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George Dixons Grammar School

Silver5125

Brummie babby
I wasn’t that bright, started and ended in the C stream. Also went to 5Ways, I think we were the first to occupy but I’m not sure.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Hi David, I was at GD from 1957 to 1962. I’ve only just found this forum so I thought I’d post a comment to see who else is still around.
We overlap but I doubt if we would have known each other. I was there 1955 -1960 and spent my whole time at City Road but in my last year was a frequent visitor to Five Ways for various reasons, not all official.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I wasn’t that bright, started and ended in the C stream. Also went to 5Ways, I think we were the first to occupy but I’m not sure.
Yes I think 1957 was the first year at Five Ways but I think the school policy was that you spent your first year at City Road in order to get the ambiance of the school
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I didn't much care for Five Ways. It seemed like a rabbit-warren, and stairs all over the place. Poor old Kipper Print used to look absolutely whacked by the time he made it to the lecuture-theatre. And I don't recall seeing either Mr Rumsby or Wally Walker very much at Five Ways. I think Dilworth was in charge at Five Ways when I was there. The best thing about it, for me at least, was the walk down Broad Street to get my bus from town, and all those coffee-bars that used to be there....pubs too, a bit later on! George Clay's music-shop, as well.

G
 

David Hart

proper brummie kid
One more....David Hart!
Hi Duncan, it’s me David Hart! Just seen your entry having by chance come across this site. Thanks for remembering me after all these past 48 years since I left GD. I remember you and most of the names you mentioned. Brings back memories.
I was School Captain 1970/71 with Phil Street and Malcolm Ridout as my vice-captains. Hope they are both still alive and well.
After leaving in 1971 I went to Birmingham Medical School. Graduated as a doctor in 1976. Became a GP Principal in Bedford until 1997 then worked as a GP with the British army in Germany 1997-2016 then with the Americans in Germany 2016-2018 and since 2018 have been working as a GP in the German prison service. I’m still working full-time at age 66!
loved my time at GD, amongst the best years of my life. In 1971 after leaving I was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship to Canada and joined a group of other boys for a 3 week tour of the whole of Canada with publicity wherever we went. It was a final departing gift from GD to me!

Greetings to all who remember me. I live now in Germany with my German wife and 15 year old son.
 

Grammarbug

Brummie babby
Hi Duncan, it’s me David Hart! Just seen your entry having by chance come across this site. Thanks for remembering me after all these past 48 years since I left GD. I remember you and most of the names you mentioned. Brings back memories.
I was School Captain 1970/71 with Phil Street and Malcolm Ridout as my vice-captains. Hope they are both still alive and well.
After leaving in 1971 I went to Birmingham Medical School. Graduated as a doctor in 1976. Became a GP Principal in Bedford until 1997 then worked as a GP with the British army in Germany 1997-2016 then with the Americans in Germany 2016-2018 and since 2018 have been working as a GP in the German prison service. I’m still working full-time at age 66!
loved my time at GD, amongst the best years of my life. In 1971 after leaving I was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship to Canada and joined a group of other boys for a 3 week tour of the whole of Canada with publicity wherever we went. It was a final departing gift from GD to me!

Greetings to all who remember me. I live now in Germany with my German wife and 15 year old son.
 

