Mr. Cliff Steele what affection and respect this man carries with Goldings boys. Referred
to as "Pop", the very nickname tends to reflect the esteem we hold of him. When old boys
contact me regarding the Re-Union, the second most important question asked is "Will
Pop be there as I would love to see him again". The only thing I suggested he should have
done which he declined without hesitation was to support a decent football team like
Walsall instead of Newcastle. Born 23rd. January 1932 near Consett, County Durham.
Served two years in the Royal Air Force, after which he applied to Dr. Barnardos to
work in residential child care. He was sent to Goldings for a post as Housemaster.
Mr. Wheatley did the interview and in Pop's words "He didn't ask me if I wanted the job,
he just showed me my room and invited me to play cricket for the Staff team. I opened
the innings and hit the first ball for four. From that moment I felt accepted, it was the
start of the happiest period in my life". this was Whitsun 1956. He was responsible for
many of the sporting activities at the school, along with Table Tennis of which I am told
he had in his top pocket a small 3 inch bat with which he would play the lads and usually
beat them... He captained the Old Boys football team and in one season scored 60 goals.
He told me his salary when he started at Goldings was £180 a year, £15 a month. He along with a few other
loyal staff remained until the close.
I will finish with the words Pop sent to me because he was there at the very end and I feel he should also
finish this profile. "When Goldings closed in 1967 I returned to the North East having had 11 happy and
contented years there. I then worked at a smaller residential school near Morpeth, Northumberland where
I stayed for 15 years until it also closed down in 1982. I was Head of Care at the school which was a Junior
Approved School originally, then became a Community School.
When it closed I was 50 years old which meant I could take early retirement. I thought after 26 years
living in residential schools I had done my bit, so I retired. Goldings is my first love and keeping in contact
with so many Goldings lads and attending the reunions is a great privilege and a pleasure. I still keep fairly
active playing a lot of bowls, both outdoor and indoor. I'm also a long time season ticket holder at
Newcastle United. I cannot think of a favourite piece of music, I suppose anything by Neil Diamond and I
To be remembered by so many with affection is a great honour.