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George Dixons Grammar School

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
As the names mentioned are almost certainly living persons, to respect their privacy could any posts of their whereabouts be sent to David by PM.
 

mikec

proper brummie kid
Kevin Burton too!
[/QUO
Hello All, I also left in 1971 but I was only in the 5th Form. I left to join the RAF later that year. I did bump into an old school pal, Collin Osborne, back in 2007, at a rugby 7's in Southend. First time in over 35 years I had seen any of ex School pals. Mike Carney
 
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
Hi john and lovely to hear from you.
I got your mail via my email but no sign of your text on the site.
Can I get back to shortly for a longer chat.
Just confirm if you get this post.
Geoff
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
I am no longer in touch with anyone from GD except for my brother who was 2 years below me and whom I also hardly ever see anymore.
i used to have minimal contact with Juggit Sanghera, Stephen Miskin and Barry Smith from my vintage 1964-71 all of whom, like me, went on to become doctors. More recently I had email contact with Fred Trowman who is now Prof Sir Frederick Trowman. He still lives in Birmingham opposite the school. I have no contact with any former members of staff who would be ancient now if still alive.
h with anyone’s
 

BARTLEY GREEN

New Member
Hi john and lovely to hear from you.
I got your mail via my email but no sign of your text on the site.
Can I get back to shortly for a longer chat.
Just confirm if you get this post.
Geoff
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
Hello, Geoff, and good morning to you. I hope you got my further email in response to your above post. It really is good to hear from you after all these years.
Just looking back at the July posts from yourself and Bernard I remember Gabriel Kavanagh and I also remember the incident involving Jed Paul. I couldn't remember who the pupil was but from memory Reeves would certainly be a candidate. Also, the talk from Mr Hanks about plastic flowers. I remember going home and mentioning this to my mom who was not too impressed and wanted to know if Mr Hanks was going to pay for future bunches of new flowers as and when required.
Another name from those days is John McConnell and by the time we reached the 5th form he had 2 younger brothers also at GD who were referred to by Mr Hannay as McConnells Major, Minor and Minimus. I always wondered if McConnell Minimus suffered any long term affects as a result of the Minimus tag. Presumably he would have been promoted to McConnell Minor when John left but would never have actually achieved McConnell Major status.
In our 1st year (I think it was) John McConnell was the hooker for the School under 12's rugby team and I was reserve. I only played one game being away to King Charles school as John wasn't available on that particular Saturday. Every time the ball came into the scrum we were pushed backwards and I only won one scrum all game. John certainly knew which game to miss and I've often wondered if he had some inside information. Anyway, he was back the following week and that was the first and last time I played rugby for the school other than one game for the under 12's B team. I used to have a photograph of that team (misplaced a long time ago) and I'm sure that Reeves was captain of the B team.
I remember the years spent at five ways and am sure we were there on the last day before it was closed for good. Door handles and such like went missing having been taken as souvenirs. I seem to recall one teacher pleading for the return of a door handle so they could gain access to one of the class rooms.
Other memories include running around Edgbaston reservoir although on one occasion I remember several of us taking a short cut despite the fact that a number of teachers were placed at various locations around the route to make sure we followed the correct route.
I also remember one school sports day at Hadley Stadium. Were they always held there of was it a one off?
I am sorry to hear from Bernard that Peter Scoble's health is not good. I knew him quite well for a while especially in our mid teens when he lived just around the corner from me in Harborne and would ask Bernard to remember me to him when he is next in touch and to send him my best wishes.
I'll leave it at that for now.
Keep in touch.
 

Harry Flashman

master brummie
Hello John. I just read your last missive. It is with great sadness that I write of Pete's passing on August 3rd. He fought a very stoic and courageous battle with esophageal cancer, supported by his wife Ann, but as in so many of these cases, the illness won. Pete and I had been communicating for nearly two years and in that time, we rekindled many happy memories of our time in and out of school back in the 60's and early 70's. Pete was a published writer, journalist, teacher, photographer and a very talented musician. I shall miss his sense of humour and his ability to capture moments from years ago, especially his Mendelssohn Saga. PM me if you would like me to send you copies of this very funny account of his time in digs when he was attending Westbourne College.
On a lighter note, I do remember those ghastly runs around the reservoir. Of course, teenage inventiveness won the day and three or four of us would lag behind at the very back of the runners, and instead of making for the entrance to Rotten Park, we would make for Alec MacDonald's house for a cup of tea and McVitie's digestives. Timed to perfection, we would rejoin the very end of the runners, looking suitably exhausted.
 

