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Thought it might be. We used to live near there ...... before Mr Sparrow's time though and certainly after Grammar Schools were turned into Comprehensives. Although there are still Grammar Schools in parts of Herts (and Bucks)

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Sorry TBI. I really don’t understand why the system was junked - unless it was to bring “ equality”, meaning mediocrity, to every kid. We are NOT equally academically gifted, and thank God. I went to

I think the difference between Grammar and secondary education was vast,,, Qualifications GCEs etc were hardly in our vocabulary at Padstow............i soon realised after a visit from the ''Youth Em

Never intended.........Digging owt,,Mending owt,,Making owt,,Screwing owt,, or anything Physical really,,      So along with having no Educational Qualifications things didn't look too promising......

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Interesting to read your recollections, especially yours, Gary.  Yes, I am still living in North London (East Barnet) and yes, my Dad used to be the Baptist minister in Hucknall.  He died a couple of years ago aged 99.5!

I did drive past the Mellish when it was in the latter stages of demolition, and it was really sad to see.

I love the recollections, as I find they trigger other memories for me, though my memory for names has never been very good.  I have a sort of home office, and the two school pictures from 1961 and 1964 are on the wall behind me as I write this.

Anyway, keep up with the posting........ I may recall more things to add.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Everyone,

I've only just found this forum and have been reading through all the memories of Henry Mellish with a lot of mixed emotions.

I was one of the last to enter Mellish as a Grammar School Boy, starting in 73, and remember well how the school changed as the years following me became more and more dominant. I was one of the last 10 to ever take A-Levels at Mellish, in 1980, after that the 6th form closed and the school became completely comprehensive. I'm afraid I don't remember too many names from my time, either other pupils or the teachers, but I'll write up some of these memories when I have al little more time on my hands.


Jonathan P.

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  • 4 weeks later...

England Program.JPG 

I remember that a Mellish boy represented England schools at rugby back in 1978. This is the team sheet from the program of the England v. Wales game for that year. See at No. 5 "J A Taylor". This was probably the highest point of international representation for the school. Anyone at the school at the time remember him and whether his rugby career continued ?.    

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I was at Henry Mellish in the early sixties and well remember Blackie as I was in the same class. I also remember many of the teachers mentioned, some more favourably than others. There was the ritual of going to see "Froggy" Marshall if you needed to be off the premises during the day and getting an "exeat" that protected you from any loitering prefect. As I was a lot bigger than most of the kids in my year Dave Impey decided I would be an asset to the rugby team, a view I did not like to start with.  I made several attempts to get away from the "first game" that was played on the pitch nearest to the school, but it didn't work so I started getting used to the idea. It wasn't long before I was in the school team so that made it a bit more interesting.

Others in my year that I remember were Alan Wilkinson who played for Notts cc, David "Fanta" Cowan whose dad had a fabric shop on Parliament Street, Phil Critchley, Kerry Severn, Dave Carlin, Gordon Flower and Barry Faulkner. Even if you were not very good when it came to exams the time spent at the school had a lasting impression and it was a unique start to life.  

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I’m a 61 to 68er. I didn’t like being at Smelly Henry. I really wanted to be booting a Frido on the rec, or watching Notts get thrashed at Trent Bridge. Or listening to the Beach Boys on my record player. Not to be stuck at Highbury Vale. In fact the best days were when the freezing smog was so bad that the trolley buses gave up the ghost, and the school closed at lunchtime. We could then spend four wonderful hours meandering home, rather than an afternoon listening to boring repetitive waffle about the Amazonian basin, or isosceles triangles.


The heads during my time were Houston and Strutt. Staff members that I recall were Froggy Marshall, Spud Morrow, Pig Hutchinson, Jim Spolton, Fred White, Scratch Hitchison, Pedro Dunleavy, Oz Whitworth, Vic Gladwin, Ernie Burnham, Puff Latchford, Labby Hurst, Pablo Atkins, Frank Clarke, Danny Mack McCandless, Ena Bonsall, Charlie Evans, George Dutton, Dave Impey, Flab Hadwin and Sooty Sutherland.


