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Gower Street Boys School

John_Gower_Street_pupil

master brummie
I mentioned on an earlier post that the students from Holte Grammar had been sitting on their laurels throughout their time at the grammar school.

In fact our form teacher at Holte Comprehensive, Mrs. Wilson, was very impressed with the classes results she couldn’t quite believe it. My fifth form class was made up of all the boys from Gower who decided to stay on and likewise the girls from Lozells girls.

When it came to lessons, however, we were lumped in with the grammar students. Our math’s teacher was Mr. Rodburn. This is only my opinion mind, he was dreadful. He would get us to do an exercise from the text book while he chatted one of the girl students up for most of the period. There was a rumour that they had been seeing each other on the weekends. The whole atmosphere was relaxed and too many of the students just chatted. It was a tad too noisy for my liking.

Mr. Rodburn fancied himself as Tommy Cooper and apparently took on that persona for the Christmas school function. He wasn’t at all funny.

One of the ex-grammar students queried a question from the exercise stating that his answer was different from the solution given at the back of the book. And so the teacher did it on the board.

He got the same answer as the student. He actually said that ‘the solution in the book was wrong’.

As I said before, I used to sit at the back of the class, I just mentioned to my mate sitting beside me that I’d got the answer in the book. No sooner had I said it; an ex-grammar girl sitting directly in from of me blurted out that I had the answer in the book. I was summoned to the front to do it on the board. This girl had a Cheshire cat grin on her mush as I passed by her.

Mr. Rodburn assumed I was going to make a minor change to his working, but I wiped the board clean before I started. I didn’t use the textbook.

I wrote the question from memory and worked it out. All he could say was ‘okay smart arse’ as I walked back to my seat.

Every maths lesson was like that. I was not at all impressed. I would rather have had Mr. Eyton taking class; he would have got some improvement out of them. It would have been interesting to see how he handled the girls.

:)-<
 

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.
 

forward

knowlegable brummie
Hi John.

My time was circa 56 - 60. Mainly in the building lower down in Guildford St. Although for a time was upgraded to main block as maths was much better than other subjects. Use to go back of the church for pottery and metalwork classes.

Ray
 

adap2it

master brummie
I was there 51-53 before going to MSA. I do recall having a science class, which I believe was on the Lozells Rd. I remember making an alcohol thermometer.
Dave A
 

Ozbrum

proper brummie kid
Hi

The link to the photo appears to be broken.

But... I must ask this... Are you one of the very large Turvey family? I believe several of the lads went to Gower Boys School.
I am reluctant to call it Gower Street as it wasn't even on that road. I went to the school in the early seventies and Steven was in my class.

John
Hi John
TOPSYTURVEY
Is my sister and yes her husband is part of the large Turkey family from Wheeler st.
I knew some of the older Turvey boys but not your mate Stephen....
Anyway I will pass on a note about you to her.

I lived in Hamilton for a year in 1974 before moving on to Australia...

All the best

Albert Clayton.
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
I knew a lad called Paul Rook who said he was at Gower Street School in the mind 60’s. He had a younger brother called Carl.
 
Hi John
TOPSYTURVEY
Is my sister and yes her husband is part of the large Turkey family from Wheeler st.
I knew some of the older Turvey boys but not your mate Stephen....
Anyway I will pass on a note about you to her.

I lived in Hamilton for a year in 1974 before moving on to Australia...

All the best

Albert Clayton.
Yes Stephen is my Hubbys Younger Brother .
 

Banjo

master brummie
Hi Lyn you must be up bright and early.
It is 5:51 pm here in New Zealand.
Thank you for the map!
I am afraid you are incorrect about the school being on Gower Street. The map doesn't tell you that Gower Street finishes at Guilford Street and the Annex building was on the corner of Clifford Walk and Guilford Street as shown on the map (attached).

I was using Google maps and looking at the new school without realizing it was 2008. How times change!

I am a little vague on Mark. It sounds as if he would have been in my year and I have a pretty good memory. Maybe he was in a different stream. As I said my classroom was in the main building. Perhaps his was in the Annex building.

Also, Do you remember Carol? Can't think of her surname. She was in the chess team. Gower Boys played at Lozells Girls School (organized by Mr. Philips). I was on board one playing Carol. We already knew each other socially.
She gave me a good game.

