.

Ed Slucki 1954 – 2020
Members will be saddened to learn of the death of Ed Slucki. 

At 07/07/2019

Alistair McKinnon has taken over as web master. Alistair was a late arrival at WHGS joining 3EB from Bolton. Mr Brampton showed him to a vacant desk next to John Harvey and Andrew (Tich) Falconer who became life long friends. Occasional forays into music saw an appearance in the Gondoliers and an appearance at a 6th form Disco in the band Quasimodo and the Hunchies with Messrs Harvey and Howgego.

Now the web site is “open for business” again, if anyone has any information, documents, photos, anecdotes they want sharing please leave a message on the Contact Us page, or email

At 13/09/2017

New image of 3JD 1972 added to the Galleries. Part of the material sent in by Graham Frankland recently. Thanks again Graham.

At 11/09/2017

New image of 3A in 1969 added to the Galleries (Form Groups). Thanks to David Hutchinson for this excellent photograph. Can anyone  help with the two unknown names?

At 07/09/2017

New gallery images added. Various Rugby teams from 1969 to 1976. All named: many thanks to Graham Frankland for these. Also, a good photo of 5 alpha 1968 – 69, also with names. Our thanks to Jim Yates for this one.

At 24/07/2017

Several of the School Magazines mentioned below have been converted and uploaded as pdf’s. You can find them in the POINTS pages.

64-65 and 65-66  magazines were produced in, what appears to be an “in-house” format and will be uploaded when scanned and converted. They are produced as A4 documents: anyone know why this change came about?

At 17/07/2017

I have started to convert the school magazine jpg image files into pdf documents. Some may find it easier to read them in that format. Converting and uploading all of them will take some time, so please bear with me on this. The pdf’s will appear in the POINTS pages and I shall place a notification of any new ones in this page. You can find the 57-58 magazine in the points pages.

At 16/07/2017

The School Magazine for the year 1958 – 59 has been added to the School Magazines Gallery. You can find it on Page 2 of that gallery: it starts with the 1958 – 59 cover.

At 18/06/2017

A minor amendment to the recent item concerning Roy Lowe.

Roy’s daughter Pippa informs us that following his retirement from NASA in 1963, Roy did not remain in the USA but returned to the UK , where he ran the family jewellery and watchmaking business in Chester. He is now living in Bristol.

At 16/06/2017

Roy Lowe

Sometime since, we included in the website some material provided by Roy Lowe. Roy is a very notable member of our Association and, whilst working for NASA and other aerospace related industries, he has made considerable contributions to the American space programme.

Roy is nearly ninety now and he is currently living in the United States. His daughter Pippa has kindly provided us with more gems from Roy’s past. These include some of his school reports, one of which has an entry from WHD (Mr. Dowland). Roy clearly showed early promise as a physicist!

Another item is an essay written by Roy when he was about twelve. At that time, he was taught English by Miss Enid Walker – seemingly the first lady to teach at the Grammar School – and with whom apparently, most of the boys immediately fell in love! She later married Edwin Houlton.

You can find these new uploads in the POINTS pages.

At 12/06/2017

The recently posted Form Group picture – which we thought to be the Science Sixth Form of around 1968 – turns out to be a photo of the Sixth Form leavers of 1972. Thanks to the several people who have pointed out this error. We can identify many of the faces, but any contributions would be appreciated.

At 22/05/2017

Rather lovely old item from the archives, titled “PROGRAMME 1931”. Would appear to be the programme for an annual get- together, with supper and some entertainment provided by staff and boys. Does anyone know anything about it? The “Annual Wail” sounds like an interesting event!

You can find it in the Galleries/Misc pages

At 21/05/2017

A new form group picture provided by Duncan Graham. We think it is the Science Sixth Form circa 1968. Can anyone confirm this? We have some names but, as ever, any information would be much appreciated. You can find the image in GALLERIES/FORM GROUPS.

Can’t help but comment that we didn’t need to import clever, well educated people in those days. We “grew” our own!

At 11/04/2017

We have received an e-mail from Martin Watson. He is wondering if anyone might know of the whereabouts of any photographs of his father Harry, who attended the school sometime in the 1940’s. Unfortunately, we have nothing in our own archives, so any help would be much appreciated. Martin can be contacted via e-mail at:

At 20/03/2017

Senior Science Sixth 1969 photo added to GALLERIES, FORM GROUPS. One or two names missing. Can anyone help with these?

At 12/03/2017

Members will be saddened to learn of the sudden death of Old Boy John Clark last month. John suffered a stroke at the age of fifty nine.

We were informed of this by one of his best friends, Derek Compton (1969 – 1974) and Derek’s message is below:

I did not know that there was a HGS old boys society and have come across this while looking for old friends of that time, contact sadly lost along the way after various house moves across the country by all of us.
I was specifically wanting to pass on the news of the death last week of one of the best friends I have had, John Clark, who died aged 59 after having a stroke in February. For anyone who remembers John and would like to attend the funeral, it is being held at Stranton Crematorium at 12 noon, Friday 17th March.
I was particularly hoping to contact David Johnson, Martin Steel, and Martin Rowbothom, as we all hung around together at the time and I am sad to say, that I lost touch with them many years ago when we went our separate ways to University and life became more complicated.
If any of you are able to attend, please just come along. It would be good to see you again, all be it in such sad circumstances.
Derek Compton

At 13/02/2017

The 1955 Orchestra and 1948 Fourth Form photos have had several names appended. Many still missing though: please contact us if you are able to fill in any of the gaps. Thanks to Dr. David Willis, Keith Baggs and others for helping with these images.

