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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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Calling all Silsdeners = ex KGGS and KBGS pupils

As Julia Barker I attended KGGS and my younger brother Chris (J Christopher Barker) KBGS in the 1950s-60s. We lived in Silsden and had attended Silsden County Primary School. My favourite teacher there was Mr E Chester.
Does anyone remember the performance of G & S Pirates of Penzance? Was that wnen the KBGS fire happened and the production had to move to the Girls' School?
KGGS also had its own fire. Not guilty! But it was a fun day off!
Notable teachers of my day were the two Miss Jones sisters, and of course Dr T Berger. She might not have taught us so much of the subject but she gave us a great general education. I went to Perugia with her, when she abandoned us to the local talent, even actively encouraged us. Miss Evans (the Head) visibly hated her. Other notable characters were Miss Crompton ('Crumpets' on her scooter) and the brave minister's daughter who suffered from polio and was in a chair or on sticks, on those dangerously slippery corridors. You could not forget Rita Gunning who took a dislike to me for being too familiar - she had been an ex-pupil. Perhaps other readers can remind us of more staff. After all I was there for 7 years.

I was in the G forms and not considered good enough for the Latin stream, until we combined in the Sixth Form. I now have 3 degrees and am attmepting an MA. Praise be for the Open University! It gave a lot of us a second chance and a brilliantly broad education. I began in 1P. Miss Evans taught us French, when she arrived; she was often busy with admin work and we could hear her heels coming down the long corridors.
More later, I hope! I'd love to hear from contemporaries and/or anymone who remembers me or Chris.
Best Wishes
(from a rising 75-year old)
Julia.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) At KGGS 1955-64

Current location (optional) Garstang, Lancashire / Natland near Kendal

Re: Calling all Silsdeners = ex KGGS and KBGS pupils

I remember the Pirates very well. My good friend Kevin Hawkins as the Major General ( was in touch with him a few years ago), and I think Alan Brooke, a neighbour of ours was Frederick. Not sure about Mabel, but possibly Evelyn Whitaker (whom I once dated) and Judith Sugden would be possibilities. The fire was March 1962 just before I did 'O' levels, we didnt get a week off like those classes not doing public exams that summer. Going back to Kevin , he had a mass of nearly black hair which had to be liberally dosed with talcum powder to make it white. When I saw him more recently its was exactly how it should have been for playing the Major General. Wasn't Kevin from Silsden like you ? (PS I am a relative of Miss Shirley Balmer, later Mrs Twigg, who taught Geography). I wasnt a Silsdener though.

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Calling all Silsdeners = ex KGGS and KBGS pupils

Occasional visitor to the web-site and not a Silsdener.
A lady called Cathy Liddle (was Mason and I think was ex KGGS) is involved with Silsden history. Try searching Silsden History Group.
My grandparents lived on Bolton Road (1900/19'ish) and I have a couple of school photos re Aire View & Elliott Road Board Schools 1902 / 1907, I guess someone in the family was there.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Herbert Pearce (lived Vale View area) for a couple of years at KBGS and believe he married ex KGGS girl, Diane Stead. Another KGGS was Gillian Smith (lived Spencer Avenue) and sure her dad was involved with poultry, her brother went off to sea with Blue Funnel whereas I went with LOF.
One leave (say 1970) Sundays were spent snooker sessions at Weaver & Dyers Club (or similar name) then on to the Stoney Lea and the last couple of hours sing-a-long at The Fleece, most of the time it was with John Abbott (North Street) and (fairly sure) Ken Barker, think his dad was called Les, so don't know if any relation to you.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1957-1962

Current location (optional) Harrogate

Re: Calling all Silsdeners = ex KGGS and KBGS pupils

I might just mention here aslo that Kevin Hawkins referred to in posts above has passed away aged 71. See 'Family History' thread for more. He was a Silsdener.

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

Current location (optional) Wirral