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Current Comments:
Post number:
1167
25th of January 2015 05:55 PM by David Hitchin
I too remember my interview. Greatwood and another were there. They asked, "How did you know when to come in?" I explained that the sign outside the door (remember it?) lit up, saying "ENTER". They asked how it worked. I replied that the electricity came from the power station, but needed a transformer to reduce it to the right voltage. They told me that it was powered by a battery. I can't remember whether I suggested installing a transformer to save the cost and trouble of replacing batteries.
Post number:
1166
25th of January 2015 01:20 PM by Bob Kennett
Me too Peter - I remember it was in Greatwood's office (1953) and he was certainly there. During the interview he remarked that I had dragon flies depicted on my tie - they were in fact ice hockey players so I piped up to that effect - often thought that little incident was instrumental in my getting a place at the school !
Post number:
1165
25th of January 2015 12:37 PM by Peter Ballantine
I can remember going up to the school for interviews after the 11+. I am pretty certain that Bert (Playell) interviewed me but have no other recollection of the day which must have been in the late spring of 1958
Post number:
1164
24th of January 2015 06:26 PM by David Robertson
I was at HCGS(B) from 1947 to 1952. I can add some detail to Post 1048 re Derbyshire Geography camps. As a fourth former I attended one in 1951 It was held at Dunscar Farm Castleton. I recall that we camped by a stream named the Odin Sitch. I recollect that this was our source of drinking, cooking and washing water. I remember all the visits listed except the flour mill. We did, however, visit the cement works in Hope - a nearby village. Tabby was frequently about in his shorts and slippers. I don't think any of us possessed a camera then - so he went unrecorded by our lot.
Now re Post 1093. In the summer of 1947, those of us who passed the 11 plus test from Portland Road Junior School had to attend HCGS for a day. We all had two lectures in the morning, one before and one after a mid-morning break on subjects we were unlikely to know anything about. These were Geology (artesian wells and the London clay basin) and Astronomy (Orion and other star formations). After each lecture we had had to write a page or two on what we had learned. There were others in those lectures that I didn't recognise. I guess they were from other schools, so my further longshot guess is that every one who had passed the 11 plus that year for HCGS had to do the same thing? In the afternoon, we were all shepherded into one of the quadrangles at the side of the main hall. Then we were called in one by one for an interview. I think we were being called alphabetically as there weren't many of us left in the quad. by the time I was called. It seemed a long wait then! Tabby was one of the two interviewers. Incidentally, the teacher who gave the geology and astronomy lectures was Mr. Laundon. He also took us to the King Alfred small baths for swimming during our first year. I mention this because in the School Staff section of this site, there are no details of subjects that he taught. I have a very hazy, 65 plus years ago idea that he could have been an assistant to Basher Bates?
Post number:
1163
23rd of January 2015 02:39 PM by malcolm farrow
I think the years intake was divided into three equal groups regardless of where the breaks came in the alphabetical sequence, hence Firisen 1X - Foster 1Y


Post number:
1162
23rd of January 2015 02:25 PM by malcolm farrow
A possible class list for Sep53 1X

