Bryan Ferry
A Washington Lad
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by Audrey Fletcher
Bryan Ferry in concert
Bryan Ferry was born into the Washington mining community on September 26th
1945, a new baby brother for sister Ann. The men of Washington did not relish
working down the pit but the vast majority had little choice. It was either that or
starve. Following the end of World War Two in 1945 there was a mood of optimism
among the people of the town. Their children would have everything the future
could offer them, and if it could be helped, their sons would not go down the pit.
Growing up in Washington in the 1950's and 1960's was a Golden Age of optimism
and previously undreamt of opportunity.

I know, I was part of it.
Washington coalminers. Geordie Morton is
on the left and Jas Carr Walmsley, my
husband's grandfather, is on the right.
Most of the pitmen in the Glebe / Brady Square part of
Washington worked at the Glebe Pit. This is the pit
where my dad, Joe Hall, was a Deputy.
Bryan's dad worked here with the pit horses.
This is Cook's Hall, which was about half a mile along the
road from where Bryan lived in his school days.
Bryan's dad worked here as a gardener.
Thankyou Joan Nichols for the information.
Bryan spent his toddler years in Model Dwellings,
a row of spacious terraced flats
opposite the Glebe School.
Bryan, like the rest of us in the local area, went to the Glebe Infant and
Junior School. Today it is called the John F. Kennedy School.
His first teacher in the Infants was Miss Bell and his final teacher in
Junior School was Miss Swaddle. It was Miss Swaddle who prepared us for
the Grammar School and the chance of a life away from the pits.
The pass rate for her students to go to Grammar School was extremely
high. I would guess at well over 90%. Her teaching methods would be
considered modern even by today's standards. Miss Swaddle was well
ahead of her times and many of her students are indebted to her.
While at the Glebe Juniors, Bryan was in the school football team, which was coached by
Mr. Morrow, one of the most popular teachers at the school.
I knew seven of the team.
Bryan was the goalie.
Back left to right: Bobby Buchanan (Raeburn Avenue), Gordon Smith (Oliver Street),
Bryan Ferry (Gainsborough Avenue), Arthur Short (Avon Street), Ray Cowan
and Ken Woosey (Eden Terrace?).
Front left to right: Billy Reay (Morland Ave), Alan Cutts (The Terraces), Peter Graham,
Raymond Lumsdon (The Terraces) and Keith Nesbitt.
Peter Graham went on from the Washington Grammar School to play for the
Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
(Thankyou to Ray Lumsden and Jim Kirby for the additional information.)
In the years following WWII just about every child in
Washington went to church or chapel. When he was a
toddler Bryan attended the Methodist Chapel in Station
Road and also the Mission Hall down Brady Square.
Dora Richardson was his Sunday School Teacher at the
Mission Hall.
(Thankyou David Holbrow for the information.)
When the New Houses were built, Bryan's parents
were offered a house in Gainsborough Avenue. These
were lovely houses with all the mod cons.
The Terraces is directly across the road from
Gainsborough Avenue. I lived in number 15.
Bryan's Grandma, Mrs. Meynell,
lived next door in number 16.
Bryan attended the Washington Grammar School,
where he gained his A-levels. His acceptance into
Newcastle University to study Art was his passport
away from life down the pit.
However even at Grammar School, we were never far
from our cultural heritage. There was a lovely view of
the pit heap from the classroom windows!
While at Grammar School, Bryan had a job as a paper lad. He
was employed at Anderson's Shop, down Brady Square, to
deliver newspapers and comics. My husband, Ed,
also worked there as a paper lad.
Bryan had a flair for showmanship. Here he is captured in his
role as Malvolio in the Washington Grammar School
Christmas Play "Twelfth Night".
Every day on his way to school, Bryan passed the
Washington Old Hall. This is the ancestral home of
George Washington, the First President of the United
States of America.
He also passed the Holy Trinity Church, otherwise
known as "The Church on the Hill".
He then passed the Village Smithy
which dates back to at least the 1500's.
Finally he passed the Village Green, where President Carter
planted a tree (which subsequently died and it had to be
replaced). The Green was originally the Village Pond.
When Bryan was at Newcastle University he began singing first with
the rock group, The Banshees, and later with The Gas Board.
Finally in 1970 the world renowned Roxy Music was formed by
Bryan Ferry and Graham Simpson.

Bryan's parents were behind him all the way, giving him every
encouragement in any way they could.

Today Bryan Ferry is a world wide phenomenon and Washington is
proud to call him one of her own.
Click on the photograph below to go to a
Bryan Ferry Concert in
Adelaide, South Australia.
8th November 1988
To see photos of Bryan Ferry
and Roxy Music in Concert
at Adelaide 17 August 2001
Enter Here
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and more
Bryan Ferry
web pages
Bryan in Adelaide
Washington Coal Miners
The Glebe Pit
Cook's Hall
Model Dwellings
The Glebe School
The Mission Hall
Gainsborough Avenue
The Terraces
Washington Grammar School
The Washington "F" Pit Heap
Anderson's Paper Shop
The Old Hall
The Village Church
The Village Smithy
The Village Green
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Best viewed on a
15 inch screen
Best viewed on a
15 inch screen
New! Click here to find out how
Bryan Ferry spent some of his
recreational time while a student at
Newcastle University.
Very highly recommended!
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