A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School.
One of the most well known school clubs, certainly when I was lower down the school , say 1958-1961 was the Railway Society run by 'Percy' Peart. It had a considerable membership, and Percy used to run coach trips on Saturdays to various steam engine depots in Yorkshire, Darlington, Manchester area etc. They were very popular and often oversubscribed.
There were meetings after school at which Percy used to talk about different classes of locomotive and show photos projected on a wall with a device called an 'epidiascope'. a far cry from todays digital cameras and Power Point.
The Bridge club mentioned by Shaun really got me going with this interesting game. I played all through my time at Nottm Uni, inlcuding the Uni teams, and won the University Pairs Championship in 1966 with my good friend and later England International Tony Sowter in second place. I stopped playing when I married in 1971, but am still interested in the game.
Ben Tren started a Science Club also of which I became Secretary. I remember hiring films from the library of such companies as Unilever, Shell and ICI on such subjects as Soap making, Oil Refining, Salt Mining etc
I am still to this day involved in Oleochemicals (Fatty Acids/Alcohols, Soaps, Glycerine, Esters etc)
Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) firstname.lastname@example.org
Percy's Railway Club also had a number of involuntary recruits as I recall, being one myself on a single occasion but careful to avoid any subsequent "invitations".
Detentions provided Percy with a handy slave-labour force, expected to work its fingers to be bone (quite literally) rubbing and polishing old junk off scrap locos etc. which he'd managed to purloin during his expeditions - stuff now euphemistically known as memorabilia I believe.
The activity itself took place in the old TD/Woodwork shop, and I'd be grateful for someone reminding me where this was located and the route by which we gained access. I remember the room itself fairly clearly - there's a photo on this site afterall - but I've only a vague recollection of it being somewhere about ground level, possibly near the Lord Street/ Cavendish Street corner. Or has dementia finally won altogether?
Start from the Lord Street entrance, walk past the bottom of the main school staircase (on your left)and a technical college corridor on your right. To the left was a solid block of masonry (with the exception of the notorious lift shaft - i.e.dumb waiter)and to the right were the House Notice Boards behind glass doors. On the left, before you reached the stairs which descended to the celebrated "black hole" or tunnel, there was a short flight of rising stairs with cast iron railings on the right hand side. At the top of this flight was a corridor and immediately on the left was the entrance to the gym changing rooms - such a haven of peace after a session with Basher or Prut. At the end of the corridor on the left were the double doors that led into the kingdom of Bill Midge -dreaded sweatshop for the cack-handed. You entered first the metalwork room and partway down the room were the doors through into the woodwork shop with windows facing Lord Street and the old Methodist chapel, later Tech coll. Opposite the doors into Bill's royaume there was a short flight of stairs into the Mechanics Hall where school dinners were dished up. Continue round to the right up the stairs and you would arrive at a rear entrance to the school assembly hall. I can't remember how you got from this level to the D corridor unless it was via the Junior School corridor (Nos 30 thro 36)Crikey - what a maze!!
Well, thanks for such a valiant effort Terry!
Almost all you describe, I can recall, but I've completely lost it with regard to the "Bill Midge Emporium", and still don't remember the entrance doors where you explained. Most likely it's blocking out by the memory after dropping those subjects at the earliest opportunity (in Form 2A), no doubt to Midge and Ian Fearnside's relief as much as my own.
Was there ever any greater incentive to academic achievement and the pursuit of Latin? I must have tried to do the same with Art, but in its case, the horrors remain undiminished!
Well, Brian, try this alternative route. Turn away from the dais in the school hall. The Junior Corridor door faced you. The benches on the right had a gap between them about 4 rows from the back. This allowed access to the double doors and stairway to the Mechanics and woodwork room. Descending the stairs, in short order, there was a doorway on the right into the serving kitchen for meals. About half-a-dozen steps down from there was the entrance (right) to the Mechanics Hall and facing it a short flight which ended at the double doors of the wood/metal rooms - these were half glazed with frosted glass. I think I coined the motto "Abandon hope all ye who enter here" on my second visit in 1a.
I agree it is surprising what influences your career path. Like you I was determined to avoid the certainty of 4 more years of struggling to plane square a piece of wood which finished up as flimsy as a sheet of Andrex toilet tissue. It was a great incentive to make the a or b stream in year 2.