Abdy Alderson Allan Attree Azzaro

Baines Bish Bishop Blinkhorn Botting Boxall Bran Budgeon? Buswell

Caldecot Cardy Challoner Cohen Colbourne Coleman Cook

Dodd Draper Dudeny(name change to Jannering, to 1Y) Duncan

Edwards English Epps Evers

Farrow Fenn Firisen

Howarth a mid term addition

Any correction additions comments welcome
Post number:
1161
23rd of January 2015 10:06 AM by Geoff Stoner
Why this obsession with classes 1953 1X & 1Y? Isn't it rather parochial? In any event it omits the most important class (and no Mr.Norris, that wasn't '52 1Y).
Post number:
1160
22nd of January 2015 11:52 AM by malcolm farrow
I will have a go at doing a list for Sep53 1X
Post number:
1159
21st of January 2015 10:24 PM by David Hitchin
I think that Farrow is right, so Bob's conclusion follows. Working still on the assumption that the allocation was strictly alphabetical, then 1Y probably began with Foster. Makepeace should certainly have been included.
It's easier to remember being in the same form as others than remembering whether that was in the alphabetical first year, or later streamed years.
Hyams was a later starter, arriving some time mid-term, and Old Harry referred him to me for advice on drawing - no huge arrows!!!. He introduced himself as Dudley, a name chosen by his mother as it could not be abbreviated, but she was wrong as he was known to many as "Dud". Later in life he became a musician and composer with works performed by local music groups, and teaching at Sussex University. He died of throat cancer, and some of his former students spoke to me of his good qualities.
Post number:
1158
21st of January 2015 08:57 PM by Bob Kennett
MF : so that means Jim Duncan ,Trevor English and Mike Epps too so we can safely leave the "M" tail enders in place although I confess I don't remember any other than my co - St Nicolodians sharing the classroom above the boiler room with me (frozen milk and all). Over to you David H for the definitive list . Anyone else prepared to undertake a memory test like this ? It is definitely not as easy as it may seem. I recall having seen copies of the original hand written class lists at some time - what a coup they would be for the archive!
Post number:
1157
21st of January 2015 07:31 PM by malcolm farrow
additions to Sep53 1Y

Hyams? Makepeace

Farrow Fenn Firisen were definitely 1X
Post number:
1156
21st of January 2015 12:05 PM by Peter Ballantine
David - i am sure you are correct about Mr Holley's nickname - it is an obvious one but never recall using it! I met up with him years later on a course he was involved in at Borough Road Teacher Training college (or whatever it became) where he was a lecturer -not that I was a teacher!
Post number:
1155
20th of January 2015 06:06 PM by David Hitchin
Peter Ballantine wrote: "
Even staff nick names did not always last. ... Looking at the staff list it is interesting to note that several started the day as i did (Sept 58) i.e. Mr Ross, 'buddy' Holly to mention but two.
Not just "Buddy Holley" but also "Joe Holley" = "Holy Joe".
Post number:
1154
20th of January 2015 03:35 PM by David Hitchin
1Y, list revised after several suggestions on this site and from the webmaster. Pupils were allocated to first forms by name, 1X (A-D), 1Y(D-M), 1Z, (M-Z).

Duncan, English, Epps, Farrow, Fenn, Firisen, Foster, Francis, Fry, Gander, Garbutt, Gardner, Gargett, Gaze, Gilbert, Gooday, Green, Gunn D, Gunn ‘Ben’, Hamilton, Harris, Hart, Hills, Hitchin, Hood, Hornby, Jannering, Jenner (name changed later to Gregory), Johnson G , Johnson M, Jones, Kennett, Lawrence (?), Leslie, Lipman, Mansbridge, McGill(?), McGinn, McNaught, Middleton(?).

The doubtful ones include those not remembered, those who might have come in the previous year, and where the ‘M’ surnames were split between 1Y and 1Z..
Post number:
1153
20th of January 2015 11:52 AM by malcolm farrow
Sorry for my inattention, obviously Duncan, English and Epps were also 1X
Post number:
1152
20th of January 2015 11:36 AM by malcolm farrow
Sep1953 Iwas in 1X so were Fenn and Firisen
Post number:
1151
19th of January 2015 02:07 PM by Bill Lovell
1955 - 1Y - Form Master - Mis Martin
1956 - 2C - Harry the woodwork master - organiser of Harry's Harriers
1957 - 3C -
1958 - L4C
1959 - Lower Fifth
1960 - GCEs
Post number:
1150
19th of January 2015 12:14 PM by Geoff Stoner
Re. David Hitchin's list: 'Schnoz' Mitchell ? Geoff McGill?
Post number:
1149
19th of January 2015 11:49 AM by Peter Ballantine
Even staff nick names did not always last. Mr Ross was known as Emundo after the dance ban leader of the 50s but don't think it lasted very long. Looking at the staff list it is interesting to note that several started the day as i did (Sept 58) i.e. Mr Ross, 'buddy' Holly to mention but two. Wonder if they were as nervous as us 11 year olds!
Post number:
1148
19th of January 2015 08:06 AM by David Hitchin
Prompted by the Webmaster, I have added some names to the list of 1Y in 1953. Any more corrections?

