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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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Survivors from the Forties.

I am afraid that after seeing the complete lack of interest in my two latest postings on the KBGS web site (Wilcock and Weatherill) I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of the lads who attended school when I did, are no longer in the land of the living. It may be of course that survivors of that era are either computer illiterate or they are being accommodated in care homes, but nobody who reads the postings (there are a few) seems to know anything of these two lads. Both were boys who contributed to school activities. John Weatherill was a prefect and a rugby player (1st XV and sevens) and Brian Wilcock came second in the three legged race on two consecutive years in the mid forties! But Brian left after three years and didn’t have time to make a real impression. Sad isn’t it?

Who still draws breath apart from David Seeley from the happy smiling group who formed the class of 4B in 1948? Out of those who comprised 4X in the same year, I know of only myself and Ian Mcklethwaite. 4A seems to have more survivors - Ron Burgess, is in fair shape, I see him now and then, Peter Barsby and Neville Stockdale are alive but not well, Frank Edward Hiram Smith is definitely active, living in Bradley, Robert Barrett lives (l think) as do Jack Binns and Alec Rhodes.

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Hi Denis, We exchanged Emails on this subject only recently didn't we? I've had a look at at the aforesaid 4B photo and out of the 18 scholars shown, 7 have died, 6 are still alive and the remaining 5, unknown.
With regard to Weathrill, I have no recollection. However, I do recall the Wilcock brothers, particularly the younger one who had a very quick way of talking, almost as if he couldn't get the words out fast enough. He always seemed to have a smile on his face. David

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

Current location (optional) Keighley

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

I cannot add anything about form 4B, but I have just had a very interesting telephone conversation with W Duncan Townson who started with me and 28 others in form 1 1937. As he went on to Cambridge I suppose he left in 1945. After a bit of prompting he remembered me, although we have not met since I left KBGS in 1944.If you look through the records you will see that he was school cricket captain and I think he was also on the Rugby 1st team.

He spent his working life teaching at Sevenoaks School, Kent. He retired in 1987, and continued to live in Sevenoaks thereafter. He has invited me to drop in to see him when I visit my daughters who also live in Kent. Hopefully I will be able to see him later this year and exchange reminiscences. In the meantime I will continue to search for any others who may still be alive.

Incidentally I found him through the on-line Phone Book searching for W D Townson, but I needed to include a probable locality. I had an idea that he may have taught at Tonbridge or Sevenoaks, so I first entered Tonbridge but with no success, Then I tried Sevenoaks which gave me a number that proved to be Duncan's.


Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1937-44

Current location (optional) Huntingdon

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

You have forgotten yours truly from the 1943 intake . Denis . However you are right in that the vast majority of the lads from that era are either not with us or have not become computer literate.The autographs from my year that I posted some years ago , which were then in 4A with "Scratcher" Marsden, number 23 and I have only ever made contact with three of them: Arthur Maud, Terry Mcgee and Eric Stoney .If any of the classmates see this post I would love to hear from them.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 43-46

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

No . I had not forgotten you Mike. Perhaps the heading ‘Survivors of the Forties’ was misleading. I was thinking specifically about the 1945 intake. I certainly acknowledge that you can be included as a Forties Survivor! I have had a look at your postcard with the autographs of your class which you posted some time ago. I recognise a couple of names. Alec Shuttleworth is one. He is a a lad I used to knock about with in my youth. I remember in particular, a holiday spent in Kirkcudbrightshire in 1948? About half a dozen of us travelled to Scotland in a covered truck driven by Alec ( it belonged to hs dad) most of us riding in the back. We had a tent which we pitched on the rocky area close to the sea opposite the school camp site. A good week! Also in the group were Fred (Roy) Hudson, Roy Smith, and Jack Moseley, I last saw Alec, who was living on Sutton Fields Nr. Glusburn at the time, about two years ago. As far as I am aware, he survives as does Roy Smith. The other name I recognised was that of Michael Wildman who also came from Sutton but I have not seen or heard anything of him for seventy years!

