KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 

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Keighley Girls Grammar School - S. Beryl Jones

I am a researcher working on a project relating to a network of women who studied at Cardiff University in the 1920s. One of the women, S. Beryl Jones, spent some time from 1927 onwards working as a teacher at Keighley Girls Grammar School. The details I have are sketchy, but it seems that S. Beryl Jones may have stood as a Labour or Communist candidate for local elections in the 1930s or 1940s, and stood as a witness for Penguin Books in the 1960 case against the publication of D. H. Lawrwnces’ ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover.’ Miss Jones lived for a period with her friend Winifred Kelly, potentially in Skipton, and her younger sister Peggy Jones may also have taught at the same school for a period. I would be very grateful if you could let me know if any member of your group has any recollection of or information on Beryl Jones, and if there are any archives relating to the Girls' school that I could potentially access. With best wishes, Dr Claire Flay-Petty.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) n/a

Re: Keighley Girls Grammar School - S. Beryl Jones

Dear Claire,

I'm sure we can find you something. Both Miss Jones taught at KGGS, as you surmise, and one of them taught Latin, I'm almost sure. I'll ask around for you, but I'm sure that when your request is noticed by our subscribers you will receive other replies. Miss Beryl Jones did 'give evidence' at the Lady Chatterley trial, evidence that was diametrically opposed to that of the more famous Jones (was it Parry-Jones?) from that trial - the Council for the Prosecution - who famously queried whether it was the kind of book you would wish your servants to read!

Keighley Public Library has a pretty good archive of material relating to our School, KBGS, but less, I think, to the girls' school. Bradford Public Library also has some material for the boys' school, but I'm not sure about the girls'.

I'll get back to you shortly.


Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick, Cumbria

Re: Keighley Girls Grammar School - S. Beryl Jones

I'm afraid that I didn't know Miss Jones but I contacted a friend of mine who was at the Girls Grammar School at the time Miss Jones and her sister taught there. She has let me have the following reply which enables one to see what Miss Jones looked like. On this web site, log into 'Photos', click 'Miscellaneous' and scroll down to the panoramic photo of the Girls School taken in 1951.

Looking at the photograph counting from right to left starting with the first teacher after the smart white shirted 6th form girls - Miss Beryl Jones is No. 20 and Miss Peggy Jones is No 22 with Miss Firth, a smaller person sitting between them.

If I have counted correctly, Miss Jones is seated near the middle of the photo just above the 'M' in Grammar School.

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Keighley Girls Grammar School - S. Beryl Jones

My late mother was at KGGS approx 1933-38, and that names rings bell as she used to talk a lot about her school days. Latin I think.
I have heard the story of her defending 'Lady C' also but sorry I dont have any details

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Keighley Girls Grammar School - S. Beryl Jones

My sister writes:

Miss Beryl Jones
I was a pupil, at Keighley Girls' Grammar School, between 1954 and 1961. Miss Beryl Jones and her sister, Peggy, were both members of staff throughout that period. Beryl taught Latin and Peggy taught English. Although they were sisters, they were physically and temperamentally very different; Peggy appeared to be much younger, with long, dark hair and suffered from ill health. She was a quiet and serious lady in contrast to her sister who had a lively personality, rounder features, short, greying hair and a good sense of humour. We believed that the sisters lived together.
Miss Beryl Jones taught Latin to my form and for one year was our form mistress. She was a popular teacher who managed to control and successfully teach a lively group of girls, sometimes regarded as a challenge by other members of staff. We were always greeted with a cheery, “Ave Puellae!” The form rooms had a raised platform, so that the teacher could sit at her desk and easily see all the pupils. My memory is of Miss Beryl Jones, perched above us, owl-like with a twinkle in her eye. She guided us with humour and wisdom and even when she had cause to reprimand us, we felt that, secretly, she was really on our side.
In 1960, Miss Beryl Jones was called to be a witness, for the defence, at the Lady Chatterley trial. She was suddenly elevated to the status of heroine, in our eyes and certainly put our school on the map. How she came to be selected was a mystery. Strangely, nothing was ever said about her absence for the trial, but sometime after the event, a rumour spread around the school that Penguin Books were going to present everyone with the newly published, now legal, copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Sure enough, a van load of Penguin books arrived at the school and a display was set up in the library. Imagine our disappointment to find the full range of Penguin classics minus Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Miss Beryl Jones was still teaching when I left in 1961. She must have been close to retiring by then.

Carole Ramsden (nee Jones)
Pupil – Keighley Girls' Grammar School 1954-1961

Re: Keighley Girls Grammar School - S. Beryl Jones

Yes, Miss Beryl Jones was very intelligent and full of fun. I was a pupil at KGGS from 1951 to 1959 and remember the Miss Joneses well. Miss Beryl Jones taught me Latin for 4 years. She also taught A level English, though not to me, and I was told that the first essay she set had the title 'Chastity'.She also encouraged the Sixth form to go to university because'that's where the best-looking boys are!)
At that time the school regularly received from the council a print of a well known picture to hang on the wall. When a new one arrived Miss Jones got the whole school to sit on the floor at Assembly and explained the picture to us. The first one was The Old King by Roualt and it made a big impression. It was hung in a form room and a lot of girls went to look at it.
I heard that she became a teacher to support her family so that her younger sisters could be educated.

Current location (optional) Matlock