At 22/01/2017

Help please! A form group photo taken in 1948 has been added to the Galleries. Can anyone identify the form and any of the boys appearing in it? (You can use the CONTACT US/ENQUIRIES facility). We thank Keith Baggs for providing this photo: his brother Frank is standing at the right hand end of the middle row.

At 11/01/2017

A few new items after the Christmas break.

The AGM was held at Hartlepool Cricket Club on 11th December 2016. Included in the business was the installation of our new President, Graeme Scarratt and there is a picture (GALLERIES – OTHER PHOTOS) of the retiring President, Eric Elliott,  passing over the Association gong to Graeme. We thank Eric for his eloquent addresses and other contributions  throughout the year. Graeme will be well known to many members and you can find a brief autobiographical sketch of him in the POINTS pages.

Also added since the last update is a form photograph of 2A in 1951. There are many well known names appearing in this group. Thanks to Ken Williams and Ron Greig for providing this picture. (GALLERIES – FORM GROUPS).

Can I reiterate our usual appeal for similar images – or indeed anything else connected with the school? You can use the CONTACT US page to let us know about material which you may know about.

At 30/11/2016

The School magazine  for the year 1957 -58 has been added to the  Galleries/School Magazine pages.

At 17/11/2016

The  1969 5 Alpha form photograph now includes names. Thanks to Kevin Parkes for providing these.

Many of our photos are missing names: if you can provide us with any, please use the CONTACT US facility to help us, (Enquiry area).

At 27/10/2016

The Forum is seldom used and is likely to be replaced or even removed shortly. I have moved two or three amusing reminiscences of “Bruiser Addis” to the POINTS pages of the website.

At 18/10/2016

The  Re-union Dinner
Our annual re-union dinner was held last Friday evening in the Sir William Gray Suite of the Historic Quay: we have used this stylish and very comfortable location for several years now. The whole complex has recently been taken over by the Royal Navy and has become part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, so we were a little uncertain as to what to expect in terms of  service, catering etc. We were not disappointed – helpful staff, good service and an agreeable meal all contributing to a most enjoyable evening. Our thanks to the personnel involved for making all of this possible.
At sixty-four, attendance was a little down on last year’s exceptional turnout, but the company did seem to be about right for the size of the room. Once again, we did think that our younger members were somewhat under represented and we would urge them to try to attend in the years to come. Two members – Bill Taylor and David Atherton – pointed out that this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of their joining the School and that they were members of the last intake of boys to leave before the school became Brinkburn Comprehensive School.
As is usual, we enjoyed some excellent speeches: the toast to the Association (Keith Robinson), the reply (Eric Elliott QC, our President), the toast to the guests (Graeme Scarratt, our President Elect) and the reply on behalf of the guests (Phil Mitchell).
Our Secretary, Roderick Thompson (with a “p” !) organised and MC’d the whole evening and we extend our thanks to Roderick for this fine effort.

At 15/09/2016

Barry Grieveson  1939 – 2016

Members will be saddened to learn of the death of OB Barry Grieveson, who passed away on September 6th near his home in France, following a short period of illness.

Barry attended Lister Street and Elwick Road schools before proceeding to Brinkburn in 1951, where he spent five years, leaving at the end of the Fifth Form. He had many well known contemporaries, including  the late Rob Bateman, Ken Williams, Barry Brownless, Brian Anson and others.

He was a keen and talented rugby player during his years at Brinkburn and he was a member of most school sides, including the 2nd XV whilst still only in the Fifth Form. Swimming was another activity in which he excelled and he was the top swimmer in each of his school years. Outside of school, Barry was an enthusiastic member of the Air Training Corps.

He was married to Margaret (also sadly deceased) and they had children Ian, Jeanette, Brenda, Robbie and Barry.

After leaving School, Barry became a very active and committed member of West Hartlepool Rugby Club, playing regularly for the Club during his earlier years. In the twilight of his playing days, he continued his involvement by taking over and running West’s “lowest” team – the 5th XV – a side for which he recruited tirelessly. So effective were his efforts in this area, that a 6th XV became necessary and, on one occasion, he even organized a 7th XV !

Careerwise, he joined Surtees Engineering, a local steel fabrication company and later, he became the MD and owner of the company.

Barry’s humour and genial nature will be missed by all who have had the good fortune to have known him.

We extend our condolences to his children and other family members.

At  28/08/2016

The new Bulletin. You will, by now, be in possession of your copy of this year’s Bulletin. Another excellent production, full of information, reports and wonderful reminiscences of past times. Our thanks to Bulletin Editor, Duncan Graham for this splendid document.

Membership List 2016: you can find this in the CONTACT US page of the galleries.

Kevin Parkes has sent in some interesting material, including photos of 5 Alpha (1969) and the First Eleven hockey team of 1971/72. These pictures have been added to the appropriate galleries. Thanks to Kevin for providing them: they help to fill some of the many missing gaps in our photographic records. If you have any  school related photos in your possession which are not in the galleries, then please use the CONTACT US to let us know about them!