Grammarbug

Brummie babby
Hello David!
Yes 1971 was almost a lifetime ago but curiously my memories of 1964 to 1971 are still quite vivid.
In particular I remember watching the first man on the moon landing in 1969 in the lecture theatre.
Anyway... I was aware that you qualified as a doctor and I was not in the least bit surprised given how focused you were at school. In fact you were a great role model if only I had recognised it at the time. Success in life is 90% perspiration and only 10% inspiration. Clearly I know that now. By my own admission I was a lazy individual and while I was in the A stream just like you I only did enough to get by.Lesson learnt meant my children had the exact opposite experience. Privately educated ( essential given the quality of state education in Worcestershire) they were pushed to achieve top grades at GCSE and A level and both went on to graduate from Kings College London and then do masters.
My daughter is now VP of an American owned music company and my son has just joined a technology firm. Why am I telling you all this? Simply I reflected on a missed opportunity at GD that by contrast you grasped!
You clearly impressed the management by making you head boy despite the conflict it created at assembly. So your hard work paid off and continues to benefit society on a daily basis. You may be surprised to hear that I think you are a good egg but that IS my opinion. All that brain power and knowledge not put out to grass yet....well done and keep it up!
So I went into accountancy straight from school and served articles alongside the then headmasters son David Mendes. I found it so dull I had to leave. Yet it was a source of inspiration for my final career.
I am a chartered financial planner and like you continue to work because I enjoy it and also know that retirement can be a mixed blessing from my experience of advising clients who have retired.
So thank you for taking the trouble to write and I will leave you with my two enduring memories of you. One, of course was your great sense of humour and the second that whenever you made an error in your coursebook rather than cross it out you used a chemical to eradicate it. Surely a forerunner to Tippex?! It made for very smart submissions!
If you want to email me any time you can reach me at (edited to remove email address) or contact me via the message system above - click on the small envelope)
I had better let you get back to that queue of patients. If I go to the classic car show at Essen I will give you advance notice to see if we can meet up.

Best wishes Duncan
 
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Nigel R

New Member
You must have started GD the same day as me; my 1st form tutor was Mr Noone, a Quaker I think. I particularly recall Mr Swain, Welsh PE/Rugby master who played for Moseley, Mr Paul who taught Technical Drawing, and Mrs Cutler, my favourite Geography teacher. I was one of the very few who left at the end of the 5th form (got 7 'O' levels though) to make my way in the world. I've recently taken an early retirement deal after over 40 years in the Civil Service. You are absolutely correct when you say that the GD education was a huge part in our formative years. (mostly) Happy Days.
I started in form 1A in September 1969, with Johnny Noon also as my form master. Were we in the same class?
 

David Hart

proper brummie kid
Hello David!
Yes 1971 was almost a lifetime ago but curiously my memories of 1964 to 1971 are still quite vivid.
In particular I remember watching the first man on the moon landing in 1969 in the lecture theatre.
Anyway... I was aware that you qualified as a doctor and I was not in the least bit surprised given how focused you were at school. In fact you were a great role model if only I had recognised it at the time. Success in life is 90% perspiration and only 10% inspiration. Clearly I know that now. By my own admission I was a lazy individual and while I was in the A stream just like you I only did enough to get by.Lesson learnt meant my children had the exact opposite experience. Privately educated ( essential given the quality of state education in Worcestershire) they were pushed to achieve top grades at GCSE and A level and both went on to graduate from Kings College London and then do masters.
My daughter is now VP of an American owned music company and my son has just joined a technology firm. Why am I telling you all this? Simply I reflected on a missed opportunity at GD that by contrast you grasped!
You clearly impressed the management by making you head boy despite the conflict it created at assembly. So your hard work paid off and continues to benefit society on a daily basis. You may be surprised to hear that I think you are a good egg but that IS my opinion. All that brain power and knowledge not put out to grass yet....well done and keep it up!
So I went into accountancy straight from school and served articles alongside the then headmasters son David Mendes. I found it so dull I had to leave. Yet it was a source of inspiration for my final career.
I am a chartered financial planner and like you continue to work because I enjoy it and also know that retirement can be a mixed blessing from my experience of advising clients who have retired.
So thank you for taking the trouble to write and I will leave you with my two enduring memories of you. One, of course was your great sense of humour and the second that whenever you made an error in your coursebook rather than cross it out you used a chemical to eradicate it. Surely a forerunner to Tippex?! It made for very smart submissions!
If you want to email me any time you can reach me at (edited to remove email address) or contact me via the message system above - click on the small envelope)
I had better let you get back to that queue of patients. If I go to the classic car show at Essen I will give you advance notice to see if we can meet up.

