Archive for June 22, 2014

Were You Taught By Mr George Hill and/or Mr Wobble Gobble Hewitson?

June 22, 2014 15 comments

If so how was it for you? I’m really interested even after all those years. For my view point they were somewhat disappointing.

I first observed George Hill at New Brancepeth School and later at Ushaw Moor. I always felt him to be a little haughty. Looking back now he seems to have been a bit like what I imagine a Victorian or Edwardian teacher to  be, that is stern and strict. I know he taught woodwork and technical drawing but I only knew him from technical drawing.

Before meeting him technical drawing was a mystery to be and it never got any better. I learnt absolutely nothing about technical drawing during the period he taught our class. Nothing. 0. I never troubled the scorers. I cannot recall him trying to help me and neither can I recall any homework set by him. I actually scored 0 in technical drawing in the easier of the two exam boards that we took; the very basic local leaving certificate, called the Central and Western Divisions School Certificate. No doubt I was partly to blame but I hasten to add that I did want to learn the subject and I did excel in most other subjects.

As for our English teacher, Mr Hewitson, he is a little more problematic! For one thing his surname might have been Hewison although, on balance, I doubt it. I received mixed messages from him; on the one hand he felt I was up to the job of office junior at the Northern Echo, with a view to eventually becoming a journalist, but on the other hand he did make a mild joke at my expense during a class.He likened me to Mrs Malaprop the fictional lady that frequently used the wrong word. Fortunately I doubt that many, if any, in our class had heard of that lady! Anyway William S and many other famous writers used to make words up! Not that I’m….

What disappointed me about our English teacher is that he failed to inspire me regarding the book Lord Of The Flies. For that matter he did not switch on my light bulb regarding The Thirty Nine Steps. 

I have experienced some top class teachers and lecturers e.g. Harry Barlow at school and several lecturers at Guildford College Of Technology, Surrey University and Reading University, so I feel I can recognise both poor and brilliant teachers.

So, how was it for you regarding the two teachers? I would not be that surprised to hear that your experience of them was good. Maybe I was taught by them when their performance dipped or maybe I was just not ready to fully appreciate them. 

Anyway, do tell.


Categories: Memories

Fire Ice And Water At Broompark

June 22, 2014 2 comments

Back in 1890 three young men from Ushaw Moor College were walking about near a frozen Broompark pond. They were daredevils, if you like, or perhaps just innocent lads.  One of them went on to the ice and to his horror it cracked open; he then fell into the pond. One of his friends asked him if his feet were on the bottom and he replied that they were not. Despite urgent efforts by his friends the young man began to realise that he was in a very serious situation. He began to cry in despair. Shortly afterwards he drowned.

Moving on, we find that a disastrous fire occurred at Broompark Colliery at 8pm on August the 8th 1904. It started on an old pit heap and within thirty or so minutes it became a big blaze. It took sometime for the Langley Moor fire brigade to arrive at the scene. They used a Broompark pond as a source of water.  During the incident a disused shaft and a screen were consumed by the fire. As a matter of fact the county was lit up for miles around!

Thank goodness there were few men in the pit and that they all got out safely.



Categories: Memories