Stand Grammar School

Church Lane, Whitefield, Manchester
Demolished 2001 AD

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Contributions from Old Standians

This term's Star letters...


A great website. I was at Stand during the war from 1941-47. My elder brother was there from 1938-42, but my father Eric, better known as ' Ernie' Hanson was on the staff from 1921 to 1965. He would have loved the web site for he remembered every name right back to the 1920's; indeed in his last years at Stand he found that he was teaching the grandchildren of his early pupils. When I started in 1941 the Headmaster was Dennis Norwood, who was only seen by miserable little third formers at morning assembly or for punishment. He was succeeded by Medlar who never had the same presence and unfortunately, seemed to be repeatably struck by an almost biblical plague of boils. Frank Hepworth was senior master and obviously couldn't stand the sight of boys and so he conducted his classes in English with his eyes tightly shut. I always thought that we could have quietly left and he would never have known. In room 7 was Harry Clarke or 'Old man' Clarke who always loomed behind you while you waited for the inevitable blow to the back of the head. 'Gussy' Joynson taught physics and was not unlike Heinrich Himmler in appearance. Alf Housley took chemistry and was a very good badminton player despite having only one leg. During the war when staff and senior boys stayed the night on firewatching duty in case of incendiary bombs, Alf used to hang up his leg still in his trousers when retiring to his camp bed. Bill Evans, who had been blown up in the trenches during the first world war still carried various pieces of German metal in his innards and was left rather short tempered, any slacker was progressively hit on the top of his head by an extremely hard projecting knuckle until he reached the floor. Only when he had grown sufficiently to be taller than him would one be offered a Woodbine and a friendly word. Gasquet taught French and had an assorted collection of clubs in his desk and should someone displease him (not a difficult thing to do) , first of all his head would be examined, then various implements would be laid out in display and finally, having re-checked the head he would select the most suitable and advance on the boy. His favorite weapon was the metal spine from a desk lid with a hinged end which revolved as he advanced. You were never hit very hard and sometimes when boys finally left school they would present him with an even more fearsome addition to add to his collection.

I saw on your web that John Horrock of Ontario remembered two female teachers, I remember Mrs Glazebrook, Mrs Hughes, and particularly Miss Moore for so called Physical Education. She was small, very thin and sunburnt, and no one was allowed to challenge her. She placed relay race sticks under the wall bars around the gym so that wherever she happened to be she could quickly deliver a sharp blow. This would regularly occur when we all had to lie on our backs on the floor for exercises which inevitably led to resounding farts coming from various areas to be followed by sharp cries of pain. It was no coincidence that those who suffered most were the ones who stayed for school dinners. We all thought things would improve when she left and an Egyptian, Silem Said took over, only to find that gym now consisted of going outside in all weathers to run round and round the field and playground for half an hour.

Who remembers Mr Levy, who taught Latin with a short temper? - almost as short as my Latin memory. Mr Hawley who taught Spanish and History and who's main story was how he crossed the Andes on a donkey. Duggie Williams who wielded a large T square in the Art room and went on to lecture at the Bangor Normal College being replaced by Alan Smith. Someone has already mentioned Joe Ogden and his time in the asylum, but I recall him telling us that he at least had a certificate to say he was sane, while we had no such thing!  Mind you his sanity was sorely tried for I remember we removed all the screws from his chair and replaced them with black thread, having kept him in conversation from entering the room he suddenly disappeared from behind his desk and descended to the floor with a almighty crash. On another occasion electric buzzers from the ATC (Air Training Corps) were fixed under various desks and as the lesson progressed a buzzer would sound in one area to be replaced by one at the other side of the room - he never mentioned it, nor located them, and finally we got tired of buzzing.

My father would never hit a boy, instead he would walk up to the cause of his displeasure, curl one finger around his forelock - we all had hair then, turn round with his hand behind him and simply walk back to the front of the class leaving the hapless boy to totter behind in a crouching position, he was then left to kneel on the front edge of the platform - rather painful as I well remember!  After the end of the war a master arrived who was never to have discipline problems. He was 6' 4" tall, extremely well built, and to add to this he carried half a pound of lead shot in the end of his gown sleeve. Any performance or behaviour which upset him and he would swing his arm and the weighted sleeve would prescribe a graceful arc to be caught in mid flow and continue in a controlled curve to connect with the offenders' head.

Other staff include Joe Whitworth who took us Youth Hostelling during the war when all food was rationed, and so you had to carry all your food for the week, this lead to everyone eating enormous amounts after the first day to lighten the load.  W. P. Birch who in the early days was called 'Waste Paper Basket'. 'Sap" Hamer who was scoutmasterand still had to be called Sir even at scout camp.       Finally, reference Mike Hages' letter - ,A Trip to the Dentist', I made a fairly recent trip to Whitefield and was equally surprised to see that 'Chippy Dicks' chip shop had gone, and that my old local the Junction Inn was now a Indian restaurant. The landlord and last Hangman was of course Harry Allen and not Albert Pierrepoint. He kept the Oldham pub - 'Help The Poor Struggler', and had a notice in his bar saying 'No Hanging Around The Bar'. I spent a day with Albert in the late 1970's when I needed some accurate information on hanging - but that's another story.

Best Wishes,

Ian Hanson.


I was at Stand from 1960 to 1963. Do you have any idea of what happened to the Clive of India plaque that used to be in the Hall on the right near the stage? I seem to remember spending 3 years stood near to that.

Thanks for printing the picture of (Haggis!) Mr Hargreaves. I remember him for;
(a) terrifying me into learning how to whiten a pair of muddy pumps after cross country through Phillips Park,
(b) the pleasure of dubbining every football in the store room when unable to take PE after a knee op.
(c) having the wit to put on my school report, "Trying!"

David Rattee

Hi Martyn,

My name is Julian Ernst and I attended SGS from 75-80.  I am from Prestwich, but now live in Helmshore, Rossendale.

I recall my first day at SGS being greeted by black cloaked & mortar board clad masters such as Tabs Hunter, The Beak, Broadbent (maths I think), Jasper Swift and of all people Freddie Mercury.  I was absolutely petrified by all the black attire.

I recently bumped into teacher Haggis in Helmshore whilst he was out walking his dog.  He has not changed one bit!  Full credit must go to him for remembering my name and even the nicknames he gave me such as Toblerone, Matterhorn etc, based upon the fact that my dad is from Switzerland.  The funny thing is, I still called him "sir" throughout the whole conversation.

I am still friendly with some of the lads from school and we still get together (Karl Evans, Ivan Elllison, Steve Crouch, Dodge, Nick Mullen, Kirky, Andy Owen & China).  China was a year below me, but lived in Prestwich too.  I remember one day I threatened China over something and The Beak overheard the fracas that ensued.  He came over and enquired as to what was going on.  China said that I was going to beat him up at break time.  The Beak asked - "Well, what exactly did Ernst say to you, Hardman?".  China's reply was "He said he was going to fucking twat me sir!"  China & I both burst out laughing and I think we both got slippered for that.

Other things I remember:

Paddy McCaff and the press ups on the tennis courts.
Hairy's Pond.
The 6ft deep hole, dug by Andy Robinson and crew.
Pushing and shoving in the queue for the canteen.
Getting arrested by security staff at Chester Zoo for throwing crisp packets full of water form a bridge at unsuspecting people on that pleasure boat ride on the little canal that surrounds the zoo.
Peter Bull (Spanish teacher) not being able to speak or understand Spanish on our trip to Lloret de Mar.
Singing "We're going to wreck Lloret" on the coach from the airport to the hotel and getting rollocked for it by a little fat teacher who's name I can't remember.
Sharing a hotel room with Steve Crouch & Dave Barlow and Dave and I being seriously uncomfortable with Crouch's pink pyjamas.
Nicking sweets from the kiosk at Whitefield Bus Station and being lined up in the hall for an identity parade by the owners of the kiosk.  Us regular thieves got away with it, because we had been nicking there for months and the owner claimed that because she recognised us, then it couldn't posssibly have been us.  Instead, Ian Hughes got nabbed for it.  He had only be there that day for the first time and wouldn't dream of doing anything like that.  I wonder where Hughey Hughes is these days.

I will think of some more stories and check in with you again.

Great site Martyn.  Keep up the good work laddie!

Please list my email address

Julian Ernst

Martyn, I have just read with interest and emotion many of the letters on your web site,but not many from my time there.

I left to become an articled clerk to chart accountants in m/c and qualified in 1960 and was in my own practice until 1994 when I retired  I remember many of my contempories and keep in contact with some to this day -Joe Rich MBE dentist, Les Jacobs fca, acct Harold Falk fca acct, David Rose surgeon, Eric Marks dentist  and Nev (nipper) Marks doctor -- we didn't do too bad in spite of what we were sometimes told we would come to!!

I remember  Ivor Jones (woodwork) telling me to leave his wood alone and bring in my comics instead -I never did anything practical since. PBH always gave me a hard time - I suppose I was a lazy bugger but we fought honourable draws -I wonder if he remembers? Goofy Hunter was a star, a smashing man what happened to him? Also Les Lumley (physics ) who was always professional, Eric Moore who wielded his power through a steel ruler, maybe he did some good, Joe Whit in my first year, and Ernie Hanson , Fritz Forian (french) and of course Shiner Lee (chemistry) who we all loved -a nice man  who we gave little chance to.  Oh boy we were difficult kids at times.  Sammy Medlar was our excellent headmaster, who made one of the most telling phrases I ever heard – “Don't leave your studies for the lure of some small change, boys, stay on and you will hear the rustle of notes” - I salute him.

I remember with great affection most of my time at STAND and more than 40 years on the old tune is still remembered - if PBH is still around tell him I’m sorry for treading on his foot when he sneaked up on me outside 5H classroom , but I enjoyed the moment and I forgive him all the bad times he gave us - I gather he has mellowed.

Kind regards - Phil Laddin

PS are these teachers still alive? Do you have contact with them?  Belatedly, I could say thanks.

Hi Martyn

Without my really knowing why I did this, I typed 'Stand Grammar School' into my search-engine this afternoon, and found your web-site.  I was at Stand from 1963 to 1966, and will probably be remembered, if at all, as a stalwart of the cross-country team. I was delighted to find messages on the site from two of my old cross-country mates, Alan McGilvray and Brian Heywood.  I have many fond memories of those epic encounters with Chadderton GS et al, and, of course, Mr Frith and the famous 'Green Flash'.  My cross-country career continued at Cardiff University,  and ended when I graduated from the Welsh National School of Medicine, as it then was, in 1971. I remember meeting Jasper Kirkby, who was running for Imperial College, at the Hyde Park Relay, either in 1967 or 1968. I've not seen anyone else from the School since I left, except Lawrence McGinty. I saw him on the telly, and I meant to try and contact him, but I never did.  He used to write for the New Scientist, and then became Science Reporter for ITN News.  I did contact Terry Bloomberg a few years ago, and heard back from him. He is a radiologist in Guildford.

I married Gwyneth, whom I met at Cardiff University, and we have 3 children. After graduating, I worked for a number of years in South Wales, and in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; then in Oxford, and for 4 years at the Christie Hospital in Manchester.  In 1986 we moved to Canada, and for the last 10 years, I have been Head of Radiation Oncology at CancerCare Manitoba in Winnipeg, and Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Manitoba.

To the teachers who instructed and encouraged me during the embryonic years of my medical career in the 6th form at Stand, I owe a great debt of gratitude, especially to Mr W.P Burch  ( "Willy P" ), and to Mr Brien Crossfield, whom I was delighted to see featured on the site.  I don't remember him having a nickname, and this was rather unusual, I think, distinguished even.

At Stand, I also enjoyed singing in the choir, and I remain very appreciative of the excellent choral training I received from Mr Jack Longstaffe, who did not intimidate me nearly as much as he did some of the unfortunate younger boys.  I am still very actively involved in several choirs, including the North American Welsh Choir, with whom I toured Wales last year.

My younger brother, Roy, was at Stand from 1963 to 1967, and he died tragically in 1978, at the age of 26. He was a talented poet, and had he lived longer, you might have heard more of him.

Keith Davies Jones
  ( "Taffy" )



After reading more of the letters I remembered some of the trips we did during my residence at Stand.

 Joe Whit took us one day to Ripon Abbey/Minster/Cathedral as an end of year day out. He really did know his architecture. 'Remember boys to bring sandwiches'.

We also went, Easter 1966 (I know that as Pretty Flamingo was No. 1 in the charts), to the Lake District on a field study course with various masters. This included Miss Tiffin & Mr Fletcher who used to go off for long walks together....hmmmmm... I wonder why? There were three types of walks you could go on.  Easy, Medium and Mount Everest. I seem to remember going on mostly the easy ones. I must confess doing a lot of laughing on that trip and also being thrown out of one of the indoor classes for having a farting contest with Chris Jolly (CMJ).

We had gone out one evening into Windermere when we encountered a gang of the local cognocentii:

 'Are you laughin' at my mate?'  one said.

 CMJ     'If you're a mate of his you're a bloody funny breed!'

 How we got away without a good bashing I don't recall but it was an excellent put down.

 I managed two trips abroad with the school, both to Switzerland. The first, 1965, was by rail from Manchester Central to St. Pancras, Victoria to Dover then SeaLink to Boulogne then steam hauled across France to Paris Gard du Nord and on the Switzerland. We eventually made it to Kandersteg and then onto, I think, Montreaux. The highlight of the trip being 'Spud' Woods throwing up after drinking too many schnapps!!! How we got back I don't remember except the last leg was from Euston to Manchester London Road/Piccadilly. The second trip was in 1966 and we visited Lugano and somewhere else eventually ending up in Basle for a flight home. The day in Basle was the day of the world cup final. I forget who won (hee hee). We flew back to Manston Airport on a Middle East Airlines Comet 4B with another school party from Yorkshire, I believe. Once off the plane two coaches were waiting to take us home. One coach was new and plush the other was an old Bedford. Guess which one we got. I never returned to Switzerland until last year when I think the border guards had forgotten about SGS.

 The photo taken by Mike Gibson states on the back 'McDonald on the chair lift from Stock - Sunnbuhl 1965'. (See below, alongside the other photo).

Who remembers the spring near the bottom of the field next to the railings? There was a tree overhanging the spring itself with a rope attached. The usual trick was to grab hold, leap out and swing round. This day John Plaice did just this but the rope snapped and he landed in the middle of the mud patch!!!  Oh my aching sides!!!

 And now 'Laugh along an Eddie' - real life adventures with your favourite master.

In 1967 I broke my arm and had it in plaster from my wrist to my shoulder. Because of this I couldn't wear my blazer. The headmaster had given me permission to wear a cardigan that had pockets in so I could carry pens etc.. Well Eddie saw me.

'Why are you incorrectly dressed boy?  he delicately enquired, 'That's not school uniform!'
'Well sir, in case you hadn't noticed I've broken my arm and I can't get my jacket on.' I replied,
Pause... 'That's no excuse!',
'I'm sorry sir but the headmaster thinks it is!!'.

In the 6th form we had various free periods. This day a group of us were stood on the balcony above the stage generally enjoyed a good chin wag when our favourite master hove into view from the staff room.

'Why are you boys standing chatting there? Haven't you got lessons to go to?' he blustered.
'I'm not sure sir.' we replied (note emphasis on the 'lied').

 Meanwhile at the other end of the balcony, where the 6th form lockers were located stood, I think, 'Fred' Freedman.

'Freeeeeed, come here'  we bellowed just to upset EH.

Now Fred was not slow at catching on so he strolled, at school regulation pace, around the balcony.

'Fred should we be in a lesson now?'
'Oh, don't know, hang on a minute I'll go and look'

Fred strolled back to his locker and looked inside. He closed the door and strolled back.

'Nope' he replied.

Eddie was fuming knowing we had taken the pi*s out of him and there was nothing he could do!!!

Well can't sit here enjoying myself.

Nostalgia, it's not what it used to be.


Ian McDonald

1C, 2A, 3E, 4M, 5E, 6M & 7M (1962-69)


Thanks for the picture. That was a good day - I think I must have peaked early - hence no chance of astronomer royal - closest I get is a trip to the observatory! I enjoyed the 6th form. I live in Greenwich - drop me an email if you are anywhere near and perhaps we could have a beer. Btw Ken Thorpe shurely.

Keep up the railway preservation. Down at the Kent and East Sussex Railway yesterday.

All the best


Martyn, Frank & Kevin,

In an idle moment I wondered if there was any mention of the old school on the WWW and lo and behold I found your site.

I spent the next two hours or so circumnavigating every torturous twist of that bottomless pit called my brain for reminiscences of those far off rose tinted days 1962 - 1969, if memory serves me well.

I must confess the letters in the site brought memories flooding back with tears of joy and sadness in equal measure.

To Frank and Kevin, nice to get back in touch. Where are the rest of the lads, Christopher Martin Jolly, Dave Ffoulkes, Mike Gibson, Kev Thorpe, Curly Pratt, ? Jones (Jonesus Porkus Est, the only Latin I ever knew), Dave Bloom, Dave Lancaster, Paul Gibbs, Roland Moss, John 'The dog's eaten my homework sir' Woods, Steve Robinson, Ray Williams, Steven Fry et al. Where are the girls from the girls school, Liz Edwards, Angela Harrap, Heather Halliday, Margaret Wood, Judith Entwistle, Linda Coakley?

Andrew Coakley is Linda your elder sister?

To all the Swinton, and beyond, old Standians greetings and well met! The old No. 6 Salford City Transport bus had long gone so have the 'specs'. I was at Bury one day when I saw one of the old buses and thought 'I used to go to school on that'.  How tempus fugits. Sorry, two bits of Latin.

The winter of 62/63 was very bad and we didn't do games for a few weeks we were taken for walk around the Xcountry course where Micheal Kiernan spent more time on his ar*e than standing upright. The milk froze in the bottles!!! It was good being milk monitor you got more then one bottle.

Dave 'Dribbler'  Bloom was a good footballer and when we were in the 6th form we were allowed to play footy on the, then, new tennis courts. Well Dave took off on one of his amazing dribbles beating everyone, including all his own team, and took an almighty swipe at the ball which arced gracefully over the netting and down the railway embankment. We never did find that ball despite the efforts of at least a dozen half naked bods scrambling all over the railway in search of it!!! Third rail electrics, 650 volts Ha!!!

On another day we got changed, charged down the steps to the new wing exit by the art room and out of the door. I had the ball and doing a wonderful Eddie Waring type 'up and under' deposited the ball on the roof!!! We spent the rest of the lesson getting it off the roof by skilfully climbing/hanging out of the windows and getting onto the flat roof.

 Once again in the 6th form we used to play bridge or shove ha'penny in one of the labs off the balcony. This day we played footy, or was it rugby, with a home made ball of rolled up socks (pheweeee!!!). Kev Thorpe kicked the ball and his shoe flew off and left a perfect imprint on the ceiling 20 ft. up. The joke was not only was it perfect in every detail but the room has just been redecorated and as far as I know the footprint was there 'til the end.

When I read Frank's name it reminded me of his dad, who of course was the school caretaker when I was there and a nicer bloke you couldn't wish to meet. Where is Ian 'The Deece' Dyson?

Kevin well done on your achievements in Maths. I thought you would be The Astronomer Royal by now? I keep looking.

So many names come back and so many incidents that I can't put them all down at once.

It was good to see Haggis is still going strong. Yes I've got clean hands, finger nails, white pumps and black shorts. Now it's off to the showers for a good hose down. What would the school inspectors make of that today!

Give my regards to Brien Crossfield. He taught me Chemistry in a year, enough to pass my O level. The previous two years were spent at the back of the Chemistry class with Chris Jolly after being banished there by Kerry Holt.

If you remember the class had to stand outside the labs until a master let them in. This day we were waiting for Mr Holt in the room by the master's staircase. When Mr. Holt opened the door I shouted 'Forward Ho!!!' and was promptly thrown out. Another day Mr. Holt produced Sulphur Dioxide gas, i.e. a stink bomb, he sent all the class to the back until the nasty niff had dispersed so Chris and I went and sat at the front. 'Go and stand outside the headmaster's study' was the reply. We never did, we went into the library and did our homework. There's always a way around the system.

Johnny Frith (Room 26) and his whacker, a piece of desk hollowed out to the shape of a cricket bat. I spent most of the history lessons either in quod or being whacked!! Funny I've never liked history since.   Zena Goss, our art teacher.

I remember an English teacher called Esplin, who took out all the enjoyment of the subject for me. It was many years later that I regained my enjoyment of English when I began writing reviews and scripts for various productions. Beware the man with glass eye!!!!

Mr. J. 'Joe Whit' Whitworth was a gentleman and a scholar and that picture of him with the boxing team brought back memories of a great teacher. It was a privilege to have been in his class.

Les Lumley was also one of the old school for whom I have great respect.

Remember Fred Hill, all 3' 6" of him in his gown with an armfull of books and his shiny brown shoes that had reteads from ex Army 2 ton Bedfords!!!! The tales he could tell on cricket. 'Life is real, Life is earnest and the grave is not the goal!'

'Chippy' Woods, 'Charlie' Guest, 'Dicky' Dawson, Miss Tiffin (and the French teacher whose stock phrase was 'Whitmarsh page xx', 'The Rev' Roberts, 'Wobber' Roberts, 'Fred' Knox all those teachers come back.

'Eddie' Hynes was one master I found obnoxious. We were in the canteen one day on first sitting and I was head of table. The sitting had finished and Eddie was sitting in the headmaster's chair as was his wont when the headmaster wasn't at lunch. The noise level rose as the pupils were waiting to be dismissed when Eddie stood up and shouted 'BE QUIET!!!!'. A young lad at the bottom of my table replied in perfect imitation 'NO!!!!!'. Eddie stormed round the tables to see who it was but he never found out. We laughed. Another day the same young lad spilt the water jug after we had reset the table. As we were mopping it up Eddie came round and started shouting at the poor lad. I turned on him and said ' If you want to shout at anyone on my table you shout at me first' or some such. 'See me after you're dismissed' he said and stormed off. I stood my ground, was not put in detention and have always used that as a anecdote when teaching managers to look after their junior staff.

The food was served in those aluminium dishes including the custard. 'Who wants the skin?'

I finished my degree in Physics at the University of Surrey and then went into computing starting with
the PODPS (Post Office Data Processing Service) and progressed into Database Administration, mainly on large commercial databases based, in the end, on IBM's DB2 database. I was cast upon the scrapheap of human endeavour last Christmas ('Please take this pot of money and never darken our doorstep again'.' 'Too bloody true matey boy, good bye!'), and am now semi-retired and living in Cranfield Beds.. How I found time to go to work full time I don't know!!!

I spend most of my time now at my lifelong passion, railways, railway preservation and writing.

I hope this rabid dribbling of an old Swintonian brings back as many memories to you as it has for me.

Now I've got no excuse not to join the Old Boy's Association.

Regards to all.

KIT (Keep In Touch)

Ian McDonald

The  1st  photo is of Kev Parrott & Dave Badlan sitting/stood by my old Austin A35 in the pub car park down Park Lane on the day we received our A level results.


Hi Martyn,

Very many thanks for your quick reply. I will certainly follow up the leads you mention. I was born in Prestwich and we lived in Whitefield, off Dales Lane, just near the School and when in left Stand I worked in Manchester for a while and then in 1951 immigrated to Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), didn't like it and came to Australia in 1952 and  have lived here since then. I have been back to the UK a few times but the last time I saw Stand was in 1973 when it appeared to be much as it was when I was there.It was only recently I discovered the School had been closed and of course extremely sad to read about the demolition on the website. Progress????

Thanks you for your suggestion about the Annual Dinner, the last one I went to was, I think, in 1948. We shall have to see what we can do about attending one again.

My kindest regards, John Scholes

Gidday Martyn

I saw on your site you were one of the Selva travelers.  I went also but cannot remember the others except a guy called Glen Boardman from Ainsworth and vaguely some older guys. It was  a great time in my life, young Lancashire lad, and one of the few where I have gone without potatoes for more than  a week. I have some photos somewhere and will try to dig them out.  I am very impressed with the SGS boxing team1955 on your site.

Do you know who or where the award boards went from SGS when it was demolished?  Funny reading the emails on the school. It appears all those who hated it when students and would have loved to pulled it down themselves, are the most concerned now, whereas I see no upsets  from the Aspins, Nortleys and Parkinsons.

Tara from down under
David Crompton

Hello Martyn
                    I have been put in touch with the ex Stand Grammar School Website by Alan Engmann. We were both at
Stand at the same time,and by a complete fluke, my uncle Peter happened to stumble on the site,and contacted Alan,
who then put two and two together and came up with the common denominator of Bramah .I would be very grateful if you
could include my e-mail address on the "register".It may be more convenient to use the address;


Steve Bramah (1968-72)

Drose for Dave Rose. Seems that it must be the real old timers that hang around this board. I don't remember anyone. I finished Stand 1980. Am I one of the youngest?

Dave Rose

Hi Martyn

Just came across the Stand Grammar site and reading the messages makes me feel old, probably because I am old. I was at stand from 1953 to 60 with Stan Black, Howard Jacobson, Lawrence Rickless, John Heilpern, David Mycock, Aubrey Isaacson.My brother Neville was there from 1956 and he still lives in Prestwich village. I remember Willie P , Joe Whit(history)and does anyone remember Mr. Payton (fuzzy wuzzy was a bear?).

I played piano in a rock and roll group with Stan Black (Guitar.) caleed Tony Thompson and the Ramrocks (I suppose I was a ramrock). I qualified as a Pharmacist at Liverpool and  now in the Isle of Man and a member of the Government in the Trade and Industry Department and Chairman of the Isle of Man Film Commission.One of the 'perks' is attending the Cannes Film Festival.

I would love to hear from anyone in my year who is still alive.

Best wishes to everyone

Leonard Singer

My e-mail address is

Hello Martyn, I am the younger brother of Ian (who put me on to your website).  I am now living in Brisbane with my new family and am just coming to terms with the heat !!  It would be good to hear from anyone who remembers me especially the ones in Austalia!  My final year there was I think 1975/6


Nev Entwisle

Hope you are well.
Yes I've seen the gym picture of 1C.  A bit dodgy for these PC days. Watching the Ricky Gervais fight on television recently, reminded me of your infamous bout with Chris Garlick.  In the local paper about 6 months ago it reported that a Chris Garlick had unfortunately passed away.  Have you received any further information regarding Chris?

        John Hall


Hi martin just a note really I'm using a friends email address.  I was talking to Ian Oster about or old school days and we were wondering what happened to Tony Rowley the last I heard he went off to Barnsley.  If you know will you let me know please.

many thanks

peter Dean

Dear Martyn,

found your site today. Knew the school had been demolished since passing by this xmas while staying with my mother. Mixed emotions but seeing the demolition pictures was like seeing a bit of my past being demolished!

Thanks for doing all this. I always meant to join the Old Standians but never got around to it. This time I will. Obviously a select group of people now. Phil Hargreaves seems to be keeping well. I was hopeless at gym but I managed to avoid that old gym shoe most of the time. My best memories of SGS are of Les Lumley, my physics teacher. He was a brilliant teacher and a really impressive bloke.

Any old class mates are welcome to get in touch. (I left in 1968).


Kevin  (

  Prof Kevin Parrott
  University of Greenwich
  Computing and Mathematical Sciences
  Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich,
  SE10 9HA


Do you have a means of helping me to ascertain whether an old school friend is still alive?  His name is James (Jim) Sandiford, SGS 1940s vintage (NB now located - Martyn). I know that sounds a bit of an imposition, but I have read online that he was on a list of committee members for 2001, but I can't recreate the place where I saw that. Spoke to David Haywood, Golf Assoc., but he couldn't help. He suggested Tony Wilding of Bury, but I don't know his e-mail address or phone number.

For my sins, I am attempting to name all the 459 faces on the 1946 photograph (premature senility setting in?) and I am down to the last 61 anonymous visages, resorting to barrel-scraping to determine whether I can advance my cause. Not that I am expecting a miracle from such a venerable soul as Jim Sandiford, but I would kick myself if he had an untapped source of info. and I had not tried harder to find him.

An unhelpful rumour was telling me that he was - er - up in that ever-threatening quod in the sky, but I don't like rumour. Can you suggest whom I might approach to find him? (Hopefully not big G!)


Peter Bramah (1940-47)

After a long chat with an old "Standian" who I had not seen for nearly half a century, I was told that there was a "Stand" Website, much to my horror and amazement. Lo and behold, I saw a picture of my old classmate Roger Hodgkinson, and my cousin Stuart Kershaw on another photo. This re-kindled a lot of memories, (mainly bad), and I was surprised to see some names that I recognised on your "links" pages, and I have E-mailed a couple of them. I left in 1962, after many a year of torture, and some of the names that I remember were, Raymond Donn, Harold Morley, Ellis Santhouse, David Hack, Roger Hogkinson. Were there any class records ever left anywhere ( not that I wish to be reminded of any academic ability), but the class names would be interesting?? Unfortuntely, I do not have anything from that period to contribute - be it good or bad!!..I will keep have a look in  now and again, and see what turns up.

You can put me on the links page if you wish, to add to your long list, and maybe I will get a couple of E-mails. thanks a lot...


