M.G.S. Magazine - July 1956

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MGS Magazine 1956

This year a Scientific Society has been formed. This replaces the former Chemical Society and allows membership to all Sixth Form Science students.

The chief aim of the Society is to broaden the outlook on science subjects, and talks have included: "A visit to the South Kensington Science Museum", "Cosmic Rays", and "Photography."

Several visits to Industrial concerns have been arranged.

President—J. N. Wood.      Vice-President—D. B. Brook.
Secretary—W. K. Armitage.
Committee— D. Ambler, G. Bray, A. E. Brown, P. J. Brook, G. Wilson, J. R. Woodhouse.


On Friday, August 19th, a group of 23 boys had accumulated on Dewsbury station. The hour was 7 o'clock and piles of suitcases, bags and satchels surrounded the small collection of parents, come to see 23 boys set off on a seven days' holiday in the Flemish town of Bruges.

In charge was Mr. Saywell with his wife and two children. Two friends of Mr. Saywell completed the party. In no time we found ourselves in our capital, in King's Cross Station. There, whilst waiting for the coach which was to take us across London to Victoria Station, we ate our packed meal. It was soon obvious that the coach was not coming, and so the party made its way downwards, under the earth, where we managed to squeeze into a London Transport "tube" which brought us to Victoria. Suitcases bumped on to the Boat Train, taking us to Dover. Dover welcomed us with glorious sunshine, white cliffs, sparkling sea, and, the customs! Passports were clenched, bags examined, and in a few minutes we were boarding the vessel which would take us across the English Channel.

The crossing was a tranquil one and the party stepped ashore on foreign soil without mishap. Ostend, our first sight of Belgium, also had its customs, and this time we were not frightened by the Customs Officers. Having finally departed from the quay we hurried to the end of a certain street, where a coach was parked—our transport to Bruges. Ten o'clock found us stepping off our coach, and we then set to work establishing ourselves in our rooms. Unfortunately we were situated on the top-most storey, which meant a 76-step climb. A quick look round the shops (which were still open), and then to bed.

Normally, no one would have stirred until 8 o'clock, but everyone was washed and dressed by 6 o'clock. This proved to be the case every morning, which showed the excitement the holiday was producing.

Bruges proved to be a delightful Flemish city. Cameras were out all day, snapping the many beautiful scenes the city afforded. A trip on the canals proved a success, although the boat engine didn't! The party was free to enjoy the city, however, at will, and most people went around with one or two friends. The 450 feet clock-tower proved an attraction to me, especially when I was at the top!

Two trips were arranged from Bruges into two different countries.

Firstly, the party travelled to Dunkirk in France, scene of the famous withdrawal of the troops. Everybody plunged into the warm sea there, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Later, Dunkirk was explored, and I for one was surprised to find that it was such an important port, yet with so small a population. Prices were too high in France so no-one brought any presents.

Middleburg, in Holland, was the next outing, and this was perhaps the better of the two. Here, many Dutch women were in national dress, and in the town square was a huge market, where there were no cheeses, but mainly flowers and bulbs. Prices in Holland were much lower, and the coach racks were filled with Dutch souvenirs—clocks, musical boxes, watches.

Friday, August 26th, and a last look around Bruges. We were leaving. In the afternoon we left Bruges behind and arrived at Ostend in a drizzle of rain—something we had not seen throughout the holiday. Everyone had enjoyed the trip, and sooner than expected, we were in Dewsbury Station.

Mr. Saywell was showered with thanks from boys and parents alike for his successful handling of the holiday. His arduous task of filling in countless forms had not been in vain.

And after all, we can always say now "we've been abroad!"

P. D. SENIOR (4 Alpha).


This year the icy grip of winter has been relieved for some members of the school by visions of a place where ice and snow are evident even in summer. These people are willing to exchange the rain and mist of the typical English summer for the cool air and clear skies of the Bernese Oberland. If your paper boy has regaled you with a few Swiss airs complete with yodelling early in the morning it is only because he is anticipating his holiday, and at the same time earning some money to pay for it.

Following the success of last year's excursion to Bruges the news of an excursion to Interlaken was greeted with enthusiasm, and now arrangements are nearing completion for a party of budding Alpine rock climbers to visit the land of electric railways, alpenhorns and alpin stocks. They will exchange the smoke and grime-filled air of this district for the cool and balmy air of the mountains; even though perhaps they prefer the "smoke." As the Swiss are reputedly the world's best hoteliers, the insatiable appetites of our party may be to some extent alleviated, whilst their jaws will be well exercised with the "crisp" breakfast rolls.    Of course we shall not be able to converse with locals "fluently" in their native tongue as we did last year, as Interlaken is in the German Canton of Switzerland. I have no doubt that our pupils will be able to make themselves understood as readily as they did last year. Perhaps it will be no problem at all for those of us who are used to translating the English of the people from "over the hills."

