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Bilborough Grammar School

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I remember all of those teachers, Alan. Miss Clarke was HORRIBLE! A few more names from me - Miss Allsopp (French), who was lovely, Miss Heath (PE), Mr Macnaughton ( Geog - strict but good fun)), Mr Hale (English), Miss Donaldson, later Mrs Payne( DS - "You'll never get a husband if you can't cook, girls"), Mr Lowe( Physics). All the girls fancied Mr Day!

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Miss England was a strange one, she used to cycle into school on her ancient bike along Glaisdale Drive every morning talking to herself, we would sometimes go that way and sneak up behind her. I was under the impression that she lived in a flat over the Wollaton Vale shops along with Miss Skedge, I recall that they used to have Saturday night parties inviting 6th form boys, I would have nothing to do with it, not very healthy behaviour!

Mrs Gotheridge, the former Miss Denne, taught me 'O' Level Chemistry, she was a great teacher, stood no nonsense, but had a wicked sense of humour, from Yorkshire I seem to remember. She used to come on our Lake District hikes, very fit, she could probably have walked the Fells forever, I think she ran the girls hockey team as well, great character.

Didn't Miss Allsop have an unnaturally massive bust, or was it Miss Atkinson, I remember Peter Robinson (PE), once making a comment to me about it.

When I got my 'O' levels I had to go into school one morning to have a chat with a panel of teachers as to what 'A' Levels I should take, I seem to recall it was quite an informal event, first name terms no less. They decided for me that I should take Pure and Applied Maths, Geography and Physics, a bit heavy going, but they obviously knew the best route for me. My Physics teacher was Mr Lowe, he was a lovely bloke, but that was his trouble, he couldn't put it across to me at all, maybe he could have done if he'd given me a kick up the backside, but that wasn't his nature, he was determined to treat us like adults rather than schoolkids. After the first term I couldn't hack it and decided to take something else, what else after losing 3 months of study. Mr Kirton to the rescue, he thought I could easily catch up 3 months of Technical Drawing, which I did, problem was TD wasn't accepted as a University entrance subject, then. However as far as Polytechnics were, it was, so I went off to do an RICS General Surveying degree at Portsmouth, thanks Mr Kirton.

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The thing I remember most about Miss England was that she used to wipe chalk off the blackboard with her cardigan. Didn't know about the parties!

No idea about Miss Allsopp's bust(!), but she was a very large lady all round.

Your initial A Level subjects would be the worst imaginable to me, particularly Physics. I did French, German and History

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I was fascinated by your recollections at BGS – I was there from 1971 to 1975 and came to love the place. Hated the first year though because I joined in the 4th form from another school and got completely traumatized by the 6 day week (I’m sure this was a model for the 3 day week we had in the late 70’s). This resulted in me turning up in the wrong classes in the wrong year with the wrong teachers. I always remember my first art lesson – walked into the room 10 minutes late (because I had to find it) was required by the teacher to stand on my chair and explain what I was doing there. Turned out I was in a 5th form class but I was in the 4th form! Then there was the dreaded maths – yes we had to do something called “modern maths” I think we had a set of books called the “Schools Mathematics Project” – I am still traumatized by this 40 years on because in my line of work I am required to use the same stuff. This was clearly an experiment gone horribly wrong – but typical of the trendy education system at the time. Really liked most of the teachers except Mike Higginbottom who was absolutely diabolical - didn’t learn a single thing from him. Suppose the only consolation was that he used to play LPs in the lesson – which was good because we did not have any at home.

By the time I got into the 6th form I really loved the place – got on very well with all the teachers – which by then were on first name terms. I used to stay on in the evening to do pottery in the art room – there were several of us who really got onto this in a big way. I was totally inspired by Charles Stone who left to become a professional potter (in 1973). This was even more of an inspiration to us because he used to invite us round to his house in Mapperley village to help build his wood fired kilns and to learn more pottery techniques. Through Charles we got into building our own kilns behind the art room back wall. We got the special firebricks from the old Stanton Iron works (they were dismantling one of their blast furnaces at the time and had thousands of old bricks they didn’t know what to do with) and transported them in the school mini bus – we had to take all the seats out to get the bricks in. It was a real hoot – putting the seats back afterwards was quite a job – not to be recommended. By the way I am talking about the very first mini bus the school acquired – it was a white BMC jobby. Toby Jackson used to drive us around in it quite a lot (he lived down the road to Charles Stone in Mapperley Village).

Just to finish off the story, Charles Stone eventually purchased the old derelict bottle Kiln in West Hallam and over a period a some years totally transform it into the BottleKiln Gallery and café. His whole family was living there for quite a while. Charles was a phenomenal builder – he designed all the buildings and laid every brick himself!

