M.G.S. Magazine - July 1954

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MGS Magazine 1954
Articles written by pupils


A colourful historical pageant was given by local amateur societies in the Quarry Theatre on the 29th May. The societies each gave a separate episode of the history of Mirfield. The Prologue was presented by the Mirfield Old Grammarians, and this was followed by the "Foundation of our Parish" by the Mirfield Parish Church. "The Year of the Plague" was given by Battyeford Methodist Church.

The episode presented by the Grammar School portrayed the signing of the deed of foundation of the School in 1667. Those taking part were Malcolm Copley as Richard Thorpe, the founder of the School, and John Wood (Robert Hurst), Peter Jaggar (Henry Hurst), John Taylor (Robert Holdsworth), Clifford Shaw (Richard Brooke), the two latter being the Trustees. The Notary was played by David B. Brook. The schoolmaster, in charge of fifteen poor children, who were to be educated until they could read and write English well, was portrayed by David H. Johnson.

"Tamar Lee's Return from London" was given by Hopton Congregational Church and was followed by "Rough Justice" produced by Gilder Hall Youth Club.

"John Wesley in Mirfield" was a combined performance by Knowl Methodist Church and Trinity Players.

The Mirfield Drama Club then gave that great historical event "The Luddite Revolt."

The Pageant came to a close with the presentation of "The Coming of the Baptists" and "The Brontes at Mirfield" by Zion Baptist and Marlborough Drama Group respectively.

Unfortunately the first performance was cancelled owing to rain but the second was well attended and a great success.



Shining joyously everywhere
Are golden sunbeams bright and fair;
Fluffy white clouds go sailing by
Like well-trimmed yachts in a sapphire sky;
While gentle breezes far below
Sway myriad flow'rets to and fro;
By woodland banks of brightest green
The pale gold primrose can be seen;
On the farmyard pond yellow ducklings swim,
Gliding along they look neat and trim;
The golden bells peal far and wide
Proclaiming it is eventide;
The sun sinks low with golden grace
And the silver moon then takes his place.



The older folk grumbled and said what 'shocking weather' it was and went about looking miserable, but no amount of grumbling and complaining of rheumatics and lumbago could stop those large, white, feathery flakes falling.

At first it stopped awhile on the ground, melted, then disappeared, but after some time you began to notice the thin coating of white crystals on the fields. By the end of the day, there was enough snow to bring father in with a minor drift on his hat, and more than a little on his shoes.

It fell slowly, softly, unnoticed, through the chill night and children, waking to find it already quite deep, let out cries of delight, while their parents groaned and settled down for another half-hour of sleep.

There was no early morning rattle of milk bottles, just the dull muffled sound of cart wheels, and the shrill, high-pitched whistle of the milk boy. The snow in back gardens was in small drifts, with only birds' tiny footmarks to mar its smooth surface.

The trees made a silvery network of lace against the leaden sky which told of many more days of whiteness to come. In the East a thin, watery sun shone bravely and, where its pale rays fell, the untrodden white carpet glittered and sparkled.

Snow was cleared from pathways, and ashes scattered, while children protested at the cinders and sand on their favourite sledging tracks.

So the crisp, white day wore on; people hurried about their work, stamping feet, blowing out thin spirals of warm breath into the cold atmosphere; everyone pink-nosed and numb-fingered.

As each person, young or old, crept once more into bed, with a frosty moon shining, making everything appear more eerily silver than before, he knew that next day would dawn just as white and cold, another day of numb feet and treacherous roads, another day of crisp, shining whiteness, muffling sound and clothing everything in that soft, pale blanket.



I can recommend John Buchan's "The Thirty Nine Steps" as one of the best thrillers I have ever read. It is one of the few which have no boring passages and can hold my attention from start to finish.

In the first chapter Sir Richard Hannay is pitchforked from a boring world to a highly exciting and interesting one from the moment when he finds Scudder on his doorstep. Scudder tells Hannay a fantastic tale of a German Spy organisation known as the 'Black Stone', one of whose aims is to murder a prominent Greek Statesman, named Karolides, in London, on a certain date. Scudder is murdered and from that moment Hannay is on the run with two sets of people after him - the police, who want him for Scudder's murder, and the murderers, who think he knows some of their secrets.

John Buchan keeps you in an agony of suspense while Hannay is hiding in Scotland until he finds that the police no longer want him. Later Karolides is shot. Then comes the matter of the secret visit of a French general carrying top secret papers. Hannay becomes involved in this when he sees an impostor posing as Lord High Admiral and he realises that a member of the 'Black Stone' has seen the papers. From Scudder's notebook it is learnt that this spy will be taken secretly to Germany within four hours. When the place on the coast is eventually determined by its thirty nine steps and a suspicious German yacht is placed in police hands there is more suspense while Hannay tries to make three seemingly innocent, middleclass business men give themselves away, and the exciting moment when he recognises the man with eyes "hooded like a hawk" and simultaneously the 'Black Stone' realise the game is up. Hannay blows his whistle and the room fills with uniformed figures. The leader begins to shout in German and the youngest man leaps through the window, reaches the yacht and falls into the hands of the police. Nine weeks later war breaks out and Hannay joins the Army.

Altogether John Buchan makes the Story seem alive, exciting, interesting and well worth reading.



