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King Edwards Grammar School Camp Hill

boringmike

knowlegable brummie
I don't know whether it was the practice at most secondary schools but at KEGS Camp Hill many of the school masters had a nick-name. Hence Polly Bates, Spud Kober, Flossy Phelps, Pop Epsley, Froggy Fryer. In the case of the scripture master, a Mr. Brown, the surname also changed and hence he was called (behind his back) Holy Hovis. I have a photograph of the said gentleman, probably taken at a sports event. It was certainly not taken by me as I wouldn't have dared.
View attachment 136554
I feel that we should all take some action, my close personal friend is Tony Jackson who was caretaker plus many many other jobs at Camp Hill for 49 years and previously worked with his father at the old site. King Edwards runs in his blood and he has provided so much memorabilia for the school, he even climbed in the skips at the old site to rescue so many photos etc. but has had little interest from the school. He has so many memories having served under so many Headmasters and Headmistresses. He has written and continues to write a book on all his memories and I feel some action should be taken to preserve this memory, one of the secreteries at the Girls School typed it up in her spare time but no more, I want to help so that the manuscript is preserved or at best published and feel he should be interviewed, any ideas, please?
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
It would be a great shame if this material is lost. Am surprised that the School is showing little interest but I suppose they have other priorities. Has he tried their History Department, direct?

Seems to me there are two or three options, depending on the amount of material, the length of the text and the extent that further information needs to be drawn out of this gentleman, perhaps by interview.

1. A book. There must be members here who have had experience of doing this and could advise.

2. A dedicated website - more flexible than a book; unlimited in size; huge, unlimited potential audience; reasonably permanent; and (take it from me!) quite a lot of fun in creating. But no financial reward for all the effort, just the satisfaction of making some important history available to the world at large. In his position I should certainly go for this - but he may have other preferences/priorities, of course.

3. A dedicated thread in this Forum, showing the best of the material and perhaps referring back to book or website.

Please keep us posted on developments.

Chris
 

Berrihert

proper brummie kid
Dennis, interested to see your list of participants in the Grand Charity Soccer Match of Staff v The School. This was played on the 4th April 1960 and on the back of the list are caricatures of the staff. The back row is easy: Swinden, Thain, Cleak, Ridsdale, Matthews and Wright. In the front row I recognise DI Thomas (2nd left), Marsden (third left) and Harry Brown with pipe. By elimination the other three must be Jones, Watson and Tomkinson. I didn't know that you played soccer as well as cricket. I was quite good at chess which did help Howard House win the shield one year. Dave.

View attachment 126139

The instantly recognisable “Shifty’ Watson looking at list[ Alledgedly he was an ex-pro footballer who played for Sunderland] Di ` Thomas,Dennis Marsden and the legendary “Ted Jones’.who wore winkle pickers/socks with musical notes and an Italian suite.His orange haired ‘quiff’ like a teddy boy gave him the nickname, great French teacher got us all through the oralbecause he fancied the female examiner...!!!!!!The illustration was of course by the great Art Teacher Tony Appleby there were others which led to complaints.
’BJ’... Price.. started in 3Y 1957.


Dennis, interested to see your list of participants in the Grand Charity Soccer Match of Staff v The School. This was played on the 4th April 1960 and on the back of the list are caricatures of the staff. The back row is easy: Swinden, Thain, Cleak, Ridsdale, Matthews and Wright. In the front row I recognise DI Thomas (2nd left), Marsden (third left) and Harry Brown with pipe. By elimination the other three must be Jones, Watson and Tomkinson. I didn't know that you played soccer as well as cricket. I was quite good at chess which did help Howard House win the shield one year. Dave.

View attachment 126139
OK Dennis, here goes

September 1959.

So there we were Johnny Morrow and me, Donald Wright, standing a the 18 bus stop at the top of Parsons Hill, Kings Norton to go to Cotteridge and then to get the number 11 to Vicarage Road. Johnny and me knew each other from the cubs and so at least we each had someone to go with, as mommies and daddies didn't accompany their 11 year olds to their first day at grammar school then. I was the first boy from Broadmeadow School to pass for Camp Hill and Johnny was from Bell's Lane school. Don't really remember much about the first day, though we quickly found out that last years sherrins were out to give us what they'd got. We were both put in Tudor and into IM and classroom 7, at the top of the stairs leading down to the staff room and at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the music room. Our for master was Mr V C Brown, aka Greasy VC, Holy Joe, Holy Hovis or the one which stuck most of all 'The Punk!' who was the scripture teacher and it didn't take us long to figure out that he wasn't a very likeable chap. I remember my mom getting mixed up once and calling him Mr Hovis! For history we had Mr D I Thomas whom we soon discovered we had to be wary of, and my first memory of him was when we were being introduced to rugby and he was showing us how to take a penalty kick. When he put the ball straight through the posts and we all cheered, he just lost it and shouted at us to shut up, and where did we think we were anyway, 'Villa Park!?' My next recollection of him was when he started hitting Dave Mallett for some possible slight, and when we were all asked our names in class.