At 08/08/2016

Another  item sent in by Don Kidd: the fixture card for the unbeaten 1954 – 1955 1st XV side of that year. You can find this in the  Misc Documents pages of the Galleries.

Thanks Don for these rare and interesting items!

At 05/08/2016

Alan Silverfox (1947 -1952) has sent in two excellent form group photos taken during his time at Brinkburn. You can find these in the GALLERIES/FORM GROUPS pages. Alan has provided some names and these will be added in due course. If you can name any others, then please use the CONTACT US facility to let us know.

Many thanks to Alan for these pictures. Can anyone provide more of them?

At 02/08/2016

A fascinating account of school life from Don Kidd (1948 – 1955).  Don was a member of the amazing 1st XV of 1954 -1955 (Played 21, Won 21). See the photo of this side in the Rugby image gallery.

Don’s account may be found in the POINTS pages.

At 12/06/2016

A few more images of the recent unveiling ceremony held at the Sixth Form College, to complement those already posted in the Other Photos gallery. Thanks to Vic Branfoot for these.

At 27/05/2016

Thomas Henry Atkinson  (1926 – 2016)

Members will be saddened to learn of the death of Tom Atkinson, who passed away on March 28th of this year. Tom was a member of our Association and always spoke of his schooldays with pride and and affection.

I am sure that we would all wish to extend our belated condolences to Tom’s daughter Susan and other members of his family.

At 18/05/2016

Yesterday evening saw the unveiling ceremony for Brian Anson’s splendid artwork signifying the passing on of the Grammar School’s tradition of academic and sporting excellence to the Sixth Form College. The ceremony took place at the College and was a most enjoyable event attended by over ninety guests. They comprised of OB’s and their wives,  former Grammar School staff and representatives of the College staff and student body.

The ceremony itself was performed by the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Sue Snowdon and the College Principal, Mr Faux Goodwin accepted the contribution on behalf of the College. There were other excellent speeches from our Chairman Malcolm Donelly and our President Eric Elliott.

I have uploaded a few photos of the evening and you can find these in the GALLERIES/OTHER PHOTOS pages. Thanks to Carol Dormand for these pictures.

At 05/05/2016

Many of us will not be aware of the passing of Harry “Butch” Walker in December of last year. Vic Branfoot has written a moving tribute to a wonderful teacher. You can find Vic’s contribution in the POINTS pages.

At 27/03/2016

Colin Steele (who left the School in 1962) has recently been in touch and he has sent in some reminiscences of his time at Brinkburn and his subsequent career. He makes mention of Bryn Llewellyn, Bob Hart and others of that era. He recalls some amusing tales of cricket matches on the lawn and the teaching of “Pop” Saunders. You can find Colin’s account in the POINTS pages.

At 09/03/2016

Jim Nixon – a tribute by Graeme Scarratt. Following the funeral yesterday, Graeme Scarratt – one of Jim’s closest pals – has written some recollections of his long association and friendship with Jim. Amusing and, at times moving, Graeme’s account reveals something of the true nature of Jim and the many accomplishments he achieved throughout his life. You can find Graeme’s tribute to Jim in the POINTS pages of our website.

At 02/03/2016

Jim Nixon A funeral service for Jim will be held at Stranton Crematorium at 12.00 pm on Tuesday 8th March. Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend this, and to gather at the Hartlepool Cricket Club subsequently.

At 01/03/2016

Jim Nixon

It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the untimely death of Old Boy Jim Nixon. Jim passed away whilst taking his customary evening jog last Friday. Many of us will be acquainted with Jim as a consequence of his exemplary sporting career. Whilst still at school, he represented the County in both rugby and cricket and, upon returning to the town after university, he captained West Hartlepool Rugby Club in the early 1970’s. He continued his cricket involvement as a regular first team player for Hartlepool Cricket Club. He graduated in Economics and Politics at Sheffield University in 1967 and followed this with a teacher training course. Many will have known him as a fine and much respected teacher of English at Henry Smith’s School and, more recently, Head of Department at High Tunstall College. He was a fit and highly enthusiastic fell walker and he was never more happy than when walking in the Pennines or the Lake District. In all of these many facets of his busy and productive life, he will be sorely missed by those who have had the good fortune to have known him. Jim is succeeded by his wife Joan, son Matthew and daughter Ruth and we extend our deepest sympathy to them and other family members. Jim for email

Jim on Blencathra in the Lake District (Thumbnail – click to enlarge)

At 21/02/2016

Chapter 5 of Stan Burnicle’s book has been added to the POINTS pages. In it, Stan retells of his time at Brinkburn – years which he clearly enjoyed – and the masters  whom he encountered. He also includes a lovely account of a school camping expedition to the Lake District in 1938.

At 28/01/2016

Bryn Llewellyn

It is with sadness that we report the death of Old Boy Bryn Llewellyn. It is, in fact, some time since Bryn died, but the news has only just come to our attention.

He attended the School between the years of 1955 and 1962 and he was a notable sportsman, playing for the First XI cricket and Second XV rugby sides in his senior years.

