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Current Comments:
Post number:
797
1st of August 2014 11:55 PM by David Compton
As an old boy (1958-1960) at HGSB - I've just spent a pleasurable hour or so browsing your site, getting absorbed in thoughts and memories about the school and reflecting on what a grand place it was. I didn't know it then but, as I'm sure those of similar age, would later come to appreciate the skill and inspiration of the teaching staff. For me, those worth a special note were Mr " Sooty" Corbett, Bert "Bucket" Playll and Mr Bill Lawrence. To each - I say thanks for your efforts, it's made a lasting impression on this person.
Post number:
796
1st of August 2014 02:55 PM by David Langley
Public thanks to Bob Kennet for the anecdote.
The events were entirely in keeping with my impressions of a fine man and Physics master.

I cannot recall HOW it came about but I do have a strong memory that Joe lived in a very nice country house with a big garden, and somehow a patrol of scouts, me included, ended up drinking lemon squash and yoffling biscuits on his lawn. We were hiking and I think Joe, passing in his car, recognised the neckerchiefs or even the individuals.

"A good reputation endureth for ever"
Post number:
795
31st of July 2014 01:30 PM by David Langley
Gentlemen, very many thanks indeed. I will pursue the Joe Allen angle off-piste of course.
Post number:
794
31st of July 2014 11:55 AM by Bill Brock
From my notes. Greatwood was headmaster of Newport Grammar School during the war years and this was a reserve occupation; ditto for Norden (who had served in both the army and RAF in WW1). Tabby was also probably not subject to call up for same reason, though eyesight would have been an issue, as it was for Baxter. Harry Barker was too old (he had served in WW1); Stapleton (biology) was too old; Bell was not called (too old?); Jumbo Griffiths was severely diabetic and not called; Basher Bates (who joined school in 1940) was too old. Spike Reynolds was not called, but I have no explanation, unless being a parish church organist was a reserved occupation. Burnett served in the army somewhere and emerged as a Major; Scruff Romer was an Educational Officer in RAF, as was Brown; As the war drew to a close, Norden made a special plea for Brown's return to science teaching and got him back in 1945 whereas others were unable to return until 1946. Andrew served in Royal Armoured Corps; Thorpe was Intelligence Officer in 8th Army. No information on Richardson (art), Hawking or Joe Allen. Skipper March was in RAF but was discharged through injury in 1943 when he returned to caretaking. I may have information on post-war staff, but I'll post this later.
Post number:
793
31st of July 2014 09:24 AM by Bob Kennett
David , re: Joe Allen .There was an incident related to his wartime experience which took place at the beginning of a Physics lesson following a French lesson that clearly demonstrates what a passionate man Joe was - unfortunately it is not repeatable here but I would happily regale you with the details if you contact me via the Contact Us tab. Bob K
Post number:
792
31st of July 2014 09:08 AM by David Langley
Thank you: the story was that Joe Allen was on Sunderland Flying boats.
Post number:
791
30th of July 2014 10:55 PM by Bob Kennett
Willie Pope - I seem to remember him telling us he was a tail gunner!
Post number:
790
30th of July 2014 09:37 PM by David Langley
New subject please.

Masters' war service.

Many masters had only recently returned from fighting the foe when I joined in 1948.

I have a folk memory that Joe Allen had been aircrew, and possibly also Bouncer Greatwood.
Skip March the Scoutmaster and Caretaker, was an instrument fitter in the RAF.
Please have a think about masters' service before memory fades.
Post number:
789
20th of July 2014 10:45 PM by Webmaster
Les Hamilton has contacted us and regrettably has "no idea what happened to the Hopkins Shield or indeed the four house badges on the wall in the hall."
Post number:
788
19th of July 2014 01:56 PM by David Langley
I believe that York House had nothing so spurious or forced as a song or a war cry.

