The Maltonian Web

The Maltonian Web - Biography

George Hanson

Headmaster, Malton County Modern

Elizabeth Hanson, herself a former pupil of MGS, talked with her father about his time as Head of Malton County Modern in 2002. Below are the notes of that discussion

George Hanson was born in Royston West Yorkshire. He was educated at Holgate Grammar School Barnsley - named after the Archbishop, responsible for the foundation of the first Malton Grammar School. After taking a degree in Geography at Leeds University, he began his teaching career at Royston Secondary Modern School. He was called up during the Second World War and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. After the war further teaching posts followed at Huntingdon and Raleigh, before taking on his first headship at Kinver Grammar School in Staffordshire.

Mr Hanson came to Malton as the first, and as history was to prove, the only Headteacher of the County Secondary School. His memories of his first impressions of Malton were of the lovely children' and of a 'delightful, friendly small market town.' An immediate potential problem was that most of his staff had already been Heads in the village schools, which had been reorganised when the new County Modern School in Malton was opened. He recalls that he was able to meet with all members of staff before the new school opened. This he feels helped to develop good staff relations.

At that time there were about 300 pupils and 15 members of staff. In the early days, staff would gather voluntarily at the end of the school day to be guided on future developments. For about two years, classes from the Malton Primary School had to be accommodated after a roof collapsed at the site in Greengate.

George Hanson

Mr Hanson always believed that many of his pupils had considerable academic potential: indeed, several later entered university. There was always close co-operation over the transfer of pupils to the neighbouring Grammar School at several age levels.

Over forty years later, Mr Hanson still remembers staff according to where they had previously taught and lived; 'Slingsby - Gough' and 'Amotherby - Rudd' are examples. This had helped to place both staff and pupils in the early days. Although now aged over 90, he is still in touch with surviving members of staff and has been since his retirement.

Memories remain of how two boys once played truant, "took" two bikes somewhere in Malton and cycled to York where they were stopped by a policeman. When asked where they were from they replied "it's a fair cop - we're from Malton."

Plans for the amalgamation of the County Secondary and Grammar Schools were not popular with Mr Hanson and he still believes that the schools would have been better left as they were.

Mr Hanson enjoyed his years in Malton. He always tried to encourage pupils to aspire to achieve their ambitions. He came to lead a new school which was formed from many separate elements and he quickly fused them into a new body, which served the pupils of Malton and district for thirteen years.