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George Dixons Grammar School

DerekH

New Member
I went to GD in 1962.. Form master was a young guy called Field -he also took history
The Head was Rumsby and deputy was I think Dilworth who may have become Head at some stage. I remember being wheeled into his office with another lad and told to hold our hands out..without warning he caned us I can remember the white hot pain - I always wanted to ask him what we had done but assumed I'd just get another.

Ces Fisher took English, he was inspirational with sarcasm in the same measure. Siddle for Chemistry, Les Somerton Physics..I remember Caplin who took his own life. Orrin ? for Geography, Robertson ? Biology. The maths teacher was a bald-headed guy round glasses, totally devoid of humour, straight out of a Dickens novel, I recall during one lesson a lad called Steven Davies was taking the mick out of him - without batting an eyelid he slowly moved to Davies's desk and proceeded to beat him up whilst still reading equations out loud from a book - and he did beat him up he was punching him viciously in the side of the head and twisting his ear lifting him out of the seat. Davies never winced he was a hard kid. I'd never seen such hatred.. For a while we had an overseas teacher for maths called Vetta who hardly spoke English but being maths it didn't affect me much.
Some of the kids there I remember; Ken Martin, Dave Peplow, Michael Ball ( became Birmingham Coroner ) John Collins, Ian 'Bumble' Billington, Esmond Rosen - great athlete- Dave Burley, Michael Jablonski, Firoz 'Fritz' Kanji ( he went on to establish then Oasis market in Brum ) Keith Cooper. They actually spelled Keith from the school on his last afternoon in the sixth form for turning up on his scooter.... happy days
 

DPD

proper brummie kid
I went to GD in 1959 and left in 1964 after taking 'O' Levels and without bothering to go back to collect my solitary certificate. There was only one master who inspired me and he taught English language. I think he joined about 1960 and left in 1963 and he may have been called Owens although I can't be sure. Whatever his name, I owe him a debt of gratitude because I've earned a fair proportion of my income from writing over the years. For the rest... Pat Hanks was great - art teacher and enthusiastic although he lost some of the work that I would have liked to keep. Mr Trout was hopeless. He would start writing at the top left of blackboard 1, continuing across boards 2 & 3 and if you hadn't finished copying what he had written on board 1 by the time he'd finished board 3, too bad because he wiped it off and carried on. He was a keen Gilbert & Sullivan fan and we used to work hard at getting him to sing some of the material from the operettas. If we could do that the lesson was finished. Mr Wetters seemed very aptly named. He taught divinity and biology but how he managed to reconcile those two I can't recall. Mr Hannay tried to teach me Latin and failed. Each report carried a note to the effect of 'He finds the subject very difficult' until he knew that I wasn't carrying on with it the next term when he wrote 'He is a defeatist'. Anybody remember the record club in the woodwork shop? Some boys went into the city centre to get the latest Beatles album one day and we could have a track of our choice played in return for a sixpence which went into a collection for (I think) the Freedom from Hunger campaign. No, they weren't great days. I hated school and was glad to be free of it. Odd, then, that I was awarded a first class honours in history in 2017 at the Open University and am now studying for a Masters at Exeter.
Hi Ken,
I went to GD in 1959 and left in 1964 after taking 'O' Levels and without bothering to go back to collect my solitary certificate. There was only one master who inspired me and he taught English language. I think he joined about 1960 and left in 1963 and he may have been called Owens although I can't be sure. Whatever his name, I owe him a debt of gratitude because I've earned a fair proportion of my income from writing over the years. For the rest... Pat Hanks was great - art teacher and enthusiastic although he lost some of the work that I would have liked to keep. Mr Trout was hopeless. He would start writing at the top left of blackboard 1, continuing across boards 2 & 3 and if you hadn't finished copying what he had written on board 1 by the time he'd finished board 3, too bad because he wiped it off and carried on. He was a keen Gilbert & Sullivan fan and we used to work hard at getting him to sing some of the material from the operettas. If we could do that the lesson was finished. Mr Wetters seemed very aptly named. He taught divinity and biology but how he managed to reconcile those two I can't recall. Mr Hannay tried to teach me Latin and failed. Each report carried a note to the effect of 'He finds the subject very difficult' until he knew that I wasn't carrying on with it the next term when he wrote 'He is a defeatist'. Anybody remember the record club in the woodwork shop? Some boys went into the city centre to get the latest Beatles album one day and we could have a track of our choice played in return for a sixpence which went into a collection for (I think) the Freedom from Hunger campaign. No, they weren't great days. I hated school and was glad to be free of it. Odd, then, that I was awarded a first class honours in history in 2017 at the Open University and am now studying for a Masters at Exeter.
Hi Ken, I remember you, we were in 3b to 5b together. (I was D P Davies [Peter]) Norris T Owen was our English Lang master who inspired you to such depth. Sadly, he left at the end of the Spring term in '64. He helped me greatly as I had been struggling and got me reading the editorials in the B'ham Post to learn how to construct and write an argument. That and his teaching of precis and comprehension have never left me and been useful right through life. He was an old boy of the school. I'm glad that you you have flourished and I wish you well with your Masters.
 

