KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 

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Weapons of Mass Discipline

Teachers had their own peculiar instruments of instant discipline which can conveniently be divided into: Projectiles and Manual Implements.
Below are just some of the more obvious ones to which I was exposed together with the names of their exponents.
Projectiles - board duster - Heaney & Braithwaite
Chalk - Firman, Eastwood, Slater, Ellis, Eddy Riley
Text book - Braithwaite
Manual Implements - Gym pump - Emery (aided by one or more digits!)
Cane - choice of long thin or short fat - Watthey
Chair leg ("Oscar") - Basher Braithwaite
Text book (see above) - Slater, Braithwaite, 'Mad' Willy.
Strange how Albert Braithwaite features so often - but what a brilliant Maths teacher.
Even at Junior School (Mornington Road, Bingley) the headmistress, Mrs Ambler used to administer the cane to eiher palm of hand or behind, the end of which (cane that is) was sellotaped with a piece of lead to give extra purchase - oh, the flagellating fifties!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1960-68

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

Eddy Riley was reputed to use rubber bunsen tubing. I am also sure one master used a metre rule.
Bill Midgley once used his bare hand on a boys bottom when no one present owned up to having a plimsoll with them.
Our primary head , Mary Duckney at Ingrow also used a plimsoll, but it was always referred to as the 'slipper'.I remember being outside her office once when she was using it on Colin Bilborough for being persistently late.

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

Of course there was Gilbert Swifts sawn off cricket bat.
Other plimsoll users included Percy Peart and Gus Cullingford.
Oddly I never saw Vince hit anyone

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

Vincent Firman may not have hit anybody but he scared the living daylights out of miscreants. Which is what good teachers should do, as opposed to the violence of Cronshaw and his ilk. Well done Vince!

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

discipline related...

as far as I recall, I've not given a password to a "Dr Michael Cowie".

so could the previous poster (re-)identify himself to me, thanks!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) cpfirth@singnet.com.sg

Current location (optional) www.kbgs.com

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

"Vince never hit anyone." ???? .... and the sun never set on our memories of idyllic days at KBGS.
In a previous posting I recounted the story of Vince chasing the unfortunate Sawley around the classroom kicking the living daylights out of him. Still, I suppose that's not strictly hitting is it?

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

Let's discuss 'violence' rather than strictly 'hitting'. Firman once pulled me by the hair, with a great deal of force, over a desk. It felt as though he'd wrenched my scalp away and it was very tender for days - hitting isn't the only means of inflicting physical pain on a powerless person.


Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 56 - 63

Current location (optional) Torquay, Australia

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

OK maybe I was wrong about Vince.
I am sure there were a couple of Masters who grabbed you by the ear and lifted you from your seat. There was even one at Ingrow Juniors called Prothero, but I cant remember the KBGS ones who did this.

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

Ok. So we all got stick and could exhaust the site's bandwidth (???) if we recounted the full stories of our sufferings - physical and psychological at the hands of the KBGS SS. But are you guys beefing (sexing,even) up your experiences because you actually enjoyed them? Please convince me that I am wrong and that you are truly altruistic reformers of Dr Arnold's system that built an empire - and that you have a cunning plan for another route to empire building.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) terrymarston@hotmail.com

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

Just thinking about the various means of punishment:

‘Snake’ Emery also used a ‘pump’ (sorry everyone, but how many of us called ‘pumps’ ‘plimsolls’ at KBGS? - apart from Gilbert that is).

Hemingway (Chemistry) did use a Bunsen-burner tube

Cronshaw used to drag you up from your desk by your ‘sideburns’

Gilbert - well I never saw him use his bat. Certainly at Oakbank, he tended to use ‘physical exercise’ as a punishment for dodging P.E. in the library - was it worth it? No, not when he made you wait until the lunchtime bell before sending you on a run down to the bottom gate and around Ingrow Lane to Oakworth Road before turning right and back down the ‘top entrance’. Then it was off (again on the run) home for lunch (or dinner as we used to call it)! Only did it once and that was enough.

As for 'Vince' - well he simply kicked the living daylights out of whoever pushed him over the top.

BUT discipline was maintained and I don't think it caused any undue harm to any of us. Did it?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 59 - 66

Current location (optional) Embsay

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

I can confirm Gilbert's use of a cricket bat - he belted me with one at Kirky. It was full size, and hurt a bit. Reminded me of that strange chap in the comic strip "The Wolf of Kabul". Now, what was his name? Clicky Baa!

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

No it didnt do us any harm! For the most part it did us good. Discipline among youngsters is so bad these days, maybe the cane should be brought back (No chance , I hear you say).
I avoided all the pumps, bats, tubing etc, but as you all by now know I did get the cane from Joe. It seemed to have the effect of 'temporary hero' status for a short while, but didnt last long!

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

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

I once saw Albert Braithwaite score a bullseye with a piece of chalk.Right into a yawning mouth.He even surprised himself.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 47-51

Current location (optional) Auckland NZ

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

Oh, it was harmful alright Brian. I still feel sorry for those poor souls who were regularly assaulted for doing poor work. For some reason I can'r remember names from KBGS but, even now, I recall our primary school providing weekly (at least) beatings for Tom Smith.
Regarding school discipline currantly - having spent the past 30 years in schools [many schools in various parts of the country with the youngest pupils being 3 and the eldest 17] I can utterly refute your contention that discipline is worse today. In fact, in very many schools, discipline is much better than it was 30 years ago. I think the problem now is that when there IS indiscipline it becomes extreme very rapidly........... and then there is the increasing indiscipline of parents.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-65

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

I see that there is no mention of "Dick" Cadman and his accuracy with a board rubber. I still have the scar to authenticate it! My own fault for talking in class when he was trying to educate us.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 51-58

Current location (optional) Cleckheaton

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

I'm sure "we" or you or he but not she or her ( unless I missed something) all benefited from the abuse,verbal and physical, whether on the direct receiving end or as a shuddering nervous onlooker. I would have it no other way : my secondary education in the hands of masters who would in varying degrees hurl abuse, prod, push, hit, administer the cane, or the pump, use a text book over the head, hit hard on the back with the hand, belittle, be little. My God! Rave on the means of control used at KBGS.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-66

Current location (optional) uk

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

I guess it depends on each individual and the amount of punishment they actually received. I copped heaps during my time at KBGS and let me tell you - it bloody hurt and I'm still resentful that those bullies felt they had the right to do what they did with a variety of implements already listed elsewhere. I accept that I was a disruptive student and I know that any severe punishment just pushed me to behave worse to 'get back at them' - it certainly never stopped me! And, before anyone makes a comment that I must have enjoyed it - forget it!!


Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 56 --63

Current location (optional) Torquay, Oz

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

I was being sort of ironic. This old cliche that "it never did us any harm" is plain daft.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-66

Current location (optional) uk

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

I didn't go into teaching until after corporal punishment had been outlawed. In teacher training we were taught "classroom management" (The only advice I remember: it is better to be mean at first and work toward nice later). I am curious, though; what was the corresponding training for teachers before 1987? Even more curious about the training KBGS teachers of the 1950s received? Was choice of weapon explicitly discussed? Throwing techniques? Was there practical instruction in beating kids up? Was slapping or punching the preferred method? Any teachers out there remember how these matters were dealt with in teacher training colleges in the good/bad old days when clouting was legal?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1954-59

Current location (optional) Denholme (garethwhittaker99@hotmail.com)

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

Gareth, did you delay your entry into teaching until corporal punishment was outlawed or was that coincidental? (Actually I think there are still some residual rights of restraint that teachers can rely on to preserve both the dignity and safety of themselves and their other charges).

My teacher training experience is that there was no training in classroom control or in mugging kids. The gospel for this function was encapsulated in a basic understanding of "in loco parentis". Roughly interpreted by students, this meant if it was good enough for your own kids, it would do for those you taught.

That suggests to me that some of the kbgs staff in the '50s had some bloody rough parents.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Lincoln

Re: Weapons of Mass Discipline

D.B.Do you remember Cronshaw throwing the board rubber at us? We were looking at "Health and Efficiency"Would think it`s bottom shelf by today`s standards!. One of us put the desk lid up to stop the missile hitting the target. Naughty boys!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1959-66

Current location (optional) HAWORTH