Duncan, English, Epps, Farrow, Fenn, Foster, Francis, Fry, Gander, Garbutt, Gardner, Gargett, Gaze, Gilbert, Gooday, Green, D. Gunn, ‘Ben’ Gunn, Hamilton, Harris, Hart, Hills, Hitchin, Hood, Hornby, Johnson (were there two Johnsons?), Jones, Kennett, Lawrence (?), Leslie, Lipman, Mansbridge, McGinn, McNaught, Middleton.
Post number:
1147
18th of January 2015 05:27 PM by David Hitchin
1Y, 1953.
Duncan, Epps, Farrow, Fenn, Foster, Francis, Fry, Garbutt, Gardner, Gargett, Gooday, D. Gunn, ‘Ben’ Gunn, Hamilton, Harris, Hills, Hitchin, Hornby, Johnson (were there two Johnsons?), Jones, Kennett, Lawrence (?), Leslie, Lipman, Mansbridge, McGinn, McNaught, Middleton.

Who have I missed?
Post number:
1146
18th of January 2015 01:49 PM by David Gregory
Ron. I would prefer to believe that the absence of nicknames in our years was mainly due to us not being able to remember them rather than the lack of imagination on our part. Although my next offering has nothing to do with nicknames it does show the limits to which schoolboys will go to raise a smile. You may well remember the Bending brothers, one of whom was in our year and I believe were train boys. One was disabled but in spite of his handicap played cricket and was an efficient slip fielder. During the cricket season it raised a giggle when batsmen "caught bending" was entered into the scorebook I hasten to add that I did not appreciate the true meaning of this joke until I was much older.
Post number:
1145
18th of January 2015 12:33 PM by Bob Kennett
I was so sure that Derek Hood was a fan of Alma Cogan - so maybe there were two reasons for his nickname - happy to concede to David and Geoff though . Just thought of another - "Bonzo" Swayne ?
Maybe the webmaster should start page giving a roll of nicknames - something a little more lighthearted wouldn't go amiss,methinks.
Post number:
1144
18th of January 2015 12:15 PM by Geoff Stoner
I think David H. is correct re Elmer Fudd. Also I think it was 'Spud' Sayers, and Nut's surname was spelt Croke. Also of course, Binge Mansbridge, Sandy Sandford, and Pip Smith.
Post number:
1143
18th of January 2015 11:59 AM by David Morris
Alma or Elmer

In the April 1953 edition of the School Magazine Lionel March writes that the Scout Troop was undergoing a rolling change in the nicknames of its members as they moved on. One of the new names mentioned was "Elma" which was, in my time, given to one of the Hood brothers. I recall Derek Hood as a September 1953 intake whereas John was probably 1950 so I suspect that both took the nickname whilst they were in Scouts. I remember Derek as "Elmer" and wonder whether there was a connection to the cartoon series "Bugs Bunny" where his arch enemy was "Elmer Fudd." If Fudd was pronounced "Food" as in "Hood" perhaps it developed from there?

For the record I was nicknamed "Mo"

