M.G.S. Magazine - December 1960

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MGS Magazine 1960
Information Pages






MICHAEL W. ELLIOTT Head of the School
GRAHAM J. SMITH Deputy Head of the School
DAVID B. LAYCOCK Captain of Priestley, Editor of the School Magazine
D. ALAN STEPHENSON Captain of Football, Sports Editor of the Magazine
BARRIE WHITEHEAD Captain of Brontë
NANCY OLDROYD Head of the School
WENDY I. BLACKBURN Deputy Head of the School
NON JONES Deputy Head of the School
KAY HOLT Hockey Captain
MAXINE L. PECKSEN Captain of Priestley
AILEEN M. SLATER Captain of Brontë
HAZEL M. TUDOR Captain of Thorpe
Other Official:  
ROBIN DRIVER Captain of Thorpe


During the past year we said goodbye to Mrs. E. Cashdan and Mr. T. H. Rowland. Mrs. Cashdan left us at Christmas to become Head of the English Department at a Secondary Modern School in Cambridge. We were sorry to lose her and hope she will be very happy in her new surroundings.

Mr. Rowland, after coming to be regarded as something of an institution here, has gone to Ripon Grammar School as Head of the (Classics Department. Eheu fugaces! His seven years' stay with us has been all too short a time. While wishing him every success, we leave Mr. Bevers to speak for us all, a little later in this issue.

We extend a very hearty welcome to their successors: Mr. D. R. Pugh, of the University of Wales, and Mr. N. Sampson, of London University.

SPEECH DAY was held on the 30th March in the Vale Cinema. This gave the opportunity for many more parents than usual to attend. Prizes were presented by a distinguished Old Grammarian, Professor R. E. Coupland, Cox Professor of Anatomy at the University of St. Andrews.

The FOUNDER'S SERVICE was held in the Parish Church on Ascension Day. The address was given by Canon Philip N. Pare, M.A., Canon Missioner, Diocese of Wakefield, and prayers were said by the Rev. J. Robertson. The Head Boy, M. H. Dodgson, and the Deputy Head Girl, Anne Carter, read the lessons.

The School, Old Grammarians and Parent-Teacher Association made a combined contribution of 45 guineas to the Mirfield collection during World Refugee year.

The West Riding String Quartet visited the School on the 23rd March.

Amidst all the other building projects in Mirfield, our own extensions are proceeding apace. A stout chestnut paling appeared early in May, undoubtedly to keep willing helpers from invading the site, and gradually since then the new Biology Laboratory has been taking shape, together with the additional changing rooms and showers underneath. The whole is expected to be completed by July, 1961. Meanwhile, intervals and dinner-times have been rendered all the more enjoyable by the opportunity of watching others work. Merry banter has been freely interchanged and snatches of native song have helped to give a touch of extra realism to Geography lessons. All this and new paint, too!

In May we had a third visit from Mr. Roger Trafford whose solo performances are always exciting as well as instructive. His subject this year was: An Introduction to Shakespeare.

We are continually in the process of being grateful to the Parent-Teacher Association. Last year we received from them a Cine Projector, the result of much patient saving. This year we have already thankfully accepted a sprinkler which did yeoman work on the cricket pitch in those dry days of early summer—how far away they seem as October rain ceaselessly clatters on the window panes!—and a set of bar-bells.

Welcoming the latter, G.J.S. writes: No doubt the keen members in the Sixth will "snatch" every opportunity of using them. It is hoped to organise regular training sessions and that the initial equipment will be added to so as to take full advantage of modern "weight-training" methods for the various sporting activities.

By the time this Magazine appears, the P.T.A. hope to have added to their good gifts a Clark and Smith Tape Recorder, Model STR4. Some educative fun is expected in English and French lessons.

A photograph of the whole School was taken on the 26th May. The girls have rather a washed-out appearance but (according to most of the boys) they actually look quite pretty in their new candy-stripe dresses!

This year we have had the usual number of educational excursions. Mr. Saywell and the scientists have visited Watson's Soap Works, Leeds, and the Park Gate Iron and Steel Co., at Rotherham. Mr. Howlin and the physicists of the Fifth inspected the Power Station at Wakefield. Miss Heylings and her junior musicians listened to the Vienna Boys' Choir during their visit to Leeds. Mr. Barker and the Fifths and Sixth saw Professor Wilson Knight in a fine production of "The Merchant of Venice" at Leeds University. A large party accompanied Miss Box and Miss Hickman to the Commonwealth Exhibition at Leeds. Last, but not least, whenever there is a good French film in the vicinity, Mr. Elliott and his Advanced Students may frequently be observed quietly slipping off on a Saturday morning.

Seven girls from the Upper School, accompanied by Miss Heylings, spent an interesting afternoon at Dewsbury General Hospital. They were shown around the Nursing Home, kitchens, X-ray and physiotherapy departments and several wards. When the party reached the operating theatre they found it in the process of being cleaned after an operation and one or two turned rather pale at the sight of a suspiciously red pool on the floor. Their feelings were by no means relieved when they were shown all the instruments and needles of every shape and size. The visit concluded with a short talk given by the Matron on the prospects and merits of a Nursing career.


