M.G.S. Magazine - July 1955

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MGS Magazine 1955
Information Pages



During this year we have seen a slight change of curriculum. The older ones will remember their indecision in the fourth and fifth years when they had to choose between Latin and Physics and later between Geography and Art. Now, as the saying goes, "The old order changeth" ; the young scholastic aspirant has now to choose Biology or History and Physics or Art. Also, it seems that the 'younger end' have the opportunity to take Biology, Latin and Physics from the very first, unlike their seniors who took the former only in the sixth. All these innovations, however, have not reduced the yearly burden of exams. The G.C.E has just taken place and the results will probably surprise both master and pupil alike.

In the past there has been a threat of closing the School. Perhaps this false alarm has worked rather too well on some people's imagination, for there seem to be several amongst us who are uninterested in school activities. It seems strange to see in other school magazines reports of such-and-such a society or this-and-that club while ours has so few like reports. Admittedly we have a rather scattered district from which to draw our talent, and Athletics and Sport take the energy of the lively but so many times have enthusiastic societies died out through lack of support. We are sure that the Staff would be glad to help any enthusiastic group as they have in the past and we hope such a lack of out-of-school activities will be remedied. Turning to the outside world, we sincerely hope that peace will be achieved; that the industrial unrest will be settled and each country become the friend of its neighbour; most important of all, that the threat of war will fade away through the careful diplomacy of the statesmen of the world.

In a sadder tone, we would very much like to say how much we regret the passing of Mr. H. G. Swire, J.P., who has during his lifetime done so much for the school.

R.A.H., W.P.R.


HARRY GREENWOOD SWIRE was for ever grateful for the benefits he received as a pupil, from this school and its then Headmaster, Mr. George Green. In his lighter moments Mr. Swire would remind us of his youthful prowess as a fast bowler and possibly as a sprinter on a certain occasion. He left school to enter his father's business which he later inherited and maintained with unswerving, yet sympathetic devotion. It was in May, 1921, that he began his services as a Foundation Governor, an office he held for thirty four years, during eight years of which he acted as Chairman. At all times and on all occasions one is mindful of the devotion to and love of his Alma Mater. On speech days he was at once serious and witty and always filled the office with dignity and grace. He presented the Swire Trophy for Athletics and at one time maintained a Swire scholar in the school. It was, however, in his services quite unknown to most people that he was outstanding. One remembers his quiet generosity, his habit of careful thinking and restrained speech, his never failing kindness, appreciation and wise counsels in all matters affecting the welfare of the school. He inherited, cherished and nurtured the spirit of M.G.S. Requiescat in pace.


We were sorry to see Miss Chappell leave at the end of last year and hope that she is enjoying Eastbourne's sea air. In her stead we are glad to welcome Miss Swannack and hope she will enjoy her stay in this school.

On the evening of Tuesday, 22nd December, the annual Carol Concert was held in the School Hall. Parents and friends were entertained by singing conducted by Mr. Walker. John Sowerby played a trumpet solo.

During the Easter term, the West Riding String Quartet paid yet another visit to the School and gave a short recital.

Speech Day was on Tuesday, 29th March, and Professor J. G. Wilson, of Leeds University, very kindly came along to present the prizes. A list of prize-winners is given later in this issue.

Once again the Parent Teachers' Association has very generously presented the School with a most useful gift, this time in the form of a Chambers' Encyclopaedia.

The Founder's Service was held in the Parish Church, on Ascension Day. The address was given by Canon F. T. Horan, M.A., Vicar of Huddersfield, and prayers were said by the Rev. H. H. Edwards, M.A.

Miss J. Packett, while on furlough from E. Nigeria, visited the School on several occasions. She gave the Sixth Form girls a most interesting talk on her life in Africa and on native customs, and brought with her several articles of native manufacture.

On Wednesday, 11th May, members of the Fifth and Sixth Forms heard an interesting talk by Mr. Pertwee on Northern Ireland.

Visits have been made to the Riley Smith Theatre, at Leeds University, to see productions of "Othello" and "As You Like It."

Scientists of the Fifth and Sixth Forms have been on a round of visits during the year. Places visited include: the Park Gate Iron and Steel Co., Rotherham; the I.C.I., Huddersfield; Watson's Soap Works, Leeds; Crossley's Carpet Works, Halifax; Joseph Newsome's, Batley Carr; Meredith & Drew's, Brighouse.

P. Jaggar (Head Boy), J. M. Dean (Deputy Head Boy), H. Smith, J. D. Taylor, J. N. Wood, D. B. Brook, J. K. Walker, W. Leeves, D. Ambler, W. K. Armitage.
Kathleen M. Appleyard (Head Girl), Eileen Heywood, Jennifer Burton, Maureen Sheard, Gwyneth M. Williams, Rachel A. Hirst, Wendy P. Renshaw, Gwen R. Brown, Dorothy Sutcliffe, Marie Sinclair.