MWC

New Member
Replying to 'Mossy'.

Yes, I was at George Dixon from 1959 - 64.
I 'Googled' myself this morning and came across the 'Mossy' enquiry.
Maybe 'Mossy' was there with me?
I've just spotted references to Mr. Rumsby and that pig of a man Walker
(I'm sure he meant well but so did Hitler) and also Thomson, who did, as I recall run a film club, although for some strange reason I was never invited to attend. His nickname was 'Bubble' because, sadly even though the poor man would have been only in his early 20's, he had a head like the cue ball on a snooker table.
Any road up, give us a shout about the reason for the enquiry.
Cool runnin' and tara a bit,
Laurie Hornsby
I attended 58 - 64. I've tried explaining to my friends and family about Porky Walker and his violence. A Yorkshire phsycopath who'd raise your forelock , slap your face or punch you in the back if you didn't know how many beans made five. He'd be under lock and key today.
 

MWC

New Member
Hi David,

The only GD name that springs to mind regarding a distinguished rugby career is that of Keith Hatter, who played for Moseley. Whether he played for England at any level I wouldn't know.

Another sporty master I remember was called Pruitt, but I don't think he was at GD for very long.

Your last paragraph is very interesting..............!

G
Mr. Pruit went on to Yardley Grammar School.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I attended 58 - 64. I've tried explaining to my friends and family about Porky Walker and his violence. A Yorkshire phsycopath who'd raise your forelock , slap your face or punch you in the back if you didn't know how many beans made five. He'd be under lock and key today.

I was at GD from 1957 to 1962 or 63, can't quite remember. The Pork was a fearsome character, no doubt about it. I well remember waiting for Chunky Brooks to turn up for an art lesson (in which no-one had the slightest interest) and when we got somewhat bored it was decided to have a 'chair race' around the arts room - that is, a boy sat on a steel-runnered chair, and another boy pushed him. Great fun. Until, suddenly, the squat figure of The Pork appeared in the doorway. He didn't even have to say anything. There was instant and total silence. We heard afterwards that Chunky had something of a telling-off for being late!

I may have mentioned this before, but when I was in 2A or 3A I lost, or had nicked, my money. Which meant I had no bus-fare to get home. I went to the ante-hall with a view to asking Mrs Moore, the secretary, to lend me the bus-fare; but The Pork was there, and demanded to know why I was still on the premises. I explained my predicament. He just said, "I see", and gave me some loose change. And I had to promise him I'd pay it back in the morning. Which I did....naturally. He had a human side.

The worst and most violent teacher I remember taught Physics and had a motor-scooter. Anyone know who I'm referring to...?

G
 

Brian B

Brummie babby
Carolynn,

I remember a pal of mine, ‘Derek’ , roughly during that period, but the surname that comes to mind was ‘Acock’, not Taylor. Just in case I’m wrong, did your brother ride a Vincent 1000 motor bike to school in the later years?

Terry, East Grinstead, UK
Hi Terry,

I was at GD from 1951 to 1958 so the same time as you. Derek Acock had a NSU MAX 250cc but his father had a Vincent Rapide V twin. Lovely machine. I started going on a 250cc Excelsior Talisman twin then progressed to a 350cc Velocette MAC and finally for the last two terms a new 600cc Norton Dominator 99.

I was one of the biscuit sales team and we stored the biscuits in the secretary's office and one day when I was getting some biscuits Wally Walker came into the office and went over to the window and looked out of it and saw my Norton in the cycle shed there and said 'who the hell comes to school on that?' I kept very quiet and hurried out of the office.

I am still in contact with Derek and spoke to him a few days ago.

I recognise your name but I'm afraid that I cannot picture you. Sorry.

Brian B
 

Brian B

Brummie babby
The thread's nearly 5 years old now but just in case... I was at GD 1952-1958.