Could David Langley nicknamed "Del" in Scouts or Lionel March help?
Post number:
1142
18th of January 2015 09:45 AM by Ron Riches
Are you beginning to share my view David G that our 44/49 lot were a pretty unimaginative bunch?
Post number:
1141
18th of January 2015 08:42 AM by David Hitchin
I had assumed "Elmer" after Elmer Fudd, the American cartoon character, but I stand corrected.
Post number:
1140
17th of January 2015 10:23 PM by Bob Kennett
Alma or Elmer ? I always thought Derek Hood's nickname originated with his liking for Alma Cogan - help us out Geoffrey!
Post number:
1139
17th of January 2015 12:43 PM by David Hitchin
... and I had forgotten to mention "Hubert".
Post number:
1138
17th of January 2015 12:13 PM by David Hitchin
Bob Kennet wrote: "My year had quite a few nicknames Alma Hood, Scratch Hitchin, Spudge Sayers to name but a few." I thought that it was Elmer Thug, as well as Spots, Bugwell, Reog, Bonzo, Chas and Lord Mont. (It was Brian Read who wrote to a commercial firm, and signed his name with a flourish, getting a reply to Mr Reog).
Post number:
1137
17th of January 2015 10:54 AM by Bob Kennett
1952 -1957 must be a record era for nicknames - the gallery picture contains MO Mason, DOLLY Mason, ZEBO Simms and, if I remember correctly, Croak was resplendent with the nickname NUTTY.
ZEBO has got to be the ultimate nickname (a old brand of grate blackener if I remember correctly). My year had quite a few nicknames Alma Hood, Scratch Hitchin, Spudge Sayers to name but a few.
Post number:
1136
15th of January 2015 09:42 AM by Ron Riches
After straining my fragile memory to its limits, I've dug up a couple of pretty feeble nicknames. A Haywards Heath train boy who was a year ahead of me and who sadly died during the Polio epidemic of the late forties, EG "Eggy" Ford and Phillp "Pip" Dudeny who I remember as a big lad who walked with a pronounced limp. That's it, I can't afford to expend any more brain cells on the subject!
Post number:
1135
14th of January 2015 04:45 PM by Geoff Stoner
Rod. I'm afraid you're wrong on both counts. I refuse to divulge the truth lest I expose myself to ridicule (again!).
Post number:
1134
14th of January 2015 08:06 AM by Ron Riches
You're absolutely right David, apart from the two that I've mentioned, I cannot recall any nicknames during our time at the school apart from what was really only a play on words whereby Michael Leet was sometimes referred to a "Like-all-meat".
Post number:
1133
12th of January 2015 11:49 PM by Rod Norris
Come on Geoff don't be so bashful!! I at least remember your duplicitous nature, therefore you had 2 nicknames.Sometimes you were a bit out there and at other times you were a bit sheepish hence you were sometimes called 'Crow' as in Stone a ---- or 'Mutton' as in ------Geoff.
Correct me if I'm wrong
Post number:
1132
12th of January 2015 06:36 PM by Peter Ballantine
Don't remember any long term nicknames for pupils - there were a few but did not last unlike staff nicknames. Thinking of staff, there were some famous names who never taught me especially on the Science side - never had Tabby, Joe Allen, Poxy Baxter etc. Chemistry by my time was clearly never as exciting as in earlier years. I had Whone Brown for my four years who was good though poor man had to deal with some very sad aspects to his personal life.
Post number:
1131
12th of January 2015 03:17 PM by David Gregory
Yes Ron, I certainly remember "Dilley" Chapman, an A stream pupil during my 5 years at HCGSB. Unfortunately I have no idea how he acquired such an unusual nickname. There seems to be lack of nicknames given to pupils during our years. Was it a deficiency of inspiration on our part or the fact our memories have failed us in our later years ?. You are quite right that teachers enjoyed more names than us. Nobby, Scruff, Basher, Spike and Chippy, (sounds ominously like another firm of solicitors) were, in my opinion, given their names because they were well liked by the pupils and apart from the chalk and wooden blackboard duster throwing Scruff the most lenient of teachers where discipline was concerned.
Post number:
1130
11th of January 2015 11:51 AM by Geoff Stoner
'Twas not I, Noddy, who posed the question. Modesty forbids the disclosure of my own nickname (he lied!).
Post number:
1129
11th of January 2015 10:08 AM by Ron Riches
Whilst I remember nicknames being applied to most of the staff (some more flattering than others), apart from the less than subtle "Tug" Turville, I can only recall one and I'm hoping that David Gregory might be able to shed some light on its origin. In fact, not only do I not know from whence it came, I have no idea as to "Dilly" Chapman's first name. Don't let me down David, you must remember him, a huge lad in York house and a close friend of Don Bates.
Post number:
1128
10th of January 2015 11:20 PM by Rod Norris
Yes Geoff, I'll kick it off. My nickname was 'Noddy', not because of my big ears, it was a spoonerism of my name Roddy Norris. Also a belated happy new year to you all from the Land from Down Under
Post number:
1127
9th of January 2015 10:14 AM by Bob Kennett
Ron , I have checked your photo in the Uniforms page and confirm you are definitely a boy (albeit a somewhat disdainful one) but fear you may have earned yourself a new nickname!
Now there's an idea - what schooldays nicknames do we admit to?
Post number:
1126
9th of January 2015 09:41 AM by Ron Riches
My most humble and sincere apologies David G. I was of course referring to post 230 and I hope that messrs FHW are still in a sufficiently festive mood to overlook my misdemeanour. Grovel, grovel!!
Post number:
1125
9th of January 2015 09:35 AM by Ron Riches
Point taken Webmaster! However isn't there something Alice in Wonderland about my referring to entries that I don't see.
Post number:
1124
8th of January 2015 06:18 PM by Bill Green
What a blow Ron - this would be a shoe in for successful Court Action.
Post number:
1123
8th of January 2015 01:14 PM by David Gregory
Ron. Have you been at the sauce again over the New Year. Post 250 is one I originated concerning the pupils who joined the school in its opening year of 1936. I think you are referring to post 230. You will be hearing from my solicitors Freeman, Hardy and Willis in due course.
Post number:
1122
8th of January 2015 12:14 PM by Webmaster
Ron : Your observation about the entries that appear on this Welcome page is indeed gratifying. Geoff Stoner was of course referring to the entries that you do NOT see as they are removed in the "moderation" process.
Post number:
1121
8th of January 2015 10:55 AM by Ron Riches
I realise that we live in an age where over-zealous emphasis is placed upon human rights, civil rights 'elf and safety and ethnic sensitivity but surely the likelihood of anything posted on this site leading to court action must be seriously over the top. To paraphrase Captain Mainwaring " I think you are getting into the realms of fantasy Corporal Jones". In fact, zooming back over past posts, the nearest item that I can find that might border on libellous is a totally uncalled-for character assassination of poor old Spike Reynolds in post 250 and if Spike's descendants are as benign as was he such comments would I am sure be considered to be unworthy of comment.

