The Glebe Junior School
from the mid 1940s
(Washington, Tyne Wear)

By John D. Hall

Copyright 2013
I had been born up Eighton Banks in 1937 but at the end of the War we moved
down to 15 The Terraces, in what is now Columbia, Washington.  My Grandad
Hullyer had died and so my mam and dad returned to my mam’s childhood
home to care for her bereaved blind mother. I missed the Eighton Banks
School along Galloping Green Road, opposite St. Thomas’ Church.  It was
wartime when I was there and I remember hearing the sirens and the anti-
aircraft. The flares would light up Penshaw Monument. There was a certain
excitement about going to school.
John D. Hall
Photo courtesy of John D Hall
I took starting at the Glebe School in my stride, though I did miss Eighton
Banks. I was put into Class 3, Mr Hodgson’s class. He had a ginger
moustache, but that might have been caused by nicotine.  I stayed in his class
for two years as it was discovered that I had been put in the wrong class for
my age. I should have started in Class 2. I had originally been put in Class 3
based upon ability, not age.

In Class 4 my teacher was Mr. Ernie Mountain. He was a member of the
Methodist Church and a frequent visitor to my Uncle George Hullyer’s house
up Hawthorn Terrace, in Eighton Banks. They knew each other well as both
were local preachers.  They both preached at Jubilee Chapel, Eighton Banks.
Mr. Ernie Mountain was a local preacher at Jubilee Chapel, Eighton Banks.
Photo courtesy of
In Class 5 my teacher was Miss Jean Swaddle. I could never work out her age
but she must have been in her early twenties. She always dressed very
smartly. Every day after school she would walk up to Home View, a street of
terraced houses next to the Glebe Pit, and catch the red double decker number
25 bus up to Springwell. Every year she attended the Garden Party at St.
Thomas’ Church up Eighton Banks.
Home View was next to the Glebe Pit. The bus stop, where Miss Swaddle
caught the #25 bus, was just off to the left of the photo.
(Photographer unknown)
Miss Swaddle’s classroom was divided with the boys sitting on one side and
the girls on the other. There were milk monitors who distributed the quarter
pint bottles ready for lunch time. Many was the time during the winters that
these were frozen solid. My job every morning was Weather Monitor. There
was a monthly weather chart on the wall. I filled in rain as an umbrella and a
sunny day as a yellow circle.

Just about every week we would sit on the floor in the school hall and listen to
the “Schools Programmes”.  Even now I remember listening to a man on the
Rediffusion wireless explaining how to make a pair of shoes!
We listened to the “School Programmes”
over the Rediffusion wireless in the school hall.
Photo courtesy of
My favourite lesson was Maths. We either did the Maths from the blackboard or
we had books of problems. We knew our times tables off by heart and did lots
of mental arithmetic. We learned to have the correct slope on our writing and
used pen and ink. Crossed nibs were the bane of our lives.

The headmaster was Mr. English. He drove a grey Austin A40 which he parked
up by the end of the school, by the wall at the entrance to the school field. He
had been shot down in the War and one arm was no good. His caning arm was
alright though. He led the Morning Assembly in the school hall, mainly a hymn
and a prayer, and he could play the piano with one hand. We all knew the
hymns off by heart. Sometimes there were morning notices, mainly what not to
do. Two which stick in my mind to this day are: not to climb over the school
garden fence, and if a ball went over the wall not to go over and get it.
The headmaster, Mr. English, drove a grey Austin A40.
Photo courtesy of
Before school and at the end of play time and dinner time, we would line up
when the whistle went, girls at one end, boys at the other. We would stretch
out our arms on to the shoulders of the person in front then stand ramrod
straight, like soldiers, not daring to move a muscle. When all was perfect we
were marched into the school building,
left right left right.

We hung up our coats in the cloakroom. There were several rows of pegs,
enough for everyone, and there was a long bench underneath the pegs so as
we could sit down, though I’m not sure what for. There was a row of sinks
down the side of the cloakroom. That was where we would get a drink. I don’t
recall anybody using the sinks to wash their hands. The toilets were in the
school yard.

Play time was in fact just that, everybody was actively involved in some game
or other. The lads always enjoyed a game of football but rounders and cricket
were also popular, if someone had a ball. I’m not sure how the girls filled in
their playtimes.

Preparing for Christmas was always a happy time, especially making the
colourful paper chains. Our Christmas party was held in the school hall and
there was a feast of cakes.
This is a photo showing my younger brother Ronnie Hall,
the fair haired lad fourth from the left,
at a Christmas Party in the Glebe Infants’ School about 1950.
Family photos Collection
I sat for the 11+ exam up at the old Grammar School, in Spout Lane. It was a
red brick building which has now been pulled down. I passed the exam but
wasn’t offered a place.  A second opportunity occurred later in the term to sit
the 11+ again. Once more I passed, and once more I wasn’t offered a place. It
was Ronnie Hill, a lad in my class, who was fortunate enough to gain a place
this time round.

So the cards had been dealt and I was destined to go to the Glebe Seniors.
By John D. Hall

Copyright 2013

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Audrey Fletcher

Updated 2014
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