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George Dixons Grammar School

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
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
Quinton was along the Harley Road going out of town from the King’s Head, the number 9 bus route. I used to live in Quinton when I first started at GD. The cinema I remember well was the Essoldo further along the Harley Road in Quinton. I used to go there often on a Sunday to watch old movies. I don’t remember the Warley Odeon.
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
Quinton was along the Harley Road going out of town from the King’s Head, the number 9 bus route. I used to live in Quinton when I first started at GD. The cinema I remember well was the Essoldo further along the Harley Road in Quinton. I used to go there often on a Sunday to watch old movies. I don’t remember the Warley Odeon.
I mean Hagley Road!
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
I remember this cinema now that I see the picture. Yes, I’ve been in there until 1967 when we moved from Quinton to Harborne.
Harborne was better for me to get to school because I used to catch the number 11 outer circle bus in Lordswood Road and it went past the school in City Road so ideal.
 
John I do remember you. I believe you used to set in a group with Mark Goldberg and Geoff Benton. You were in what I would call a civilized group, whereas I sat with the uncivilized group of Alec Macdonald, Harvey Burrows and (forgotten his first name) Morgan. I have to say that I didn't really apply myself with any seriousness in getting a good education. I look back at those times as being bitter-sweet, with happy times being clouded over with the memories of squandered opportunities. However, I've done quite well since GD days, but really cannot say that anything I learned there gave me a leg up in life.
Hello and when in “lockdown” you surf the internet and what do you find but your name mentioned from times I had almost forgotten!
I remember George Dixon with a little affection but also with a feeling of opportunities missed due to my involvement with competitive swimming.
The school was well run under Mr Rumsby but on his death it seemed to go a little sad and the introduction of new teachers who didn’t seem to have the same dedication that some of the old ones had. However having said that a lot of the older ones also lived in an age gone bye and with attitudes and behaviours that certainly wouldn’t be tolerated today?
What is interesting in reading through the contributions is the different memories people had of the masters and peers. Terry Giblin, Jed Paul, Maddison and Clemence (I think he taught maths) where always supportive to me, but all the rest were just ships in the night. Mostly remembered for various reason, bad, funny, sad or disgust!
But that’s life and lessons where learnt and having left educationally challenged, 2 years away my qualifications where rebalanced and my life was subsequently fulfilled work wise. Happily married and retired George Dixon is a distant memory of a time gone, with plenty of life lessons, good times and friends I had.
Life goes on lol but thanks for the memories and I wondered what happened to Mark Goldberg Tim Taylor Harvey Burrows etc
 

Harry Flashman

master brummie
Hello Geoff,

Glad you surfaced (pun intended) and found this thread about the old GD days. Fifty plus years ago, that's a sobering thought. I really liked 'Daddy" Giblin and Jed Paul, both characters in their way and good teachers also. As for Madison, no comment and as for Clements, I'm afraid my absolute failure with algebra and geometry put me on the dunce's bench as far as he was concerned. However, all was not lost and my aptitude for maths shone brightly later on when I took maths with statistics at Hall Green Tech. Mark Goldberg has written some books, mainly about the unethical treatment of animals...PETA. Tim Taylor I met in Harborne about 30 years ago. Older but the same sense of humour. As for 'Buzz' Burrows and Alec MacDonald, nary hide nor hair I'm afraid. Peter Scoble and I have been writing and talking for the past 18 months. Sadly he is very ill. Gabriel Kavanagh is an accountant in Manchester, I believe. John Dale has shared in this thread under the name 'Bartley Green'. Dave Cummins spent his career in the Royal Navy, mostly in subs. He's now retired and enjoying life on the surface. Do you remember the brothers, one of whom became quite famous in UB 40? PM me and I'll share a tidbit with you. I think that's all I can remember as far as the George Dixon survivors club, but my old pea brain will no doubt kick in and think of someone else. Good to hear from you Geoff. Bernard.
 
