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Riland Bedford High School for Girls and Boys.

pipmk

master brummie
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Yes I went to Riland Bedford 1954/57 The Headmaster when I was there was Bill Roberts ex-navel and a strict disciplinarian and his deputy Bert Hicken another disciplinarian never a day went by in that school that some poor boy was being thrashed for some minor indiscretion. The Schools were a mirror image but never the twain would meet. One day a Kid in our class(Punch Brown,s) was spotted talking to a damsel as Bill referred to them, He came flying into our classroom with deputy Bert And demanded to know was they had been discussing "We were talking about what we were having for tea Sir she's my sister" Bill looked at Bert quizzically and said "They have sisters what are we to do" to which we all burst out laughing. Wrong move we all got detention.
I can still here him now shouting across the quadrange "Get me my Kipling boy!!" a book about poetry.

Bill Roberts went on to be Head at John Willmott mixed grammar where he proved just as inept with the female of the species according to my wife and our friends. however he did have two sons so I guess he knew something about females. Bert Hicken, couldn't stop a pig in an entry, I've never seen a man with such bowed legs or such a violent temper. Punch Brown, he even taught my Uncles, nice old duffer but his RE lessons reminded one that at that time the Church of England was the Tory Party at prayer. Jesus was white, probably English and certainly voted for Empire and the Conservative Party, comparative religion was admitting there were things called Catholics. The staff generally thought " Suffer little children to come unto me" meant they had to give the children a good beating first.
To be very fair to Bill, funny old goat that he was, he did introduce A levels etc. and the school became very well equipped.
Barlow, Davies, Eastwood, Thomas, Elliot, do those names ring any bells? Teaching was an absolute doddle in those days. Pupil Welfare was restricted to ensuring nobody actually died of wounds on the premises, pupils either learned or they didn't and the thought of actually being interested in your charges would have brought them out in hives.
 

john

master brummie
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Didn't know Barlow, teachers I do remember were (Aggie) Jones used to move the rings on her fingers to form a knuckle duster so she could give you a right thump on the upper arm whilst you sat at your desk. Eastwood a teacher who could teach without thrashing you, Davies (Rugby) Haigh (science) Collins (Woodwork) another thrasher, (Jack) Brooks (Metalwork) (Jerry) Lymm (Got his nickname because he acted like a storm trooper) Ayrton (Art) (Pug) Palmer. I saw him when they were having a jumble sale at Edge Hill School I think his wife worked there, A mate and I bought some silly hats and we paraded round the school in them only then to have them knocked of our heads by Pug Palmer and then he shouted at us to see him on Monday morning for a rollicking, what he had forgotten that me and my mate had left school a month earlier and started work, So my mate caught hold of him by his lapels picked him up ( as he was only 5 foot tall) and quietly told him to go forth and multiply.he then ran off and locked himself in the Headmasters Office....Revenge was so sweet.
 
P

pagan

Guest
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

I went to Riland Bedford but from 81 - 85, however Miss James was still there and was a very scary lady!
 

Brenda

master brummie
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Hi pipmk,
I remember Jennifer Senior and she had a sister, Lesley. They lived in Darnel Hurst Rd in Little Sutton, Four Oaks and were just around the corner to me when I was in Edwards Rd. I don't know where they are now though.
 

pipmk

master brummie
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Hi pipmk,
I remember Jennifer Senior and she had a sister, Lesley. They lived in Darnel Hurst Rd in Little Sutton, Four Oaks and were just around the corner to me when I was in Edwards Rd. I don't know where they are now though.
Jennie can be found via Friends Reunited
 

lindast

New Member
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Hi,

Is there anyone on this forum who used to go to Riland Bedford High School for Girls (now Plantsbrook School) in Sutton Coldfield?
I went there from 1959 until 1963 and would love to hear from anyone who attended those years and a few beyond.

(QUOTE=Brenda;74852) Hi,
I went to Riland Bedford High School for Girls from 1960 - 1964. My name is Linda and my maiden name was Danaher. Is my name familiar to you?
 

Brenda

master brummie
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Hi Linda,

I do not remember your name from Riland Bedford but guess that I have a photograph of you! Were you on the very wide one that was taken (possibly 1962) outside in the playground? All girls were on that as were the teachers.

Which teachers did you have?

I had Mrs Barber, Miss Edna Smart, Mrs Gardener and Mrs Harber as my form teachers. I left at Easter 1963.
 

lindast

New Member
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Hi,

Is there anyone on this forum who used to go to Riland Bedford High School for Girls (now Plantsbrook School) in Sutton Coldfield?
I went there from 1959 until 1963 and would love to hear from anyone who attended those years and a few beyond.

I cannot recall a photograph
 

lindast

New Member
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Hi Linda,

I do not remember your name from Riland Bedford but guess that I have a photograph of you! Were you on the very wide one that was taken (possibly 1962) outside in the playground? All girls were on that as were the teachers.

Which teachers did you have?

I had Mrs Barber, Miss Edna Smart, Mrs Gardener and Mrs Harber as my form teachers. I left at Easter 1963.