Encouragement on field and pitch was short and sharp, ranging from languid to intemperate:

"loverly York!"

through

"gissaredder"

to

" 'aveim!"
Post number:
787
18th of July 2014 10:35 PM by John pike
I was there when The final curtain came down...Im thinking there was a trophy cabinet in the Reception area where the Hopkins Shield was displayed with others? But I can't recall what happened after that? Clearly the shield would have had no relevance to Blatchington Mill....would any masters who continued over remember? Les Hamilton perhaps?
Post number:
786
18th of July 2014 10:20 AM by Bill Brock
I have confirmed with Brighton Museum Service that the Hopkins Shield and the many other House competition cups were not deposited for posterity when the grammar school disappeared in 1979. As I've said before, the items are not with the present Blatchington Mill, or among the East Sussex County archives collections. I guess only the last headmaster Williamson would know what became of them, and he is no longer alive to tell the tale. That is, unless an Old Boy of the time knows more!
Post number:
785
6th of July 2014 09:31 AM by Geoff Stoner
Our House 'cheer' - and not so much a cheer as a languid, superior drawl - was:

'Gloucester, Kent, and York;
Merely younger brothers.
Windsor was born to be King,
And reign over all the others.

As engraved by Harry Barker on a plant label mounted on a boot scraper.
Post number:
784
1st of July 2014 04:38 PM by Bill Brock
Here is the Kent House war-cry probably attributable to House Master Joe Allen.

"We'll never let the best house down,
So may success our labours crown.
Up with Kent!
For cups and shields we'll strive and toil,
With spirit loyal, with zeal right royal,
Up with Kent!
Fellows sincere to triumph we steer,
Keen Kentites here all raise this cheer,
Up with Kent!

Did other houses have such cheers?
Post number:
783
28th of June 2014 10:24 AM by David Watts
It's anniversary-time today as I left HGSB 40 years ago to this very day. I always have had an unusually good memory for dates and I can well recall that day on 28th June 1974, when we all returned just once more to hand in our books and headmaster Williamson said a few words to wish us well. Where have the years gone indeed.
If any pupils or teachers from that long-go day are reading this I wish you all the best and do hope that the past 40 years have been kind to you.
Post number:
782
10th of June 2014 05:15 PM by Bill Brock
When Houses were established early in 1937, the senior House masters were Tabby (Kent), Brown (Windsor), Mills (Gloucester) and Hawking (York). Tabby bowed out within a term because his duties as 1st Master (in effect Deputy Head) had become onerous. He was replaced at Kent by Barron (a PE and French master). With the wholesale loss of male staff during the war, I imagine it was difficult to maintain the system with a largely female part-time staff. Jumbo Griffiths, however, did take on York, and Baxter took on Windsor during this period; and it seems Spike Reynolds looked after Kent. There were no magazines between January 1942 and March 1946, so matters are uncertain. In 1946, with their return from the forces, Sydney Andrew took on Gloucester, and Joe Allen, Brown and Hawking resumed their charge of Kent, Windsor and York.Barron did not return to the School.
Post number:
781
9th of June 2014 04:20 PM by Bill Green
How interesting to read Bill Brock's recollections of the assembly. My memory is that Spike and the piano were always on the platform with the Head and Tabby facing down the hall to the stage. If these assemblies were daily (as I think they were), when was there opportunity for additional House assemblies? I echo the regret that schools are now too big for full early morning assemblies. Is this just one of the disadvantages of modern day secondary education with the near complete absence of grammar schools, although two of my grandchildren are enjoying grammar school educations in Kent.
Can anyone else jog my memory as to where my house, York, may have held assemblies at the time when Jumbo Griffiths was our house master in the mid- 1950s.
Post number:
780
8th of June 2014 04:45 PM by Bill Brock
There's been a good deal of traffic while I've been away in Scotland. Kent House always met in the Music Room which was originally designed (and designated in 1936) as a Lecture Room. Joe Allen ( and perhaps other Senior House Masters) kept a written record of achievements but only Joe Allen's Kent record has survived in the archives. My memories of assemblies in the 1950s are of Spike Reynolds playing the Baby Grand in octaves to get more sound out of it, and playing hymns at twice the normal speed, something he never did at Hove Parish Church. Once a week (or was it fortnight?) the whole school would listen to a gramophone record -can't forget Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite! The piano, by the way was usually just under the stage in a curtained area that had once housed a School orchestra that was revived under Williamson. During School plays the piano was placed on the platform. The so-called School Choir sang from the front of the stage/dining room and behind the curtains or the shutters stood the hidden non-Christians and late train-boys. The curtains /shutters were drawn once the hymn-sing finished. Apart from 1st-formers who sat x-legged in front, as I recall everyone stood unless listening to the record. Fainting through hyper-ventilation was a frequent diversion. Every Form had a Prefect who was responsible for bringing and returning his Form to Assembly. As Bill Green correctly recalls, the School Captain was responsible for calling the Head to Assembly on a nod from Tabby (or just occasionally, Brown or Baxter, the most senior masters). All gone: schools are now too large to hold assemblies, more's the pity.
Post number:
779
1st of June 2014 09:52 PM by Webmaster
A REMINDER : HARRY BARKER has more entries on the Welcome Page than anyone else.
Rightly so?
I suspect that not everyone has noticed that THE SCHOOL STAFF list has Harry's name highlighted in blue - click on it and you are taken to a piece about H.B. which can be updated (only via the site management) with any new information. Would anyone like to write a piece about A.N.Other ?
Post number:
778
1st of June 2014 09:38 PM by Ivor Guild
HCGS(B) 1963-1970
Brain still functioning, but memory of classes a bit thin...I do remember first woodwork class, though.
"Gather round...", "Face side, face edge, width, thickness, cut to length", "Gather round..." (repeats).
Also Mark Orton cutting himself with a chisel and fainting...
Post number:
777
31st of May 2014 04:22 PM by David Langley
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us,
do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
Post number:
776
30th of May 2014 12:10 PM by Geoff Stoner
Fair enough. My intended gentle ribbing of both Bob and York obviously missed the target (but I know what I meant!).
Post number:
775
30th of May 2014 09:17 AM by Bob Kennett
There you are Geoffrey ,I told you - you arts students lacked something.
Post number:
774
29th of May 2014 11:37 AM by David Langley
Not logical, does not compute.