Best wishes Duncan
Hello David!
Yes 1971 was almost a lifetime ago but curiously my memories of 1964 to 1971 are still quite vivid.
In particular I remember watching the first man on the moon landing in 1969 in the lecture theatre.
Anyway... I was aware that you qualified as a doctor and I was not in the least bit surprised given how focused you were at school. In fact you were a great role model if only I had recognised it at the time. Success in life is 90% perspiration and only 10% inspiration. Clearly I know that now. By my own admission I was a lazy individual and while I was in the A stream just like you I only did enough to get by.Lesson learnt meant my children had the exact opposite experience. Privately educated ( essential given the quality of state education in Worcestershire) they were pushed to achieve top grades at GCSE and A level and both went on to graduate from Kings College London and then do masters.
My daughter is now VP of an American owned music company and my son has just joined a technology firm. Why am I telling you all this? Simply I reflected on a missed opportunity at GD that by contrast you grasped!
You clearly impressed the management by making you head boy despite the conflict it created at assembly. So your hard work paid off and continues to benefit society on a daily basis. You may be surprised to hear that I think you are a good egg but that IS my opinion. All that brain power and knowledge not put out to grass yet....well done and keep it up!
So I went into accountancy straight from school and served articles alongside the then headmasters son David Mendes. I found it so dull I had to leave. Yet it was a source of inspiration for my final career.
I am a chartered financial planner and like you continue to work because I enjoy it and also know that retirement can be a mixed blessing from my experience of advising clients who have retired.
So thank you for taking the trouble to write and I will leave you with my two enduring memories of you. One, of course was your great sense of humour and the second that whenever you made an error in your coursebook rather than cross it out you used a chemical to eradicate it. Surely a forerunner to Tippex?! It made for very smart submissions!
If you want to email me any time you can reach me at (edited to remove email address) or contact me via the message system above - click on the small envelope)
I had better let you get back to that queue of patients. If I go to the classic car show at Essen I will give you advance notice to see if we can meet up.

Best wishes Duncan
Hi Duncan,
I tried to Reply to you but don't know if you saw it. Sent it today 9th December 2019.
In case you didn't see it I had some questions for you but very much appreciate all the nice things you said about me. When I was Head Boy of the school 1970/71 why was there a conflict created at assembly? I have no recollection of this. I agree I was always very focused and self-disciplined which I still am. I like to guide and help people but don't suffer fools likely, never have. I love my work especially now working on the German net as a GP and I hope, God willing, to continue until at least 70 or longer. My wife is 10 years younger than me and I have a nearly 16 year old son at home so I need to keep at it! I do also have 3 daughters in UK but they're adults now and more interested in their own lives.
I like to work hard and play hard. We enjoy 3-4 holidays each year usually in lovely locations, we enjoy first-class air and rail travel and love cruising. My son also likes to ski and we will be going into the Austrian Alps over the New Year.

I was interested to read of your successes and of how well your Children are doing. You should be proud of all this too.
Please keep in touch and send me any GD news you come across. I used to like reading the Dixonian but sadly it no longer exists just like the school we knew.
I used to have email contact with Fred Trowman whom you may remember from our year, he went on to be knighted and is still active, if the information is correct, and living in Birmingham still.
I'll look forward to hearing from you again. By the way I believe Mr Sharp who taught English is still alive in his nineties and living near Stratford!

All best wishes,

David Hart
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
David Hart,
I met 'Toffee' Sharp back in 2004 at the centenary of the move to City Road. He was my formmaster in 2C 1956/57 when he first came to GD and he went through the whole form register for that year. I think his final role in GD was as Head of the Sixth Form.
 

David Hart

proper brummie kid
David Hart,
I met 'Toffee' Sharp back in 2004 at the centenary of the move to City Road. He was my formmaster in 2C 1956/57 when he first came to GD and he went through the whole form register for that year. I think his final role in GD was as Head of the Sixth Form.
Interesting to hear this but I think he’s still alive but very old now. I remember him best from the school orchestra. He and I played in the second violins under the baton of Cecil Fisher. He was teaching English when Fisher was Head of the department. Are any other staff members still alive that you know?
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Interesting to hear this but I think he’s still alive but very old now. I remember him best from the school orchestra. He and I played in the second violins under the baton of Cecil Fisher. He was teaching English when Fisher was Head of the department. Are any other staff members still alive that you know?
I doubt if there are any others from my time. I am 75 now so even the youngest that I knew straight form university have to be in the high 80s now. Do you remember a Harold Bond. He may eventually have become a Deputy Head. There was a newspaper article about him when he was very old as his whole life revolved around GD as he was an Old Dixonian himself and spent his entire teaching career in GD.
 