M. Copley; P. Moorhouse; C. Smith; R. A. Dawson; D. Haywood; B. Ryan; E. M. Stead; B. H. Armitage; A. R. Hitchen; D. H. Johnson; R. Lucas; C. F. Shaw; T. Wright; D. Ambler; M. Appleyard; R. Healey; A. Stewart; B. Rushworth; Margaret Swallow; Lome Malam; Winifred G. Middleton; Averil Bennett; Pauline Berry; Jean Hindle; Marlene Holt; Patricia A. Midwood; Doreen E. Mosley; Miriam Mountain; Audrey H. Sheard; Judith Smith; Joan Ely; Marie Liversidge; Shirley Price; Evelyn Dawson; Peggy Huggins; Margaret Maughan; Marlene Jackson; Christine M. Charlesworth; Kathleen Huntington; Gaynor E. M. Smith; Jean Whitehead.

G. C. Alderson; N. Antrobus; P. R. Baker; C. E. Brant; G. Broadhead; M. Chambers; R. Dawson; S. Ellis; R. Gow; J. B. Griffith; R. A. Kendall; D. A. Lamb; D. B. Laycock; M. R. Muddiman; E. Palfreeman; H. Robinson; J. M. Spink; D. A. Stevenson; K. G. Wilkinson; R. B. Williams; A. S. Armitage; I. M. Calvert; J. R. Crawshaw; R. Driver; B. Ely; K. Gibbs; B. M. Heath; M. Lockwood; C. Milnes; G. Naylor; H. Peacock; R. Pickles; C. A. Richardson; B. Shepherd; D. Squire; G. R. Stevenson; J. Terry ; I. Thynne; G. M. Wood.
C. Armitage; W. I. Blackburn; D. M. Briggs; J. Gospel; J. M. Holroyd; G. E. Jackson; B. Maude; J. M. Milnes; J. Parker; J. B. Peace; M. E. Walker; M. E. Wilson; S. Wood; R. V. Binns; J. Hutchinson; W. E. Lenton; E. Matthews; D. F. Norgate; C. A. Stocks; P. Sutcliffe; P. M. Sykes; J . Waterhouse; A. L. Wilson; P. Woodward; V. Greenhalgh; R. Shepley.


Since our last issue seventy eight volumes have been added to the Library. This includes the sixteen volumes of Chambers' Encyclopaedia presented by the P.T.A. to whom we offer most grateful thanks. Gifts have also been received from the Headmaster; Rowland Taylor (1911-1915), James A. Exley (1943-1951), Rachel A. Hirst and the Lepton P.T.A. To them also we tender our thanks.

Books of all tastes have been added. In addition to new fiction, provision has been made for the historians, geographers, geologists, biologists, physicists, astronomers, etc., in our midst, and a glance at the shelves will reveal the new volumes.

It would be a great help if members of Form VI could and would develop a conscience about the transfer of slips from the back of the book borrowed to their cards. As it is, they add considerably to the work of checking by constantly forgetting about such transfer. Make this one of your good resolutions for the new school year.


Prizes presented by the Chairman of the Governors.
Head Boy—Peter Moorhouse, Head Girl—Margaret Swallow.
Samuel Walker Memorial Prizes—J. Michael Dean, Kathleen M. Appleyard.
William Todd Mathematics Prize—Colin Smith.
The E. M. Young Prize for the Spoken Word—Gwyneth Williams.
Physical Training Prizes—Malcolm Copley, Marlene Holt.
Games Prizes—Donald Wroe, Averil Bennett.
Swire Trophy (Sports)—Priestley House.
Balme Trophy (Games)—Thorpe House.


Once more the school presented one of J. M. Barrie's plays, in aid of the Leaving Scholarship Fund. 'Dear Brutus,' although not as light hearted as 'Quality Street', was just as popular.

The setting is full of mystery and, gives an uncanny feeling that something odd is afoot. On Midsummers Eve, a varied assortment of people are gathered together at Sinister Warren, the country house of Lob, a queer little old man (J. LAVERTON). There are eight guests:- Mr. Dearth (H. SMITH), a broken down artist and his wife (RACHEL HIRST), who is discontented with her lot and despises her husband; Mr. Purdie (D. BROOK), a young barrister, and his wife (KATHLEEN APPLEYARD), rather simple but tolerant when she knows her husband is fond of Joanna Trout (G. WILLIAMS); Mr. Coade (R. WILLS), a happy, lazy, old man and his wife (JENNIFER BURTON), a cheerful old lady of sixty and last, but not least, Lady Caroline Laney (MARILYN GUY), rather languid, with an insolent manner, who considers herself far superior to the others. The only other person at the house is James Matey (K. ARMITAGE), the butler, who feels he has missed his chance in life.