Bryn worked in the insurance business and lived in Johannesburg for the major part of his life. A number of us have visited him there and John Gatenby describes him as being “a smashing, extraordinarily stylish and humorous bloke”.

Bryn was married to Elizabeth and they had two sons, Neal and Rhys. We send our condolences to his family.

At 24/01/2016

Strike the Right Note”.

We have recently been presented with a copy of this little book,which was written by the late Stan Burnicle (1921 – 2002). Stan was an Old Boy of the School, attending the Lauder Street premises and then Brinkburn, between the years of 1933 and 1940.

He was clearly a very high flier academically, records indicating first place prizes in several subjects throughout his time at the school. Although following a scientific career (mostly with ICI) in adult life, he had a consuming interest in music and he was an accomplished organist. Indeed, in the preface to the book, his skill with the instrument is praised by no lesser a person than Roy Massey (MBE), Organist and Choir Master of Hereford Cathedral. Stan was a great raconteur and in considerable demand as an after-dinner speaker in the region: some of us will recollect his deliveries at our own re-union gatherings.

His wife Isabella, has very kindly given permission for us to publish some material from his book on our website and we shall do this shortly. We are sure that members will find the items to be of great interest.

In the meantime, you can find images of the book covers and the dedication to the Old Boys in the POINTS pages of the website.

At 07/01/2016

The 1956-57 edition of the School Magazine has been uploaded to the GALLERIES/SCHOOL MAGAZINE pages.

At 30/11/2015

Several school magazines from the 50’s early 60’s era have now been scanned and saved in the electronic archives. The scanning is a very tedious process and I would like to thank James Burrows for his help with this. The 1955-56 edition of the magazine has been uploaded to the website and may be found in the GALLERIES/SCHOOL MAGAZINE pages. We have presented the pages as individual jpg’s to allow easy location and reading of the content. Don’t forget that you can use CTRL + or – to resize the image if you need to. More issues will be uploaded in due course.

At 28/10/2015

A curious item from the NDM of 1923, with the headline “Our New Blazer”. Thanks to John Watson for this discovery. You can find it in GALLERIES/Misc Documents

At 21/10/2015

An interesting account of discipline in the early 1940’s, provided by Raymond Colledge (who left the school in 1947). It can be found in the POINTS page.

Thanks to Raymond for this article.

At 20/10/2015

The re-union dinner.

The annual re-union dinner was held in the Sir William Gray suite of the Historic Quay on Friday 16th October. The address to the Association was given by Sue Snowdon (the Lord Lieutenant of the County) and the reply by our President, Dr. Brian Anson. The President Elect (Eric Elliot, QC) proposed the toast to the guests and the reply was given by Sir Ron Norman. All the speakers are to be congratulated on the content and delivery of their addresses.

Ninety-three members and guests attended the event – a total, we understand, exceeding that of any previous year. Remarkable, when one considers the nature of our Association!

The event was meticulously organised by our Secretary, Roderick Thompson and we thank Roderick for his efforts. Our thanks also to the staff of the Sir William Gray Suite for providing a good meal and excellent service throughout the evening.

We would hope that next year’s dinner will prove to be equally well attended with, perhaps, an increased number of our younger members present.

Photographs taken during the evening will be published on the website, when they become available.

At 19/10/2015 Picture of Alan Douglas (left 1969?) winning the Junior High Jump for West House, on Sports Day 1963. The image is in Galleries/Athletics. Thanks to Alan for this.

At 14/10/2015 Re-union dinner, Friday 16th October. The Dinner will take place in the Sir William Gray suite at the Hartlepool Historic Quay. The timing is 6.45 for 7.30 pm and the Baltic Suite (directly below) will be open for drinks at 6.45 pm.

At 19/09/2015 A rugby team of 1934 added, including a youthful looking Pop Saunders on the left!

At 18/09/2015 Another 2nd XV photograph. This one from 1954-55. Thanks to Colin Dalziel for this. Again, these new pics will shortly be sorted chronologically.

At 16/09/2015 Lovely sketch of the old Lauder Street building provided by Wally Green. We don’t have much information about it yet: more to follow. You can find it in Galleries/Misc.

At 30/08/2015 A few new rugby team pics have come to light. They have been added to the start of the appropriate gallery and will be placed chronologically in due course. Names would be welcome!

At 29/07/2015 In the POINTS pages, you will find an account of Keith Robson’s memories of his years at Brinkburn, in particular, his recollections of ENH.  I think it fair to say that Keith is not wearing rose-tinted spectacles as he looks back on his time there! He is clearly a talented artist and has worked for the publishers D.C. Thomson (Dandy, Beano etc.) and he now lectures in Artistic Studies at Aberdeen University. He modestly claims that Owen Smith awarded him 10/10 for every Art homework during his time at the School!  Keith left school in 1963. In the GALLERIES/OTHER PHOTOS pages we have added a couple of pictures of the old chemistry lecture theatre (who remembers the Great Water Pistol Shoot-Out of 1959?) and a small section of the many Honours Boards in the Hall: some great names there!  

