M.G.S. Magazine - July 1957

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MGS Magazine 1957
Information Pages



With the annual intellectual sports event hanging over our heads it was with interest that I read the other day: "Reading the newspapers may help to win the G.C.E." With visions of sixth formers avidly reading the "Daily Telegraph" leader instead of skimming the head-lines and then turning to the crossword or the fashion page, I perused the article further to learn that it is proposed to introduce a new subject-General Studies-into the General Certificate of Education, if "a rather bold experiment" by the N.U.J.M.B. is successful. This paper is designed to answer the widespread criticism often aimed at the "specialist" education of say, science students and will occupy two years of sixth-form study. This would definitely be a vast improvement, as specialization in any subject, Art or Science, is detrimental to many who are obliged to give so much time to their studies for examination purposes that outside interests suffer.

The suggestion has been made that these general studies should include formal lessons, lectures and discussions, membership of school societies, reading of newspapers, periodicals and books other than prescribed reading, visits to theatres, concerts and other places of interest such as historical monuments, industrial plants, museums, etc. In previous editorials we have deplored the absence of school societies, but on considering the above suggestions we obviously come near to fulfilling the major requirements.

We can indeed, claim a large variety of interests. The Sport, Athletic and Chess Clubs are always popular but now there are also active Square Dance and Badminton Clubs, whilst the Senior Choir has flourished and borne fruit in performances of excerpts from "Elijah". The zeal of certain members of the Sixth Form in taking "stills" of the aforesaid activities seems to warrant the formation of a Photographic Society, too.

We wish to welcome Mr. F. Brearley as the new Chairman of the Governors and also the new Vicar of Mirfield, the Rev. E. H. Hargrave, to the Board of Governors.



We have again been entertained this year, in both the Autumn and Spring terms, by the West Riding String Quartet, the West Riding Orchestra—both under the direction of Mr. Stanley Adams, and by Mr. Tom Harrison, who gave an interesting and well-balanced song recital.

On the evening of Wednesday, December 19th, 1956, the Annual Carol Concert was held in the School Hall. Parents and friends were entertained by singing conducted by Mr. F. J. Walker. Mark Bawcutt was soloist: the Male Voice Choir again gave items, and accompanists were Rachel A. Hirst, John T. Wilson and Graham M. Heeley.

The Founder's Day Service was held in the Parish Church, by kind permission of the Vicar, the Rev. E. H. Hargrave, on Ascension Day. The address was given by the Dean of Ripon, The Very Rev. F. Llewelyn Hughes, C.B., C.B.E., M.C., T.D., M.A., and prayers were said by the Rev. C. W. Jones.

The scientists have been on several trips to industrial concerns including Park Gate Iron and Steel Works and Watson's Soap Works

We mourn the decease of the Scientific Society which replaced the Chemical Society.

The geologists have extended their field of exploration and this year have "pioneered" the East Coast between Whitby and Filey.

Mr. Hargreaves is furthering our education with a trip to Edinburgh in July. About 200 are going and the trip includes a round tour of the city, the Zoo and a visit to the Forth Bridge. He is following this up by taking a party to Douglas, I.O.M., for a week in the Summer holidays.

We have been very unfortunate this year in losing our charming History Mistress, Miss J. M. Smith, but we are delighted to welcome her back as Mrs. N. W. Hopwood and wish her and her husband much happiness for the future.

In the face of much scorn and derision, the VIth form girls have retreated before the invasion of the library by the rougher sex to the cool seclusion of their room in the Annexe. Formerly called the Common Room, it is often alluded to as the "boudoir", regardless of the hard work achieved there, far from the madding crowd.

(Latterly there appears to have been a return to the "madding crowd" in the Library. Perhaps it is lonely in the boudoir—or does the word "cool" give the show away?—Hon. Treas.)


At ten years of age Mr. Eykyn made his first appearance on the professional stage and remained in close connection with it until he passed on in October, 1956 at the age of eighty one.

After the destruction, during the war, of the theatre of which he was lessee he came to live in Mirfield. It was a delight to him and also the school when he began to take an active interest in the school productions. One had only to say that we were thinking of such a play when he would name the characters in it, the number of scenes and what they were and then often quote passages from it. Soon he was to be seen, clad in white overalls, moving quietly about the school, disturbing nobody, but getting on with the job of making and painting the scenery. No-one worried, there was no need because on twelve occasions, on the day, the scenery was perfect, complete with effects of howling wind, torrential rain or distant stage coach approaching as the occasion required. With what grace and dignified bow did he acknowledge the applause that greeted his appearance at the final performance!

He was author of over fifty plays and this year we presented his last achievement, a dramatized version of the story of Esther, complete with his scenery. How excellent it all was, but alas! Mr. Eykyn was not there to take his final bow.