I have already attached this map; but I have edited it. I was relying on nearly forty years of memory for the exact position of the Annex building. We often had to walk from one building to the other and I really didn't think it was that far away. :)

I Emigrated from the UK in 1995. I didn't really live locally. I lived in Tower Road, Aston; only part of which still exists today. I heard lots of bad stuff about Upper Thomas Street School from lads in my street and decided to give it a miss.

John.
Hi John, I was there 1957-61. Teachers I remember there were Headmasters Mr Matts & Mr J.T.D Ball, also Mr Williams, Wally Eyton, Mr Dean, Mr Ward and Mr Cross. I made this map a few months back showing where the school buildings were at that time over a 2020 Google view. Gower St extended through to William St then so, at least part of the school was in Gower St.
Where Gower St School buildings stood - copy.jpg
 
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John_Gower_Street_pupil

master brummie
Hi John, I was there 1957-61. Teachers I remember there were Headmasters Mr Matts & Mr J.T.D Ball, also Mr Williams, Wally Eyton, Mr Dean, Mr Ward and Mr Cross. I made this map a few months back showing where the school buildings were at that time over a 2020 Google view. Gower St extended through to William St then so, at least part of the school was in Gower St.
View attachment 155240
Hi Banjo

Thanks for the map.

When I was there the Annex building (the lower of the three shown on your map) was not on Gower Street; but on the corner of Guilford Street and Clifford Walk. Are you saying that Clifford Walk used to be Gower Street?

As you can see there is an angular change at the junction of Gower and Guilford Street. That is where Gower Street ends. I wouldn't be asking except that It always puzzled me why it was called Gower Street School.

Lyn may have provided me with the answer recently. Over the history of the school, which appears to be anything but simple, there were other buildings that have been demolished for one reason or another. Perhaps one of those was actually on Gower Street sometime in the late 1800s.

John
 

John_Gower_Street_pupil

master brummie
I could give you a few names in my year. Maybe Mark might remember them.

Tony McLaughlin (and Woody his surname was Woods and I can't think of his forename, they were best mates)
Mark Gardner (saw him play at Aston Villa juniors)
Maurice Powell (also went to Holte Comp), Noel Davies (another Holte)
Steven Turvey, John Barr, Andrew Pavlov, Martin Broom, Dennis Watkins, John Lutwhitz, Alan Dabbs.
And if he was in my class he would never forget Barrington Green.

I believe Carol was the same age as me 1955/6. Also Anne Tussio her best friend went to Lozells Girls and lived in Berners Street. Anne's younger sister Margaret went to Holte Comprehensive. I believe they all lived in Lozells at one time.
A couple more of my classmates have come to mind:

Eaton O'Connor - He was another who went on to Holte Comp. He was always immaculately dressed. A real lady-killer.
And there was a lad called Mosquito who also went on to Holte. Never knew his first name. There were a few other African lads... My brain is working on them. Oh and a few Indians too.
 
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John_Gower_Street_pupil

master brummie
Hi John.

My time was circa 56 - 60. Mainly in the building lower down in Guildford St. Although for a time was upgraded to main block as maths was much better than other subjects. Use to go back of the church for pottery and metalwork classes.

Ray
Thanks Ray

I found it strange that none of the early posts referred to any building other than the main block.
 

John_Gower_Street_pupil

master brummie
The name "Clifford Walk" does not seem to be on maps until the 1970s.
1950s map
View attachment 155262
Hi Janice

Thank you for that.

I must say, being a draughtsman, if I were to put street names on a map; I would put the name central too.
The map clearly shows the name Gower Street placed equidistant between Wheeler Street and Guilford Street which suggests that Clifford Walk did exist. It just isn't named.

This is not the only Street that doesn't appear on maps; there are dozens of them.

I appreciate your input.

Have you read my comment about the history of the school since the 1800s?
 

John_Gower_Street_pupil

master brummie
Hi Banjo

Thanks for the map.

When I was there the Annex building (the lower of the three shown on your map) was not on Gower Street; but on the corner of Guilford Street and Clifford Walk. Are you saying that Clifford Walk used to be Gower Street?

As you can see there is an angular change at the junction of Gower and Guilford Street. That is where Gower Street ends. I wouldn't be asking except that It always puzzled me why it was called Gower Street School.

Lyn may have provided me with the answer recently. Over the history of the school, which appears to be anything but simple, there were other buildings that have been demolished for one reason or another. Perhaps one of those was actually on Gower Street sometime in the late 1800s.