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Denis,

You should add three regular Reunion goers to your list: Keith Marsden, Derek Sutcliffe, and Joe McDowell. Robert Bracken is still alive and well and is also hoping to get to the Reunion this year. None, I think, is spot-on 1945, but all definitely early forties lads.

Doug

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

Current location (optional) Keswick, Cumbria

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Hi Doug. You mention Robert Bracken who was a Prefect when I first started at KBGS. Did I ever tell you about my experience in Cononley last September? You know I paint as a hobby - something to keep me occupied and give me a purpose in life? Well I had a commission to paint a picture of a house in Cononley and I called in the village to fulfil the promise I had made when I was up north for the reunion last year. Trouble was it was pouring down when I got there. No chance of painting pleine air so I looked round for a suitable place to take a photo. I found one. It was a yard of a house opposite the one I wanted to paint. The occupier, a pleasant Yorkshire lass, gave me permission to take a picture from her yard and additionally invited me in for a cup of tea and a few homemade biscuits, in the conversation which transpired I told her that I was in the area for only a couple of days, primarily to attend the Old Boys’ Reunion. It came as a surprise when she told me that her nephew (I think it was her nephew but it might have been her cousin) used to organise the event, Robert Bracken! Small world isn’t it?
The other name that I recognise is that of Joe MacDowell. I played with Joe in the same Keighlians team between 1953 and 1959 when I left the area.

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Hi Denis; My Robert Bracken story is slightly different but worth telling, I think. The 6th Form Robert is to be found on the 1946 Panora(Section 5) at the immediate right-hand end of the seated Masters, which I believe was always reserved for Head Boys.
When I joined the RAF in 1952 (National Service), following my Square-bashing and Trade Training(Clerk Progress) I was posted to RAF Driffield in East Yorkshire along with 5 other Clerks Progress, to record aircraft defects which rendered aircraft 'unfit for service' until repair work carried out. This information was transferred onto a 'punched card recording system' called Hollerith.
During the first two weeks at Driffield settling-in, the 6 of us were instructed individually, to report to the Camp Education Officer, a certain Flt.Lt. Bracken, not an uncommon name! When I eventually Knocked on his door, entered and started answering questions about my education, the subject of my final School arose....Keighley Boys Grammar School! He stopped, looked up at me and said "Do you know me?" "I think I do,sir" was my reply, as everything started slipping into place. That was 1953.
The next time I bumped into Robert was at my first Old Boys Reunion at Rose Cottage some 50-odd years later!! David

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

Current location (optional) Keighley

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

You’ve told me yours - I tell you mine! RAF experience that is. I have checked out the 1946 panorama photo and had no difficulty locating Robert Bracken. If you cast your eyes to the good looking lad sitting four places to the right of Robert, you’ll see another good looking lad sitting somewhat askew. I have tried hard to recall his name and the best I can come up with, is Coutts. I may be wrong. But it was probably in 1952 shortly after I started playing with the Keighlians. I was a member of the seconds ( it might even have been the third XV) but we were playing away at RAF Church Fenton. The coach was welcomed by Flt Lt Coutts who showed us where to change an Coutts then disappeared and we started the game. A few minutes after the kick off I sustained a hefty kick on the head which drew blood in copious quantities. The ref decided I should have the wound stitched and I was directed towards the medical centre - on my own! I eventually found the place which seemed very quiet. I poked my head through the door and saw a chap down the far end of the corridor who looked as though he could work in the place so I set off down the corridor towards him dripping blood and leaving scratches and mud on the highly bulled floor surface. It was in the days before rubber studs. My studs were leather, each one affixed to the sole of the boot with three nails. After you’d worn them once they were lethal! I was half way down the corridor when I was on the receiving end of a tirade of abuse delivered at me by some uncouth individual who put me on a charge telling me that I had to report to the guard room at 1800 hours. And I wasn’t even in the airforce! Oooo! He was rude! After the chap simmered down I eventually got my head stitched and I was allowed to leave the camp with the rest of the team not having to serve time in the glasshouse!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 59

