Bilborough Grammar School

Recommended Posts

I got my ‘O’ level English language which was what I needed for my job in Boots offices on Station Street, they trained me to be an audio typist the “new thing” at that time, shows how long ago it was! From what I can remember if you didn’t stay on in the 6th form/go to college the girls were funnelled to Boots, not sure about the boys. I think William Sharp (as it was then) tended to end up at Players. There was a boy in my year who wanted to train as a chef, his parents had to fight to get him into the cookery class as he needed the exam qualification. I can remember a cake he did it was amazing. I think his name was Michael Bowen but could be wrong, it was a long time ago.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is good to read the post about failing English Literature. I am in good company on this site! I failed Literature. Thankfully Miss Thompson said there was no point in me retaking it as I was doing all three sciences at A level! I would have refused anyway. I have always loved reading but the literature at BGS was dire! Hated it. Having to read deadly books just to answer exam questions was a pointless exercise for me. Last year we visited the St John's Museum in London. An amazing place and on the guided tour we were shown the room where Shakespeare an writers of his time had to go and have their works vetted before they were performed. It made my day when we learned that Shakespeare had a play banned! All about Thomas Beckett and on the manuscript was written "perform at your peril!! This is in the British Library and you can view it on their website. The best bit of Shakespeare! I prefer reading Margaret Attwood.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant post Shirley..Androcles And The Lion by George Bernard Shaw was also subject matter that year...i won through in the end..after a resit...and ended up in The Rufford Arms i was not confident i had passed.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry not to have posted for a while but have been very busy. I'm retired now but having moved backed to Bilborough into the house on Wigman Road which I grew up in, I have plenty to do bringing it up to my wife's exacting standards. I was at BGS from 1962 until 1967. It was not a very happy ride. A long spell of pneumonia in my first term set me back so much that I never really caught up. I remember being in 1c with Miss Louden in charge. Enough to put anyone off school. Most of the teachers were fine and given that I was a rebel and could never keep that hole under my nose zipped up, it's a wonder that I was never expelled.

                Mr Kirton, the metalwork teacher used to give us work to do and then clear off and chat up the female domestic science teachers. When this happened, I used to accompany my friend making half crowns. I didn't smoke at the time but my friend (The late Pete Truman - member name Firbeck) used to have the ciggies we used the home made half crowns to obtain from the machine at the top of Aspley Lane. Since the 18 Senior Service had a two shilling piece sellataped to it, that was my half of the booty. Aren't teenage lads little s..ts? Happy days. Fortunately my English teacher, Mr Jacobs instilled into me a love of the English Language and I now belong to a writing group at St. Martin of Tours Church in Bilborough Village. 

              Despite my waywardness, I did belong to the Junior Scripture Union and later, The Senior Christian Fellowship, both run by Keith (Polly) Flinders, who also ran the Railway Society. Anyone know what happened to him?

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good to have you back Bilbraborn. Many of us have missed your railway related posts, and your and Petes associated antics. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Really miss Peters posts. He was a good mate and as teenagers we got into some right scrapes. Still don't know how he died. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



This is my first and probably last post which I can't explain why.


Not sure if anyone is interested but I took some photos on the open day in 2005 and hopefully they will give some of you good (or not so good memories) of this strange and unique building which I have very mixed feelings about. As in taking ages to get from one lesson to the next (Chemistry to 3.3 anyone!).



I went the school from 1972 to 1979 and the sixth form 1979-81 and we were the last Grammar intake before its eventual change to a sixth form college.


I have seen many names teacher names mentioned here but few I can't recall being mentioned:


Mr Mahoney (my first form teacher ("marny" not "ma ho nee" boy!)

Ms Archer (I was in her first drama 'O' level course and failed!)

Mr Bhambra (a teacher I really respected)

Mr McNaughton

Mr Southgate (who I have no fond memories of whatsoever)

Mr Bland (known as "Digger" I seem to recall)

Mr Knowles

Mr Kendrick? (really good french teacher but his skill was wasted on me).

Mr Littlewood (who went into the church as I recall and didn't seem interested in teaching Physics before he did so)


and I wish for the life of me I could remember the name of the the lovely lady librarian!


Also hated that horrible church organ that got installed in the main hall that benefited no one at the time and made no sense!




Kerry (not going to hide my name as Flick will show my full name!). 


Ps Not born in Bilborough but lived on Hoylake Crescent for about seven years or so and went to Portland Junior (which I found out recently is sadly no more).

