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George Dixons Grammar School

carolina

master brummie
I was at Five Ways '64-'66 (when it closed) and don't recall any dances there when I was in the Arts 6th. There was a dance at City Road ('64) with the Girls School and I think the Brum Beats played (their manager was--if I recall correctly--Mrs Regan whose son was in the year above me ('58-'65) and who managed venues in B'ham.
Mrs Regan owned The Plaza and The Ritz
 

Steve Maybury

GOLF NUT
I was at Five Ways from 1958-1964, lots of fun playing soccer and cricket in the yard. "Wally" was a character with his sayings like "the ball's in your court", "in the main" "so to speak".
Where are you in Canada? I was at 5 ways 58-64. I am living in Kingston, Ontario, contact me by "starting a conversation"
 
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Steve Maybury

GOLF NUT
Hi Steven,

I think I remember you - did your parents have a shop in Rookery Road? Unlike you I was never sporty, and avoided such pastimes as rugby and cross-country, but I did sometimes subject my puny body to the rigours of athletics.

I never liked Five Ways - always seemed dull and dismal to me, and stairs everywhere. Once after school when I was getting on the bus into town one the masters - I think he taught chemistry, can see his face but can't put a name to it - sat next to me and started complaining about Five Ways. So I wasn't alone in that respect.

IIRC there was a police-station next door to Five Ways, across the wide yard.

In my latter year or so at GD Five Ways we'd walk down Broad Street for an espresso at the cafe near the Register Office - was it called The Acropolis or similar Greek name - even though this was expressly banned by Dragseye Dillworth. Only at that stage of my GD career I really didn't give a monkey's......what I did after school was my business, not his.

G
You must have been in my class, Contact me by using the "start Conversation" option. I always regretted having to spend 58-64 at 5 Ways. Could never understand why our "A" level class was banished! Yes we had the grocery shop at the end of Rookery road in Handsworth. I emigrated to Canada in 67, as did another classmate Dave Folks.
 
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Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi Steve

Thank you for post on the forum. We strongly advise members not to post their personal email addresses on the thread. Your email address and data could be harvested and used for scams, fraud, and identity theft. If you wish other members to contact you, then its best if you advise them to use the “Start Conversation” facility we provide. This then protects you and your privacy.
 

Steve Maybury

GOLF NUT
I was introduced to this site by a friend who lived in the area and is researching its history. Reading through the many entries it brought back so many memories and has spurred me to add my thoughts in the hope that others will find it of interest.

I started at GD in 1960 after passing the 12+ and spent my first year at Five Ways. After staying in the lower grades I spent an extra year in a special sixth form, S6, set up purely to retake ‘O’ levels in 1964 as there were so many wanting to get some better qualifications. I went on to sixth form, S4 and S2, before going on the University of Birmingham to study civil engineering in 1967 and retired from work at the end of 2008.

The entry is split into 3 sections, teachers, students and other memories with only a shortish bit on each, otherwise it could go on forever:
1. Teachers:

Rumsey (Head): He seemed to have a lovely old school presence about him but soon after I started he was taken ill and was replaced by DAD Dilworth,

DAD Dilworth (Deputy/Head): Once a week we would have morning assembly at St Germains church next door. There were two steps that DAD had to negotiate and there was always a pause as he felt for them with his foot, one day I thought....

Trout (Five Ways deputy): One of the reasons I stopped learning history in the second year. It’s amazing how liking, or not, teachers can affect your whole outlook on life.

Walker “The Pork” (??? ): Stood in the hall waiting to walk up City Road to the canteen at lunch time there would be a wave of silence envelope the room and you knew he had entered. He would walk diagonally across the lines until he reached the main noisemaker and then there was trouble.

Winson “Butch” (French): No one played up in class but he would hit students across the back of the head with a ruler if he thought that they may play up when out of his sight. He used to sit at our dinner table at Five Ways and one day before he arrived we had bought a tin of Butch dog food and put it on the table in his place. It was all taken in good part.

