M.G.S. Magazine - July 1954

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MGS Magazine 1954

Information Pages


The three years that have passed since our last publication have been anything but dull. Wars, rumours of wars, the hydrogen bomb, have made us wonder whether or not the world has really improved. One thing is, however, certain: it is fine to live in such an age. The world offers a greater challenge now than ever before. We believe that our boys and girls will be like Wordsworth's Happy Warrior

"Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train!
Turns his necessity to glorious gain."

We were greatly grieved when Miss Hirst passed away on 22nd December, 1952. She had been in bad health for some time, but we were hoping she had turned the corner. A picture in her memory, painted by Jacob Kramer, now hangs in the Library.

Mr. Austin left Mirfield to become Deputy Headmaster of the Nicholas Chamberlaine School at Bedworth, in Warwickshire; and Mr. Quick took a Lectureship at Barnsley Technical College. Miss Packett has become a missionary at the Union Secondary School, Ibiaku, in Eastern Nigeria. Ibiaku is in the Bush, twelve miles from the nearest town: there is a leper colony fifteen miles away. Miss Packett writes that "clothes become mouldy if not put out to dry regularly," but those who complain about the warmth of our Southern form rooms on sunny days will probably not be impressed.
Dr. Johnstone, who was here temporarily in late 1952 and early 1953, is now a Lecturer at Massachusetts University.

We welcome, though belatedly, to the School Miss Chappell, Mr. Charnock, Mr. Rowland, Mr. Jones and Mr. Young.
Speech Day was held on Tuesday, 6th April and the prizes were presented by Sir Ronald F. Walker. A list of prizewinners is given at the end of these notes.

At the Founder's Service, on Ascension Day, the address was given by the Provost of Bradford, the Very Rev. J. G. Tiarks, M.A. The organist was Mr. John T. Boorman, M.A.

A General Inspection of the School was held early in March.

The Old Grammarians have generously provided the School with an Honours Board. This has been placed at one end of the Library and is filling up so rapidly that before long we shall be seeking space for an extension. The Parent-Teacher Association works steadily on. Last year, in commemoration of the Coronation of the Queen, they presented the School with a flagpole, while the pupils themselves subscribed to purchase a fine teak seat.

Finally, but not least, work ended on the Town Gate Annexe and began in it in January this year.

P. Moorhouse (Head Boy), C. Smith, M. Copley, W. J. Brook, P. Jaggar, H. Smith, J. M. Dean, J. D. Eagles.
Margaret Swallow (Head Girl), Winnie Middleton, Kathleen Appleyard, Lomé Malam, Eileen Heywood, Jennifer Burton, Maureen Sheard, Gwyneth M. Williams., Rachel Hirst, Wendy P. Renshaw, Joan Ely.

Fortnightly meetings of the club were held in the Library during the Autumn and Spring terms. At first, the meetings were well attended but, later, only four or five boys turned up regularly.

Next year we are hoping for more support, especially from the 3rd and 4th Forms, so that we can run a Club tournament and possibly arrange some inter-school matches.

Form I A. Judith Fox, P. D. Senior.
Form I Alpha. Doreen Stringer, J. A. Ambler.
Form II A. Margaret E. Peace, Patricia E. Kershaw.
Form II Alpha. D. Wroe, Jean Whitehead.
Form III A. D. Johnson.
Form III Alpha. D. W. Williams, J. C. Carter.
Form IV A. A. R. Hitchen.
Form IV Alpha. Wendy P. Renshaw, Rachel A. Hirst, W. K. Armitage

G.C.E. "Ordinary".
English: T. Scorah. History; Geography: M. Storey.
French: Margaret Swallow. Latin: Maureen Sheard.
Mathematics; Physics; Chemistry; Manual Instruction: J. K. Walker.
Domestic Science: Janet Sharp. Art: J. R. Banks.
Form VI Lower. Kathleen M. Appleyard.
Form VI Upper. D. C. Noble, P. Moorhouse, Joyce Neden.

Prizes presented by the Chairman of the Governors.
Head Boy-P. Burton. Head Girl- Joyce Neden.
The Samuel Walker Memorial Prizes.
P. Moorhouse. Margaret Swallow.
The William Todd Mathematics Prize - D. C. Noble.
The E. M. Young Prize for the Spoken Word - Sheila M. Kilner.
Physical Training Prizes - M. Copley; Christine Ramsden.
Games Prizes - P . Jaggar; Kathleen M. Appleyard.
Swire Trophy (Sports) - Priestley House.
Balme Trophy (Games) - Priestley House.


This year the School presented J. M. Barrie's comedy, 'Quality Street.' Miss Phoebe Throssel and Miss Susan Throssel, the two principal female characters, who reside in Quality Street, were well played by Gwyneth M. Williams and Kathleen Appleyard respectively.

Miss Willoughby (Rachel A. Hirst), Miss Fanny Willoughby (Jennifer Burton) and Miss Henrietta Turnbull (Frances Hepworth) are frequent visitors of the 'pink and white room' at the home of the Misses Throssel and consider themselves, together with Miss Susan, the old maids of Quality Street.