David Hart

proper brummie kid
I doubt if there are any others from my time. I am 75 now so even the youngest that I knew straight form university have to be in the high 80s now. Do you remember a Harold Bond. He may eventually have become a Deputy Head. There was a newspaper article about him when he was very old as his whole life revolved around GD as he was an Old Dixonian himself and spent his entire teaching career in GD.
I still have fond memories of certain staff members like Malcolm Hannay who taught Spanish and was a small rotund man though very nice and formidable. Max Harrison was in the School orchestra like me playing the violin and was a lovely man, taught French I think. I well remember Mr Mends the Headmaster and Mr Gibson his formidable Deputy and often had Meetings with them as Head Boy. Terry Giblin also sticks in my Memory riding his motorbike with passenger car and Mr Proctor who taught me Latin and Always had nicotine-stained fingers. I liked the geography teacher Mr Endall and of Course Les Summerton who taught me Physics and had that enduring saying at assembles…...all Boys requiring dinner tickets please see me in the ante hall after the Assembly! I remember the biology treacher Mr Robertson and Mr Masterton who also taught Physics and who I believe is still alive. I remember Geoff Fletcher and the Choir and his famous saying to Boys. Mr Sharp played the violin but seemed to move his violin rather than the bow when playing!
I remember Mr Prowse who taught woodwork and Mr Hayes who taught metalwork.
All a Long time ago but vivid memories remain.
My time at GD created a great Impression on me and is never forgotten. I also remember a few former pupils. Stephen Miskin and Juggit Sanghera were in my year and both also qualified in Birmingham as doctors and stayed in the City. Miskin has recently retired and Sanghera continues in a practice in Sheldon I think. I also recall Barry Smith who became a doctor too, he was in the year above me. My brother Peter was also at GD two years below me.
 

David Hart

proper brummie kid
I still have fond memories of certain staff members like Malcolm Hannay who taught Spanish and was a small rotund man though very nice and formidable. Max Harrison was in the School orchestra like me playing the violin and was a lovely man, taught French I think. I well remember Mr Mends the Headmaster and Mr Gibson his formidable Deputy and often had Meetings with them as Head Boy. Terry Giblin also sticks in my Memory riding his motorbike with passenger car and Mr Proctor who taught me Latin and Always had nicotine-stained fingers. I liked the geography teacher Mr Endall and of Course Les Summerton who taught me Physics and had that enduring saying at assembles…...all Boys requiring dinner tickets please see me in the ante hall after the Assembly! I remember the biology treacher Mr Robertson and Mr Masterton who also taught Physics and who I believe is still alive. I remember Geoff Fletcher and the Choir and his famous saying to Boys. Mr Sharp played the violin but seemed to move his violin rather than the bow when playing!
I remember Mr Prowse who taught woodwork and Mr Hayes who taught metalwork.
All a Long time ago but vivid memories remain.
My time at GD created a great Impression on me and is never forgotten. I also remember a few former pupils. Stephen Miskin and Juggit Sanghera were in my year and both also qualified in Birmingham as doctors and stayed in the City. Miskin has recently retired and Sanghera continues in a practice in Sheldon I think. I also recall Barry Smith who became a doctor too, he was in the year above me. My brother Peter was also at GD two years below me.
I must add Mark Williams whom I got to know quite well. He was very popular and used to Play leading roles in the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas we used to stage annually. I recall Peter Gregory and Robert Bissell both of whom lived across the road from the City Road School and were very friendly with each other. Graham Howe I also recall, being quite rotund and I think playing the horn in the orchestra. I also remember Clive Fraser who was larger than life and went on to become a University Professor surprisingly! There was also Peter Muller, of German descent who was very cerebral and already acted like a Professor don't know what happened to him.