Stephen Gilbert, left in 1962 without looking back!

Dear Martyn,

thanks for putting this thing together. I hope the site continues to thrive and that you continue to be arsed to post peoples' contributions. This is my first post, although I previously had the unfortunate task of alerting you to the demise of Ian 'Jez' Levine, one of your most erudite and funny contributors. Sadly, my generation of 'Old Standians' (I'm sorry, but I hate all the old institutional crap) also had to bid farewell to Derek Greenfield (Greeny, Shanks etc.) two years ago, the victim of a cataclysmic brain insult. Two great blokes, it would be nice to hear some insightful & hilarious stories from their old classmates (I only hooked up with them in the sixth form, when SGS was no more).

In response to 'Pele' - the joke band that played illicit gigs in the canteen & elsewhere (circa '78) was, embarassingly, called Wahoo! The line-up was 'Woody' ( .... Wood, forget his first name) a  bespectacled keyboard player who modelled himself on Dave Brubeck; Gary 'Guz' Hayes, a disturbingly talented psychopathic behemoth who provided the musical brains - that I guess he must have inherited from his mum, as his dad was a notorious dog breeder cum wrestler ('Judo’ Chunky Hayes') and myself, Mark Horrocks, at that time known as 'Oz'. I wrote 'lyrics' to Guz Hayes' tunes, mainly teenage angst, toilet humour & thinly veiled anti-Stand polemics. I vividly remember Tabs Hunter waggling his stumps helplessly from the back of a packed canteen in a vain attempt to curtail our fun. He didn't stand a chance as we'd locked the back door and his way from the front was deliberately blocked by a horde of revolutionary, nihilistic sixth formers (don't forget that this was at the height of punk). The expletive ridden faecal anthem 'the toilet song' ( .. brown stains on the bowl where the mighty turds lie .. ) was one of our most popular numbers, alongside 'the USA' referred to by Pele.

That'll do for now. By the way, does anybody know what happened to Paul Maloney? He was a very bright redhead - always top in science subjects; we used to hang out together most of the time (I think he planned to train as a dentist)

Mark Horrocks

Hello Martyn,

I've just been looking through your SGS website again, and saw the part regarding "weekly report" comments. The best that I ever remembered was by A J Frith (johnny) who, early on in the week wrote "a dim start". Later on he added "followed by total darkness" Fortunately, he was not writing about me! "Johnny Frith" was in charge of the cross country running team for many years, during which time it enjoyed much success, and in one year ,probably 1964 the team won every match of the year. He used to ride around on a bike which was always known as the green flash! He would have been quite young at the time and I often wonder where he is now, and if he even knows about the website.

I will make a definite effort to attend the annual re union this year,

   Kind Regards,

         Brian Heywood.

Hi there Martyn.

I just registered on the Friends Reunited site and was truly amazed to find so many old friends from my days at Stand. I started the same year as you in 1967 in 1P. Just reading some of the info on the site has stirred some old memories.

How well I recall some of the teachers and it seems some of them had as lasting an impression on others as well... who could forget Haggis or "killer" crouchley and the reference to Britten the music teacher... oh so true...

I recall Baz Brooks telling me that there was no way on this earth that I would pass my CSE in Maths.. something to do woth a minor detail of never handing in a piece of homework and being double booked in detention for a large portion of my 4th year.... so I got a grade 1 CSE just to spite him...

Good to see a site in memory of the old school.


Tony Gallacher

Does anyone remember the lads from Swinton?

They used to catch the No 13 bus. Occasionally, they were known to "cadge a lift" home (to Swinton) from Benjy. There were at least 3 of them, as I remember..

"Sam Maguire" I sure that I've got his surname wrong. Sam sadly passed away not long after we had left Stand.

"’Somebody’ Cooke". I can't for the hell of me remember his first name.

And likewise ..."’somebody’ Hobson". We were in 1S together and the subsequent S's. He nutted me one day for something I did, but can't remember why he did it. I know that I deserved it though!

If anyone has any contact with them, please pass it along.


Alan Engmann

ps  I've remembered the names.. Sam McGurk, Jonathon Cooke, and Anthony (Tony) Hobson.

dear martin, congratulations as the site goes from strength to strength. I've enjoyed some of the contributions immensely
and would like to add one of my own.Some time ago someone enquired as to the identity of a teacher known as "ken ben
len."Like an earlier contributor i can confirm his name was Whitworth and he taught physics. The reason i'm so sure is
that he once took me to Hudson because i said physics was crap.My reward from Hudson was six strokes of the cane
which i thought was a bit rich even for the seventies! As one who now earns a living by trying to bring enlightenment
(amongst other things) to 11-16 year olds i can only suggest that if we adopted the same policy today there'd be a
shortage of bamboo. Got to go, unexpected visitors. Keep up the good work,  Paul Prendergast 1973-78


Excellent website--I must say that I was very sorry to read and see the old school has been demolished. I've re-lived many experiences from reading through the Terms submissions and thought I should make a contribution.

I started my life forming experience at Stand in 1964 in 1A (Kershaw was the form teacher), then went onto 2B (Fletcher), 3A (Garret?) 4M (Crouchley), 5A (Bent), 6AE &7AE (Revie)

The salient recollections include a prefect called Trounce who was probably a transplant from Tom Brown’s school days

Cedric "pay attention laddie" Cheetham took us for metal work and later for engineering drawing

Brian (Rocker) Jensen A level chemistry. Made us analyse some awful organic compound which inevitably got on our hands and left a smell like something you would avoid treading in. Other people on the bus home were convinced it was on someone’s shoes! Rocker thought it was very amusing.

Harry (Worth) Walker, took us for arithmetic in 1A and for science in 2B (& 3A?) I don't think that I've seen anyone else refer to him. He had this crazy system of awarding points for the correct answer to classroom questions. At some stage lessons moved on to the fermentation process, which naturally led to talk of beer. Somehow he ended up accepting a challenge for us to brew beer and the best would be awarded mega points. Within a week several enterprising people had
been down to the office licence and re-bottled John Brown best and past it off as their own.  50 points  for that, lad, excellent taste! How did you do it...?

Wimpey Longstaff who got in such a rage because 1A couldn't sing some stupid note that he threw a tuning fork across the class. Bodies parted like the Red Sea as the fork spiralled through the air and impaled itself in a desk lid.

Geoff (Gerhard) Bent German teacher. Not seen any mention of him. I thought he was one of the better teachers.  I can remember him whacking people across the head with the text book when they failed to get the correct ending to a verb or adjective.

Best maths teacher must be Fred Hill (who I only had in the upper 6th) Fantastic tales of the troubles in Abyssinia, but more importantly taught us the technique to pass the "Pentagon’s tests"

Toseland (Uncle Fester) must have been the worst teacher ever. Had him for 3 years—unlucky or what?

Cross country running and cutting off the corner on the Carter's Hill course by running around the perimeter of the Jewish cemetery. On one occasion with Ken Parkes and Chris Leach we jokingly thumbed a lift from a passing labourer on a dumper. He stopped for us and we had chugged along for a fair distance. Who remembers bouncing the steamed up car that was parked on the course one day? Couldn't see the couple inside for condensation, but I'm sure that we added to
their special moment!

The day someone painted f**k off Barnes in four feet high white paint across the front of the school. I can picture the culprit, but can’t remember his name. At a subsequent prefects' meeting Tab Hunter was discussing pupil behaviour and commented that thankfully the majority "don’t go round painting f**k orff" on the building.

On balance it was a good school; a life forming experoience as they say!

I'm married with 2 daughters and living in Devon where I have an engineering management post in the water industry. Would welcome news from former classmates.

Geoff Breckin

The E-mail address is

Hi there Martyn ,

My name is Mark Christopher Bolton and after much traveling i have made my home in Wellington, New Zealand . I am now 42 yrs old , so i was a pupil at Stand Grammar School in the early to mid seventies . Although most of my time at the school was spent trying to avoid the bullies and steer clear of the various forms of corporal punishment from the teachers , i am still very proud that i attended Stand Grammar School .  A friend here in  N.Z. actually put me on to checking up on school websites in the U.K. and to my surprise and pleasure i found your site.  I was in Ragdale house and as a new arrival to the school i was greeted by haggis as my form teacher , a hell of a shock i can tell you . I have two ' endearing ' memories of him  , on the first games day of my time at Stand , he gave me the gym pump ' Percy ' , in front of the whole year on a freezing cold day , because my mother had bought me slightly the wrong colour in soccer socks , what a travesty !

The second incident occurred when i held my geog homework in to him having spent about 4 hours drawing a temperate map of Africa , it looked resplendent with all it's colours ! Not good enough for him , he put a huge line through it because i hadn't done my corrections from the night before , i was gutted ! I have countless stories from my time at the school , partly due to a photographic memory i have and i would be very keen to hear from any of the guys who went through the school with me during this period , you have my permission to pass on my e- mail address to anyone who wants to link up .

One of the more unpleasant sides to my time at Stand , were several confusing and distasteful encounters with Mr. Britten ,  the music teacher at the time . In an effort to retain my dignity and through sheer embarrassment i never uttered a word to anyone for all these years , apart from my wife of course . I think to encourage humor on this subject is in bad taste , i was lucky.... as i am of strong character and a very confident professional here in the Antipodes . I won't go into too much
detail but i think as teacher who is supposed to demand respect and set an example from his pupils , he was a disgrace ! If he was teaching in these modern times and especially here in N.Z. he would be in jail !

I'm not bitter about what happen to me Martyn , time heals all , but i'm dammed sure he mentally affected a hell of a lot of former pupils who might not have been as strong as me . I'm sorry to have to shatter the romance of the ' good old days ' , but i had to get it off my chest , i hope you understand .  As for the rest of the web site , top stuff indeed , it caused the memories to come flooding back and there were some good times , sneaking out to the deli at the bottom of Stand Lane at lunch
time for a ham bagel ( they were to die for ) , no contest compared to the school canteen and it's mouldy frog spawn milk pudding ! I'll be interested to receive any comments you might have concerning my e-mail and i would love to hear from former pupils of my era  , maybe there is someone here in N.Z. , stranger things have
happened !

Thank you for your entertaining and informative site , i will check it out for regular updates , but
please no more referrals to the 'fiddler ' , it really wasn't funny at all .
Yours .......... Mark Bolton , P.O. Box 11445 Wellington ,  New Zealand .

Hi Martyn!

Just got an email from David Christmas in Oz, seems to be doing well with solar panels and things. I told him I had another story to tell...

The car park area was out of bounds, and so was a good meeting place for skull duggery and putting stones in teachers hub caps (sorry sirs!). I had made an arrangement with Dave Christmas to meet him there for reasons which now escape me. Unfortunately he didn't show (he was far more sensible than me) but Heinz (I think it was) did. "What are you doing here boy it's out of bounds?"
"Waiting for Christmas, sir"
Yes I know... don't ask me why, but that's what I said not having completely mastered the use of brain for communication purposes. To me it was perfectly accurate and the truth, but to Dr Barnes who was by now hearing the story from Heinz, and despite my protestations that it was David Christmas, not actually "Christmas" that I was waiting for, pure insolence was rewarded with pure pain... ouch!

Does anyone remember the nice black and white lizard we had in the Bio lab? **   It wasn't there for very long, and I know why... We were allowed in at dinner time because we were seen as sensible and old enough to behave like young gentlemen in the 5th year I think it was, gentlemen who used to get the mice out, gas them a little bit from those very useful gas taps just to make them groggy and to enhance their enjoyment at being whizzed along the entire length of one of the benches, great fun, just ask the mice! Nobody touched those bloody ugly froggy toad things with stitches on the sides, but just about everything else got a fair "airing" for exercise purposes of course. Out comes the nice new lizard. It was surprising how docile it was, hardly moved until suddenly the lizard realised that here was an opportunity to see the rest of the world. Now whether or not he did I can't honestly say, but once he'd legged it behind the heating pipes, he was never seen again. Dr Barnes announced rather sullenly next day that the lizard had mysteriously escaped and that we should be vigilant..

What about those things in glass cases on top of the cupboards? I can remember a two headed lamb, was it two headed or is that a false memory?

Well that's all for chapter 2. Naturally there's more, and your web site has really triggered some memories for me, some I'd rather have forgotten for good, maybe next time some bean spilling needs to take place? Anyone like singing...!

Hi to everyone who remembers me and keep up the excellent work Martyn.

Mark (Spud) Fletcher 1966 - 72 1c etc..

**  I remember the lizard, and so does Doc Barnes! I was at the Old Standians Dinner this year (2003) and was sat opposite him. I mentioned the story about the missing lizard and how 'someone' had accidentally been involved in liberating it and had admitted his involvement after all this time.  He remembered it because it caused him a good deal of worry at the time as it turns out to have been  not just any old lizard, but a Gila Monster from Southern USA / Mexico, with an extremely dangerous venomous bite!  I don't know why he was so worried. The pages I just looked up say that 'the bite is rarely fatal to humans'.  Perhaps it got into the sewers, has grown to ten feet long and will soon start terrorising residents of the new housing estate!

dear  martyn

Gordon   Simpson  here  class  of  1980   id  be  interested   to  know  if  you  or  any    of   your  readers  have  any  copies of  the  standian  circa   1976-1980  they  could either  lend  or  forward  to  me,  and  has  anyone  got  an  address  for   a  certain  Mr  Philip  hargreaves

many  thanks

Gordon  Simpson

Hello Martyn.

Fabulous website.Just spent the best part of 6 hours looking thru the messages.I'm the younger brother of Ian. Can you put my e-mail address on your list its haynev  I was at Stand from 1970-1975 and would be interested in hearing from anyone who remembers me.

Many Thanks

Nev Entwistle

 I attended SGS from 74-79 and am now living in Southsea, Hants.Your site is great. Brought back some good memories. Shame about the school and sorry I wasn't on line before now to attend re-unions.I would love to be able to get in touch with some of my old mates. Do you have any more names and addresses that are not on line?

Ewan More

Dear Martyn

I've not communicated for some time, mainly because I think I have exhausted my memories of the "good old days"

I still regularly look at the site and am pleased that you have so many contributors, I am still surprised that I seem to be the only one from my year, unless my memory is fading and I've forgotten people's names - forty years on (since I left in 1962)

Anyway I have found the following websites that may be of interest to everyone, I think I might have sent you the Whitefield one previously but they seem to have tidied it up and there is also a link to SGS, pity they can't spell Grammar correctly on the linked page.

Interesting that the Guide has information about the history of Prestwich.

Again, well done with the website

Kind regards

Barry Noden

Wiping the tear from my eye after finding your heart-warming site, at last something useful on the web.

Mark Fletcher (SPUD), age 46 sorry 47 next week, bugger, and I think if my mafs serves me right I was at Stand 1966 to I think 1972. 1st year was 1C like you Martyn, and yes I've got stories to tell just like everyone else, but how come everyone claims to have been caned regularly, were we really that bad? Dr Barnes will confirm please.

Ah yes Haggis, sorry, Mr Hargreaves. My fondest memory on my very first day at school as he may or may not remember was, waiting in the changing room, nice clean uniforms, nice new pump bags, nice labels stitched to all items, when the doors flew open and this barrel chested white haired git stood to attention in front of us. Now me being like everyone else, fresh from primary didn't know about the environment in which we now found ourselves, and names were something you used loosely at best, particularly calling people Mr. So when he asked the silent group of 1c on our first ever lesson on our first ever day "You all know me boys don't you? You boy?" his finger seemed to be pointing at me, yes it definitely was cos nobody else volunteered a name... "Haggis" I replied. I'm not sure if everyone laughed because it was a nervous reaction or whether they had somehow arrived at Stand fully equipped with the rules of engagement for a grammar school, but I most certainly wasn't, nor did I fully understand why his name was not indeed Haggis but Mr Hargreaves as he eloquently pointed out to me with a smile I will always remember, rather like Hannibal Lecter / Jaws. That set my fate with Haggis for the rest of my stay in (no longer) Stand(ing) Towers. Given a bad lead there I thought, best wise up fast, but I didn't as I bungled into one nightmare after another.

I stole Percy, yes me. Percy the pump, because I was sick of Percy paying particular interest in my arse, so I took him and triumphantly presented him to my eager and astounded friends whilst ceremoniously attempting to burn him at the bottom of the field where we had a No 6 at break but burn he would not, so he was doomed to the rail track. Everyone was extremely impressed I thought and I felt elevated to stardom but it was short lived. Now why didn't it occur to me that he'd know it was our class, and that you'd all crack so easily when he lined us all up and introduced us to his new friend... Percy 2. "It was Fletcher sir" you all screamed in complete and utter unified panic, the only time the school choir to my knowledge was ever able to attach the notion of timing to a tune and the correct words pitch etc Bengy would have been so impressed if he wasn't busy groping some poor kid (yes we all got that by the piano didn't we boys, story later) so Percy 2 was christened on my spread-eagled buttocks against the horse.

I haven't read all the stories yet but I'm sure Haggis's accuracy with the cold water hose in the showers will have been covered, needless to say I have an aversion to washing my car with no clothes on just in case he's in the neighbourhood.

Oh I could go on and on.. and I will eventually, but not in this email, it will take too long. It's fabulous seeing all those stories, reading about peoples time at that awful place. I didn't have a good time, but it was probably my fault, and you know what, despite Haggis's attention to the pain factor, I realised later in life he did have a sense of humour as well as a sadistic bent and it really was good to see the old bastard sitting looking so healthy in your pic. I wonder if he remembers me. As for Bengy Britten, I'll cover him in another email, it'll take a good few pages, as will events and golden memories like David Christmas and his lust for the English language. He just had that certain something that very few are blessed with so I'll end with the only verse I can remember that he wrote in a poem about our life at Stand for an English lesson..

Yesterday we had gym
and the best at gym
is Jim

Hard to believe he could only have been about 12 / 13

Hope you're keeping well old Shakespearian bard David!

Best wishes to all and hope someone remembers me to send an email If you want to know what I do, take a look at my web sites at:-

Congrats on a brill site Martyn and I will keep in touch, hopefully attending a future do..

Mark (Spud) Fletcher 1966 - 72

Hello Martyn

I've just finished reading through your website and the memories have come, well, stumbling back.  My name's Peter Brown but most people will remember me as 'Pele'.  This nickname was a hangover from my primary school days and became a bit of a millstone around my neck.  Denholm must have been disappointed as I never delivered on the football pitch!

I came across your website by some strange fluke of circumstance.  My wife works for an insurance company and one day she took a call from somebody down south.  Always endeavouring to build rapport, she latched on to the caller's northern accent who then went on to explain that he was originally from Whitefield.  The conversation developed and, obviously, SGS and me came into it.  It turned out that the caller was Digger Prendergast and here I am courtesy of his car insurance.  I can't quite place Digger but I remember the name.

My sentence lasted from 1973 to 1980 and I was in Phillips house along with Mark Barlow ('Scruff') and Darrell Horn (imaginatively nicknamed 'Daz') who have already contributed.  Although I hated school, it wasn't SGS's fault and I have fond memories of the place.  Now that it's been knocked down, I feel that a slice of me has gone and somebody has meddled with my past without checking with me.  I now live in Rossendale but I pass the place from time to time and, in fact, I parked briefly outside the housing development the other day and bored my daughter rigid explaining the significance of the site.  She just wanted to go to McDonalds!

Speaking of Rossendale, I think Babs Bunting must live nearby as I see her in Rawtenstall from time to time.  She's looking well actually and she must have been about twelve when she taught us!

Some of the other teachers I can remember:

Smethurst ('Smelly') - "Slipper? Slipper? Who's got a slipper?".  Double maths was a nightmare!

Swift ('Jasper') - can't remember any catchphrases but he was a brilliant teacher.  The other teachers must have been pissed off that Maths dominated our time so much though.  He used to commute from Glossop by train, which impressed me at the time.

Cheetham ('Cedric') - "You just can't be bothered."  "You're looking but not seeing."  "Go and stand under the clock."  He was right as it turns out but we didn't realise it at the time.  As well as his scooter, he drove an old Humber car that looked like a tank.

Towey (??) - "Read, learn, mark and inwardly digest pages x to y".  Particularly adept at striking somebody down with a board duster.

McCafferty ('Paddy') - "P -a - r - l - i - ament".  "Pass smelly farm".  The 'slippering the whole year' incident on the tennis courts sticks vividly in my mind.

Heinz ('Hairy') - "Stop playing with your nasal refuse you disgusting individual!"

Whitworth ('Ken Ben Len') - "Just get on with it!".  During one memorable lesson, we decided to covertly (so we thought) move somebody's bag around the classroom from person to person.  Ken had reached the end of his tether when it reached me and he practically ripped my head off!  In the same lesson, Creepy (Crawley) was sent to The Beak to explain why he'd shouted "Some twat's nicked me pen!" in the middle of the bag moving incident.

Birch ('Willy'?) - "In your notes, repeating, in your notes, repeating, in your notes.....".  The things I remember about biology were the sex education films, which was a bit like watching a pathe news reel; those strange pumps that use to whirl around aerating the aquariums and potassium permanganate, which we used to persuade worms to come out of the ground. Why?

Cain ('Kwai Chang Cain') - "Do you want a cloot, lad?".  Had twenty foot long hairy arms. "Kwai", "Chang" and "Cain" used to echo around the classroom, disguised as coughing.

Hargreaves ('Haggis' of course) - "Four teams go!”  Used to make us walk around the showers in a circle and sprayed us with cold water.  Hmmm.

Jones (Miss) (don't think she had a nickname) - she was nice but could be tough when she wanted to.  Andrew Mellon ('George' after George Melly) was required to sit at her desk for every French lesson.  He always came suitably attired with funny mask, monster glove, pretend vomit etc and took every opportunity to frighten the hell out of her.

Crouchley ('Killer') - no catchphrase springs to mind but he looked like Christopher Lee in Dracula guise.

The ones we fancied - Miss Holland (I think), the Art teacher.  She looked like the blond girl out of Abba.  There was an English teacher with black hair but I can't remember her name and a French assistant that we all adored.

Others worth mentioning: Hunter ('Tabs'); Martin ('Doc'); Shuttleworth ('Shuttlecock'); Clarke ('Clanger'); a collection of Murrays; a couple of Brookes; Revie ('Don'); Greaves ('Digger'); Jones ('Iggy'); Wood ('Chippy'); Slack (he did Classics but he might have been the RE teacher that Scruff was referring to); Russell ('Rob'); Smith ('Al') and many more lurking in the dark recesses of my brain but I can't manage to dredge them up.  Was Jenny Saunders the one that wore about 5 gallon of perfume?

I think I've exhausted that now so here's some other incidents/things I can remember about SGS:

The Ecky Thump incident - I was there and it was brilliant!

Murder in the Red Barn.  The lead character did a brilliant take on Freddie Mercury.

Severs ('Slavers') falling on his face in the gym and smashing his front teeth.

The fat tie competition.  The result was that the knot was about two inches long and the remaining 15 yards of material was stuffed inside your shirt.  I've still got my tie and my daughter wore it recently to a Harry Potter party!  We tied it in the conventional manner.

Me laughing so much on the trampoline that my false tooth fell out and proceeded to jump alongside me!

Me swallowing my false tooth while I was eating my dinner and Doc Martin sticking his fingers down my throat trying to induce vomiting!  He eventually took me to Bury General half comatose.

Only stiffs carried their briefcases by the handle.  The cool guys carried it in their arms like a sack of spuds.

Me singing 'Voulez Vous' in a stupid voice at the bridge club not realising that Don Revie was behind me.  Similarly, I told a fellow pupil to "Get stuffed", or words to that effect, when he was cribbing my work by peering over my shoulder, only to discover it was Paddy McCafferty.  Luckily, he saw the funny side and I got away with it!

Sneaking into the downstairs loo (opposite side of the entrance hall to Cedric's metalwork shop) at lunchtime.  Here we re-enacted scenes from Monty Python, Reginald Perrin, Fawlty Towers etc.

Speech Night at the Free Trade Hall because I walked on the same stage that Bowie and Mick Ronson had graced some months earlier. (Well, it excited me at the time.)  'Timtishun' (can't spell his name, loads of Cs, Ys and Zs) won everything!

Changing the words to the school song to "Guard your arses, Iggy's here".

Being victimised by Clanger because I had a spiky haircut.  He accused me of being a punk. The situation deteriorated further when I explained I wasn't, I was a Bowie freak!

The lad a year or two older than me that had a grey Mallen streak in his hair, a bit like Dickie Davies.

The classrooms surrounding the hall had little raised stages and we'd often move the teacher's table right to the very edge so that whenever the teacher sat on it, the whole thing would go flying.  This treatment was usually reserved for new student teachers and never employed on the Clangers, Smellys, Toweys of the world.

The pop concerts we organised in the canteen when we were in the sixth form.  I can't remember what the band was called but we all loved singing along to 'Another Brick in the Wall'.  Another favourite was the self-penned 'USA' which was an acronym for the Upper Study Area - the mezzanine bit they built over the hall when the school was converted to a sixth form college.

And I think that's probably it.  I could possibly dredge up some more memories but they'd probably wouldn't be of much interest.

Anybody reading this could be forgiven for thinking that Phillips house spent their entire school lives carrying out practical jokes and taking the piss out of the teachers. It wasn't like that.  We had a laugh like any other school kids but there was also a lot of hard work and dedication from pupils and  teachers alike and we received a first class education.  I, for one, am very proud that I attended SGS and wouldn't have had it any other way.

I've managed to retrieve some documents from an old scrap book of mine.  I've attached them in .tif format and I hope you can make use of them. The first one is the Daily Mirror article on the Ecky Thump incident.  Say no more!  The second is a review of Murder in the Red Barn from the Radcliffe Times and the third, which is perhaps the most interesting, is an article on Tabs from the TV Times.  Yes, the TV Times!  This was written when Nightingale's Boys was broadcast and draws parallels between the TV production and Tabs' class of '49.  What is striking for me is that, not only does Tabs' class of '49 sound very much like my own, some 25 years later, but after another 25 years there's a another bunch of men approaching middle-age and repeating the 'Whatever happened to ...?' inquiry.

Best of luck with the website.

Peter Brown ('Pele')

Hi Martyn

Ian Niven here. I was an inmate between 1963 and 1970. I came across your site fairly recently, and this was where I learned that SGS is no more. It brought back many memories to read the site.

Like many of your correspondents, the same names spring to mind:

Haggis, Hynes, Longstaffe, Britten. Why do we all remember them, when there were many more deserving of memory. I may have wondered about the quality of teaching at times, but compared to the science "education" my children have had, Keith Reavey and Brien Crossfield did a fine job. I have to admit that in many respects the school was in a time warp.

I remember the "Red Flag" being run up the flagpole one fine day, and a special assembly to castigate us all, after which Hairy Hynes "educated" us all for a period on the subject of practical jokes. It all seems a long time ago, which it was.

I went on from Stand to study Chemistry at Imperial College, and then on to UMIST for a PhD. I have since worked in industry at Unilever, on Merseyside. I have maintained my allegiance to Man. Utd. all these years despite much aggravation from the locals!

I married Gillian (nee Newgrosh), ex of Stand Girls school in 1977, and we have 3 children: Karn, Deborah and Michael. The girls are both away at University, and Michael is in Year 9 (3rd form).

Regards to anyone from my era who remembers me, and thanks Martyn for the site.

With Kind Regards,

Ian Niven

A pal of mine told me about the Friends reunited link. What a great idea. Want at some time to add a few memorable occasions that occurred during my time at Stand 1962 - 1967. Started with Brien Crossfield in 1c and ended up with the dubious pleasure of being the form prefect for haggis in 1967. Went to college in London for 6 years and eventually joined Bayer in 1979 in UK. Now working for Bayer in Sydney email address
Please add to list.

Alan McGilvray
PS Did "killer" Crouchley have more than one suit??


Please add my name to your site.  I was at Stand from 1967 to 1974.  I had an uproarious time reading the site.  The
memories it brought back are so vivid.  Yes all the teachers were sadists, mad or have been completely forgotten.  Some
years ago Jock Weir's daughter appeared as a temp at my place of work.  She later surfaced as a native eco warrior
protesting up a tree against the Manchester Airport Second runway.


Ian Shinwell

Hi Martyn

I am the 'Barnes-no news' as referred to in one of the letters on your site. I have tried to add an entry, but for some reason it will not allow me to do so. I am contacting Peter Berning, Peter Snipe and Danny Weidenbaum through friends reunited, which is where I spotted your site. They are all contempories of mine. I'll be in touch.

Chris Barnes: Radcliffe, 1967 - 1974

From the 1950s does anyone remember the English teacher " Joe"  Ogden ? For those days he had quite an unorthodox teaching style almost human at times. I remember him giving us colour blindness tests - no I don't know why! He also used to tell us about his days before teaching. I’m not sure how true this is but he reckoned he'd been confined to a mental hospital but had escaped and regained his freedom after staying hidden for whatever was the requisite period in those days. His son was John Ogden, the pianist, who came to school one afternoon and gave us a performance. We were all extremely bored , I regret to say.

I was a pupil at Stand until the summer of 1959.

Barry Hall.

