Forest Fields Grammar School School Play 1968

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Ollie Barnet, Mrs. Fosterjohn, "Doris" Day, yes, yes.  And all wore gowns!


But what about Dr. Roberts?


My time was 1955 to 1959 and well remember the roar of helpless laughter when, at the end of term when we were all a little boisterous and each had been given testimonials to present to prospective employers, in a vain effort to get quiet in assembly,  Dr. Roberts thundered "Boys found causing trouble in assembly will have their testimonials removed!" 


A moment's stunned silence followed and then total mayhem as everyone, staff included, burst into helpless laughter. 


And Ollie Barnet JP?  Because I tripped up the stairs on to the Albert Hall stage on speech day and fell over as he tried to hand me my prize (heaven only knows what it was and what it was for), to bursts of laughter from and the assembled pupils in the seats below, Ollie glared at me for spoiling a solemn school ceremony and snarled "Always the clown, I should have known".


Ah, school days... the happiest days of our lives ???


If so, many must have had some pretty dismal lives since then.


Fortunately I soon learned to come nearly last in cross country running to avoid being picked to run for the school, and also how to avoid the muddiest bits of the Melbourne Road rugby pitch on a Wednesday afternoon. But can anyone remember what were our house names at FFGS  if you were there between 55 and 59?  And did we have a school motto?


I do remember however that there always seemed to be an Ollie-phant in the room. ( I'm not.)


Nonetheless, I wait in fevered anticipation to hear from anyone who remembers anything of those halcyon days.


The Prunestone Kid

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I attended FFGS from 1961-6 and found headmaster Oliver Barnett a bit of an enigma. He had a fearsome reputation with the cane and certainly favoured girls over boys. He had little time for underachievers and always struck me as cold and extremely serious.

Yet before becoming a headteacher he taught Maths and Latin and I have read several accounts from older former pupils that he is remembered with affection as an outstanding teacher.

He was extremely proud of FFGS which he certainly regarded as “his school”and following his retirement in 1965 the school was never the same.

It would seem then that after becoming headteacher he modified his style into what he thought a head should be. Discipline and respect were very much his values which certainly rubbed off on me and many many others who attended that establishment.
I would have very much liked to experience his softer side but his stiff upper lip approach meant it was never on display as head apart from the day he retired when he was clearly moved by tributes he received particularly from Lord Mayor William Derbyshire who attended the school that afternoon.

BTW the school motto was Pulcherrima sequimini which I guess was Oliver's creation. Google translates it as “beautiful follow” but I remember him saying on several occasions that it meant “seek beauty”. I think he was trying to say “think positive” but that's just my take on it.

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8 hours ago, letsavagoo said:

House names when I was there 1966 - 1970 were

Rufford (red and my house) Welbeck (green) Annesley (dark blue) Clumber (light blue).

I was in Annesley 1961-6. The house master was Head of Physics Brian aka Bomber Smith. Super bloke. He also used to help PE master Ian Gibson with rugby. I hated it. Did you know Ian Gibson was an excellent centre/ winger for Leicester Tigers in the 1960s? IIRC he had short curly blonde hair and was a Loughborough graduate. He was also pretty handy with the plimsoll if you forgot your kit.

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  • 10 months later...

I can’t recall but I’ve asked a friend I’ll let you know.


Was it Mr Hallet aka Batman. I had a few other choice names for him. He was the deputy head.

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Doug Hallet arrived to replace John Hancox who had become the new head when Oliver Barnett retired in 1965. He was called Batman because his black gown used to billow behind him like Batman's cape.

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