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I have been reading this with great interest. I have to tell you that some of the teachers mentioned are no longer with us - Mr Redding, Mr Robshaw, Mr Gilliver, Mr Newcombe, Miss England, Mr Bristow, Dr Peake, Mr Williams. I last heard a few years ago that Miss Betts had Alzheimers Disease and I have no doubt that some of the other Members of Staff have gone to the Staffroom in the sky. It was Miss Louden, Lois, who was the Maths Teacher and played cricket for England Ladies. Her nickname was Passion Flower or Pash when I was there 1961-8, then on to University. I still go up to Nottingham fairly regularly and I still find it sad to see all of those houses on 'our' playing field. Contrary to some of the accounts on this site I enjoyed my time there, got a decent set of public exam results and D of E Gold. I think it was an excellent school although sometimes did not think so at the time!

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Astwood, if you were there 61 to 68 you were in the year above me. Our paths must have crossed.

As far as I know, Mr Jacobs is still toddling around the Aspley Lane area.

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I hope you weren't one of those naughty boys in the Dick Cooper gang, apart from the much put on Donald Scrimshaw, I liked him, the establishment didn't.

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Of course I wasn't in the Dick Cooper gang, I am female! Donald Scrimshaw was at Glenbrook Jnr Boys and I heard he'd gone off to be a jockey, don't know if it's true. So, if you were the year below me you must have come across Eileen Asher + Liz Clipson but I can't remember any other names. A guy I do remember and don't know what happened to him was Stuart Gregory aka Tats, he suddenly disappeared round about the third year and was never heard of again. Not many of my year came to the 1997 Re-union so there are a large number of people whom I haven't seen since 1966 after O levels or 1968, post A levels. Don't suppose it helps that I don't live in Nottm either.

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Of course I wasn't in the Dick Cooper gang, I am female! Donald Scrimshaw was at Glenbrook Jnr Boys and I heard he'd gone off to be a jockey, don't know if it's true. So, if you were the year below me you must have come across Eileen Asher + Liz Clipson but I can't remember any other names. A guy I do remember and don't know what happened to him was Stuart Gregory aka Tats, he suddenly disappeared round about the third year and was never heard of again. Not many of my year came to the 1997 Re-union so there are a large number of people whom I haven't seen since 1966 after O levels or 1968, post A levels. Don't suppose it helps that I don't live in Nottm either.

Hi Astwood

I didn't realise you were a big girls blouse! A criticism of people on this site is that they don't put enough info on their profile page, why not, 99.9% of the members are decent people, go with the flow.

I went to the reunion in 97' it struck me the lack of former pupils from the years above and below us, most 'kid's' attending seemed quite young.

I met Eileen Asher that evening for the first time since 1969, she was a love along with everyone else bar one. I recall this obnoxious person bragging to me about her achievements while Eileen and the rest of them were standing behind her pulling faces and trying to make me laugh, it was a wonderful night, never to be repeated, we may have bumped into each other queuing for the bar, who knows.

Did you do geography, if so did you go with us on the 6th form trip to Swanage, no point going into detail unless you did.

Tats Gregory was an awful kid, he was certainly about in your 5th form. We went on our first Lake District trip as 4th formers in 1965. Gregory went out of his way to pick on me and try to set me up on his various little devious schemes, it didn't work, the teachers and bus driver knew what he was all about, as did I, I wasn't frightened by him and he eventually knew it. He was into road racing cycling, probably fueled by the uppers he used to take, perhaps he, hopefully, fell under a lorry.

Donald Scrimshaw was a troubled but really nice bloke. I don't know what his problems were but he and I got on really well, I don't know why he eventually got expelled, but the school had a mind set about him, I can vouch for that.

Another character in your year was a youth called Pearson, now he was really strange, I used to try and sympathize and talk to these characters, but he had been expelled from the High School for misdemeanors. I found him one day laying out the fire hose pipes and trying to flood the tower block, which he did successfully, he just manically laughed at me and carried on, how sad, where is he, Tats and Scrimshaw now, old git's like the rest of us???

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I did go on the Field Trip to Swanage in 1968, the year before was to the Lake District (Elterwater) and I did take Geography A level. I don't remember anyone arriving late called Pearson in my year and I thought that Stuart Gregory had gone long before 1965. We did O levels in 1965/6 and, if you recall, you couldn't stay on to the Sixth Form unless you had 5 O's mimimum, if not you had to repeat the year.

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C'mon Astwood, you must remember me going for a swim in Swanage Bay during a blizzard on the day we arrived, I opened my gob and promised to do it, the coach was driven on to the front to see if I dare do it, I bloody well did too, Dave Singleton was in hysterics. Remember that night when we all went down to the cellar bar to watch Manchester United play in the semi final of the European Cup, all the girls were swooning over George Best, bless him.

C'mon what's your real name, what have you got to hide.