Buckley (Science): Great teacher but I think he died quite young.

Hannay (Latin): Never taught by him but remembered he was quite short and seemed to float around the corridors always wearing his gown.

“Gabby” Hayes (metalwork): One of my favourite subjects and he was a great teacher.

Lewis (English): First form master at Five Ways. A Welsh import and very likeable.

Little (French): Went on the school trip to Europe including Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany. I remember on one occasion him asking for directions in French and the local could not understand him. Now I know why I never passed a French exam.

Brookes (Art): It was announced during an assembly in Five Ways that he had died, quite a shock. Later it turned out that my wife worked for his wife at an office also in Five Ways.

“Fingers” Johnson (Physics): A young teacher who taught the second “A” level group. He was someone who got the best out of his pupils and seriously embarrassed Les Summerton when the number of “A” level passes he achieved was better than Les’s. I think he left soon afterwards.

Siddle (Chemistry): Took “A” level under duress but everyone in that year failed.

Les? Paul (Engineering Drawing): Another one of my favourite subjects, his lessons where much more than just the subject at “A” level with discussions diversifying into any topic that took our fancy. Surely this is what education is all about. I also went to his evening classes in Bartley Green where I sat at the back of the “O” level class he was taking and studied for my “A” level.

Fletcher (Music): I will always remember him playing that very dramatic classic piece every time we left the weekly service at St Germains. Can someone put a name to it?

?? Proctor (Sports): A sad loss.

2. Students

Max McDonogh: Also joined at the same time as me and also went on to be a civil engineer.

Colin Bourne: Both of us disliked sport, never build for rugby and always got the stitch in cross country, so spent Wednesday afternoon’s installing the telephone system for the school by climbing ladders, stringing telephone cables, installing switchboards and phones. How long that lasted I dread to think but it was great fun.

? Nicholson: Loved motorbikes and had another classmate with a motorbike sidecar, which you may think was safer. However, that was not the case and he turned it over one day and was never seen again.

Michael Chalk: In the same engineering drawing class and has been a Redditch Councillor for many years.

Derek Larigo: Used to travel home with him sometimes, lived between Rose’s cafe and Bartley Green.

Lewis: Are you the Lewis from 2E in 1960/61 and did you live at a pub in Digbeth, if so I remember some of your stories which had a lasting impression.

? Twiss: we had this American in our class for a while, I think his father was a diplomat somewhere.

John Maxfield and Peter Busby: Joint in the sixth form from Harborne Hill? School. Peter made head boy.

Other names, but no details, include: Dave Shenton, Steven Dixon, Paul Hogan, Donald Grendon, Jonathan Wickens, Paul Lyndon and Ronald Hill.

3. Other memories

The first and last lesson read out in the assembly each term was I. Corinthians Chapter 13. Still is a lasting memory for me.

The sixth form common room was built just as I entered the sixth form and it was brilliant.

On the way back from lunch the boys had to run the gauntlet passed the girls who congregated in a pack. If only I was as confident then ......

The Quad was the only area where we had some female contact with the school next door as their loos overlooked it, in retrospect it seems a rather bad design!!

I was always keen on railways and after school at Five Ways some of us frequently went to “bunk” the Monument Lane shed. I still remember being sat in the office there having given a good telling off by the “gripper”.

I vaguely remember the mass expulsion on the last day. I used to drive from Bromsgrove then so may have taken some of the offenders to the pub.

We were given plastic tokens to travel between City Road and Five Ways and by walking one stop you could save one for travel home and get something from the shop with the extra cash.

At break time we played stretch. The two players stood facing each other and took turns to throw a penknife into the ground near your opponent to make him do the splits. The loser was the one who fell over first. No pupils were hurt in this game.... well not many.

I remember one day in the chemistry lab when someone sucking sulphuric acid into a burette sucked for too long and got a mouthful of the stuff.

Food memories include the usual chocolate concrete and potato puffs bought from the shop a break.

