Wearside Echoes: Class Act

MONKWEARMOUTH MEMORIES: Sixth Form Football 1978
MONKWEARMOUTH MEMORIES: Sixth Form Football 1978
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MEMORIES and memorabilia have flooded into Monkwearmouth School since an appeal for help from former pupils and staff was launched earlier this week.

“Everyone is thrilled to bits with the response,” said retired PE and geography teacher Adam Walter, who has provided dozens of old photos for the celebrations.

Pictures and stories submitted by past pupils are to be added to the school’s website, and could also be included in a commemorative brochure later this year too.

“The marvellous response so far really goes to show just how much Monkwearmouth has meant to people over the years,” said Adam.

Monkwearmouth first opened its doors in Swan Street during the depression years of the 1930s, operating as a Central School for youngsters hoping to enter clerical professions.

Post-war educational changes saw it become a grammar school in 1949 but, just a few years later, it was earmarkedas Sunderland’s first comprehensive – and a new site was built at Torver Crescent.

“A provocative design for a provocative type of school – that’s what is going up behind the Seaburn Dene Estate,” the Echo reported.

The 720 staff and students of Swan Street were moved lock, stock and satchel to the £275,000 Torver Crescent school on February 6, 1962 – although the old grammar system remained until 1973.

“Monkwearmouth School means so much to so many,” said headteacher Steve Wilkinson.

“Many young people have gone on to have very successful careers and have happy memories of school.

“From Monkwearmouth Grammar in 1962 to Monkwearmouth Comprehensive in 1973 and Monkwearmouth School community in 2012, we have been building wisdom for almost 80 years.”

* People willing to share their pictures, memories and memorabilia are asked to email the school at 50years@monkwearmouth.sunderland.sch.uk. Contributions are being shared through the school’s website, at www.monkwearmouth.sunderland.sch.uk