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Handsworth Grammar School 1950--1960

Michael_Ingram

master brummie
The woodwork teacher I remember was Mr Tovey (I think that is right). When I went for 11 plus he supervised the exam for my group then was my first year teacher at the school. . He stood out as not wearing a gown. I guess he was a commoner, like me. A great bloke. I remember carving a candle stick in woodwork. When I drilled a hole down through it it came out through the side which he helped me skilfully to disguise.
 

JLB

1940s Brummie
I was at HGS from 1951 to 1959. I started in 1A with Miss Keeling as Form Mistress. I remember Mr Tovey. He helped me make a plant pot stand out of two short pieces of wood set at 90° to each other using a cross-halving joint. I took it home, but it was left out in the back yard in the rain and fell apart when the fish-glue dissolved!
 

RobinCanada

knowlegable brummie
I am writing a book using; www.storywise.com and answering a question on my High School which of course was Handsworth Grammar School 1952-58. I feel that I should include photos of when in the HGS OTC I wore an air-force uniform on Monday and Fridays [I think] and I would love to copy any photos that anyone has or links to:
I remember the shooting range between the Woodworking shop and the toilets, when shooting was taking place and there was a need to use the WC you had to stick your head out of the door near the music room, be acknowledged, wait until they indicated safe to cross. Can you imagine in today's world with wrap up the kids in cotton wool, they or the insurance company's allowing such a thing???
Here's hoping
Robin 80 tomorrow!!
 

Michael_Ingram

master brummie
You must have been there when I was there Robin. The name Robin rings a bell. Sadly having been a teacher for many years my memory got into the habit of dumping names and so I can’t remember the names of many people I was at school with. It is unusual that Robin rings a bell as convention was that we called each other by surnames. What is you surname?
I was confused by your use of OTC, then I remembered CCF. (also having been a teacher surrounded by bureaucracy my brain is deaf to acronyms). I was in the navy section as there was less parading about
 

RobinCanada

knowlegable brummie
Officer Training Corps. OCT Michael I remember you and recognized your arrowed photo in the School photo. My last name is Searle. My first woodworking build was a tray with curved matching handles hollowed out for fingers. When my Mum died aged 97 in 2016 three years before that, I sold her house at 362 Court Lane and found my tray amongst a lot of other stuff she kept. My Boy Scout uniform complete with my Queens Scout Badge attached, of course it does not fit me now but I have it still with me in Canada.1619624987711.jpeg
1619624987711.jpeg I am on the top row 5th from the Left when I use-to have hair.
Stay safe

Robin
 

Michael_Ingram

master brummie
Of course, I remember now. I have to be honest there are two of you in my memory and I ma not sure which is correct. What did you do immediately after you left?
 

RobT

Acemeccanoman
I was at HGS 1956-62, but this photo of the staff in 1962 will no doubt bring back some memories.
Photo is from a book which celebrated the Centenary of the school in 1962, compiled & edited by Rev JJ Walton

HGS Staff 1962.jpg
 

JLB

1940s Brummie
I remember the firing range in the school playground well. I wasn't in the CCF but the morning after shooting practice I would collect the lead shot from the target area and take them home. I would then melt them down in a pan on the stove. I eventually created a heavy lump of lead about 8 inches diameter and three inches thick. I can't recall what happened to it. The large scale OS map below (published 1960) shows the target area (encircled).