At 27/07/2015 We have received an e-mail from OB Keith Sarginson who left Brinkburn in 1948. He is visiting Hartlepool (for the first time in many years) on August 13 -15th and he wonders if any of his old school pals might be around? He mentions David Dowling, Keith Bloomfield, Ken Dyer, Gus Evans, John Wilson, Kenneth Bell and Raymond College, but he would enjoy the opportunity of meeting up with any OB from that era. You can contact Keith via e-mail: In the POINTS pages you can find a Northern Daily Mail item from 08/07/1922 concerning the retirement of Headmaster Mr. Archyll Jones. Another Mail item from a couple of years later describes a concert performed at the School at around that time. Both of these interesting items originate from the researches of John Watson and we thank John for his efforts.

At 20/06/2015 The pen-sketch of our new President Elect, Eric Elliott, will now appear in the next edition of the Bulletin. We have received no news or other items of interest recently, so there is nothing to add in these pages of the Website. More disappointing, is the absence of any activity in the Forum area. We shall discuss the future of this part of the site in the next meeting of the Committee.

At 20/05/2015 Members will be pleased to hear that Mr. Eric Elliott QC has agreed to succeed Dr. Brian Anson as our President Elect. Eric is a highly distinguished OB and, having left the School as late as 1969, he is one of our younger members! We hope to provide a brief pen-sketch of Eric and his career in due course.  

At 30/03/2015 The 1953 issue 0f the School Magazine has been added to the GALLERIES page. The cover page proclaims it to be the 50th Anniversary edition! We have included the several  sponsor pages, and many of us will remember the likes of Jackson & Dunn, Frank Rogers, Perrys, Sages, Hoggets and others. This was the first school magazine to be professionally printed, previous editions such as “The Trident”, having been assembled, typed and duplicated “in-house”. We have a more or less complete set of magazines now (thanks to various contributors) and these will be uploaded in due course.

At 26/03/2015 It is good to see that a few members are starting to use the FORUMS. Please continue to follow the open threads and upload further ones. New contributors are always welcome! Password Tip: to help with the long password, type it into something like Notepad, save it in a Desk Top New Folder and then, when you need to log in to the Forums, copy it and paste it into the password box.

At 13/03/2015 Good photo of 3C in 1947, with Mr. David Watson as their Form Master. Three form entry in those days? When did it revert to two form? Thanks to Geoff Burland for this image, which you can find in GALLERIES, FORM GROUPS.

At 08/03/2015 Many of us will be saddened to learn of the recent death of Gordon Boocock. Gordon was Head of the French Department in the sixties and went on to become Deputy Head under Max Leason. We are in touch with his son David (himself an Old Boy)  and  we send our condolences to him and his sister. We would hope to publish a brief resume of Gordon’s career, in due course.

At 01/03/2015 DOSMAN44 has posted another account of “Bruiser” Addis in the FORUM area of the website. Can anyone else add to these amusing reminiscences?

At 28/02/2015 In the CONTACT US page, you can find instructions for using the FORUMS area of the site. This is disappointingly underused at present. Please register and make the effort to post something. Contributions can be quite general in nature, but particularly welcome, would be reminiscences of schoolmates, schooldays etc. The forum also provides a useful platform for locating former pupils.

At 26/02/2015 The beginning of the end! In the OTHER PHOTOS gallery, you can find a series of images of  various aspects of the 1937 building as we knew it and the arrival of the demolition men a few years since. Our thanks to Barry Brownless for these pictures.

At 24/02/2015 New picture of John Mullen’s U14 side of 1971-72 in the Rugby Galleries. Names to follow. Does anyone remember “Bruiser” Addis.  Archiveman 44 has uploaded an amusing recollection of maths lessons with him in the fifties. You can find this in the FORUM: it would be pleasing if more of us could make contributions of this sort

At 23/02/2015 We have received an e-mail (via the CONTACT US page) from Old Boy David Harding. The contents are as below:

Date Started Grammar School 08/01/1965
Date Left Grammar School 06/30/1970
Enquiry Does anybody remember me ? I was possibly known as Bone. Same school year as Dave Picken, John Fenton, Ken Horseman. I played rugby for the school and was captain of the second team in 1968/9, Les Lawson was captain of the first team at the same time. My younger brother, Ian , was at the school at the same time as me. Cheers Dave Harding

Dave has included his e-mail address, but we do not wish to make that public. If you do want to contact him, then you could use the CONTACT US facility and we would forward your message to him. MUCH better, however, would be to use the FORUM. You will need to register (you provide a user name and a password will be sent to you by e-mail). One of the principal functions of the FORUM is to facilitate communication between our members by posting a message similar to Dave’s. Hopefully, that would elicit responses and further conversation. The FORUM is woefully underused at present, so please help to get it going by contributing. At 29/01/2015 Lord Kitchener Our website has been up and running for two years or so now and my thanks to everyone for their contributions and kind comments. I continue to receive fascinating material – photographic and documentary – about the history of the School: all of this is being added to the digital archive and will, in time, be published in these pages. What we would like to see more of, however, are personal accounts of experiences and memories of our time at Brinkburn. Excellent examples of these have been been provided by the likes of John Hodgson, the Scarratt brothers and others. Our “rival site”, Friends Reunited, betters us in this respect, so come on, let’s have some of your reminiscences of school days, lessons, masters etc. We all talk about them when we meet, so let’s broaden the conversation! You can post stuff via the Members’ Forum (need to register) or by the Contact Us facility in the main website. Alternatively, just send items by e-mail to me at

At 06/01/2015 Many of us will remember the Scarratt brothers – one or more of them  being pupils at Brinkburn between the years 1948 to 1966. In the Points of Interest pages, you can find accounts describing each of them during their time at school and beyond. Thanks to Graeme and Harvey for these contributions.