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Here's some good stuff I've dug about and discovered:

bgs6-1.jpg

The annual school magazine from 1968, not graced with my presence, read it now and it makes you cringe, some of that poetry is truly embarrassing, typical 1960's stuff.

bgs3.jpg

My 5th/6th form jotter, oh dear. Some incredible political statements written on the back.

truzz1.jpg

My 6th form loose folder, seems to be full of Geography notes, my handwriting was so terrible then. Note caricatures of Wilson with H bomb aimed at DeGaul.

More to come.

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I've got more to show but I've literally just got a text from my best friend, he's really seriously ill, I'm in tears, I don't know what more to say, I have to leave it for now.

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Sorry to hear this. Not another one Pete. I loved your old books, especially the one with your old user name on it.

I grew up with Donald Scrimshaw - another Bilborough lad like me. I lived 3 doors from Liz Clipson and knew Eileen Asher from way back in Glenbrook Infants.

I think I remember young Mr Gregory as a right bully. I think he had mellowed a bit by the time we went to the lakes.

Talking of the Lake District trips. What year did you go Astwood? I went in the Autumns of 1965 and 1966. In fact we travelled on the 1966 one the day after that terrible disaster at Aberfan. I remember some of the girls on the coach crying about it.

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Talking of the Lake District trips. What year did you go Astwood? I went in the Autumns of 1965 and 1966. In fact we travelled on the 1966 one the day after that terrible disaster at Aberfan. I remember some of the girls on the coach crying about it.

Forgot about that, I do remember the coach passing a very dodgey looking colliery spoil tip next to the A1 near Doncaster that made us all cringe. What a route we must have taken, to recall, round the Boulevards, past Redhill, then the road through Ollerton to join the A1 up to Scotch Corner, Kendal, then Elterwater YHA.

Was it that trip when the infamous Camms coach ploughed through a petrol pump and we had to evacuate very quickly, putting out our backseat fags on the way out. I remember on one trip with Camms the exhaust fell off somewhere in a remote part of the Yorkshire Dales, I volunteered to crawl underneath and push it all back into place, it lasted the rest of the trip, elf and safety couldn't cope with that sort of thing now, I even remember cleaning the filth off my hands with petrol then sneaking to the back of the bus for a fag, Dave Singleton used to turn a blind eye. I recall on the Swanage trip I was wandering along the seafront, having a Players Gold Leaf and contemplating the reason why the old railway lines were there ( they still are ). Mr Singleton appeared out of nowhere and, knowing my enthusiasm for such things and impressed I was interested, proceeded to give me a lecture on the history of Swanage railways. Meanwhile, I'd cupped the fag in my hand and was trying to conceal it in my anorak pocket, he didn't appear to notice this, my bloody fingers did though.

What a love Dave Singleton was, bless him, probably my favourite teacher even above Mr Jacobs.

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I had to refer to the notes I made about that last trip to the Lake District. And yes, we did clout the pump. What a laugh. We were also racing other coaches on the M6 on the journey. Got lost near Windermere before we were dropped off at Patterdale.

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You made notes!!!! you didn't tell me that, I'd like to see them.

As for the coach route, 1965 and 66, it must have been a Camms speciality. We didn't go via Scotch Corner, we branched off the A1 at Wetherby and went via Blubberhouses and Skipton, we never touched the M6.

I can vouch for this as in 66 we stopped off in Skipton, I suspect 'Jolly Jack' Singleton wanted to have a sniff round the Carlisle and Settle line. You and I certainly did, we stood on a bridge near the station where I took a photo of a Class 5 on a passenger train, still got it along with many pics of both Lake District trips. I'm sure the petrol pump incident happened on the way back at a filling station on Blubberhouses Moor.

I'm at work at the moment and the computer is offline, this place was hit by lightning 2 weeks ago and those BT scrotes still haven't fixed it, not even with Essex County Council on their backs.

When I have my PC up and running properly at home, I'll have to scan in my BGS related photo's, my favourites are the colour slides of a sunrise I took over the playing fields and city from the 6th form block and the 7th form Geography trip to the Lake District that I filmed on Kodachrome slide film, some gems on that, I have to sort out the PC and connect up my colour slide converter properly, you will enjoy my Kodachrome beauties of the last days of steam around Carnforth, a Brit battling up Hest Bank on a parcels with the Fells behind, even earlier, Coronation Pacific, Sir William A Stanier on a passenger train at Shrewsbury, and of course, the last Marylebone steam departure from Vic, except the only bit of colour is the wreath on the front.

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The first trip in 1965 we stopped for a quick break at Skipton and you and me legged it to find the shed. Or was it the station?

I made notes on the second trip to the Lakes and also that trip around the Peak District starting 2 days before my fifteenth birthday in 1966. Remember me getting stuck in the train door at Dore and Totley station? It was my rucksack.