After coming from junior school and arriving at camp Hill as it was then it was frightening ..... particularly since some of the older boys looked to us like men. Tom Rogers put the fear of God into me so I was really pleased one day to see when he called a boy from the fifth form out in assembly by screaming out his name 'Fogarty ....Alan I thing his first name was, and as he came to the front of the hall you could see that he just didn't care one iota. He was my hero after that. We had the head for scripture and when he was going though the Exodus story, one little chap didn't understand how when Pharaoh decided to kill all of the male children born, this would prevent the Israelite population increasing..... to which his reply was 'You idiot..... don't you know that women can't have children without men?' when of course being 11 and it being 1959, none of us knew that this was the case since it was a closely guarded secret.

So as it goes in Latin, 'Quae cum ita sint .... since this was so..... we all, as everyone else had to, learned how to swim and not sink..... to keep our mouths shut with the bully boys and to wreak our revenge however we could. Right at the beginning in maths we were introduced to the concept of the right angle by our teacher one Mr. Hurst, aka Hairy, since he had fingers like a bunch of Fyffes all covered in hair, and when he bisected his straight line he indicated the right angle by placing it on the right hand side, when a little later on he indicated the corresponding angle on the left hand side, and asked what it was I though, this is easy, I know this one, and told him it was a left angle, he thought I was taking the mick, and promptly came down the row and battered me one. So I go my revenge thereafter by splashing ink from my fountain pen up the back of his jacket as he'd gone past me continuing to check all of the other boys work. It was great and caught on and we all had great fun until some bright spark put a bit too much effort into his ink flick and it went right up his back and over his bald head and of course he felt it. Epic.

I never got on with maths, because nobody ever told me what I could do with x when I found out it was -2 and it all just seemed like pointless puzzle solving to me when those who were good at it were considered geniuses, and all the rest of us who couldn't give a toss anyway were regarded as either lazy or idiots.... and what was the point in using letters when we had numbers. French came easy to me on the other hand, though I never liked having to speak it. I remember much later on Dennis Marsden Getting angry with our Birmingham pronunciation of j'ai with our elongated dipthongs shouting at us 'it's not jaaaai, its je [e acute] .... much to our enjoyment! Dennis was also pretty frightning when we were first formers, but later on we found out that he was a pretty good bloke. Dennis was the careers master and detention was held in the careers room . We all had to stand facing the wall in silence for an hour and once when I was undergoing my sentence I was looking at a careers letter on the wall addressed to M. Dennis Mardsden, B.A. ....... and some wag had added the letters S.T.A.R.D. after the B.A...... I found it hysterical and was hard put not to laugh.

To be continued:
by sheer co-incidence‘Hairy Hurst’ was my first form teacher in 3Y... we gave him a hard time really the ink flicking continued until the brave Lindsey Douglas. told him ‘please Sir you’ve got a blue spot on your head!’He always amusingly sensed when boredom was setting in... ‘You’ve all got that glassy eyed look’ he’d say ..in time for the bell.That yest marked a big change in the school there was a mad mix up of classes I remember my friend Richard Mottram[now Sir Richard] Lindsey Douglas who created Basil Brush and others who were to create mayhem in later years and chalkege the old traditions of the school whilst Fogarty and Bruce were early juvenile delinquents.. what followed were scores of them the notorious P.Green, Slim Lewis, Tony Winters and’Thug ‘Dewes to mention a few.It was the early sixties FFS !!so uniform and rules were flaunted In a more extreme way.[to be continued]. ‘BJ’ Price 3Y-5W 1957-62.
 
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Berrihert

proper brummie kid
We had yet another reunion last year but numbers are falling ..anyone interested in the next one? i believe Johnny ‘Cassius’ Cleake js still alive and well.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
I feel that we should all take some action, my close personal friend is Tony Jackson who was caretaker plus many many other jobs at Camp Hill for 49 years and previously worked with his father at the old site. King Edwards runs in his blood and he has provided so much memorabilia for the school, he even climbed in the skips at the old site to rescue so many photos etc. but has had little interest from the school. He has so many memories having served under so many Headmasters and Headmistresses. He has written and continues to write a book on all his memories and I feel some action should be taken to preserve this memory, one of the secreteries at the Girls School typed it up in her spare time but no more, I want to help so that the manuscript is preserved or at best published and feel he should be interviewed, any ideas, please?
There seems to be an archivist. Try here:
https://www.schoolsofkingedwardvi.co.uk/foundation/archive2/
 

jmadone

master brummie
The instantly recognisable “Shifty’ Watson looking at list[ Alledgedly he was an ex-pro footballer who played for Sunderland] Di ` Thomas,Dennis Marsden and the legendary “Ted Jones’.who wore winkle pickers/socks with musical notes and an Italian suite.His orange haired ‘quiff’ like a teddy boy gave him the nickname, great French teacher got us all through the oralbecause he fancied the female examiner...!!!!!!The illustration was of course by the great Art Teacher Tony Appleby there were others which led to complaints.
’BJ’... Price.. started in 3Y 1957.