A party of girls from the Fourth and Fifth forms, with Miss Box, visited the Ideal Homes and Food Exhibition on Woodhouse Moor, Leeds. One of the greatest attractions was a television camera which transmitted, on several monitor sets, pictures of people standing in front of it. There were many different stands demonstrating various products and the demonstrators plied prospective customers with free samples. However, when we !ooked hungrily at the tempting soups and hamburgers, that particular demonstrator looked the other way!


At the end of May a County Organiser from Dr. Barnardo's Homes visited the School and talked to the First Forms about the work done by the Homes. She also brought an interesting film which showed how the children live together in small families, each family living in its own house of the same design as their collection boxes. There are 110 branch homes in the United Kingdom, catering for 75,000 children.

Before the end of the visit we were given a form to fill in if we wished to join the Barnardo Helpers' League. As a result many of us joined and a few weeks later received collection boxes, badges and magazines supplied to all Barnardo helpers. The title of the Magazine is "The Open Door" and in joining the League we are helping to make sure that the Barnardo Homes may always keep "an open door" and that no desolate child need ever be turned away.

C.B. (2 ALPHA).

When the alternative consists of staying at School, Form trips never seem to lose their popularity. Places visited this year were: Chester (1A and 1 Alpha), The Yorkshire Show (2A), York (2 Alpha), Rievaulx Abbey (3A and 3 Alpha) and Matlock (4A and 4 Alpha). A good time was reported by all.

We congratulate the following five boys on gaining the highest award in the Scout Movement-the Queen's Scout Badge:
G, C. Alderson, J. A. Gregory, R. A. Kendall, J. R. Smith and G. Sowerby.

Junior House Captains have been elected as follows :

Priestley — C. J. BARKER and WENDY S. BATES.

D. G. HALLIWELL is spending a year at the Rolls Royce Works at Derby before going to St. Catherine's College, Cambridge, to study Engineering.


Mr. Rowland is sorely missed. Leaving us in July he has left a gap in the staff room and indeed in the whole school. He loved to take the opposite view in staff room arguments and his logic could be very convincing indeed.

Few people knew of his musical qualities. Working very hard to train himself as a vocalist, his rendering of "Nymphs and Shepherds" (especially the "she-he" bit) had to be heard to be believed. Mr. Rowland expressed himself very forcibly (at the "Dusty Miller" bus stop, though this had nothing to do with the argument) on the subject of "Harmony in Schools." This brought out fully his knowledge of music and his arguments dealt with the subject of rubber footwear as an aid to teaching, also to the French Sixth for which he expressed a particular fondness. A passing reference to the "rising seventh" brought out his view that the whole subject of "Tonality" and indeed the Key system generally should be explainable in a simple manner so that anyone could understand. He then proceeded to explain it to his own complete satisfaction.

Mr. Rowland's interest in the workshop was well known. His description of it as a "crafty" place was, I think, not intended as a reflection on any particular member of staff. In fact he couldn't speak too highly of the workshop whenever he wanted to borrow a special tool or required a particular size in plywood. To Mr. Rowland's initiative is due the fact that the new "lockers" in the staff room were put into hand, and he it was who appointed the Committee of Inspection with himself as Chairman. With what solemnity he counted the various joints to see that all was in order!

On the subject of gambling, his views were well known. He often expressed his desire to preach on the subject from a certain pulpit. It is a pity his sermon never materialised.

As a friend he is one of the best. Mirfield Grammar School is the poorer as a result of his appointment to Ripon but infinitely richer because of the years he spent here. We shall never forget him and shall look forward to a visit from him in the future. Though saddened by his departure we wish him and his family a very happy life in their new sphere.



The School play, given in March this year, was "Cranford" and it was adapted from the novel by Mrs. Gaskell.

The story revolves around Miss Matty, a "gentlewoman" in every sense of the word. This part was taken by SHIRLEY CLARKE, who played the part with the decorum and patience expected of her. Her voice and her bearing were well suited to the emotions she had shown during the play.

The play itself, dealing with the ups and downs of a small community, was introduced by Mrs. Gaskell, played by JOAN GOSPEL. She tried to "beam amiably" and to take the audience into her confidence, but found it very trying to "sigh reminiscently."

Miss Matty's new maid, "a raw, country girl," was acted by MARGARET LYONS, who certainly looked the part (no disrespect). She played the part with gusto, and her antics brought roars of laughter from the audience.

To break Martha's spirit Miss Matty sends for her young friend, Mary Smith, who in later years becomes Mrs. Gaskell. ANNE CARTER took the part of Mary, and was "cool, calm and collected" at all times, in keeping with Mary's character.

Miss Pole, one of the village gossips and a "snob," was played realistically by ELIZABETH ANN FAIRS. She entered into the spirit of the part with great enthusiasm. JACKIE RAYNER and MAXINE PECKSEN played Miss Barker and Mrs. Forrester, two other ladies of the village, who were not exactly on the best of terms with Miss Pole. Both ladies managed to put the right amount of sarcasm in their voices.

