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Byline: LES MAY

A COUPLE of weeks ago the Chronicle, on our behalf, requested information with regards to Maling pottery and old workers.

This information is to be used for a Maling event on July 5 in Byker.

We had a great response. Since then we have been interviewing various people.

Almost all of the people I have talked to have mentioned Benny Boylen.

Benny did not work for Maling but was a resident of Harbottle Street, old Byker. Benny had a rowing boat and for many years used to ferry people from Ouseburn to Gateshead on a daily basis for one penny each way.

Many Maling workers used this boat.

I need to find anyone who may have any family connection with Benny, stories regarding the penny ferry or Benny himself, and would love to find a photograph.

E-mail me at, or call (0191) 265 4588 or 07955 272 484.


SEVERAL weeks ago you published a letter from an ex-Skerry's College student from 1970.

I was there four years earlier from September 1966 to March 1967.

Skerry's was on the site where Mea House stands, not far from Rutherford College.

Mr Fogg from Whitley Bay was the headmaster at the time and he took the lessons in book-keeping, English, commerce and maths. There were two teachers in the shorthand and typing class. Some of the students came from Ashington, as did the local vicar's son. Most of the students were 15 years and older, who by now will be in their late 50s and possibly grandparents.

I have only met a couple of students who were there with me since. Gateshead lads Joe Fitzpatrick who later worked for the Chronicle in Thomson House and Ernie Gallon, an excellent darts player.

I haven't met any of the others who attended Skerry's since I left 41 years ago.

It would be nice to know how they are getting along these days.

LES MAY, Gateshead.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 11, 2008
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