Hanson Alumni

History of Hanson

The Hanson Grammar School was designed by Charles Henry Hargreaves and opened on Byron Street near Barkerend Road in 1897. Boys’ and girls’ schools were next door to each other.

In 1967 the girls’ school had moved to a new building on Sutton Avenue. In the early 1970s, although retaining the name of a grammar school, the intake was comprehensive. The girls’ school had around 500 girls, with 80 in the sixth form. The boys’ school had around 550 boys with 120 in the sixth form.

It became the co-educational Hanson School in 1972, situated at the Sutton Avenue site. In the 1980s, the Sutton Avenue site was known as Hanson Upper School. In July 2011 the school moved to a different building but in the same Sutton Avenue grounds and this was renamed Hanson Academy. Hanson has a long established reputation for excellence in education and care for our students and support, for and involvement of, their families.

Sir Edward Appleton

Sir Edward Appleton (6 September 1892 – 21 April 1965) was an English physicist, Nobel Prize winner (1947) and pioneer in radiophysics. He studied, and was also employed as a lab technician, at Bradford College from 1909 to 1911.

Appleton was born in Bradford and was educated at Hanson Grammar School.

He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1947 for his seminal work proving the existence of the ionosphere during experiments carried out in 1924.

In 1911, aged 18, he was awarded a scholarship to attend St John’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated with First Class Honours in Natural Science with Physics in 1913.

From 1949 until his death in 1965, Appleton was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh. In 1956, the BBC invited him to deliver the annual Reith Lectures. Across a series of six radio broadcasts, titled Science and the Nation, he explored the many facets of scientific activity in Britain at the time.

David Bairstow

David Bairstow (1 September 1951 – 5 January 1998) was an English cricketer, who played for Yorkshire and England as a wicket-keeper. He also played football for his hometown club Bradford City.

Born in Bradford, Bairstow excelled at Hanson school in several sports, and he played football several times for Bradford City, but eventually he settled on cricket, and played his first county match against Gloucestershire in 1970 after taking an A-level at 6am in order to play.

He played for Yorkshire throughout his career, and captained the club from 1984 to 1986. He was particularly well loved by the Yorkshire crowds for his ability to turn round limited over games by his late-order swinging of the bat. In 459 first-class cricket matches he scored 13,961 runs at an average of 26.44 with a highest score of 145. He snared 961 catches and 137 stumpings and perhaps stands second only to Jimmy Binks in the annals of Yorkshire wicket-keeping. He played 429 one day matches, scoring 5,439 runs at 20.68 with one century. Bairstow played for 21 seasons, three of them as club captain. He was a popular figure with the Yorkshire crowds.

Peter Firth

Peter Firth (born 27 October 1953) is an English actor. He is best known for his role as Sir Harry Pearce in the BBC One show Spooks; he is the only actor to have appeared in every episode of the show’s ten-series lifespan.

Peter was born in Bradford and he attended Hanson School.

He has given myriad additional television and film performances, earning a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for the role.

He was a leading child actor by the middle of 1970. In July 1973, Firth appeared at Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre, starring in the stage version of Peter Shaffer’s play Equus as a teenager being treated by a psychiatrist, and in October 1974 repeated the role in the Broadway production, receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Alan Strang.

Edward Spurr

Edward Spurr (1907–1998) Inventor. Spurr was born in Eccleshill and he was a pupil of Hanson Boys High School.

Often described as “Bradford’s Forgotten Inventor”, he worked on an impressive range of projects. Not only did he design a powerboat engine with T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), but also worked on the Dambusters’ bouncing bomb and Frank Whittle’s jet engine.

Spurr also designed various parts and other engines, for boats and planes, cars, motorcycles, and washing machines, his other inventions include pick-ups for record players and an automatic toaster.  Edward Spurr died in 1998.

Baroness Eaton

Ellen Margaret Eaton, Baroness Eaton, (born 1 June 1942, Bradford, England) has been a Conservative Party life peer in the British House of Lords since 2010.

She has been a Councillor with Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council since 1986 and was the Chairman of the Local Government Association until June 2011.

Born as Ellen Margaret Midgley she attended Hanson Grammar School and the Balls Park Teacher Training College (Cert. Ed). She worked as a schoolteacher. In 1969, she married John Eaton, with whom she has a son and a daughter.

Christina Ackroyd

Christina Ackroyd (born 4 May 1957), is a British journalist and broadcaster, best known as a former presenter for the regional TV news programmes Calendar (for ITV Yorkshire) and BBC Look North.

Christina attended Hanson Girls’ Grammar School (now Hanson Academy) from 1968 (which had moved to its new site in Five Lane Ends in 1967), which became the co-educational comprehensive Hanson School in 1972.

After leaving school, Christina spent four years working for the Halifax Courier for four years. She began her broadcasting career in the newsroom of commercial radio station Pennine Radio in Bradford (now The Pulse of West Yorkshire), where she led the station’s coverage of the Yorkshire Ripper case.