Moving on to the recent references to what appears to be totally irresponsible behaviour in the chemistry labs and the mishandling of dangerous substances by irresponsible pupils. Such incidents did not occur during my time at the school and perhaps this might have something to do with the fact that I was six when a small matter of the second world war erupted. Having stood in our back garden at Haywards Heath on successive evenings in 1941 and watched the bright red glow in the sky over South London and in particular the occasion when it was possible to see the flickering of flames when the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery on the Isle of Dogs was hit, the rapid combustion of a quantity of gas in a cupboard would have been something of a damp squib.

A belated Happy New Year to you all!
Post number:
1120
1st of January 2015 09:47 PM by Mick Wright
Yes, well remember us stuffing a variety of those into a spent sparklets syphon cartridge and blowing a hole in the side of Howard Sharon's garden shed. Loooking back you realise just how dammed dangerous it all was.
Post number:
1119
1st of January 2015 08:16 PM by David Hitchin
Those were the days when a boy in short trousers could go into almost any chemist's shop in town and buy anything as long as it wasn't on the poisons register. Charcoal, flowers of sulphur and potassium nitrate for example, or glycerin and potassium permanganate, or potassium dichromate (As with all hexavalent chromium compounds, it is acutely and chronically harmful to health.) I won't mention the recipes from Professor Low's books, or very old copies of the Boys Own Paper, for fear of bringing the bomb squad round. Those were the days, and why school chemistry was disappointing compared with the home variety.