Miss Susan is, however, hopeful of a match being made between her younger sister, Phoebe, and the local physician, Mr. Valentine Brown (David B. Brook) and she even intimates to her friends that a proposal of marriage is expected soon.

It is, of course, a great shock when Valentine Brown enlists as an army surgeon. Having financial difficulties, the Misses Throssel open a school for genteel children, and Miss Phoebe, determined to hide her disappointment and grief, becomes a demure school ma'am.

When Captain Brown returns from the wars, ten years later, he finds Miss Phoebe much changed from the laughing girl he remembers. But the next time he calls at the home of the Misses Throssel it is the evening of a ball which the Misses Throssel are not to attend, and he finds Miss Phoebe dressed in a pink gown made long ago by Miss Susan, donned only for a few moments to recall the happy past. He is deceived by Patty, the maid, (Molly Sheard into thinking that he sees "Miss Livy," a niece of the Misses Throssel, and Miss Phoebe keeps up the deception. Captain Brown's invitation to the ball is accepted by both "Miss Livy" and her "Aunt" Susan, and the captain becomes infatuated with "Miss Livy," who seeks to flirt with him at the ball.

A sure sign for comedy at this point was the appearance of the verbose Lieutenant Spicer (Malcolm Copley) suitor to "Miss Livy," and of Ensign Blades, also that lady's suitor, played by Peter Jaggar who assumed an amusing impediment of speech.

Through "Miss Livy's" flirtatious and heartless ways, Captain Brown learns the true value of Miss Phoebe's ladylikeness. After much confusion caused by Miss Phoebe's double role all ends happily when Miss Phoebe accepts Captain Brown's proposal of marriage.

The part of Charlotte Parratt, jealous of Ensign Blades' attentions to 'Miss Livy" was played by Connie Sheard. Harry Smith was the Recruiting Sergeant and Clifford Shaw was an aged Waterloo Veteran.

Ladies at the ball were: Hilda Cox, Aileen Barraclough, and Margaret Richardson.

School children were: Helen Jackson, Diana Monk, Anne Peel, Ann Senior, Beryl Scholes, Joyce Ramsden, Kenneth Holmes, David Williams, David Milner, George Whittaker and Barry Shaw.

Many thanks to Miss Jeffery , Miss Sheard and Miss Kirk for their kind help with the costumes and to Mr. Eykin for the Stage Setting.

Great pleasure was derived by all from the beginning to the end of the production and as our excitement grew with the approach of the dress-rehearsal and the arrival of the gay costumes we all felt very eager to please our Stage Manager, Mr. Evans, and to show our appreciation of the endless patience he had shown in organising and guiding our efforts.



In the absence of most of the Sixth and Fifth forms during the G.C.E. examinations, this Magazine has been produced in emergency by the combined efforts of Jennifer Burton, Maureen Sheard and the Junior part of the School. 2 Alpha have been particularly helpful and industrious. We are sorry that space has not allowed us to print much more of their work. Their enthusiasm gives the Magazine much hope for the future.


The year 1953 had its usual annual events.
The Summer Re-union on June 27th was not too well attended and the weather was not kind to the Cricket Match and Tennis Tournament but those who did come seemed to enjoy it.

In October, the Dramatic Section gave an admirable production of Eden Phillpotts comedy, "Yellow Sands". Mr. S. W. Evans was the producer and again his efforts were crowned with success and the show, one of the best to date, was enjoyed by good and appreciative audiences. The Old Grammarians owe a deep debt of gratitude to Mr. Evans for his untiring efforts in producing the Dramatic Section plays for so many years. As a result of this production a second gift of £20 was made to the School Stage Fund.

In November, the Annual Reunion Dinner and Dance was held at Mirfield Grammar School. About 85 Old Grammarians and friends enjoyed dinner, after-dinner speeches by Mr. C. C. Bracewell, Mr. W. Hepworth, Major E. E. R. Kilner and Mr. E. Charlesworth; and dancing afterwards. We were indeed glad to have Miss Conyers with us once again and many other faithful attenders; also, we were pleased to see that quite a number of the younger Old Grammarians were there.

At the Annual General Meeting held in January, 1954, Mr. Evans, who has been a Master at the School since 1925 and who has done so much in many ways to help the Old Grammarians, was elected President for the year. A complete list of Officers and Committee is included in the Magazine. At the School Founder's Service on May 27th we were pleased to see Miss Conyers who had made her usual journey from Castleton. Also, we were pleased to see Mr. Hillyard Bruce and his son, Nigel, who had made a special journey from Watford to attend the service and who enjoyed it so much that they have decided to make it an annual visit.

Watching the Pageant, "Mirfield Through the Ages", presented on May 29th, in the Quarry Theatre, one noted with pleasure how many Old Grammarians were taking part, not only as actors but as script-writers, producers, etc. To mention but one by name, Mr. J. K. Turner, reading his own script, was a most able narrator.