Hi Brenda,

I cannot recall a photograph although some of the teachers are familiar. I have found my old school reports and the teachers I had were Miss Hewlett, Miss Smart, Jeanne M Ives and Mrs H Wheadon. I recall Jennifer Senior and her sister, they were in the year above me. I will try and go through old papers and see if I can find any more information. I moved away from Sutton Coldfield for many years and when I returned I often thought about old school friends and the school frontage had not changed at all.
 

Brenda

master brummie
Hi Linda,

Jennifer and Lesley Senior lived just a few yards away from me when I was at the school. They lived in Darnel Hurst Rd and I was in Edwards Road, Four Oaks and could see their house from my bedroom window.

I remember those teachers you mentioned including Miss Jessica Hewlett. When she left the school she married a Mr Osborne and went to live at 4 Derry Avenue, Plymouth, Devon. She was my favourite teacher and taught French to my form. I have a photograph taken of her on my last day at school. I also have an autograph book with several of the girls' and teachers' names signed in it.

I have been to two small reunions in the last few years, one comes over from Canada for it and there are two others from Tamworth besides me, plus a couple more from Cannock and the New Forest.

It was probably about 15-20 years ago when I had a tour of the school, it had changed quite a bit although it looked much the same from the front outside. It had a new modern gym with coffee bar! I heard that a lot of the sports ground at the back had been sold off for new housing

I am still in touch with some of the girls including one who went from Walmley to Australia in 1964.

I have my reports too.

Miss Lemon, the headmistress, comitted suicide many years ago.

If you have any more memories that you would like to wrirte about I would be interested in reading them.
 

Jenniewren

New Member
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

I went to the boys half at the same time. Whoa betide any boy caught looking into the canteen when the girls were using it, or at their gym. The corridor between the two halves was I swear, mined. You came out a few minutes earlier than us in order that you could be well away before the animals were let out. I think Miss Lemon believed immaculate conception was the only way to go. Our Head at one time, a real oafish bully called McGinn said in assembly that he had "noticed that boys liked girls" ,catcalls from us 5th formers at the back, "good old Jim, nothing gets past him"
I always thought your school uniform colour, a sort of washed out red was about as unflattering as possible but many of you made even that attractive, Lyn Cleve where are you? Mind you the Girls Grammar sludge Brown was pretty dire too. happy days!
Some names, Jennie Senior, Sue Wilson, Janet Strathdee, Lyn Cleeve,Rosemary Bird

Whoa betide any girl looking at a boy too! I got caught waving at a boy(friend) across the canteen and was up on stage the next day at assembly with '3 black marks' as I remember it. Never forget that!!! Miss Lemon was unbelievable and so narrow-minded. I went on to be a 'secretary' and remember Miss Dean well. Think she had been engaged but he had died. I too remember Jennifer Senior, Susan Wilson - a year above me.
As for our uniform - maroon, baggy knickers for sports. Not nice at certain times of the month!
 

Pete R

Rocker
Most kids from my Primary school went to Riland Bedford. My brother Andrew was there 1969 - 74. (Well, he used the school bus to get in and out of Sutton, but was rarely at school !

Bill Roberts - what a legend. He came to B.V.G.S. in '68 to teach English. He immediately took a shine to me as I was from a Naval family and he spotted my copy of the Sir Francis Chichester book in my bag. The best way to treat him was to draw a submarine on the blackboard. He'd see it, comment that it wasn't correct, redraw it and totally forget about teaching. We'd then get 1/2 an hour of his War memoirs, punctuated by his throwing Extra Strong Mints at you, from a huge bag he kept in his pocket. He NEVER once had to shout or punish any of us, indeed, he got several of us off detention from other Teachers, he was a bit of a rebel at heart. "No-one does that to my lads! Have a Mint !"
In the 80s, I met his family. They were really nice people. I reckon that he was being 'watched' at RB and Fairfax because he could be pro pupil and anti Teacher, thus he was strict, but as a retired / returned teacher, the shackles were off.
Oh and as a teacher ? Despite our tactics, our (bottom grade) class did 60% more work in one year than the other three classes of our year put together.
 

pipmk

master brummie
Couldn't agree more, the 60's and 70's senior school generation in Sutton has much to thank Bill for. His tenure at Bedford ensured that within a few years there was little or no difference in opportunity at Bedford, Willmott and BV,with "A" levels etc. He set up Willmott and handed on a very well regarded school to his successors. He might have seemed a funny old stick on occasions, but lets not forget that being a "character" was something a teacher strived to establish and he struggled to understand the female of the species,but his commitment to his charges was never in doubt. He earned the undying gratitude of many of us. We will not see his like again.
 

Pete R

Rocker
Thanks pipmk, Yes, his sort of Teacher were dissappearing fast when I left in '71. Already the 'never been out of the academic stream' type were coming in. Most Teachers at BVGS had been in the Services, many had fought in WW II, so had a wider vision of life than that of adhering to Gov't imposed targets. With the 'League Tables' came another evil, Schools intent on spewing out high exam results to gain some form of superiority over other schools. The Pupils ? they didn't count, pawns in a game....! When PC came in in the '80s, the level of intelligence dropped, so 'dumbing down' of Exams, GCSEs, etc., were resorted to in order to keep the figures artificially high.
I've seen 'A' level questions, these were the same as my 11+ ones ! We now have several generations of people undereducated and brainwashed into believing falsities.
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
What wonderful tributes to Bill Roberts. He was at BVGS, first, in the mid 1940s and probably immediately after war service, before he moved on elsewhere. To my regret I cannot recall now whether he taught me or not - he probably did for a while....geography, wasn't it? - but he is always remembered as a larger-than-life, somewhat swash-buckling character with more than a passing interest in naval matters!

Chris
 

Bradbury

New Member
Re: Riland Bedford High School for Girls

Greeting fellow gladiators (Yea who are about to die). I think that I started the same day that Jim McGinn became head in 1962. Jeeze that was a horrid winter. I lost the balls off two brass monkeys that winter.
This headmaster was the Bill Sykes to Burt Hickin's Fagin... My first encounter with falling fowl, was in the first month at school with Punch Brown (RE). Always know thine enemy, sayeth I. Something to do with the slaves (Exodus) never seeing the sea side, and finding some wet boggy marsh ... Needless to say, a 12 year old was marched off for six lashes from the slave master, McGinn. I was the founder and leader of the atheist party, or you'd have thought so. I'm told that the electric chair and gas chamber rooms have now been bricked up, at least for the time being. Members of 3G -4G were all classed (you can't make this up) as founders of the Mafia or our parents were ... Peter Day screams as a blackboard rubber whistles past at 741MPH. I duck, thus allowing the missile to hit Barry Peace, sitting behind me. I sat next to Trevor Foster, now a drummer with a Brummi band. We were all thick as two short planks, except Trev, because he could draw and count to 10 (on a good day). We had the best football team (unbeaten), but I was excluded because my game was the sack race)), 3rd then 4th years of the 1960's, but that's just an aside.
Class members as I recall: Harry Basham, Malcolm Bradbury, Barry Peace, Philip Bee, Barry Stinton, David Roe, Trevor Foster,
Me, David (the grass) Broughton, Paul Edwards, Robert White (died of Lung cancer I'm told), A boy I called silver sleeves, oh, yes, he was David Telling. Keith Henan, Greg Hernden. There were three others who's names I cannot recall.

Earton was a pottery master and was taken over by a spiteful man, whose name I cannot recall. Eastwood was metalwork; and I got my own back by screwing both his twin daughters (honest). Elliot (a Scot?) was gym master, but he left and some other more sociable chap took over his roll. Can anyone recall the name of the chap that took technical drawing? He aways seemed to scartching his crotch and shrugging. Perhaps its just me. A guy we called 'Smiler' took us for physics, and was really nice guy and I learned a great deal from him. I guess that's, in part, why I took up electronics in later life. He was a very stimulating chap. Who was the chap with the corduroy pants that took us for art? He was laid back.
After 1245 years wondering in the desert, I married my third wife (glutton for punishment) and moved to the US, bought some land, cheap and built a farm. Three children, vis: two daughters, eldest girl (43) is a midwife, youngest (38) a graphic designer, and my boy (45), a psychiatric nurse (clinical). So, all in all, they have done well for themselves. I'm retired now, set up and writer Novels and Novelettes and short stories, well, it's an income, as well as one of my hobbies.
Oh, I nearly forgot ... If anyone remembers Peter Bradbury (my brother, three years older than I), he died in 2012.
If anyone knows the location of the graves of, massa Burt Hickin and the headmaster, Jim McGinn. Drop me a line, so I can go piss on their graves.
Well, that's all for now. If you have news, email me at [email protected] (Tony)

Bill Roberts went on to be Head at John Willmott mixed grammar where he proved just as inept with the female of the species according to my wife and our friends. however he did have two sons so I guess he knew something about females. Bert Hicken, couldn't stop a pig in an entry, I've never seen a man with such bowed legs or such a violent temper. Punch Brown, he even taught my Uncles, nice old duffer but his RE lessons reminded one that at that time the Church of England was the Tory Party at prayer. Jesus was white, probably English and certainly voted for Empire and the Conservative Party, comparative religion was admitting there were things called Catholics. The staff generally thought " Suffer little children to come unto me" meant they had to give the children a good beating first.
To be very fair to Bill, funny old goat that he was, he did introduce A levels etc. and the school became very well equipped.
Barlow, Davies, Eastwood, Thomas, Elliot, do those names ring any bells? Teaching was an absolute doddle in those days. Pupil Welfare was restricted to ensuring nobody actually died of wounds on the premises, pupils either learned or they didn't and the thought of actually being interested in your charges would have brought them out in hives.
 
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Mike Bond

master brummie
Riland Bedford was not my school but I did play rugby for Sutton Coldfield in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The club captain was a chap called Roger Smolden who was a teacher at Riland Bedford. Mike.
 
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