Ella sat in the examination room biting her finger nails. It was English Composition and they had been given the following titles to choose from - "A Wood in Summer", "Ghosts", "William Shakespeare." She didn't know which to write about. She looked round her. From the puzzled frowns on people's faces she knew that they also were wondering which subject to choose. She tilted her chair back and thought.

"A Wood in Summer." What an unfair subject! Ella lived in London and had never been to the country or seen a wood other than the clumps of trees in the park. "Still, there are others in the same boat as I. I had better get on," she thought.

The next subject made her shiver. "Ghosts." Ugh! She positively loathed ghosts and couldn't make up her mind about them. Ella was a very imaginative child, afraid to walk home from the dancing class by herself at night. No. "Ghosts" would never do.

As Ella read the third title her face fell for, being a well-read child, she knew many of Shakespeare's plays but little about the great Elizabethan playwright himself.

Suddenly a voice cut through her meditations like a knife and, with a gasp of genuine dismay, poor Ella heard the teacher's voice "Half-time."

Half wildly, she decided she must start and hurriedly ran over the titles in her mind. Then she had an inspiration. She might not have visited a wood but she had read books and she had seen pictures. Why, she could just imagine it. Her eyes grew hazy and had a faraway look in them as she began to dream about the country and the woods. The sun streaming down through the leaves of the trees, lighting up the moss, glinting on the dew-drenched fern. In her mind's eye she could see rabbits, their little fluffy white tails bobbing up and down as they scampered through the bracken; squirrels chattering noisily as they scampered up and down the trees calling to the twittering birds; a cool kingcup-lined stream and everywhere a cool, lazy drowsiness with the sweet scented air filled with the hum of innumerable bees and flies………………..

Ella picked up her pen and wrote furiously. She didn't have to think what to write about, she knew. It was a race against time.



"Ooh! Look at that lovely bird, Mummy", I overheard a child say the other day. It was a very gaily coloured humming bird at the .Zoo and very nice it looked, too. Surely, though, there are other birds besides humming birds with lovely plumage? There are peacocks, cockatoos, budgerigars, and even the golden eagle has some attraction, and what about our British wild birds? There must be some beauty there. Take, for instance, the blackbird. Have you ever noticed how beautiful he looks in his spring clothes when he is ready for courting? How yellow his beak and how glossy his feathers which glint with every imaginable colour. The same is true of other birds. Each has a charm of its own, in which colour often plays a part. The robin with his red breast; the yellow hammer with yellow and white bars on his wings, and even the common house sparrow has a nice little 'bib' under his chin at courting time.

Yes, courting time-spring. That is when all the birds come out in their new clothing. How charming they all look, and how handsome do the cock birds look compared with the hens! "They certainly look all right," they must think. "But will they make good husbands?" they query. It is very fascinating to watch the birds in spring. The male shows off all his fine feathers to his chosen one and tries out his best songs, brings her nice little presents of worms and grubs, shows her all his tricks of flight hoping, all the while, that he will win her. Often there are several females watching him or, more often, there are a number of males showing off simultaneously to one little female who does not know what to do. Poor things, what a business choosing must be!

But what comes of all this courting, you might ask. When all is ready, the wife chosen and so forth, the two birds go in search of a suitable home for their young. This found, they proceed to build a nest with twigs, moss, mud, feathers-anything they can lay their beaks on. Then Mrs. starts to lay her eggs and eggs, you know, can be quite charming. The skylark's look as though she has scribbled on them, and the sparrow's are a delicate blue. Eggs vary considerably in shape, size and colour.

What do shape, size and colour matter as long as a bird emerges from the egg? Fledglings are bonny little creatures after they have passed through the callow stage. They seem to have ever-open beaks and it is interesting to watch them being fed. First, one parent comes with a grub, then, after a while, another comes with a worm and what a noise the babies make. Even when they have a good feed they shout, like Oliver Twist, for more, and the poor parent Birds are tired out. It is also interesting to notice how they grow from day to day until the time comes when mother or father pushes a fledgling up on to the edge of the nest and throws it out. Poor little thing! It is so scared. What will it do? Ah! a few weak flaps of the wings and it finds it can fly. The others are treated in the same way and before very long off they go.

Where do they go? In the case of some, like the swallows, to the river, to learn to catch flies on the wing and practise for the great journey that lies ahead. Others simply stay at home and learn to find their food and to be wary of enemies.

If there is a bird table in your garden much entertainment may be had by watching young ones and their parents. You soon come to recognise your daily visitors and learn the habits and peculiarities of each.

Robins are the birds most familiar with human beings. They will often follow the gardener while he is digging and, as a result, enjoy many a fat, juicy worm. Chaffinches are pretty little things and have such lovely colourings. They make a lovely picture when balancing on thistle heads pecking the seeds.

There are many other charming things about birds and when you have a chance it is well worth spending a day bird-watching. Dressed In your drabbest clothes watch them in their natural haunts and see how charming they are. Notice how like human beings they are in their ways - Mr. and Mrs. calling for the children, the squabbling, the jealousy, the idiosyncrasies, the gossip and so on.

After all, birds are very interesting, and though amongst the smallest of God's family they have a charm all their own and by their ways, their colouring, their song, add much to our enjoyment of life.