Stand Grammar School

Church Lane, Whitefield, Manchester
Demolished 2001 AD

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Contributions from Old Standians

This term's Star letters...


I thought I would write with a few memories of yesteryear when it was definitely OK for music teachers to grasp you by the navel! (remember ol' "Benjy" Britten!) and when the words "taking your medicine" when applied to Haggis meant getting a medicine ball hurled at you from close range!

I also recall the few times I was hauled before the beak! Once Mike Ashley and a few others were playing the dreaded POKER DICE in the huts when some prefect (who, I can no longer recall) came and dobbed us in - I thought we were for the crop but Doc Barnes was busy and a short sharp word (and a detention) was all that came of it.

On a more pleasant note - my spirits are lifted when I recall the charity games in the gym, Boys basketball team V the Girls - WOW it was worth every penny to see the lassies in the gymkits - even better when I eventually played on the team!!

Still - I must say that I recall those days with great affection - I had a great class of mates - I remember Rob Shimmin - Steve Hadfield - Mike Ashley and Barry Casement (not to mention Paul Walsh and Simmons in other years).

In the sixth form I was taught maths by Broadbent and Baz Brookes and I believe I have the distinction of introducing them to the game of golf (Barry became a staunch member of Stand Golf Club - and possibly recall someone saying he was Captain!!)

Physics was taught by Revie - a teacher who somehow put the fear of God up people with out raising his voice (much) - BUT the most memorable time for me was the year I served as prefect for 1C - with ... HAGGIS - a great time!!!

A big hello to all Old Standians - I am in exile in Wokingham but hope to move to France in the next year.

Pete Drysdale

name: mark wilson

comment: Just registering to see if anyone wants a fight
Friday, November 24, 2000 at 12:43:33

Hi Martyn,

What a surprise to see a homepage for Stand Grammar.  I went to Stand between 1970-1974.  I joined in November 1970 when my family moved up from the London area.  I remember the next two years as the most depressing in my life - culture shock from the north/south divide and being the first "Indian" at Stand.  Things got much better by the end of the sixth form - after I had been corrupted by Haslam, Weidenbaum, Ian Joseph and others.

The funniest incident I can recall is when we were waiting for class to begin -no teacher present, and Peter Smart broke into the Dawn song "Knock 3 times on the ceiling if you want me, ..." and started to bang on the heating pipes in tune to the music.  At that moment Mr. Hudson walked, but Peter finished the verse.

I now live in the US and work out of New York.  Reading the posted E-mails leaves me with fond memories of a good school and a great bunch of "laddies?" and teachers.  A very different world from the one I currently live in.

On my next visit to the UK I hope to get in touch with some of my old friends.  In the meantime if someone wants to contact me I may be reached at the following Email addresses:

I admire your work on this website and hope to visit it often.

Best Regards,


Hi again Martyn

Ian Levine here again.. Stand 73-79.. blargh..

Famous people…

I been racking my brain about this... and I'm 99% sure about it… someone out there knows for certain.

The actor Robert Donat was an Old Standian.

He played Mr Chips... in the film 'Goodbye Mister Chips'.  It figures, huh?  Also played the lead in the famous black/white film 'The 39 Steps'.

The more I think about it the more I'm certain.. this guys name was mentioned at a speech day once. I remember asking my dad who Robert Donat was...

And no... I'm not suffering from Alzheimer's.


Ian Levine

Dear Mr Arnold,

I have nothing whatsoever to do with Stand Grammar School, but in searching for something else on the Web, I came across your site.  One of the names mentioned was a former English teacher, Arthur Clayborough.

Did you know that after he left Stand, he became a lecturer in English Literature at Bergen University in Norway, and that from the summer of 1973 he was a Professor, also in English Literature, at Trondheim University, where I was a colleague of his for five and a half years until the end of 1978.  He has now retired, but still lives in Trondheim.

Graham Pointon
BBC Pronunciation Adviser

Hi Martyn.

I came across your excellent web-page by sheer accident. For some inexplicable reason I typed "Stand Grammar School Whitefield"  into the Excite search engine and was gratified to discover that the aforesaid Dickensian institution has now ceased to exist in a corporeal form - replaced by a housing development! Not a moment too soon really.

I'm Ian Levine and was institutionalised at Stand Grammar from 73 to 79. A fellow classmate of Paul "Digger" Prendergast and Lawrence Jeffries, all three of us in Siddall (the house for the no-hopers wasn't it?). Glad to see another two inmates from the Prestwich Hospital annexe still hanging-in there after 21 years, suitably rehabilitated back into mainstream society.

I've read through the letters page, and found myself nodding in assent at everything written there, the themes of brutalisation, degradation and humiliation span the decades along with the names of the usual suspects: Haggis, Britten, Heinz et. al. Although they and the rest of the 'old timers' looked like social workers in comparison to a certain PE teacher called Paddy McCafferty! He made his mark on the arses of all of us there from about '76 onwards, including lining up the entire year on the tennis courts during the Tuesday afternoon games period and lathering each of us sequentially with a gym-shoe six times, and the last stung as much as the first! Other pretexts he employed for dishing out gratuitous violence included the performance of Manchester United - If they lost - he was a maniac: If he'd been on the bevvy the night before - he was psychotic. He added a new dimension to the dreary cross-country run, you'd be slippered according to your finishing place, an ex-pupil (Tony Taylor) told me years later  that he came in last one afternoon, McCafferty locked him in the Church Hall and thrashed him over a hundred times. Surely even Percy and Haggis never dealt out as much buttock-correction in an average day as McCafferty did!

The Black Pudding incident was a joy to behold. I even recall that D.B's insipid address that morning was entitled 'Can Violence Ever Be Justified?' Dave Crook really should have punched the creep out cold as far as I'm concerned.

Even after 20 years I don't feel much, if any, sentimentality about the school. If I were to have my time over again, I'd opt for bog-standard state comprehensive every time. When I was there, Stand's facilities were already woefully obsolete. Other schools in the area boasted heated indoor swimming pools, state-of-the-art science facilities etc., and Stand's phony public-school pretentiousness was frankly...  pathetic, basically the place was an anachronism, the world around it was undergoing fundamental change - hence it became a sixth-form college two terms after I was politely asked to leave by D.B. Hudson for "not adopting the right attitude towards 6th form studies".

I took 3 A-levels at night school, and  met up with Gordon Cane who was teaching sociology there. He acted as my referee for university entrance, and I got a place at Bradford University, I graduated with honours in '87 -  no credit to Stand Grammar which had me marked down as an academic under-achiever from day one. I now live in Bradford where I work in IT for the newspaper industry.

As for famous old-standians? What about Mark E. Smith - founder member of  the legendary North Manchester punk/new-wave band The Fall! Not a household name for sure... But arguably the most culturally significant person to have come out of the school.  I socialised with him on several occasions in and around Prestwich from '79 to '81 - I read somewhere that he was the guest of honour at a speech day at Clive Sixth Form College a few years ago.

Keep up the good work on the site! I anticipate more pithy contributions being posted on this site in years to come!


Ian Levine

Dear Martyn,

It was great to meet you back in June for the pre-demolition walkabout. After eavesdropping on the best website on the net for the last few months it's time I sent my promised contribution. I started Stand back in '68, along with Dave Smith and Greg Berry, and I too remember the "Haggis is a sadist" poster.  As I recall he beat the shit out of Toby Lyons, just to prove a point.

I particularly remember an incident with Dave Smith, that happened in Toady's English class.  We used to have him in the room next to the Art room, the period before games.  He was too pissed to notice (or care) that one by one we would all get changed into our sports kit under our desks, and by the end of 40 minutes there would be 30 of us all dressed in amber.  Whilst all of this was going on the rest of us were supposed to be reading out loud from Julius Caesar.  Over a period of weeks we had  perfected a warcry, so that whenever the word Caesar came up we would all start chanting "Caesar, Caeesar, Caaaeeessar" up to a rousing crescendo.  Anyway,  a flustered Mr Toseland sent me and Dave Smith out for being a bit over-zealous.  Ever enthusiastic to amuse our classmates, Dave climbed on my shoulders so that he could wave and pull faces through the ceiling level window, whilst I walked him up and down the corridor - imagine the scene when Hudson (the beak) walks up the stairs and straight into us. He then took us into the class to be confronted by 30 boys in various stages of undress, all shouting "Caesar" at  him.

After Stand I went to Leeds, where I failed, after a years intensive study at the William Hill annexe.  Since then I've lived in the Whitefield/Prestwich ghetto. I have a wholesale trimmings business on Bury New Road, and rarely a day goes by without seeing someone that I went to Stand with. My worst ever comment on a report (believe me there was plenty of choice) came from Doc Barnes - "He is no assett to the School" (sp)!!

Cheers to all my old classmates- wherever you are!

Jeremy Adelman  1R 1968


Although I've not been in touch for a while,  I have been keeping a close eye on the Stand web page and I'm very impressed with the way in which it has developed.

I'll have to keep this short as I've a pile of work to get through but I had to let you know that whilst going through some things in the attic recently,  I came across a copy of the Speech Day programme from 1974.

Being the swot that you obviously were you are featured in the programme as an entrant to Bolton Institute of  Technology to study for a HND in Electronic Engineering.  Also I think your friend Bob Shimmin is featured having won the 'Norwood' prize for geography.

I'll email it to you as soon as I get the opportunity.

All the best

Howard Holt

Hi again Martyn

I found this site on the internet:

I wondered who copied whom?

By the way I have had a few e-mails from contemporaries at Stand who had seen my name on your site, thanks for posting my e-mail address.

Keep up the good work


Barry Noden

Dear Martyn
Has anyone information about the demolition of the school?  I was there from September 1962 until June 1969 when I went to university to study medicine.  I see some of the boys who have moved to South Manchester (met up with David Stewart, Les Swerling and Dave Scorah just yesterday). There are many fond memories but some memories of horrors like puking up most Monday mornings in fear of being whacked by Haggis for having a speck of dirt on my pumps.  He even made me do a hand-stand before I excused myself to go to the bogs which I did before I regurgitated my breakfast. I also have some very happy memories such as the late W.P. (Mr Burch) who helped me get an "A" in biology and that got me into Med. School.  Also thanks to my long suffering Physics master Mr. Revie. If any one was there and remembers me get in touch

stephen levy

Form 2L 1963:

Anderton, Barnard, Briggs, Bullock, Carr, Dobbyn, Dyson (I heard that Malcolm Freeman died of  leukaemia), Gibson, Harrop, Jones S, Jones RD, Levy (me), Mason, Mickley, Morris, Murphy, Pointon, Platt, Robinson, Saffer, Smith, Thorp, Watson, Wilkinson, Woodward, Wright, and apologies if I have  left anyone out or got your names wrong.

Dear Martyn,

Unlike some I have fond memories of my schooldays, and maybe I am unusual in not wanting "Haggis" dead! I started Stand in '71 and left in '78, and every 10 years have organised a reunion with the chemistry class of 7B.  Our last reunion was in '98 and they came from all over, Blackpool, Clwyd, Cambridge and even Boston USA.  We met at The Bull and had a tour around Stand, followed by a reunion dinner. the following day all our progeny met at a country pub before we all departed back to our mundane existences.  PRSM and Bubbles came to our "bash" and 10 years ago we were lucky enough to have Babs Bunting attend our '88 reunion. The group was Edgar Coward, Mark Baxter, Glynn Stanley, Alan Kidd, Phil Clayton, Nicky Gee and yours truly.

Yours sincerely, Jeremy Cooper

School recollections:

1 I remember that the class Fart League was won by Steve Ashworth on a fuel of tea and toast - to maximise frequency & noise.  The fart league required panel of 3 judges, strategically placed. Each judge had to confirm that the fart was audible to count. Ashworth was the undisputed champ, despite close matches with Gaz Fielding.

2 Steve Ashworth again sent out of school window by Mr Toseland (Toady) for misbehaving.  Unfortunately Toseland forgot that the classroom was on the  first floor.  Ashworth was  seen by the Head (Mr Hudson) hanging from window ledge. Major reprimand for Mr Toseland!

3 A certain Mr Arnold growing culture within a milk bottle inside his locker on the balcony. Daily injections of vinegarlike fluid ensured that a rancid culture flourished over several weeks. This led to a widening gap appearing in line of masters located near locker (home of culture) at morning assembly. Mr "Hairy" Heinz finally identified owner of locker.

4 Mr John "Horlicks" Hall popped home for lunch and forgot his house key. He slid down the coal shute to effect entry via the cellar door. The cellar door was unfortunately locked! John was entombed in the cellar and eventually released mid afternoon. Had afternoon sandwhiches and tea with Mr Hudson  (John now living in Holcombe, Bury with two children).

5 The Vanishing Class - Mr Toseland was continually excusing pupils to go to the loo.  Few returned.

6 Disturbing humming during assembly.  A continuous humming through clenched teeth means it is impossible to detect the source!

7 Disappearing handles, doorknobs, fingerplates (thought to be of high value precious metal content), probably still behind garage on Radcliffe New Road.
Bye for now

Rob Shimmin

Here's a photo of Rob (left) and me, your web page author (right), taken in August 2000, in The Dolphin, Portsmouth, just prior to coming joint last in the pub quiz. 

I blame our education!

Hi Martyn,

great idea, congratulations on a great page stirring up some real old memories. I was at Stand 1972-1979. I guess everyone has their own special memories of our once momentous school, we can all share some great stories, but I would just like to make an overall contribution and say: those good old days were special and the Haggises,Towies and Killer Crouchleys of this world were great character builders and I would like to congratulate them all for being of the "old school" type teachers. It was a little daunting, however, at the age of 11 being doomed into Ragdale under the watchful eye of Sir Hargreaves and Sir Percy.

Remember, those bloody maps of Lancashire Sir had us do with a mapping pen and ink, I look back at old books and find the whole of our home work was done with those damn pens.......thats all I have to say about that!!!!!!!

Annie Marshall mmmmmmmmmmmm: school boy crush , thats all I have to say about her .

Will try to dig out some old photo's to send. Hello to Jonathan Sietler, class mate of mine in 1972 and also Howard Joseph, both with us through to 79.
As for me, a brief resume: 7 O's , 3 A's , BA 2:2 Business Studies. Moved to Aylesbury, Buckinhamshire, Assistant Branch Manager with Marley tiles for 3yrs.  Left , Joined HILTI in 1987, been through various positions, I have been outside the UK for  5 years. South Korea for 3 years and now as Marketing Diector for Near, Middle East and South Asia Region for the last 2 years, based in Dubai.

Keep up the great work Martyn.

Anyone remember me ?

Doug Flynn   1972-1979

Greetings Martyn,

Sorry that I did not get the opportunity to join you at the Demolition Dinner, unfortunately I was already committed - perhaps another time.

Well, the summer's almost over and I have switched my PC back on. I thought it may be time to revisit my "Standian" collection and I  came across the enclosed article, which I co-authored back in '58 on the history of Stand. Now that Stand really is no more it may be of interest to those who know little of its story.

I also enclose two other articles (click here to download), from the same edition (Summer 1958),  - one on Radcliffe by Billy Barton, who was School Captain and then  went on to study Theology at St Catherine's College, Cambridge.  The other is by Howard Jacobson, on a school visit to Paris - this wasn't his first excursion into print, in the Standian, but as a Travel article it was strangely appropriate as he had an article on a holiday in Jamaica, published a few weeks ago in the Sunday Times.

If you find these of any interest/value let me know and I will scan some more. (I promise no-more by myself)


Terry Mitchell

Congratulations, Martyn! Good idea, good page! Went to SGS in 1938 so I'm apt to regard a lot of the material you've received as current events rather than reminiscences.  However........nowt we can do about that. Headmaster then was Norwood, avec cane. SGS was part scholarships (me, et al) and part fee-paying. An early recollection is of the School First XI playing the annual football match against the Masters.  Goalkeeper for the latter was Mr. Hamer, dramatic ball-handler but nevertheless effective.  Most, if not all, of the School team went into the Forces and unfortunately some did not return. A few of the Masters also served - Wallace and a couple of others, I think. I wonder if this match was reinstituted.

Around 1941/2 SGS had two female teachers, a Mrs. Glazebrook and a Miss Someone. No cars at the school at that time - no petrol - but lots of bikes, from racing handlebars and rattraps to Mr. Cottrell's sit-up-and-beg job complete with front pannier.  Riding to school for many of us meant then seeking a place by the heating pipes underneath the windows; rising steam during class indicated a satisfactory drying process. The other French teacher (other than C, that is) was Monsieur Gasquet who had a large knot tied in the tail of his gown which he swung in the direction of non-conjugating pupils if the ear-pulling didn't work! Messrs. Hepworth(Ass't Head), Evans, Hanson, Clarke and Vause were other masters.

There were two football pitches at the school itself; one behind the woodwork shop and the other beyond the paved area where the air-raid shelters were built. The annual school booklet was a fairly basic product.  Pen portraits of school teams ("loves to hit boundaries and sixes but rarely connects") - weakish plays on names ("in our form we have Wood but no Knotts"). A high accolade for any boy who did well in any activity was that he was "useful".

An abiding-with-me memory is of morning prayers and assembly.  After the boys were lined up in the hall, the masters arrived in crocodilian procession along the balcony and down on to the stage, to the usual accompaniment of either Trumpet Voluntary or Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, perhaps the only 78s the school owned.  Colonel Bogey would have been interesting.  At the end of assembly, the Head would always conclude with an imperious YOU MAY GO. This did not mean, of course, that "you may go".  It was more proscriptive than permissive.  More British understatement. Some of your correspondents have noted individual non-scholastic achievements. I recall a handstand on the balcony handrail high above the hall level by a chap called Kimber, I believe.

Best regards,

John Horrocks, Ontario, Canada.

Dear Martyn,
A number of old boys informed me about the website.I have just had a  fleeting glance (and that took half an hour) and it is fascinating.  I had to  briefly respond to Ian Entwisle.  I am now more comfortable with noise from immature young boys because i have three delightful lads of my own. Thankfully they don`t all shout at the same  time.  Regarding the book, I can`t remember the incident so I presume it missed!  I see many old boys as i continue to put in an appearance for the football  club and attend the annual dinner in December. I shall write again in more detail in the future.
Best Regards
Martin Simons  1c 1968

Hope you are well.  Visited the website - very professional.  Going back to the incidence of the shorts not only did I turn up in shorts but half an hour late.  Also during my first week at Stand we did cross-country. Unfortunately myself and someone called Phil Logan (do you remember him?) got lost.  It ended up with the headmaster and a number of other teachers out in their cars looking for us.  We eventually got back about 5 o'clock. After this auspicious start my career at Stand went rapidly downhill after the first week. I could pick a whole number of appalling school reports.  My favourite is from the infamous 2C days from Barry Jensen - " His interest in Chemistry has evaporated."

I've lost touch with Rob - do you have an E - Mail address.


John Hall (Horlicks)

Martyn,  you wanted some reminiscences;   I wanted to see if any of my contemporaries remembered the  episode when CJ Kay (in the classroom described as the last one left, on the balcony, as was), climbed said ladder for whatever nefarious purpose, and got his foot stuck  through the lath and plaster of the domed ceiling, and only some desperate contortions enabled him to get free before  the caretaker (Mr Williams) was able to find out who was responsible for the  plaster on the hall floor.

 Secondly, I don't suppose you ever knew that at one point we had a rugby team, founded by that sterling Physics master Mr Lumley, who , as I recall was determined to make the School a multi-game school in winter.  Somehow I don't think he succeeded, since after I left I never heard any more of it. The enclosed picture is of our motley crew after playing against a scratch Prestwich XV, and considering our lack of experience, we didn't do too badly, losing 3-0.  We certainly received a good write-up in the Guide. Some of those present on the picture are: DM Wood,  K Proctor, JI Noble, Geoff Henwood, Pete Mallion, Bunny Bradbury, H Wignall, R Lawson, J Fray, A McGregor and the diminutive D J Lones.  I cannot remember any more names.  Perhaps someone out there does?

Re. the picture of rugby team, it was in 47/48 I think, and the building in the background is the girls school, as seen from the playing field on Park Lane.

Regards, Mac McGregor


McGregor, Arnold, aka Mac, taking the opportunity to congratulate you on the quality of your page.I  was a little before your time, I fear, however the school is still the school, even if it has changed enormously since my sojourn there (43 - 49).   Can anyone remember Joe Whitworth, he of the enormous appetite for after school clubs, e.g. boxing, rambling, not to forget heraldry, etc.  Then there was Monsieur Gasquet, SAP Hamer of the jingling keys, Bill Evans, who, despite the handicap of my having no brain, gave me an undying love of English as she is writ.  Ernie Hanson & old man Clarke, their maths lessons were interminable, and only bore fruit in later years. Whatever happened to CJ Kay, Bunny Bradbury, Hal Whitehead, and all my contemporaries, I really would like to know.

Arnold 'Mac' McGregor

Hi Martyn,

Greetings from Sydney!  I was just browsing and figured I'd try to find my old school on the Web. My lucky day! I attended Stand from 1950 to 1954 when Mr (Sammy?) Medlar was headmaster. Teachers' names I remember are Mr Whitworth (History), Hinton (English), Ashurst (Latin), Ogden (English), Hargreaves (PT).  They'll all be long gone by now, I guess. Fellow students included Brian Fidler, Philip Laddin, Emmanuel Alvarez, Brian Levy, Ralph Settle among others. Do you have any bio's on these or others of that vintage?  Did anyone become famous (or infamous?)?  Love to get some news if there is any. Incidentally, is it still called Stand Grammar School? And what do you mean by 'demolished 2000 AD'?

Thanks for a great page.  Keep it going.

Eddie (Edward) Lees

Cheers, Martyn

Very kind of you to forward the pix. You weren't thinking of publishing them were you?

Wasn't too bad a night was it? Old Haggis has mellowed (and shrunk) a bit. I swear there was a little tear in his eye when I mentioned the phrase "apples, bananas, cherries, doughnuts - four teams - GO!" I thought it was a bit of a shame that the average age of the attendees was so high, but hopefully without a clash with a football match, the annual dinner will be supported by the OSA football players.

I also thought that there might have been one or two more teachers there.

Sorry about you having to walk to Radcliffe, but if you got home without being mugged, then you got a result anyway!

Stay in touch



Hmmmm. He looks well doesn't he for a man who must be over 80 if he was, as he always said he was, a desert rat.

I am currently considering whether to name my source for the now apparently ill-founded rumours of his death. I should say, perhaps, so as to whet the appetite, it was another SGS teacher.

Jonathan Seitler

Many thanks for web address of SGS site which was OK.   Tried it today and found it interesting.   Pity you have not yet got any earlier material but this will no doubt come along in due time.

Warren Johnson


I can confirm to all who might be interested that Haggis is alive and well and living in Haslingden!

I met him at the Demolition Dinner visit to the school only yesterday. He was introduced as Phil, I would not have recognised him. He is now white-haired genial old gent with a fund of after-dinner stories, including the one about the destruction of Robb-Elliot's satchel by Alf the over-enthusiastic groundsman at the sports field with the Gang mower, narrowly missing R-E himself and several other pupils.

Meeting the man after 40 years was quite a strange experience and I didn't have the heart to strike him about the face and head in the way I had always wanted to!

The tour and film show was excellent. I met up with Jack Adams and Ray Sims who were also at junior school with me and whom I had not seen for 40 Years. They too have both recently retired.

There was one old boy who had left in 1927- still going strong and learning computers at college - and many more prewar/wartime OBs.

I tried to pass on details of your excellent website to as many others as possible.

A pity that more people were not there.

I can't say that I was very impressed by the Longfield Suite.


Dave Jones

Hi there - I don't recognise your name but my brother, Colin "Pud" Wilson, 86-75, pointed it out to me, and I see that Roger Hanson is taking my name in vain.  I was at Stand 66-73 in 1A, 2S, 3S, 4B, 5S, 6A and 7A.  I now look after the Computer Network for the University of Edinburgh, where I've actually spent most of my life after leaving Stand: 8 years as a student (BSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering), 4 years in Cardiff including time as a Medical Physicist and then back to Edinburgh in 85 to work for the University Computing Service.

Someone told me several years ago about the mezzanine in the hall (what happened downstairs - I'd heard it was split into separate classrooms?) and I could never visualise it.  I guess I can now. :-(

All the various masters' names come back with a vengeance.  Malcolm "Bubbles" Clark was my form master in 6A and 7A and apparently shared a flat in Eccles with Benji Britten until things got a bit too awkward (or something like that, allegedly, etc. etc.) and he bought a house in Ainsworth before moving to Oswestry.  Apparently Benji used to come in late at night and cook food.  One night he put on a Heinz sponge pudding and then went to bed.  He then slept through the resulting explosion and the pudding had to be cleaned off the ceiling the next day.

Stan Davis taught me Spanish in 4th and 5th years (Steve Fletcher, he who married Dolly, née Tiffin, my first year English teacher, taught it in 3S) and on my final report wrote, "would have done better if he had worked harder".  I got a grade 1.

Other teachers I remember in no particular order:
Dr.Barnes (who started as Head the same year I did and was replaced in 71 by his much less-well-loved (what did I say??) deputy D.B. Hudson);
"Mouse" Hamilton (History);
The dreaded Haggis and Percy;
Brian Crosfield (Chem and Scouts);
Willy P Birch (WPB: "is that satis..." Class: "...FACTORY!"),
Barry Holden and Hairy Hynes (all Bio, though Hairy, apparently being a renounced Catholic priest, also did RE in later years);
The plump Geoff Wood (Geog) who somehow managed to be at the front going up mountains in Austria, Switzerland and the Lake District (loved those trips!);
John Eckersley (also Geog, who I believe ended up in the West Indies - I heard Roddy Bowden went out there to visit him) who I remember bounding over a hedge in the Lake District and thumping a tree - it was a Redwood with soft bark - a memorable bit of education;
Baz Brooks (Maths) I got an E in my A-level after two years with Baz; I got a 1 at O-level after 1 year with Broadbent - I guess Baz and I just didn't get on.  Did Baz stay with teaching or did the plumbing business
take off?

Loads of others I can't bring to mind just now - they'll come back, I'm sure.

Other pupils:  Roger Hanson, Steve Cantor, Harris Frazer and Warren Richman you've heard from already - Hi, guys!
As Roger says, Steve Mort ("Trom") is a high flying financial whiz for something that was Lucas Aerospace in Birmingham.  Trom spent a couple of years pushing paper in local government in St.Helens (his dad moved
there from Radcliffe just before A-levels) before going to University in Cardiff - I think he went for a promotion after 2 years and was told he was overqualified.  My brother Pud is a Maths teacher in Prescott (boo, hiss) and lives in North Cheshire.

I'm always surprised no one that I remember from Stand seems to have become world famous, but that may say more about my memory than about my contemporaries' achievements.

Anyone who's mad enough can find my "official" web page at <>

Shame the old place will be disappearing...

Sam (Simon Martin David) Wilson.

What's the worst report comment YOU ever had?

Three spring to mind:

During  a trendy-wendy period of education the staff were instructed to always say something positive in each report, no matter how hopeless the pupil.

Cue Don Revie...

1) PHYSICS - He breathes well (Sometimes).

2) After finishing 132nd in the block in Biology in the first year I managed to move up to 7th the year after. Comment from Hairy? BLOCK POSITION 7th - satisfactory progress.  I rose 125 places and that was satisfactory!

Other comment from Metalwork teacher:

Metalwork is not his forte- I expect nothing is.

I convinced my dad that forte was something good and got extra spends...

Tom Sweetman

On the off chance that I could find Stand Grammar on the Web I found your site on June 6th. Ironic that the only time that I checked the web should be a week before the Demolition Dinner and the demise of the beautiful school building. My name is Ivan Thompson, now living in Houston Texas. I attended Stand 1976 to 1978. School captain 77/78. Would really like to get back in touch with class mates: Dean Jackson, Dave Jennings, Chris chambers, Malcolm Arison? Would like to know what happened to some of the staff: "Chippy"
Wood, Greg Mountain, DB Hudson, "Tabs" Hunter, David Murray. My e-mail address at work is
Ivan Thompson


What a surprise to find a reference to my old school which I had thought had disappeared into the mists of time. As a pupil from 1956 to 1961 in a somewhat strict regime which I believe now did me no harm at all, I was shocked to find it is now an annex of Bury High School and double whammy it is to be demolished.

Can you find anyone from 5A of year 1961 in your files? Have you access to the full school photographs of that time? Can anyone remember the misplacement of the steps to the stage on one April 1st during the above period that upset 'SPIKE' Cotterril(cant remember the correct spelling) at assembly so much that we had to have the 1st period of the day at 4.00p.m. My luck to have 'KILLER' for gym, if only I could find the thief!!!!

By the way I think the only Music teacher I remember is Eric Rosebury .

Can any ex-pupil go to the event on Saturday 17th or must one be a fully paid-up member of the Old Standians?

I look forward to a reply. Please excuse any grammatical errors I can only blame them on my education.

Best regards

Alan Davies

p.s. My best friend at school was Malcolm Whitehead of 5A I believe he was an editor of the Bury Times at one stage but I haven't seen him for about 20 years. Bill Kerr was another friend


At Stand from '54 to '60. Early retirement in '96 when Benefits Agency Area Fraud Manager for Merseyside. Now helping to regenerate inner-city Liverpool with a community organisation ( – in '98 Prestwich village looked in need of  some regeneration.

Sister (Girls school '59-'66) phoned from France to say that she had met an Old Standian, Stephen Lupton ('55-'61?), who said that the school is to be demolished for housing. To find out the truth I found your site via Dogpile – thought SGS might have been on – took the liberty of adding it.

I remember Dearden, Utley, Thorpe and Brian Priestley, musician and broadcaster. Left school on the same day as Jacobson and Heilpern – now drama critic of the New York Observer.