Another memory is of the crates of 1/3 pint glass milk bottles in crates outside the main school entrance. A prefect used to supervise their distribution.

I remember too the morning gathering of pupils of other religions in a classroom especially the Jewish boys when Alan Zeffertt was the senior Jewish boy and Steven Linden was present too. I was also there and not in the church next door to the school. I will write more if other memories come to mind.
 
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DPD

Brummie babby
The only master whose politics we knew anything about was Tom Long who fought against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. If we ever wanted to wind him up we would ask about Franco in Spain or occasionally about Peron in Argentina. I have taken out a couple of sentences in view of Chris's comments above and left the rest of my post

However I do not want this forum to become a political debating ground so I shall not say how I voted in the referendum or the EU parliament elections.
Mr EW Long was one of the finest on the staff. Cheekily, in a Spanish 'O' Level class (about 1963/4), I asked him what he did in the war. He said that he used to visit his in-laws. (His wife was from Normandy.) So, I chanced it by asking next how he got there, 'How do you think, Davies? By submarine, then row or swim.' I shared this in recent years with Terry Giblin and Jeremy Patterson, and Jeremy confirmed that he had heard in the Staff Room that he had been an SOE operative in WW2. Taking this all to be true, how little we knew of the bravery of this man in the service of gaining peace. Always a very elegant man, a devout Christian (RC) and ran the Film Club. His encouragement meant that I kept up my Spanish, worked and lived there and still speak the language well. Peter Davies '59-66
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Welcome to the Forum, Peter, and thanks for an excellent first contribution. (The first of many, we hope!)

Chris
 
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DPD

Brummie babby
Interesting to hear this but I think he’s still alive but very old now. I remember him best from the school orchestra. He and I played in the second violins under the baton of Cecil Fisher. He was teaching English when Fisher was Head of the department. Are any other staff members still alive that you know?
I attach a pdf of the front of Lisle Sharp's Funeral Service. He died in 2016. We were expecting him at a small reunion in late October; he did not turn up with his wife, Jennifer, and we heard a few days later that he had died. I did not attend the Funeral, but a friend from my years ('59-'66) did and it was well attended. Lisle openly shared his thoughts about GD at the previous two reunions that I attended.

I've also attached a photo of the school orchestra, c. 1961/2. I am in the second violins, back row right side, third in. Let's have some fun and identify teachers and colleagues.

Re the reunion, I mentioned above, the last one in Oct 2019 was attended by Terry Giblin and Jeremy Patterson, plus other ODs from the '57, '58 and a handful from earlier years' intakes.
Peter Davies '59-'66
 

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DPD

Brummie babby
Yes I think 1957 was the first year at Five Ways but I think the school policy was that you spent your first year at City Road in order to get the ambiance of the school
In recent years, I heard (I think from Terry Giblin) that it was intended that the first year be at Five Ways, but Polly Worthington, as head of the first year, said no, except over his dead body!
 

DPD

Brummie babby
I didn't much care for Five Ways. It seemed like a rabbit-warren, and stairs all over the place. Poor old Kipper Print used to look absolutely whacked by the time he made it to the lecuture-theatre. And I don't recall seeing either Mr Rumsby or Wally Walker very much at Five Ways. I think Dilworth was in charge at Five Ways when I was there. The best thing about it, for me at least, was the walk down Broad Street to get my bus from town, and all those coffee-bars that used to be there....pubs too, a bit later on! George Clay's music-shop, as well.

G
For some ghastly reason I dreamt I was at Five Ways, again, last night--don't ask why. Mr Walker came to sort out a problem when I was in 3B ('61/'62). We returned from assembly to find WW waiting for us. Some boys had written an unpleasant and anonymous letter to one of the boys and the whole class was subjected to a handwriting test. After the dictation was finished, WW asked if any boys would care to leave the room with him and go to the hall. A handful of boys did, got a rollicking (nothing worse) and wrote a letter of apology. Just to help our happy memories of WW ... see the attached!
 

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