St. Aloysius Teachers
Posted by Michael Lynch on September 18, 2019, 8:38 pm
Below is a copy of something I put on the Message Board some years ago. |
Sorry I missed the recent "thread below" on this subject.
St. Aloysius RC Secondary Modern School
– Recollections of my Teachers
I thought it might revive some memories if I shared these with the Hebburn site.
My recollections of the teachers who taught me.
51/52 Mr. Pip Devlin, slightly scatty (but harmless) tall teacher, allegedly with "war problems". Used to stand behind the easel blackboard, combing his hair - and asking us 8/9 year olds what he was doing. He could never quite understand why we laughed. Highlight of the year was Frankie Connor (last heard of in Ipswich in the 80's) turning round and throwing my Inkwell at Pip after he had his knuckles rapped by Pip. I then got the cane for letting him throw my Inkwell - I never quite worked that one out!!!
53/53 Miss Cawthorn, She was a local Teacher, who lived in Hebburn and went to St Aloysius Church, as did most of our parents and us. The result was no one misbehaved in her class (we didn't want to as she was a great teacher) and as she knew our Parents and that was sufficient knowledge to keep us in all on our best behavior.
53/54 Mr. Rogers lovely old guy who loved to teach us History and Poems!! and football. He was in charge of the junior football team. After the team had lost its first two football matches he introduced at our suggestion George (Geordie Armstrong - from the year below) and myself into the team for the next game. On the Friday before the game, we were gob smacked when big "Frank Brennan" of Newcastle United walked into the class to present us with new football socks to wear on the Saturday and wish us luck. We drew that game and ended up second in the league at the end of the season.
54/55 Mr. Jimmy Skelly. - "Gentleman Jim" The smartest dresser in the school always immaculately dressed with a handerkerchief in his pocket - but "with hands the size shovels" with which you could get a nasty "cuff on the ear" if you got out of hand or did something stupid. He was normally an expert marksman with the Board Duster if he did miss you he kindly asked you to bring it back to him, and then you got "cuff on the ear". The highlight of the year was when Harry Green a new boy had arrived in the class Harry thought he was a bit of "hard lad" and tried it on with Jim. Harry threw a punch a Jim, but missed and ended up being dumped in the classroom "waste bin" in which he got his bum stuck, the rest of the class were cracking-up laughing as Harry shouted that he would get his Dad to sort out Jim. Jim Skelly always had a smile on his face had a quick and (looking back probably) a cynical wit but he was liked and respected by the majority of my year.
55/56 Harry Brennan, An ex RAF serviceman, tall with the short debonair moustache and always nicely groomed hair and always smart. He was well liked and fascinated us with his Service tales. The one I always recollect which I have recited to my own sons is the one, where Harry and his mates when in the Air force (in Canada - as I recollect) they were told they could have a special week-end leave if their Barrack Room (dormitory) passed a cleanliness inspection. They worked tirelessly to ensure the dormitory was spotless, the inspection was all but over and as the Officer was leaving the dormitory he passed his hand over the top of the door, which of course was covered with dust - he denied their week-end leave. Whether true or not we hung on every word. In his class you rarely got the cane - you got the serviceman’s punishment of having to hop up and down (on your hunkers) on the 22 yard stretch of lawn outside the Prefab building we were in, during break periods. It was worse than any cane. Lastly and very importantly he was our sports and football teacher under whom we had considerable success.
56/57 Joe Boyd, ex Royal Navy another "toughie" who we all generally liked, who also had a few "tall serviceman stories". Prided himself on being a good Table Tennis player as we had a table tennis table that we erected during the lunch hour at the front of the class. Joe took on all comers and considered himself the "Champion" but whenever he was in danger of losing, which he was occasionally, (as one or two of us played table-tennis at the Power House) he quickly decided to give someone else the opportunity to have a game!! He give us the cane occasionally - as he did have a temper - and we did feel it -believe me we did, but like Harry Brennan they used to like to make us hop up and down the lawn while they watched during break time -giving us derisory encouragement out of the window!!!
57/58 (My Final year) Joe Carroll, Another ex RAF, serviceman, who apparently had been wounded in the arm during the war. The result was he could not swing his arm above the elbow when giving you the cane (which in his case was rare) so it rarely hurt. He too relied on the hopping punishment, which we all hated. If you were given this punishment - your friends usually cheered. Joe was older than Harry Brennan or Joe Boyd and having gone thro their two classes we were all a little wiser in trying to avoid any sort of punishment in our final year. Joe sort of got our respect before we got into his class as we all aware of his wartime injury and as he was a laid back type with a dry sense of humour, who often referred to our older brothers, who he had also taught -there was always a relaxed atmosphere about his class. Generally a great bunch of Teachers who helped mould our Characters for the tough old world we later had to face
- and looking back they appear to have done a great job.