Memories of Billingham
I was lucky enough to attend Bede Hall. We had a terrific staff team in those days - Clive Bell, Peter Dixon, the late Annie Woodward et al. The whole experience was mind blowing, as the mix of administered and self discipline was a whole new ball game. I have to say, it worked very well at the time, although educational policies seem to have been in a rapid downward spiral ever since. What a shame! The standard of teaching was generally very high (there were one or two exceptions), and we learned various life skills along the way. One example was that respect was a two way street! I don't ever recall a 'Because I said so!'. No! Always an enthusiastic 'Well the reason for this is....'. Result? Well, you ...Read full memory
Billingham Campus School consisted of four halls - Bede, pictured in the foreground, Davy behind and Faraday furtherst away. The fourth hall, Stephenson was about 800 yards away, not pictured. There was a sports block with a swimming pool which can just be seen to the left of this photograph.
I was still a teenager, 17 years old and my baby brother at school at Bede Campus. I escaped the campus by virtue of it not having been completed when I passed the 11+. The town centre in Billingham was still being built, and we used to hang out in the park - John Whitehead. In those days, pleasures were simple, roller skate in the street (though not when neighbours were on nightshift and so still sleeping) cycle around the neighbourhood, walk, swim at the local pool or go to the bowling alley. Cafes used to open late so we could sit and have a coffee at 8 o'clock. There was no early morning tv which used to start mid to late afternoon so we kids were encouraged to spend our time outdoors which to me now is ...Read full memory
I often sit now in the town centre and ponder on the days gone by .. not that I'm that old but Billingham has sadly aged quicker than a tired old dog. The Forum Theatre, and the big name stars that visited it then, are now faded memories, just like the Forum's splendour. I can remember the fish pond and fountains that were adjacent to Woolworths, the monkey cages and glass reptile houses opposite Miles newsagent (does anyone have any photos?). I remember as a child along along with my brothers and sisters our mam every Saturday morning would take us to Finlays Cafe, we would have milk shake or tea with warm teacakes and melted butter. She would be stopped by almost everyone in the whole world ...Read full memory