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Agreed. He was extremely unpleasant. He was a senior RAF officer during the war and treated us like the erks under his command. He was in charge of the CCF which I would have joined had it not been for him. His mate, Frank Clark, maths, was equally unpleasant and was also an ex RAF officer. I knew a girl who lived next door to him and she said he treated his kids with military discipline. Some people could just not accept that the war finished in 1945.

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No mention yet of the " Houses" at the Mellish. Did the School advise parents prior to the Term starting what colour tie to buy or were the houses allocated once the Term had started? I thought joining the CCF was obligatory unless you had a medical exemption? One lad in the class always looked a peculiar purple colour, which was evidence apparently, of a severe heart condition and was therefor excused. Does anybody who was at the Mellish in around  1957 remember a pupil committing suicide? The only reason I am recalling such a sad occasion is that I cannot remember how it was communicated. The surname of the lad involved was Anchor and sadly, because he wasn`t somebody I knocked about with,  don`t  remember his christian name but do, , when I shut my eyes , still recall his face. I don`t remember whether we were told in assembly or in class but remember a story circulating school that he worked in a Chemists at the weekends.One thing for sure,in stark contrast to today, it was never mentioned in school again and there was certainly no shrine erected.                                 

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The houses at Mellish were advised to parents prior to entry so that appropriate coloured ties could be bought prior to starting. CCF was purely voluntary. The first year was in the basic section where they wore khaki and then they could choose whichever service they required for the following year. The lad with the purple looking colour was Michael Lander from Beeston. He did have a heart condition. I last saw him at the school closing ceremony a few years ago. He’d been given the appropriate surgery over the years and was fit and well and as pink as the rest of us! Mike was responsible for launching a two stage rocket which was built from materials from the physics and chemistry labs. Unfortunately the rocket exploded loudly at launch on the school field. Because of his heart condition he couldn’t be caned so he was suspended for a couple of weeks prior to Easter which allowed him to get on with his exam revision! Mike was in the year below me. You can find him on Facebook.

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Thanks Phil, Mike was in my Form as was Anchor. Good to know Mike was well. I knew he had aeronautical bent because he spent his free time drawing aeroplanes .Just out of interest, was there many people from the Grammar School epoch at the closing ceremony?

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3 minutes ago, Geoffrey Dennis said:

Thanks Phil, Mike was in my Form as was Anchor. Good to know Mike was well. I knew he had aeronautical bent because he spent his free time drawing aeroplanes .Just out of interest, was there many people from the Grammar School epoch at the closing ceremony?

Indeed there were. Even celebrities like Neil Cossons, director of English Heritage. Being on a weekday it consisted  mainly of those who were retired. I met loads of old friends.

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In response to philmayfield, houses certainly weren't allocated prior to start of the school year in my era. The first morning everyone turned up wearing a motley collection of ties which they continued to wear until an opportunity was provided to go shopping for the relevant house tie. In some instances this took longer than some masters were prepared to tolerate. It was the norm for younger siblings to go into the same house as an older sibling who also went to Mellish so they could get house ties pre start of school.

During my time at Mellish there was also a death which occured due to an incident during a rugby match. For the life of me I can't recall his name, only that he wasn't amongst the original 11+ intake-possibly came as the result of a house move. I recall it was a head injury and I believe he died in hospital.

 

 

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You may well be right. I started in 1954. I know I was in Red House which was subsequently called McEwen. The houses were renamed after old teachers. The others were Ball, Baulk and Buckley I think.

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I was McEwen too, 1963 onwards. The others, Baulk, yellow; Buckley, blue and Bailey? green. I'm sure you're right about the historical origins, something that I never concerned myself with and I can't recall that it was ever drilled into us at the time.

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The change of name came during my time there. I suppose Red, Blue, Green and Yellow were a bit mundane but apart from McEwen I thought the others were a bit alliterative and could have been better chosen! I always wanted to be in Red, my favourite colour, so my wish came true!

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On reflection, Green may even have been Barber, still alliterative but shows how indifferent I was to the 'house' system. Although I do recall Puff Latchford-history master, giving me a dressing down for sciving off a house rugby match. Rugby shirts were also banded with house colour, but reversible to all black so that scratch teams of various houses could be made up if necessary.

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Ah rugby. Fist team players were awarded school colours and could wear a green blazer. I was school cross country champion, ran for the County and was awarded County colours for athletics but was never given school colours. I still bear a grudge about that to this day! If you didn’t succeed at rugger you were nothing. I hated the stupid game.

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Good to see the thread come alive again!!

Just for clarification, the Houses were McEwen(red), Barber(green), Balk(yellow) and Bulkeley(blue) which was my house. Great for competition in sports - big rivalries.

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I too was in Mcewan house, never did understand the reason for the houses but they were there and that was that. As far as rugby went it wasn't a bad house to be in as not many were interested so competition was less. The lad who died was David Wood. He got a kick on the back of the head in a scrum that proved fatal. One injury of that nature is one too many but allowing for the number of players involved over a week injuries were very low. Having said that my mother could never understand why I could come home covered in bruises and cuts still claiming I had enjoyed myself but the fact was that I had. It was a tough game but only as rough as you made it. Playing for the school also had its advantages when games against other schools were played mid week, double maths was well worth missing.

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