Hi Martyn

I was in 6LA in 1978 and 7LA in 1979 and I feel I and the rest of the form owe an apology to Mr Schlesinger (French) for making his life hell. We were based in the huts at the back of the gym near the playground and carried out some rotten tricks when "Slaz" used to come to take the register each morning. Crimes included:

Unscrewing the door form its hinges but leaving it in situ. When Slaz pushed it fell flat shattering the glass. Piling all the furniture up in the centre of the room and exiting by the fire door so that all Slaz found was an empty room Emptying the dry powder fire extinguishers onto the floor and again exiting via the fire door so there was a mysterious lack of footprints  Stealing the wheels of David End's Marlboro mini Smashing the windows in the old huts with a pin pong ball (honest!)

I can't remember which incident got me suspended during my mock "A" levels but I am eternally grateful for the revision time. I would never have passed without the time off!

And so to the song, this was made up by someone (?) and sung to Slaz. He subsequently went off long term sick with a nervous breakdown (no joke). It is to the tune of the Floral Dance:

We're in a class in a grammar school
We're in class and the teacher's a fool
We're in 6LA and every day
We start the day in the same old way

Slaz comes in, the light goes on
And then we sing the same old song
Allez Allez Allez Le Slaz
Allez Le Slaz and Allez Le Slaz

I am sure there was more. Can anyone remember the rest?

Also does anyone know where my mate from years 4 and 5 is. His name is Tim Sunderland, he moved to Frodsham in about 1977 and I'd really like to know what happened to him.

Howard Joseph
Sales Director
McGuffie Brunton Limited
Tel +44 161 876 4498
Fax +44 161 876 4502


I came across this web site by chance and was sad ( Pleased?) to see the  place where I learnt more about life than education being pulled down. I  was at Stand from 1960 to 1966 an inmate of Clive House and it is terrifing  to remember teachers names who still cause me to shake and tremble. My  worst memory is being chased by Firth on his green bike through the dark on  a Cross country run detention (could never remember dates) with the words “keep running like that and I will have you in the cross country team”.  I moved away almost as soon as I left school, lure of the big smoke and an overseas life and have only been back a couple of times since. Lost touch with most of the lunatics who managed to avoid being prefects and the like and was sadden to see so few names from this period on your list.

Will send the ten pounds but unlikely to make reunions for a while as I am currently working in East Africa and will be for the next two years.

Will keep reading the site.  Good luck with it all

Mike (Hamster) Hammond  1960-66

I came across the SGS website recently one lunch time and was suprised to see so little from anyone who was there between 1953 and 1958. The photograph of the boxing club in the late 50s contained some of the only names I can recall.

There has been no mention  on the site of Howard Jacobson (author) who has a regular column in  Saturday’s Independent.  He and his pals seem to spend most of their spare time hogging the table tennis table which was in the first floor washroom.  No one else could ever get a game.  Most of the masters who taught me Have been mentioned on the site except I think for Ivor Jones(what are doing in MY woodworkshop boy. No mention anywhere of games of Pitch and Toss behind the woodwork shop.

Most of my school friends came on the bus and train from Middleton.  Some I recall were Brian Lee, Dave Leach, Ian McDowell, Rodney Applewhite and other whose names I forget. In my first year there were three Browns, initials J (from Swinton), R.S.(from Whitefield) and myself J.G. after leaving SGS in 1958 I worked in local government until 1974 and then spent 25 years as a Trade union Official with NALGO (now Unison) in Taunton until I was offered a large brown envelope.  I now work as an employment consultant in Barnstaple, North Devon.

To end, a story about Joe Bog. One day I lost my ruler but immediately found another which I duly kept. At the next English lesson everyone was interrogated by him as to who had stolen his ruler. It could be recognised because it had red ink stains along its edge.  I had that ruler. I took it home and it never saw the light of day at SGS.

Graham Brown

Great site. My Stand era 1940-1945. Now retired living in Breaston, Derbys. In touch with Jim Henaughan and Bob Chadwick (same
era).  O.S.Football Club news of interest.

Whitehead, Geoffrey William

Great site Martyn,

brought back many memories and lots of laughs, unfortunately I was on the other side attempting to teach you lot. Interesting to see myself described as one of those who had idleness off to an art form. But good to be described as one of the younger and more trendy teachers - we are talking early 70s here - though Robert Holt did get my name wrong - it's Bradshaw not Chadwick, but memories fade.

Sad to see the old place demolished. It's where I began my teaching career - which I have since escaped from.

Anyway, keep up the good work

Keith Bradshaw
History, PE 1971-79
Mountaineering club with Killer Crouchley

Hi Martyn,

Is Haggis still alive ? That man made my life a misery for two years. Once in his Geography lesson he stood up and said " Rowley go and wash your face, it's filthy"  and gestured towards his top lip. I went in the bog and had a wash, looked in the mirror and realised what the old git was banging on about: it was my first year bumfluff bangers n mash. What an idiot.

Another master (ha ha) who made my life hell just for one year was Smelly. One day we were due for a test in maths and the grey haired assassin was waiting for us with our foolscap neatly arranged in a lovely spiral so just to wind him up I grabbed a piece from halfway down and screwed his spiral up. He promptly whacked me 5 times for this most heinous of crimes.

A great detention session was had by all when me and Stan (Paul) Cavanagh nicked two bags of polystyrene atom building balls from the chemistry labs and handed them out before Baz Brooks got in the room. On Stan's signal Mr. Brooks was bombarded with about five hundred of said projectiles and uttered the immortal (and foolish) line: "if I see one more of those , you're all in detention next week". That was met with howls of laughter and five hundred more "atoms". Brilliant.

On all the sites i've been on no one has mentioned Speech Night at the Free Trade Hall. It was a riot every year. We used to catch the train. It was full of SGS "gentlemen" in uniform throwing each others stuff out of the windows. Sensational.  I got whacked off Chemi Biff for singing the "na na na" bit in between words of the national anthem and for eating a Polo mint.

The best teacher, ever, at Stand was Jasper (Mr Swift) but boy could he inflict pain on yo ass. Rumour has it that he walked from his home in Glossop, along the train lines, to Whitefield when the trains were off due to snow.

Don't remember you, but mate, this is a great site.

Antony Rowley SGS 77-82

Hi Martyn,

Here's a few more treasured memories of my time at Stand.

Circa 1980: Pete Coyle's "irrigation channel" dug with a shovel from a huge puddle on the back field  down to Hairy's Pond, flooding said water course on to the railway embankment.

Spending the quid for my OS map on toffees then lying to Haggis that I'd paid him weeks ago and getting away with it. How many lads managed to hoodwink Haggis over the years?

Watching Simon Goodwin's face when Babs Bunting informed him that she owed him forty seven whacks for crap homework. The little worm got away with it by running out and phoning mummy in tears. He should meet up with Babs now and take his punishment like a man.

Still, to this day, when I write a date I do "dotty dates" like Haggis told us all to do all those years ago.

Getting a grilling from Jock Weir for not being ticked off the list at Phillips Park Hall car park. I got there and set off back to School before any teachers had got there.

Watching with much amusement as Crouchley hit Andy Parr on the back on the hand with the edge of a metal ruler and drawing blood for laughing at Adam Waters because he didn't know where the Phillipines are. Andy Parr would have got Thousands for that today.

Mr. Hunter (not Tabs) showing us how Hydrogen relights a glowing splint by sticking said splint into to a conical flask of Hydrogen and blowing the flask into a million pieces all over the room.

Phyisics teacher Stevie Fenwick doing the hilarious "Dissolve your own eyeballs with Sulphuric acid fumes" trick. David Blaine should use it in his routine.

Strange looking teachers. There was one c.1981 called Peter Sellars who looked remarkably like a stoat. Jasper, enough said. My favourite was Derek Beresford who took third year Maths set one in 79/80. He used to wear the same dark green trousers and dogtooth jacket every day, his hairline started on top off his head and his hair looked like seaweed.

Rock hard women teachers. Babs Bunting. Nia "Nelly" Jones. Mrs Mcginn (Biology). Frightening.

Fit women teachers. Mrs Oliver (nee Fisher). Everyone was gutted when she got married. Lauren Chatburn. Tall brunette. Nice. Jenny Saunders. Everyone loved her. Bless.

A lad in the year above me: Gordon Simpson (Hartley Hare). He was extremely intelligent but definitely a loose cannon. He used to go round the playground singing and dancing for people (he wasn't a talent) then he would flip and start pulling your hair and punching you. He got a beating or two for that. Poor lad.

Being on report. I wasn't an angel at school and was on report a few times for various transgressions of the rules. For the swats out there being on report basically required you to give the teacher your report sheet at the end of every lesson for them to sign and write a comment. To get off report you had to do this for two to three weeks and all teachers comments had to be better than "satisfactory" and the gits knew this. So Friday afternoon I'd hand the sheet to Haggis and guess what he'd write. That's right: "satisfactory".

Getting thrown off the bus en masse for playing tunes on the bell.

That's about all for now but I'll be back. It was very sad looking at the demolition pictures of the old place.

Antony Rowley SGS 77-82


Got to your web page via friends reunited.  A good site for bringing back memories, some good and some not so good.  As for the picture of bloody Phil Haggis, well I did need a new dart board.  I noticed a few things that I remember different, but I know my mind plays tricks.

I think you were in the same year as me as I note that I was in the same form as some of your 1C register, although I started off in 1A. tells more.

Now what do I recall different? Well, the teams in gym were Apples, Bananas, Cherries and Doughnuts.

I remember Ms Boulanger taking us all to Liverpool Uni for a debating contest, which we won, and then swanned off to the student union with the very expensive silver cup we had just won. I think the coppers were there when we got back.   I never had the joy of seeing her knickers, but I do recall that she nearly got killed in a car accident. I don't know if you remember Mrs Fletcher, nee Miss Tiffin, (english & geography). Now she used to wear stockings and sussies as I found out each week in room five.  God bless those short skirts, naïve women and raised floor at the front of the class.

Now here's a story for your page.  I don't know if  I'll get a quod for this but I did have a nice money making scheme going for a year or two. It was illegal, it was bad, it was fun and I never got caught :-)

I used to play the 'cello and so was allowed into the music store next to the music room (29 I think).  Ok so what?  In the corner of that music store were lots of boxes. Each box filled with blank, new, unused report forms. So I helped myself to a couple from each so it wouldn't be noticed.  A handful of pens and biros and my uncanny talent for illegible writing and Young's report forgery business was on the go.  For a small consideration you could get an improvement on your report.  Never made any one top of the form but somewhere reasonabe in the top half.   Can you find any one who will admit to having bought one?

I still remember many of the masters from my time there not just the sadistic Haggis, he only picked on me 'cos of my long hair, and now I've bloody well gone bald!  And Hynes from Biology who would prowl the school at lunchtime to try and catch those of us who brought sandwiches, before they were made "legal".  I also remember rather fondly (is that allowed?) Mr Lumley (deputy head and acting head before Dr Barnes) and Fred Hill, who had faith in my ability at pure maths, which unfortunately I didn't.

I also remember a chosen few who went to Manchester Poly for a course on computing.  I failed the selection tests and couldn't go. Ha!  I showed them!  Guess what I do for a living :-)

Hey I could bore you for hours but I have to be up and out to work in the morning.


Nev Young  SGS 1966(1a) - 1972(7m)

p.s. After reading a few letters, Yes the bomb in the desk did go off, room 7 back row in the corner, 1st April forget the year but I think Bullough got the blame for it.   No the piano wasn't hoisted to the balcony but some dozy master cut down the rusty bicycle and it fell onto the piano.

Hi Martyn,

I'm having a good laugh and reminiscing about old times at SGS.  Attended 1970 to 1977.  I now live north  of Sydney in Oz. I work in mental health crisis intervention.  I am still friends with and keep in touch with a few other Old Standians, Chris Bainbridge, Pete Lockett, Paul Godby (chimp) who lives in Sydders.  Next week I'm visiting Ken Lomax in Christchurch for a week of golf. I have many anecdotes, usually pythonesque, which was well in vogue.  On the last day of term chimp and I boarded a no 6 bus.  We saw Hairy Hynes and decided to follow him instead of getting off at Besses o' th' barn.  We ended up Eccles way, lost but on that old bastard's trail. I never was taught by him but saw him reduce many juniors to tears ('cos he could). We just wanted to challenge his authority because we could. When he got whiff of us he wanted to know my name and I kept replying " I dunno. Where do live? Er......Spain." The steam was coming out of his ears. The object of class was to take the piss out of teach, so all were aware except the teacher. One day I will grow up!

I would like to know what happened to anyone who knew me, chimp or ken. Also teachers such as Miss Jones, Ray Russell, Benjy (after his indiscretions), Hairy, Hudson, Tabs, Haggis, Clarke etc.

I can contacted at  or via

Thanks to Paul Cowsill for the mention.  I'll tell Paul Godby.

Keep up the good work.

Paul Conway

Hi, I'm Steve Hamblett

Went to Stand from 71-76, House was Siddall, I was there when Dave Crook did his black pudding trick on the head (Mr Hudson) at morning assembly, as far as I know Dave is still in Radcliffe, not far from me although I've not seen him for some time, he used to live on Astley St (off Stand Lane).

I left Radcliffe In 1980 to live down south and have only been back for a year or so, only a few months ago I went to Whitefield with a mate of mine (Billy Partington, also an old Standian) for a few beers, we were gutted to find that not only had the school closed but it had also been completely demolished.

Nice to see it is still remembered, theres a few of us in Radcliffe still, around my age (40/41), although most Standians (especially the girls) seem to have fled the area for good.

Steve Hamblett


The more I view the site, the more impressed I am and find that I am neglecting other things in its favour, with the exception of golf of course! I think the un-named boxer in the 1955 photograph could be Malcolm Maybury, (Mayberry?) who introduced me to my first cigarette, in the toilets.

I would dearly love to contact some of the old boys of my year, especially Sam Wilde, who I have tried to contact many times over the years, to no avail.

I am quite suprised at some of the bitterness that shows through in some of the mail I have seen. I agree that some of the masters were a bit over the top by today's standards, but I look back with pride and gratitude. Maybe 27 years in the Army helped to mellow my outlook.

Keep up the splendid work.

Joe Conway


I've just discovered the many pages of your web site and read the letter from Harris Fraser and Gez Diamond and all the lads he is still in touch with, some of whom I started out in 1B with, Tony Schock, Anthony Alexander and others who I came to know, Kev Cryer ( not the one who now teaches at Bury GS surely) Pete Preston, Mick Mills ( we went to a Four Tops Concert in 1970 looking like a right pair of pillocks in blazers, two tone trousers, red hankies and the silver buttons), John Hewitt who I went to Prestwich Parish School with upto 1966.

I left in February 1972, after doing 1 term in the 6th year, not doing subjects that I wanted to do or even could do, so joined the Midland Bank.

It's a great site, the memories are all still very strong, I have kept all my reports ( sad git that I am ) many of the Old Standians magazines, and attend the OSA Dinners on a regular basis. I was particulalry upset to see Haggis so frail and unwell at the last dinner.

It was an act of pure vandalism to demolish the school and I will never forgive those responsible, there were many happy memories of my 5 year sentence.

Many of the masters who were there between 66-72, Killer Crouch, Ivor Jones, Chippy Wood, Haggis, PB2, Les Lumley, Crossfield, Doc Barnes (the Beak), Eddie Hynes, Joe Whitworth, Dick Short, some are probably no longer with us but all gave us their very best, and some their very worst, but did any of us do badly for the experience, I think not. And compared to today's youth, some of that style of schooling would make a very welcome return.

Nowadays I am celebrating 25 years of marriage, with two sons, both of whom have done their time at Bury Grammar, they had to experience a little of what I treasured, and I am living up in rural Ramsbottom.

It is fantastic to see so many names that I remember, keep up the great work

Roger Bowden

Hi Martyn,

 My younger brother Neal came upon your website when browsing for Old Standians and he and I happened to be together at my mother’s this evening (a fairly rare occurrence) and he got me surfing too.

It is fantastic to read all the stories and be reminded of names of long ago – I guess we are all getting to the age when memories are mostly what we can look forward to!

Anyway a bit of background for your website and Old Standian historic records;

    * I was at Stand from 1967 to Dec 1973 in 1P, 2P then 3S (I think), 4S, 6M, 7M and 8M for a term.  I did my O levels early (with Trevor Pickles) and went on to study Engineering Science at Oxford (St Catherine’s)
    * Rob was one academic year ahead – 1966 to 1973 in 1B, 2L, 3E, 4L, 5E and went on to study mechanical engineering at Leeds
    * Neal was two academic years behind – 1969 to 1975 in 1P, 2P, 3S, 4B (he thinks), 6M, 7M, 8M and he too went to Leeds to study mech eng.

 As you can see we are struggling a bit with class references.  I am hoping my Mum can point us in the direction of old school reports, Speech Day programmes etc to sort it out.  Do you have any “code breaker” that could help us with what the class designators meant and the chronology of the system changes?

Here are some funny stories that those in my classes might recall;

Very early in my Stand career (maybe even 1st year) we had the pleasure of Neil Kershaw not only for PE but also for History.  He was a pretty cool dude.  We were waiting in Room 22 (one of the huts) for Kershaw to arrive to start class.  The class was so preoccupied with its usual pastime of pandemonium and messing around that no one noticed Neil Kershaw until he launched himself onto the front desk and stood astride it like a surfer.  This was made all the more shocking by Kershaw’s propensity for walking around school in sports kit which included very short shorts and very short hairy legs!  He certainly got everyone’s attention, yet said nothing, calmly got down from the table and started the class.  At age 12 that seems like real Class!

Speaking of his hairy legs, my everlasting memory of Neil who looked after the fledgling basketball team was him regularly standing in front of the team after lunchtime practice in the gym, scratching a perpetual itch on the back of his knee saying “the match is off”….  Our basketball matches were regularly called off, it seemed…

I have a couple of memories of a very bizarre English teacher called Toseland – a little fat round chap, known for liking the occasional small sherry at lunchtime.  Like all English teachers he carried a huge bunch of keys on a long chain, but unlike other English teachers he took to wielding the keys as a weapon.  Swinging the keys like an Olympic hammer he was wont to smash them down on desks, books, blackboards – anything to get attention and strike fear in an unruly class.  On one famous occasion he chose went too far and actually swiped of the class hard cases across the shoulder tearing a gash in his blazer!  At which the boy stood up, toe to toe with Toseland (who wasn’t that tall), called him several names and stormed out to report him to the Headmaster!  I think the issue was settled out of court by a very diplomatic Doc Barnes….

However even Doc Barnes was stumped by his next episode.  In an English class in one of the large classrooms off the hall immediately after lunch one afternoon a lad was caught staring out of the window.  Toseland said “if you find what’s happening outside so interesting you had better go and join them”.  So the boy stood up thinking he was being sent out of class. “Through the window… “ continued Toseland, at which point the boy opened the big sash window and promptly climbed out - straight into the arms of the Headmaster returning from a late lunch!  The school yard being a big drop from the window we didn’t see this and knew nothing about this until the boy was marched back into the classroom by the Headmaster.  “This boy tells me you told him to climb out of the window”, said Dr Barnes, clearly (and very reasonably) expecting to prove the boy was lying.  It is difficult to remember who was the most embarrassed, Dr Barnes or Mr Toseland who sheepishly admitted it and apologised to the Head for being foolish.  Needless to say Toseland was not an English teacher at Stand for many more seasons!  These are the things that shape young minds!

Unfortunately I cannot recall the names of any of the boys involved but maybe other Old Standians from my alumni will.

And I am sure Rob and Neal will have their own stories to offer you.  Meanwhile, keep up the good work on a great website!


Steve Parkinson

Hi Martyn,
This is a first contact for me, my name is Mike Passant and I attended Stand from 1953 to 1960 .My contemporaries and friends in those days were Tony Gale  (who retired as a tax Inspector about 3 years ago and disappeared to Tenerife), Pete Rose, Gabriel Jacobs ( with whom I met up again 4 years ago), and Howard Jacobsen,along with Bob Lee, and Gabriel's close pal Stuart Kershaw who became head boy.
I haven't a clue what happened to Pete,Bob,or Stuart,after they left for university.

Well,a bit about me at Stand .In the first few years Sammy Medlar was Head,leaving and replaced by Austen Williamson, as cold a fish as you could poosibly meet,( and about as skilled at "man management" ).He once hauled me into his office for the sole and ludicrous purpose of measuring my trouser bottoms ,as he was insistent on branding me as a "teddy boy".The trousers in fact measured a smart 15 ",and stood out in stark contrast to the 22" bags worn by most of the kids ,some of whom had legs as thin as pipecleaners,giving the impression they could blow away in a breeze. Williamson's prejudice was also influenced by my extremely short "crew cut", which imparted a sort of "American High School Kid" image to me .
My big hero at Stand was Joe Whit, the Maths and History teacher who taught this nervous twitchy 1st former how to acquire some self confidence by encouraging me simply to unlock and develope my potential, (something I'm afraid that was totally beyond the comprehension of "Haggis"the Gym teacher who took absolutely no interest in any of us as individuals).
I became involved with the boxing club because of Joe Whit and have a picture which you can borrow showing the members around 1954/55. I went on to become school boxing team captain (never losing a bout in all my years at Stand ),school athletics captain ( I broke the senior discus record as an intermediate, and went on to add over 35 feet to it before leaving,as well as taking Lockley's shot putt record on my way to becoming Lancashire School's Champion in 1960) .I had a brief spell as cross country captain as well in my final year, but voluntarily gave this up as I was not improving (in fact I was going backwards ,as heavy weightlifting was not the ideal training for distance running! ).
Neither Hargreaves or Williamson had any word of congratulation for me on my athletic successes (perhaps they knew that what I had achieved was "sod all" to do with them,it was in spite of them;in fact their indifference might actually have been an added spur to me ).

I could add a lot about Howard Jacobsen's antics outside school, but I'm not going to ,as we were good pals. I last saw him when I'd just got married, and quite out of the blue he appeared at our front door with a new girlfriend ,that would be in 1963.

What of the other masters? Well I was present in room 20 sitting about 8 feet away when Barry Speed planted a punch on the jaw of his nemesis Gordon" Boris"Knott ,our form master and Spanish teacher, and shot out ,never to be seen again.That would be in about 1958,and I was amazed that one other of your earlier contributors had related the tale.
Ivor Jones the wood work teacher used to have us in stitches, he'd pull out one of us and hold him to total ridicule,declaring  in his Welsh accent that his "creation" had been chewed by a dog . It was an excuse for us all to laugh for about a minute until tears streamed down our faces,not at our classmate ,but at Jones, as if a bloody piece of wood could possibly be of any relevance in our lives!
Joe Bogg, our English master (who really was totally bonkers) would appear at the start of a period with just his head peering round the classroom door, saying or doing nothing for perhaps 20 seconds or so,and then bellowing at us - "Hey Nonny Nonny"!  As 1st formers we found this rather unnerving initially , but once you realised he was simply potty, it became quite a reassurance that you yourself, were by way of contrast, reasonably well adjusted( in spite of all that Stand could, and did , throw at you ).From what I have read of Howard's novels he refers to Stand under a derogatory false name ,and in quite disparaging terms .
I didn't go to university, though I passed all my 4 "A"levels, instead joined what later became Royal Bank of Scotland ,where I became a manager in 1977 ,ending up as manager of Newcastle Upon Tyne Branch 1990 --1994 ,when I retired at 53 years of age.

I have a good life, am married to Barbara, my teen-age sweetheart, and have 2 grown up sons who live in Spain and in Switzerland respectively, we live 16 miles west of Durham city.I still go skiing when in Switzerland, climb Munros in Scotland,( only 23 to go ), still pump iron,and travel the world on birding trips (I recently saw my 5000th species in Sulawesi, (Indonesia) and we go off to Antarctica for the very first time, on Dec31st.)

I should be delighted to hear from any of my contemporaries from Stand , especially Tony Gale or Pete Rose.

Mike Passant

Hi Martyn,
I'm amazed to hear from you so soon! Looking through the file of memorabilia I keep on S G S ,I see that you in fact have the photo of the boxing club members ,sent in to you by my pal Gabriel Jacobs, who borrowed it from me.Your reply (dated Aug 2001) was quite superb, commenting on Joe Whit's tie ,and even better the fact that his trousers and jacket "look like he started wearing them for school when they became too scruffy to wear whilst he was gardening".

Concerning the kids on the picture , here goes,back row left to right, next to Joe Whit first: I know the face( not the name), then Fogg, Nelson ,Geoff Galley, Heilpern, and of course McDonald; front row left : little Butterworth, Ian Walker , Brian Walker , then me , then Stan Black , then Horner . THe last two ended up in Australia ,Horner going in about 1956 , Stan in 1983, he has been in touch with you (in fact it's Stan who first told you about Barry Speed's fight with Boris Knott).

I looked up Joe Whit in the late 80's (he lived at 123 Bury Old Road Heywood ) but when he came to the front door he didn't seem to know me, and when I told him who I was, he didn't really react as I expected ,I think he just pretended he knew me .I felt he'd lost it and wished I hadn't called really,it was quite sad . In the 1960's I'd always exchanged Xmas cards with him and the Joe Whit of old would have greeted me like a father.

Martyn, if you could update me as to  anything to do with Joe Whit after 1960 I should be very grateful , I was a young kid from a council estate (Hollinhurst Rd. Radcliffe ) my parents divorced when I was about 6, and he was the most positive influence for the good that I encountered through my teenage years .

Kind Regards


I was at Stand from '71 to '78 and I'm sure I know you! The name sounds
familiar anyway. I was permanently resident in the artroom firstly under
Cliff Baxendale and then under John Moss...if you'll forgive the
expression...I almost ended up under Benjy Brittain once too but that's
another story...any chance of an old school photo of you so I can confirm
whether I'm going senile or not?

Great website by the way, made me laugh and nearly cry at the same time,
terrible how you get nostalgic with old age

Hope to hear from you soon

Glyn 'Snaily' Bailey aged 45

I came across your wonderful web site and I was hooked!
I attended SGS from 1968-1976 I think.
Ihad the pleasure if that is the right word,only joking to be School Captain.
It all seems a long time ago but seeing the web site was like opening the flood gates.Over the next few days I shall gather my memories and send them on.
The one immediate memory I have is for getting a report that said CHEMISTRY 3%,the comment was 'He has made a vast improvement this term'
Anyway congrtaulations on the site.
My email is as above or  or

Best Wishes, Jonathan Barnes


I was idly looking on the internet and typed "Stand Grammar School" out of curiosity and came up with this site and thought I would let you have a few lines. My name is David Pomfret and I attended SGS from 1971 to 1978, anyone remember me? Overall, I have quite positive memories of my time there and reading some of the other contributors it brought back many reminisencies of Haggis, Hairy, Towey and a few others, anyone remember Graves, the maths teacher? We had him in the second year (I was hopeless at maths) and remember that he had a habit of hitting you in the back if you did not get the factors right on equations or something or other. Towey was another one, he used to flick your head with the arm of his cape and, on another occasion, he got the board rubber, went all over the board with it to get it very dusty, then proceeded to rub it into some lad's hair!!

Paddy McCaff was another one who stood out, I was in the mass belting session when the whole of our year group had to lie down on the tennis courts and he went round us all in turns with the gym shoe, ouch!!

Another memory of Hairy (Hynes, the biology teacher), this lad in our class, the 3rd year from memory, I thing he was called Dave Ellison, was chewing on a piece of silver paper, the remains of a toffee wrapper, and was spotted by Hairy. Upon informing him what he was, Dave was made to stand on a chair, holding it aloft and repeat " I am a fairy princess, this is my fairy crown, are'nt I beautiful, Do not eat silver paper again boy" How we laughed…

Smelly Smethurst was our maths teacher in the 4th year and as I was useless at maths was informed "Pomfret lad, I hope you can handle a brush as that’s what your going to do when you leave here, sweep the roads"

Another memory - the 7th form geography field trip to Scarborough in about March 78, we had to share the hotel with a party of 6th form girls from somewhere like Bishops Stortford.

Younger readers might find stuff that the teachers did scary by todays standards, but I don't remember any particular bullying which now seems rife, just piss-taking which on the whole was fairly good humoured and we did'nt need any of the anti-bullying initiatives which seem to be everywhere now, Paddy/Haggis etc would have quickly put a stop to it.

I kept in contact with one or two lads in my year group for a probably three or four years after I left, Ian Cheeseman, Bill Jackson, Maurice Greene, Robert Norris but have'nt seen any of them now for quite a while, although I have run into Paul Sandiford a few times recently who seems to be doing OK.

To summarise, I would'nt change anything much apart from getting rid of kiddie fiddler Britton, that kind of thing has no place in education, or anywhere else for that matter, past, present or future, although he never bothered with me personally.

I have not been back since and now live in Handforth, near Wilmslow, Cheshire, I left Radcliffe in 1988.

Keep up the good work

David Pomfret 1P 1971

Martin Harper here, Sept 1971 to Sept 1979.  The extra years detention was spent in the Upper 5th following a ‘must do better’ performance at O Levels.  Worked out in the end as I left with 10 O’s and 4 A’s and did Economics at Manchester.