Great to hear from you Bernard.
I forgot to mention Hanks the art teacher, mad as a hatter but a great character who supported my artistic tendencies.
Do you remember the day Reeves (lad had sporting pretentions as a footballer) decided to take on Jed (punches were thrown) in class and he was suspended.
I remember Gabriel well as he was a constant source of amusement. I will never forget the day he gave the excuse to Clements for not doing his homework as he had “forgotten to take his pen home“. Clements was so shocked he was speechless, the rest of us fell about in hysterics.......
Yes those where the days. Lol
 

Harry Flashman

master brummie
Great to hear from you Bernard.
I forgot to mention Hanks the art teacher, mad as a hatter but a great character who supported my artistic tendencies.
Do you remember the day Reeves (lad had sporting pretentions as a footballer) decided to take on Jed (punches were thrown) in class and he was suspended.
I remember Gabriel well as he was a constant source of amusement. I will never forget the day he gave the excuse to Clements for not doing his homework as he had “forgotten to take his pen home“. Clements was so shocked he was speechless, the rest of us fell about in hysterics.......
Yes those where the days. Lol

Geoff,

I don't remember the Reeves incident but I do remember Pat Hanks the art teacher. He was a very nice man and so enthusiastic about art. I remember as first formers he lectured us on the evils of paint by numbers and plastic flowers. Radical stuff back then. Poor old Rudolph Smith apparently got into serious trouble when his mom got home to find that Rudolph had thrown all their plastic flowers into the dustbin. Gabriel got into trouble when we were third formers at the Five Ways annex. He went AWOL one day (after lunch?) and could not be found for quite some time. When he reappeared he explained that he had gone to help his mom with the shopping. Gobsmacking stuff back then, but quite reasonable to my old brain now, considering that Gabriel had something like eight brothers/sisters for his mum to shop for.
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
It’s interesting to read former pupil’s accounts of past members of staff and their memories of these people who once long time ago featured vividly in our daily lives.
Of course most remember Les Summerton and the dinner tickets. I remember from the school orchestra Cecil Fisher conducting and Lisle Sharp in the second violins whose bow went up when everyone else’s went down! He seemed to move his violin rather than the bow!
iremember well the small tot und Malcolm Hannay who taught me Spanish and who had a shrill shout. He always waddled around with a black gown.
Daddy Giblin I remember well. He played the double bass in the orchestra and drove an old motorbike with attached sidecar. Is he still alive? Are any of the others?
I was 1964-71 and ended as Head Boy.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I first met Mr Hannay when he was a student teacher. He sat in on one of Tom Long's Spanish periods when we took over the whole class because Tom Long was so easy to side track, like when my friend R.I.Taylor would ask straight faced 'Is Franco still ruling Spain?' and we would get a whole period on the evils of fascism. I remember watching Mr Hannay's face. The following September, Mr Hannay joined the staff so we obviously did not put him off.

At the end of my time at GD, I went on a school tour of France which included the battlefields of Belgium and Northern France. We stayed in hostels or boarding schools where we had breakfast and evening meals but the masters accompanying us used to stock up with food for our lunch at local shops or markets. For most of us that was our first experience of Camembert and La-vache-qui-rit (laughing cow) cheeses. Going with Mr Hannay on this duty was fun as he did not speak French so tried speaking Spanish to market traders and shopkeepers.
 

Elmo

master brummie
I did GD 73-78. I was in the first intake that was mixed, which is why I went there, lol, my only other realistic choice was Handsworth Grammar which was still all boys. I remember Mr Hanney who I think was head of the lower year. Some names I remember which have previously been mentioned include Trout, Giblin, Sanderson and Paul. Mends was head teacher. Noon was my first form tutor. I was lucky that another lad from my Junior school, an Indian lad accompanied me and there was another lad from Rookery Road, otherwise they were all well to do from affluent families & well to do areas of Birmingham but we held our own and did well academically. It was a good school then!
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
I did 1964-71 and yes it was a good school, good all-round education, good after school activities like the school orchestra that I was in throughout my stay and good quality staff some of which were memorable characters. For several years after I left I was a member of the Dixonian Association and a committee member often attending the school. I went on to Birmingham University Medical School so was local for several years.
In retrospect my years there were amongst the best and most memorable years of my life.
 