Let us hope that the weather will be kind and that the holiday will be an even greater success than last year, with everyone concerned contributing a little to make it so; a holiday for us all to remember when once more we are back in the West Riding.



From the wind-swept, snow-sodden, altitudinous (why not?—Ed.) slopes of Alston we returned to our first love, Newlands, a Newlands somewhat swept and garnished but still recognisable as the courts where Jim and Ian and Claud once "gloried and drank deep." Here, lusty mountain looked at lusty youth, and each took the other's measure: ebullient Causey and resilient William, timeless Gable and tireless Trevor, frowning Grassmoor and smiling Angela. There stood the fells, with workaday names like Robinson, with names like poems—Catbells and Hindscarth and Starling Dodd; there stood we, soon to divide into three groups: the Grinders, the Walkers, and the Seekers-After-Rest, henceforth known as S.A.R.

By first nightfall all the traditional rites had no doubt been observed. Catbells, Rowling End and other small pimples had been climbed, Keswick had been prospected, and (fortified by a Gargantuan dinner), we soon settled in our bunks of Elysian down to the soft airs of Martin's voice and one and a half hours of fitful slumber. Rising several hours before the first light of dawn, we stood ready for the fray.

This is a country to stir man's blood and make the legs trot quicker. Led by the Perennial and followed up by Mary and the Aging, we scampered up Catbells and over the top of Maiden Moor. Dull would he be of soul who could look on the rising face of Dale Plead and not briskly run up it like a mountain goat. Some of us were very, very dull. Hindscarth and Robinson followed in easy succession.

During the week, the Grinders climbed Red Pike; the Walkers found another way up Robinson; S.A.R. mused over Buttermere. Not to be outdone, the G. sought out Great Gable and Glaramara; the W. gave them an object lesson by treading easily, yet sublimely, over High White Stones and Serjeant Man; S.A.R. sat by a stream. Gnashing their teeth, the G. dashed round Watendlath and rowed out viciously from Keswick in the teeth of a gale; the W. waved kindly to them and plodded round the lake; S.A.R. drank tea. Crazy with envy, the G. flung themselves on Helvellyn; with light, springy tread the W. tramped twenty miles to Tarn Hows and saw a whole panorama of lakes; S.A.R. ate ice cream. Loading themselves with monstrous packs, the G. tore up Grisedale Pike; smiling serenely the W. bought pictures and pottery, and carried them up Castle Crag; S.A.R. drank coffee.

And what are the winter's most vivid memories of this outstanding week? They are legion, but among them: against the sunset, four dots passing over Robinson, soon to emerge as Billy, Russell, Trevor, Keith, beating Mr. Evans home from Buttermere; Carol and her hundred miles; Sherlock and his picture; the writer's own wonderful family at the Fish; the company; (Oh, Tadcaster! Oh, Methley!); the dryness of the fells; the indefatigability of the Grinders; Roger's shorts; the abounding energy of Christine and Angela. It was a good holiday.


On Friday, the 4th of May, three cyclists and nine train-travellers (cap­italists) set out for Ingleton. On arriving, we decided to go for a swim in the open air baths. There is an old saying, 'Look before you leap.' Luckily we obeyed it—the bath was empty. We then unpacked and found that some 'friend' of T's had packed him three empty milk bottles. We made up for the emptiness at dinner when most of us managed to put away two helpings of everything, except W. who excelled himself by managing three. There­after he kept his head tilted backwards to avoid losing any. Square dancing followed supper.

That night there was an accomplished harmonica player in our room, "A bit of what you fancy does you good"—much makes you sick! He played that glorified mouth organ until one o'clock in the morning, despite several caustic remarks. By special request, he didn't play "God save the Queen" as no-one wished to get out of bed and stand to attention.

Next day as we were going to a quarry to search for fossilised 'bugs' we reached a beck. The girls rushed about trying to find an easy crossing place. J laughed and jumped for a rock in the middle of the stream. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, I wouldn’t call the girls angels, but I was a fool. I had the supreme honour of getting my feet wet first. We reached the quarry and swinging our hammers like Hollywood savages we began to attack the rock.

After the assault we continued to walk up Kingsdale Beck, carefully avoiding the owner and the charge of sixpence. R, a girl famed for losing and forgetting geological hammers and having a habit of falling into streams, fell into the Beck and was photographed sitting in it (unfortunately the print did not come out). Further up P noticed a pool full of trout and immediately half the party turned unsuccessful anglers. We paused at Thornton Force and then started to climb Gragareth but the rain prevented us and we turned to a cave for dinner. There we found stalactites and with one deft 'swipe' of our hammers we destroyed Nature’s work of thousands of years.

