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KBGS Old Boys' Forum

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Gordon Crowther

Many who were at KBGS in the early-mid 1960s will be sorry to hear that Gordon Crowther died on the 25th of July.

He never taught me whilst I was at KBGS but I got to know him well in more recent years. After he left KBGS he went to teach at Salt Grammar School where he spent the rest of his career, becoming head of sixth form.
It was after he retired that, in 1998, I met him through Cedric Binns. From then on we walked together almost every week for a dozen years or more. Over the past few years he was able to walk less often - first because of knee problems and later when he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The funeral was held in Cullingworth last Thursday (4th August). There were two of his KBGS colleagues present - Dennis Webster and Michael ('Slim') Day.

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

Current location (optional) Haworth

Re: Gordon Crowther

Sad news, Steven. I imagine our surviving former teachers must all have reached a good age by now. Where did Slim Day wind up after KBGS? He was a fine teacher.

Re: Gordon Crowther

Hi, Allan.

I don't know where Slim ended up teaching but it probably wasn't far away - he and Gordon met fairly regularly I believe. I spoke to Slim at the funeral but not at great length - mostly reminiscing about the time his hat blew away across the Bay of Naples on a fierce crossing during a BenTex tour of Itlay.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-1965

Current location (optional) Haworth

Re: Gordon Crowther

I remember that hat! He had style!

Re: Gordon Crowther

I too remember the 'Slim ' day hat incident in Italy (It was a very rough crossing to Capri), but neither he nor Crowther ever taught me - I didn't even know he was a Gordon. Remember him well though.

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Gordon Crowther

Crowther never taught me either, but wasn't he the guy nicknamed "Yogi" or am I confusing him with someone else?

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

Current location (optional) Dudley

Re: Gordon Crowther

Yes, Gordon Crowther and Yogi were one and the same.
Oddly enough that nickname never once came up during the hundreds of walks I did with Gordon.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-64 (or should that be 1965?)

Current location (optional) Haworth

Re: Gordon Crowther

Question for Brian Moate:

Brian - I've been trying to remember whether Denis Webster ever taught me mathematics. Can't remember during which years we were in the same form but thought there was a chance you might remember.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-64 (or should that be 1965?)

Current location (optional) Haworth

Re: Gordon Crowther

Steven, if memory serves he arrived at the school (or at least my first recollection of him was) in 1963.
If my memory is correct, and if you took A-level Maths, he would have been one of your teachers then - the other being a fellow named Hughes who had just arrived as Head of Maths.

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Gordon Crowther

Thanks Shaun. Unfortunately I ducked A-level Maths (and have regretted it ever since). If Denis came as late as 1963 he probably was not amongst those who tried to teach me Mathematics.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-64 (or should that be 1965?)

Current location (optional) Haworth

Re: Gordon Crowther

Steven, I dont remember a Webster at all! We had Dowson in first couple of years, had 'Tex' Mitchell later (who was Head of Maths), and I remember Brian Hughes in upper sixth. We also had a temperory woman for one term in lower sixth.

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Gordon Crowther

Would she be a "tranny" or "bi" or both?

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

Current location (optional) Nirvana

Re: Gordon Crowther

Maybe she was just cross Terry.

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Gordon Crowther

Morning Steve,

How old was 'Yogi'?

In fact, how old are 'Slim' and Dennis Webster?

I maintain contact with Peter Wilby who is just the same as he used to be at KBGS and is now in his mid-80's.

Dennis Webster was my Form Master in 6G1 after we'd moved up to Oakbank.

The 'Italy Trip' was my first and only 'School Trip' but I vividly remember an incident involving you, a campsite in Vevey, a midnight swim and Lake Geneva!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959-66

Current location (optional) Shoreham-by-Sea

Re: Gordon Crowther

Yogi taught me Physics. Webster lined us all up at the back of the room in Oakbank and proceeded to go mental.He was successor as Form Master re- Basher. He knew that 5C could be a nuisance! Bit jumped up whereas Yogi was kindly. Remember the Italy Trip well. Spent a lot of time in the Vatican Museum with a very knowledgeable Toy Shop boy !

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959-66

Current location (optional) HAWORTH

Re: Gordon Crowther

I always enjoyed Peter Wilbys Geography lessons, had him for GCE in 4X, but he did once make me write our Peninsula 50X for missing out the second 'n'. Good to hear he is still well.