York's prowess never needed enhancing. Sometimes we gave Gloucester a sniff, otherwise .........
Post number:
773
28th of May 2014 02:48 PM by Geoff Stoner
Thinking about Bob Kennett's transfer from Windsor to York - Post 767 - the probable intention was to increase the average sporting ability of both Houses in one fell swoop.
Post number:
772
27th of May 2014 09:03 AM by Phil Howard
With regards to woodworking exploits I still have the pencil box with its sliding lid together with a cat holding the tail of a mouse which was made on the lathe and the real ‘masterpiece’ which was a 15in high dolphin carved from a single lump of wood. This last item now sits on display in my lounge having been hidden away throughout my now defunct marriage as for some reason it was not deemed suitable for public display. It’s already survived more than 40 years and I’m sure will become a family heirloom!!
Post number:
771
26th of May 2014 07:39 PM by les hamilton
I was Senior Kent House Master from 1969 to 1979. Other Kent masters were Malcolm Krohne, Malcolm Redford and John Reynolds. We had house assemblies every Thursday morning, and I believe they were held in a laboratory near the eastern staircase. We had a purple patch when we won the Hopkins Shield 4 years out of 5. I had been in Kent when I was pupil at the school, as had my brother Peter Hamilton My football tips and my soccer pseudonym, the black cat, may be remembered by some!
Post number:
770
26th of May 2014 05:54 PM by David Langley
Woodwork was a four letter word.

I learned:

1. never to try to catch a chisel, just move my feet sharpish.
2. How difficult it was to make a plant label
3. How difficult it was to make a bench hook.
4. How to go on my way rejoicing.