In 1981, she moved to neighbouring Radio Aire in Leeds, reading its first news bulletin on its opening day. In November 1982, she was appointed as the UK’s first female radio news editor. Christina was promoted as Radio Aire’s programming controller in 1987, often presenting weekend shows and the station’s flagship news programme, Radio Aire Reports.

Stephanie Turner

Stephanie Turner (born 25 May 1944 in Bradford) is an actress. She attended Hanson School.

She is best known for the lead role of Inspector Jean Darblay in the first three series of the 1980s television BBC police drama Juliet Bravo (1980-82). Prior to this, she had played Dennis Waterman’s screen wife, Alison Carter, in early episodes of The Sweeney (1975) and WPC Howarth in Z-Cars (1972–75), which stood her in good stead for her role as Inspector Darblay.

Having worked in various roles between the 1960s-2000s on stage, radio, television and as a director, Turner retired from acting in 2010. In more recent years, she has helped direct drama students, had a share in an antiques business and volunteered with InterAct Stroke Support (a charity that allows actors to read to patients following a stroke.

Tom Cleverley

Thomas William Cleverley (born 12 August 1989) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Watford.

After starting his career in the youth set-up at Bradford City, Cleverley joined Manchester United at the age of 12. Tom attended Hanson School.

Between 2007 and 2009 he played for Manchester United’s reserve team, and occasionally in first-team friendly matches. Cleverley was loaned to League One club Leicester City at the start of 2009, for whom he made his first Football League appearances, helping the team secure the League One title and promotion to the Championship.

He spent the 2009–10 season on loan with Watford in the Championship, where he scored 11 goals in 33 league matches and was voted as their Player of the Season. On 31 August 2010, he joined Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan, where he scored four goals in 25 appearances and helped them to avoid relegation on the final day of the season. He returned to Manchester United for the start of the 2011–12 season and made his first competitive appearance in the FA Community Shield victory against Manchester City. He won the Premier League with Manchester United in 2013.

Cleverley played for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and later that year made his debut for the England national team.

Danny Cadamarteri

Daniel Cadamarteri (born 12 October 1979) is an English retired professional footballer who played in the Football League for clubs including Everton, Bradford City, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City and latterly Carlisle United before retiring in April 2014.

Danny was born in Cleckheaton and attended Hnason School. Early in his career, he played three times for the England national under-21 football team.

After his retirement, Cadamerteri worked briefly as a coach with Leeds Ladies F.C. before accepting a position as a coach in Sheffield Wednesday’s academy, where he has achieved his UEFA A Licence and his FA Advanced youth award age specific (u17s-U23s).

In July 2017, Cadamerteri was appointed as U18s Professional Development Phase Coach at Burnley FC. He now runs his own successful football academy ‘Akidemy’.

Edward Kimber

Edd Kimber winner of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off, attended Hanson School. 

Edd Kimber born in Bradford, is the winner of the first series of The Great British Bake Off in 2010. 

Since winning the series he has left his previous job where he was a debt collector for a bank and published three cookbooks, Say It With Cake, The Boy Who Bakes and Patisserie Made Simple. He was “resident baker” on The Alan Titchmarsh Show.

Christopher Kershaw

Private Christopher Kershaw was a former pupil of Hanson School.  He died aged 19, along with five of his comrades when their warrior armoured vehicle was blown up in a massive explosion in Afghanistan in 2012.

‘A true Yorkshire Warrior’

Verity Bowman

Verity attended Hanson School and Sixth Form. Verity is a now a freelance reporter and journalist. She is a seasoned foreign news reporter, with a focus on multinational coverage. She has written for various reputable publications such as The Telegraph, Yahoo News, The Sydney Morning Herald and AOL.

Georgina Ackroyd

Georgina is a highly motivated multi-product Designer with more than 5 years experience in the International Fashion Industry.

Georgina attended Hanson School.  After completing her A’ Levels, she completed a foundation degree at Bradford College and a Fashion degree at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Georgina was selected from over 100,000 applicants worldwide to join the Design Team at Abercrombie & Fitch.

April Farrant

April became a student at Hanson in September 2002. She left the sixth form in 2009 to start a degree in English at Edinburgh University, she graduated in 2013 and came back to Hanson to work as an English Teacher with Teach First. 

April had a great time teaching at Hanson, and met brilliant pupils but left Hanson’s English Department in 2015 and moved down to London. 

In London she carried on teaching for a little while and then started to work for Shakespeare Schools Foundation. April loved her time at Shakespeare Schools Foundation, however took up a place in the Civil Service Fast Stream (a graduate scheme with jobs across government), starting with a role as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Department for International Trade. 

April is now working in the Ministry of Justice in Governance and Secretariat team in the Permanent Secretary’s office. She manages meetings with senior officials and ministers.

Sukhwinder Singh

Sukhwinder Singh is a Director at International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a former Hanson pupil.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty. 

After Hanson Sukhwinder went to the London School of Economics and now lives in Washington DC, working at the IMF.