A. H. Alderson, D. Ambler, W. K. Armitage, T. Butler, D. B. Brook, D. J. Shaw, T. Smith, K. T. Walker, G. Wilson, J. N. Wood, J. R. Woodhouse, R. Martindale.

J. A. Ambler, M. Avison, Michael Bowness, P. G. Butler, M. Cameron, D. Clegg, E. Ellis, H. Fretwell, G. Gunson, K. B. Holmes, R. Marriott, E. K. Massey, S. Mitchell, J. Pinder, B. Riding, J. R. Senior, J. Sowerby, M. D. B. Smith, R. Sykes, D. Walker, S. Wooller, D. Wright, D. R. Wright, D. P. Womack, R. Gow, G. R. Stephenson, P. Rounding, G. Shepherd, Gwendoline R. Brown, Wendy P. Renshaw, Marie Sinclair, Dorothy Sutcliffe, Julie A. Taylor, Averil S. Thwaite, Gwyneth M. Williams.

Patsy Carter, Angela M. Dyson, Sandra Eastlake, Elizabeth Jury, Diana J. Monk, Mary Parkinson, Rudy E. M. Thramer, Kathryn A. Wood, J. Mary Brooke.


D. Barraclough, M. D. Bawcutt, G. Booth, G. Bowker, K. H. Davies, R. Ely, D. Haigh, J. H. Milner, B. D. Newman, R. J. Robertson, J. W. Rogers, A. Smith, W. S. Ward, C. Waterhouse, P. Watson, S. V. Atkinson.

Patricia A. Denton, Doreen Dorgan, Christine E. Goodall, Enid M. Hey, Janet M. Holt, Marjorie E. Howarth, Elizabeth M. James, Susan Kingswell, Pauline Knowles, Susan W. Lee, Pauline M. Lockwood, Patricia A. Newton, Geraldine R. Parish, Rona Senior, Elaine M. Taylor, Brenda Waterhouse, Paula E. Weddell.

J. Booth, P. Coates, F. A. Cost, A. Crawshaw, E. N. Denison, A. Driver, J. R. Hudson, C. Jackson, B. Lawrence, J. R. Lee, R. Styring, G. Talbot, E. G. Wills, N. H. Wilson.

Glynis L. J. Brown, Patricia Buckley, Mavis Cooper, Janet F. Fairburn, Margaret Gospel, Isobel C. Ledgard, Norma Liversidge, Susan Marsh, L. Margaret Middleton, Margaret F. Porritt, Patricia A. Sharpe, Gwendoline Stead, Paula Steel, Mary Turner, Lyn M. Westerby, Jennifer L. White, Sheena F. Wild, Susan M. Wilding.


The speaker this year was Mr. Harold Oldroyd, an entomologist at the British Museum and an old boy of the school (1925-32). Consequently his address contained many references to his school days and many of the younger children may well view Mr. Hepworth and Mr. Evans with the veneration usually due to the octogenarian after hearing that they helped Mr. Oldroyd along the path of learning over twenty-five years ago.

Mr. Oldroyd pointed out that teachers are human, that although they seem to be always aiming at the unattainable perfection, they actually point out many ways of attaining it, though it is often only in later life that one begins to appreciate their valiant attempts and see how right they were. The value of education is not essentially the amassing of facts but an experience of method-an outlook which he was pleased to say was fostered at this school. It is only when a student goes out into the world that he realizes that the examinations for which he worked so hard, are only the first rungs of the ladder, and that, far from the facts he knows being important, it is the method he acquired which counts. Again the aim of education was to impart a proper sense and knowledge of values.

Mr. Hepworth welcomed Mr. F. Brearley as the new Chairman of the Governors.

Thanks to Mr. Oldroyd were expressed by Rev. E. H. Hargrave. During the proceedings excerpts from "Elijah", given by the Senior Choir, and other musical items, were conducted by Mr. F. J. Walker.



In September, 1955, the Senior Choir was formed to provide a concrete basis for school musical functions. At first it was officially male-voiced, but the female probationers having reached a sufficiently high standard, by September 1956, it became a mixed choir. This has covered itself with glory by giving unaccompanied pieces at both the Carol Concert and Speech Day.

On March 19th, 1957, twenty-five members rose to great heights of harmony-and friendship, when they combined with choirs from twenty-five Grammar Schools to give the first part of Elijah at the Music Festival in Leeds. The rest of the Festival included popular works given by the West Riding Symphony Orchestra, and four young soloists. Andrew Broadbent brought honour on the school by being one of the chosen soloists, and he gave a very laudable performance of Max Bruch's "Kol Nedrei for Cello and Orchestra".

The Festival was immensely successful and the school has reason to be proud of its young musicians.