Something odd does happen, for a mysterious wood appears in the garden. All the characters find they can each have a second chance if they venture in, and the temptation is too great for seven of them. Mrs. Coade finds it all too much for her and she hurriedly retires to bed.

Returning from their adventures in the wood they find that the six of them have done little differently and not made any better use of their second chance. Only Dearth found what he had missed in life with his imaginary daughter Margaret (DIANA MONK). When he discovers she has gone for ever he is almost in despair. But once in a while a spell can be worked and Dearth, his wife, and Margaret, now a real child, are united.

Thanks must be given to all who helped to make the play successful, particularly to the producer, Mr. S. W. Evans, to Mr. L. Eykin for the magnificent woodland scenery, and to Miss Jeffery and Miss Sheard for their indispensable help with the costumes.


The year 1954 had the usual annual events:

The Summer Re-union was held on June 26th when the usual Cricket Match against the School was unfortunately not played because of lack of "cricketing" Old Grammarians to make a team!

The Dramatic Section gave excellent performances of Terence Rattigan's comedy, "White Sheep of the Family," in October. Mr. Evans was again the producer and once more he put on a most enjoyable show.

The Annual Re-union was held on Saturday, September 11th, at Mirfield Grammar School. About 150 Old Grammarians and friends were present and after dinner speeches were given by Miss E. M. Young, Mr. J. E. Elliott, Councillor F. Copley and the President, Mr. S. W. Evans. We were very pleased to have Miss Young with us again after an absence of four years, and also Miss Conyers, Mr. McLauchlan and Mr. and Mrs. Bracewell and many others.

The Annual General Meeting was held on February 2nd. 1955, when Mr. Hubert Lawes was elected President.

In the last issue of the Magazine it was mentioned that a "Roll of Honour" was to be given to the School by the Old Grammarians. This is now in the hands of the engraver who has promised to have it completed for September 1st, and it will be unveiled at the Annual Re-union Dinner which will be held on Saturday, September l0th, 1055. We hope that as many of you as possible will be there to help to make this year's Re-union as successful as last year's function.


President: H. Lawes, Esq.

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

F. Brearley, Esq., W. H. Brook, Esq., W. Hepworth, Esq., S. W. Evans, 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:
Mrs. D. W. James, Miss M. R. Jeffery, Mrs. H. Jessop, 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.


A small, nervous and excited group alighted from the train at Morecambe, wondering what the next day would hold in store. On being told that breakfast would be the last meal we all put it to good use.

After being plied with questions about previous successes and the stroke we used we climbed aboard the boat that was to take us to Grange. We were then given last minute details of instructions, greased down and eagerly waiting for the hour of departure to arrive. Eventually the time came for us to set off, and with the good wishes of the crowds we stepped into the water and began a long, tiring swim. Once we left the calm of Grange the sea decided to show us who would be master. Soon all sign of land disappeared, and all one could see in that vast expanse of heaving water was one small rowing boat and even that disappeared at times when one wallowed in a trough in the waves.

Almost three hours later the buildings on the front of Morecambe could be seen. Then I was told we were slightly off course and must grab hold as soon as I was told or I should be out of bounds. Hours seemed to pass before the word came and then I was hauled into the boat.

On shore there were crowds of people, congratulating us, seeking autographs, taking photographs, asking questions. Finally we left the crowds to go for a well earned bath, and we were able to relax secure in the knowledge that we had achieved our aim.

What's that I heard someone say? The Channel some time? No, thank you!

JOAN INMAN, 1946-1951.


James Exley (1943-1951) sailed for the Antarctic on Sunday, January 16th, on the Norwegian icebreaker "Norsel." In letters home he says that after leaving Mill wall Dock, London, and passing the Ushant Light, north of the Bay of Biscay, his next sight of land was at Monte Video in Uruguay, S. America, where he and other members of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey were able to spend part of a day. In many ways Monte Video is a most impressive city, being built on the gridiron pattern and having a lot of cool quiet squares planted with palms. There are also many fine statues and fountains, though the big attraction to him and his friends was in being able to obtain a change from ship's meals.

The next port of call was Port Stanley (pop. 1,000) in the Falkland Islands, and was reached after a rather rough voyage of about a thousand miles. Port Stanley has a very fine natural land-locked harbour which contains many wrecks, including the "Great Britain"-the first iron ship. Many of the old sailing ships, crippled while rounding the Horn, put in here and, owing to high harbour dues, were left in the harbour in lieu of payment. Here, they found the "John Biscoe" and berthed alongside her.

On the way from Port Stanley to Grahamland in the Antarctic many great icebergs were seen and often the vessel was icebound. When this occurred she had to ride up on to the ice and crush it, gaining only half a ship's length each time.

