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KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 


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Boys Grammar school Keighley Prize book

While browsing my local secondhand store I bought some old books for a craft I was doing. Some retired teacher friends found on the inside cover of one of the books an award.

Boy’s Grammar School Keighley – The Robert Calverley prize 1923–1925 for chemistry – awarded to J West – Headmaster A?Wattley – Date 8 December 1958.
It is also signed by R. Calverley.

We found it intriguing andI wished books could talk so we could hear of its adventures and how it came to be in Hamilton, New Zealand. I am not sure if this book has sentimental value to anyone. If it does I am more than happy to send it back to where it’s journey began.

Sarah Chrystall
Hamilton, New Zealand

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) Sorry did not attend

Current location (optional) New Zealand

Re: Boys Grammar school Keighley Prize book

Dear Sarah

This is intriguing. The recipient of the prize was Johnny West, a lad from Woking, in Surrey, who found himself at Keighley Boys' Grammar School from the Third Year on, because his father, who was, I think, a bus driver, had moved to Keighley, in West Yorkshire, for work purposes. Johnny was bright at most school subjects but was definitely a 'scientist', opting for Maths, Physics and Chemistry in the Sixth Form, in preparation for university. He subsequently took a degree at, if memory serves me, Sheffield University, possibly in Chemistry, certainly in the sciences. The prize would have been awarded in the term after he had left the school, at the annual Speech Day, the first one over which Arthur Watthey presided, having replaced 'our' headmaster, Neville Hind. who had reached retirement age. I was never close to Johnny, but I did hear that after graduation he, and I think, his parents, had emigrated to New Zealand. He could still be there, somewhere. He would certainly be retired now, being 78 or 79 years of age. This would explain how the book ended up in Hamilton, where, of course, Johnny could well still be living.

I should be most interested to hear from you again if you succeeded in tracing him.

All good wishes,

Doug Thompson
(currently organiser of the School's annual reunions)

PS It has just occurred to me that there is at least one photograph of him among the Sports' photos on the KBGS website - he was scorer for one of the School's cricket teams, I believe. If you want to pursue this any further then I could find the photo so that you could at least put a face (of long ago) to the owner of the book.

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

Current location (optional) Keswick, Cumbria