Ex-grammar lad’s school memories
Published in the Gazette in 2012
From Jarrow Grammar School to the high seas.
The photo below from Norman Dunn's website shows pupils of the school in 1947.
Well it eventually reached Anthony Rogers, now in Taunton in Somerset, who was at the school until 1966. He is curious to know if Bill Porteous, who is on the snap, is still around.
Anthony’s an ex-Jarrow lad, born at Danesfield Maternity Home in 1948.
His father came from the Isle of Wight and met Anthony’s mother, Nora Gaustad, while standing by as the gunner of the second HMS Exmoor while she was under construction at Swan Hunter’s in 1941.
“My mother’s father, Abraham Gaustad, was a naturalised Norwegian and ex-merchant seaman, and was then, so I understand, landlord of the Old George public house in Newcastle’s Cloth Market,” he says.
“The Jarrow Gaustad girls, all four of them, were known for their swimming prowess in competitions in the 1920-1930s.”
Anthony and his family lived in London and Hong Kong before his father was appointed to the Reserve Fleet at Hartlepool in 1954.
They then lived in his grandparents’ house at 8 Brancepeth Terrace, Primrose, until his parents bought 23 Field Terrace in 1958.
“I lived there until 1966 when I joined the Royal Navy as an officer cadet – never to return, apart from on leave. My father’s last appointment, before retiring in 1958, was at the Naval offices in South Shields, near the Market. He then worked as a civil servant at the Labour Exchange – the ‘Dole Hole’ – in Hebburn.”
Anthony attended Valley View Junior School from 1954-1959 and then Jarrow Grammar School (JGS).
“In your article of the class in 1947, I am sure Alan Grimes was one of my teachers at Valley View, and a very nice bloke.
“Bill Porteous was a physics teacher and deputy head at JGS and lived not far from us. I certainly respected him. He did some personal tuition to help improve my maths, which I put to good use in the Royal Navy.
“I did over 36 years in the RN, retiring as a Commander in 2002. In my last tri-service job in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in London I was the MoD Staff Officer responsible for all of the cadet forces in the UK. It was very satisfying to see something good being done about young people.
“Whilst there I was taken aback to see Bill Porteous’ signature on papers and studies that he had undertaken due to his senior, important voluntary role in the Army Cadet Force. I should now like to get in touch with him, if it’s not too late.”
By the way, Anthony was commanding officer of HMS Crichton, Fishery Protection Squadron, in the early 1980s.
“It was a strange feeling on occasions, driving your own ship up to Newcastle Quay sans a pilot and fuelling at the then-Shell Jetty at Jarrow. Both my Father and I experienced the worst weather at sea in our careers – on leaving the Tyne! Him in 1941 and me 40 years later.”