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Here is another 40's survivor,who only recently discovered the KGBS website.On the 1946 panorama I am on the second row from the top on part 6, sixth from the right hand end,along with other members of form 4A.I have no information about anyone else, except the ninth lad from the right hand end, David Senior, with whom I kept in touch until he passed away a couple years ago. He and I went to Leeds University in October 1949, when he entered the University Medical School, and subsequently worked as G.P in Barnsley,while I studied for a degree in Mining Engineering and joined the National Coal Board, also in Barnsley area, moving to Leicestershire in 1958, as a lecturer in Mining at Coalville Mining and Technical College. A recent posting mentioned the death of Dennis Pegg, who I knew, because his older brother, Maurice, married my wife 's cousin. Dennis is also on the 1946 panorama, seated at the left hand end of part 2, along with Paul Greenwood, both of them gifted musicians. The staff section of the panorama brought back many memories- headmaster Hind took us for history that year, while Mr Pighills, seated on his left, was our Physics teacher, in his last year before retirement as second master, and I was surprised to learn that Mr Rannard, who was our history master in 5A, lived to be a centanarian. Happy days! Is there anyone else out there who recalls members of the 1942 intake?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1942-1949

Current location (optional) Whitwick Leicestershire

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

https://www.suttonincraven.org.uk/gallery/1949YPFFarnhillMoor.jpg

Derek,
I’m pleased that you have found the kbgs website. I was beginning to think that very few old boys had indeed survived from the forties. I checked out your photograph - don’t recognise you but I don’t think that is very surprising. You are about three years older than myself. However I do recognise several who might have been in your form. Immediately behind you is John Kenneth Bradley, a second cousin of mine and a little further along the back row is Jack Moseley from Crosshills. On your row but further to the left are Farrer, Roy Hudson and DC Pickering . I think all of them might have been in 4A. You mention Dennis Pegg. I posted news of his demise and didn’t have at least one reply. I recall him playing the piano in a school concert. I wonder if Maurice Pegg worked in local government. Many years ago I met a chap in Cambridgeshire who told me that he was Dennis Pegg’s brother. I think he worked in Social Services. It could have been him. And Paul Greenwood, also no longer with us - he was a member of the same Youth Club as myself. If you check out the photograph listed above on the Sutton in Craven website you’ll see Paul Greenwood, Jack Moseley, Kenneth Bradley and myself. It was taken on an evening walk on Farnhill moor. Best wishes.

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Hi,Denis. Thanks for your reply, and first a correction: I must be losing my ability to count because on the 1946 panorama I am fifth, not sixth from the end of the row, and Mr Pighlls is on Mr Hind,s right, not his left - Mr Cadman, who succeeded Mr Pighills as second master, is on his right. I think the lads on the row behind me are in the fifth form, so I cannot recall knowing your friend Ken Bradley, but I can identify most of the members of 4A on my row: from the right hand end: Derek Moore ?, John Brigg, ?, me, Brian Heaton, Jeffrey Watson, Geoffrey Hill, David Senior, ? Fox, ? Petty, Billy Bottomley, John Clarkson, Eric Pickering, Roy Hudson, Denzil Farrar, Ben Driver, ? Wood, and Roy Smith. Regarding Maurice Pegg, he did work in Cambridgeshire, and lived in March.I think that he was employed by the County Council, in the Education department, something to do with the youth services - and he is alive, living in Alicante, Spain, not far from his daughter and son-in-law, I have no living relatives in the Keighley area, but my wife,s sister and her husband live in Crosshills, and we are continually in touch by 'phone. I don't drive any more, but our daughter has taken us on occasion to Yorkshire, to enjoy the glorious scenery of Airedale and Wharfedale. Meanwhile, keep up the good work, and let's hope we get some more responses from the 1940's survivors.