Expat48

New Member
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

Hello,

I have just come across this forum which I have found fascinating.

I was at GD from 1959 to 1966. I am replying to your post as I appear in the photo of the school orchestra. I played the oboe and am standing at the back, just to the left of Cecil’s head. I think the flautist next to me was Carl Willetts – we share the same surname. The photo was taken at Five Ways. I recognise Jeremy Patterson and Terry Giblin. Thank you so much for posting it.

I recall that we used to play at performances of the dramatic productions of the Parents’ Association. Cecil used to pass round bags of sweets and fudge during the drama.

I can’t say that my days at GD were the happiest. However, as someone whose career has been in music education, I will always be grateful for the grounding in music that the school gave me. I sang in Geoffrey Fletcher’s choir, both at school and at St Martin’s. I remember we recorded a whole series of hymns for the BBC which were used on Sunday mornings in a kind of request programme.

The most enjoyable time was that spent in the sixth form. We used to have lessons at both City Road and Five Ways. We were issued with green and red plastic bus tokens for travel between the two sites. At Five Ways we used to frequent the coffee bar that was near to the main entrance.

I now live in Alsace, having left the UK in 1992. I haven’t been back to Brum for very many years.
 

David Hart

knowlegable brummie
I was at GD 1964-71 and was a member of the school orchestra under Cecil Fisher for all those years. I remember well the annual school plays usually Gilbert & Sullivan and the orchestra always played.
Lisle Sharp played in the second violins with meand I remember Max Harrison, Leo Olver and Geoff Sandercock too in the orchestra. Ive not seen any former members of staff since leaving the school and we had no reunions.
1970-71 I was Head Boy of the school when Mr Mends was Headmaster and Mr Gibson deputy. A great year that was culminating in joining a W.H. Rhodes Tour of Canada for 3 weeks coast to coast nominated by the school. I remained a member of the Dixonian Association until it folded.
I loved my school years, some of the best in my life! I went on to Birmingham University and became a doctor and am still working as a GP though abroad now.
 

Sheila Harris

Brummie babby
I started at George Dixons Girls in 1965 and Miss Organ was still head then with Miss Nash as deputy
I started at GD girls in 1968 and the Head teacher was called Miss Taylor. Mrs Jukes was deputy as I recall. Had some good friends there and still in contact with them now. One was godmother to my daughter who is 46 now. I left in 1973. Couldn't wait to leave to be honest. It would be nice to hear if anyone else was there at that time.
 

Sheila Harris

Brummie babby
If anyone out there went to GD girls such as Anne Adams, Delema Alexander, Maria Walsh etc I think I was in M house as I remember being in 5M when in year 11. My best friend was Linda Deere and Claire Griffiths. Linda later married a friend of mine. Linda is godmother to my daughter. I left in 1973 in 5th year and couldn't wait. 1972 was the year the school became mixed. We couldn't have mixed lessons as we were original girls only lessons. The boys school had Arnie Shenton, Paul and a few others whose names are lost in dementia moment. Fun times. There was a Mrs Chatwin there when I attended. I missed a lot of 4th year( year 10) due to family issues and they wanted me to do year again, didn't happen. Couldn't wait to leave. Funny though as I have worked in a school teaching for the last twenty years as well as being a Governor. How lives change.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
Welcome Sheila. We haven't had many postings from the girls for a while. Although we were two schools we were in the same building and a shared history and eventually the two schools were merged.
 

Sheila Harris

Brummie babby
Yes that's right. There was a cookery room on ground floor and then a passageway into the boys school. I remember watching a group of lads play music on the stage by Slade, got to be Christmas 1972, One of the lads already played drums but one lad had a pretend guitar and it broke. All the new kids came into school as mixed groups in 72(?) but anyone over that year had to be separated into gender groups. Funny how I can remember that far away but nothing about yesterday!
 