Oddly enough, now long retired from 41 years over-using the lonely brain cell, I now enjoy woodwork, and undertake fairly advanced projects.

Harry would be amazed.

We do seem to have a rather patchy and varied memory of matters House: who, when, where, so I will fill an idle moment to do a tabulation or whatever.

In passing, my ex-Luton High School wife says her House system included points for deportment. Just as well that never caught on at HCGS[B]. Deportation more likely.
Post number:
769
26th of May 2014 02:41 PM by Bill Green
Geoff, your reference to the brown-coated Harry Barker reminds me on this cold and wet Bank Holiday Monday of his vain efforts in the woodworking shop to counter my ineptitude and protestations at trying to make a pencil box, by reciting to me in front of the whole class "somebody said that it couldn't be done, but he with a chuckle replied that maybe it couldn't, but he would be one who wouldn't say so till he tried." All to no avail and my embarrassment was compounded! Any other sufferers of a similar fate out there?
Post number:
768
26th of May 2014 02:07 PM by Geoff Stoner
Kennett: I think the expression that seems to have escaped you is that you were 'relegated' from Windsor. Windsor House assemblies in my day were in Harry Barker's domain.
Post number:
767
26th of May 2014 11:17 AM by Bob Kennett
Am I the only one to have been in two houses ? I started in Windsor but then had the good fortune to be transferred to York in I think the second or third year. I always suspected that it was done to even up the boxing opponents . Unfortunately York did not benefit from the transfer beyond a brief spell of the noble art.
Post number:
766
26th of May 2014 10:37 AM by Bill Green
Like you Ron, I was in York - leaving later than you from UV1 in 1956, and cannot ever remember a house assembly, either in the Gym or anywhere else. Great memories of those happy days, but perhaps time is playing tricks with the remaining "grey matter"?
Post number:
765
26th of May 2014 09:38 AM by Ron Riches
Referring to David Langley's post 758 asking for details of Kent house assemblies, perhaps I have the answer. I was in Kent house from 1944 to 1949 and as far as I can recall we never "assembled".
The Kent house-masters that I can recall were Joe Allen, Spike Reynolds and Nobby Clarke making it reasonable to assume that apathy might have played a part in our having been deprived of what were no doubt convivial meetings.
David's assessment of York and Gloucester are spot on as Kent and Windsor always vied for the wooden spoon in most sporting events.
Post number:
764
25th of May 2014 08:10 PM by David Langley
Thank you peoples! A flood of memories.

Ted Keeper of my intake [and outlet] tells me that :

"I think York – the one and only and best house the school ever saw (Gloucester gave us a little concern from time to time) - was Thursday in the main Hall. The house names, reflecting as they did, the seats of the royal dukes, were abandoned when the school was changed to sec mod and renamed Blatchington Mill (at the same time the train-boy/girl scheme was abandoned I believe"
Post number:
763
25th of May 2014 10:16 AM by David Morris
Assemblies

My main memory of the daily assembly is somewhat poignant. In the autumn of 1953 the Headmaster had to announce to the school the death of Colin Pettitt who died at home during, I believe,the lunch hour. He would have been in the 1950 intake and lived in the Hangleton area.

I suspect another announcement would have been when Jim Parks gained his first England cricket cap in 1954 although he had to wait until the 1960s to gain a regular place in the team.
.
As a member of Kent I can remember a House assembly but not the room. Were House assemblies held on the same day or staggered because of lack of suitable rooms?
Post number:
762
24th of May 2014 11:19 PM by John pike
Some other memories. Gordon Brookes (music) but we loved to tease him to teach us about sex education!! S D Elling, a superb sports motivator, was lovingly known as Womble, Mrs J Scandian (French) was young and no match for the first years! She liked to play French lotto in class but always collapsed at 69, and Malcolm Khrone, a lovely man who I played cricket against up to recently, sadly fell Ill of the same wicked disease but bears up admirably. Charlie Cope was a tad rotund but kept a very straight bat in the staff v 6th form match!
Post number:
761
24th of May 2014 10:59 PM by John pike
Although turning 50 very shortly I am a mere whippersnapper compared with the regular correspondants. Having enjoyed perusing the school staff, a couple of notes. "bailey 78-79" was Peter Bailey, a no nonsense sports master. Worked well in tandem with Dave "ayoooop" King. Also surely John Reynolds deserves to be noted as we all knew him " Rusty"
Post number:
760
24th of May 2014 09:36 PM by David Morris
York House Masters - October 1954