Must firstly tell you that my father, Brian Harper, went to Stand 1939 to 1944.  He died in 2000 but I still have many things he kept from School.  Most treasured is his old school scarf.  I used it for school and still do!  Mr Smethurst, Maths, had one similar.  He kept all his old exam papers and also a copy of ‘The Standian’ for July 1948.  This has two notable things in it, firstly what must be the first published work by Henry Livings (subsequently famous playwright/author) titled ‘The Philistine, or Art For Art’s Sake’.  Secondly and arguably the more momentous is the arrival of a new teacher, and I must quote here ‘As Mr Emerson is leaving in June, Mr P B Hargreaves will then join us as Instructor’.  Nearly 60 years on we are still talking about him.

 To my teachers, I remember you all, some more fondly than others.  Gordon Cain for his enthusiasm and nurturing my interest in economics – I still love it to this day.  Helen Russell Orton for her passion in teaching English to a group of lads as much in love with her as the subject.  John Belfield for bringing Geography alive, ‘Jasper’ Swift for giving us Maths homework every night for 2 years only to be rewarded with a ‘A’ at O Level – we deserved MUCH more.  Johnny Shuttleworth for making me read my English books but enjoy them at the same time, ‘Hairy’ Hynes for his sex education lesson in Biology (we had already learnt that from Julian Yates’s ‘magazines’).  Others that I don’t think have got a mention elsewhere in the letters include Dave Pierce, Al Smith, Harrison, Eustace, Dave Bowers, Jan Olszewski,

 Things I remember include;

Roy Evans, a great lad and handy footballer, being killed in a road accident in the first year.  We got to know about that on the morning of the ‘Marathon Hike’.  Two lads turning up in shorts on the first day of school (sorry DCT you know who you are).  Gary Thompson, my buddy from junior school, having to leave.  Not making it onto the first year football team, who went undefeated that year and got school colours.  Still to this day being able to draw an outline map of the Lancashire coastline – we know who is to blame for that one.  I flew to the Isle of Man a few years ago on a clear July day and looking out of the window I got a birds eye view of what I had been drawing in Room 7 all those years ago.  I still don’t have the exact words for what I felt, although I think they are mostly good.  Going hiking with Killer Crouchley was insanity at the best of times as he could walk faster than most of us could run.  Edgar Cowards shin pads (the old bamboo & leather ones) being a foot wide, Phil Bailey ‘retiring hurt’ most of another schools cricket team with a lethal spell of fast bowling, Tony Settle playing for Lancashire 2nds whilst only 15(?) and knocking one of Mr Mitre’s supposed googlies into the Synagogue car park, Playing for the Tennis team with Gary Cropper, Running with Colin Barker on the Cross Country Team, Waiting for the team lists to be posted on the notice board outside the Gym (substitute again!).

 High on the list are a couple of school trips.  The Geography field trip to Scarborough in 1978 was brilliant, mostly for the antics of Wayne Jackson, Rod Harrison, Phil Bailey, Mick Waring.  Their constant chatting up of the waitresses in the hotel, allegedly for bigger breakfasts, was funny, although they did get what they wanted, bigger breakfasts I mean, or do I?  There were the usual shaving foam fights, toothpaste in the ears and talcum powder bombs.  It was the Grosvenor Guest House and we had to write up our days notes in the downstairs function room before we were allowed ‘to play’.  The other trip of mention was the legendary football trip to Germany/Belgium at Easter in 1979.  Wayne Jackson has mentioned this in one of his letters.  Paddy McCafferty got us all in the best shape of our lives which helped when it came to the lack of sleep and amount of alcohol we drank.  One bloke at a club we played in Belgium even brought on a bucket of black coffee at half time.  We never lost a game, all the pitches were ‘all weather’ due to the harsh winters, and I scored a goal reminiscent of Geoff Hurst (Wayne’s words not mine).  Other culprits on the trip were Graham Ward, Rod Harrison, Marc Campion, Alex Bamford, Vallers Valentine.  The trip took a positive turn at the Hotel Zur Kripps, near Koblenz, when on the last day a party of similar aged girls on a school trip booked in.  Ahhhhh, Easter ’79….

 Good Buddies included Julian Yates, Alan Giersh, Andy Cuckill, Dave Ellison, Barry Bowman, Lawrence Mann, Dean Ogden, Dean Jackson, Jeremy Reuben, Steve Ward, Dave Feingold, Jeremy Tasker, Graham Clarke and lots more.

‘Visions of boyhood’ as the school song says. Well, these are some of mine.

Martin Harper

Hi Martyn,

I was listening to a couple of my colleagues at work chatting about their days at a school they both attended, and was propmted to check on the web if there were any photos of SGS, and discovered your execllent site. I knew SGS had been demolished as I was in Manchester for a meeting a year or so ago (I do return from time to time!) and parked off Church Lane to get the Metro. On my return I strolled up the Lane to see the place I had been incarcerated in from 1964 to 1971and was shocked to find SGS gone. Even though I hadn't really been sad to leave the old place in ' 71, it was as though part of my past had gone too! Still got my 6th form tie, though...

I was also amazed to see my name in the contribution from Geoff Breckin, who I do remember, as I do Ken Parkes and a few others, including Paul Whiteley who I think must have smoked himself to death by now, given the rate he got through them in 1970-71! Think he became an English lecturer at some university or other. I certainly remember the "lift" from the guy on the dumper during cross country, AND the steamed up car! I also remember other incidents, including the bike hung over the piano, the exploding desk, the graffiti incident and most of the masters in their various hideous incarnations mentioned by others ; "Doc" Barnes, The Erg, who I seem to remember resembled Boris Karloff, Hairy Hynes, Haggis, of course, who I don't recall particularly persecuting me, though I think I did make Percy's acquaintance on at least one occasion, Ernie Shlesinger, Johnny Frith and the lump of desk as his persuader, Chippy Wood and John Eckersley, Revie, Wimpey Longstaff who would knuckle you hard in the chest and demand "Sing!", (and I do recall a similar event to the tuning fork missile!), Benjy Britten who I thought was a bit odd at the time, later confirmed by the newspapers, and kept well clear of, Fred Knox (Spanish?), Toseland (yes! Uncle Fester!), even Old Joe Whit from my first year. Can't really remember all my old form numbers exactly, 1D? 2L, 3S? 4L, 5S, 6 and 7LW?… but it's surprising how much you do remember, including being so crap at Latin that Mr Slack wouldn't let me take O level....

I also went on the Selva ski trip, and remember being impressed that Brien Crossfield owned his own skis, (wooden of course!) and a snowball fight in the town with some American kids. Didn't manage to ski terribly well, being short (still am!) and not sporty at school, though funnily enough I got heavily into climbing and mountaineering in later years.

Even though I came close to getting in, I gave up on joining the RAF  - I was clearly too intelligent for them, (though I'm actually back in pilot training - on gliders!), went to Uni to read Geography with an emphasis on physical geog  - Chippy would be pleased! - , had a great time and got a good enough degree to get me a place at King's College London to do a PhD. Sadly I didn't get any postgad funding, it being a particularly lean year, and settled for a Master's degree, and a career in university libraries, where, amongst other things I manage the computer systems, and lecture part time.

I live in East Yorkshire now, married with two sons both at Uni, and a daughter currently swamped with GCSEs.

Chris Leach

Hi Martyn, Came across the site purely by accident. Trawling the net on behalf of a relative researching the Prestwich origins of the family. Typed in Thorp + "Church Lane" because they used to live in a big house in Church Lane, Prestwich circa 1900. Fifth hit was your site because of Church Lane, Whitefield and someone listed my surname in 2L. Then found references to myself under Thorpe and a picture of 7M in 1969. Have just e-mailed Ian McDonald and Kev Parrott. Well done.

So here goes. Ken Thorp 1962 -1969 1D 2L 3E 4L 5E 6M 7M

1D New building, form teacher taught French, surname began with H, maybe Harding, he was really good to us. I made a living selling stamps from Venezuala etc. to others in the year group - my dad worked for Tootals and his friend worked in the post room. Chosen for choir by TJ Longstaff, then it got worse because I was chosen for the semi-chorus. "You have a true Alto voice, not the fag end of a treble." Over next few years sang with Halle Orchestra etc. - see later for outcome. Got hosed down by Haggis after missing open goal from 5 yards.

2L Got put in here with the Language, Literature and therefore Latin scholars because I came in top 30 in Year 1 exams. Problem was I had really high scores in Maths (Smethurst did not seem pleased I had done so well) and Science but nothing special in the rest. Mr. Schofield could not comprehend how such an incompetent had got into the group. In the first exam Latin exam I got 92% and came bottom, I think the next lowest was 98% - for the first time in my life I switched off in lessons. Had "Old Joe" Whitworth for Maths and did so for the next three years. He was also my Housemaster - what a lovely, gentle man he was. My attendance started to fall off quite rapidly - I simply wasn't enjoying school anymore. He spotted it and understood that experiencing failure on a daily basis was having a significant effect on me.

3E Back amongst the scientists. Mr Revie for Physics and he had us solving Moments problems with two pivots. Loved it.

Was put in Set3 for French, hated it.Got young teacher, no idea. Kept keeping us all in, even the innocent, so I thought get your monies worth. Began co-ordinating the efforts of the miscreants in order to improve their effectiveness. He didn't last long,nervous breakdown I think - I hope it wasn't just our class.

Physics, Chemistry and Maths were the only subjects that kept me going.

4L Mr. Revie told my Dad I would be doing Physics at University but could I possibly stay out of the Diplomatic Corps since he didn't want to go to war.

Love of Chemistry disappeared in the hands of a complete wazzock.

Got punched in the stomach in 'O' level Music by TJ when he thought I was taking the mick. He put the score for "God save the Queen" in front of me and I said I didn't know the tune. I couldn't read music - I had memorised Handel's Messiah, St. Mathew's Passion etc. from start to finish. He didn't believe anyone could do that.

Mr. Schofield had left but I was too far behind, Mr. Slack and I came to a mutually beneficial arrangement - he involved me in Latin lessons as little as possible.

Had the Head of English - some of the group were taking 'O' levels a year early - he was superb. He told me that my thought processes were different from the rest of the group not worse, just different. For the first time in over two years I actually wanted to go to school, good staff treating me as an individual. Had "Old Joe" been working behind the scenes? I like to think so.

5E Love of Chemistry revived by Brian C. Really got my act together in those subjects where there was still hope.

Got my own back on T.J. I had to play an instrument as part of 'O' level music. The flute was a disaster so he tried timpani. Imagine the scene, school orchestra performing in front of a packed hall. One piece had the music getting faster and faster towards the end.So there I am on the tambourine. Which speed will the orchestra follow, mine or his? MINE because the audio input beats the visual input every time. I apologise unreservedly to those violinists who went home with bleeding fingers that night but the sight of his flailing arms will live with me forever. Chippy Wood was standing next to me during assembly next morning and he whispered, "I am to tell you that if you do that again tonight, you will be dead by the following morning."

Had Smethurst again, this time for Pure Maths - by the end of the year the feeling of dislike had become mutual, never did know why we didn't get on. I got a grade 1 at 'O' level just to annoy him - maybe he knew how to motivate me.

6M 7M What a set of teachers to have:- Hill, Broadbent and Lumley. Ended up with three grade 'A' s and a couple of 'S' levels. "Fred" Hill had so much impact on how I solved problems that I cannot even begin to explain the effect he had on my life afterwards.

I hope my shoe print was still there on the ceiling when the place was flattened. It was indeed so perfect that even the most incompetent Scene of Crime Officer could have tracked me down - sanding down the soles of my shoes did cross my mind at the time.

Was " I'm sorry I'll read that again" really so funny? "It's dat old debbil mooon" etc....

How could I have been a Senior Prefect when I looked so young in that picture of 7M?

I just do not recognise the school that is described in some of the postings.

Haggis taught us in 1D for Geog, never had a problem with him - still remember the Warm Wet Westerly Winds, the indian ink drawings, reading maps, contours, trip to the Cotton Mill, Ship canal. We still got on in Year 5 when my hair was much longer than the rules allowed, he just used to look, shake his head and smile. He took time to see me after the 'O' level mocks and say how pleased he was with my results - this from a man who hadn't taught me for 4 years and I wasn't in any of his teams.

It seemed to have become a haven for bullies and perverts. Maybe it was starting when we left, some of the appointments were frightening e.g. Hynes. I know that he was the first human being that I ever loathed. He knew that the prefects held him in contempt but he knew we were going. He tried it on with several of us but we always stood up to him and never gave an inch. So I expect you would like a Hynes story.

Hynes came out of the Biology lab and spotted me and several other prefects standing outside the library at lunchtime. The time of year would be early December. Nearby was a younger pupil minding his own business but in Hynes's eyes in the wrong place at the wrong time and we were ignoring it. Down he came, straight past us, shouting at the lad, "What are you doing there boy?" "Waiting for Christmas sir", came the reply. Incandescent rage was the response, not helped by smirking from the prefects, soon to be followed by violence. At this stage I very calmly and pleasantly informed our dearly beloved Mr. Hynes that Christmas was a younger pupil who had just asked our permission to go and change his library book, so his friend was indeed waiting for Chritmas. Oh how we laughed as he walked way and Mr. Revie didn't want me in the Diplomatic Corps!

Feel free to include my e-mail address

Must stop, time for my medication. Matron thinks these lap tops for the criminally insane are a really good idea.

Ken Thorp


I happened to be doing a little web surfing, and came across your excellent web site for good old Stand Grammar School.  Browsing through brought back a whole host of memories, mostly good I have to say - the bad ones have long been forgotten!.

Perhaps I could supply you with a few of my personal details? My name's James Alderson, currently known as Jim, but was called Jas at
school. I was at Stand from September 1955 up to summer 1962. Some of my contemporaries were Brian Sly, Peter Hayes, David Grimes, Ian Birtwell, Tim Williams, Neil Watts and a notorious character called Brian K Jones aka "Flab" Jones. He was always being caught smoking behind the woodwork room, and sent to the head for good "swishing". Would you happen to know if any of the people I have mentioned have been in
touch with you ?.

look forward to hearing from you,
Best Regards,

Jim Alderson

Hi Martyn,

I too like many others, stumbled on the site and having spent a couple of hours prowling through it came upon a note – the last on the page, from James (Jas) Alderson who mentioned me and a few other contemporaries from the class of 55 to 62. You forgot Dave Posslethwaite and Mike Wheldon, Jas!!

I left the old school – largely with fond memories – like Jas, the bad ones are washed away by the passage of time. After studying at Loughborough I ended up eventually with a job that took me out to the Far East where I worked for 25 odd years prior to retiring back to the UK (Sussex) in 96.

We stuck that out for a few years and eventually got sick and tired of Gordon’s ideas on taxation and decided to return to the Far East where we now live in Malaysia.

I still well remember “Haggis” et al and was amazed to hear that he was still alive in 2004 – is he still with us? Also Brian Crossfield who was a nice chap that had the dubious distinction if I am not mistaken, of having the entire Chemistry class of my era fail the “A” level paper. No worries Brian, it didn’t change my life!!

If you can let me have Jas’s email address I would be very grateful.


Neil Watts

Hi Martyn,

I stumbled across your excellent site the other night and find that I must have been a contemporary of yours, although we were not in the same
year and I only attended from 1968 to 1970, when I moved down south.

I am Dave Williamson and the last class I was in was 2R, with Neil Larah and Greg Berry, among others. I remember many of the boys and masters mentioned in other postings with great affection for the boys, and for most of the masters.

Haggis was my form teacher for one year, and I think that it was Jock Weir for the other. I thought that Haggis was a great laugh, for all his
weird practices, and he even gave me a lift to school sometimes, as he passed the bus stop on Ainsworth Rd. One thing that no one else seems to
have mentioned was Mr Hargreaves' habit of chalking things in mirror writing on 'Percy'(such as a question mark), so that the chalky imprint
would be left on the trousers of the unlucky recipient. I hope that he is still with us and in good health.

Some other masters, if I'm correct, were:

Percy Basil (Baz) Holden, who ran the badminton club and played boogie-woogie on the school piano.

Malcolm Jones, who ran the Scouts (do you remember boys reeling out of  the scout-hut from the effects of the resin fumes from building
fibre-glass canoes?)

'Junkie' Jensen, the cycling chemistry teacher. I once took a small amount of perfume to chemistry, as we had been told that we would make
soap. Mr. Jensen had the boiling hot test tube with the soap solidifying in it, when I offered the perfume to him, which he duly added. The
perfume, having a lower boiling point due to being mostly alcohol, caused the whole contents to be shot across the room, fortunately not
hitting anyone, and him to bluster: "I knew that would happen!"

 Mr Thornton the art teacher (and housewives fancy)

Of the boys(feel free to disagree),

Neil Larah was my chemistry partner(I guess he was neater at writing up than I; EVERYONE was neater than I!). I see that he's now a dentist.
Does he do any national health work?(my teeth are terrible!) I left long before he was in a position to give out sides to anyone.

Leon Swerling was a terrific bloke, with a gentle sense of humour (is he now a solicitor with a Manchester law firm?) and may have been my
physics partner.

Greg Berry was quick, sharp and intuitive.

Hefferen? was always a good laugh.

Andy Foot.

Phil Wood.

Simmo (had the most hair.)


Schofield? (left at he end of the 1st year?)

Phil Moir (self-assured and straight talking, should have gone far.)

Mellor? (sadly died, not long after appearing on kids T.V.)

'Tarz' Reynard (a.k.a. Foxy)

Stewart?(School Captain and county badminton player.)

John Mitchell (a long time friend of mine from primary school; always hilarious, whether setting a tent on fire at scout camp, or turning
teachers purple with rage). The last I heard of him (about 1974), he and Tommo, of the chip shop, were keen on football team supporting. Where is he now?

Toby Lyons, who joined our class in mid-term, and had the longest hair of ANYONE (I wasn't there when he led the strike).

David Cohen was affable and self-effacing.

Raymond Bragg was older than us, and used to get on the bus at Ainsworth Rd. He was the first person I knew to have a Sinclair Micromat radio
(self assembled?). Did he go into electronics? Still, where's that Sir Clive Sinclair now?

Ian Phipps, a good friend.

Carlton Sillett (he went into the family undertaking business, and I last saw him when he buried my grandmother).

Gordon Ashworth, terrific sprinter, would have made a great 'terrier-like' mid-fielder (Did he leave for Manchester Grammar?).

As for myself, I moved south to St Albans in 1970. The schoolboy shoplifting techniques were more sophisticated there!

From there I went to Sussex University, and stayed in Brighton for 20 years, was Sussex hangliding champion (and still hold some records),
moved to Norwich for three years, had Alex, a son, moved to northern Italy for three years(you can see a dual take off that I JUST got away
with, taking off with my partner Sara, at
iding.WMV from the 'diving board' at Laveno), and am now back in Crawley, West Sussex.

I was once decorating, in Brighton, and noticed a SGS reunion dinner advertised in the paper covering the floor. I thought: "No one will go
to that"; I now see, from your website, how wrong I was!

I seem to remember that Haggis' claim to fame (according to HIM) was that he'd sent Alan Ball off for swearing, when he was refereeing a
schoolboy match; mind you, he was saying this only two years after Alan Ball got a World Cup Winners medal!

I must have got on with Benji at some point, as I remember cleaning his car once. He always used to wave his empty glass in the air, at dinner
time, demanding a gin and tonic, that was never forthcoming.

Sad to see the old school gone,

Dave Williamson.

Hello Martyn…by chance I came across the web site…  good stuff… I will spend some time re-living good old times.

I will send a letter when I get more time.

I was at the school from 1956 – 1963,  my brother Graham also attended from about 1961 – 1967.

 Regards from Canada

Ian Birtwell

PS if you need to know more about what I have been doing in science and sport (rugby) do a web search for Ian Birtwell…there are only 2 in Canada, both in British Columbia, but my namesake is associated with land developments and not fisheries and environmental research… from which I have just retired…

Hi Martyn.

Can I also say a big “thank you” for all your efforts at setting up such a brilliant site.

I was at SGS from 71 to 78 (I too did an additional year to re-sit my O levels – I got 3 the first time round and actually got my arse into gear and applied myself, getting another 5 in my “extra” year). It is great to hear the still fresh memories from so many forgotten old mates. I see their memories were ostensibly good, peppered with some bitter sweet times too.

Is any of the following familiar to anyone?

Annual doctor inspections – “cough now please!”
The Art room full of stupid papier mache shapes.
Buying your “lunch tickets” and having vague memories of some poor boys getting them subsidised.
Biology lessons – dissecting bull’s eyes and frogs legs. Being shown two lungs in formaldehyde – one normal and one from a dead smoker.
Cross country runs into Phillips Park and there being a “longer” option, coming back via Ringley Road.
The Black Pudding expelling (mentioned elsewhere) – brilliant!!
Playing table tennis in the outbuildings at lunch.
Football before school and at lunch on the courts near the railway line.
Playing throw ball “tag” with your mates. All run away from the one “on” if he hit you, you “froze” on the spot and joined him throwing at those not yet hit. A real team game!
Bunking off to the pie kiosk in the bus station. Fab pie and ketchup!
Geography field trip to Scarborough, sharing the hostel with the girls from Bishops Stortford - (sneaking into their rooms despite “sirs” patrolling the corridors!
Climbing the “Three Peaks” in under 8 hours, and getting a certificate to prove it (still got it!)
The Art teacher, who later ran an arty type shop in Bury Precinct.
Assembly – surrounded by the teachers in the main hall.
The two staff rooms upstairs, affording glimpses of the smoky, drink filled dens.
“Percy” the pump. Must have been bought specially – no-one is a size 14 surely!!
Cold showers – a la “Kes”

I still have the “Standian” from 1976. There are brilliant “Police file” profiles on Alan Leslie Smith (Big Al, Noggin), Frank Graves (Digger, Gravy, Sherlock), Phil Hargreaves (H or Haggis) – for “hobbies” – he put “working with stone”!!, Peter Murray (Sludge, Gobber, Dick, Prism) and Peter Martin (Mick, Tuffy, Doc).

Other interesting(??) articles include Legimus (remember the senior debating society?? No neither did I!!), The Fell Walking Club,  Aeromodelling society (WHAT!!), Community service visit to Prestwich Hospital (RS Cookson comments “the majority of the patients I met were schizophrenic, which means that any conversation with them flits from one subject to another, with no obvious connection” – a bit like talking to Haggis then!!.
I attach a couple of scanned pics from the Standian (76) – one is of the Fell Walking Club (writer features in silly hat (very “in” at the moment, but I looked a right knob then!)), and one of the Staff Soccer XI. (prize for getting all teachers names).

And finally – Yes I admit, I was the school porn Baron. I made a small fortune buying, selling and swapping sticky fingered copies of Penthouse, Playboy etc to lots of eager recipients. It all went horribly wrong one day when I tripped (was pushed!) down the stairs and a magazine fell out of by bag, landing centre page (mammoth breasts) fully open in front of the deputy head! I got the cane for that, but unlike Carl Marx, I still feel the market supply and demand theory will never let you down as a lesson in life.

Keep up the good work.

Julien Yates (5H for a while!).

Hello Martyn,
My late father, Arthur Tomlinson, attended Stand between 1943 and 1951. I have 2 copies of The Standian college pamphlet, one from July 1950, the other from July 1951. I attended for one year 1985-1986. I have scanned in the July 1950 issue and have attached a few pages to the email. It might be of interest.
David Tomlinson

I'm not exactly awash with space on the website, but why not?  Here's the pages from the Standian:  Page 1    Page 2 & 3

Once again visited the site and read some of the marvellous experiences of those who attended over the years. Particularly interesting was Spud Fletchers memories. Spud was a mucker of mine during the late 60's and we spent many a happy hour over at his parents house at the corner of Heywood Road and Bury Old Road. I seem to remember his entry on Friends Reunited. Also met another Old Standian after almost 35 years, one Gary Armitage, who reminded me that he left before O levels and it was suggested to him that he probably wouldn't achieve much in life, step forward Squadron Leader Armitage, and fellow Blue too. We have met up at a couple of City games this season with our boys.

Great work on the site Martyn, keep up the good work

Spud, if you fancy contacting me, e-mail

Roger Bowden

Dear Martyn,

I came across your website a few months ago, but there's so much material on it that it has been slow going getting through it all. And a great deal of it seemed to relate to a time after I had left : I was there from January 1960 (my family moved up from Bristol part-way through the school year when I was 11) until 1966. So I hesitated to get in touch …until this evening, when I found the contribution of Geoff Ingham, whom I remember well. What's more, he seems to remember me. He even remembers my initials correctly. But what he doesn't remember accurately is what happened on April Fools' Day 1966. He gets the incident right, but the victim wrong.

There was a plan - brilliantly executed, as he rightly recalls - to capture the pupil who was taking assembly and deposit him at the Girls' School (in our time - I don't know what happened later - the Headmaster took the main part of the assembly and he then left the hall, with the masters, and handed over to the Head Boy or his Deputy who finished things off with announcements and sent the boys on to their lessons). But the hapless victim wasn't me : it was the Head Boy, Paul Hindle. I was recruited by the conspirators (led, I recall, by one Jackson : does anyone recall the Youth Against Hunger march which he and I organised in 1966 ?) because they needed someone to take the assembly over from Paul once he'd been kidnapped. And, as the Deputy Head Boy, I was the natural choice.

The lectern was moved from its normal place on the stage (on the room 3 side) to the library side, in order to get Paul to stand on that side and thus facilitate taking him down past Joe Bog's room (room 7) and outside to the waiting vehicle via the New Building. Paul was duly abducted and I recall very vividly that when I had taken over from him and tried to get the school to leave the hall in the usual way they all stood still. Ah ha, I thought. Another conspiracy ! Quick as a flash, I did what you should always do - attack the weakest link. So I told the first formers in the front row to get moving. They were normally left until last and, doubtless shocked into compliance, they got moving and everyone else followed and the revolt was over. End of the excitement at the Boys' school. But in the meantime, of course, poor old Paul was going through his ordeal (or did he enjoy it ?) at the Girls' School.

I googled Paul the other day. I discovered that he was a Senior Lecturer in Geography at Salford University but took early retirement some time ago and now writes books about maps etc.

I was in 2L and 4L with Geoff. The 'L' was for Latin, of course. Our form masters were, respectively, 'Harry' Schofield and the Welshman, Clipper (don't recall his surname). Both fairly obnoxious from time to time. Clipper got his nickname from his habit of hitting people across the head as a punishment. He was going to do it to me - and my friend Mike Mellor - once because he thought (wrongly) that one of us had cribbed his homework from the other. I denied it vehemently and Clipper backed down. A lucky escape.

Like your other correspondents, I have many vivid memories of the very mixed bag of masters who taught us. I have seen mentions of Wimpey Longstaffe and his music lessons, which I dreaded. But he taught me Maths in the third and fourth years and he was very good. And he really came into his own when he started music appreciation lessons as part of general studies for 6th formers. I still recall his talks about Britten's War Requiem.

Ernie Hanson taught me Maths in the first and second forms. If anyone stuttered over anything he'd say, "This is Stand Grammar School, not the Grand Stammer School" - a bon mot doubtless visited afresh on each succeeding generation.

I have seen a number of mentions of Hairy Hynes (can't recall how his name was spelt), none of them flattering (understandably : he didn't come across well). He had a Mini, which he used to park in Church Lane and in 1965 some of the prefects (of whom I was one) had the bright idea of covering his car during assembly with signs saying something like "Win a Mini in the Heinz 57 Competition". Alas, we were caught in the act and carpeted by Austin Williamson. We thought we were all going to be sacked as prefects. But after our telling off that was the end of it.

My favourite masters were Goofy Hunter (also sometimes called 'Tab'), Johnny Frith, Ralph Bailey (who left before I did to take up a promotion as, I think, headmaster of another school) and Spike Cotterill (spelling? - it was one of the daftest things I ever did when I dropped his French classes at the end of the 6th form in favour of going on to do Latin at A level).

I left Stand to go to LSE to study Law. When I graduated I returned to Manchester and I have been practising here as a solicitor ever since. I'm currently a partner in a firm called DLA Piper, which has offices all round the world (although, as a commercial property lawyer, my remit doesn't extend beyond England and Wales !). I was followed at Stand by my brothers Philip (who died quite tragically at the age of 17 in 1975 from measles encephalitis : he's buried in Stand churchyard across the road from the school), David (who now has an importing business in Bury) and Richard (a pensions specialist who still lives near Bury but works in Leeds). My sister, Sue, went to the Girls' School from 1966 to 1973 (I think). She lives in Lymm. Five siblings all at Stand might be a record, I suppose.

I'm not in touch with anyone from Stand, socially, nowadays, although I instruct Jonathan Seitler QC professionally from time to time and I discovered a couple of years ago that a specialist dentist I was being treated by was also a contemporary of mine (whilst I was waiting for the anaesthetic to take effect !). And Martin Abrahamson (now much slimmed down from the boy I knew in 2L) is very much a force in the business community in these parts. Stephen Conn - a year above me - is an insolvency practitioner here. And I know of one or two other solicitors who practise here, although I'm not in contact with them. Michael Black (probably now in his early fifties) is a QC. Michael Field (another contemporary of Geoff's and mine) is a financial consultant.