At 02/12/2014 Photos taken at this year’s re-union dinner added. Presented as collages in the Galleries /OB Dinner Programmes page, (click to enlarge an individual collection). Several more were taken and all have been archived as individual slides.

At 10/11/2014 In the School Magazine section of the Galleries page, you can read the magazine of 1952. This follows the “Trident”, published in the previous year and, as such, it is the second post war school magazine to be produced. Like its predecessor, it appears to have been typed up and duplicated “in house”. Subsequent magazines (1953 onwards) were commercially printed. Keith Bloomfield has sent in two good photographs, 2nd XI 1948 and the Senior Science Sixth of 1947 (with “Death” as their form master!). Thanks to Keith for these.

At 06/11/2014 A delightful story from old boys Keith Bloomfield and Raymond Colledge, dating back to the 1940’s. Headmaster Ralph Todd seems to have been somewhat of an awe-inspiring character! Does anyone have other tales of the man? The account is in the POINTS page.

At 30/10/2014 From time to time, we have been asked about the possibility of setting up a list of Old Boys who have achieved exceptionally whilst at school and in their careers beyond: a sort of “Hall of Fame”, if you like. Such a list would, of course, embrace excellence in all areas of achievement – academic, sport, art, music, business, medicine, the law, the military etc. The matter was discussed during a recent committee meeting and it was decided that we should not at this stage, proceed with such a list. It was however suggested that when we do hear of exceptional Old Boys, we include a brief sketch of them in the POINTS page of the site. This has, in fact, already taken place with the likes of John Hodgson and Roy Lowe. Another very high achiever has recently come to our attention and it is our President Elect, Dr. Brian Anson. Brian has provided us with an autobiographical sketch and you can find this in the POINTS page.

At 21/10/2014 Some splendid pictures of rugby and cricket teams from around the mid fifties and three very rare photos of sports day (presumably at about that time). “Death” Dowland is clearly discernable as the timekeeper in one of these! These latter appear in the OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS gallery. Thanks to Eric (Gav) Smith for these items.

At 19/10/2014 Another pic of the “Parmont Players” in the POINTS page; provided by Colin Dalziel. Colin has also come up with 2nd XV 54-55, U15’s 53-54, athletics 52 and 53. You can find these in the appropriate galleries. We do have names and the pictures will be labelled shortly. Many thanks to Colin for these images.

At 18/10/2014 The Trident – new entry in the School Magazine section of the GALLERY pages. “The Trident” was the first post-war school magazine and it appeared in 1951. There had been earlier magazines, such as “The Planet” prior to the first world war and other publications in the thirties. (You can find pages from these in the School Magazine section of the GALLERY pages). The Editorial of the magazine makes for some very interesting reading – particularly the extract from an earlier publication, hinting at the move to Brinkburn. Thanks to Ken Lupton for this material.  

At 15/10/2014 New archive material. Colin Dalziel and Ken Lupton passed on some interesting items at the Dinner. These will be published shortly.