More on this theme: At Easter when I was in 5a, the Keighley News carried an ad for a position of clerk in the Town Hall - "suit a school leaver". Two references were required - one from the headteacher.Plucking up courage one morning after assembly, I knocked on the office door. Miss Reilly granted me access to Old Nick. I began my request as I walked across the room to the desk where he sat. The curt and strident reply "No references until after the GCE results are known. Understood?" rang in my ears all the way back to my first lesson - and I hadn't broken step from entering his room. I decided if I had to go through all that again, I'd rather stay on in the 6th which I did.
Just revisited this posting to see what it came up with - Railway Club, Chess Club, Astronomy Club.
Can that really be all that was on offer as out of school activities that weren't physical or musical.
No Science, no Arts other than music, no philosophy or politics [well, no, I suppose not politics - too dangerous] - but was there really nothing else?
Yes Shaun, there was a school Scientific Society, mainly for fifth and sixth form. I was its secretary for a while. We got specialist speakers in, some of whom were quite interesting. I remember a fellow coming and doing some strange things with liquid nitrogen (eg apparently frying an egg in it). Also a guy from Courtaulds speaking about synthetic fibres. He made fibre in a beaker by putting in two liquids of different densities so they formed two layers, then dipped a stick in and wound fibre round it which formed at the interface. I ought to be able to remember the exact chemistry, maybe it was a cellulosic fibre.
I also remember hiring films (Eg on soap making, or detergents etc) from Unilever library, or films about oil from Shell Library. Also a film from ICI about salt production in Cheshire.
I still work in the oleochemical/soap/ dtergent field today.
I wished at the time I could have got Col B D Shaw in from Nottingham University, who used to do an excellent public chemical lecture about explosives. It was once on TV. Another Nottingham lecturer continued it after Shaw's retirement.
Wasn't there something called CEWC? A discussion group "The Council for Education in World Citizenship". don't think I'm dreaming. I seem to recall an after hours Gym Club, also
Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) email@example.com
Yes, I recall CEWC now.
I also recall the fellow who "fried" an egg in liquid nitrogen. He hit it with a hammer and shattered it. Some lad quickly picked up some bits to put in his pocket and take home as souvenirs - with obvious consequences.
Wasn't there also a debating society for a short spell when the school moved to Oakbank?
A few that spring to mind in the "old" school were The Literary and Debating Society (the L and D); CEWC (pronounced kyuke); The 33 Society which was founded by Old Nick in 1933 and membership was reserved for 6th formers; Music Society; Chess Club.
Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming from Queensbury, staying behind after School was not an option. However, membership of the Scientific Society was a must for the Sixth Form, even when you were in the Arts Sixth. The reason was simple - the annual brewery trip to Timothy Taylors! This took place on a Saturday morning. After a tour of the brewing process, we were taken to the sample room where, in theory, a half pint of bitter was offered. In reality most of us got rather more. Which was not to be recommended if you were due to play rugby in the afternoon!
Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) email@example.com
I recall 'CEWC' but dont think I ever went. I did go to some Literary and Debating Soc meetings though.
They used to have 'Raft' debates (sometimes also known as 'Balloon' debates) Four speakers spoke for 5 mins or so on a subject , and there was a 5 min debate/questioning of the speaker. They were on an imaginary raft, and at the end the club had to vote for who was most worthy to be thrown of the raft.
Ken Hawkins was a particularly good debater, as his subsequent career has shown.
Also Gus Cullingford started a Bridge club. This was partly the undoing of me beacuse I spent too much time at Nottm Uni playing Bridge, though I did win the Uni Pairs Championship, with an Engalnd International as runner up. Pity I stopped playing when I married!
Are you sure, Brian. I have seen Kevin Hawkins pontificating on TV 2 or 3 times. The words "paint" and "drying" spring to mind.
I do recall the Raft debates. I one such debate the aforementioned Hawkins was one contender and I can't remember who the others were - shame beacuse one of them was outstanding. The fromat was that each contestant was given a person whom they had to pretend to be. They had to justify that person not being thrown off the imaginary raft.
In the debate that I recall someone (clearly a REAL debater) was to be some fellow who wrote regularly in the magazine WOMAN. He spoke well and ended with a throwaway line about how much he enjoyed having his column in WOMAN each week.
Great hilarity and extended applause - Hawkins defeated.
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