Nellist Nautical School

Mac
1st December 2005, 10:19
Does any member have recollections of Nellists' nautical school in the west end of Newcastle on Tyne which closed in the summer of 1961 on the death of one of the principals, Bill Nellist.
I was at the school on study leave for my ticket when it closed.

After an absence of 44 years I had a wander around this part of the town a couple of months ago to see if I could remember the street the school was in and the only street remaining that looked vaguely familiar was Winchester Terrace.
Unfortunately most of the old navigational marks, pubs, had disappeared.
I would appreciate any advice from members on the street address of the school and any memories of the place, which was well known in those days in the North East for it's ability to get candidates through examinations.

mac.

benjidog
2nd December 2005, 20:25
Hi Mac,

There are a couple of passing references to this place on the following address: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~stormrhb/ch3p3.htm but not much use really. I have done an internet search and didn't get very far with it. Also tried looking at some old maps of the area but without a bit more of a clue to the location it is difficult.
Anyway I sent an enquiry to the Newcastle library service to see if they could help and will send you the response if they come up with anything. Perhaps you will get a quicker result if someone in the forum also went there. Good luck anyway!

Benjidog

non descript
2nd December 2005, 21:48
Benjidog, you have got further than I did; so far all my searches come to nought, other than mention of the school's name. I am still looking, but hopefully someone will have an answer before long.

Mac
3rd December 2005, 03:56
Thanks Benjidog and Tonga for your help. I too had tried Google, etc.,with little luck.
The school was in a terraced house in the Summerhill area of Newcastle.
From memory it had first operated in South Shields being run by the founder, an ex Master named Nellist, starting in the twenties or thirties. Later it was run by his two sons, Jack and Bill who had learned their craft as assistants to their father.
As I mentioned previously Bill died in 1961 and the school closed shortly afterwards.

Thanks for your help
Mac

benjidog
5th December 2005, 15:53
Please see the reply I got from the very helpful people at Newcastle Library:

Dear Mr Watson, I have checked our resources in the Local Studies Department and I have managed to find the home address and the college address.

The College address is Mercantile Marine 10 Summerhill Terrace, Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4. This was a terrace of houses circa 1840. We have a few photographs of the street taken in 1963, 1965, 1968, 1975 and 2003. The street still exisits as a terrace. Hope this information is of use to you.

Thanks Chris Rutherford.
Newcastle Local Studies Centre

Website address www.newcastle.gov.uk
Newcastle City Library
Princess Square Tel +44 0191 2774116
Newcastle upon Tyne Fax +44 0191 2774118
NE99 1DX e-mail local.studies@newcastle.gov.uk

Benjidog

non descript
5th December 2005, 17:33
Well done Benjidog. Nice one

benjidog
5th December 2005, 20:20
Hi Mac,

Well it looks like you were on the right track with Winchester Terrace. Checking the location you went to and the address in my earlier posting shows you were only two streets out. The attached picture is a map showing Winchester Terrace with a star on it, and I have drawn a rather crude circle around where Summerhill Terrace is. It is not printed on this map for some reason but I verified it from my copy of Autoroute.

Hope you make it back there OK!

Benjidog

Mac
6th December 2005, 03:46
Thank you very much Benjidog for the information and the time you must have spent finding it.

If I ever return again for a holiday I will look it up. I have a Tyne & Wear street atlas and Summerhill Terrace is marked.

Thanks also Tonga for your help.

Cheers

Mac

Mac
29th October 2007, 11:21
Benjidog and Tonga

I did return to Newcastle a few weeks ago and following your directions found the building which housed Nellist's until 1961.
It is now an office for an advertising agency and has been gentrified.
It used to have raggy old curtains and waist high weeds in the front garden.
I will post a picture I took in September 2007 of the building.
Again many thanks to Benjidog and Tonga.

Cheers Mac.

Pat Thompson
29th October 2007, 12:10
Greetings All,

Mt stepDad, Jack Hutchinson, went to Nellists, must have been in the 20's and 30's and he spoke very highly of it. The man he referred to as "Old Man Nellist" apparently used to say to anyone dissenting with his answers for the examiner, "Keep driving big boy, Hell ain't half full yet", well that's what he told me.

Aye

Pat Thompson

You can't get enough photos of "O'Boats"

LOU NELLIST
5th May 2009, 13:47
when william nellist died winifred nellist and her children lived at the house at winchester terrace william (son) married and moved out as well as wendy and margorie lived with her until her death
the school closed with the death and none of the children followed their fathers footsteps going in to other fields including mechanical engineering. his great grandaughter is at college doing aeronautical engineering
i have been trying to find photos of my grandfather and grandmother etc back then but the school etc have been converted into flats and offices internally the fronts are all the same as they are protected westgate road ajoins the street via a arch or you can come up past the old nunnery but apart from the people in them the area has not changed it still has a park and bowling green etc and could well do a catherine cookson film if it is any help it is easy to get to from the central station either walking or by bus up westgate road and on to elswick road