JILL DANIELS as Mrs. Jamieson and JUDITH FAIRS as her Scottish sister-in-law, Lady Glenmire, played their parts well. Judith Fairs was honest-to-goodness and down to earth, in contrast to the snobbish air which Jill Daniels admirably achieved.

The only two male parts in the play were played realistically by JEFFREY BARROW as Martha's "follower," and later her husband, and MICHAEL DODGSON as the doctor who later marries Lady Glenmire,

Our thanks must once again go to MISS SHEARD and MISS JEFFERY who, as usual, coped admirably with the problem of costumes. JOHN BEVERS was prompter, IAN LAND and GRAHAM HEELEY were in charge of lighting and sound effects.

Last, but certainly not least, we must thank, and praise, Mr. EVANS, our producer, director, stage manager, etc., who does a fine job of work every year. His efforts are always worthwhile and he brings enjoyment to the audience, his cast and (we hope) himself.






The Editor wishes to thank all those who have in any way contributed to the production of this magazine.


On October 1st, 1960, ninety-four Old Grammarians and friends gathered together at Mirfield Grammar School on the occasion of the 25th Annual Re-union Dinner. The function was most enjoyable, and a fairly representative cross-section of Old Grammarians was present. It has been said in previous years' remarks that we rejoice in the success of our Old Grammarians} and to mention a recent one, we should like to offer our congratulations to Professor Jack Nutting who has been appointed to the chair of Metallurgy at Leeds University, as from October this year. We wish him success and happiness in his new sphere. We were very pleased to see him, and Mrs. Nutting, at the Annual Re-union and hope to see them again next year. Also we were pleased to welcome again Mr. G. B. Kaye, this year's President, and Mrs. Kaye-Mr. Kaye's appointment to the Editorship of the Yorkshire Evening News was mentioned in the last issue of the Magazine. Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Crawshaw were with us once again and we wish Mr. Crawshaw success in his fairly new post of Inspector in the banking world.

Some remarks from Mr. B. G. K aye (President) which, incidentally could quite usefully be taken to heart, and also a poem by Dr. Richard Gordon Hepworth (now living in Alberta Canada) appear later in this section. We have news of Dr. J. W. Illingworth, who is now in charge of Paper Research with the Reed Paper Group and is now living in a 400 years old house with two acres of garden in a lovely village in Kent. We wish him success in his new appointment.

Good wishes to all Old Grammarians wherever you may be! More news of you would be welcome.


President: B. G. KAYE, Esq.

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

W. R. Beaumont, Esq., F. Brearley, Esq., W. H. Brook, Esq., S. W. Evans, Esq., J. D. Fairs, Esq., H. Jessop, Esq., R. Lockwood, Esq., J. Martindale, Esq.

Hon. Secretary: Miss M. L. Sheard

Hon. Treasurer: Mrs. M. E. Jessop

General Committee:
Miss G. R. Brown, Mrs. G. I. lames, Miss M. R. Jeffery, Miss J. Ramsden, Miss M. Sheard, Miss M. Stead, G. D. Barraclough, Esq., D. N. Bruce, Esq., J. Butler, Esq., G. Kilner, Esq., M. Storey, Esq., P. Storey, Esq.

Dramatic Section:
Hon. Secretary: Mrs. S. M. Harford — Hon. Treasurer: Mrs. E. Chandler

Table Tennis Section:
Hon. Secretary: D. N. Bruce, Esq. — Hon. Treasurer: Mrs. E. Chandler.


Another Old Grammarians' Reunion has passed into history-successfully too, according to the general verdict. Yet it is a matter for surprise, and regret, that although nearly 100 people will turn up for the annual get-together it has not for many years been possible to persuade the 9mallest number of former pupils to revive any of the branches of the organisation which were part of its activities when first it was launched and which no longer function.

Thus the Dramatic Section's annual play is the only proof to the public, apart from the Reunion, that the Old Grammarians are, in fact, existing and capable of taking effect. That we do have an organisation is entirely due to the efforts of a surprisingly small number of people who, as so often happens in these cases, are willing to work hard with little encouragement to ensure that the society stays alive.

I should like here to acknowledge the help they receive from the Governors and the Headmaster and Staff who so willingly provide facilities during the year and show an active interest at all times.

The school itself has a rich history of scholarship; it has an ever-growing fabric; and, annually, the number of men and women who have cause to be thankful to M. G. S. increases.

It has been my honour and privilege, as well as my pleasure, to be the Old Grammarians' first president of the 'Sixties-a decade fraught with both promise and threat for mankind but one, also, in which the tercentenary of the School is due for celebration.

How splendid it would be if, seven years from now, we had in active membership of our organisation one Old Grammarian for each of the 300 years of the school's history.

Now is the time to start aiming at a target which ought to be well within our reach.

Meanwhile, the very best of good wishes from the officials of the organisation to Old Grammarians wherever they may be.

BERNARD G. K AYE (President, 1960-61).