HGS 1960.jpg
 

mallyb2

master brummie
This thread has brought back some memories, because I went to Handsworth Grammar School from 1954 until, I think, 1959. I must be on the school photograph, I remember the photo taking place, and having a copy to take home ( did we have to pay for the copy to take home, I seem to recall we did ). I've had a quick look, but I don't recognize myself on there. I also didn't realize there was so many teachers at the school, but I do remember 'Killer' Keeling, 'Friz' Forsdike, 'Dick' Darby, 'Yoyo' Yates, and Mr Gray, who was my form teacher. I also remember well 'Holy Joe' Walton, the headmaster, a right sadistic character, with his collection of canes, which he was extremely fond of using on a cringing pupil, with the words ' this will hurt me far more than it hurts you' and 'you are a silly fellow'. I also remember the assistant Headmaster retiring in about 1957-58, can't remember his name, we all knew him as 'Charley Peck', don't know why we called him that.The head prefect was a lad with the name ,I think, of Gray, he was also CSM of the CCF, of which I was a member. I was also in the School Model Aircraft club, our headquarters was in the woodworking room, which was next to the shooting range. We used to have a clubnight on a Thursday evening,after lessons. Happy days,usually, with the bad days soon forgotten................................Mal
 

RobinCanada

knowlegable brummie
I remember the caning from Joe,I had a grocery delivery boy job on Friday evening and Saturdays at Wrensons at Beggars Bush. If I had a detention to serve I elected to receive 6 of the best from Joe instead I even wore my gym shorts under my regular trousers to mitigate the discomfort somewhat. Thanks JLB for the aerial shot of the shooting range in the 'play' area, the second long range shooting range was at our sports field me thinks?. The school photo that I have a copy of was taken in 1957 and found it when clearing out my mothers house upon her passing in 2016.
In 1967 I accepted a job offer from Canada and departed the UK March 3rd that year. I met a nurse on a blind date three weeks later and we married and still are on September 18 1968. The reason for mentioning this, as part of our honeymoon I brought her to the UK to meet friends and relatives here, I also took her see HGS and was shocked to find the entry double doors locked. One of the custodians came and when I explained the reason for our being there he allowed us in,as we passed Pecks office he took us in and they had the 1957 school photo displayed on the wall, I picked out my photo and the custodian relaxed enough to allow us to wander around. I indicated what each room was and found that a couple or so had changed. When we entered the Biology lab,the familiar smell hit my nostrils and a memory flashed into my brain of when we were being taught "human reproduction", the Master showed a slide? of a female breast and a kid named MacAndrew had not been paying attention until that is he saw that picture and blurted out "a tit". The Master heard it and ordered MacAndrew to give him three alternate names instead. I was 80 yesterday and still vividly remember that episode.
Would anyone on the forum have any photos of us students dressed in our CCF or OTC uniforms, as I am writing a book using www,storywise.com for my kids and grand-kids and would love to add it to my High School article.
Stay safe. Robin.
 
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JLB

1940s Brummie
Charlie Peck was Mr G. M. Hilbourne BSc. He is shown as the Second Master [aka deputy headmaster] in my old and badly marked copy of the School Calendar for 1956-57. I have no idea why he was called Charlie Peck. I believe he retired in 1959 or 1960. I think there is a biography of him in the book published to mark the HGS centenary in 1963.HGS Calendar 1965-57.jpg
 