Regards, Derek

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1942-1949

Current location (optional) Whitwick Leicestershire

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Derek,
I have just spent Tuesday morning slapping some colour on a couple of sketches I did over the weekend - nothing special but the lessons taught by Harry Harpin are not forgotten! Thanks for your reply. It is surprising how a chance remark brings back memories. The last name in your list of 4A members, Roy Smith, is a name which means a lot to me. Roy lived in Sutton and we were and still are, very good friends. I was best man at his wedding. Perhaps you are aware that Roy worked his entire life until he retired, as an electrical expert with BBC TV. His name frequently rolled down the screen when credits for a programme were listed. He is still alive living in a care home in Grange over Sands but sadly he has suffered a stroke and although he can comprehend what is being said to him, he is unable to reply. Communication is therefore almost impossible. Roy Hudson was another very good friend of mine, in fact it was he that indirectly got me into local government. Roy died over 40 years ago whilst walking on some fell in the Lake District. Occasionally I would play in the same rugby team as Eric Pickering - usually when playing for the Old Boys against the school.
Re Maurice Pegg. I met him in the town of March where. I was employed as Director of Community Services. I think we only met once but I recall establishing a common denominator in Keighley Boys Grammar School and exchanging conversation about his musical brother Dennis. Perhaps I might know your wife’s sister. I lived in Sutton and I still get up there to visit my brother and other relations living in the area.

Denis

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

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Denis, Thanks for your reply, and sorry to hear about Roy Smith's plight. You may well have known my sister-in-law, Nora, married to Alec Stephenson.They have lived in Cross Hills for more than forty years, and are well known in the area, especially n the bowling community, although their activity is restricted to watching rather than playing these days. You may also have known another of their relations, their cousin, David Thomas, also a KBGS lad, and renowned for his Rugby prowess, and captain of Keighlians RUFC in 1966. Sadly he was killed in a car accident when only aged fifty. I look forward to hearing from you again.
Derek

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1942-1949

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

I was in 1a,2a, 3a,and 4a . I find it interesting to read about 1a pupils in 1942 and realise that I know none of the names mentioned , yet on looking at the 1946 photos of the whole school I recognise pretty well every face . As my brother started in 1941 I knew a good few of that intake too. Mostly I became aquainted with older members of the school through their involvement with the sporting teams of house or school at the time .

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 43-46

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Hi, everyone,
As a comparative newcomer to the KBGS website, looking through the various photo collections, I came across, in the cricket set, a photo, labelled 1954 (although the date is said to be unknown), in which a Mr Morgan is standing on the far left. However, Mr Morgan, who was my Latin teacher in 1943-1944, left the school in 1944, to be succeeded by Mr Eden, so the Cricket photo must show a team prior to 1944. Also, I spotted the lad sitting second left on the cricket photo on part 1 of the 1940 panorama, on the far right of the back row, which would confirm the earlier date, while Mr Morgan can be seen, seated fourth from the left on part 4, next to Mr Midgeley. Incidentally, on the same panorama on part 3, there is a lady seated next but one to Mr Hind, on his left, who, I believe, taught German, but I cannot recall her name - any one out there who remembers her, along with a Mrs Bushel, (usually referred to as 'Ma Peck' - 4 pecks = 1 bushel - geddit?) who taught 1A mathematics?
Hopefully,
Derek Horsman

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1942-1949

Current location (optional) Whitwick, Leicestershire.

Re: Survivors from the Forties.

Hi Derek

The German teacher was Ma Whitehead. I am the boy with dark skin and black eyes sitting in front of her. To my right is John Poppleton and to my left is Bryan Ramsden, who were both in my form for the whole of my 7 years at KBGS. In front of me is Brian Spencer (brother of violinist Joan) and to his left Kenneth Watson (if my memory hasn’t failed me). They were probably in their first year at the time, but I knew them as they lived near me
.
Regarding the cricket team – as Geoff Clapham was captain I think it would be dated around 1939-40 as that was the year he was capped (see photo in Uniforms section). He also was a near neighbour of mine, but was several years older than me.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1937-44

Current location (optional) Huntingdon