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Bilborough Grammar School

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Donald Scrimshaw's grandmother used to live in the flats opposite where I lived back in the 1960s. My mum and I used to talk to her a lot. A lovely elderly lady. She said Donald only wanted to be a jockey and he was not happy at Bilborough Grammar School. I remember him.

Tats was in our maths set. I am sure that he was the one who brought a small tape recorder into school with a recording of a loo flushing. We were not normally quiet for Miss Conway in maths but on that day we all knew about the recording and on the signal we were quiet. He turned the recording on and the poor woman was helpless with laughing. She was very nice and I liked maths but these days we would say that Miss Conway was not assertive enough!

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I was taught Maths by Miss Conway and I also liked her.

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Current Nottingham Post Bygones supplement has a double page article about Bilborough Grammar in the 1960s including photos with one or two people that I knew.

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Noticed that Anne. Didn't realise she was living in that particular care home. She never taught me but I had great respect for her.

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Adieu et reposer en paix, Ruth Betts.

I was surprised to see that 'Betsy' was only 83, that meant that when she taught me, some 50 years ago now, she would have been only in her early to mid 30's, she always seemed much older than that at the time, but, I suppose as a teenager, anyone over 30 seemed ancient to us, however, if you think about it, to be elevated to Vice Principle of, let's face it, a top Grammar School, at such an early age, was quite impressive. She clearly had talent as a teacher, whatever some people may have thought of her strict attitude, but that was the way of things at the time, the one's that were too strict were hated, the 'friendly' one's generally failed, she seemed to get the balance right, well, as far as her teaching abilities were concerned.

I used to go on 'Friends Reunited' as a means of contacting old friends, I just had a look on there, which I haven't done for a while, and somebody came across her as long ago as July 2000 in Queens Medical Centre, suffering from extreme Alzheimers and being more or less unable to remember her days at BGS, how sad.

I recall being taught French in my first year at BGS by Mr Newcombe, I must have been pretty good at it as for the second year I was given the choice of either doing the additional subject of German or Russian. I chose German, probably due to my old man's part in the war and wanting to watch war films without needing subtitles. A good choice, 50+ years on and I can still watch 'Das Boot' without subtitles, as well as converse in Bavarian bars without an interpreter.

Ruth Betts took over my French lessons in the second year and carried them through until the 5th form when I was put in to do the GCE exam 9 months early, it worked and relieved me of the pressures of having to do the thing the next summer, along with Maths and English Language, which I also passed, nice to know before Xmas 1966!!

I found 'Betsy' a very enigmatic person, yes she was strict, but one of the best teachers I had. She was frumpy and old fashioned, wore woolly tartan skirts and green jumpers, had generally unkempt hair and never wore make up, or shaved her legs. However, she had a very curvy figure, which, if you are reading this, Steve Wood, we used to often comment on!!

The noticeable thing about Betsy was the 'Strawberry' birthmark on her cheek. On the speech day ceremonies, she would plaster make up on herself in order to hide it, she must have been very self conscious about this, understandably, perhaps that's why she was so severe on the girls in particular, with regard to their dress codes and hair length, who knows, was she jealous of their natural appearance, who knows.

As far as I was concerned, she was a great teacher, I could go on about my amazing business moments in France where I could hold my own due to Betsy's teaching of French, but I will leave it there.

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Miss Betts always seemed positively ancient to be too, but, as you say, probably anyone above a certain seemed much older to us. She did dress quite frumpily too, but i do know what you're talking about when you very politely describe her as "very curvy"!

You must have been taught French and German in a different way to me at BGS. Couldn't understand a German film now even though I did A Level. "O" Level language standard was pretty basic

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I was driving home from work tonight and was a little late as I had to call in and get a tyre sorted. As the traffic on Western Boulevard was a little heavier at that later time, I took a short cut along Trentham Drive. I just got to Prestwood Drive and saw Mr Jacobs (or is it now Dr Jacobs) walking along the pavement, presumably going home as he lives that way. I just had to stop for a chat. He must be quite old now but looks really well and is still very alert. I told him who I was but he actually recognised me. The first thing he asked me was if I still collected stamps. He used to run the stamp collecting club at BGS. I told him that I collected just about anything interesting, buying and selling on Ebay. He loved that. If you are reading this Firbeck, he also asked how you are. Bless him. It really made my day.

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Pleased to hear that he's still around. He was my form teacher for a year and I was also in a couple of his English classes - a lovely man

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Can't remember him ever raising his hand to anyone. His method was to make you look an idiot. He did that to me a couple of times and I really did deserve it.

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When I saw him not long ago he looked well for his age. He must be quite old now. We did have quite a chat and he seems in possession of all his faculties bless him.

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How on earth did Cyril Jacobs remember me, we must have made a profound impression on him in some way. The last time I saw him was at a production of Under Milk Wood in 1970, after I'd left.My then/now girlfriend (long story) was playing the prostitute in the play, silly sod didn't bother getting changed afterwards, we went to The Pelican and the blokes in there decided she was up for it, we left in a hurry!!!

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I have scan read the comments and articles about BGS, seen lots about Mr (Willy) Williams, Miss Betts (yes, I agree back in 1968 seemed awfuly old) Miss Tomlinson (who taught my sister) Fruit Robinson (I wonder if he is still giving out detentions - or perhaps I was just born bad) Mrs Beelby (what a love) can't remember the younger teacher who worked with her '70 - 72 Mr Jacobs (old school gent) Mr Bristow (glad he got head ship even if acting) Peter Hutchinson (RIP) no mention of David Bland (Biology) does anyone else remember him, to me he was far from bland, he (and many girls) sparked my interest in biology  :-)

Fron the intake of 1968 students, does anyone remember Philip Stott, always wondered if he became a scientist (perfectly suited back then)?

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I remember Mr Bristow as being a nice bloke, he never taught me but I recall after I left Portsmouth Poly without completing the course, I needed a reference for the architects company I was about to join. I phoned up BGS and Bristow happened to be the new head. The next day there was a knock on the door and there he was, he handed me an envelope containing a glowing reference and wished me good luck, Williams would probably have ignored it.

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I've been looking back at some of these posts, quite interesting to reflect on teachers and pupils. I recall Mr Beardsworth the school caretaker, he was always in the boiler room playing poker with his assistants and swearing profusely, Bilbraborn and I used to peer through the boiler room windows and listen in!

Wasn't the boiler room under the changing rooms.

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I agree firbeck, Mr Bristow was a good guy.  He taught the group I was in for A level physics.  He stayed very calm when my friend and I filled the downstairs physics lab with smoke.  We had to set up 6 lead accumulators to power the experiment.  We were talking and did not notice that we had connected them in series!  Mr Yarnell said I would never pass the exam.  Mr Bristow was good and I passed.

 

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Read   You must have been in the same year as me.  I remember Mr Bland but dropped Biology as soon as poss, because I hated it.  The other DS teacher was Miss Donaldson, later Mrs Payne.  In such an academic school, she used to really annoy us by saying things like "You'll never get a man, girls, unless you can cook!" 

 

Phillip Stott was in my class for 1st and 2nd year, but no idea what happened to him.  Think he would be described as a geek, these days!

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I remember Mr Bland.  For A-level biology we had two teachers, him and Mr Chollerton.  Mr Bland did the plant physiology part and he spent too much time dictating notes from his file.  After the first couple of weeks I asked him "when we get to the end of your file have we finished?". He was not impressed but he did say yes.  Mr Chollerton was great.  He did all the good stuff about DNA.   He inspired me and made me want to study biological science for my degree.

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