TEACHERS REMEMBERED (there are no women in this list):

Ivor Jones, Woodwork.  Exchanged pleasantries in Welsh with my old man.
Frad Parkinson,  Mech Science .
Joe Bog, English.  What happened to the “sheaf of detention slips” he carried?
Ted Duckers, French.  Plans discussed frequently later in the Church Inn, Prestwich, after a chorus or two of Gaudeamus, for a mass return visit to repay in kind gym shoes on the backside for failing weekly tests sadly never materialised - to my continuing regret.
Joe Whit, Maths and History, including happy day trips to castles & cathedrals etc in the summer term.
Derek Venvell,  English (later Deputy Director of Education GLC).
Wiggy Armitage, French.
Willie P Birch, Biology .
Geordie “Spirogyra” Thompson, Biology.
Geoff Bain, from pupil at Stand to Uni to teacher at Stand.
Doc Roberts, Geography and the history of WW2 Desert Rats.
Dickie Plantpot, Geography.
Johnny Frith, History and later the pub.
Goofy Hunter, History.
Fritz Forreyan, German. Did Pete Marston (later to be lumberjack?) really thump him after he had bullied one of the younger lads?
Ernie Hanson, Maths and sadism.
Cotterill, French and deputy Head.  Was he really the Bert the caretakers lost twin and has he still got my silver Japanese penknife?
Derek Broadbent, Maths and Northern Nomads footballer.
Sap Hamer, Maths and tatty gown.
Mr Hannaby, 6th form Maths and Yogi Bear.
Rosebud Roseberry, Music (later Director of Music for Rutland Education Authority) gratitude for an introduction to jazz via Fats Waller 78s.
Dave Backhouse, German and tenor voice.
Alf Critchley, Metalwork, ex driving instructor.  Much sadness when he broke his leg playing hockey.
Haggis Hargreaves, Position/Possession ex Desert Rat.
Dobbin, Art.
Chester Bradley, French.
Les Lumley, Physics.  Great lessons and he must have been in agony with arthritis most of the time.
Crossfield, Chemistry.  The first transfer from industry to teaching?
Longstaff .
Boris Knott, English, but mad as hatter – over the bridge to Crewe?


Back row: Stephen Woodward (older brother David ?, Head Boy), Bob Twist – Later went to live in Paris.
Middle row 2nd from left I think is David Brookes – 1st eleven footballer?  Between Jeff Phillips and Denis Gore is “Spec” Hampson who went to  Australia to teach. Best player of an empty 7 pint can in the district.  Denis Gore was on TV from his pharmacy somewhere in Wigan via Collyhurst many years before.  Front row, Austin Frederick surely deserves his full title.  Ian Brummitt (?), later of Inland Revenue.

Does anyone know what happened to Dooky Duckworth?

Dave Jones


I was at Stand 1969 to 1976 and was let down by the place as were most of my

Is there a uniquely "Stand" sense of humour shared by most of us?

Anyway, my email address is   feel free to publish it on the site.

I'll try to get some  stories together soon

Best wishes

Michael J. Rubinstein


I decided that it was time I did my homework: I'm a little behind with my essay but hope that its not too late for entry in this years English Prize:


Terry Mitchell

"A Trip to the Dentist."

What kind of Monday is it going to be when you are woken up by your wife with the message that she is off to work and not to forget your dental appointment at 10.15 am: it was hardly 8.30!  Still, contrary to what Ernie Hanson instilled ... that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line .... when you live in Mobberley and your dentist lives in Prestwich, the shortest distance is Hobson's Choice. My choice was the M60 (late M63 and M62) via the Ship Canal and the Clifton Valley (it might be quicker when, after 40 years, they complete the ring from Stockport to Heaton Park). Previous experience informed that the journey could take up to an hour and a half to cover the 20 odd miles but by the time I'd actually got up and got ready there was only an hour left. Sod's Law then came into play - no hold-ups and I was off at the Whitefield junction at 9.45. With time in hand a diversion was called for - perhaps a quick look at Radcliffe. Up Bury New Road to Besses Junction - its all traffic lights and filter lanes. The horse trough has gone, ditto the urinal: even worse the fish and chip shop, and all the property around it has been demolished. And then there was the Junction Inn: "WAS" being operative - it's an Indian restaurant - Harry Pierrepoint, the last Public Hangman and licensee must feel like topping himself. Note that Joe Bogg's house is still there although traffic is queued nearly in his front garden.

Higher Lane is a bit of a relief; it's relatively unchanged. Even the Girl's school looks the same (if you ignore the traffic lights at Park Lane) but Ringley Road!!! All the big houses built in the 50's seem to have sold off their gardens for housing estates.

Stand Lane seems the same... until you get to the bottom. There is now a town centre by-pass and new shopping - C'est magnifique, mais n'est pas Radcliffe!  With all this sightseeing I was now late for the dentist so it was back up Radcliffe New Road, noting that Ron's Snack Bar (at the Bury Road junction) is also an Indian restaurant and that Whitefield's shopping city looks like a bomb, or vandals, has hit it.  Relief at noting the Bull's Head seems unchanged (externally at least); it was out home from home after a strenuous Friday night at the school scouts but very upset to see that the Whitefield tennis courts have been turned into a parklet - it was the best spot for meeting girls!

It's strange but true but the more they widen the roads the slower your progress - it took an age to negotiate my way back down to Heaton Park - when the world was young you could easily reach 60 between Besses and Prestwich Village. My visit to David Blain (an Old Standian) proving neurologically and economically painless further exploration was in order: I was ready for the Big One - a visit inside the old school. After 40 years there would be no-one who could possibly recognise me: no-one would notice that I wasn't wearing my school cap.

I parked opposite the church and made my way to the main entrance: it was bigger - they've driven a road in so the "pupils" can park their cars in the car park (playground). In my last years there was only one boy with a car - David (Joe) Berger. (He had a Vauxhall Cresta in the shocking pink popularised by Elvis and Cadillac. I saw him a few years ago (Joe not Elvis) - he was driving a Rolls Royce: I think he married a former Miss Great Britain).

The outside of the school looked much shabbier but relatively unchanged: it was the inside that was unrecognisable. The pristine appearance has been replaced with the modern vogue for producing everything anyone can think of on a computer, printing it and then sticking it to every blank surface. Talk about dumbing down: how we ever found our way around school without a paper-chase of arrows and room numbers, I now find hard to comprehend.