Although now out of print my friend tracked down a copy of the attached book through Waterstones:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Years-City-Road-Secondary/dp/0955344409



Looking forward to your observations in due course.



Peter Mann
Amazing, The book was created by a classmate Laurence Reading> we were in the same "A" class from !958-64 at Five Ways. If anyone knows him, have him Contact me by using the "start Conversation" option.
 
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Bob Hughes

proper brummie kid
Was at GD 63 - 70. Remember playing stretch (splits) on the sports field. Stuck the knife in someone's foot during one game. Fond memories.
 

Bob Hughes

proper brummie kid
Does anybody recognize anybody in the attached photo. Was taken at a sports day at the Hadley Stadium in the circa late 1960's
 

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DPD

proper brummie kid
Hi Bob, thank you for posting the pic. I was at GD '59-66, and I think the first sports day we didn't use other than the school playing fields was '66. I don't recognise anyone, but I hope you have success.
 

Unionville Man

Brummie babby
Hi Bob. The boy of colour is Rudi Smith. He would have been in the class that joined in '63 I believe. I remember going to Hadley but not sure quite when but certainly in the'60's. (I was at GD '62-69). Good luck with the search.
 

Bob Hughes

proper brummie kid
Hi Bob, thank you for posting the pic. I was at GD '59-66, and I think the first sports day we didn't use other than the school playing fields was '66. I don't recognise anyone, but I hope you have success.
Thanks for responding Mr X. I was at GD from 63-70.
 

Bob Hughes

proper brummie kid
Hi Bob. The boy of colour is Rudi Smith. He would have been in the class that joined in '63 I believe. I remember going to Hadley but not sure quite when but certainly in the'60's. (I was at GD '62-69). Good luck with the search.
Thanks for responding Mr Y.
Rudi Smith has been identified and is sitting on the left side of Martin Ashcroft. I was at GD from 63-70
 

Harry Flashman

master brummie
Does anybody recognize anybody in the attached photo. Was taken at a sports day at the Hadley Stadium in the circa late 1960's
Looking directly at the camera is, I believe, Martin Ashcroft. Talking to Rudolph Smith is Bill Hendon. Also it looks like John Dale, Geoff Benton and Mark Goldberg in the background.
 
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Kathsutton46

knowlegable brummie
Janet,
Just got onto this site, not very up to date with my iPad and it’s capabilities!
I am Gillian Richards and was in the group with you in Vallouise. Lots of nostalgia when smelling hay
and fresh coffee which we sometimes ate with French bread ( no butter! ) and dark chocolate squares. Do you remember? Other teachers I recall were Mrs Sweet ( art ) and Mrs Whitehead
(English) who used to enact Lady Macbeth with wringing hands.
I can recall every single name in the “ b” group but have only come across June Poynten,
Judy Wilson, Gina Knight and Nesta Clarke , the latter two at Cadbury’s as juniors.

I think maybe you may have met my mother too- she worked in the baby/wool shop by the bus stop
on Linden Road Selly Oak, and I think your mum might have shopped there.

I am so pleased to find someone from the old class, ogling at the boys through the window, being permitted to push desks back to dance to our music- ( I think we may have been pioneers for this activity! ).etc.. Barbara Sherwood taught me the Square Tango!


Hope you see this soon, I would love to find out more.
I recall Miss Whitehead doing English literature, did she not go on to be Headmistress at Lordsword Girls. Mrs Ventnor I think her name was, down in the basement art room sitting at her potters wheel. I too enjoyed watching the boys from KEFWs playing rugby outside the Music Room. Who could ever forget Miss Barbers never ending supply of lacy see through woollen jumpers plus single strand of pearls.
 

Kathsutton46

knowlegable brummie
I was at GD Girls from 65-72. I remember some of the teachers’ names and can add a few;
Miss Yeates - French
Mrs Hatt - Geography
Miss Barber - Music and RE
Miss Berge - French and German
Miss Everett - Chemistry
Mr Wood - French, who was in the habit of slamming the desk lid in front of you if you gave the wrong answer.
I remember a rather large lady who was our form teacher but can’t remember her name.