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RobT

Acemeccanoman
I remember the caning from Joe,I had a grocery delivery boy job on Friday evening and Saturdays at Wrensons at Beggars Bush. If I had a detention to serve I elected to receive 6 of the best from Joe instead I even wore my gym shorts under my regular trousers to mitigate the discomfort somewhat. Thanks JLB for the aerial shot of the shooting range in the 'play' area, the second long range shooting range was at our sports field me thinks?. The school photo that I have a copy of was taken in 1957 and found it when clearing out my mothers house upon her passing in 2016.
In 1967 I accepted a job offer from Canada and departed the UK March 3rd that year. I met a nurse on a blind date three weeks later and we married and still are on September 18 1968. The reason for mentioning this, as part of our honeymoon I brought her to the UK to meet friends and relatives here, I also took her see HGS and was shocked to find the entry double doors locked. One of the custodians came and when I explained the reason for our being there he allowed us in,as we passed Pecks office he took us in and they had the 1957 school photo displayed on the wall, I picked out my photo and the custodian relaxed enough to allow us to wander around. I indicated what each room was and found that a couple or so had changed. When we entered the Biology lab,the familiar smell hit my nostrils and a memory flashed into my brain of when we were being taught "human reproduction", the Master showed a slide? of a female breast and a kid named MacAndrew had not been paying attention until that is he saw that picture and blurted out "a tit". The Master heard it and ordered MacAndrew to give him three alternate names instead. I was 80 yesterday and still vividly remember that episode.
Would anyone on the forum have any photos of us students dressed in our CCF or OTC uniforms, as I am writing a book using www,storywise.com for my kids and grand-kids and would love to add it to my High School article.
Stay safe. Robin.
Robin, These were put on Facebook by David Mumford, who also wrote
"Here is a blast from the past. I attended HGS from 1949 to 1954. Whilst there I joined the School Combined Cadet Corps. We had two Sections when I joined, Army and Air Force. Everyone went into the Army Section to start with and when you gained your Cert A Part 1 you could choose to carry on in the Army or move over into the Air Force Section. By a stoke of sheer luck, when I got my Cert A Part 1 in March 1954 we had a new Master join the Staff and he was a Sub/Lt in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Sub/Lt West promptly founded a Royal Naval Section and I promptly joined it.
He arranged for us to have an Annual Camp and I attended the very first one in 1954 when we were attached to HMS Scorpion a Weapon Class Destroyer docked in Portsmouth at that time. We spent time visiting other Ships in the Docks at that time including, HMS Verelum, HMS Dido, HMS Cleopatra, HMS Albion ( the very first angle deck Aircraft Carrier) and the highlight of the camp, the UK's most famous Battleship, HMS Vanguard. Ashore we spent time at HMS Phoenix (Firefighting School), HMS Dolphin (Submarine Base - with time on Submarine HMS Auriga) and Whale Island Gunnery School. It was one of the most exciting times in my life. When it was time for my National Service unfortunately, they were sacking Sailors and breaking up the old War Ships so I was drafted into the Army and spent my two years as a Sergeant Drill Instructor in the Royal Army Medical Corps and it became two of the happiest years of my life. I truly valued my time in the Combined Cadet Corps at school, without which, I may well have ended up in a much more mundane job during my National Service."
Going ashore from HMS Scorpion - I am the one at the front 1954.
Sgt. Dave Mumford RAMC 1956 to 1958 david mumford 1.jpgdavid mumford 2.jpg
 

Michael_Ingram

master brummie
I joined the navel CCF and remember the trip to Portsmouth, a great few days. My plan for National Service was the airforce, I loved jet planes then. However, National Service was ended 18 months before I would have been due.
I remember once in CCF there had been a threat of IRA issues and all of our weapon store had been raided and dismantled by the police. Our CCF afternoon was spent reassembling rifles
 

Richard Ross

Brummie Author
I was at Handsworth Grammar between 1959 and 1966. These photos sure bring back some memories. I can add my name to the thread having been caned by JJ Walton. He caught us playing snooker in the snooker hall on Soho Road when we should have been in class. Busted again! Anyone know if there is an old boys society?
 

RobinCanada

knowlegable brummie
I'm having trouble with my maths and term times! Would someone born in September 1940 be on your photo please? My cousin, David Woolley, went to Handsworth Grammar but may have left for Uni by the time of your photo.
Hi Lady Penelope; I remember David Wooley from my years at HGS 1952-1958 so he should be on the 2 photos that are posted by 'Enzothebaker', David was one year ahead of me as I was born in April of 1941.
 

davids

New Member
Hello. I was at HGS during the fifties when Holy Joe was the head. The teachers I most remember were Mr West who took us for English in the Sixth Form and who left me with a lasting love of Jane Austen and Mr Page who took us for music. I also remember a physics teacher, whose name escapes me, who if we misbehaved made us chew chalk. Can you imagine what would happen to a teacher who tried that today. And does anybody remember the CCF? I was in the naval section and had a great time going on various courses and messing about in boats. Incidentally, the Mr West mentioned above was in charge of the naval section.
 
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