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kerry,

Thanks for the photos. They seem to be very rare. No one seems to have captured the school from a historical perspective which is very sad.

We are organising a school reunion scheduled for next month. The uptake from the class of 67-74 has been astonishing and attendees are now closing on 80!


We are in contact with many of our teachers from that time. They include:

Mike Robinson 

Mike Higginbottom

John Kendrick and his wife Ruth

Mr Mahoney

Andy Burnham

Toby Jackson

Maggie Gotheridge

Hugh Nicklin

Cyril Jacobs

Bill Mcnaughton

Gilly Archer


My husband and I also went to Portland Junior School.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having been at the grammar school in the 60’s I have had a look at the pictures with interest. Couldn’t remember what the buildings looked like but can remember the “new block” building. I can remembered the gym (I once put my hand through one of the windows when running) and the lab with the pipes for the Bunsen burners, also going up and down the staircase inbetween lessons. The smelly girls changing rooms and those awful showers where you were given 5 minutes to have a lukewarm shower and then get dressed with Miss Rattaray shouting at you to hurry up and going to the next lesson still damp! 


Cant say I enjoyed my time there, but have happy memories of friends, things we got away with and a few teachers that weren’t boring or disinterested. All in all I was glad to leave and get on with life!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback on the photos, I wish I had taken more but at the time I was limited by the expensive and relatively small memory cards.


I realised I got my dates mixed up! I was in the last Grammar intake in 1972 to 1977, then the Sixth form 1978-79.


As the last intake we were always the "sprogs" through out our time there! This to me was not a good thing and affected our overall behaviour which I think didn't allow us to grow up

as we didn't have any younger intake to base our behaviour on.


I was trying to think of other teachers I had not seen posted here and could only come up with Toby Goodchild who I think was the music teacher. Oh and Pete Ford (Economics) plus Pete ? (Economics and mountaineer who fell off one and left us without a teacher for a long while). I also wish I could remember name of the RE teacher who was a really lovely guy (despite my religious beliefs).

My form teacher for the sixth form was Mr Kirton in 1.6! I loved doing technical drawing with him (however remember being scared to drop a pencil (let alone the wooden pencil holders) and get lines but was always fascinated as to what he was sipping in that silver flask! I just realised that he gave me many happy memories as in making catapults in metalwork.


Oh another name popped in to my head Ms Bowen (Biology - a geordie who pronounced my as Curry much to the delight of my friends) and I met her much later when she worked for HR at Boots (I didn't get the job).


Random names I was at school/college with::


Mark Oakden

Simon Gledhill (year above me)

Richard Macrow (year above me).

Lee Cammack

Rodney Dykeman

Martin Dennis

Mick Walker

Clive Henson

Dave Ward

William (Billy) Woodcock

Gary Frost

Richard Scorer

Ian Foster

Chris Marshall

Dave Brierley

Martin Couzens (returned to William Sharp after first year)



Only males I am afraid but I am struggling to remember anybody if I am frank (my memory is poor at the best of times).


There are a few theatrical productions that spring to mind firstly The Caucasian Chalk Circle (the use of dual projectors fascinated me so I went to all the performances), The Pirates of Penzance (the aforementioned Mr Southgate was very good performing Major-General's song (as long as he could see the red light at the rear of the building)) and listening to Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads during rehearsal at full blast courtesy of Simon Gledhill without the teachers knowledge led to a life long love of that band) and finally West Side Story (towards the end of the old buildings life an ambitious and well performed show). During my time there I developed an interest for stage lighting and lit many many shows (including a performance by Gaffa (Including Wayne and his frog bass) which led to a brief spell as a follow spot operator at the (then newly opened) Theatre Royal (thank to an alumni called Simon Courtney-Taylor who was at the time time the sound tech).


Similarly to Slavertongirl I can't say I enjoyed my time at this establishment but there were some really good teachers who by their nature helped making some of the subjects for the time that they taught me really enjoyable. There were also others like Mr Jacobs who also gave so much more like the Chess Club and Stamp Club he ran which were all out of hours and most enjoyable.


Oh and for anyone that was there at the time whilst I was a t college - I was the fat one by the teletype (connected to Trent Poly) from opening time (8:30) until we got chucked out by the caretaker (17:00) except for lessons (mostly)! 




PS It was really really weird going into the staff room after all those years having been so afraid to knock on the door (and smell the smoke) not knowing who was going to answer.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now