We were the first year to merge with the boys school for 6th form and I was taught by Mr Harrison for French.
I have been on this site for years, and am disappointed so few girls have responded. I attended GD Grammar for Girls, 1957 1962.
 

BARTLEY GREEN

New Member
Looking directly at the camera is, I believe, Martin Ashcroft. Talking to Rudolph Smith is Bill Hendon. Also it looks like John Dale, Geoff Benton and Mark Goldberg in the background.
What a great photograph. Very natural with no posing. I wasn't sure if it was me in the background and sent a copy of the photograph to my brother to see if he could pick me out and he does confirm that the chap grinning in the background is definitely me (John Dale) so well done to Harry Flashman (Bernard), you've got a great memory for faces. Maybe Geoff could confirm that he is , indeed, the lad I appear to be sharing a joke with. The lad next to him partially hidden by Bill Hendon's hair is certainly Mark Goldberg.
Other than Martin Ashcroft and Rudolph Smith I don't recognise anyone else.
Just a bit of a boring side story I first came into contact with Martin Ashcroft when I was at St Hubert's primary school on the Wolverhampton Road and he was just up the road at what we used to call Castle Road School but having just googled it I see must actually have been Lightwoods Primary School. I remember we had a few 'run ins' as we passed each other on the way home from school which were a bit heated at times and I always came of second best.
I remember the horror when I started at George Dixon in 1963 not only to find that he was at the same school but also the same form. It was with some trepidation that I approached him early on only to find that he was really quite friendly and that any past differences were forgotten.
In those junior school days I always remembered his name as being David Ashcroft and he did explain to me once why he changed it to Martin but after all this time I can't remember what the reason was.
Rudolph Smith was also in that same first year form being 1A and I think Mr Percy was the form teacher. Messrs Ashcroft and Smith continued in the 'A' stream, if I remember correctly, while I was destined to wallow in the depths of the C stream from then on.
Sorry to ramble on. I'll go now and do some work.
 

DavidGrain

master brummie
What a great photograph. Very natural with no posing. I wasn't sure if it was me in the background and sent a copy of the photograph to my brother to see if he could pick me out and he does confirm that the chap grinning in the background is definitely me (John Dale) so well done to Harry Flashman (Bernard), you've got a great memory for faces. Maybe Geoff could confirm that he is , indeed, the lad I appear to be sharing a joke with. The lad next to him partially hidden by Bill Hendon's hair is certainly Mark Goldberg.
Other than Martin Ashcroft and Rudolph Smith I don't recognise anyone else.
Just a bit of a boring side story I first came into contact with Martin Ashcroft when I was at St Hubert's primary school on the Wolverhampton Road and he was just up the road at what we used to call Castle Road School but having just googled it I see must actually have been Lightwoods Primary School. I remember we had a few 'run ins' as we passed each other on the way home from school which were a bit heated at times and I always came of second best.
I remember the horror when I started at George Dixon in 1963 not only to find that he was at the same school but also the same form. It was with some trepidation that I approached him early on only to find that he was really quite friendly and that any past differences were forgotten.
In those junior school days I always remembered his name as being David Ashcroft and he did explain to me once why he changed it to Martin but after all this time I can't remember what the reason was.
Rudolph Smith was also in that same first year form being 1A and I think Mr Percy was the form teacher. Messrs Ashcroft and Smith continued in the 'A' stream, if I remember correctly, while I was destined to wallow in the depths of the C stream from then on.
Sorry to ramble on. I'll go now and do some work.
Just a note for you. Castle Road School did become Lightwoods School sometime in the early 1960s. Lightwoods have now taken over the St Hubert's School building as an annex and St Hubert's have moved to a new building in Moat Road on the site of the old Oldbury Grammar.
 
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