I'm trying to recall our maths teacher's name - anyone?

--
Terry, East Grinstead, UK
AS some have already said the first Maths teacher was Polly Worthington but for the 5th and 6th forms it was A. H. D. Dutton. My Maths level went downhill with his teaching and I only recovered when I was at Technical College after leaving GD.

Brian B
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
I was at GF 1964-71. I remember Mr Rumsby the Headmaster and Mr Dilworth was his deputy. Rumsby was small but kind with round glasses. I liked him. Dilworth was a disciplinarian and usually somber and difficult. I always remember he had a large dimple in the centre of his chin.
Les Summerton was Head of physics with trousers an inch below his neck! He always sold dinner tickets in the ante hall after the morning assembly. Masterton was the junior physics master and very pleasant.
Robertson taught biology and Siddle chemistry. I knew Cecil Fisher well. He taught English and conducted the school orchestra which I played in throughout my time there. He used to walk with me each morning from the King’s Head to school. Sandercock used to play the piano in the orchestra and Lisle Sharp and Terry Giblin we’re also in the orchestra as was Harrison and Olver.
i remember Mr Hannay, a small fat man with a shrill voice who taught me Spanish. Mr Orrin taught Geography succeeded by Mr Madison. Hayes taught metalwork and Prowse Woodwork. Then there was Les Paul who did engineering drawing.
Later I remember Mr Gibson who succeeded Dilworth as deputy Head. He was also a disciplinarian.
I vaguely remember Caplin but remember Mr Proctor with his yellow nicotine-stained fingers.

In my last year 1970-71 I was Head Boy of the school and it was great. On leaving in summer 1971 I went on a W.H Rhodes Educational Trust Trip for 3 weeks to Canada having been nominated by the then Headmaster Mr Mends. It was to be my leaving present!!
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Polly Worthington was head of 1st & 2nd Forms and taught maths at that level. I think B H Bond was Head of maths at the time. From I think 1957 a new teacher L E Olver (Leo) joined the school teaching maths (he was my form master in 3B). I remember the name Dutton but I don't think he ever taught me. Can't remember who was my maths master in my O level year
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I may have written this before. In my second year D A Dilworth (Daddy Dilworth) was one of our masters. When we all handed in our first homework for him he was absolutely furious as none of us in our primary schools had been taught cursive handwriting so that lesson was taken up teaching us cursive script which we had to copy down from the blackboard. We had to use that thereafter in homework in his subject. Fortunately we never encountered him thereafter as he was appointed Head of Five Ways when GD took over the old KEGS school as an annex.
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
I never went to Five Ways and was always in City Road. Used to take the number 9 bus from Quinton where I lived to the King’s Head then usually walked with Cecil Fisher to school. Sometimes I took the number 11 Outer Circle bus from King’s Head to the school.
I was never taught by Dilworth who incidentally was not called Daddy Dilworth! It was Giblin who was called Daddy Giblin. He played the double bass in the school orchestra.

Other memories I have are of Mr Gair who was a PE teacher. He had a habit to hitting boys like me with their trainers across their bottoms! I arrived in Form 1c in 1964 and the class teacher was Mr Madison. Mr Field taught me history.
In other memories I remember being a monitor with a red stripe on each arm of my uniform in my 4th and 5th years. I went from that to 2 yellow prefect stripes on each arm as Head Boy of the school 1970-71. My deputies were Phil Street and Malcom Ridout, no idea whatever happened to them.
I was the first Jewish boy to be appointed as Head Boy since the school was founded in 1884! It was in the Birmingham newspapers!
 

Supavillain

New Member
Gosh, the memories are flooding back. I was at GD between 69 & 76. That list of teachers brought some faces back. I'd forgotten Mrs Morby. My friend had a massive crush on her son Dominic!
 

Brian B

Brummie babby
In the early 1970s I lived in Leamington Spa and one day I was walking through the branch of Rackhams there and saw this man walking towards me and I thought 'I know him, but what is his name?' He stopped and looked at me and said I taught you physics - it was, of course, Les Summerton. It turned out that he had always lived there travelling from Leamington Spa to GD every day by train and bus.

In the 1960s I was sent by my employer to take part in an adventure training course for 4 weeks in the Lake District. Once a week during this course we had a visiting speaker and the one evening as we were going into the hall to hear that evening's speaker I asked one of my colleagues who was speaking that night and he said somebody named Rumsby. I said was it T. W. Rumsby and he said yes. I could not believe it but it was him. I sank down in my seat and kept out of his sight but about halfway through his talk he spotted me and stopped in mid sentence and said 'I recognise you - see me afterwards'. I did so and we had a good chat. I always found him to be a good headmaster.
 