Like Geoff, I should very much like to know what has become of others of the '66 vintage. And perhaps I'll even join the Old Standians - 40 years late !

Best regards

Steven Jennings

Hi Martyn

I notice from the email links on your SGS website that both Ian Levine and
Warren Johnson are deceased.

I vaguely recall that Ian was one or two years above me & seem to think that
he was a prefect at a time when I was particularly awkward to deal with
("normal" then, "awkward" with hindsight!) I think that I have some old SGS
annual magazines knocking around somewhere & he is in the prefect's photo
with David Hudson centre stage. Could probably scan them - the entire
things - and convert into PDF's if you want, but unless you have broadband
then I'd have to send to you via CD/DVD.

Warren's name rings a bell also, although it may be a totally different

I've searched your site as best I can using Google and this seems to confirm
Ian's memory. Very sad news, as I'm 43 and so presumably he has died
somewhere before reaching 45 - at his prime of life, basically.

One day, one day, I keep thinking I'll take you site and turn it all into a
database-driven version. Just for fun, not with any intention of going live
with it because it is your baby. Perhaps now is the time to dabble as it is
the sort of thing I do but, well, I'm short of things to do!

Regardless, please do keep up the work. Every now and then something else
pops up and back I go to see if anyone has mentioned it.

Best regards

Simon Tushingham
SGS 1974-79
Stand VIth Form C 1979-81, inc an extra term for my sins and which resulted
in the most extraordinary spectacle of Tabs Hunter running along the balcony
to hug me just prior to the Xmas hols. A Scotsman being demonstrative is a
memorable thing! Fantastic bloke.

Hi Martyn

Just thought I would cast yet another eye over this fantastic site as, unfortunately for me all those who started their Stand life in Sept 1966, this year is that awful time that is "40 Years On".

Who would have thought 40 years ago that the song we all sang would actually come to pass. And the even more frightening thought is that in some 5-7 years time it will be 40 years since we passed through those gates for the very last time. Some one pass me a tissue, that day will live on for ever.

I started out with Johnny Hewitt, having been the only two boys to have come from Prestwich Parish School, though at least one, Mark Alcock, went to Bury Grammar. John only went to Stand because he never tried for Bury, I think he would have easily got in there.

My first day was a nightmare, we had all assembled in the school hall, it must have been the day before school started properly, and the forms were being called out, each boy's name was called and allocated to the first forms, 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, my mistake, I didn't hear 1B, I heard 1D, form master - Mr Hargreaves. Next day at registration, each boy's name was called out and they duly went to stand quiety in the corridor leading to the new block, past the gym. Why was I still sitting there, the names had passed the "B"s, I was getting very worried. When the class was empty but for me, Haggis asked for my name, Bowden Sir came the reply, he disappeared, the lads outside were laughing, I was sitting quaking in my shoes, he returned and dragged me off to Room 5, Mr Wood's Form 1B where there was an empty desk in front of John Charlton, waiting for my backside to be parked. The humilation, as Mr Wood muttered, some boys, John Charlton whispered, "pillock".

It never got much better, fabulous days eh

My fondest memories are those of whom I would call my mates, different ones each year as we swapped classmates and took our various options, John C, Anthony Alexander, Mark Levy-Benchetten, Rob Parkinson from the Eccles No 6, Anthony Schock, Dave Whittle (the nights we spent down Sedgley and the dance at Hope Park Girls school, Dave and Tony could always get served at the "offy" cos they were tall lads, Tony could grow real sideburns aged 13/14, Mick Mills and the Motown concerts, Amo and the City games, Pete Preston, Rick Battin, Phil Rowe, Spud Fletcher (and his little sister - his older sister was at BGS with my older sister) Frazer Harris, Steve (?) Mort aka Trom, the Prefects and the 100 word essays on the inside of a ping pong ball, how mad was that; the Masters, Haggis, Don Revie (mind your car please sir outside Maine Road, all down to him) yes Miss B who always struggled with the top windows and who's skirt rode up over long long thighs, curse the invention of tights, a French Master from Room 23 ? always used to come into the room and complain about boys who fart, Joe Whit, Killer Crouch, kept me in after school and forgot me, the cleaners let me out of the TD room at 5.30, my mum was worried sick, Doc Barnes, Lumley, Fed Hill, Chippy Wood, PBH2 and badminton in the main hall, a PE teacher called Holden(?) Haggis used to call his class Holden's Holiday Camp, many many more who I will remember as names get floated before me. I could go on for ever.

I recently got in touch with Amo through Friends ReUnited and we met up at the City of Manchester Stadium just after his 50th, crap game warm beer, no change there then.

I have seen others very occasionally through Masonic contacts

I notice Charles Khan, of Berg & Co is a contributor, and know of him through Neville Johnson Offices Limited, I also married a girl from SGS Girls, and work with a bloke called Barry Filson ( any relation ?)

Where are the girls we knew at PPS who went to SGS Girls, Mandy McDonnough, Sheila Wentworth who married Rick Battin, Andrea Jenkins

 It all seems so long ago

Come to the Association Dinner all of you and let us revive old memories and friendships

Wonderful stuff

Roger Bowden
1966 - 1972

Hi Martyn
I've just received my OSA Centenary edition.
Amongst the articles is one about David Tomlinson and a recording in Stand Church!
I still have a 'vinyl' of a recording made in the Church, which I did think featured Zadok the Priest, but the label only mentions Fauré's Requiem and Bach Cantata 14 - Sleepers Wake. The record appears to be dated 1968 and the conductor was David Britton. The school choir was accompanied by The Northern Phoenix Orchestra.
I sang in the performance- Alto if I remember correctly!!
I think David T is also correct in that the BBC made the actual recording.
My son tells me that we could actually transfer the recording onto a digital format - so if anyone is really interested - I may be able to provide a copy!! - I would have to rely on my son's technical ability though!
I'm not sure whether you'd be able to pass this information to Anthony Wilding- I can't seem to find his email address anywhere.
I attended Stand from around 1965-1971. I would like to get to one of the Annual Dinners, but sadly the last Friday in November clashes with one of the few fixed things in my diary, where I have work in the Lake District!
I hope the above is of interest to someone.
Would you be able to add my email details to the site??
Brian Muir

Hi Martyn.
 I've just stumbled across your site and, I suspect, like many others, was a little overwhelmed. I was an internee from ' 73 to ' 78 in Philips, a classmate of a contributor, Peter Brown, (Hi Pele).  My first impressions of the old pile were mixed as 1P were banished to  the "temporary" cowsheds near the gym. Our form teacher was AW Denholm and I can still remember the  registration call:

Abrahams (colin)
Barlow (mark)
Brown (peter)
Chisnall (ian)
Crompton (andrew)
Dilworth (paul)
Endler (steven)

I start to lose it after that though I was closely followed by Daz Horne ( of whom more anon).

Reading your pages has brought back many memories though some references by contemporaries leave me blank. Who was this goddess Jenny Saunders? I'm lost, though over-powering perfume comes to mind. Strangely enough two of my most enduring memories involve the aforesaid Daryll Horne who, one day in first year, decided to charge stark naked over the desk tops, all the while being  observed by a horrified Miss Jones from a nearby classroom. Also it was Daz who first discovered the joys of public (very public) self abuse. Quite an eye-opener.

I left Stand in 1978 to join the merchant navy along with Martin Livingstone.The company we joined promptly went bust. I spent many years in the gulf hauling jet fuel in a war zone. I  suffered nary a scratch until being practically incinerated on a tugboat. Oh well.

I was shocked to hear that Ian Levine has gone. He was a good friend and a real character.

I hope to see more from you in the future.

Graham Farrington (Faz)

Martyn - Don't know you but you're doing a great job!  I've laughed for ages reading the stories from fellow captives that were subject to abusive, degrading and downright violent assaults by our captors. It was scary but it was also great fun. I was there from 1961 to 1966, arriving from Prestwich Parish School as a reasonably intelligent, if somewhat obnoxious, little kid. I went from 1B to 2L - a promising start studying Latin and Greek. From there my school career followed  the trajectory of a watermelon falling off a roof.

Harry Schofield who taught Latin and Greek was obviously immersed in the subjects but failed in a most spectacular way to impart the slightest knowledge of it to me, and I suspect most of the class. His words when handing back my homework will live with me forever, " Lupton, these are the incoherent ramblings of a raving lunatic". I was obviously failing but there was no effort to rescue the situation so I started on the downward spiral that was to be my time at Stand. Besides, the Beatles were changing the world and in my future career as a pop icon, Latin was not going to be as essential as a Vox 30 amplifier or a kit of Premier drums. I piddled my way through 3S, actually leaning sufficient Spanish to enable me, years later, to order 2 eggs boiled for three minutes and receive 3 eggs boiled for 2 minutes.

By 4L, I had lost the plot completely. Latin and Greek were a completely lost cause and by this time physics and chemistry were equally impenitrable. I can still recall the contorted look of undisguised and complete contempt that Revie gave me when I walked in one of his lessons wearing a CND badge.  He confiscated it, and very nearly took off my lapel in the process. I was really pissed off at this because it wasn't just a corny tin badge, it was a really nice steel one that I had worn, specifically to wind him up. I saw him about 15 years ago at my son's parent's evening at Bury Grammar School and he was a nice bloke - I mentioned the CND thing but he wasn't biting. Didn't give me my badge back either!  The thing I failed to realise in 4L was that two of my good mates were a whole lot smarter than me and could multi-task. They could piss about and learn at the same time. Me - I could just piss about. Dave Blume is now an OBE and President of Jaguar Motors in Japan and I don't know where John Dean ended up.

There are so many stories and memories that it would take pages to recount them. The masters I recall the most:

Ernie Hanson - good guy. "Lupton, I sympathise with you that you've mislaid your homework but sympathy without relief is like mustard without beef!"  ....and that to a vegetarian!
Haggis - need I add more to what's already been said?   Rarely have so many unattractive qualities come together in one person.
Chippy Wood - always enjoyed his lessons even though I seldom understood them. Was that me or him?
Roberts (Me-a-wobba) - I shall never forget his demonstartion of refraction where a pin was supposed to appear bent. Whilst writing on the blackboard somebody (I wish I could remember who) actally bent the pin. The man was never coherent but seldom have I heard anybody quite so incoherent!
Stirzaker - I liked him.  Just a straight on sort of guy and he taught well.
Frith - Maintained discipline with half a desk top, specially shaped at one end so he wouldn't lose grip as he pounded your arse.
Knox - I vividly recall him extolling the virtues of Spanish life and the siesta - with which he availed himself at every opportunity. I always imagined him to be a closet Marxist.
Wimpy - clearly an unbalanced and troubled soul. Teaching music and you don't like the Small Faces?  Don't think so!
Dobbin - great if you were good at art. I was soon able to add art to the growing list of things for which I showed no discernable talent whatever. I'm not sure he was ever aware that I existed.

Pupils I remember, in no particular order (besides those mentioned):

Bruce Pratt - daft name but a hard guy so nobody told him! Good fun.
Colin Hutchinson - shared my dislike of all things academic and we spent hours staring out the same windows. Stabbed the back of my hand with a pencil - I still have the mark.
Colin Radiven - family owned Collins Autos in Sedgely Park. Talked him into buying "Aftermath" by the Rolling Stones so I could hear it. I couldn't afford it.
Stephen Oliver-Watts - "I'm appalled at the number of footprints on the lavatory ceiling".
Russell Turnberg/ Jon Ash/Laurence Jerome - three Jewish guys who needed a drummer. We practised and practised but never actually played anywhere. Jon was talented.
Stephen Conn - I owe him apologies because I think I was rather unkind to him!
Tony Airey - all round good guy and great footballer.
Keith Taylor - one my good mates that I lost touch with.
Brian Taylor - I stabbed his arse with a fork in the canteen and was called before the Beak to convince him it was an accident. Just avoided the "swish"
Stephen Colbeck - strong silent type and clever with it, often wonder where he ended up.
Ian Pringle - quiet and literary
Ted Percival - parents owned a shop in Crumpsall - good company and funny guy.
Stephen Hesford, Dave Beswick, Barrie Davidson, Stephen Levy, Inky Bolton, Meeweezen, Birtwell, John Power, Ken Wrigley, Russell Cohen etc.etc....

I recall a skiing trip to Norway with Brien Crossfield that was great fun. Rather predictably, I was able to add skiing to my list of incompetencies but thoroughly enjoyed the apres-ski. I remember well falling off a ski-pull with Dave Blume and as I rolled over, my ski came off and started on a perfectly straight downhill trajectory. It hit the leg of Ian Black, a prefect a couple of years my senior and he was eventually snowboarded down the slope on a stretcher, in agony; the ski snapped in two. Going skiing and breaking someone else's leg has to be a first - probably the only distinction of my Standian years.

Who was it that half sawed off the leg of the piano so that it collapsed during Founder's Day (I think)?   Who floated an inflated Durex from the balcony at the end of term?  Who stole and drove off in headmaster Williamson's car - a huge Humber, if I remember correctly?  I can't remember now but they were outrageously funny episodes in an otherwise undistinguished 5 years.

Despite this appalling record of underachievement, I've managed to scratch a living in the brewing/pub business and am now half retired.  I've now reached the stage where it really is "Forty Years On" and what was a meaningless dirge, sung on autopilot, suddenly has meaning.  "Glimpses of boyhood......"

Keep up the good work!


Hi Martyn,

Thanks to your brilliant website I was able to get in touch with an old
friend from Stand, Craig Peck who moved to the USA and ended up becomming
a semi-pro footballer. It's odd that because he was rubbish when he was at
stand  ;-)  It was great catching up on the last 30 years and seeing that
Craig was doing well.

Unfortunately we lost touch again due to me having a long period of
illness, my email address changed and I lost Craig's. If you're out there
Craig, drop me an email at

Thanks again Martyn,

Dave Lewis

I started at Stand Grammar in 1953 and left five years later with three  o levels.

My eduction and achievement was a huge zero.  Maybe for the girlst school, the school motto Sto Ut Serviam was because they were training us all to be waitresses.

I hated the school.  The English Mistress took pleasure in being sarcastic to anyone who said anything imaginative, usually me.  She destroyed my confidence, in spite of which, or maybe because of her, I became a journalist.

No one questioned the fact that I as a bright person, was definitely underachieving.  We had no career advice except for someone asking us what we would do when we left.  I became a typist.

I once read a good book, title currently forgotten which puts forward the theory that the function of schools is to make sure that the majority of children achieve nothing and are satisfied with their non achievement.  Society would become unstable either with too many achievers or with too many dissatisfied underachievers.

I got 15 per cent in Maths, later, all by myself as an adult I studied O level Maths and got an A, I also went to University, joined Mensa etc. etc. none of it with the help of that poxy so called educational institution.

I think it was different for the boys.  At the time I was there, they got one or two lads into Oxford or Cambridge every years.  We had about three in the whole history of the school.

Sorry the boys school has descended into rubble.  They should have pulled the Girls school down instead.

estelle beninson

Hi Martyn,

I'm Peter Kirkman, and I attended Stand from 72-79. You've done quite a job putting this lot together. Room 32 must have been demolished as well, that was my favourite room, high up and accessible by two routes, bit like the bridge on Starship Enterprise.

I stumbled across this website entirely by accident as it appears quite a few people did. Felt alienated at first, it all seemed before my time and rather Greyfriars. Though to be fair the place was rather Greyfriars, it's only when I see Stephen Fry on the TV that I recognise anything from the present world that has any connection with SGS. I know he wasn't at Stand but I think you all know what I mean.

After a while I recognised some names, Wayne Jackson and Stephen Hamblett were two. Then of course the stories about the Crook incident poured forth from the early 70s intake. I remember it well, some of us knew Crook was going to do it as he didn't do any boasting before hand, he had a quiet determination. I also expected the attacks on Hargreaves, though I never called him Haggis, he was more Gestapo than Greyfriars and I wasn't going to be conned. Thought some of the attacks on the other teachers were unfair though. Clarke was our form teacher in the fifth year, he was nasty but he was alright. Hynes the biology teacher always describing our society as like the fall of the Roman Empire, looks like he was right after all. Thought Miss Jones was misrepresented by some contributors, she was unique.


Peter Kirkman

Hi Martyn

Just been sent the link to your website by an SGS contemporary (Pete Kirkman. Thanks Pete!). It took a while to pluck up the courage to log on. As with many of your correspondents the memories I have of Stand are mixed, some of them quite difficult. I'm prompted to write by the notice posted by Mark Horrocks of the death of Ian "Jez" Levine. I grew up just round the corner from Ian and he was in the year behind me at Stand. My most vivid memory  of shared schooling is from about 1977. He will have been around 15 at the time but already made a rather striking figure, his stout build squeezed into school uniform and his full beard making him look like a young W.G.Grace. On the day in question the driver of the No 6 (Hilton Lane/Spring Vale stop anyone?) refused to believe he was under 16 and wouldn't let him on the bus at child fare. I don't think it helped that Jez was smoking a roll-up.  Jez's understandable response was to stand in the road in front of the bus and put two fingers up to the driver yelling "Facist!" I don't know if he made it into school that day. I got to know Ian pretty well in the early 80's when we were both "between jobs" and used to hang about the pubs in Prestwich Village. I'm sorry to hear of his death, he was a great bloke.

David Glentworth (1972-1979)


I've never met you but I wish I could.  You've done the civilized  world a great service.

This comes from Ray Clayton, now of Stanford, California.  I attended  SGS from 1937 to 1944. I remember all the characters mentioned in the Ian Hanson piece who  were there during my time, including him and his older brother, Colin, who was my contemporary.   Their father taught beginning physics very well but I remember him most sharply for his  extraordinary dedication to the production of  the school plays, The Merchant of  Venice, What Happened to  George and Youth at the Helm among them.  The star of the last play was Stanley Josephs, a great talker who  went on to make a name for himself in the Manchester University  Union.  Portia was wonderfully played  by a young man whose surname was Fish and who had a most deceptively female appearance and voice -- until  hormonal changes kicked in.

I have so many deeply etched memories of Stand that I hardly know  where to begin.  Perhaps the first afternoon out on the football field is as good a place as any.  I  forget the details but of course the total number of shivering, yellow and black clad creatures did not divide evenly  by eleven.  There was a residue of about seven or eight who were either too fat, too emaciated, too small or  otherwise "challenged" (to use today's pc term) to have been selected as team members.  I was one of the skinny  ones.  We were "the left overs."  We were given to Monsieur Gasquet who neither knew nor cared the least about  football but saw it as his duty to have us running about while trying to keep his pipe lit, despite the  constant drip from his hooked nose.  On that cold, windy day we needed no encouragement to keep on the move.  We  had three incredibly fat Jewish boys, Leon Glickman, Sidney Bowman and Edger Cooper.  Edgar, the  fattest of all, was made goalie  on the theory that he would block most space.  The rest of us divided  ourselves into two mini-teams and competed in kicking the ball into the goal.  Gasquet, in his brown raincoat  and trilby, his back to the wind and constantly relighting his pipe, was satisfied.

The fact was that none of us in the left overs was any more  interested in football than Gasquet himself and we quickly developed a sort of perverse pride in being left overs.  Out  of that first interaction came some of the closest friendships of my SGS days -- especially with the Jewish boys, since,  though nominally a Christian, I was a non-believer.  My friendships with Sid and Edgar lasted until their  deaths.  Sid Bowman became a highly successful solicitor. In one famous case he won by getting the bailiffs into the Manchester  Town Hall.  He died young of a heart attack. Edgar qualified in medicine at Manchester and had a very successful  career in general practice in East Kilbride. He was a colorful, gregarious character, fond of good food and wine,  much in demand as a speaker at dinners and worshipped by his patients.  His high living cost him his  kidneys: he spent several years on peritoneal dialysis and died in the mid-eighties during an attempted kidney transplant.   I wept for a week.  After my emigration to the US in 1959 I had made a point of visiting him whenever I was back in  the UK and I saw him about six weeks before he died.

I didn't keep in touch with Glickman but I remember him as a  remarkable mimic.  He could take off the masters to a T and every Monday morning during the war he would replay the ITMA  radio show that everyone had listened to on the previous Friday night, with all the catch phrases and funny accents:  "Zeess iss Funf speakink" and Mrs. Mopp: "Can I do you now sir?" and Mona Lott: "It's bein' ser cheerful as keeps me  goin'!"  I'm convinced the war would have been lost without ITMA -- and we would have been lost without "Glicky".

Tony Nayman was another Jewish lad I was close to.  He was a  classical music freak who sometimes conducted symphonies that only he could hear in his head, though I don't think  he ever played an instrument.  Somehow Norwood got to know of his musical bent and gave him the job of selecting the  records that were played to accompany the processional entrance of the masters and prefects at morning  assembly.  Tony did a pretty good job of selecting solemn or inspiring pieces suitable to the pompous religiosity of the  occasion but he lost his job when, one day, he played "Rhapsody in Blue".  I don't know what became of him except  that he published a short humorous book called "The Man in the Barrel."

I recall Leslie Preger as more serious than the other Jewish boys --  not so given to the witty, wisecracking view of life as one big joke.  I have recently realized that this was the result  of his being raised in a strictly observant family.   We lost track of each other until some time in the 60s after I moved out  to Stanford.  He had been in San Francisco for some years and somehow we got together.  We still get together from time  to time over lunch and "the old days" are always good for a few chuckles.  Leslie has had a distinguished career as a  diagnostic radiologist.  Leslie's brother, Jack, was at SGS two or three years behind us so I  never really knew him.  Recently, however, through his contact with Leslie, I have got to know him and have  learned of his remarkable charitable medical work among the poor in India.  In fact it was an email from him, headed  "Sto ut Serviam" that prompted me to try googling  "Stand Grammar School."

Lest I give the impression that I had no goys among my friends, let  me mention some.  Ian Hanson mentions Alan Smith, the art teacher.  Alan and I knew each other from the age of 6 in elementary school ( the "British" in Heaton Park). He went to SGS a year ahead of me and we've kept in touch ever since  leaving.  He has had (and still has) a stellar career as creative artist, museum curator and world-renowned horologist.  He  specializes in restoring clocks of historical interest and in the design and construction of sundials on commission for  historic buildings.  He and his family have visited us in California several times.

Another close friend was Derek Findlay, a tall, handsome chap, a  formidable cricketer and my first climbing companion. (We bought 80 feet of rope and tried it out on Laddow Rocks with  marked lack of success.)  He served as a navigator in the war and survived to graduate from Cambridge as a geologist and  work in the Geological Survey.  He told me that once, when on leave from the RAF he visited the school wearing  civvies.  Bill Evans spotted him and evidently thinking he was still a prefect, called out, "Findlay!  Get those boys to stop  their stupid antics!"  Derek joined me in promoting the formation of the hiking club under the guidance of Mr. Whitworth --  our one lasting influence on the school.

Then there was Cedric Cross, a small, blond, curly-headed boy with  whom I shared an abiding interest in biology -- especially in searching for pond-life with our microscopes.  He went  on to be a biology teacher at a grammar school near Carnforth but his career was tragically derailed.  He went out  one night to view the Morecambe illuminations from a hill, fell down a limestone scarp and broke his neck.  Last I  saw of him several years later, he was hemiplegic, able to get around in a specially equipped car and  managing to teach and more or less take care of himself.  He had been a keen hiker and mountain climber.

There are many others whose names I remember and whose fates I would  like to know.  One in particular stands out: Roy Chilton  (or was it Shilton?)  He was something of a genius, always first in  all his exams but strangely asocial and withdrawn. I once asked Alf Housely about him but all Alf would say sotto voce,  was, "Very unusual boy, Chilton."

I can't avoid recalling the wartime school dinners, prepared by Mrs.  Dawson under the critical eye of Miss Forbes, whose haughty manner was attributed to the fact that her dad was manager of  the Halle Orchestra.  On the whole the dinners were pretty good -- especially the shepherd's pie.  With rationing the way it  was, those dinners were a major part of our sustenance. We were,of course, expected to say grace. Edgar Cooper would oblige  with, "For what we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly thankful and bless it to our metabolic processes."

On firewatch you could get a different view of the dinners and their provenance.  Going into the kitchen at night in search of some milk or a snack, there was a sound as of rustling leaves: rudely disturbed cockroaches were hastening from their feasting on whatever waste -- potato peelings etc. had  been left standing about.

I could go on and on, but I already have, so I won't.  I'll say a  little about myself in case there's still anyone out there who remembers me and cares.

When I started at SGS in '37 we had to attend Saturday morning  classes, which was a pain in the ass -- literally, as it turned out. After Saturday classes the masters would clear off, pronto,  leaving boys to lark about and get into mischief.  On one such occasion someone started tossing an ink-well around.  It bounced  off my head and broke a window.  There was the inevitable investigation on Monday morning at which Norwood satisfied  himself as to the details, in particular as to the trajectory of the missile.  He calibrated the expected punishment with great care.  Since I was not a ringleader, but merely had my head in the wrong place at the wrong time, he gave me 4  whacks, whereas the others each got 6.  I think it was the only time I got "swished".

I already knew at the start that I wanted to be a chemist doing  research on life processes, so chemistry and biology were always my strengths.  However, I soon found myself in love with French and was mortified when a change in the curriculum forced me to choose between French and Chemistry.  This was  especially bad because it left me  with Latin as my only foreign language and Latin was taught by an idiot called Smythe, who knew  more about de-motivating students than he knew about Latin.  I knew I would fail Latin, which I did -- along with more  than half the class. A Credit in a foreign language in the School Certificate was a requirement for matriculation.  Mr. Cottrel  ("Cotty"), the Spanish teacher, saved my bacon by offering to teach me German.  In those days German was "the language of  chemistry" so I eagerly accepted his offer.  We met once or twice a week during my PS periods, working our way through Otto's  German Grammar -- all in old Gothic script.  I got my credit
in an examination taken separately from the routine exams.  I hope I  expressed the gratitude I now realize I owed him.

The other masters who were of greatest influence on me were Alf  Housely (chemistry) and Phil Burch (biology).  Burch was a frail little man who always seemed on the verge of some illness but  he had an infectious enthusiasm for his subject and I kept in touch with him sporadically for some years after I left SGS.   Housely was also an enthusiastic and stimulating teacher. As I prepared for the University Scholarship exams he gave me a great  deal of help, sometimes having me at his house for private tuition.  He was a bachelor and I felt sorry for him in  his ill-furnished house that so obviously lacked a woman's care.

Bill Evans was known for his irascibility but I remember him for his  having offered me the most reassuring and compassionate words of any master at SGS.  English language and literature were  among my top subjects and Evans had high expectations of me in the School Certificate exam.  But in the exams I fell apart.   Instead of the expected "Very Good" I failed in literature and scraped by with a credit in  the language part.  The damning results  were posted on the notice board in the entrance hall.
I can still see myself, speechless, trying to say something to Bill  Evans as we confronted each other in the assembly hall. He growled at me, "You dare to speak to me!"  Then, immediately  followed up with, "Well, never mind, lad.  It doesn't matter. You still have the ability."  I wonder if he knew how much those  words meant to me.

In 44 I left, having got a University Scholarship -- which turned out  not to mean anything because after war service anyone could get a government further education grant that was worth more  than the scholarship.  Having a deep seated fear of regimentation, and a real curiosity about a way of life that was  quite alien to me, I took Ernie Bevin's option and chose to serve in the coal mines.  My urge to see "another side of life" was  more than satisfied by my stint in the Sandhole pit at Walkden. I was disabused of any notions of the nobility of honest physical  work.  No amount of money, I concluded, could compensate a miner for his degrading labor.  I got out on medical grounds in 46  in time to enroll in the Manchester University Chemistry Department.  I got a Ph.D. in Steroid chemistry in 52 and used this  as a stepping stone to biochemistry by working on cholesterol biosynthesis, first at Chicago, then at Harvard,  I  returned to Harvard from the UK in 1959 and was appointed Professor of Biochemistry in the Dept. of Psychiatry, Stanford  Medical School in 1963.  I retired in 1991.

When I left SGS I never joined the OSA,  I wanted to leave it all  behind me.  I felt the education there had lacked some elements essential to understanding the dynamic state of the world -- almost  Dickensian in character.  The realities of the emotional life were repressed -- which made Bill Evans' remark to me so memorable.  On  our final day, when Norwood gave his farewell homily he summed it up, I thought, when he admonished us to "be honest but don't wear your heart on your sleeve."  In other words: Keep a good old British stiff upper lip.  It's a wonder any of us  ever formed loving marriages.

Martyn, I've written far more than I intended and probably more than  you want.  I just got carried away.  However, I must warn you that if you put me in detention for this, I'll have one of my teenage  grandsons hack into your computer and put you out of business for good!

Keep up the good work.  I'll be glad to hear from anyone (especially  over the age of 80) who contacts me at <>

Ray Clayton.

Dear Martyn,

First of all: A Happy New Year to you -- for whom it must already  have started, while we in California are still awaiting the magic  moment.

I thought I would pass along a trivial bit of info about the name  "Stand".  I have a number of old maps of Lancashire, from the days  when I was studying the development of technology.  The earliest one  is a map by John Speed, dated 1610.  It shows Manchester and  "Sawford", "Preswicht", Heaton, Bury, "Edgecroft", Pilkington Park  and, in its appropriate place, "Ye Stand".