David32
3rd July 2009, 17:29
Lou,
I was at Nellists for 2nd mates in 1952. I can still to this day remember Jackie coming in to tell us that the King had died.
Was there for Mates and also Masters in 1958. I seem to remember that Jackie for a while ran his section for 2nd mates from Winchester Terrace. Why I do not know. I was at Summerhill Terrace all the time and have some happy memories.
Billy was very much the senior one.
An amazing two brothers and I wish there were more records of the school
David Bell

sidsal
3rd July 2009, 20:00
I was at Nellists for 2nd Mates in 1945 and in digs nearby. Nellists had the best success rate in the UK I believe. Candidates would be quizzed after their writtens and orals and so Nellists built up a very good idea of the questions that were likely to be asked and coached accordingly. One thing I remember being told is that so-and- so examiner would ask you to take a horizontal sextant angle out of the window between a church steeple and a chimney and the answer was - 67 degrees 15 minutes ( or somesuch).
I was in digs nearby with a kindly old lady with six or 8 others. When you first went there you shared an attic room which had only a gas mantle for light - the rest of the house had electricity. AS students left you graduated downstairs to the better rooms. It was usual when coming back after a night out to go upstairs - go across and turn on the gas and then retreat to the door. You would then light a match and throw it at the mantle. After a couple of unsuccessful goes there would be a whoosh and the gas would ignite. The wallpaper had a big scorch ring around the mantle.
There was a skylight and across the way a young lady would get undressed without drawing the curtains and chaps used to stand on each other's shoulders to view this nightly delight.
The landlady had a pianola and one eveing when she was out a discussion arose about the mechanics of a pianola and so it was dismantled. Time went by and there was a rush to remantle it. We heard her come in and the various bits left over were just placed inside the piano and the panel put back. She wondered afterwards why it would not work.
The landlady was a poor cook and produced some wierd puddings which she proudly served and told us - "This is so-and-so pudding".. After she had gone out to the kitchen and shut the door we would rake out the fire and scrape the pudding into the back of the fire and put some more coal on. When she returned to clear up some wag would say - "That was delightful - can you give me the recipe for my wife please "
The other memory I have is of those going on the beer whilst others would stay in studying. The front door was locked at 11 so the drill was for the latecomers to throw some gravel up at the front bedroom window and the key wouldbe dropped down to them. The railings had been taken for war munitions so the small front garden was pretty bare and with ample dog poo on it. Those in the bedroom would drop the key away from those below so that they had to grovel for it in their inebriated state.
Happy days.

George.GM
3rd July 2009, 21:32
I did 2nd Mates there in 1959 and Mates in 1961. Digs about ten minutes walk away with a dear old lady called Harriet who also catered for the "theatricals" at the local theatre. We were not allowed to mix with the young ladies but, if I remember rightly, our paths crossed occasionally !
Billy and Jackie were hard taskmasters and insisted that we went straight back to school after orals to write down every question we were asked together with the examiners name. I tried to intoduce this at Warsash where I went for Master but was told that I was there to be broadly educated not to learn what individual examiners wanted. I disagreed as all I wanted was a ticket !
Although they were unqualified, I think the Nellists were the best nautical collage teachers in the country. I certainly would never have passed my first two tickets without them.
And this thread also bring back happy memories of the Clock, the Black Horse.the William 1V and a barmaid calle Bessie on the Westgate Road.

Yorksburnett
6th November 2009, 16:04
I'm coming in a bit late on this discussion but I can add a little more information.

My ancestors include some with the surname NELLIST. One member of this branch of my family tree includes a John NELLIST who was born in 1870 at Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. His father William was a mariner and his mother Martha was one of the local STORM family – a noteable family of seafarers. John followed in his father’s footsteps and became a mariner and when he was in his late twenties became a teacher of navigation at the Municipal Marine School in South Shields. Later he left to establish the Nellist Nautical College in his own house opposite the Town Hall in South Shields. John then moved to Newcastle on Tyne and from about 1924 "Nellist's", as it was widely known, operated from a building in Summerhill Terrace.

John had married Annabell PURVIS, daughter of a Tyne pilot, in 1901, while living in South Shields. His two sons, William George [Billy] (b:1903) & John [Jackie] (b:1905), took over the running of the nautical school from their father. My research has shown that it was John/Jackie Nellist, the younger of the two, who died in 1961 but I don't know when his brother Billy died or exactly when the school closed.

Hope this helps.

jonnyingram
19th December 2009, 22:06
I went to Nellists for my pre sea training in 1957,was around there for a look this summer,when i was south on my motorbike.

jactaa
21st December 2011, 11:00
I attended Nellists and obtained my 2nd Mates in 1961. This was recommended to me by a BI 2nd Mate from the North East, sterling advice.
My first trip as 3rd Mate was 12 months in BI tanker Ellora and then
going directly to South Shields Marine School for 1st Mates.
I seem to recollect that I attended Jackie Nellist's funeral, that was 1962.

Split
21st December 2011, 13:46
Does any member have recollections of Nellists' nautical school in the west end of Newcastle on Tyne which closed in the summer of 1961 on the death of one of the principals, Bill Nellist.
I was at the school on study leave for my ticket when it closed.

After an absence of 44 years I had a wander around this part of the town a couple of months ago to see if I could remember the street the school was in and the only street remaining that looked vaguely familiar was Winchester Terrace.
Unfortunately most of the old navigational marks, pubs, had disappeared.
I would appreciate any advice from members on the street address of the school and any memories of the place, which was well known in those days in the North East for it's ability to get candidates through examinations.

mac.

It was well known. Two brothers weren't they? I did not go, myself, being a Londoner.

aramoana
2nd July 2013, 17:28
I took 2nd mates there in December 1958 & after one long trip in Hogarths, took 1st mates a year later. Billy was doing masters so we had Jackie who was the finest teacher I ever met. His rendition of the principles of a sextant stick in my memory 54 years later. I had a flat down the road with my pal John Newsome who I am going to France with next week. We had many happy parties there with lots of nurses. I took masters in Wellington in 1964 and was sailing the USS Co. of NZ and mostly on the NZR ferries & was chief officer on the Aramoana for quite a while. All happy days. David Mills