Here a special note should be made on geological hammers. We had spent hours trying to find the correct shape. Books had been covered in drawings of them and then only about two of us had one. Geological hammers are useful for cracking nuts, beating people over the head, breaking coal, hammering nails in—and occasionally Geology.

On our return home we went across a field which had some cows in it. Someone muttered "they look like bulls", and sure enough they were. One of them appeared to be the original cartoon bull with swishing tail and hooves pawing the ground. We were fifteen yards from the bull, and fifteen yards from the wall. "Don't run!" said Mr. J, by which time we were all over the wall. Further on, we passed some potholes and there were some ominous mutterings about throwing F, a dark red-headed girl, down one as a service to humanity. After being misdirected twice by F we soon began to wish we had thrown her down a pothole. Later we were nearly run down by a car but eventually we arrived back at the Youth Hostel eating ice cream.

On Sunday we left the Youth Hostel for the last time, carrying all our belongings; and about five pounds of specimens on our backs. We scrambled up another beck where, reaching the top, we had to pay sixpence, and where the farmer's wife, who was a saleswoman, tried to sell us return tickets. We crossed some stepping stones (where no-one fell in) and reached Weathercote cavern where there is a sixty-foot waterfall. We had dinner here but it was spoilt by an interfering old goat (of the four-legged variety).

From this base the assault on Ingleborough began. Reaching the top we then descended to Gaping Ghyll pothole, 365 feet deep. One of the party had been collecting sheep skulls. These, with an odd shirt sticking out of his rucksack, gave the effect of a 'rag-and-bone-man'.

From here to Clapham caves P carried my hammer and for a time he walked on quite happily engaged in chipping stones, rocks, walls and heads. The hammer gave up the unequal struggle and the head broke off. During the course of the expedition my main trouble was to refrain from calling geological specimens 'bricks.'

Then we had tea, consisting of a packet of dates (squashed), a packet of biscuits (in crumbs), some butter and jam.

Fifty miles, five punctures and innumerable halts later, we arrived home.

B. SHAW (VI Lower).


Everything about her was as stiff and starched as her own snowy-white apron. She wore a grey, old-fashioned dress which, though beautifully pressed, showed signs of deterioration at the cuffs and elbows. She wore grey not because the colour suited her, (indeed, it made her unsmiling face look grimmer than ever), but because she thought it correct for women of her age to wear grey clothes.

She stood stiffly erect, her sparse hair pulled tightly off her face, making the prominent cheek bones give her face the appearance of a wrinkled skull.

Her eyes were the most striking thing about her—they seemed to burn fiercely in the deeply-set sockets, and I found that I just could not force myself into looking at them for any length of time. I felt that once I did she would have me in her power completely…….

As her hand rested on the door, I noticed a wedding ring on her gnarled finger. I could not imagine her ever being married. I felt rather sorry for her husband—as I looked at those terrible eyes again I thought that he was probably better dead, for there was no doubt as to who would have been master of her household. When she spoke the side of her mouth gave involuntary twitches now and then…….I watched, fascinated by her against my will.

I suddenly realized that she was addressing herself to me, saying stiffly that she certainly did not want to buy a ticket for the play produced by a local Drama Group. She stated clearly that she did not approve of the juvenile rubbish on the stage today, and with that closed the door as politely as seemed possible, for her at least.

I resolved that that was the last time I would ever go there and hurried thankfully into the street.



I shall never forget those winter mornings, rising at six thirty when the whole house was cold, dark and silent. I used to play the radio softly for company and also prepare my breakfast noiselessly and afterwards put on my thickest winter clothes and fur-lined boots.

Opening the door on such mornings used to make the blood tingle in my veins and my heart beat wildly. Plucking up courage, I cautiously opened the door, letting a golden pool of light fall on the pitch black pavement. If it was raining, which it usually was, I would shrink back and watch it dejectedly for a second before reaching for my stiff, uncomfortable weather-stained cycle cape. I did not mind the snow, however, for it seemed to make everything much lighter and pleasanter but, on the other hand, if it was foggy my bicycle lamp was of hardly any use to me and not even the one lighted street lamp could be made out clearly. This was not the worst part, however, for I had a feeling of safety on my cycle, but having collected the papers and ridden up the long, dark, unlighted road I used to leave my bicycle in the first garden of my round and venture out into silent blackness, pitch blackness everywhere. I would make my way slowly from gate to gate, bumping into things, tripping over steps, slipping on icy paths. Here and there a lighted window would give a friendly glow, making me wish I was back in my warm comfortable bed. Somehow I carried on, making the frozen joints in my legs move until I gazed with relief at the cold, grey dawn breaking over the rooftops.

Although I look back on those mornings with terror I used to love the tense, exciting beginning of a dull, ordinary day.