The name does not appear on the much more useful (to the traveller of  those days) Bowen map, dated 1753 but reappears in the Carey map of  1806 as "Stand Chapel".  It is absent from a map of the 1830s that  shows the new Manchester -- Liverpool railway, as well as the Duke of  Bridgewater's canal (also shown in the 1806 map).

Googling Lancashire place names, I found the name probably derived  from a Saxon root, meaning a stony place, which sounds right to me.   The place name source pointed out that as a place name, "Stand" has  passed out of use, to survive only in such local names as Stand Lane,  Stand Church and, until recently, Stand Grammar School.

What I find intriguing about this is that "Stand" was some sort of  recognized locality -- a hamlet, possibly -- from which the school  took its name and, by way of a pun, its motto!  I was always curious  as to which came first: the name or the motto.  Now it seems that the  founders must have had a sense of humor not unlike that of my  contemporaries.  We were dreadful punsters!

Wishing you and yours all the best for 2008... Ray Clayton.

Hi Martyn, I was pointed in the direction of your website by my daughter-in-law, and found it fascinating. I went to Stand Grammar in the Autumn term in 1935, and left in December 1939. In my first couple of years, the school was co-educational, until the girls' Grammar School opened in September 1937. I remember the highlight of the year was the girls' gymnastic display in the hall, which all the boys were allowed to watch from the balcony. The headmaster in those years was George Locke, who took every form in the school for one lesson each week that he called 'Sharp practice'. In other words, mental arithmetic. He was a mathematician who had written textbooks on the subject, and we all thought he was a marvellous head. He retired as the school became boys-only. It is odd that I can remember his name, but not the name of his successor.

I noted from one of your other correspondents that Francois Gasquet was still teaching for sone time after I had left. He was an excellent teacher of French, and I still remember his exhortations to speak with the correct accent. Others I remember were Mr Barber (Geography), Mr Joynson (History and Music Appreciation) and Bill Evans (English). Evans had the habit of 'knuckling' your head if Displeased. Corporal punishment was a feature of school life, and I remember having six of the best on my backside, having been caught smoking during the morning break with three of my friends. It was typical of the arrogance and insensitivity of the headmaster to lecture us for some time about the evils of smoking before thrashing us, whilst his packet of Players cigarettes was left on full view on his desk,

I guess that most of my contemporaries will have passed on. Certainly some were lost during WW2, including Stanley Barlow, who was the school gymnastic champion. He and Jimmy Ince and I were keen ice skaters, but in no time at all Stanley was miles ahead of us in skill. Stanley was killed in a Lancaster that crashed on return from a bombing raid. Jimmy Ince went into the Navy, and I was his best man at his wedding shortly after the war. Frank Richmond also went into the Navy, I think, and Cyril Smart into the Fleet Air Arm. I can't remember what happened to the rest, and having moved North to Newcastle on Tyne, I never attended any of the school reunions.

Leslie Thomas

Congratulations on a brilliant website! I was introdued to it by Ray Clayton, an outstanding chemist, nurtured by Alf in the 1940's. Clayton was a contemporary of my brother Leslie - both reside in California. I work in Calcutta and have an Old Standian Jason from Radcliffe here in our NGO, Calcutta Rescue. I was at Stand 1942 - 1948 and was in the Sixth Form with Henry Livings, Alan Flacks and the Shaw Brothers. Livings became a playwright and actor and wrote a column for the Manchester Guardian. A joke he told me circa 1947 I read many years later on recycled in his column.

At Stand I distinguished myself by getting a place at Oxford, but after I graduated I had a job as a "Relief Milker" with an agency which sent me to milk cows all over the country. One winter evening I was off to an assignment in Pembrokeshire, standing in gum-boots and an old hand-me-down greatcoat on London Road Railway Station. A gentleman nearby kept eying me in this rig: it turned out to be Mr. Medlar, the Headmaster. I felt it might be difficult to explain adequately how I got to where I was at that time.....

One thing I kept all these years: a love for Spanish, which I developed with Mr. Hawley's teaching.

What happened to the marble plaque in memory of Robert Lord Clive of India, opposite which was the slightly more modest board with chipped gold lettering, the bottom line of which announced Preger, J. Manchester Corporation Bursary 1948? Clive did great and nefarious things in Bengal, where I've been for most of the years since 1972. Following in his footsteps perhaps, although unlike Lord Robert I wasn't expelled from Stand. I was however expelled from Bangladesh and have spent 8 years under trial in India. Have any other Old Standians done porridge?
The last time I visited the School some Old Standians were demonstrating outside against the demolition. Sic transit gloria mundi.
With best wishes,

Jack Preger

Hi Martyn, 
 I never met you but I congratulate you for persevering with  the  site.   What would they all  do  without you ?

I left in 1958 and have to admit I felt sorry  to leave - I enjoyed every single minute of the years spent at Stand ( unlike many of my peers and my younger brother  Malcolm).

It has been very interesting  to find  that  a few of the boys of my era have contributed  to your columns - but not many really. It is also interesting how most  of the charismatic leaders of that era (Derek Utley, Bill Barton, Brian Keating, David Ellis & Co. - people who seemed to have  Stand GS in their blood) have not been caught by the site, and are hardly mentioned  by those who have.   I accept  that Ian Wagstaffe is the exception.
I have to be honest and say  that by far the greatest highlight during my school years was the absolute  pure joy in representing the school 1st XI  on  the football pitch . I am sending with this contribution 3 photos from 1957, one of the (arguably) best 1st XI.s for many years, (every member of the team was awarded colours),  and staff photos of the science masters and arts masters around that time.

The photos of the staff have their names printed, (as if this was needed),  but to help jog a few memories the football players are :  back row left - right  : Ralph Settle, Bill Hall, Ian Lee, Graham Christey,  A Kirkpatrick (Alan ? ), Barry Kinsey.   Front row : Mel (Willie) Wood , Johnny Pimlott, Derek Utley, Jimmy ( spoonboots) Arnold, and Malcolm Storrie.  Where are they now ?

I did  notice  that the OSA has recently added  a new name  to its committee (J Arnold) - it can only be Jimmy (?) so I'm hoping  that the annual  dinner might provide a happy reunion !

Another  thing I have noticed about  the  contributions is that "Haggis" gets more comments  than any other member of staff . It is almost  as though he is the  first thing  they think  about  when they try  to jog  their   memories.   Quite right too.    Though  he was feared and even hated by many boys of my generation,  he has nevertheless  been  the person I  respected most at school and  he gave me values I have carried through my life.  If  you read these paragraphs PBH  - A GREAT MANY THANKS,  and though I keep picking up comments that your health has been a problem I hope that such  problems have  been resolved and that you can once again enjoy a full life.
Best wishes  to  all  your readers and especially  any  who might remember me
Mel ( Willie ) Wood  1950 - 1958.

Stand Arts Staff

Stand Football

Stand Sciance Staff

Hi Martyn,

 Found my school cap the other day and for some insane reason typed Stand Grammar on the web and here we are. I  ‘did time’ from 1959 - 1966. I was surprised to hear the school had been demolished -  thought it would have made a good tourist spot  -  like Alcatraz  -  you know the sort of thing ‘This is the famous Gym where the inmates were used for target practice by strangely named teachers (Haggis)?’. I was in 1a, 2c, 3s, 4a, 5s. The first few masters we met lulled us into a sense of security  -  Mr Ogden (Joe Bog) room 7 was pretty harmless if not slightly batty  -  told stories of the trenches in WWI, smoked in the break and covered up the smoke by spraying perfume before we came back. He and teachers like Mr Whitworth (Joe Whit) treated us normally. Some recollections of various masters…

Mr Moore  -  History 1a  -  lolling against the wall and saying after consulting a paper ‘It says here Battle of Hastings 1066, so I suppose you’d better write that down’ - talk about being put off History.

Fred Knox (Spanish) was off sick so he sent instructions for an assignment - trouble was it was delivered by the ‘erg’ Mr Roberts who walked into the classroom and said ‘ Mumble, gurgle, mutter - test tomorrow!’ We hadn’t a clue what to prepare -   Next day Fred Knox was angry ‘til we explained who’d delivered the message - got away with it for once.

McGuire - Gym teacher - a sort of trainee Haggis who used to wield a wedge shaped piece of wood with a cord attached - very painful -  called it Willy the wedge. (Where did they find these guys?)

Ernie Hanson - Maths - would call a boy to the front of the class ‘Come  forth Smith, if you come fifth you’ll be disqualified’

Revie - Physics -  after checking homework would throw exercise books with deadly accuracy onto your desk. If however you had removed some pages (a cardinal sin) this would be discovered, as it spoilt the flight trajectory and would  fall short - then you were for it.

W.P Burch - comes out of room 14? On balcony was a big traffic jam of boys shoving each other in both directions.  Goes back in, comes charging out with a Boa constrictor on his arm - end of jam.

Wimpy Longstaff - doing those singing exercises - doh mi re fa etc. I’d been off sick so didn’t know the latest one - I was just about to be decapitated when I was saved by a brave soul sticking up for me - I was too frozen with terror to defend myself. On another occasion - music appreciation someone put on a record of Joe Brown and the Bruvvers full volume -  don’t remember the result but was worth it. In detention Wimpy made us copy out ‘Proverbs 15’.

 Cross country running as a detention - I remember a car pulling up and the driver saying ‘ My heart bleeds every time I see  you poor buggers - get in’.

 That’s all for now - emigrated to Israel in ’72 so this was a real trip down Memory (Church) Lane. For all those who mentioned Schlesinger ‘Slaz’ - he was my uncle, came to the School just as I was leaving.

Writing this was great therapy - I was just getting over it 40 years on.

Victor (Shlez) Schlesinger 

Hi Martyn,

I recently took my daughter for a look round at Tottington High School (where she will be going this September) and was amazed to discover that Jasper Swift is head of mathematics there. He retires in 2009 apparently. He hardly looks any different and still travels in from Glossop every morning, although these days he has a car rather than putting himself at the mercy of British Rail! Rather worryingly, he remembered me from the year he taught us Physics!

On a more sombre note, a former schoolmate has informed me that Mr Smethurst passed away last Christmas and also that Mr Crouchley is also no longer with us although obviously I can't confirm any of this.

Tony Holt, 1973 - 1978.

Hello Martyn Arnold,

Last year on a visit with cousins in Whitefield, I took a stroll in order to take a look at my old school Stand Grammar, evoke a few memories of the years I spent there from1942-47. To my dismay all I found were some red brick posts giving way, no longer to playing fields and the sound of the twenty two men. but to a sad oh so boring housing development.

Unfortunately many of the contributors to your site post date my years at the School though many of the teachers' names and head masters are familiar. My first year brought me the form prize for which I selected a book, still precious to me " The architecture of England" by Frederick Gibbard and it eventually led to a career at Machester University then to practice in Canada and teaching at McGill University in Montreal and as Director of the School of Architecture at Laval University in Quebec city. The latter is a francophone institution so Mr Cockeril's efforts weren't totally wasted.

Looking back, memories of our teachers are in some cases softened by time, hardened by others. We made life miserable for the gentle erudite Mr Ogden - I remember bringing his little son the future celebrity John from the bus station for a recital. English teacher Mr Evans who rewarded my compositions and picked me -against all logic - for a first team soccer practice because I made the under fifteen's rugby team at my previous school! I didn't disappoint him and drop-kicked a goal over the head of the opposing keeper.

Many of your correspondents speak warmly of Mr Whittaker. He wasn't my teacher but I did accompany one of the expeditions he led to the Yorkshire moors and shared his enthusiasm for boxing. He was disappointed when I gave the sport up when I began architectural studies - couldn't risk injury to my drafting hand. Alan Smith the art teacher was an encouraging mentor while the person who who taught Metalwork was a brutish type who should never have been admitted beyond the door of a teaching institution. My history teacher whose name I cannot recall was responsible in an adverse way for my commitment to social and political causes - way back when I went canvassing for the Labour party in post-war years. He allowed me to joust with the conservative historian's approach and gave me credit for my positions. All in all I benefitted from my education at Stand. it enabled me to gain admission to the University at a time when 75% of places was reserved for 2nd World War veterans and set me off for a career that has given me great satisfaction.

Several of my close school friends were in a different stream but this didn't deter us from joining the same youth club, chasing the same pretty girls, forming our own cycling club and going carol singing in aid of the war vets. I didn't come across their names on your site – David Whitehurst, Geoff Whittam, John Waddington nor those of table tennis adversary Brian Simons or super athlete and boogie woogie pianist Joe Siroto. I rember those painful cross country runs, painful because we never trained adequately for them. I took up long distance running when close to fifty and clocked several marathons, including London's. I now restrict myself to10k jogs and keep on cycling.

In 2002 I organised a virtual 50th anniversary university class reunion. Look forward to the 60th in 2012 and congratulate you for your web efforts.


Joseph Baker


I just came across your web page whilst killing some time. Most interesting, especially the pictures of the demolition -how sad!

I started at Stand in 1950 and for the first year occupied Stalag Room 21. I remember there was a coke stove on a concrete hearth in the room and it used to glow red hot. No fireguard of course ( pre 'elf & safety). Unfortunately, one day somebody tripped on the concrete and fell with his hand on top of  the stove. I can still hear the screams now but cannot recollect who it was.

I went through all the years up to 1957. The last two years being in the Science Sixth occupying one of the "new rooms" between the woodwork room and the canteen. The canteen was built on the site of the old air-raid shelters, in 1949 I think.

Staff I can recall were as follows;

Sammy Medlar: Headmaster. Fairly benign sort of chap but as I found to my cost he was a dab hand with the cane in his study.

Joe Whit: Maths and History. He was a world renowned expert on Cistercian Abbeys. He also ran (despite his bulk) the boxing club, of which I was a member.

"Old Man" Clarke: Maths. He used to punish you by inviting you to his tea-party. This was held once per week after school. The "criminals" had to sit upright with arms folded and watch him eat his tea. Of course talking or fidgeting resulted in a return visit.

Ernie Hanson: Maths. He could draw a perfect circle on the board. His punishment was to give you one or two 7 digit "cubes" to do, and he used to check them the following day.

Joe Bog (Ogden): English He made the subject extremely interesting and taught us how to analyse sentences in coloured boxes. Punishment from him was to write out (with all details) a page of Oxford School Dictionary. Again this was checked. His son became a world famous concert pianist.

Ivor Glynn Jones: Woodwork and ( "You'll do gym naked boyo") Gym. If you forgot your gym kit this was what happened.

P Hargreaves: Gym and Sport. If you turned up with dirty kit or misbehaved he used "Percy" and your backside. Percy was a size 14 gym shoe and it certainly stung. He ran a "gym club" after school and through this I was included in the School Gymnastics team. Also he introduced basketball.

Dickie Vause: Geography and History "Doc" Roberts:- Geography and Maths.

Willie P Birch: Biology.

"Twitch" Spooner: French A good teacher but was respected for his virtuoso performances on the Grand piano in the hall most lunch times.

Frank Hill: Maths. Unfortunately I had his tutelage for GCE O level maths. He was "Mr Memory Man" He knew all the log tables by heart and could never see the difficulties we were all having with Calculus etc. Brilliant man but a poor teacher.

"Fluebrush" Moore: Maths, Chemistry and Physics. A tall thin man who was very aptly nicknamed. Excellent teacher with a good sense of humour. His punishment was 3 strokes of a 12" metal ruler across the backside - ouch!

Les Lumley: Physics. Brilliant teacher who everybody in the Science 6th respected. He had his hip replacement done in about 1956. Due to his immobility he was a crack shot with a board duster thrown across the lab at  anyone not paying full attention.

"SAP" Hamer: Maths. What a lovely man. He was Science Sixth form master and maths teacher for two years. Everybody liked him. He died in 1958.

Colin Firth: Chemistry. He was completely different. Although fairly strict he made learning fun. He ran an after-school chemistry club for us in the Science Sixth. After 5pm he used to send someone down to the pie shop for  refreshments for us all. He also handed out the fags to those who smoked.

We learned many things outside the curriculum in this club including making Nitrogen Tri-iodide explosive. This was a black powder which we sprinkled liberally round the school with expected results. - we eventually got caught and caned.

In 1955 Sammy Medlar retired and a Mr Williamson was appointed head.  Dramatic changes immediately. He was anti-science and did not appoint any prefects from the Science Sixth. He changed the long standing "Forty Years On" to some Latin dirge "Gaudeamus Igitur" - Awful. He made Latin compulsory for new boys, and made wearing the school cap for Sixth Formers compulsory. He was not well liked!

I well remember two April Fool days when we fastened the Russian flag up the flagpole at the front of School. Another time we entered school the previous night, through a window we had wedged open, and moved all ( well, most) of the desks and tables round. We didn't dare touch the grand piano though. Then we went round to the Girls' school and did the same there. My wife who is 3 years younger then me and attended SGS for girls says she can still remember the chaos we caused. We were lucky not to get expelled for this prank.

I would love to hear from some of my friends from the 6th form. - if they are still alive and kicking. We had some good fun together. Especially the following:

Peter Raymond, Graham Leadbetter, Mike Pickup, Mark Punchard, Geoff Galley. Please contact me on:

Paul  Crompton

Hi Martyn

A small contribution to the site.  I was discussing pupil discipline with my son, who is now a Maths teacher (that will stun Messrs Hill and Broadbent) and he was telling me some of the things he has to endure.  It reminded me of when I was sent out of class by Wimpy for breathing!  Really.  We were copying some music from his (pristine, if you remember) blackboard and I happened to take a deep breath.  He whirled round shouting "Who was that?". No answer, since nobody knew what he was talking about.  "The heavy bweather", he shouted (never could quite pronounce his r's, could he).  I owned up, since it seemed harmless enough, and was sent to stand in the corridor.  Derek Broadbent walked passed and asked why I was outside. "For breathing heavily Sir", I replied.  He looked through the window in the door and walked away, smiling.

Frank Roebuck

Oh, and one other, and I swear this is true.  Joe Whit was once discussing the mysteries of conception in an R.E. class.  He commented that "some couples can try for years and never have a baby, and yet others hardly need to reach the bed and pregnancy will result".  Then with his arm raised to his shoulder with the little finger of one hand crooked, in that familiar style of his, he said "Now boys, I think somebody has a finger in it somewhere".

Still makes me smile!

I have just found your site, having been an attendee of the school from 68
till 73/74 when I was persuaded that my future prospects did not lie with
Stand I became an apprentice draughtsman, then a Fireman, ultimately a
senior officer in the fire service. I am hoping to refresh my memories and
contacts with school mates and now have the facility.

best regards
Paul Taylor

I was a pupil at Stand Grammar School from 1947 to 1953. Sammy Medlar was the headmaster and after him the most senior teacher was the Latin master Mr Gaskey or Gaskell. Mr Gaskey was famous for carrying around an old chair leg.  No, he wasn’t a DIY enthusiast, it just happened that his preferred weapon of mass boy destruction was an old chair leg. Fortunately I never did Latin but I was told the chair leg was administered to the back of the knees. Youhave to admire his originality for choice of weapon and body part.

Next in seniority came the Maths teacher ‘Old Man’ Clarke with whom I was to have a serious confrontation in my first few weeks at the school.  In one of my very first lessons he told me to stop grinning.  For some reason I had never come across this word before and a word started with gr... eg, grunt, groan, etc  suggested to me that I was pulling a face.  My reaction was to gently smile. ‘Stop grinning, boy!’ he thundered.  I smiled a little more, why was he getting so angry?   He hauled me out of my seat and gave me a considerable shaking. By this time I was certainly not smiling any more and was probably crying.   My punishment for this perceived insolence was to be invited to one of his famed tea parties after school. No tea and cakes, just extra maths for 45 minutes.   This actually was preferable to detention, as it didn’t show on your school report so your parents never found out.  This turned out to be my one and only skirmish with him.  I scored 90% in maths at the end of the first term and he gave me top grades for progress and diligence. In the end I quite warmed to him and preferred him to my other maths teacher, Mr Hanson.  Hanson set homework that no boy or parent of boy could do.

My French teacher was Spike Cotterell. Was he paid a bonus for every boy he put in detention?  Each week Spike gave you 10 words to learn to spell, less than 5 in the test was a straight detention.  Not a big ask, you might think. He must have trawled the dictionary for difficult words which always seemed to contain a lot of vowels and accents. I’d swear that the directions of these accents changed between the time they were first written on the board and the time they were tested. Getting a pass of 5 out of 10 required a monumental effort.

Joe Bog was one of my English teachers. In the May 1948 school photograph Joe has a full head of hair. I think it was the following year that he had a religious conversion and came in one day, much to the amusement of everyone, with his head completely shaved. It was very rare to see a shaven head in those days.  Sammy Medlar must have been horrified. Along with the shaven head he started to spend the entire length of the morning break upside down in a headstand position against a classroom wall.  He was very moody and had a violent temper which once resulted in him having what can only described as a fight with a boy in my class. Someone mentioned that Joe had told them that he was a former inmate at Prestwich Mental Hospital. Was he out on day release? This man was seriously weird.

Of course, the vast majority of teachers were normal guys who treated you well and tried hard to teach you something. Things were beginning to change and new blood was coming in and replacing the old guard.  The most memorable new teacher was the unfortunately-named ‘Goofy’ Hunter .  It was a boy in my class who gave him his nickname and it seems to have stayed with him. Goofy was young, enthusiastic, had a sense of humour and tried and mainly succeeded in making History lessons interesting.

The most famous ex-pupil from my era was John Spencer.  He was a schoolboy snooker genius. When he was 15 his photograph appeared in the sporting pages of the Manchester Evening News. He had beaten a visiting top professional in an exhibition match in a working  mens’ club.   Sammy Medlar was not amused and John left the school a short time after. He went on to be one of the world’s top professional snooker players in the 1960’s and 1970’s and was world champion several times. John sadly died a few years ago and there were extensive obituaries in the papers.  A biography entitled ‘Out of the Blue and into the Black’ is a good read.  There is not a great deal about his days at Stand but there is an interesting photograph of the Stand Grammar School Under 14 Cricket Team; John was the captain.

Highlights of my time at Stand were the Scientific Society’s visits to Chester’s Brewery where most of us sampled our first half-pint of real ale. We also went down a coal mine, crawling the last few yards to reach the working coal face. Other visits I remember were to the Senior Service cigarette factory, Helmsley House (newspapers) and Cadbury’s. Another highlight was a tennis match against the Girls’ School.

It was great to read the letters on the Stand Website but very sad to see the demolition pictures. The comments about teachers of my era were particularly interesting to me and that is the reason why I have written some of my memories to hopefully share with others.

Peter Madeley

I have been resisting, but I’ve cracked – I’ll have to share my memories of Stand Grammar School for Boys (“We Stand So That We May Serve, laddie, so stand up!!” – Haggis, Room 7, 1975). Paul Williams here, “Charlie”, SGS 1975 – 1982. I can’t say I enjoyed Stand, in fact I bloody hated it, in the first two or three years especially when the main function of first/second formers was to be thumped by staff or picked on by towering, sullen older kids. But the stories are there of course, even if some of them weren’t funny at the time.

I’ll start with a few catchphrases and idiosyncrasies: there was ‘Smelly’ Smethurst who would dismiss a hapless numpty with the line “go away, laddie, go and play with your Dinky Toys!” He came from Brandlesholme every day in a Renault hatchback , how I prayed to see it vandalised.  And ‘Cedric’ Cheetham’s whistle when he said the letter S, a bit of a problem when you had a habit of saying “see?” at the end of every sentence.  Or Jenny Saunders, who would shout over the tumult in 3E, “THIRD year! You are the WORST behaved class I have EVER taught!” Ah miss, I bet you say that to all the boys… Then there were any number of teachers whose catchphrase was probably “YOU BOY!!!!!!!” I recall being chilled to the bone once, when the ‘front’ steps were banned to all except staff and sixth formers. Why so petty? Why make a kid walk down to the entrance at the ‘new’ block and then walk BACK to room 1? But never mind, ‘twas ever thus. A friend of mine (not sure who it was, could’ve been ‘Doo-Dah’ Day) decided to go down the forbidden steps for a dare (ooh daring!) and I pursued him to warn him that he’d get into trouble – only to hear that chilling ‘YOU BOY!’ in my ears from Hairy Hynes. Got quod for that, doo-dah got away with it. I’m sorry that Hairy has passed on but if I’m being frank he was a git. He once humiliated a pupil in Biology (‘Inch’ Minch, who at the time was a bit vertically challenged) in the lab by commanding him to stand up. As ‘Inch’ slid off his tall lab stool, Hairy shouted “I TOLD you to stand UP!!” “I AM standing, sir,” was the pained reply.

Talking of ‘Inch’, he was one of my compatriots in Engineering Drawing ‘taught’ by ‘Killer’ Crouchley. Killer would set us to work (was it room 31?) and bugger off for ages, no one ever found out where he’d gone. Inevitably the work would peter out and the chat would start, inevitably involving a kid called ‘Paddy’ Smithies whose wedding tackle was the source of much admiration at gym – if Paddy left his trousers off, he could’ve stood in for a set of cricket wickets. Anyway, if you were careful your early warning system would suss out Killer’s impending return, but one day we got careless and in mid-chat the door flew open and Killer strode back in, clearly furious that just because he’d naffed off for half an hour the work pace had slackened. Now in ED, it was hard to get to the back of the room; there were big drawing boards in the way. But the most careless boy of all, the one who’d just carried on talking for that last half-second as the door flew open, was at the back. The room was utterly silent, we knew that we were in big trouble. The atmosphere was electric. I don’t recall exactly who the victim of the next little exchange was, or who the kid at the back was, but we’ll call them ‘Smith’ and ‘Jones’. Killer spoke, low, not shouting – ohmigod, when he did that we knew we were in DEEP sh*t. “Smith,” said Killer through clenched teeth to ‘Smith’ on the front row. “Jones is talking. (long pause.) I can’t reach him, but I can reach you.” Then WAP! Killer’s right hand described a perfect arc and caught ‘Smith’ on the side of his head, almost knocking him off his bench. He’d get three years for that today.

On the subject of teachers leaving the classroom, we were taught French for a while by Nia ‘Nelly’ Jones in the room that was first on the right on the ground floor of the ‘new’ block – I don’t remember its number but it may have been room 29. At the back of the room was a large stationery cupboard, in fact a small room, and – it may have been coincidence – ‘Paddy’ McCafferty always seemed to need something from that stationery room while Nelly was teaching us in there; and he always seemed to need Nelly’s help in finding whatever it was he was searching for. There would be long pauses while we strained our ears to hear what was going on in the room behind us. Miss, if you read this we weren’t being quiet because we were diligent – we were trying to listen to see if you were snogging.

‘Nelly’ Jones and I had a relationship based on entirely mutual respect – I didn’t really like her, she didn’t really like me, and we both knew where we stood. After two years doing French with the utterly brilliant Dave Wolstencroft I went to Nelly, and every bloody year after that I’d scan the timetable on 1 September to find my name under Nelly AGAIN! She taught me all the way from third year to A-level, I got a decent grade at both so I mustn’t complain.

Smellie was a nasty piece of work, goodness knows what I did to the gods to end up being taught by him for four years. Every single report he’d give me an E, then just to spite him I’d do the summer exam and do really well and be in his top maths set again. Andrew (Jasper) Swift however was an utter delight, a true gentleman. He didn’t teach me Maths, he was form master in my third year, and the story on the website about him walking along the railway track from Glossop when the weather was bad is completely true. Jasper, if you read this, thanks – you were a sane tutor in a mad world.

Talking of gentlemen, one must mention ‘Tabs’ Hunter – deputy head by my era. In my A-level season I had an exam clash and it was resolved by me staying overnight with him and his wife, somewhere in the Gardner Road area in Prestwich, and while there listening to the radio news (I don’t think they had a telly) I heard that Princess Diana had had a baby boy (William). I know that Tabs has died, but he really was one of the best.  (I hadn't heard that, I'll check at the next dinner and confirm or otherwise - Martyn)

I was never taught by Mr Towey for maths, thank god – he never had a nickname, no one dared. But one day Smellie sent me with an errand to Staff Room 1 (who remembers Staff Room 1 and Staff Room 2? Knock at the door, come back down the steps and WAIT.). But for some reason, Towey’s class had had to decamp to the room just outside the staff rooms. I knocked, to hear Towey’s sonorous “ENTER!” I asked if I might just take this envelope to Staff Room 1, please sir, but Mr Towey made it clear in no uncertain terms that if I took one step further then life would change decidedly for the worse, so I retreated back to room 4 – where I got a bollocking for not doing the errand. But the funny thing about Towey was that he had a weak spot – he loved trains, he was a volunteer at the Dinting Railway Centre. So if you took your courage into your hands to speak to him, and mentioned that you’d seen ‘Flying Scotsman’ the previous day, he’d visibly relax and chat about steam engines…

Talking of trains, for a while for metal work I was taught by a relatively new teacher (new to us, that is) called Frank Cronin – lovely bloke, best sideburns this side of a real ale festival. Now Frank actually owned a steam engine, kept it at the Severn Valley Railway. Frank had us making all sorts of strange brass thingies, I’m sure in retrospect that some of them were bits of locomotive…

On history, I can mention two contrasts: ‘Dosser’ Bradshaw, who was laugh-a-minute and in his trendy suit with long 70s hair looked like a refugee from a Malcolm Bradbury novel; and Paddy McCafferty, mad Irishman, who ‘taught’ us history while dreaming of getting back out onto the playing field to play footie and shout at shivering first years. Thinking of Paddy, several contributors – from different years – have recalled the infamous ‘whack every single kid in the year’ incident on the tennis courts. But if we all recall it from different years, did the little sadist find a reason to do it every year? I recall being very aggrieved at this incident. There was a fight going on so me, Phil Worthington and Karl Timberlake decided that as we were awaiting Paddy for the start of Games, here was trouble with a capital T and we ran in the direction of ‘away’ so that we were nowt to do with it all. It didn’t help, we all got the slipper anyway despite being a hundred yards away from the action.