I've been following this thread for a while now and it has brought back a lot of memories long since forgotten. I am prompted to respond for the first time following recent mention of one or two former pupils who I do remember. In particular Mark Goldberg who I was quite pally with but lost touch with when I left GD. An avid Wolves fan who modelled his footballing prowess on David Wagstaff who played on the left wing for Wolves at the time. I know he went on to work in Animal Rights writing a number of books and including one on his beloved Wolves.
I started in 1963 in 1A but quickly found my level among the C steam ending up in 6G before leaving in 1969.
I well remember Rudolph Smith from those early days and didn't relish facing him at Cricket in inter house games between the Britons and Saxons. I still remember one ball in particular rising off a full length and whistling past my ear.
I think the head boy when I started was called Wainwright and when I left in 1969 I think it was Martin Ashcroft.
Other names I remember over the years are Alan George, Geoff Benton, Timothy Taylor, Paul Mayhew, Tony Barron, Bernard Coulson etc.
The very attractive young female French teacher with the mini skirts was Miss Lewis who was from Wales, if I remember correctly. Hard to believe she must be in her early seventies now. I also remember reading about Mr Caplin's suicide in the Daily Mirror while travelling on the coach to the Lakes District on holiday. Such a shame and hard to believe I'd only last seen him a few weeks before.
My favourite subject was Engineering Drawing and in particular I remember 'lines in space' which took me ages to get the hang of but once I did then they were easy and never gave me any trouble until it came to doing the 'O' level and couldn't work it out at all. In the end I just wrote 'this is impossible' and left it at that. I never did find out whether or not it was impossible but I passed anyway although, sad to say, it hasn't been of any use to me since.
After leaving GD in 1969 I went to work for Rabone Petersen who were then in Exeter Street, Holloway Head and met up with Peter Ordidge who had been a prefect at GD when I started. As has previously been mentioned in this thread Rabone Petersen was owned by the Dixon family and George Dixon's grandson Norman Dixon was chairman. I do remember the photograph of George Dixon which he had in his office.
Hi John Geoff Benton here. How are you? Great to read some of the contributions from names almost forgotten. Drop me a line to renew some of our escapades lol. Geoff
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I was talking to a neighbour yesterday (socially distanced) and apparently he knew David Proctor, Latin master, as they were members of the same bridge club. Unfortunately after his wife died, he allowed the house to fall into a bad state of repair which meant that it was difficult to sell after David Proctor died of bowel cancer. Apparently he was diagnosed too late for any help.
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
I was talking to a neighbour yesterday (socially distanced) and apparently he knew David Proctor, Latin master, as they were members of the same bridge club. Unfortunately after his wife died, he allowed the house to fall into a bad state of repair which meant that it was difficult to sell after David Proctor died of bowel cancer. Apparently he was diagnosed too late for any help.
I will always remember David Proctor’s yellow nicotine-stained fingers and the permanent smell of tobacco. I liked him, he was a good teacher and nice person. He was left-handed I recall.
He taught me Latin.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
I will always remember David Proctor’s yellow nicotine-stained fingers and the permanent smell of tobacco. I liked him, he was a good teacher and nice person. He was left-handed I recall.
He taught me Latin.

Because of his yellow fingers we gave him the nickname Nicotinus Rex

I left school at 16 with 5 O Levels but after a few years I decided that I would go for a university degree for which I needed A levels. Having left school, I had a free choice from the whole A level curriculum so I chose non school subjects which I had covered in my further education studies but needed an exam centre where I could sit the exams so I asked the school if I could go back just to sit exams. David Proctor was the only master who spoke to me on the days I was there. I am glad to say that I got ABB in the exams which satisfied the university.

My sister who was at GD Girls also knew David Proctor because he helped her with A Level Latin as the girls school did not have the staff to teach A Level in that subject.

Talking of Latin, about 25 years ago I attended a weekend residential CPD course. On the first evening as we assembled, as an icebreaker we had a general knowledge quiz. Of the c100 people there, I was the only one who could answer the question 'What is a two word Latin phrase that means the course of one's life?'. Dead silence except for one person who hesitantly said 'Carpe Diem?', and I then said 'Curriculum Vitae'. Gasps all round and even one of the tutors said 'Oh is that what it means'.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
thread is now open again...we have deleted all of the off topic posts including one of my own...could we all try to stay within the thread title folks...many thanks

from the team
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
thread is now open again...we have deleted all of the off topic posts including one of my own...could we all try to stay within the thread title folks...many thanks

from the team
I was Head Boy of the school 1970-71. My two deputies were Phil Street and Malcolm Ridout. Has anyone any news of them and where they are now? I’ve often thought of them and wondered.
other names that stick in my mind are Graham Howe, Mark Williams, Henry Barrel, Clive Fraser, Robert Bissell, Peter Gregor, Fred Trowman, Peter Muller. Any news of them?
 
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