It is sad to note that the Hockey and Football Sections, after several most successful seasons, have ceased to function. If some young enthusiasts in these directions could get these sections going again it would be most gratifying.

It was decided some time ago that a "Roll of Honour" should be given to the school by the Old Grammarians. The list of names is to include Old Grammarians killed on active service during both the 1914-18 and 1939-45 Wars. If anyone can supply names for this list please do send the information to school as soon as possible.

By the time this Magazine is printed the Summer Reunion of 1954 will be a thing of the past. May the weather have been kind to us and the days happenings a success.

To look still further ahead, the annual Reunion Dinner and Dance is to be held on Saturday, September 11th, 1954. This alteration of date is in response to a request made on behalf of those Old Grammarians who are students at Colleges and Universities. We hope they will take advantage of this concession to their wishes. This year, if all goes well, Miss Young will be with us to propose the toast, "The Mirfield Grammar School."


(An extract from a letter to the Headmaster)

I flew to Coppermine in the Arctic on Saturday. It was a beautiful trip and I did not feel any particular bump as we crossed the Arctic circle, nothing but the mountains and wide expanse all covered with snow. It was quite dark, as the day consists of four hours of darkness and the temperature of minus fifty degrees fahrenheit was not too bad but the wind was really biting. The snow was very hard and all the drifts solid. I visited the school and hospital with their fluorescent lighting, called on the mayor and the Canadian Mounty and then went in a few igloos. They were quite warm and comfortable, smelling of seal oil and all overcrowded. In the evening it blew a blizzard and you could not see more than a few yards and it is infuriating to walk ,through as well as very cold. Next morning I had a bumpy ride on a sledge, pulled by huskies, down to the plane. As the plane rose from its skies the bush pilot said it is snowing further on. We followed the Coppermine river for quite a way until you could barely see for fog and snow and we then descended to 200 feet and flew with mountains on each side until it suddenly blotted out. We turned sharply and spiralled up to 3,000 ft. and the pilot said if we cannot see over the top we must go back. Above the clouds we could see a huge bank of cloud on the Coppermine mountains but we could just see the river beyond so carried on. I felt much happier when the first frozen lake came into view although I knew that the bush pilot has landed on a 20 feet lake and this pilot is the one other companies send for when their planes are stuck. The weather improved and we came down on the ice on the Gt. Bear Lake at Port Radium. The sun shone and I got out of my seal smelling clothes and into my warm house with its very dry air. It is so dry that when I walk across the linoleum I charge myself up with frictional electricity and when I touch anything there is a spark. Still this does not spoil my cup of tea as I listen to my friends who have just flown back from holidays in Honolulu or had a week end in California.

Richard Gordon Hepworth


We have been pleased to have news of:-

Harold Oldroyd, entomologist, South Kensington Museum, who took part in the B.B.C. programme "What do you know?"

Gordon Crowther, farmer, Invercargill, South Island, New Zealand.

Harry Green, Colonial Survey, Francistown, Bechuanaland.

James K. Ayles, complete with beard, Engineer, Road survey, Nigeria.

Lt. H. R. Alpin and ;Mrs. Alpin (nee Betty G. Thirkill) Kadunda, Nigeria.

David Eagles, passed 1st class for a commission in the Fleet Air Arm, and has left for Florida.

Capt. K. Riley, who was on the ship Empire Windrush when she caught fire in the Mediterranean.

Richard G. Moore, also complete with beard, on his 1,000 miles survey to Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

Wm. Moorhouse, engineer officer, sailing to Calcutta, Japan and Australia.

John Shaw, the fourth generation of flour millers, who took part in Wilfred Pickles' 'Have a go,' programme.

Dr. Jack Nutting and his talk in the B.B.C. Science Survey on Metals and the Microscope.

Peter E. Wrist, of Baie Comeau, Quebec, awarded the C. Howard Smith Gold Medal for his paper on the Hydrodynamics of paper making.

Harold V. Nunn, recently returned from his work in Cyprus.


President: S. W. EVANS, Esq.

Life Vice-Presidents:
Miss H. Conyers, Miss M. E. Todd, Miss E. M. Young,
C. C. Bracewell, Esq., H. G. Swire, Esq.

F. Brearley, Esq., W. H. Brook, Esq., E. Charlesworth, Esq.,
W. Hepworth, Esq., J. W. Illingworth, Esq., H. Jessop, Esq.,
J. Martindale, Esq., W. S. McLauchlan, Esq.

Hon. Secretary: Miss M. L. Sheard

Hon. Treasurer: C. F. Barrowclough, Esq.

General Committee:
Miss M. Guy, Mrs. D. W. Jones, Miss M. R. Jeffery, Miss M. Robertson,
Miss M. Stead, Mrs. J. K. Turner, G. D. Barrowclough, Esq.,
J. Butler, Esq., J. Hampshire, Esq., B. G. Kaye, Esq., P. A. Swire, Esq.,
H. Walker, Esq.