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KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 


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Drake and Tonson Prize.

These days I seem to be engaged in a seemingly never ending job of trying to rid myself of years of collected clutter. The other day, I set about my bookshelves and I picked up a somewhat old copy of a book entitled 'Striding Through Yorkshire'. I knew it was there. It has been with me wherever I have lived but I realised that I have never read it from cover to cover and I certainly have never followed the footpaths and byways of rural Yorkshire has I once intended.
Inside the front cover, is a label signed by Neville Hind and dated 29/11/49, Speech Day I guess, indicating that it was presented to me for 'good work' in Form 4x - second prize. The first prize was awarded to Malcolm B Smith who went on to become a Pathologist. The last I heard of him he was at McGill University in Montreal. But even though it was only the second prize I have always treasured it. It gave me the opportunity to walk across the stage in the Municipal Hall to collect the prize from the hands of some dignitary whilst my mother looked on!
Does anyone else have a Drake and Tonson Prize sitting on their bookshelf? And if so, what is the subject matter? My favourite subjects were Art and Geography. I would have chosen a book on Art but I couldn't find one for 7/6d, so I settled for one with a geographical content.

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Drake and Tonson Prize.

Nice story Denis. Your house sounds to be a bit like mine. I have never counted all my books but there must be 100s."now you're retired you must be able to get rid of some of these books you will never read again" Yes dear! Haha. Cheers.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1947-51`

Current location (optional) Orewa, NZ

Re: Drake and Tonson Prize.

Hope I haven't conveyed the impression that my house is a tip. It isn't, as a regular visitor, Terry Marston will no doubt verify! However, I do have one room which was intended to be used as an office, but which is now so full of books, painting equipment etc., that I can hardly find space to rest my backside. I have a German friend, Vera, who always asks me, using her perfect English which carries a faint trace of a German accent, whether I have 'tidied my tip'.

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Drake and Tonson Prize.

Most people, who have endured secondary education to at least “0” Level , will be sufferers of the clutter book syndrome.

We acquire them, enjoy them and adhere to them to the point of not being able to let them go.

If they have a special importance to us, like Denis’s Drake and Tonson prize, handing them in to the local charity shop is a task we are more likely to bequeath to our off-spring.

I never achieved recognition with a prize for “good work”, though in 1959 Arthur ( new headmaster, Watthey) called me into his office and told me that the Keighley Rotarians, of which he was a member, had “funded” a new prize , the “Rotary Prize” to be awarded for “service above self” and that I was chosen to receive it that Speech Day.

When the list went up in the form room, the other lads wanted to know , “What’s your prize for, Marzy?” I had only an inkling of Watthey’s possible reasons from my recollections so all I could do was tell them the “citation”. Imagine the mickey extraction that followed and the accusations of creeping that I got.

I collected (23-11-59) my prize from the hands of the Bishop of Bradford (later Canterbury), Dr Coggan, and I still have the 2 Penguin Books (“A Book of English Poetry” and “The Centuries Poetry -4- Hood to Morris”) on my shelves – all six and a tanner’s worth. And they’re stopping there!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-1960

Current location (optional) Nirvana