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I went to the Lakes in 1967 and then to Swanage in 1968. We had to get out of the Camm's coach at the bottom of the hill, ( Isn't it strange how YHAs are always at the top of hills?) as it couldn't get up the hill and also the Warden of the YHA in Swanage died just as we got back to Nottm; we were his last group visit. I remember the cliffs at Kimmeridge Bay burning due to the oil in them and Nigel Hoad catching all sorts of things which were destined for various sleeping bags and also him picking up jelly fish too. We always walked miles on the first couple of days. Talking of Camm's coaches, we went to Stratford (Avon) in one to see 'King Lear' one of our A level texts and had to push start it after the play in order to get back to Nottm. I seem to recall that we didn't get back till 1 in the morning. The day we went was my 18th birthday and I also took A level French Spoken that afternoon too. I remember going to a Pub on the front at Swanage which had 2 exits, one conveniently came out near the pier near a bench a bit away from the Pub itself and we had mints in pockets. When I taught Geography we used to let the Sixth Form go to the Pub when we were on field trips, but we were in the adjacent room. In some of the places we went there was nothing else to do!

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I went to the Lakes in 1967 and then to Swanage in 1968. We had to get out of the Camm's coach at the bottom of the hill, ( Isn't it strange how YHAs are always at the top of hills?) as it couldn't get up the hill and also the Warden of the YHA in Swanage died just as we got back to Nottm; we were his last group visit. I remember the cliffs at Kimmeridge Bay burning due to the oil in them and Nigel Hoad catching all sorts of things which were destined for various sleeping bags and also him picking up jelly fish too. We always walked miles on the first couple of days. Talking of Camm's coaches, we went to Stratford (Avon) in one to see 'King Lear' one of our A level texts and had to push start it after the play in order to get back to Nottm. I seem to recall that we didn't get back till 1 in the morning. The day we went was my 18th birthday and I also took A level French Spoken that afternoon too. I remember going to a Pub on the front at Swanage which had 2 exits, one conveniently came out near the pier near a bench a bit away from the Pub itself and we had mints in pockets. When I taught Geography we used to let the Sixth Form go to the Pub when we were on field trips, but we were in the adjacent room. In some of the places we went there was nothing else to do!

I have quite a few photo's of the Swanage trip but my computer rearrangement means you'll have to wait for me to download them. Meanwhile here's one I happen to have on Photobucket:-

sil1.jpg

Ian Jackson, Nidge Hoad, in typical prima donna pose, and John Peck at Silbury Hill on the way down to Swanage.

One epic I do recall about that trip was the OS map reading/orienteering exercise. We were taken along the Corfe Castle to Studland Bay road in the coach and dropped off at intervals in pairs, we were supposed to navigate our way to Kimmeridge Bay with a given OS map extract collecting various bits of Flora and Forna on the way. Now John Peck and I were seasoned map readers, myself in connection with all our previous hiking experience ( much of it with Bilbraborn ) and JP was a Venture Scout, so we knew what we were doing, well, yes, except we were dropped off in the wrong place. We realised this straight away, eventually found the footpath gate but it disappeared into a field full of pigs. We had to climb over a barbed wire fence and were straightaway attacked by the pigs, we legged it but ended up in a wood, which we battered our way through only to find ourselves on the Swanage/Wareham railway line with no crossing in site. Running across the line we decided to stuff the school coordinates and work it out ourselves. I recall JP and myself walking down the road to Kimmeridge and finding Jolly Jack Singleton walking back towards us and giving us a bollocking for being late, no excuses were allowed at BGS.

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When we went to the Lakes we too were dropped off at various points and as we wandered down the road found various other little groups of BGS people. We then flagged down a farm truck which happened to be flat-backed so the people on the outside held on to the outside board of the truck and we all held on to each other's legs to stop rolling off when we went round the tight corners. Of course it was raining, it always does in the Lakes! We regarded that as using initiative!

When we got to Ambleside we went into a café and the lady had made some flapjacks but they weren't good enough to sell as they were all crumbly. We demolished them for her - no problem and they were free! I think I got dropped off somewhere near Langton Matravers and had to walk back to Swanage - fortunately most of it was downhill. I remember Mr Whitfield moaning at us that we didn't know what a sea cabbage was - you get soooo many of those in Nottm - and it was sooo near our A level exam. I guess I must have some photos somewhere of Swanage. That Easter holiday wasn't an Easter holiday - I was just back from Paris - got the last train out of Gare du Nord before the riots kicked off, had half a day at home and then off to Swanage for the field trip. Do you remember Martin Naylor setting off the fire extinguisher in the classroom - he said it was an accident!

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You had a fire extinguisher? How posh was that! LOL.

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