At 13/10/2014 The Members’ Forum problem has been corrected and members are encouraged to use it. You will first need to register by entering a user name (your choice) and your e-mail address. You will then receive an e-mail with your Forum password (you cannot change this password). You can then log on to the Forum and begin to contribute. Please read the guidelines for use which appear further down this page (at 03/08/2014). The annual re-union and dinner. This took place on Friday 10th October and it was a great success. Details and photographs to follow, but why not join the Forum and mail your own observations? At 27/09/2014 Members’ Forum. Apologies to intending forum users; the Register/Login process is not functioning at the moment. The fault will be fixed as soon as possible and an announcement will appear on this page. At 24/09/2014 Old Boy Roy Lowe We received recently a fascinating account of the career of Roy Lowe, who left the school in 1945. Roy has fond memories of W. H. Dowland, who clearly had a significant influence upon his career after leaving school. He mentions that the nickname “Death” came from WHD’s rather gaunt appearance “a somewhat haunting look with a long , drawn, thin and bony face with a grey pallour …as in death”. Roy seemingly spent a year assisting WHD in teaching “a truculent Fifth Form the rudiments of Physics, with spectacular failure that put me off being a teacher as a profession forever”. He remained good friends with Mr. and Mrs. Dowland until the time they died. Roy is now eighty-six and he is badly visually impaired. We are fortunate enough to receive the account of his distinguished career from his daughter Pippa. We are grateful to both of them for this very interesting material. You can find the account in the POINTS page of the website. At 17/09/2014 The members’ forum is up and running! Instructions for its use will be published shortly. Meanwhile, feel free to register as a user and obtain a password. (You will need to do this if you wish to send posts to the forum). At 16/09/2014 In the POINTS page, you can find a tribute to Frank (“Pop”) Saunders, who died in 1977. The article originally appeared in the Hartlepool Mail ( at that time, and we are grateful to their editorial staff for allowing us to reproduce it on our website. At 15/09/2014 List of Members We are hoping to launch the Members’ Forum area of the site shortly and, with this in mind, the Committee decided to publish a full list of current members. You can find this document on the CONTACT US page. It is a PDF and can be downloaded for reference and printing. Membership Registration Form All members now have the status of Life Membership and the subscription for new members is a single fee of £20. Unfortunately, the change was not reflected in the downloadable application form. This has been corrected and intending members can find the revised form on the CONTACT US page. It is a PDF and may easily be downloaded and printed. At 07/09/2014 WL Douglass (left 1938) We are sorry to report the death of Old Boy William Douglass, who died  on 15th June at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. We were informed of this by his son, Peter Douglass. Bill had a distinguished  career after leaving school and you can find a brief synopsis of this in the POINTS page of the website. Peter provided us with some photographs  of  his father and fellow prefects at that time. He also appears in pictures of the 1st XV and 1st XI sides of 1937. Our thanks to Peter for these rare items. At 29/08/2014 Tribute to Charles Smith and Phil Tomlinson. Those of us present at the Re-union dinner of 2006 will remember a contribution from Vic Branfoot. It took the form of an eloquent and very sincere tribute to our oldest Old Boys, Charles Smith and Phil Tomlinson, both of whom were in their ninetees at that time. Sadly, both Charles and and Phil are no longer with us, but I am sure that members would like to be reminded of the memory of these remarkable men. You can find Vic’s items in the Miscellaneous Documents gallery. At 27/08/2014 You will have read in The Bulletin, a report on the  first meeting of the Old Students’ Association in 1909. In our POINTS page, you will find a transcript of the report of the following year’s meeting. Somewhere in this, Mr Archyll Jones (Headmaster at that time) “welcomed his old scholars to the second annual re-union”. It was from this that we were able to identify the 1909 meeting as being the very first. (This article another valuable discovery by John Watson: thanks to John).   At 03/08/2014 The new Bulletin The 2014 edition of the OBA Bulletin was posted last Friday and many members will, by now, have received their copy. It is a splendid production and part of it is given over to commemorating the Old Boys of our school who gave their lives in the two World Wars. Our thanks to the Editor for another excellent Bulletin! The Members’ Forum You will read in the Bulletin (p.31) that we had anticipated the Members’ Forum area of the website to be up and running at the time of publication. We are not quite there yet – we need to liaise with the technical people at Infotech – but do please check the site from time to time for an announcement concerning the Forum. The facility will be explained fully at the time of its launch, but intending users might like to look at the initial guidelines below.

  1. Members who wish to use the forum will be required to register by establishing a user name and password.
  2. There will be three sub-forums a) committee business, b) school related topics and c) topics for general discussion. Users will be expected to place posts in the appropriate sub-forum.
  3. Members will expected to respect other users. Posts must not contain inflammatory or abusive comments about others.
  4. Posts must not contain threats to or harassment of other users.
  5. No spamming: automated messages, advertisements or links to other sites will not be permitted.
  6. Posts containing profanity, pornography or adult material will be deleted.
  7. Posts containing copyrighted or other illegal material will be removed.
  8. If you intend to upload images, then they should be of a maximum size 500×500 pixels.

At 28/04/2014 A brief review of Old Boy Paul Chrystal’s book “Hartlepool Through Time” can be found in the POINTS page of the website.

At 25/04/2014 In the Other Photos gallery, you can find a selection of pictures taken by Barry Brownless, prior to the redevelopment of the building. They are presented as montages. The original merchant’s house has been sensitively preserved but all of the 1939 buildings were demolished and replaced. In the left hand picture taken in the Junior Physics lab, you can just make out the old Wimshurst machine on the top shelf at the extreme right!

At 24/04/2014 There was a reunion of the “Class of 1951” in the Hartlepool Cricket Club last week. It was organised by Ken Williams, and Barry Brownless has written a report on it in the POINTS page. You can find some photographs of the occasion in the OTHER PHOTOS gallery.

At 04/04/2014 Two new photos added. Form 1A in 1969, provided by David Boocock (we have a few of the names and these will be added when the list is more complete). A nice picture of the Burn Valley: another product of the John Hodgson archive! One or two folk have asked about the painting of Brinkburn appearing on our home page. It was done by Brian Anson many years ago and we thank Brian for his kind permission in allowing us to use it on the website.

At 26/03/2014 Another couple of pictures from John Hodgson in the Galleries/ Other Photos page. One is taken in the 6th form common room and shows Wilf Cruddas, Don Marshall and Charles Hoy. The other was taken in 1957 in John’s “den” in Clifton Avenue: the glove puppets on the mantlepiece depict Messrs. Houlton and Watson!

At 18/02/2014 Who remembers “The Parmont Players”?  See John Hodgson’s item in the POINTS page.

At 17/02/2014 “The Brinkburn News”.   See the POINTS page. Chairman’s report; Speech Day 1958  and  Ralph Todd address, Speech Day 1952. See GALLERIES, SPEECH DAY. (both items from John Watson).

At 15/02/2014 We have received some fascinating items from Old Boy John Hodgson (1952-1959). Many of us will know John – he has twice been our President – but as an introduction to him, you can find a brief CV in our POINTS page. His contributions will follow shortly.