by sheer co-incidence‘Hairy Hurst’ was my first form teacher in 3Y... we gave him a hard time really the ink flicking continued until the brave Lindsey Douglas. told him ‘please Sir you’ve got a blue spot on your head!’He always amusingly sensed when boredom was setting in... ‘You’ve all got that glassy eyed look’ he’d say ..in time for the bell.That yest marked a big change in the school there was a mad mix up of classes I remember my friend Richard Mottram[now Sir Richard] Lindsey Douglas who created Basil Brush and others who were to create mayhem in later years and chalkege the old traditions of the school whilst Fogarty and Bruce were early juvenile delinquents.. what followed were scores of them the notorious P.Green, Slim Lewis, Tony Winters and’Thug ‘Dewes to mention a few.It was the early sixties FFS !!so uniform and rules were flaunted In a more extreme way.[to be continued]. ‘BJ’ Price 3Y-5W 1957-62.
I recognise quite a few names from this post but they were all a few years older than I. As a first former (1M) these guys would have been in the fourth or fifth form. The name Fogarty seems to ring a bell mainly as name read out occasionaly in assembly ordered to attend detention on Thursdays after school. P(ete) Green I was acquainted with already as he and his family lived quite near to me as did the Eastwood (?) twins. Slim Lewis, now there's a blast from the past! Other names I recall from that era, Alfie Phillips, (?)Parker and Ray Letts, all of them prefects and I think Ray Letts was Head boy.
 

devonjim

master brummie
It must be around 1954, school trip to Bernese Oberland, four class mates can remember names of three but not 2nd from right, he became head boy 1958, What was he called?
 

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farmerdave

master brummie
Re #88, the Eastwood twins were David and Derek and a year below me. They each obtained five or more subjects at "O" level in 1960. Certainly remember the name "Fogarty" but not the person. Some boys had surnames that I have not come across since, e.g. Garratt-Reed, Rothera, Barnacle, Graham-Cumming.
 

jmadone

master brummie
Re #88, the Eastwood twins were David and Derek and a year below me. They each obtained five or more subjects at "O" level in 1960. Certainly remember the name "Fogarty" but not the person. Some boys had surnames that I have not come across since, e.g. Garratt-Reed, Rothera, Barnacle, Graham-Cumming.
I don't know how many 'O' level subjects they got but I do remember taking their certificates to their home address. During one assembly during my first Autumn term several names and street addresses were read out and a request made for volunteers to deliver a sealed cardboard tube containing certificates. As their address was near to me I duly volunteered.
I can't be certain but I have a vague recollection of hearing of the sad death of one of the twins a few years later.
 

alib

Brummie babby
Is there any way of knowing; period covered, word count and amount of illustrations involved please?
Kind regards
Alistair Brewin
Brewin Books
 

Berrihert

proper brummie kid
I recognise quite a few names from this post but they were all a few years older than I. As a first former (1M) these guys would have been in the fourth or fifth form. The name Fogarty seems to ring a bell mainly as name read out occasionaly in assembly ordered to attend detention on Thursdays after school. P(ete) Green I was acquainted with already as he and his family lived quite near to me as did the Eastwood (?) twins. Slim Lewis, now there's a blast from the past! Other names I recall from that era, Alfie Phillips, (?)Parker and Ray Letts, all of them prefects and I think Ray Letts was Head boy.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
Is there any way of knowing; period covered, word count and amount of illustrations involved please?
Kind regards
Alistair Brewin
Brewin Books
I assume you are referring to the book by the caretaker. It might be worth sending a private message to "boring Mike". If you click on his avatar you will see "start conversation". Click on that and you can send a message to him. That conversation will be private to the two of you.
 

Baker boy

proper brummie kid
re image 078(2). I was at school with the group shown . I remember all of them but can only name Bateman on right and possibly Norbury?
 

devonjim

master brummie
re image 078(2). I was at school with the group shown . I remember all of them but can only name Bateman on right and possibly Norbury?
L to R Roger Allen, Derek Norbury, ? Fletcher(perhaps). Stephen Bradley. 1951-56 at Camp Hill.
 

devonjim

master brummie
I learn from facebook that 2020 "Alumi Day" will be 11th July. I have never been to one of these, always next year, perhaps this year?
 

jmadone

master brummie
Came across this short film.
I remember the film being made I think I must have been in the second form at the time. I recognised a few of the faces, mainly the masters. Great shots of Ray Watson, Ron Jones with the inevitable fag in his mouth, Sid Madge talking with Mr Cross a maths teacher from Canada. Does anyone recognise the French master? I have a vague recollection of someone named Perry or Pirrie but I may be mistaking him for a completely different person.
 
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