Who can forget those cross-country runs? Philips Park and back, I recall on a couple of occasions being so cold when I got back that I could hardly do up my shirt buttons, my fingers just wouldn’t move. When Paddy McCafferty took games, one of his ‘amusements’ was to whack the last ten that got back – somehow, by a combination of miracle and fear, I usually got back last-but-eleven. One day, I think it was about third year, a lad (was he called Hamer?) got cut short and squatted in the bushes next to the track in Philips Park. Just as I came along, so did PE teacher ‘Al’ Smith who said, a bit unnecessarily in my view, “What are you doing, lad?” To which there could be only one response: “I’m having a sh*t, sir!” I think the whole thing was so funny I recall he got away with it.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned ‘Dicky’ Daniels, the RE teacher. Poor soul, he was too sensitive for us, I recall that once we ‘kidnapped’ his briefcase and shuffled it around the room with our legs like a rugby scrum, with him becoming ever more desperate to find it. Poor Dicky, I think he had a nervous breakdown in the end.

I recall the Ecky Thump incident, I was there: also right at the end, when the building was being prepared for conversion into a Sixth Form college, big girders sprouted up in the Big Hall in preparation for it becoming a library with a study area above. So some silly sod thought it would be a great idea to nick another kid’s sports bag, creep out along one of the six-inch wide girders above a fifteen-feet drop, and leave the bag perched perilously mid-girder. Massive steward’s enquiry, but I don’t think anyone was found out.

In my time some new labs were built on the end of the ‘new’ block and on one of its first uses we had Chem. with ‘Prism’ Murray (so-called because he was P. R. S. Murray). Phil Worthington and I were at the front of the classroom, in goggles, heating up some ‘stuff’ in a test tube above a Bunsen burner. We were meant to ‘agitate’ whatever it was, gently. I dunno what we were doing wrong, but whatever chemical reaction was supposed to be taking place, wasn’t. “Give it here lad,” said Prism and grabbed the test tube in its gripping tongs and gave it a bloody good shake over the burner. With a ‘WOOF’ a sheet of flame erupted from the test tube and landed on the blackboard like a dose of best USAAF napalm. It was one of those ‘roller’ blackboards that had a lined section, a squared section and a plain section between metal strips that the teacher used to grip and spin. This flaming mixture hit the squared section, and for the rest of my time at SGS there was a section of the squared lines missing where it had burned off.

No one has mentioned ‘Dave’ Wolstencroft (modern languages), so I will. Dave was a brilliant teacher; he taught me French for the first few years and then Russian. He was patient and a good teacher – but if you pushed him hard, then – on very very rare occasions - his version of ‘Percy’ would come out: Boris. If Dave hit you he hit you bloody hard, I was one of his favourites so he never hit me, in fact he rarely hit anyone, but maybe that was partly due to his good teaching and partly due to Boris’ reputation going before.

My speciality was English, in fact I eventually went to Newcastle University to study English Language and Linguistics, so the English teachers loomed large in my recollections. There was John ‘Pixie’ Shuttleworth, who created and nurtured my love of English and who eventually left to go on a sabbatical. Pixie was a man of slight build, fanatical BWFC supporter, but when reading a passage from a book he could keep 30 13-year olds utterly spellbound.

We’ll gloss over Jenny Saunders and Freddie Mercury with honourable mentions as they’ve already been described by others, but I should thank Glyn Harrison, who coached me for the Oxford entrance exam and ALMOST got me there (eight places at the college I applied to, I came ninth); and above all, lovely Helene Orton who pretended to not know that all the boys fancied her. Helene was a wonderful teacher and she inspired me to follow her to Newcastle Uni. She went there and rubbed shoulders with Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music; I went there and rubbed shoulders with a hippy from St Helens called Neil. John, Helene, if you read this, please get in touch – I’d love to shake you by the hand and buy you dinner.

Philip Jennings was mentioned, who tragically died while in sixth form. Either his funeral service or a memorial service was held at Stand All Saints, and I sang for Philip in the choir. Later, I received the Philip Jennings prize – it was established as a prize fund by his parents. I’m sure I still have the book I used to buy as my award, and it has the SGS crest engraved in gold on its cover. Talking of the choir, in my time this was led by music master ‘Roger’ Whittaker – a man of incredible height (6’ 6”?) who gave me quod for missing some lunchtime rehearsals of the ‘voluntary’ choir. Somewhere in my attic I have at least two programmes from choir concerts – if I can find them I’ll scan them for the website, they’re interesting because they list all the members of the choir, staff and pupils.

Talking of publications, who recalls STANDIAN, the annual magazine given out just before the summer holidays? Again I have some copies still from the 1970s, I will scan them if I can find them.

I will draw a decent veil over my thoughts on ‘Haggis’ – let’s just say that I can still to this day tell you EXACTLY where you can find an oxbow lake on the Manchester Ordnance Survey map. ( I had to look and after quite a while, I found it! See below - Martyn)

Paul Williams,  1975 - 1982

I found it! Thanks for the challenge, Paul!

Oxbow lake

Dear Martyn

You could mention the fact that the distinguished ex-Standian Howard Jacobson has just been awarded the Booker prize for his novel "The Finkler Question".

He writes for the Independent and in one article he regretted that so few teachers today possessed a cultural hinterland, unlike the teachers at his school. The Latin teacher, for example, had written a novel (Dickie Baird). Another was a gifted amateur actor, another a skilful boxer.

It so happens that a group of ex-Standians, gathering in London for their regular 3 monthly get together, read this article and added our memories of the teachers involved. I should explain here that since 2002 we have been meeting every 3 months to sample the ales in various pubs in London. It started when I saw John Hudson's name on Friends Re-United. I was very friendly with him at Stand but had not kept in contact since. When we arranged to meet up, I suspect we were both a little nervous. After all, if we hadn't been bothered to keep in touch for 40 odd years why should we bother now? And what would we talk about once we had disparaged teachers, especially Haggis? In the event, it worked out very well, to the extent that we actually fixed up a second meeting. John has always kept in touch with Howard Moss, and he was the next to join. Geoff Robinson appeared next and finally Paul Howarth. Our next meeting is on November 20 2010. We foregather at 12 noon or thereabouts at St Martin's in the Fields, and we then progress to our default pub, the Old Shades, five minutes walk away in Whitehall.

Now back to Mr Jacobson. Having read his article we then decamped to a pub in Soho. As we were striding along Gerrard St who should hove into view but the aforementioned Howard Jacobson. Should we or shouldn't we? We did. We accosted him. Brazenly. In public. He was I think somewhat surprised but seemed to take it in good heart. Did he keep in touch with that other literary Standian John Heilpern? Apparently not. We took a photo, then left him to his contemplation of the menu outside the Chinese restaurant.

Thus ended our brush with fame.

Best wishes

Anthony Withers

Standian 1957 - 1964.

Howard Jacobson

Howard Jacobson, Paul Howarth, John Hudson, Geoff Robinson, Howard Moss, Anthony Withers

Hi Martyn, 

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear... messing about this morning on the www, I Googled Stand Grammar.  The resultant find has taken up the rest of today, so very well done on getting such an informative site together that nobody in their right mind should stumble across!  It's rivetting for Old Standians. 
I was only at Stand for one year and one term (1968 til Dec 69) and then my Dad got an offer in Bristol that was too good to turn down, so we all trekked to the West Country.  Whilst I only have a few hazy memories of Stand, I seem to recall probably being in Ragdale House (?) and possibly Haggis being the house master.  The start of the register is still pretty well emblazoned on my mind, 
ADDLEMAN, ASHWORTH, ASPINALL, BERRY CAINE, COHEN, DIXON, DRAZEN, FOOT, HEFFERNAN, ISAACS, JACKSON, KIRK, LLOYD, LARAH, ... and relax! (Sorry if I missed anyone out, or misspelled names here, plus once my turn had gone in the roll call, I sort of drifted for the rest of the day!!) 
It is really sad that the old gaff has now long gone, but if I ever get up North, I'll have a quick spin up Church Lane and undoubtedly shed a tear or two.  Although I had only a year and a tad at Stand, I believe that many of the lessons I learnt there helped forge my adulthood.  Good manners, consideration for others, listen and learn, challenge, and never say you've got a belly ache during a music lesson.  All good mottos for positive survival! 
Best wishes to all who sailed in her… Keith Jackson


Now it can be told...

"Not with a bang but a whimper".

I sat my A-levels a year early, achieved A,B,D with little effort and was persuaded to stay on for a third year in the 6th form to have a rather feeble bash at Oxbridge - did OK in the exam but did not pass the interview. Hung about Stand for a while after that, through inertia I suppose. Plus my best mate Tony Latham was still there, repeating his upper sixth year (he was two years younger than anyone else in our year!), and French lit. lessons with the new teacher Mr Short were very lively and interesting.

Life was good. I could read whatever I wanted in the library, nip out down to the tennis courts for a fag, meet my girlfriend there at lunchtime, have lunch in the chippy opposite the Cross Keys before nipping across for a pint of Wilson's mild and a game of darts... Life was quite idyllic in fact, but eventually someone on the staff must have started wondering why I was still there, and it was suggested that I ought to terminate my school career finally; which I did, with considerable reluctance I must say. I had loved my time in the 6th form, well taught by Spike and Bill Short (French), Knox (Spanish) and Jones (Latin).

I then worked in a cotton warehouse before taking up my unconditional place at Leeds University, where I gained a II.i in French with Spanish. I then worked as a teacher for 25 years at Chadderton Grammar, which became North Chadderton Comprehensive. I spent my whole career there, rising to Senior Teacher before taking early retirement on health grounds. Now I work (as little as I have to) as a freelance translator and junior chess coach.


Phil Adams (aka "Pad" , 1959-1965; 1B, 2L, 3S, 4L, 6L, 7L, one term in 8L then politely asked to leave...)


I attended (fitfully, inbetween bouts of skivitis and extra long school holidays due to two weeks of Radcliffe Wakes not coinciding with the Southern Continental holidays taken in Whitefield at that time) SGS from 1974 to 1978.

Your mention, on your website of Metalwork, prompted me to recall an incident of minor trivial importance from about 1977, details are quite sketchy, but here goes:-

I along with several of my contemporaries was idly passing time awaiting the arrival of the metalwork teacher (name not recalled), when suddenly like a bolt from the blue an idea arrived almost totally unformed in my head.

Straightaway,the plan was put into action.

So, I turn on the fire hose at the tap, because obviously the control valve at the end of the fire extinguisher will be closed and all that will happen is the fire hose will fill up with water and so no damage will be done.

Computer says NO, the control valve is either broken (likely) or open (more likely) and so after a delay where nothing happens (except of course the 2" or so diameter fire hose is filling with water), water starts to exit the fire hose control valve and egresses with the force due to perhaps 40' head of water from the water tower in Heaton Park + another 10' head of water or so due to the class being taught in the basement.

"Oh dear", thinks maybe 13 year old boy, "what am I going to do now?".

Shut the valve, nothing happens.

Shut the tap, nothing happens (except of course the tap has closed but most of the water remaining in the fire hose continues to egress the fire hose control valve (now very likely broken).

When gravity has allowed the last drop to micturate from the fire hose and seep under the door of the metalwork laboratory, amidst scenes of much amusement from the afore-mentioned contemporaries, who should happen along but the previously and still name unrecalled metalwork teacher to open the door and assess the full extent of the flood.

Strangely, the guilty red faced and wet handed guilty party was quickly and unceremoniously singled out to face the music.

After what seemed like hours (but was probably only a couple of minutes), it was agreed unilaterally that a letter from a parent must be produced to explain the actions of the perhaps 13 years old boy concerned.

Said perhaps 13 years old boy concerned, then resolves with the aid of his trusty OED to produce the aforesaid letter by himself.

Later that same day and with the inspired selection from the OED of the word "TAMPER" used in a substandard letter of apology hampered by "very poor handwriting".

The very next day the letter is handed over with great trepidation by Said perhaps 13 years old boy concerned and amazingly is accepted without further comment (possible mitigating factor - well he is from "Radcliffe" and so probably works in a Mill).

Well that's a dusty old memory exposed, perhaps one day I'll write of the many occasions when "Jasper" Swift used to leap off the dais at the front of the classroom with partial degree ceremony regalia flowing like Superman's cape as with the force of a "canal jumper" he pumped his biceps to propel a piece of cheap and cheerful sports footwear against the back of my semi-prostrated form, due to my total inability to take on board the fascinating facts he wished to impart in his Mathematics lecture.


Mike Fairclough

p.s. "Jasper's" technique worked with me, as I was one of 29/31 (might have even been 30/31 {no names but someone who had quite a lot in common [nomenclature wise] with a guy for whom "play the way you're facing" was not an uncommon phrase may have achieved a lesser pass mark} of his class who took Mathematics "O" level a year early (I was 14) gained an "A" grade.

p.p.s. These notes are not contemporaneous and will most likely contain glaring errors and omissions

Too clever by at least 3.14159265

I only actually visited this site to see if "Godley and Creme" attended SGS, but that's for another day; Time for bed.

Raymond “Rob Roy” Russell  teacher of German, 1973-1977, Church Lane

 Martyn, congratulations on this fascinating site - a perfect example of “Internet for the people”. That I found it was a complete fluke.  I was looking for the declension of the verb “to stand” in Polish. It must have been the word “grammar” that confused Google - luckily for me.

 Pity about the old school! In a way, the old buildings on Church Lane having been demolished, your site has actually become Stand Grammar.

 “Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got ‘til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.”

 But now I’m taking nostalgia a bit too far. 

 I’d like to send my best wishes to all those I knew in my few years at Stand - on both sides of the divide - the teaching and the taught. Not many of you will remember me. I taught a minority subject and was only there for 4 or 5 years - but reading your mails has jogged my memory and prompted me to add a few small pieces to your jigsaw.

 The first thing that struck me at Stand was the strange arrangement with two staff rooms - both fairly cramped.  On the right were the lunch-time bridge players with whom I had only formal contact. On the left was a bizarre room from which whenever the door opened there issued the twang of a “Les Paul” guitar and billows of blue-grey cheroot and Gitanes cigarette smoke; (I don’t think I ever did so much passive smoking in my life).  This was home to a bunch of really very amiable people, some warm and down-to-earth, others endearingly eccentric, but all - and you may now rub your eyes in disbelief -  sharing the same professional dedication - to which not one of them would of course ever admit. This was the lunchtime crossword room - ranging in difficulty from the Grauniad - reserved for the few specialists around Crouchley, Alan Smith, Keith Bradshaw - all the way up to the Daily Mirror - for which everyone joined in - Nia Jones, Jan Olxxxy, John Moss, Pete Bull, Gordon Cain.  Sometimes we even finished the Mirror; we were after all a team of crack academics.

There were only two staff who didn’t take part in lunchtime crosswords - Baz, the Latin teacher, who would sit by the electric fire rehearsing the latest guitar solo from Eric Clapton or Johnny Winter or eulogizing wistfully over that one, long, dramatic  Jimmy Page chord that unleashes the instrumental part of “Stairway to Heaven” -  Baz never tired of playing that chord - he would just sigh “Heavy” - and then the witty, unique Stan, who would be busy preparing his lessons or marking homework (not really!).

I shall attach a few photos of staff meetings down at the Church Inn (was that the name of the pub at the bottom of the lane ?). These were arranged by Dave Bowers.

I’ll try too to scan or photograph a cartoon of the staff - now yellowing with age (the cartoon that is) - drawn by John Moss, the art teacher. All are fairly good likenesses - except John himself; he’s the slim, suave, handsome one in the middle. 

I was head of the German department; at least that’s what I always wrote in my subsequent CVs. I was in fact the only teacher of German; so the claim was almost true.

I think my nickname was “Rob” or “Rob Roy”, either because of my initials or my curly beard.

You might remember the outrageously garish checked sports jacket I usually wore. I wince even now when I think of it. Tasteless is too kind a word.

Being the only teacher of German I had the advantage of teaching kids from the very first day they heard a German word (other than “Sieg Heil” or “Donner und Blitzen”, etc.) right through to “O”, “A”, “S” levels and university entrance - and not without a modicum of success, even if I say so myself.  If I did nothing else, I hope I managed at least to wean my classes off the British prejudices that prevailed in those days (understandably) and persuade boys that not all Germany and all Germans fit the old stereotypes that comics and TV had taught them to hate.  (The woman I ended up marrying was after all German.)

I used to give German first names to all the boys starting German.  I conducted lessons in German as far as I could but I explained grammar in English. My most effective tool in getting boys to remember the admittedly complicated rules of German case structure was my East London accent, which though more or less ironed out at university did occasionally still surface.  That it would be so useful at Stand I discovered by accident. Having overheard boys mimic me I would, when teaching grammar, lay it on as heavily as I possibly could and soon had all the young thugs from Whitefield, Radcliffe. etc. reciting their “der, die, das” in a thick Peckham accent.  They had their fun of course at my expense - but I bet a few of them still remember “orl yer prepositions wiv the ‘cusatif an’ orl yer prepositions wiv the datif” (pronounced with a glottal stop).

 I also tagged along on regular outings with the school’s thriving fell-walking club.  I remember one boy called Brown syphoning petrol out of a car so that we could get home with the school van. He claimed he knew how to do it - but he just kept on sucking and didn’t stop !  He wasn’t too brilliant at German either. 

 I have very fond memories too of the staff cricket and football teams. I remember in particular a cricket match, staff versus the school’s first eleven, in which my wily off-breaks tied a few of the school’s batting heroes in knots - thanks mainly to Keith Bradshaw’s unfairly loud encouragement for me from behind the stumps and his well-timed distracting comments for the batsman. No less than DBH himself was square-leg umpire.

 I also enclose a photograph of the staff football team (1976 I think). I played left back. 

This was the year we narrowly escaped relegation (thanks partly to the fact that there was no division lower down to which we could have gone and partly to the rigorous running-round-the-block after school ordered by our very strict coach, the “special one” from Belfast). Our tactics were to pass the ball whenever possible to Alan Smith, who, being the only non-smoker  (apart from me), could run much the fastest - while the rest of us doubled up trying to catch our breath.

 I left Stand to set off on what was known in those days as the Hippy Trail - through the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, to India and Nepal. 

I never returned to teaching.

 Stand cured me of that, you might joke - and you’re right - but not in the way you think. My years at Stand were a sort of “high” - and when I returned after 18 months or so - I couldn’t really find a post to match it. So I turned to translation - and that has been my bread and butter ever since - German to English, mainly technical texts. It’s a bit quieter than teaching.

I was usually required to write a sort of international English, spelling “center”, “color”, etc. and the habit has stuck.

 I worked in Munich for about 12 years, where I met my wife. We moved to Karlsruhe (her home town) for a year - and then a hundred or so kilometers further west over the French border into Alsace, where I’ve been living ever since - for the last 20 years.

Our two daughters are now 18 and 20, German passports, French boyfriends.  So I’ve done my bit, I think, for Europe.  I retire this year but I am still fairly fit, go walking in the hills and forests surrounding this small town.

I am more or less self-sufficient for half the year with the fruit and veg I manage to grow among all the weeds.

I have sunk very deep and tenacious roots here. I go back to England quite often to see the family but I don’t think I’ll be moving back for good.

So that’s it - for now at least. “Remembrance of things past”  - a bit unsettling but also very rewarding !

 Best wishes

Ray Russell

Footy team Staff

The above pictures were  pretty good, but this is awesome... (Are you out there, John Moss? If so, can we please use your cartoon?)

Staff Room cartoon


 Occupants of Staff Room 2 in the mid 1970s...









? Chem

? Pete

? Murray




Can’t remember but I think he was later dep-head






Art (slightly handsomer than in reality but
he drew it









Wood / metal






? English



? History



Maths?  (I think so Martyn

Barry Costello-Jones











French ? Spanish

Anyone know any more names??

Apparently, yes we do...

It's been a while since I last visited the site, but just seen that great cartoon by John Moss of the inmates from Staff Room 2.
I think I can fill in some of the gaps as I was there in the 70's.
I think it was Julie Fisher.
Ray Russell
Jan Olszewski taught me French. I’m pretty sure my spelling of the surname is right.
Pete Murray
The Deputy Head was a Mr Butler (Pete?)
Johnny Shuttleworth taught English
John Moss
?  Cannot put a name to this guy.
Al Smith taught me History
J Crouchley or Killer Crouchley to the lads, taught me Woodwork and Engineering Drawing.
Keith Bradshaw taught History
Dave Bowers taught me English
Gordon Cain taught me Economics
Im sure the next bloke on the far right was WJ Belfield (John) who taught me Geography.
Then its Jones, Jones, McCafferty, Bull.

Martin Harper

I was at Stand GS from (I Think) 1956 to 62. Came from Radcliffe and well 

remember catching the No 20 bus from the bottom of Ainsworth Road right 
to the school. My pals were Geoff Hall (his dad was a Fire Officer, he 
lived opposite Radcliffe Fire Station)Kenny Kirkpatrick (his brother 
Alan was a 5th Former and I think 1st team footballer when we first 
arrived.)I recall Barrie Warwick, Les Yates, Geoff Glaskie, Russell 
Crompton, Ian Hilton (who became my Best Man) but 50 years has taken its 
toll at remembering detail. 

I remember the trip into Manchester to the Free Trade Hall for Speech 
Days, being Joe Bloggs' book monitor (what a creep) thwacking Haggis with 
Percy the persuading pump after he overheard me in the gym changing room 
relating what I would like to do to him. My wish came true and I recall 
enjoying it. 

Great site, pity I didn't discover it earlier 

Rod Hattan

Dear Martyn

I have been a reader of your site for a few years, but haven’t contributed  before (sorry!). Thanks for all your efforts keeping the site going – as  others have said, it’s a wonderful contribution for those who went to SGS.

First, I am so sorry to hear of the death of Tony Wilding – the  Association owed a huge amount to him, and I have a copy of his SGS  history book, which has proved very useful.

Your call for information re. the John Ogdon recital prompted some  memories that I hope you can pass on to Charles Beauclerk, if he is  interested. So these are not just SGS memories. Feel free to edit if you  want it on your pages.

I don’t remember the SGS John Ogdon piano recital of 1946-47 which Mr  Beauclerk quotes – that would have been in Mr Medlar’s time, before I went  to SGS. I do remember another recital John Ogdon gave at the school  (school year 1954-55 – John would have been 16) during Austin Williamson’s time as Head (Austin was a keen promoter of classical music at the school,  and the music standards rose significantly during his Headship, so no  doubt he was delighted to host this recital). It was in the school hall,  and the 5th year and above were allowed to attend. However, as it  happened, our 2nd year form was being taught by John’s father at the time  in a room off the school hall, and we asked if the classroom door could be  left open so we could listen (for most, I guess, a case of ‘so we don’t have to do any work’). ‘Joe’ Ogdon was happy to oblige, of course. For me,  already hooked on classical music, it was a revelation that someone so  young could play so well.

As an aside, it reminds me of a similar experience about three years later  listening to a concert on the BBC given by ‘a young English cellist’,  which was equally extraordinary. That Jacqueline du Pré and John Ogdon  should both have their careers terminated when so young was a double  tragedy for English music – and following on from the early death of  Kathleen Ferrier gave me a feeling that world-class English musicians were  jinxed at this time.

Back to Joe’s son John Ogdon. I was present at the recital he gave in the  Free Trade Hall, Manchester (in 1962, aged 25) immediately after he had  jointly won the Tchaikovsky prize with Vladimir Ashkenazy. Although  organised at the last moment, the concert was sell-out, and John played  the Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody, which came alight during the 18th  variation. He got a deserved rapturous reception.

Later, when living in Bedford, my wife and I were regular attendees at the  Dankworth’s Wavendon concert venue, and John Ogdon gave a recital (c.  1973-ish) during a time when he was OK. The main memory (we were sitting  very close to the keyboard) was of his podgy hands/short fingers flashing  over the keyboard – he played the Busoni ‘Carmen’ fantasy, and anyone who  has heard his recording will be amazed at his ability to play so fast with  so much expression. It left us all breathless.

There are many memories of Joe Ogdon on your site, and I can’t really add  to what has been said, apart from confirming the accuracy of his throwing  skills (board cleaners and Pocket Oxford Dictionaries) at anyone in the  class he deemed worthy of such a demonstration. I also remember him  bringing in his watch that he had promised to show us – he was clearly  very proud of it – and all I can remember was that it had moon phases and  other stuff on it, so I guess was quite valuable. Yes, he was very  erratic, and regrettably his illness was clearly passed to his son, John.

I have a copy of the ‘Standian’ (1962) which has in it Mr Ogdon’s obituary  (image attached). There was a memorial service at Stand Church, which I  attended.

My special memories were of Les Lumley - who taught me all I knew about  Physics, and Fred Hill - who crouched down in front of your desk (not very  far to go down, for Fred) and just looked up at you as you were struggling  with an ‘A’ level maths question. Fred insisted that any question could be  answered on the back of a milk slip (about 3” x 4”) – and he could usually  do it in half the space. I owe a lot to them, as I read Physics and Maths  at Leeds University. I then did post-grad work at Leeds and met my wife  there, and spent many years trying against the odds to keep my small part of British industry going. I was a part of the industrial shake-out in the  1970s and 80s, redundant (twice!), and decided aged 45 that as I was  clearly unemployable I would start my own company. I found two others of  like mind, and as a Managing Partner of Excel Partnership worked in about  35 countries over the next 20 years, focussing on environmental  consultancy, and later IT security. I was privileged to be the UK rep. on  the ISO (International Standards Organisation) committee which wrote many  of the international environmental standards, and with others started the  Environmental Auditor’s Registration Association (EARA – now IEMA). I  retired in 2011 at 68, and am now working happily as a volunteer at the  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in my home town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Kind regards
Nick Lister
(SGS 1953-1962)

Ogdon obituary

I guess it’s an age thing when we start to browse the past. My memories of Stand Grammar School (1955 to 1960) are actually quite few (perhaps a psychological erasure). I am amazed at the content of the letters; so graphic and detailed. However, what I do recall is wizzing around the narrow country roads of North Wales at great speed in Brien Crossfield’s open topped Morris Minor with its semaphore indicators while on a school scout camp, probably 1957.


The attached aerial photo is from the Manchester Evening News December 1989 sent to me by my brother when I was living in South Africa (perhaps to awaken the memory).


All the very best to you


Irving Schnider

Aerial view

Ref: Julian Ernst, who started at SGS in 1975, a year after me, I am positive that no mortar boards were worn then. Gowns, yes, by some; boards, no. And yes, among the some were Jasper, Tabs and Hudson but *not* Freddie Mercury - he who owned the little brown Toyota car. Jasper, of course, was a public transport man, while Tabs had a tan/beige-ish Saab. Haggis at that time claimed to drive a "limousine", which was a metallic light-blue Austin Princess. Jon Shuttleworth had his Honda C70 and occasionally discovered his headwear had been relocated to the top of one of the "columns" (I'm no architect) that stood on either side of the entrance doors on the car park side.

I, too, went on a school trip to Lloret de Mar. My guess would be that it was the same trip as that which Julian mentions. I cannot imagine that the good people of L de M would allow a party from SGS to return. We spent a day driving around precarious bends in search of the monastery at Montserrat (?) but, aside from a tourist-y booklet about that, I can remember little else other than high jinks ... and I've never been tempted to go further abroad than Ireland ever since. Peter Bull taught French as well as Spanish and, boy, did he work hard with me: try getting a deaf kid through modern language O levels, especially the oral bit. Later on, when I was cramming for the Cambridge entrance exam, it was the lady who had come from Bury Grammar who helped me brush up on my French for the translation paper - Lauren Chatburn, later principal at Bury College. I hope that she will not mind me saying that our one-to-ones created a certain amount of envy.

Ian MacDonald's "pub down Park Lane" is, of course, The Parkfield. It has had a rough ride since Trevor Lewis sold the place but is once again active, albeit with ridiculous prices and more food than beer.

I have somewhere a class photo taken on the lawn in front of the school by Jasper. Haggis is central and I am probably somewhere centre on the back row (height, you see). I'll try to dig the thing out but my recollection is 1R, 1974/1975. I also have some old copies of The Standian magazine, including the infamous expurgated version. I notice your comment that you are not exactly awash with server space: that can be fixed. I did mention this seven years ago, and have just noticed that message is still among this term's letters!