Another one was Arthur Bottoms, who drifted round the building on invisible castors, without apparently moving his legs. Presumably he’d had a stroke. But he looked like he was in the early stages of moonwalking innovation. And there was a woodwork teacher, who I think was called Arthur Boddy, who used to be forever telling us that we so useless that we were giving him "the screaming abdabs". And of course there was that French student exchange guy who was a clear forerunner to Rene in Allo Allo. We all took great delight in impersonating him.


The caretakers were called Snudge and Harry. Snudge was identical to the character in the TV series Bootsie and Snudge. And Harry was quite deaf, so we mimed when we spoke to him - which got him furtively playing around with his hearing aids. Best not to mention our rhyming nickname for Frank Hunt, the local deliveryman. There was also a rag and bone man, with a decrepit old horse, who kept us entertained when we were on the playground.


Being incompetent academically and in sport, and feeling the need for street cred, I took to continuous sarcastic commentary on the abilities or otherwise of students and staff. This led to me becoming the 1964-65 Oz Whitworth Baiting league champion. A success which won me an engraved ‘Oz League’ shield. On the flip side, I had to write "I must not call Spud Spud" ten thousand times. I was also hit so hard by Puff Latchford round the side of the head that it very nearly knocked me out. That actually did keep me quiet for a few minutes.


In desperation, I joined the CCF. But the RAF was not a good choice, as I was terrified of being higher than six inches off the ground. I did enjoy the trips out, but not the bits involving aircraft. And I could never even hit the end wall on the rifle range, never mind the target or the actual bull.


The good old days? I’m not so sure. As soon as I left, I changed dramatically. I became interested in the world around me, and I started playing masses of sport. No thanks at all to the Henry Mellish Grammar School!

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Good post Stan. It's amazing how some of us come alive after leaving school. I hated FFGS, and learned virtually nothing in my time there. 

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I think attending grammar school made certain of us determined to do things our own way in our own time. Probably a personality thing. I'm still the same. Not a team player and will not swim with the stream. People like that weren't appreciated in the grammar school system. Tough, ain't it? ;)

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Likewise Jill..not a pavlovic dog..My history tutor chuckled at my huge interest in Ben Tillet ( and my fan club) in his honour!

The Becket allowed such fancies- but I have yet to put my knowledge of Longshore Drift to some use!

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Since I entered my first post, I’ve been trying to remember boy’s names from my school year. Around about 1964, when we would be in the third or fourth form. There were roughly 90 of us altogether, spread over three classes. And so far I’ve come up with about 55 names. A total which good signify a good memory, or an awful one!



Woody appears to have been in the year below me at Mellish. So I reckon that people like Roy Barnes, Paul Davies, Len Ashmore and Brian Dowhan would have been his age. Also one of the Pavis brothers. And cricketer Phil Wilkinson.



1964 Things about Mellish that I remember:

  • Cross country. Encompassing the delights of Bulwell. I deliberately started near the back, and left all my energy to the last half mile. Then, when the sports masters were in view, I’d come roaring down the final straight. This way I used to end up perhaps 50th out of 90. And get a few unwarranted compliments. But I still hated it.
  • Small bottles of milk at break time. Frozen solid in winter, with the metal tops an inch or so above the actual bottle. Orange juice was an optional choice, and this also expanded vertically in the winter. Standing to erect attention. Also frozen were the orange Jubbly’s in the tuck shop. But that was intentional. At least I think it was.
  • Bedlam reigning at the bus stop outside the school. And my best friend Dave hanging on for dear life to the pole at the back of the trolley bus, and having his arms, face and blazer ripped to pieces as he slid along Highbury Vale at 20mph. He somehow managed to not break his specs. God knows how. Needless to say, he didn’t carry out this exercise every afternoon.
  • New shoes generally lasting about 6 weeks. Due to me wanting to be ‘fashionable’, my Mum not being able to afford ‘good ones’, and my illegal use of them as football boots in the playground. Cold wet feet were de rigeur.
  • The school photo. I’ve still got it somewhere. With various giggling fifth-formers on both ends of the picture. I missed the later one in 1967, due to a Geography field trip.
  • The school film. I think it was shown at Easter, from a very old cine projector. It was the same exciting ‘new release’ every year. About a steam train. Not very racy, unfortunately. Neither was the train.