Worse was to come. I went through into the hall - it had disappeared. I went out and back in again - it had still disappeared. It slowly dawned on me that as well as fitting it with a false ceiling, they had also fitted it with partition walls. There is just a corridor around the edge with the doors, and rooms, just recognisable. Inside the partition there appears to be a library. For old times sake I went up onto the balcony, leant on the rail and faced the non-existent stage. It was here that I was leaning, just before assembly,"on the day the music died" (...bye bye Miss American Pie) but there were few ghosts present. Whatever it is its not Stand: the presence of the Honours Boards ( the Captain's with the addition of the names of "School Chairperson") and the old Clive and Philips memorials served only to
heighten the absurdity.

Outside was no better. The bicycle sheds and toilet block were long gone  (where they smoke now I know not; there was a notice on the front door stating "No Smoking Here"). It was a surprise to find the old canteen still standing, surrounded by cars, but seeming unused. Next to it was a Theatre - that seemed unused too. Looking back towards the main building I saw Ivor Jones' pride and joy, the Woodwork Shop. When I reached it there was a (computer produced) notice on the door - "Media Studies". Was it for this that all those fish bones were reduced to glue? all those forests reduced to shavings and asbestos covered iron stands for countless proud mothers? (I've still got mine. I have mentioned before that Woodwork was not my forte but despite the fact that her iron kept falling off, I found it at my mother's after she had died).

The gym is still standing but, like Haggis, appears to be on its last legs. I couldn't make out what goes on in there now but whatever it is I like to think that there is a dimension where a shaky Martin Brumer hangs upside down on a beam, supported only by his knees and his hands. "What do I do now?" he asks Haggis. "You let go" was the response. Martin did and landed on his head! It was such little entertainments that made our day.

Round the back of the gym, where I used to play marbles there are now more prefabs. They seem shabbier than rooms 21 & 22 but must be only half their age. Room 22 is dedicated to "Social Studies" - I don't go in. I'm feeling decidedly anti-social.

There is one small find to indicate what was. A Norweb sub-station, which looks as if it could handle the output of Chernobyl, stands in the yard behind room 22. It is surrounded by railings which would provide no challenge even for a first former but there, facing into the compound is a small sign - "Stand Grammar School Sub Station". It seems to sum up all that I have seen.

The College office confirms that the end is nigh for these mortal remains: it will close its doors in June and await the demolition men and an uncertain future. Perhaps resurrection as a Barratt Development with their Executive Range "Standian" - Det4 bed, lnge, din-kit (fly fttd), clks, mstr bed with en-suite, int gge - and as the new occupiers lie abed and slip fitfully into their deeply mortgaged sleep will they hear the far off notes of a song, fitfully sung.

Post Script - On arriving home I must have been more than a little stirred by what I had seen. Lynda has been on at me since we moved here four years ago to put a shelf in a cupboard but you know me and woodwork!!  Still perhaps, oh what the hell. I found the wood I had bought two years ago, then I found the screws, then some tools. Unfortunately the result has been no different to my Woodwork lessons - two sawn fingers, a nasty splinter in my thumb and a shelf that's too small for the cupboard - I swear I can hear Ivor laughing!

I think I was there from around '56 to '61. I arrived in year 2 and can remember the smell of the uniform newly bought the previous day somewhere in Prestwich Village ( could have been "Syd Phillips"). It had to be specially ordered!!!!! as I had refused to wear the uniform from my previous school even for a day. The rest of the first day saga will have to be told another time since the purpose of this letter is to ( pause here for nostolgic breath intake). Name the Staff. Here goes!

Hunter(Goofy!) History- My forever favourite.

Frith ????????,  English- Took us drinking in 6th form. For such a nice man he had an unhealthy interest in cross country running.

Willy Pee,  A level Biology - (can't remember his real name but he must have had one).

Ogden (Joe Bog), English,  with box analysis.

Whitworth (Joe Whit), Maths and trips to historic places.

Kuster German and English -Took us to Munich.where we got very drunk.

Williamson, Headmaster, once caned me.

 Crossfield, Chemistry - debates and scouts.

All the above I have fond memories of. Not so Hargreaves and on that matter I shall remain silent just in case me school boy language gets the better of me.

Mike Hage


I read in one of the articles that there is to be a reunion in December. Is that true? If so please could you send me details.


Danny Weidenbaum

(I haven't heard of anything, but there appears to be some interest. We should lobby the Old Standians Association - Martyn)

With reference to Greg Berry's recollection of Tim Lyons and the unveiling of the Class Emblem that he had designed…

I was there, and I remember it well - his name was Toby Lyons (Tim was his older brother - also an old Standian), and he was haunted by that poster and Haggis all his school life - 5 years.  On his last day he stood at the top of the stairs, and shouted in a loud voice, in front of the other Masters and Haggis "Mr. Hargreaves, you're the biggest bastard that ever walked the face of the earth".
"Names can't hurt me now, Lyons", Haggis replied. Toby told me at the time that he didn't really know what the word "sadist" meant, and if he did he wouldn't have used it. I remember it was an excellent poster, and took him hours to complete - Haggis at first liked it, but later had to chance to read it in detail and got very angry - just as Greg recalls.

Dave Smith, 1R, 2R, 3S, 4R, 5S, 6M, 7M - ex- "78RPM" rocker - May 2000

Well! What a wonderful discovery. I had been told about this by Winnie Forman (Dr. Forman to you) and Geoff Glaskie last Christmas but, try as I might, I could not log on until today.

I guess I was at Stand from 1955 to 1962 (or thereabouts). When you get to my age, it's hard to remember dates. I am a solicitor practising in the West End of London. These are the best days of my life. Stand? Hell on wheels.

They wouldn't let me near any sport other than cross-country. I managed to come not higher than 31st out a class of 32 - year after year. The only thing I knew was cars and Williamson told my despairing parents to tell me that if I didn't pass exams I'd never be able to afford a car. So I passed exams. I wish I'd thought of going into the motor trade. It would have been so much easier.

Anyway, I was the first Beatle. At least, some teacher called me that (although I never saw how he spelt it) and he called the equally wayward Carter "the Worm". Where are they now?