Brian B

Brummie babby
Absolutely correct About Mr Olver and Proctor. I have fond memories of Mr Hannay too. He was strict, had a loud shout and Always wore his black gown. He was small stature and very rotund. I think he was a Bachelor and lived with his mother.
I remember well the Headmaster Mr Mends and his Deputy Mr Gibson who was the strictor of the two and more of a disciplinarian. When starting at the School in 1964 I remember the then Headmaster Mr T W Rumsby, a small man with round glasses and very very Kind and softly spoken. He lived near me off Lordswood Road.
A Memory too of Mr Masterton a Physics teacher. He was then Young and ambitious and a very good teacher. I heard he's retired now but still alive.
Remember Mr Fletcher as well. Choirmaster and Organist in St Martin's Church at the Bullring. He coined the Phrase "Dunderheaded lump of green-blazered twerpery"! He said this to any Boy he considered stupid or errant.
Then there was thge P.E teacher Mr Gair who I found rather aggressive and who more than once hit me over my buttocks with my Trainers.
Mr Hayes, metalwork and Mr Prowser, woodwork also stick in my mind.
Hi David,

I remember Geoff Fletcher very well. I was picked by him to sing in the school choir and also at St Martin's in the Bull Ring. I was blessed with a very good treble voice and sang the part of the Archangel Gabriel when we performed Haydn's Creation. The part of the Archangel Raphael was sung by John Morris and the Archangel Uriel by Arnold Bertwhistle. What a wonderful evening that was.
 

Brian B

Brummie babby
Sir Michael Balcon the film producer was educated at GD. There is a plaque on the school in City Road commemorating this fact. He is also recorded as playing in the first Rugby match between the school and the Old Dixonians. The original George Dixon character was killed in the film The Blue Lamp but the name was used again in the TV series.

Oscar Deutsch went to our arch rivals King Edwards Five Ways
There is a connection between Oscar Deutsch and GD. Geoff Fletcher's wife Olive was the Personal Assistant to Oscar Deutsch based at first in his offices at the Perry Bar Odeon and later at Quinton.

Brian B
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
In the early 1970s I lived in Leamington Spa and one day I was walking through the branch of Rackhams there and saw this man walking towards me and I thought 'I know him, but what is his name?' He stopped and looked at me and said I taught you physics - it was, of course, Les Summerton. It turned out that he had always lived there travelling from Leamington Spa to GD every day by train and bus.

In the 1960s I was sent by my employer to take part in an adventure training course for 4 weeks in the Lake District. Once a week during this course we had a visiting speaker and the one evening as we were going into the hall to hear that evening's speaker I asked one of my colleagues who was speaking that night and he said somebody named Rumsby. I said was it T. W. Rumsby and he said yes. I could not believe it but it was him. I sank down in my seat and kept out of his sight but about halfway through his talk he spotted me and stopped in mid sentence and said 'I recognise you - see me afterwards'. I did so and we had a good chat. I always found him to be a good headmaster.
Yes, I knew Les Summerton lived in Leamington and travelled every day to the school. I heard he lived until he was about 90. He was a character but usually very kind. He had very old style handwriting I remember both on the blackboard and in books. He was the dinner ticket king!
I remember Mr Rumsby Too especially his short stature and round glasses.
In my day they all wore black gowns but not Les Summerton, he usually wore a white coat And Mr Prowse in Woodwork wore a dark beige coat.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
There is a connection between Oscar Deutsch and GD. Geoff Fletcher's wife Olive was the Personal Assistant to Oscar Deutsch based at first in his offices at the Perry Bar Odeon and later at Quinton.

Brian B

If by Quinton you mean the Warley Odeon, that is an interesting cinema. Back in the days when cinemas were not open on Sundays, Oscar Deutsch used that cinema for private showing of new films before they went on general release. I don't think it was ever an Odeon during Deutsch's life time (he died in 1941) because it opened as the Warley cinema although designed by the Odeon architect and Deutsch was a part owner. My mother never called it the Odeon, she always called it the Warley
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Yes we all thought in those days that Les Summerton was heroic coming that distance to school and especially coming on a train! I first heard about it at morning assembly on a snowy day when Wally Walker announced that Mr Summerton had not yet arrived and another master would be taking his first period.
 
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