Colin Butters

proper brummie kid
Well, I have only just discovered this forum but it has brought back lots of memories. I went to GD in the early to late 60s. Teachers that I remember :-
J. C. Endall - my form master when I started in form 2B. Geography master, I think, with lots of catch phrases. E.g. "As sure as day follows night".
Ted Robertson - Biology master and one of the good guys
I. L. Summerton - known as ILS and was a physics teacher. Heard that a few months from retiring, GD became a 'comprehensive' school and ILS who had taught A level physics for a great many years was faced with teaching general subjects to pupils of very mixed abilities and varying command of English. Nevertheless, he produced a comprehensive set of teaching notes for his new situation knowing that they would only be used for a few weeks. That is dedication!
Daddy Giblin - English master and in charge of the school swimming team. I did a few galas but our best swimmers in my year were Bob Lench and Duncan Muffett.
Mr Long - French master and reputed to have been a member of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in WW2.
Another French master was Mr Caplin.
Mr Fletcher - Music master. I don't remember learning any music but do remember that really Fletcher was mainly interested in recruiting and maintaining a very good choir.
Miss Lewis - French teacher who tended to wear amazingly short mini-skirts.
Pupils that I remember include:-
Ron Drury - He played board one in the school chess team. He had good success in the Midlands area after leaving school. His claim to fame, and it is no small one, was that he played a former world champion (Tigran Petrosian of the Soviet Union, I believe but may have mis-remembered) at a simultaneous match and managed to draw against him.
I will remember more and will post another entry soon.

Colin
 
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Colin Butters

proper brummie kid
Speaking of chess, I played for the school team for a couple of years and got my colours (badge) for that. We played our home games in the library supervised by a teacher. Away games were a different matter. The team was left to its own devices and travelled unsupervised to the schools in the Birmingham area by public bus services on a Friday night. Probably not be allowed now.
Remember a pupil trying to organise a school football team. When word got to the staff, this pupil was brought before the headmaster and it was explained to the boy that GD was a grammar school and played rugby. Soccer was only played by secondary schools! That would not be PC now!
More staff members:-
Cecil Fisher - English teacher. Very well dressed and a gentleman.
Toff Sharp - English teacher and very tall and thin. Took us to a theatre in Stratford to see a Shakespeare play which some of us were studying for 'O' level.
H. C. Print - Chemistry teacher and very ancient. Think he may have once been a pupil back in the 1930s. Very old, old school.
Mr Berry - Chemistry teacher. Asked a question as to how to covert one subject into another, I came up with an answer that was several steps long. He said it was correct but then explained how to do it in one step. He then added, "Butters, you have a devious mind"!

More later.

Colin
 
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Colin Butters

proper brummie kid
Some pupils names from my year:-
Peter Cooley
Tony Burley
Hawkes twins
? Kornhauser
? Griffiths
Peter Barry Jackson
Bob Lench
Duncan Muffett
John Posnett
Raynor Bourton
Rod Watts
? Forbes
? Kanji
Ron Drury
Barry Smith
Alan Timmins
Chris Ball

I am sorry that I cannot remember some Christian names but everyone was referred to using their surnames, and it is around 50+ years ago!
 
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Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
We love to hear your school stories. Schooling and education are a significant chapter in our lives. The experiences of school and the relationships with the teaching staff shape us significantly and are part of our history.

A lot of people had very positive experiences at school. Importantly others did not. Together we need to write these stories into history, so that we may celebrate successes and learn from failures.

It is important to remind ourselves that this forum is a public platform that can be viewed by anyone across the globe. We ask our members to think carefully what they write. Tell us and others about your experiences good or bad. But also consider others when you do so there could be living relatives, friends or family who will see the relationship with these people differently from you. Adverse comments could be seen as defamatory, and even give rise to libel claims.

If you have experienced events at schools that you see as adverse, by all means say so, but please ensure you protect the identity of the people involved and in so doing you will protect yourself and this forum. Use phrases like “the maths teacher…” or “Miss X…” etc. If in doubt, the moderators are here to help.

So, lets have your school stories, good or bad. Just remember that it is the story of your school years we want to hear; it is not a platform for revenge.
 
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