I remember enigmatically: "Johnny" Frith, "Fritz" Forian, Schofield, "Haggis" (as who does not?), Arnold (who told me to try everything once. If only I'd listened.), "Fluebrush", "Ernie", "Joe Bog" Ogden ... .... I'm not sure what's sadder: how little influence the others had on me or my lousy memory.

I first came across a protection racket at Stand. Someone or other (no names, please - defamation on the Internet can be very expensive) paid out if you got a detention. The cane was worth a fortune. Anyway, that's what he got in the end for his entrepreneurship.

I'll never forget the day of the apogee of the Cuban missile crisis. They sent us on cross-country (what else?) and Paul Berman and I, running past the Girls' School, wrestled with our hormones, which did not want to die virginally. As nuclear obliteration did not come, it was fortunate that discretion (or cowardice) won out.

And that's all there is. I scraped into Manchester University, only because someone more sensible dropped out after a week and put Stand out of my mind, until I heard about this invaluable service in raking up misery (not true - you can't beat nostalgia, even though its constantly being invented).

One last thought. Howard Jacobson, who I saw mentioned, once did a beautiful monologue about being taken to Tower Buildings to buy his school uniform. It was broadcast on Radio 3 about 25 years ago. If you are out there, Howard, why not make it available to Old Standians? We deserve some reward for our suffering.

Howard Epstein

Dave Smith here - I live in Ottawa Canada, and I'm 42 - it's May 2000

I was at SGS from 68 to 75

Any of you remember the band I played in? Called 78 RPM, and there were two teachers - sorry, Masters - John Coghill and Barry Costello-Jones in the band. We played a couple of time at SGS dances.

"If you don't like this school LEAVE, I don't care" - Mr Phillip "4 teams go" Hargeaves.

I remember teachers Keith Reavey, Barry Brookes, Derek Broadbent, who managed to cram enough Math, Further Math and Physics in me to let me get 4 A levels and go to Leeds U.

There, I got a degree in Mech Eng - soon after emigrated to Canada, and am now a Program Manager in the Telecommunications business in Ottawa.

Whatever happened to ... Andy Nary and Dave (?) ... famous for spray painting slogans all over the school and eventually got expelled?

Stuart Jackson - fellow motor bike enthusiast - where are you now?

Here's my picture as a memory jogger:

Hi again

2 points, firstly I don’t see my name in the contacts list although you have published my letter and secondly the prefect between myself and Dennis Gore is Tony Hampson who is or has just retired from teaching in Campelltown which is a small town just south of Sydney. I can get his address if anyone is interested but I don’t believe that he is on the net. If anyone is attending the Olympics I shall be working there and can be contacted in one of the medical centres at the stadium.

Cheers for now.
Jeff Phillips
9 Songlark Grove
Flagstaff Hill,
SA, 5159

Martyn, I sent you an email about my time at Stand then read the "who I am" bit and found out that you were born in Radcliffe - me too but in 48 and guess what I was also at Radcliffe Hall CE primary, and guess what again my father Stan Simpson was a maths lecturer @ Bolton Institute of Tecnology for many years until his retirement in about 84, sadly Dad died in 89 but I'll bet you knew him.

Your post a msg (to the SGS page) link did not seem to work for me so I emailed you instead. Hope you can still put it in the right place.

brgds Phil Simpson
ex 74 Bury Road Radcliffe 1948-1966 full time, 1966-1999 occasionally.

Hello Martyn

Well done with all the Stand Info.

Would you be so kind as to put this on the page , as I am interested to know where all the guys are from this time. I remember Baz Brooks, Lawrence Meehan, Pete Hamblet, Hugh Shaw, who could forget them ? Having only just come across the page I will have to rack my last remaining brain cells about the rest of the team all taught Maths & Further Maths by "Fat Fred" etc. I enjoyed it all at the time thankfully.

Phil Simpson (ginger hair) 1959-66 from Radcliffe.

PS my Uncle Gordon (still ok) also attended the School approx 1941-46, I don't think I noticed anyone from his era. Everytime I see him (he is in Munich these days) he is always asking for an old School Tie!


Hi again Martyn

The more I look at your terrific website the more the memories come back.

While I was at Stand 1957 - 1962 Lancashire Life wrote an article on the school under the title "Their School Motto Is A Pun" - that's all I can remember, I don't have the magazine - it may have been published in 1958 or 1959.Perhaps someone who logs onto the website might have a copy.  Also the school cross country team won the Northern Schools Cross Country Championship at Lyme Park - again not sure of the exact date but would guess 1960 or 61.

The picture of the First XI football team 1953-54 also shows Derek Utley as captain of the under 14's - he was a prefect in my first year and captain of the first XI - I think he also went on to play for England schoolboys.

If I think of anymore nostagia I'll let you know.

Kind regards

Barry Noden

Dear Martyn,
What a shock to be browsing quite happily, only to be stopped in my tracks by a HUGE blast from the past ! Very unsettling ! Still, schooldays - the happiest days of your life eh ? Don't think so ! I was there from 1974 - 1979 and left to go to Holy
Cross College - what a culture shock! The red initials on my P.E. shorts (chain stitch of course) let me know I was in Philips House. The things that seep back into consciousness - Free Trade Hall prizegiving, Maria Martin & the Red Barn, Singing in the choir - Haydn's Creation, Nelson Mass, Harmonie Mass and Handel's Messiah.  I still have a recording of one of the things we did in Stand Church. Names that come flooding back (pupils) include: Peter O'Gorman (Poggy), Brian O'Neil (Snail), Nick McGarry, John Zvirgdins (Smith - changed his name to Lee) John Wynne, Paul Berry (played the French Horn), Nigel ? (Trombone player), Dom Fitzpatrick, Greg Byrne, Ian Litherland, Tony? Higgins to name but a few (all I can remember!) Comments from school reports still rattle around my head : "Nicholas has made the most of a limited ability", "Nicholas is a little dilatory" (Rick Lohan), problem was I didn't know what a dilatory was! I remember winning a prize for "French Reading", I didn't know what I read
but I could read it !I also remember the 'black pudding incident'.  MMMMMMmmmmm these memories could damage me - I'd better see my therapist.  If anyone out there wants to get in touch, feel free.

Nick Young (aka Skunk!)

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Author: Martyn Arnold

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