1964 Things about Nottingham that I remember:

  • Mount Street bus station. Also the Huntingdon Street one. During the course of my schooldays, I used both of these to get to and from school.
  • Victoria railway station. Great for a bit of trainspotting. And for getting to other trainspotting venues.
  • Broad Marsh. When I first knew it, there were businesses under the GCR railway arches.
  • Shops like Griffin and Spalding, and Burtons of Smithy Row.
  • The Kop at the City Ground. 1964 was before my less genteel Trent End days.
  • Lyons coffee shop in Slab Square.
  • Arkwright Street. Full of little shops, and Forest fans on Saturday afternoons.
  • The Central Market. Ideal for buying second hand records, chocolate bars and salted peanuts.
  • The Odeon Cinema, on Angel Row. It had a café underneath, which served cheese on toast.


I’ll now try to find that school photo ……..



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I drove past the site of the Henry Mellish school this lunchtime, and it's new structure looks complete, but why for Gods sake is it now called The Heathfield ? It's nowhere Heathfield Estate, never mind Heathfield Rd. Odd ! 

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Yes Stan all the names you mention were in the same year as me along with the likes of Mick Adams, Stan Leivers, Ian Cooke and the Conway brothers. Another face from the past was Dave "Bomber" Lancaster who was several years in front of me along with the likes of Roger Titman, Roger Beharall and David Cale. Bomber stood out because not only was he a big lad he had a distinctive walk. I bumped into him about four years ago as I  was dog walking in Papplewick. I realised it was him from some distance as he still has the distinctive walk.

Another face that appeared after some years was Roy Price who took over geography when Dave Impey left. I was keeping wicket for the cricket team I used to play for one afternoon at Bramcote when it dawned on me who the umpire at the other end was. Funny thing about it was that he remembered me when we got into conversation. He always had a turn of phrase at exam time of " Hells bells, damn it all! The pressure is on". I don't know how long he stayed at Mellish but he was at Annie Holgate at Hucknall when he was talking to me. Word was he had had a trial at Manchester United but I never found out if that was true.



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That was an interesting post, Woody. Especially the Bramcote CC and wicketkeeping bit!


Before I went to Mellish, I was a typical confident fun loving boy. I had lots of friends and interests. I even did things like going trainspotting to Crewe on my own at the age of 9! Which wouldn’t be allowed to happen today.


But Mellish did nothing for me. My confidence disappeared completely. So, although I loved sport, I was never encouraged to participate. I was one of the ‘useless 10%’, who was sent up to the top field to waste their sports afternoons. I wish I’d gone to Bramcote Hills Grammar School, with all my junior school mates.


Within five years of leaving Mellish, I was playing first team hockey for Beeston and county hockey for Notts. And cricket for Bramcote. Yes, I did say Bramcote – I played between about 1972 and 1977. I was also playing tennis, golf, squash, football, etc., etc., etc. And loving it. And I’d got a good job with a company car.


I only finally packed up playing cricket 3 years ago. And I was still keeping wicket!


The only help I got from Mellish was after I’d left the horrible place! It was when I applied for my first quantity surveying job. As soon as I told them I’d been to Smelly Henry, the only question was "Can you hold a pen?" The interview was over. I was in!


I don’t think I’ve ever really recovered from that first day at Henry Mellish. And at 66 years old, I won’t now. I’ve had a successful career, with my own consultancy business. I’m also happily married, and we’ve taken lots of brilliant holidays together. But I’m still not the most confident person in the world. And that has caused me lots of problems. Thanks Mellish. Thanks very much!


Apologies for typos in my previous post.

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