This year the school gave a more serious play written by the late Mr. Eykyn, under the pen-name Eva Elwes. It has a religious' theme and tells of a Jewish maiden, chosen by the king to be his second wife, who uses her power to save her people.

The play opens with a quarrel between the half-drunk king Ahasuerus (David Milner) and his first wife, Vashti, (Evanne Bleakley) resulting in the latter's being banished when she refused to be subdued.

Soon after, she dies and the grieving king allows himself to be persuaded to seek another wife by the wicked Haman (David Williams) and his scheming wife, Zaresha (Frances Hepworth).

Esther (Rachel Hirst), urged by her pious leader, Mordecai, (Barry Shaw) goes to the king and is chosen to be his wife. Her resulting influence is very displeasing to the traitors who plot the king's death, with the help of two suitably villainous guards (Donald Wroe and Peter Brook).

Mordecai, by his timely warning, causes failure of the plot but he alone suspected the connection with the two trusted court members. He eventually finds enough evidence to prove his suspicions but only after Haman has persuaded the king to' pass the death sentence on all Jews. However, his wisdom finds a solution and his people are saved.

There was a large cast which worked as a team after sorely trying the patience of our very able producer, Mr. Evans, without whose guidance the play could not have been the success it was. The unintentional amusement caused by the trumpet blowing and the healthy tan of the guards did not, however, detract from the play's seriousness. The minor characters, such as a very old woman (Margaret Richardson), and the town crier (Carol Elliott), who really got a chance to shout to her heart's content, and last but by no means least, the court maidens, musicians, scribe and guards, supported the major parts well.

The scenery and costumes were, on the whole simple and very effective. We must thank Miss Jeffery and Miss Sheard for their unceasing efforts to make the costumes a success.



Since the issue of the last Magazine, we have had our 21st Annual Reunion. We had with us again, on that important occasion, our President, Miss E. M. Young; we were very pleased to welcome her once more and also many other old friends, some of whom had made very special efforts and travelled long distances to attend. We hope to see them all again at this year's Re-union September 21st, and again and again at future Re-unions.

We have given to our School, to mark the occasion of our 21st Anniversary, a complete edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. This is a welcome addition to the Library where it is proving useful to staff and pupils alike.

Having reached the important age of 21, we do want our Association v; continue for many, many years. We should like to see greater numbers of members as the years go by-come now! pay your subscription and become a member if you have not already done so.

News of Old Grammarians is always welcome-we like to know where you are and what you are doing-so many of you forget to send us news and also to visit your old school when in the vicinity.

President: R. Lockwood, 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., S. W. Evans, Esq., W. Hepworth, Esq., H. Jessop, Esq., J. Martindale, Esq., W. S. McLauchlan, Esq.

Hon. Secretary: Miss M. L. Sheard.

Hon. Treasurer: Mrs. M. E. Jessop.

General Committee:
Miss N. Hardy, Mrs. D. W. James, Miss M. R. Jeffery, Miss S. M. Kilner, Miss M. Sheard, Miss M. Stead, G. D. Barrowclough, Esq., J. Butler, Esq., B. G. Kaye, Esq., M. Storey, Esq., P. Storey, Esq., H. Walker, Esq.


Greetings, Old Grammarians, wherever you may be. Sincere good wishes for your Health, Happiness and Creature Comforts, and a hope that we may all meet at the Re-union on September 21st.

A good meal, a friendly chat, some reminiscing with old associates, and a little dancing, make up a most enjoyable evening. As this is the only occasion during the year when so many of us make a special effort to get together, this opportunity of meeting old school friends, at such a pleasant function, is too good to miss.

To those who have not yet joined the Old Grammarians Association I would say, do so at once, and come to the Re-union. We should be pleased to see you, and I am sure that you in turn would feel that you had been missing something worth while in previous years.

President for 1957

21 Flash Lane
4th June, 1957

Dear Editor,

I am asked to say something, as from an Old Grammarian, to the readers of your magazine.

There was once a pupil of Mirfield Grammar School who presented, as part of his arithmetic homework, half a page of workings with an answer which was completely wide of the mark. The Headmaster addressed him thus, "You would have been nearer if you'd done it in your head. You are the kind of fellow who, if you were the captain of a ship, navigating from Liverpool to New York, would hit the American continent somewhere near the equator."

(For the sake of the peace of mind of any of you who may be thinking of going abroad, I should perhaps add that the young man in question did not become a ship's captain. As a matter of fact, he became a schoolmaster, though not in the mathematical line).

The moral of my story is this. We are all apt to achieve surprising results at times. Your friends will bless you if you keep them informed of your post-school ones at the gathering of the Old Grammarians.

Success to the Magazine!

Yours sincerely,