Haggis was merciless and seemed to take particular pleasure in attempting to subvert the powers that be when it came to my education. He simply refused to accept that ENT specialists and audiologists at Manchester University had correctly diagnosed my being born with profound deafness, seemingly on the basis that "if he can speak in anything other than a monotone then he's fooling the medics". He was, of course, wrong and I never did get any sort of apology for the ridiculously arrogant bullying that went on. I'm over it now and, yes, it was a "formative experience". Still, he was better than Mr Towey, whom my dad came rather close to legally chinning for similar behaviour. In fact, for all the grief that he gave me, I still have respect for Haggis, although I'm not sure that I can really explain why.

Spud Fletcher mentions the two-headed lamb in the bio lab. That exihibit was there in my time but, oddly, I cannot recall it ever being referred to. Thus, when I say that it was an example of Siamese birth I am merely guessing. They were top-to-toe, ie: heads at opposite ends.

Ken Ben Len (Whitworth) had a thing about the word "rhubarb" during my time. If you said something wrong, it was rhubarb. Perhaps it was some sort of popular Monty Python reference or something - "get with the kids" - but of course there was no subtitling of TV then & any subtext  went over my head. However, being useless at maths, I produced more rhubarb than Yorkshire at that time.

Paddy McCafferty was living for a while on the Trees Estate, in a house that backed onto the scout hut of the 18th Prestwich "Seaforths". I met him once in Heaton Park and never lived it down. With my first girlfriend, strolling hand-in-hand down near where the Highland cattle were pastured and who the heck comes running in the other direction? Yup, my gym-cum-history teacher. His eyes boggled; mine averted. She was a beautiful girl (well out of my league, but I must've done something right at that time) and perhaps that was why he just could not let the subject go in class for the rest of term. She and I still meet up from time to time; he and I do not!

The last time I saw Jon Shuttleworth, the English teacher, was in his rooms at Corpus Christi, Cambridge. I was incarcerated at Peterhouse, in my second year, and he had taken a year's sabbatical to complete an academic book of some sort. He had been convinced that I'd fail my Eng. Lit. A-level unless (a) I got over my mock-shock of Larkin's crudity and (b) I stopped criticising Graham Greene for his (perceived) obsession with Catholic motifs. I got an A and, when we met at Cambridge, was rewarded with a nice plate of biscuits. I quite like Greene now.

I used to return from that place with University ties for Jasper. He'd give me some cash beforehand and I'd deliver the goods 8 or so weeks later. He'd studied at Selwyn College but, oddly, never asked for Selwyn ties, nor did I ever work out how he got through so many of the university ones. I once went to his house in Glossop, when his mother was still alive. A brilliant bloke and teacher: the best I had and probably will ever have in any sphere. Anyone who can get a complete mathematical demic through O Level is a genius. Plus, he was a dab hand with electronics for Clanger's model railway club!

And speaking of Clanger, I saw him perhaps 15 years ago after making a special trip to a model railway exhibition at Rochdale for that purpose. He had not changed one bit, and in the rarified environment that was (is?) railway modelling, he had quite a reputation. Various things in modelling magazines etc, mostly on a Welsh narrow gauge theme.

Pele is right about "Only stiffs carried their briefcases by the handle.  The cool guys carried it in their arms like a sack of spuds." Still, we were not as far out as the famed Josh Cooper at Bletchley Park, who used to be seen leaving the premises with his briefcase on his head, holding his trilby tightly in his right hand. I vaguely recall doing some sort of blocked-out artwork on my school bag: cut out some letters, stick 'em on and then liberally apply car spray paint. Blondie, probably. Everyone else was into Rush et sim, aside from Dave Bowker - the Abba man.

Howard Joseph mentions Mr Schlesinger teaching French, and I notice Rob Russell explaining his 4 years or so as sole German teacher. Did Schlesinger take on the teaching of German after Rob Russell left? My middle brother, Paul, took German O Level and I'm fairly sure that it was Schlesinger who saw him through.

I recall one particular Speech Day occasion at the Free Trade Hall when someone threw a few bangers in an adjacent postbox. It made quite a racket - even I heard it - but I think that the alleged culprit was only found out due to subsequent boasting of derring-do. I could name names but the offence of interfering with Her Majesty's mail etc would perhaps make that unwise.

"Cosello-Jones" in the John Moss Staff Room 2 cartoon is, of course, B J Costello-Jones. (thanks, corrected! Martyn) Was he Australian? BJCJ's standard punishment was 500 lines, doubled for each subsequent infraction. I end up with something like 10,000 of the things during one lesson, all because I kept saying that I had not cheated in the end-of-year exam. And I hadn't, honest! He'd decided to try out the new-fangled multiple choice system but, despite my mediocre knowledge of the classics, I found it easy to crack the code on the day (there was one, and it was bloody obvious to me). So, I got 100% and 10,000 lines because he couldn't set an exam properly. My school report shows that 100%, and even now I wouldn't know my ars (sic) from my elbow. Ho hum.

I think that the un-named face to the right of Moss in the cartoon may well be Brian Taylor, a maths teacher with a PhD who ran the chess club. But I won't swear to it because I cannot be sure whether he was among the reprobates of "2" or the high-faluters of "1".

Martin Harper mentions "Marc Campion, Alex Bamford, Vallers Valentine" on the Germany football trip. That would have been their O Level year, as they were in my cohort. I'd grown up with Marc from Higher Lane Infants, I think, but never saw him after 1979 until last year, 2012. There I was, striding through the rain to the Eagle on a dark night; I passed someone waiting for a taxi on the car park and the next thing I know is a vaguely heard shout and then a tap on the shoulder. That was Marc. 33 years on is not quite 40, but either he should be working for one of the forensic facial reconstruction outfits or I am ageing less than I feel! Alas, the taxi turned up moments later and I've heard nothing since. Martin also mentions Steve Ward as a buddy - just go down to Sedgley Park RUFC and you'll find him there, along with John Grundy and other Standians of that generation.

Jim Alderson mentions Ian Birtwell, who also played at SPRUFC way back before he emigrated to Canada and managed their national team. We exchanged emails a few years ago.

More recently, I've found myself dealing with an eclectic mix of technical problems involving IT, plumbing and electrics for Paul Latham, currently Treasurer of the OSA. We cannot recall our paths crossing at school but he must have known one or both of my brothers. I keep meaning to ask whether his dad, Dave, is also an Old Standian but, well, between all the spitzensparken, I keep forgetting.

Simon Tushingham 1974-81
simon AT

Oh, does anyone know the whereabouts of John Devine, who suffered the Haggis badly due to his father's alleged connections to the Communist Party. His dad was an academic at Manchester University and lived on Hamilton Road. I have a gut feeling that John fared better than his younger brother on the Haggis front because he was a pretty decent sportsman. I'll have to start listing names at some point but right now recall Pete Geelan, Graham Haggerty, Keith Yates, Daz Fretwell, Ewan More, Tony Norton, Chris Bailey, two different Raggetts, Chris Mills, Russ Farrington, Tom Farley, Steve Harwood, Mark Phillips ... I could go on.

Fabulous site. What was it about Stand that has us all now in our later middle age trawling the web to relive the thrashings, knuckle rappings and downright gratuitous violence that along with a certain breed of northern comedian, were the accepted order of the day? Happy times when you look back, though back then some days seemed like some of the teachers there were just in it to make your life a misery! I was there from 1974 to 1979 and then for two years when it became a sixth-form college after that. Some of my memories are:


And many more.

Congratulations on the site, some great stories on there. I like a lot of other people, stumbled upon it and then spent hours going through all the posts and reliving my days at Stand. I now live in Northern Spain, run a dog training supplies company, am married with three kids but get back to Manchester about once a month. Sad to see new houses where the school once was.

I am still in touch regularly with Greg Byrne (in fact we will be walking from Seville to Caceres in April 2013 to ‘celebrate’ being 50 – we did the Camino de Santiago from Pamplona to Santiago when we turned 40), Mike Higgins (now a pilot and living in California), Tim Barnes came to visit us a couple of years ago here, Jonny Ashley we see infrequently but great guy, Mr Manchester Music as he is known but not many others unfortunately. Anyone who remembers any of us, please feel free to drop me a line at and I will be glad to put them in touch.

Good luck with the site, keep it up – a great source of info for the yoof of today!

Kind regards

Sean McElherron

My name is Steve Brooks (Bean). I was a student at Stand Grammar between 74-79 and then on to Stand 6th Form College until 81.
I started off in 1R with Haggis (of course) and remained in Ragdale until 3rd year where I was turfed into 3E with the 'less academic' students.
Favourite Teacher - Had to be Jasper. I owe my knowledge of maths to him. I still remember when he asked the class to come up with alternative phrases in the maths solutions to the usual, therefore, hence and thus etc. The best alternative was 'it came to pass...' which had the class in hysterics.
Biggest Crush - Babs Bunting. Me and my mate, Pete Geelan (Grob) used to fantasize about Babs Bunting's A**e.
Most violent teacher - Paddy McCaff talked a good story, either about his expolits as a Man. U fan or in Phillips Park Hall. Mind you I did see him whack the hell out of little Alan Smith. However the most violent act witnessed was by Crouchley in an engineering drawing class. He completely lost it and knocked this poor lad from pillar to post. With his Bobby Charlton style hair in font of his face he looked like a madman. Even in woodwork he used to hit people over the head with a piece of rawley (a wood I have never come across since).
Funniest moment - I missed the Ecky thump escapade for some reason. However I did have a complete attack of the giggles (tuning into howling guffaws) in a physics class with Mr. Fenwick. Don't know why but it may have something to do with a lunch time visit to the Church Inn/Foresters Arms?
That'll do for now. Would be interested in corresponding with anyone else from the same era.
Steve (Bean) Brooks

In the 1963/64 season our cross-country team was almost invincible - played 27, won 26   - sorry, can't remember who it was that beat us.......may have been the day I forgot to show up (aaagh!)

This from 'The Standian'  Summer 1964   p46: 

Cross-Country   “…Reinforcements have come from the Welsh mountains in the form of K.D. Jones, whose fiery Celtic temperament has established him as a vital and popular member of the team, whenever he has remembered to turn up…'

J.M. Hudson   (Captain)

For the record, I appeared for Cardiff on University Challenge on 2 occasions in October 1967. We beat Oxford...

UC Cardiff

Keith Jones

Hello Martyn

It’s New Year’s Eve and while idly Googling I came across the Stand Grammar School site you maintain.

What a feast! Thank you for everything you do to maintain such beautiful memories.

I’ll be joining as a Life Member, if you’ll have me, and contribute something of interest soon. With LOTS of Qs! But I can’t resist asking one right now: who was the short, pointy-featured Latin master then with greasy black hair – was he Mr. Beardsley?

And another one: whatever happened to the Honour Roll from the assembly hall – was it retrieved before the demolition? I think my name was on it.  

Please add me to your e-mail list – I’d love to attend next year’s dinner – will it be in November again?

This is the best New Year’s treat I could have possibly imagined.

Roger Hodkinson

1955 – 1961  (Form 1C >> 3E >> 4L >> 6/7th Biology form under Willie P >> read medicine at Corpus Christi/Cambridge. I remember Lawrence Libman and David Grimes who both did medicine at Manchester University I believe).

 1.780.909.0577  This is Canada – I live in Edmonton, Alberta – semi-retired pathologist – currently Chairman of a San Diego biotechnology company (MultiGEN Diagnostics Inc.)

Correction Martyn. Rusty synaptic connection occurred while shaving: the
Latin master's name was Mr. Baird. Are you able to confirm?



Hi Martyn, it would be great for you to keep the site going, tho I appreciate the effort it takes.

I was in 1S in 1976, went all the way thru and did A's at then Stand College Despite now being in flooded Berkshire, still keep in touch with some of my old mates to the extent that a bunch are going on a Stag weekend to Berlin next month! Of the 10, I think at least 7 were at SGS or Stand College!! That makes it 30+ years of keeping in touch - not bad?

I have a whole bunch of my own stories and will leave you this one...

Back then the ethnic population was small in Prestwich and Whitefield, resulting in one boy per year being non Caucasian! I was that person in 1976, and because I also 'played' footy on the tennis courts during break and dinner time was nicknamed 'Pele' !!

The name has stuck decades after to the extent that even my old uni mates on occasion use it!!

Pls keep the site going, it is appreciated as the letters keep coming
Many thx, Rupe

Rupe Patel

Hi Martyn.
thanks for the memories of my old school days at
Radcliffe Hall and Stand. I was in the year above you at school. Stand
was a tough school but certainly prepared you for life. Spent most of
my time at school playing sport than swotting . Left at the end of the
fifth year started as an apprentice with Post Office telephones. Worked
my way through the ranks to become the North West Copper Planning
Manager eventually retired after forty one years service with the same
company not bad for someone who left school with only three O Levels.

keep up the good work. Best wishes Graham ( or Bentlegs )

 Dear Martyn,
I Googled Stand Grammar and came across your great website. I thought  these 2 photos might be of interest to anyone in the early 70's. The  tramp of the 22 men, 40 plus years on. They
are First X1's from 1970 and 1972.

 1970 photo, back row, L to R: Martin (Tich) Howarth, Paul Dilworth,  Sean Kernaghan, ? Bailey? Dave Cowburn, Phil Bury, Dave Singleton, Mr.  Hargreaves. Front row L to R: Bernie Bligh,
John Anderton, Alan  Siddall, Brian Keithley, Christopher (Harry) Dowd. There were a lot of 5th formers in the First X1 (Howarth, Dilworth,  Cowburn, Bury, Singleton and Dowd.)In fact the 5th form (U.16 side) won a special 5th
form E. Lancs schools trophy, beating Bacup and  Rawtenstall 5-1 in the final. Other very good 5th formers included  John Woolley, SDB
Kaye, Dirk Kaye, Steve Wood, Graham (Dinks) Kirk,
 Joe Chappel, Raich Carter (in nets,)
Shane Davis and Ian (Cec.) Hayes.  Apologies if I have left anyone out!

 The trophy in the black and white photo was the Chorlton 6-a-side cup  which we won with the aid of Mr. Hargreaves' glucose sweets, and with  his 4 repeated maxims : "play the way you
are facing," "go to meet the
 ball," " pass and run," and "to the line and back." Always shoot to  the far post of course. I have to say that Mr. Hargreaves was a very  inspiring manager
and really wanted us to do well. Dave Cowburn had a
 "lethal left" as did Alan Siddall, who I always thought played a bit
 like Colin Bell.

 1972 photo', back row, L to R: Dave Jones, Rob Taylor, Gaz Fielding,  Billy Bingham, Fred Hoyle, Charlie Childs, Dave Singleton. Front  row, L to R: Martin (Tich) Howarth,
Christopher (Harry) Dowd, John  Anderton, Paul Dilworth, Graham (Dinks) Kirk, John Woolley, Gordon  Ashworth. Tich Howarth, John Anderton and Paul Dilworth (me,) played for S.E.  Lancs
U.18s, and I think Gaz Fielding did after I left. Maybe Gordon  Ashworth did too. If he didn't he should have done.  John Anderton could score with either foot and nod them in from  anywhere inside the box, if not from the half way line. I believe he  played for the
Old Standians in 4 decades (teens, 20's 30's and 40's)  He's probably still knocking them in now.

As for sporty teachers, Mr Fisher (English) was a stylish dribbler and  played the short ball game, Mr Bradshaw (History) was a good  goalie, often taking a star shaped position, and Baz Brookes (Maths)  was a nifty inside right if I remember. He was very helpful with the  tennis
team. Mr Kershaw (P.E.) and Mr Miller (History) helped out a  lot with the basketball team. Mr. Eckersley (Geography and P. E.) was  very keen on the block tackle and shoulder charge. Mr. Smethurst  (Maths) sometimes showed up and ran around quite happily in his 1950's football boots  with massive toe caps. Mr. Smethurst was very
good  at maths. I think Mr. Baxendale (Art) had a game or two as well. The Art  Dept. was a refuge for us hippy dippy types.
Well... I hope this stirs some memories for people. They were happy  times for me. I think I got the dates about right. 

 Paul Dilworth (1968 to 1972)

First IX 1970

First IX 1972

Hi Martyn

I’ve toyed with the idea of contacting you for some time.  I think your site is excellent and I hope you are able to maintain it.

I attended Stand Grammar School between 1973 and 1980.  I left with three “A”-levels.  I didn’t go to university immediately but I eventually completed a degree in my own time.  I was employed by the Civil Service from 1980 until my retirement on health grounds in 2013.

I’ve read earlier contributions with interest.  They’ve brought back quite a few memories - some good, some bad.  Many contributors have mentioned the “ ‘ecky thump” incident and the manner in which it propelled the late Daz Horn to tabloid fame.  I also remember an assembly in which the platform party was hit by a deluge of paper planes which was launched from the balcony.  Speech Night was popular because we got half a day off and a lie-in on the following day.  The following days’ assembly was also the moment of reckoning for lads who “over-enjoyed” the night itself - this sometimes involved removing light bulbs from train carriages (the 6.00pm Bury to Manchester train was often met by a detachment of British Transport Police). 

My stepson is a teacher.  He was taught to establish a “memorable persona” to enable his pupils to remember him.  I came across many such personas amongst the teaching staff at Stand.  Miss Jones had a stare which was made more creepy by her low centre of gravity.  “Paddy” McCafferty didn’t bother with a stare - he just launched himself at anybody who broke the rules!.  “Clanger” Clarke established the facts of the case after punishing the “guilty”.   The mere appearance of “Haggis” Hargreaves in the vicinity promoted admissions of guilt, even from the innocent.  Miss Russell could recite the contents of whole encyclopaedias without pausing.  And she was ALWAYS right!.

I haven’t met many Standians since I left.  I was in touch with Peter Maden for a while and I worked with Pete “Pele” Brown and his wife for a brief period in the ‘noughties.  Unfortunately, one or two of the people I knew have passed away - for example, Dave Severs died last year.  We’ve also lost “Catty” Caton and the aforementioned Daz Horn.

As I said above, there were good and bad times.  Stand gave working-class lads the chance to interact with some genuinely inspirational teachers.  However, I think that more could have been done to protect pupils from bullying.  One or two lads went through hell - I’m sure many of us were affected from time to time. 

There you have it!.  I’ve wanted to set my thoughts down for a while.  There is a lot I haven’t talked about because so many previous contributors have covered so many topics more effectively than I could.

Please keep up the good work.

Best Wishes

Malcolm Parr
Clive House 1973-78; mostly in the canteen listening to pirated John Peel sessions, 1979-80.

 Hello Martyn

Baz Speed here.

I so enjoy reading your S.G.S site. You have put a lot of work into creating a terrific site for reminiscing over our schooldays

It appears that I gained notoriety on my leaving day in 1958 in respect of my altercation with my form master and Spanish teacher Boris Knott who tried to drag me to the headmaster for
opening my school report. As Mike Passant stated in his memories of his time at SGS Boris was my nemesis. He didn't like me for some reason and sent me to the headmaster on a couple of occasions for the "swish." On one occasion he made me stand outside the classroom for a full period which was obviously conducive to my learning process. I believe I was guilty of smiling at him. Despite Boris's best intentions I passed my G.C.E. "O" level in Spanish. So for the simple crime of opening my school report he grabbed me by the collar in order to drag
me to the headmaster's office for a final confrontation with Williamson's cane culminating in one frustrated right hook to his person.

I did meet Boris some months later on the No. 6 bus on my way to Pendlebury Library. As he departed the bus, the stop before mine, he looked at me with a grimace and grunted
something, I think along the lines of "Hi Baz! How you doin'?"

My wife Ann and myself have lived in Northern Spain for the past 15 years and I would like to  offer my gratitude to Boris for the knowledge of the Spanish language that he imparted on me.

I did enjoy my time at Stand and was so proud to wear the badge "Sto Ut Serviam". All the Masters were fine by me (well maybe except for one). For some reason Haggis never had to introduce me to Percy. I enjoyed taking part in all sport although never excelled at any. Soccer was my favourite sport. Fellow pupils that spring to mind were Derek Whelan, Tex and Trevor Wolstenholme and Neil Midgely.

Mike Passant who was a classmate, and who related the Boris Knott incident to you, was  a superb athlete. As a young teenager he had a tremendous physique and his prowess in boxing and field events was unsurpassed in my time at Stand. I have since exchanged emails with Mike and was pleased to hear that he is in good health after a successful career in banking from which he took early retirement. Good for the stresslevels. His recollections of Joe Bogg's idiosyncrasies made me laugh.

Stan Black also contributed to your site. I kept in touch with Stan. He was a Maths teacher and gave my daughters Tracey and Jayne (pupils at Stand Girls School) extra tuition helping them
attain their "O" Levels in the subject. I tried emailing Stan who is now apparently in Australia but have had no response  

Trevor Wolstenholme went on to play soccer professionally for Torquay United and York City.

Neil Midgely became a top referee throughout the eighties and refereed the 1986 Charity Shield between Everton and Liverpool and the 1987 in F.A Cup Final between Coventry and
Spurs. I met Neil in the late eighties in the Isle of Man where we owned a small cottage. He was Guest Speaker at an annual competition on the Island for a couple of English
and Scottish League soccer clubs and the Island team. Over the years I came into contact with a number of ex professional soccer players who had nothing but genuine praise for Neil's ability and understanding of the game and mainly how he handled players in what was then a tough physical game - unlike the prima donnas who grace the game today. Neil passed away in 2001. I'm sure that he wouldn't have minded me recounting the following tale.

One day prior to a Maths lesson with Freddy Hill, Midge sat on the master's table with his legs  dangling over the edge mimicking Freddy's voice, words to the effect of "Yes! Speed and
Whelan! If there is any more messing about from you can go the headmaster and ask him to give you three of the best" Much to uproarious laughter from the class. Unfortunately Freddy was stood at the door observing this and responded with the words "Yes Midgely! Very funny! You can go and ask the headmaster to give YOU three of the best." Despite protestations and looking to giggling classmates for support ten minutes later could be heard the sound of three sharp thwacks. Fred - You had no sense of humour!!

One of the school heroes was Bill Singleton who was Deputy Head Boy for my first few years at Stand. He was Head boy of Ragdale - my house. In my second year Bill lead a revolt against the quality of the awful school dinners and the filthy drinking water.The water jugs actually had dirt in the bottom of them. So Bill organised us to go on strike and not attend the dining hall for the daily poison. Of course there were a few who liked pig swill but around 90% of diners stayed away. Next morning in Assembly the Headmaster Sammy Medlar was furious that so much lumpy potatoes and stewed cabbage had been thrown away. He threatened recriminations against the ringleaders of the strike and vowed to find them.  Bill Singleton was stood next to him on the stage that morning staring impassively ahead. It was Bill's turn to read a passage from the bible as was the daily duty of one of the prefects. Such was the respect for Bill that nobody "grassed him up" The dinners became marginally better. Neil Midgely and myself often supplemented our diet by attending the local chip shop.

My daughter's Tracey and Jayne both attended Stand and both excelled at sport and attained a very good level of education. My son Stuart was also at Stand and was a good gymnast and cross country runner and tells me that he got on well with Haggis. Academically he was top pupil in his year. He was there at the time of the "Ecky Thump" incident with Hudson. I would love to know what happened to the guy who got expelled. Respect Man!

I have had an extremely varied career including three years in a rock/blues band. We played a gig at the Star Palast in Keel, Germany. Studied accountancy, worked at a Scrapyard, Building
Site, Steelfixer, Milkman, etc. etc. eventually ran my own successful business. Retired Early!

Sacrilege what happened to the school. All the old plaques with sporting achievements etc. etc. went in a skip. All that memorabilia gone!! My youngest daughter lives on Dales Lane and when I am visiting we walk her dogs up to the grounds of the Church and I reminisce.

Keep those memories alive Martyn

Baz Speed    

Hi Martyn,

We never met, I think. Just found your site.

My email is:

Modest as ever!

Attended Stand 1963-1970. School Captain 1970. Two terms only. Did not do SC Autumn term 1969 as Dave Foulkes was SC before he skived off ahead of Oxbridge, having done and passed the Schols.

Recently met up again, for the first time since leaving Stand, with old schoolmates Bob Muir (Trog) Morrison, Neil Mann and Trevor Lister. 40+ years on!

Well done with the site.

All best


Dear Martyn, by sheer chance I was browsing today, wondering what had become of Derek Broadbent, Phil Hargreaves and Stand GS, when I came across the staff football team photo and the cartoon by John Moss from 1976. I don’t know what made me do this. Strange isn’t it?

I taught mathematics (or rather attempted to) at Stand from Sept 1974 until Dec 1977.
On the football team photo, I am on the back row, second from the right. John Shuttleworth is at the right hand end of the back row.

In the cartoon, that’s probably me in the gap in the back row, beneath “NE QUIS.”

We all had lots of hair in those days.

After Stand GS I became a software engineer again, and worked for Plessey in Northants before we emigrated to the US in 1983. There I continued in the same line of work, finally moving to near Portland Oregon. Our sons and grandchildren live the other side of Portland.

If you are wondering about Trump, so am I. Ah well, we shall survive.

Regards, Brian Taylor

Hi Martin – I happened to come across your site when looking up Robert Clive’s connection with the school: inevitably, old memories were stirred!
Here’s a couple, for starters:-
Best wishes – Neil
Henry Neil Linaker

Wait, what? Soiled  toilet seats?  I needed an explanation - Martyn

No, no, Martyn, I wasn't held responsible for soiling them (the encrusted crud must have been there since the previous camp), I was punished for failing to show the requisite level of contrition for having been sick, accidentally, on the highly polished boots of a rather forbidding gentleman, who had demanded to see the person in charge

Yes, the reason the seats were nailed to the two parallel planks, was to provide a stable row of four, each about 2' apart, which could be suspended over an open pit, with the ends resting on upturned, wire-reinforced, wooden mineral-bottle crates: a primitive arrangement it certainly was

It did strike me that, given some culinary catastrophe necessitating the presence of four lads on the contraption, at the same time, the whole assemblage may not have been equal to the task, but in the event, a catastrophe was avoided because we were allowed to use the farmhands' external flushing lavatory, instead ........ and thereby hangs another tale

As I approached the privy, one morning, it was vacated by the huge, ambling, figure of an amiable but rather simple young fellow who worked at the farm. I entered the closet and was immediately confronted by what must have been the largest (in length and girth) human turd ever excreted: to this very day, the vivid mental picture of it crouching there, half in, half out, continues to inspire awe

What with that fearsome sight seared on my mind, together with the ever present prospect of being carried off, during the night, by the Moddey Dhoo, which haunted Peel Castle, just across the fields (the grim-faced farmer told us that it was fond of boys in shorts!), I was not a little relieved to get back to good old Prestwich

Best wishes – Neil

Why am I even writing to a fourteen year old email address? More in hope that expectation, I suppose!

Having idly Googled the name of a former school teacher yesterday, I was astonished to be presented with, not only a reference to, but a photograph of, my dear old cherished art master, Norman Dobbin.

I knew Norman a few years later, having started to attend Newcastle under Lyme School in 1962. Having decided to train as an architect at the age of only fourteen, a lot of my time was spent in the company of this charismatic (and equally irascible) figure, who must have only joined the school a year or so before me.

You are right to mention his temper. I remember, on one occasion, him breaking thirteen wooden T-squares over his knee, until he found one that wasn’t ‘notched’. He frequently used drawing boards as Frisbees, hurling them across the studio if he was ‘out of sorts’ (usually as a result of running out of ciggys before morning break). We had to dive for cover behind the furniture – but it was all part of the Dobbin legend! He terrorised the younger pupils by bodily picking them up, chair and all, to give them an eye-to-eye dressing down, following which he would simply let chair and child crash down to earth again from shoulder height.

He taught me to fire a 303 – which was mandatory at the school in those days. He had by then, forgone the scouts and had become ‘Major Dobbin’ leading the Army section of the school’s CCF.

He claimed to have served in the Indian Army before joining the world of teaching – whether this was true or not, I know not, but I believe it.

He was a very inspirational teacher. He made it clear that he had no intention of making the four of us who chose ‘A’ Level Art and Architecture do any actual work – but, if we wanted to work, he would help us ‘above and beyond’, which he certainly did. If you, as a pupil, were committed, he was the best.

I remember a particularly bed winter in the early ‘60s. Snow was falling thickly, and Norman lived at Eccleshall – about twelve miles away from the school. He made it in his car about two miles, before abandoning it at Hanchurch. Rather than walk back to Newcastle, and face the prospect of being ‘marooned’ at school, (and hence having to work every day, including covering for those who couldn’t get back into work because of the snow), he determinedly set out, on foot, and walked the remaining ten miles home to Eccleshall in deep and driving snow, in order to ensure that he couldn’t get back to work for the next week! That’s dedication!

(Mind you, he wasn’t wearing a kilt on that occasion!)

I hope that someone receives this post, and that it brings back some fond memories.

Personally, I will always owe Norman a huge debt. He was simply superb at his job – although he’d probably deny it to his dying day!

Paul Dinsdale

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