Messrs Griffiths, Hepburn, Land, Pope and Saul

House Captain - P D Willard

Vice Captain - H J Lynn
Post number:
759
24th of May 2014 02:14 PM by David langley
Perhaps my memory of York in the Gymn. is based on a one-off? To be as honest as I can, I found House assemblies a total turn-off, being useless at football, my only athletics skill being throwing the cricket ball, my cricket itself being keen rather than competent, and my only claim to fame being chess for the house and occasionally the school.

Thus I cannot remember a single Housemaster either! So much for the House system as affecting one DEL !
Post number:
758
24th of May 2014 11:34 AM by malcolm farrow
during my time at HCGSB Gloucester had house assemblies in the gym.

Sep53
Sep54
Sep55
I left in Feb56
Post number:
757
23rd of May 2014 10:00 PM by Bill Green
My recollection, as clear as can be expected for a 76 year old, is that full school assemblies were held in the main hall every day. My role was to get "the nod" from Tabby to go and collect Bouncer from his office, who would then lead the hymn singing (with Reynolds at the piano on the platform?). There then followed school announcements and on Fridays the ever important announcements of those selected to represent the school in the various cricket/soccer teams.
Post number:
756
23rd of May 2014 01:45 PM by David Langley
Many thanks, very helpful, so we have:

Gloucester Physics lab.
York Gymn.
Windsor Library

so KENT please come in now .................
Post number:
755
23rd of May 2014 10:42 AM by Bob Kennett
I can't remember any House assemblies in the 1953 to 1960 era - only the School assemblies in the main hall and the church services (with Rev. Cook and his distinctive tones). Someone will not doubt put me right that there were such assemblies and that I simply wasn't paying attention (no change there).
Post number:
754
23rd of May 2014 12:00 AM by Frank
Windsor met in the library, presided over for several years by Brown, Baxter, Romer, and Barker.
Post number:
753
22nd of May 2014 09:23 PM by David Langley
Thank you both: i seem to remember York assembly was in the Gym?

If so, where were the other two mobs?
Post number:
752
22nd of May 2014 08:56 AM by david watts
Thanks David and sorry, you are quite right - old Ken Garland would never have had that, giving an answer without properly reading the question.
House assemblies were on Thursdays, with us Gloucester people gathered together in the Physics lab where the good Bill Lawrence would often extol the virtues of shooting at the far post.
Otherwise they were daily in the school hall, apart when it was in use in June for exams and we would then assemble on the school playing field instead. For boys like me who often tended to arrive late this presented a difficult challenge in trying to sneak in unnoticed.


Post number:
751
22nd of May 2014 12:28 AM by Frank Langley
Can't tell about assemblies in the 1950s, but in the 40s I think there were house assemblies on Tuesdays and Thursdays and full assemblies on the other days (Fridays: "The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended...").
Post number:
750
21st of May 2014 09:32 PM by David Langley
Many thanks, delightful replies but do please read the question before answering the examination.

To repeat, reiterate, confirm, stress and emphasise:

HOW OFTEN?

Daily? [cannot be, because there were also House assemblies]
ad hoc?
Weekly?
Or even less often?
Post number:
749
21st of May 2014 08:17 AM by David Watts
School assemblies were much the same in the sixties too, with first-year boys sat cross-legged on the floor whilst teachers and prefects sat on the sides looking sternly for any possible mischief. Invariably though the height of devilment would be to just change a few words of the hymns, such as
There's no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilchard