Stand Grammar SchoolChurch Lane, Whitefield, Manchester
Demolished 2001 AD
Contributions from Old StandiansThis 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.
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
(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!"
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Belatedly, I could say thanks.
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
'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
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.
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
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)
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
our A level results.
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
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
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 email@example.com 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?
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
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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?
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.
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).
University of Greenwich
Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich,
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!
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)
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,
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.
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.
ps I've remembered the names.. Sam McGurk, Jonathon Cooke, and Anthony (Tony) Hobson.
dear martin, congratulations as the site goes from strength to
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
2B (& 3A?) I don't think that I've seen anyone else refer to
had this crazy system of awarding points for the correct answer to
questions. At some stage lessons moved on to the fermentation process,
which naturally led to talk of beer. Somehow he ended up accepting a
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
course by running around the perimeter of the Jewish cemetery. On one
with Ken Parkes and Chris Leach we jokingly thumbed a lift from a
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
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.
The E-mail address is email@example.com
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
confusing and distasteful encounters with Mr. Britten , the
teacher at the time . In an effort to retain my dignity and through
embarrassment i never uttered a word to anyone for all these years ,
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
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
i'm dammed sure he mentally affected a hell of a lot of former pupils
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
indeed , it caused the memories to come flooding back and there were
good times , sneaking out to the deli at the bottom of Stand Lane at
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
Thank you for your entertaining and informative site , i will
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 .
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
for skull duggery and putting stones in teachers hub caps (sorry
I had made an arrangement with Dave Christmas to meet him there for
which now escape me. Unfortunately he didn't show (he was far more
than me) but Heinz (I think it was) did. "What are you doing here boy
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
had accidentally been involved in liberating it and had admitted his
after all this time. He remembered it because it caused him a
deal of worry at the time as it turns out to have been not
old lizard, but a Gila Monster from Southern USA / Mexico, with an
dangerous venomous bite! I don't know why he was so worried.
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
start terrorising residents of the new housing estate!
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
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 @aol.com I was at Stand from 1970-1975 and would be interested in hearing from anyone who remembers me.
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?
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
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
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
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')
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
Great site. My Stand era 1940-1945. Now retired living in
Derbys. In touch with Jim Henaughan and Bob Chadwick (same
era). O.S.Football Club news of interest.
Whitehead, Geoffrey William
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
History, PE 1971-79
Mountaineering club with Killer Crouchley
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.
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. www.nfy53.demon.co.uk 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.
SGS 1966(1a) - 1972(7m)
p.s. After reading a few letters, Yes the bomb in the desk did
room 7 back row in the corner, 1st April forget the year but I think
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or via wwwfriendsreunited.com.uk
Thanks to Paul Cowsill for the mention. I'll tell Paul Godby.
Keep up the good work.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Meanwhile, keep up the good work on a great website!
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
Head,leaving and replaced by Austen Williamson, as cold a fish as you
poosibly meet,( and about as skilled at "man management" ).He once
me into his office for the sole and ludicrous purpose of measuring my
bottoms ,as he was insistent on branding me as a "teddy boy".The
in fact measured a smart 15 ",and stood out in stark contrast to the
bags worn by most of the kids ,some of whom had legs as thin as
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
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
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.
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 .
I was at Stand from '71 to '78 and I'm sure I know you! The
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
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
Must stop, time for my medication. Matron thinks these lap tops for the criminally insane are a really good idea.
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?
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,
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.
I stumbled across your excellent site the other night and find
I must have been a contemporary of yours, although we were not in the
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
Weir for the other. I thought that Haggis was a great laugh, for all
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
of the scout-hut from the effects of the resin fumes from
'Junkie' Jensen, the cycling chemistry teacher. I once took a
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
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
he now a solicitor with a Manchester law firm?) and may have been my
Greg Berry was quick, sharp and intuitive.
Hefferen? was always a good laugh.
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;
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
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
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 http://www.alexisparkinn.com/photogallery/Videos/2006-5-15-duall-hang-gl
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
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
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
his car once. He always used to wave his empty glass in the air, at
time, demanding a gin and tonic, that was never forthcoming.
Sad to see the old school gone,
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
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…
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
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
debating society?? No neither did I!!), The Fell Walking
society (WHAT!!), Community service visit to Prestwich Hospital (RS
comments “the majority of the patients I met were
means that any conversation with them flits from one subject to
with no obvious connection” – a bit like talking to
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!).
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 !
I notice from the email links on your SGS website that both
Warren Johnson are deceased.
I vaguely recall that Ian was one or two years above me
& seem to
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
I've searched your site as best I can using Google and this
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
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
pops up and back I go to see if anyone has mentioned it.
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.
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
1966 - 1972
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??
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:
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
mislaid your homework but sympathy without relief is like mustard
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!
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!
Thanks to your brilliant website I was able to get in touch
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
illness, my email address changed and I lost Craig's. If you're out there
Craig, drop me an email at email@example.com
Thanks again Martyn,
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.
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.
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
research on life processes, so chemistry and biology were always my
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
This was especially bad because it left me with
Latin as my
only foreign language and Latin was taught by an idiot called Smythe,
knew more about de-motivating students than he knew about
I knew I would fail Latin, which I did -- along with more
the class. A Credit in a foreign language in the School Certificate was
a requirement for matriculation. Mr. Cottrel
Spanish teacher, saved my bacon by offering to teach me
those days German was "the language of chemistry" so I
his offer. We met once or twice a week during my PS periods,
our way through Otto's German Grammar -- all in old Gothic
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
having offered me the most reassuring and compassionate words of any
at SGS. English language and literature were among
my top subjects
and Evans had high expectations of me in the School Certificate
But in the exams I fell apart. Instead of the
Good" I failed in literature and scraped by with a credit in
language part. The damning results were posted on
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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.
I recently took my daughter for a look round at
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.
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.
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!
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
Raymond “Rob Roy” Russell teacher of German, 1973-1977, Church Lane
That you don't know what you've got ‘til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.”
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).
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 never returned to teaching.
I was usually required to write a sort of international English, spelling “center”, “color”, etc. and the habit has stuck.
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
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 !
Occupants of Staff Room 2 in the mid 1970s...
Occupants of Staff Room 2 in the mid 1970s...
Can’t remember but I think he was later dep-head
Art (slightly handsomer than in reality but
Wood / metal
Maths? (I think so Martyn)
French ? Spanish
Anyone know any more names??Apparently, yes we do...
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 email@example.com 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!
J.M. Hudson (Captain)
Keith Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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 )
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)
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
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!
Back to top
Back to main letters page...
Author: Martyn Arnold