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KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 


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KBGS Old Boys' Forum
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Morning Assembly

My mind was wandering more than usual in church yesterday morning. With good reason I might add! I couldn’t hear much of what was going on . I concluded that either my hearing aid needed a new battery but learned later that the loop system wasn't operating. Don’t know what triggered it, probably something to do with the fact that I prefer hymns a la Wesley rather than Kendrick, but I found myself thinking about morning assembly when several hundred boys were siphoned from that minute playground, down the subterranean corridors, up flights of stairs and into the Assembly Room to await the arrival of prefects and masters and finally the Headmaster. ‘Good Morning Boys’, ‘Morning Sir’. One of the most enduring memories I have of that part of school life, is of the hymns sung on the first and last days of term - ’Lord behold us with Thy Blessing, Once again assembled here’, and ’Lord dismiss us with Thy blessing ’. The first was sung with little enthusiasm but the second with great gusto! Did we have our own hymn books or were they distributed daily and if so, by whom? Was it ’Gobbo’ who played the piano or some pupil with musical talent [like Dennis Pegg]? And was it always a Prefect who read the lesson?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945-50

Current location (optional) Norfolk UK

Re: Morning Assembly

In my time, a little after your own, it was a prefect who read the lesson, usually a master who played the piano - Marshall, Greenwood, Braithwaite - and the hymn books, so far as I remember, were passed along the row by the guy at the corridor end, we certainly didn't possess our own (though my brother, for one, still has his own, mysteriously). I can still sing many of those hymns, though in my case with no religious conviction - 'Dear Lord and Father of Mankind' was a great favourite of mine, but I could cite several others. Trouble was, I invariably wanted Assembly to go on and on because once it had come to an end one was at the mercy of Beaky, or Braithwaite or Bloomfield or Harry Blinks, and misery began!

Re: Morning Assembly

Arriving as I did in 1943 the assembly was a pretty sobering experience . There was usually references to Old boys of the school who were either killed, missing or taken prisoner , followed by prayers for their safety. This was quite thought provoking for young ears already attuned to the almost nightly wail of the sirens on top of the local mills .
The hymn books were small red ones with "Public School Hymns " printed on the front . I think my brother Peter still had one which he "forgot " to hand in after the assembly.I will try and dig it out if and when I get back to the UK

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 43-46

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Morning Assembly

In my days there wasa a hymn book monitor. I know 'cos I was one. Not much to it except I got to give the better, less tattered ones to my friends. By the way I like the image conjured by describing the journey from playground to Assembly Hall as 'syphoned'. Nice one!

Re: Morning Assembly

I am sure some of us remember singing corrupt words at Assembly. Maybe the best was 'His first avowed intent , to be a GRIMPILL' or 'Hark the herald angels sing, Beechams Pills are just the thing'. There are many others.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Morning Assembly

I remember two hymns in particular: before Christmas "Brightest and best of the suns of the morning" and at the end of the school year "O'er the harvest,reaped or lost, Falls the eve;our tasks are over" Were these still sung into the 1950s and 60s?Gobbo always played the piano in my day and prefects read the lesson on a rota system.How well or badly I read I don't remember but I still read in church,I suppose for my sins though I do at least have a microphone (and know how to use it unlike some - though I have had many years of practice!)PA systems were of course unheard of in schools in my day but Nev.Hind had a good loud voice.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1940-48

Current location (optional) Epsom

Re: Morning Assembly

'Brightest and Best' is still sung, essentially as a Christmas Hymn. However your second mentioned hymn I have never heard of, despite being a church organist for 50 years (I was organist at Fell Lane Chapel from age 14, later Lund Park)

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Morning Assembly

try
note



Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1950-1955

Current location (optional) KEIGHLEY

Re: Morning Assembly

Thanks, Derek,
Great name for the hymn tune.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Nirvana

Re: Morning Assembly

Hm seems it was a Methodist one as well, but it must just be one that eluded me !

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral