Craig Strongman

Claremont Bilateral/secondary modern

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I remember Eric Dibb sadistic man, loved the strap and cane, I was at Claremont from 1955 - 1960 it would have to be the worst school in the universe, does anyone remember the science teacher, he was a great teacher. the biology teacher on the other hand was horrible, loved to make people look like fools. I can remember Hamilton Rd. annex, if fact that is where Eric Dibb taught us English. I went on a school excursion to Haddon Hall, I thought it was a great place, I revisited it in 1979 on a return trip to England, I came to Australia in 1962, and lived in Sydney for 23 years before moving to Brisbane, love it here would never go back to England.  

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Well, what a site for sore eyes!

 I’m John Leadbeater (aka ‘Lead’) and attended Claremont between 1959 and ’64.

I think it was an excellent school in many ways. Small enough for the masters (there were no women) to make a difference to some of us who had been resistant to being educated, but with some strange philosophies. Jack Aram was on the whole a good Headmaster but maybe not very progressive. He had firmly Christian beliefs which he promoted to the exclusion of other religions, and even denied evolution in favour of strict biblical teachings. You always knew where you were with him. He was compassionate and fair, but what an authoritarian! I had represented the school and City at cross country, but he still held a school special assembly to punish three of us for defying him, including a ceremonial reduction from prefect. Happy times though. Corporal punishment was dashed out liberally ‘because it was good for us’ and you had to keep your wits about you to avoid flying blackboard rubbers, rulers etc.

Mention has been made of Stevenson, the maths teacher. Unkindly know as Olli Beak after a popular cartoon character with a large nose, he was one of the most well liked and effective to take us. Other progressive and effective teachers were (Charlie?) Lee,- English and Upperdine (aka Up and Down) –Geography, who would take us on many good field trips at a time when other teachers shunned the responsibly. I also remember a Canadian (was it a Mr Graham?), who took the school team on Saturday mornings, cheering us on with enormous enthusiasm even though he knew nothing of football. Reg Leafe, the International Referee, took us for games. I remember him as being the dirtiest player I have ever come across.

Can anyone expand on this?

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I read somewhere on here that Oliver Barnett taught Maths and maybe Latin at Claremont in the late 40s and 50s before aspiring to Head Teacher. He later became head at Forest Fields on Stanley Road when it opened in 1956. Interestingly he was also called Ollie Beak after the puppet who appeared with Fred Barker on the ITV children's programme “Five o'clock Club” hosted by the lovely Muriel Young. 
BTW I also had two pals who attended Claremont in the 60s they were John Sanday and Ian Grey. Did you know them John?

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