On arrival at base they collected their dogs, very heavy animals rather larger than Alsatians, and with very shaggy coats. These dogs are friendly and extremely strong and hardy, sleeping out in all weathers in a hole in the snow.

Winter now has the area in its grip, for it lasts from February to October.


Being an account of a walk from Scarborough to Morecambe.

The object of our week's holiday was to walk across England and beat a record set up by someone who did it on 5/- a day. This gentleman, however, had all the time in the world at his disposal and eked out an existence by working on farms. We, on the other hand, had just one week in which to cover some 150 miles. Economy and velocity would have to be the main features of our venture.

Geoffrey had just been reading about the peat-preserved Tellund Man who belonged to the, Iron Age and was found ill the Danish peat-bogs. On opening the fellow's stomach, scientists found that he had existed on a "porridge" of fruit, berries and herbs. If he could live on that, Geoff thought that we could too.

'Mr. Watson, by the way, besides being a trained archeologist, is the Curator of Scarborough Natural History Museum (well worth seeing) and so he was well-qualified to say whether this or that was edible. He thought that the September hedgerow would provide an adequate quantity and variety of food for our needs. We even agreed to consume the first hedge-hog (a delicacy with the gipsies) or snails that we came across.

We carried (that is Geoff did) a two-in-one pan in order to make our finds a little more palatable. 1 had a feeling that blackberries alone would not sustain us for 150 miles!

From Scarborough we chose a line which would take us through the most interesting (and plentiful) countryside, and give a wide berth to the industrial West Riding. Morecambe seemed a suitable objective and Pickering, Thirsk, Helmsley and Masham were approximately along this route.

On the Saturday night I decided to have a dose of 'flu and that cost us the whole of Sunday. However, Monday morning dawned bright and clear and off we set. We carried (Geoff did) a packet of sandwiches just to make the change of diet less sudden.

The first night saw us the other side of Thornton-le-Dale. We found a convenient haystack and 8uilt a shelter from bales of straw. Unfortunately there were not sufficient to cover our feet and we had to use loose straw. About 4 a.m. our feet were definitely wet and we were obliged to withdraw them-as snails do their feelers-and spent the rest of the night in very cramped, uncomfortable positions.

Tuesday morning dawned and we were on the road before even the sun had risen. Pickering looked charming in the early morning brilliance, but it was awake and curious about this pair of dishevelled trampers. We began to think it time to look for something to eat, but stopping and looking in hedgerows was both wet and tiring so we walked on, only half a pan of blackberries better off.

Eventually we reached Helmsley where we decided to board a bus to Thirsk to help make up for the day lost. We had an hour or two to spare so we laid out our things to dry and had a nap. Beyond Thirsk we began to look for a place to spend the night. Seven miles further on we took the first thing that promised a little shelter-a Dutch barn nearly full of bales of hay. After a very windy and consequently draughty night we were glad to be on our way bright and early.

By the time we reached Bainbridge our thoughts were turning foodwards and we set about gathering" the wherewithal for a good evening meal-potatoes ( from the roadside), apples ( from a deserted orchard), grass ( tough), nettle-tops, rose hips and an egg (hen). That night we slept in a hay loft and found it much more comfortable than stacks.

Next morning we feasted on blackberry and apple stew washed down by half an unsuccessful boiled egg diluted with water, before setting out in the rain for Ingleton. The Roman road we followed was now a raised grassy track undulating towards the cloud shrouded horizon. We found that up there, on the Backbone of England, there was nothing to eat-except sheep.

Coming down the marshy slopes on the other side we felt rather exhausted so paused at Ribblehead and fortified ourselves with bacon, cheese, and hot tea and then preceded to Ingleton where we bedded down for the night. There, the "Press"-in the form of a representative of the "Sunday Graphic" caught up with us, and, after disturbing our beauty sleep, arranged to accompany us next day. In return for information he carried our packs, shared our meals and finally left us after tea, while we plodded on towards Lancaster.

We stopped to ask the way of a farmer who kindly invited us to spend the night in his barn which-luxury of luxuries to us-was equipped with electric light. Seeing that we were only one day's march from Morecambe we shaved (electric razor) in order that we might be fairly presentable.

We rose early next morning and 'made' Morecambe by mid-day. We were rather 'trimmed down' (I must have lost half a stone) and not inclined to violent exercise, otherwise we were remarkably well. We collected some money from the G.P.O. and dined carefully before commencing the return journey-by train.

We succeeded in doing the walk for less than 5/- a day, and if we had had more time we could have lived more fully and trapped things like rabbits.

I think we were both rather glad that we had seen only one minute edition of Helix Aspersa-the edible common garden snail. Of hedgehog we only saw the squashed variety.

IAN B. COPLEY (1944--1952).