At 31/01/2014 An interesting discovery by John Watson. Go to the POINTS page and compare the two images of the Merchant’s House, taken around 1937 and much more recently.

At 13/01/2014 Another very old School Magazine, dating from 1931. Property of the late Charles Smith. In the RUGBY gallery, you can find an image of the 1908 side, taken from this magazine. Amongst the happy bunch appears one E. Addis. I this the “Bruiser” Addis of much later fame? At 08/01/2014 An interesting letter to The Hartlepool Mail, posted by Colin Reed several years ago. Colin was a teacher of English at Brinkburn from  1963 to 1965. The letter appears in our MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS gallery, and it is reproduced by kind permission of the Mail. ( It hardly needs pointing out that the name “Norman” used in the article, should of course be “Edwin”! An extract from the Obituary to Thomas Silcock can be found in the POINTS OF INTEREST pages. Also: 1stXV and 1st XI 1958-59 added. Help with names please!   At 04/01/2014 1st XV and Prefects 1954-55 added.  In OTHER PHOTOS is a very old image from Lauder Street. Does anyone know anything about it? 1st XI 1913 added. Thanks to John Watson.   New Gallery Content 07/12/2013 Several new team photographs provided by Bill Dale. Principally rugby, cricket and athletics, around the mid sixties. Some naming to be completed. Our thanks to Bill for these.  Also, Prefects 63-64 added,  provided by Keith Bassham.  

Application for Membership We have received a small number of applications for new membership of the Association: this is very encouraging! Should you wish to join us – and we hope that  you will – then you can now find a link to a downloadable application form on the CONTACT US page. It is a pdf document and may be easily printed.  

Link to Hartlepool History Then and Now site. The HHTANDN site provides a wealth of information about other schools and many aspects of the town. There is a link to it at the bottom of our ABOUT THE SCHOOL page.  

In the Miscellaneous Documents gallery, there is an image of a letter for which many of our parents must have waited with some considerable trepidation – the offer of a place at Brinkburn.  Subsequent letters outline the “contract” between parents and the Education Committee. These images are labelled 11+ letter 01, 02 and 03. Thanks to Brian Harkness for providing these interesting documents.  

New additions at 07/11/2013 Some splendid rugby, cricket and prefect photos from the late 1930’s. Our thanks to John Sherwood (1934-40) for these. Somewhat later (early 50’s) are Form  and Masters photos provided by John Watson: our thanks also to John. You can find these images in the appropriate galleries. We have most of the names and these will be added in due course.  

School Magazine Gallery. Changes at 04/11/2013 The 1912 “Planet” pages have been enhanced and replaced in the gallery. They make interesting reading from a time over one hundred years ago. Extracts from more recent magazines will follow shortly.  

Names and Pictures appeal. On the Home Page, we made an appeal for missing pictures and the names of boys appearing in the galleries already published. We do anticipate a considerable response to this request and it will take some time to update the website with the information. If you do use the CONTACT US facility, then please bear with us whilst we make the changes. We shall endeavour to post information about changes on this NEWS page.  

2013 Annual Reunion and Dinner The Dinner this year was a great success with 74 Old Boys and guests in attendance. For some of the old boys it was their first Dinner and we hope that it will not be their last. The speeches were of a quality which merged seriousness with humour and an extended resume of them will be included in the Bulletin next year. The Toast to the Association was proposed by Bulletin Editor Duncan Graham standing in for Malcolm Donnelly. The reply to this toast was given by President, Reg Clark. The Toast to the Guests was proposed by President Elect, Peter (Pip) Francis, and the response from the guests was given by the Chief Executive of Hartlepool Borough Council, Mr Dave Stubbs. Several photographs of the occasion were taken and we hope very soon to display some of them on the site.

New! (at 21/10/13) We were presented with some interesting material at the Reunion Dinner. Amongst  several other items, was a copy of a letter sent by Nobby to the parents of new boys, detailing such matters as books, uniform, reports etc. You can find this letter in the Miscellaneous Documents section of the Galleries. (Titled “entryletter 01, 02” etc).  

Document Readability Some of the text of School Magazine pages etc can be difficult to read. This is due in part to faintness of the original material and also to the web page size required for viewing on different devices. You can increase the readability by zooming in on an image. To do this, hold down CTRL and either use the scroll wheel on your mouse or the + key. Tablet users can simply use the screen pinch method to zoom. As an alternative, you can COPY and PASTE the image into a picture editor such as Paint Shop or Adobe Elements. Once there, the image can be enhanced by increasing contrast and reducing saturation. We shall do this to the original images and reload them to the website, so they will become more readable.

A letter from Arthur Ray Following publication of the 2012 Bulletin, Arthur wrote to the Editor and included a tribute to Bill Armstrong which he wanted, initially, to go on the website. The previous website was out of commission so Arthur requested that his contribution should go into the Bulletin. Sadly, by the time the Editor wrote to Arthur to advise him that the article would be put on the new site, he had passed away. His daughter kindly responded with permission for the said tribute to be published. You can find Arthur’s letter in the Misc Documents section of the Galleries. Updates We are beginning to receive (via the CONTACT US facility) some of the names missing from photographs and we shall add them accordingly. Thank you to those who have already responded – please keep them coming! We shall post notices of significant updates in this NEWS page.