John
Well...

There are maps and there are maps. They appear to be only as good as the cartographer.
I found a 2015 map that has Gower Street going all the way from Berners Street to William Street. It may have been copied from a much earlier map. And an older Google map has Clifford Walk on it.

I went to Gower Boys in the early 70s and Clifford Walk was there.
Below is a snip of the 1888 map that Lyn kindly directed me to showing all three school buildings.
The workshop building is to the right of the Church on Lozells Road confirming Banjo's graphic.
1617065951874.png
As I mentioned to Janice, the street names are more often than not, equidistant from each end of the road on maps.
So I concede that the Annex building was on the corner of Guildford and Gower streets as shown above.
Now I am interested in finding out when the last section of Gower Street changed it's name to Clifford Walk.
I suspect the change happened well before the 70s Janice because there was nothing new about Clifford Walk when I went to school there.

1617067325110.png

It appears that Gower Street is being eaten from both ends. I am not so interested in Old Postway as that doesn't have anything to do with the school.
 
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John_Gower_Street_pupil

master brummie
Well...

There are maps and there are maps. They appear to be only as good as the cartographer.
I found a 2015 map that has Gower Street going all the way from Berners Street to William Street. It may have been copied from a much earlier map. And an older Google map has Clifford Walk on it.

I went to Gower Boys in the early 70s and Clifford Walk was there.
Below is a snip of the 1888 map that Lyn kindly directed me to showing all three school buildings.
The workshop building is to the right of the Church on Lozells Street confirming Banjo's graphic.
View attachment 155266
As I mentioned to Janice, the street names are more often than not, equidistant from each end of the road on maps.
So I concede that the Annex building was on the corner of Guildford and Gower streets as shown above.
Now I am interested in finding out when the last section of Gower Street changed it's name to Clifford Walk.
I suspect the change happened well before the 70s Janice because there was nothing new about Clifford Walk when I went to school there.

View attachment 155267

It appears that Gower Street is being eaten from both ends. I am not so interested in Old Postway as that doesn't have anything to do with the school.
I got ambitious today...

I googled Clifford Walk and one of the results took me to the Birmingham Planning website.
I managed to ascertain the second Clifford Walk development which received planning permission in 2010.

They didn't appear to have anything else on it.
So I left a message and my email address for them to get back to me.
And because of the pandemic there might be quite a delay. I'll keep you posted on that


 
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Michael_Ingram

master brummie
There is no mystery here. The whole area was reconstructed at the end of th 60s. Street were recreated, new ones built although they did seem to do this using the sewage, electricity and gas layout without changing it too much. New street names were created, eg Guildford Drive, and I assume Clifford Walk. I have a map of the area from 1871, there is the small school which became Gower Street infants but there doesn't yet seem to be Gower Street boys school. I am sorry I can't upload it as the resolution is too low. If I find a better copy later I will upload it.
As I said 'boys school'. In the 40s and 50s and before the war older boys went to Gower Street, older girls went to Lozells Street. Attached is a photo of Gower Street and the corner of Guildford Street (the mysterious Clifford Walk bit). Notice the name of the street is Gower Street.
gower_street_no_2-_22_newtown_-_11-3-1968-Edit.jpg
 

John_Gower_Street_pupil

master brummie
There is no mystery here. The whole area was reconstructed at the end of th 60s. Street were recreated, new ones built although they did seem to do this using the sewage, electricity and gas layout without changing it too much. New street names were created, eg Guildford Drive, and I assume Clifford Walk. I have a map of the area from 1871, there is the small school which became Gower Street infants but there doesn't yet seem to be Gower Street boys school. I am sorry I can't upload it as the resolution is too low. If I find a better copy later I will upload it.
As I said 'boys school'. In the 40s and 50s and before the war older boys went to Gower Street, older girls went to Lozells Street. Attached is a photo of Gower Street and the corner of Guildford Street (the mysterious Clifford Walk bit). Notice the name of the street is Gower Street.
View attachment 155274
Thank you Michael.

Is that 'Furnace' Lane hiding behind the street sign? It doesn't appear on any map that I have seen.
If this is the corner of Gower and Guilford, then today's Clifford Walk would be behind the photographer.

And the school out of shot, also behind and to the right of the photographer, was the infants school.
Thanks, I wasn't aware of that.

Lyn mentioned the history dating back to the 1800s but it didn't specify the locations of each building.

John.
 
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