|David Hammond's Contribution|
|Nickname at School: Wally||No Email Address supplied|
David (Wally) Hammond (1945 – 1950)
Now that we have celebrated the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2 and my first term at High Storrs, I was inspired to write the few memories that stick in my mind in the hope of flushing someone from my era out of the woodwork.
A hundred and twenty boys milled around until lined up by the prefects. I think Gusty Gale was Head Boy but Pilley had the broadest shoulders. Only one mother turned up much to the embarrassment of R----- C------ who was at Western Road Junior School with me. The day was spent in getting our books and stacking them in our desks. We then pestered our Form Master to find out when we would get homework – more fools us!
My first Form Master was Shag Shaw who specialised in Maths. Being a polite young boy I would say “thanks” when he marked my work. After a few times he announced to the class “If you wish to thank me, you should not say, thanks, but thank you, sir”. Another Form Master and Maths teacher was Mr Adams who carried a razor strop in his inside pocket. I remember him calling the register one day and the first boy (I think it was Anderson) said “Here”. After three tries at getting it right he was called to the front to be beaten for not saying “Here Sir”.
Physics was taken by Pharaoh Smith. In the first class he thumped the desk with his tennis shoe and warned us what it was for. He wasn't satisfied with my first homework and I received it on the hand and was told to look at Scruton's work to see how it should be presented. After that I became quite good at Physics. In later years Mr Parkin took Physics and we were surprised when he left to become Personnel Officer at ESC.
Mrs McIver took Geography and could be stern but also motherly. Later Mr Hodge took Geography and sometimes PE. He was OK for the former but pedestrian for PE.
Monty Beaumont became the specialist PE teacher and he was very good, but could be playful with a watch chain and squeezing muscles. He gave me my nick name of “Wally” which stuck through school life.
Miss Spencer was our first English teacher and she had some difficulty with control of the class. Later Mr Russel took English and he was very quiet but his control was amazing.
We had the Rev. Wood for Scripture. He kept us quiet but could be sidetracked and I remember him advising us how a bicycle should be ridden at speed.
Our first French teacher was Brin Baker, and then we had Basher Leach when he came back from the war. He would occasionally tell us of his experiences in France.
Bill Williams took us for Maths for a while. He had played cricket for Gloucestershire and occasionally would show us a bit of technique.
One of our Chemistry teachers was Alf Ridler and he made a point of telling us towards the end of our stay that at University they titrate to “half a drop” and there is no such thing as half a drop! At Uni the lecturers had heard this and showed us what they meant. Another Chemistry teacher was Polly Stanford who tended to favoritism.
The first Head Master was Luther Smith followed by Acting Head, Mr Campbell. Then came George Mack who had progressive ideas. One was to design the school cap with the half and half colour scheme which was very striking. Whereas before he came the wearing of the cap was optional he insisted that it would be worn. We had a compliance date but at least we were allowed to wear the old plain cap if we had one. Many of us spent the Saturday before the due date chasing around town to buy the old design - we didn't fancy the new one.
I was a member of the Trojans, House Master Mr Collier (taught German I think). In my five years we only won one cup. I played in a junior soccer team three times and we never lost by less than ten goals.
Sitting behind me in the first year sat Fred Hammond. We had some fun with chosen teachers by “Who, me-ing”.
Neville McGrath was always prominent in the annual Shakespeare productions and played mean piano. He had a show at the Playhouse called “The Magic Piano” but didn't have the showbiz breakthrough that he hoped for.
Star soccer players were Garforth and Bellhouse (Big Grumps). Griffiths was Little Grumps..
My special friends were Harold Whitham, Lofty Poole and Ginger Holmes and I would be interested to know what has happened to them. Dennis Grinold introduced me to tennis in fifth year. He was the first boy to own the new fangled ball point pen by Biro.
Another friend was Barry Craven whose nick name was “Dez” given to him by Basher Leach because of his pronunciation “Dez nidds danns arbres”
Our 3A domicile was the music room and above the cupboards were a few brass instruments. Attempts were made to play these and they were all taken apart and put back together in interesting formats.
A group of us bicycled to school up Abbey Lane. The first part from Beauchief was walked. However, Mr Bailey (I can't remember what he taught) could ride up. He had the biggest rear cog we had ever seen.
In those days there were no cars or motor bikes at school. Teachers and boys either walked or bused, or trammed.
When the field at lunch time was open a group of us played “stumps” behind the pavilion. Based on cricket – one stump each end, bat was another stump, golf ball, and slog and hop it.
When the field was closed, and we had a spare penny, after school dinner we might have run up to Mr Evan's shop at Bents Green for a fresh baked bread cake.
I left HS at the autumn half term 1950 to start work as a lab boy at Jonus and Colver (tool steel makers) and embark on 10 years of evening classes to qualify as a Metallurgist. I later worked at BISRA, JJ Habershon, PMA, and J Beardshaw. In 1969 I emigrated to Perth, Western Australia and joined BHP (steel again), staying until 1995 when I retired.
If any of my class mates read this and wish to get in touch my email address is :-
|School Years: 1945-1950||Contribution Submitted on: 11 Dec 2005|
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