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Gordon Crowther

'Peninsula'!

What about the 'R' Brian?

'Plus ca change'!

50 lines (yet again) for you today, after all these years!

Please deliver to the KBGS website by 09.00 tomorrow morning:

I must spell 'Temperory' correctly when I actually mean 'Temporary' (in my responses to a 'post' on the KBGS website).

Plus another 50 Lines:

'Peninsula' is actually spelled 'Peninsular'.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959 - 66

Current location (optional) Shoreham-by-Sea

Re: Gordon Crowther

All depends whether it was "peninsula" (noun) or "peninsular" (adj.).

Missed out the second n, Brian? Must have been a Freudian slip by a typical teenage male!

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

Current location (optional) Dudley

Re: Gordon Crowther

Thats right Brian, noun is peninsula, I live on one !

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Gordon Crowther

It's a while since I checked the KBGS site so there are a few points to take up:

Brian M. - I was told you had an astounding memory. I'd forgotten about being taught by Tex. I clearly remember being taught by Albert Braithwaite as well as his having been my form master (3rd form?).
One vignette from that time:
Robert Stead was in class wearing an inoffensive green sweater instead of the regulation grey (with or without house colours).
Albert: "What colour is that sweater you're wearing Stead?"
Robert: "Green, Sir, the same as yours"
30 seconds later - Robert face down on the classroom floor with Albert's foot on his back and Albert vigorously twisting Robert's arm.
Can't imagine why he was called Basher! Oddly enough we really liked Albert.

Dave B. - Gordon would have been 82 in October. Not sure about Denis and Slim but about the same I suppose. The photograph on the back of the order of service at the funeral was extracted from the 1960 school photograph - with me partly obscured directly behind Gordon (my mother was quite indignant about that at the time).
I remember the camp site in Vevey, the submarine trip, the funicular(?)railway, almost seeing the North Wall of the Eiger (the rest of the party were not sufficiently interested in mountaineering to go on up to Kleine Scheidegg). I can just about remember the midnight swimming episode - mainly because it was an astoundingly clear night sky and there were a number of bright meteors (and an early satellite?). What about the huge plate of chips?

J.F.A. Toy Shop Boy - isn't that one of these pop groups one hears so much about in these degenerate times? Actually it really annoys me that I haven't got a single decent photograph of my father's shop (Harry Wood's, toys and bicycles, 26 Cavendish Street - just in case anyone might have such a picture).

Generally: "Peninsular" as a spelling of the noun is becoming distressingly common - even in serious books on the Middle East. Why wasn't everybody taught English by Kenneth "You must do your corrections, boy, as they're an essential part of your education" Preston?
Not that I don't still find words which I have been spelling (or pronouncing) wrongly for half a century and more.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-1964 (or '65 according to taste)

Current location (optional) Haworth

Re: Gordon Crowther

Just an anecdote about Tex Mitchell (I think he was Derek H Mitchell). When we were taught what vertically opposite angles were, he explained that 'vertically' in this sense was just a corruption of VerTEXically opposite, and it was that reason he was nicknamed 'Tex' . But as I remember he had slighlty bowed legs (like several generations of Moates), so looking like a cowboy, was nicknamed 'Tex'

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Gordon Crowther

According to my reference at the time (contemporerry!) Tex was so known because his pupils would claim that "he teks us" for Maths. That account was passed to me by John (Henry) Turner; Brigg House and School fullback at 15 and a Bradford Street neighbour in the '40s and '50s.

Another later explanation was that Tex's distinctive southern drawl came from his efforts to hide his natal Roker Park accent, resulting in a Gabby Hayes movie accent.

I would like to draw on Wilbur's help with the dispute above over geographical terminology and spelling.
The Classical writers all used paene (preposition + ablative) hence paene insula - "almost an island" (Is that a peninsula?)

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

Current location (optional) Nirvana

Re: Gordon Crowther

He took me for maths in 2nd form, I had goe through hell with Beaky Birch in 1st form, 29t out of 29 for the year. With Yogi I went to 1st = . I was grateful to him for this, it stood me in great stead when I joined the Army and made much use of trigonometry.

Vale Gordon

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-1961

Current location (optional) Blue Mountains, Australia via Haworth