KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 

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KBGS Old Boys' Forum
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Drake and Tonson Prize.

November 28th 1949 was a big day for me. It was Speech Day and it was then that I was presented with a Drake and Tonson prize for good work in Form IV X. Granted it was only the Second Prize [Malcolm Smith won first prize] but I was as proud as a peacock! I remember that I knew in advance that I was a prize winner and that I had to select a book from a local book shop to the value of 7s/6d. [Where would that shop have been?] The book which I chose was entitled 'Striding Through Yorkshire'. I had an interest in things relating to my home county and in Geography. The book fulfilled both interests. The text covered the entire county, apart from the industrial areas and it was liberally illustrated with sketch maps showing some areas which I knew and others that I was determined to make familiar when the opportunity arose.
The other day, I came across the book languishing at the back of my bookshelf where it had been for many years, the front cover bearing the gold KBGS coat of arms impressed on the front cover. I don't think that it had been opened for 60 years. It is now too late to follow the routes described by the author, Alfred J Brown. I don't think I could manage more than a couple of miles and he tells of 'tramps' starting at 8.00 am and finishing at 9.30 pm. And I'll never find the pub which advertises, 'Good Ale for Nothing - Tomorrow', but I am enjoying, albeit a little late, reading my first school prize.

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk, UK.

Re: Drake and Tonson Prize.

I guess the book shop would have been Reids in Cavendish St, if it was open as early as 1949. It was certainly there in the early 50'ss

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Drake and Tonson Prize.


Reids was also used by local Chapels/Churches as the source of book prizes for completed Sunday School attendance star cards and Chapel/Church attendance prizes

Those were the days !!

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

Current location (optional) KEIGHLEY

Re: Drake and Tonson Prize.


The "Good Ale For Nothing Tomorrow" pub (or at least one such)is The Duke of York Inn, located opposite the T-junction at the top end of Allerton Road some distance outside the village of that name. It's easily accessible by car from Wilsden, Allerton or Thornton, not requiring a 13-hour hike but not worth the drive from Norfolk either, particularly as I can't confirm that the sign is still hanging overhead in the entrance passage where it was 40 years ago!
Has anyone visited more recently?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-65

Current location (optional) Dudley Area

Re: Drake and Tonson Prize.

The pub which Alfred Brown mentions in his book as having the 'Free Ale for Nothing' sign is one called the Chequers Inn at Slapestones, a village near to Osmotherley over in the North East corner of the county, Ryedale in fact. I don't recall ever having been over that way. It is obvious from reading my re-discovered prize, that my geographical knowledge of our great county is severely lacking ........ and sadly is likely to remain so!

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk, UK.

Re: Drake and Tonson Prize.

Hi Denis; The 'Free Ale for Nothing' sign reminds me of a small filling station in Addingham some 60-plus years ago, run by a very smart, well-dressed old man called James Hadley. Outside his filling station he had a highly visible sign which which offered 'Free Petrol Tomorrow'!!! And as we all know, 'tomorrow never comes'!!

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

Current location (optional) Keighley