M.G.S. Magazine - December 1962

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MGS Magazine 1962
Information Pages


MARK D. BAWCUTT Head of the School, Head of Thorpe.
ROY ELY Deputy Head of the School, Captain of Football, Head of Brontë, Sports Editor of the Magazine.
K. HUGH DAVIES Head of Priestley.
MAXINE L. PECKSEN Head of the School, Captain of Hockey.
ENID M. HEY Deputy Head of the School, Head of Priestley.
SUSAN V. ATKINSON Editor of the Magazine.
LYN M. WESTERBY Head of Brontë, Editor of the Magazine.


It is with very deep gratitude that the Appeal Fund Committee announces that the total sum contributed is £1142 12s. 0d. The target of £1000 was reached on the very anniversary of the fire.

So many kind letters received with the gifts have made the Treasurer's job particularly pleasant.

We shall continue to try to justify the great esteem in which the School is obviously held by so many old pupils, parents and good neighbours.


At Easter we were sorry to lose Miss P. A. BOX and Miss M. R. HEYLINGS, both of whom were very popular and made their marks upon this School. Miss Box has joined British European Airways and Miss Heylings has gone to Bolton School, Lancashire; we wish them continued success in their new spheres.

In their places we warmly welcome Mrs. S. HARTLEY (Music) and Miss S. GARLAND (Domestic Science). Mrs. Hartley joined us in May, Miss Garland at the beginning of the Autumn term, and we hope they will enjoy being with us here.

At the same time, we sincerely thank Mrs. W. MORTIMER for the good work she did in filling the gap left by Miss Box and helping with Domestic Science during the Summer Term.

In September we were joined by the Rev. S. M. HIND, A.K.C., Vicar of St. Paul's, who is assisting (part-time) with Religious Instruction. We are glad to have him with us.

In our last issue we reported the presence of a very substantial pill-box just outside the Main Entrance. This has now been transformed into a splendid Kitchen and Dining Hall, in which meals were served for the first time on 21st May, 1962. We sent our lady reporter (who is also artistic) along to get the facts and (being mere males) reproduce her notes verbatim.

"DINING HALL. Octagonal. On left, after entering, is a grey wall with dark grey lockers for the Sixth Form; next section is a window, then African violet wall, window, orange wall with newspaper section, then grey wall with milk room, units containing cutlery boxes, sink, partition into kitchen, small window above. Next wall green, with a blackboard. Window looking onto Headmaster's study and tennis court. Other two windows look onto School field

"There are fifteen octagonal tables (which divide into half) and five smaller tables, all with metal tubular legs; chair for each of eight sides.

"Roof-beams radiate from centre, interspersed with horizontal strips of similar laminated wood. Strip lighting runs down the centre of each section.

"Heat is provided by four radiators, one by each window, and one by the blackboard. There are three convector heaters.

"The floor is parquet.

"KITCHEN. All new equipment: fish fryer, electric mixer, potato washer, peeler and boiler, refrigerator, two sterilizers, six sinks, five hot cupboards, airing cupboard, seven average and two large trolleys; stone-tiled floor, white-tiled ceiling with strip lighting; fire extinguisher; two electric fans for ventilation; store room, office and toilet. Two steamers, three ovens and three boilers in centre of room, surrounded by a gulley covered by a grate which lifts out in sections. Ladies empty boilers and water goes into gulley and is swept down into a drain.

"Comment by kitchen ladies: 'A nice kitchen, very airy, lovely to work in, plenty of room, but hard work, and we are thankful for holidays!'."

We have come a long way since meals were eaten in Rooms 4 and 5 and have heard nothing but praise for the new Dining Hall. It is a delightful room in every way, and it is a pleasure to eat good food there, smilingly served by gracious prefects. At this point we must say how sorry we were to hear of Mrs. Smith's intention to retire early this term. She had been our Cook for ten years under very difficult conditions and gave good and faithful service. On behalf of the School she was presented with a half tea-service, and we all wish her a happy retirement.

On 16th November, 1961, Miss HEYLINGS and a party of Sixth Formers attended the S.C.M. Conference at Batley Girls' Grammar School.

The BISHOP OF WAKEFIELD paid a brief visit to the School on 6th December, 1961.

The CAROL CONCERT was held in the School Hall on 19th December 1961 and the singing was greatly enjoyed by three hundred parents and friends.

During the severe frosts, the Annexe heating system went completely out of action. The ceiling came down in Room 13, pipes burst, and a trying time was had by all for a few days.

We always look forward to the lecture-recitals of Mr. ROGER TRAFFORD. He visited us again on 19th February, 1962 and this time his subject was "Oliver Twist."

On 13th March, 1962, a most entertaining concert was given by Miss HEYLINGS and her friends in aid of the Appeal Fund.

SPEECH DAY was held, once again in the School Hall, on 10th April, 1962. The prizes were presented by Miss MARGARET E. TODD, B.A., an Old Grammarian and daughter of one of our former Headmasters.

The FOUNDER'S DAY SERVICE was held, on Ascension Day, at Hopton Congregational Chapel which was this year holding its Tercentenary celebrations. The preacher was the Rev. LESLIE GREEN, PH.D., and prayers were said by the Rev. E. HARGRAVE, Vicar of Mirfield. The lessons were read by the Head Boy, D. ALAN STEPHENSON, and the Head Girl, MAXINE L. PECKSEN.

The customary round of educational visits during the past year includes: Miss BOX and the Sixth Form Housecraft Group to Manchester College of Housecraft; Mr. SAYWELL and the Sixth Form to Messrs. Schweppes Ltd. (Mineral Waters) and to English Steel at Sheffield; Mr. SAYWELL and the Fifth Form to Messrs. John Crossley and Sons Ltd. (Carpets); Mr. HOWLIN and the Third Form to the Gas Works at Huddersfield and the Railway Works at Doncaster.

Senior House Games Captains have been elected as follows:
Junior House Captains:

The contract for the main rebuilding of the School started on 27th August, 1962 and the charred remnants of the old buildings were speedily swept away. Not unexpectedly, the process caused certain variations from the normal in our procedure, but we are rapidly becoming accustomed to them.

"Talk with a man out of a window," quoth Shakespeare, "—a proper saying." Anyone wishing to enjoy a spell of woodwork with Mr. BEVERS now has to go through the window of his store-room, whereas chemists must go through Room 11 and up a pleasing little staircase in order to gain their laboratory.

It has long been known that the members of the Masters' Staff Room are warm-hearted men. This is just as well, for now that the rest of the north side of the School has disappeared the wind whistles shrewdly round that isolated spot. One recalls an incident last Spring when four masters were sitting (one in hat, coat and gloves) round a tiny electric stove beside which Scrooge's three coals would have seemed a glowing furnace. The door burst open to admit an official of the Electricity Board who announced that if they did not switch their fire off a breakdown in supply would be imminent and the rest of Mirfield would also have to go without heat. To the eternal credit of their profession...

Any time now they expect to welcome a girder, bag of cement, brick or builder, through their somewhat flimsy roof.

The pages of history were turned back on 18th October, 1962 when the OSIRIS REPERTORY COMPANY presented "Maria Marten, or The Murder in the Red Barn." This delightful museum-piece was greatly appreciated by an audience of 240.

The Barnardo's Helpers League

Members of this group have had an excellent start to the new School year. A cheque for £59 has been sent to Dr. Barnardo's Homes, the money having been raised by box collections and special efforts, including coffee mornings, bring and buy sales and flower selling.

Already the League has thirty-seven new members, mainly from the First Form. Although this in itself is good, many more members are needed and would be welcomed from the whole School, as the age of membership is not limited.

At Christmas we hope to have a party for the members and to sell calendars in order to raise funds. Our aim is to raise over £100 this year. We are now well on the way and with your help our aim should be realised.


Belgium, April '63

A party of forty-one boys from the Third and Fourth Forms will be making a visit to the Belgian coastal resort of Blankenberge from 5th-12th April, 1963. In charge of the party will be Mr. L. SALTON, Mr. D. BOOTH and Mr. G. J. JONES.

The original idea was for the School Under 15 Football XI only to take part, but such was the interest that it was decided to extend the scope of the visit.

It is still hoped that the football team will be able to play at least two games against Belgian schools. At the time of writing, these games have not been definitely arranged, but negotiations are in progress.

In addition to the football, visits to France, Holland, Brussels, Ghent and Bruges, have been arranged.


The School Play, given in March this year, was "A Spell of Virtue," a three-act comedy by C. Neilson Gatley and Z. Bramley Moore.

The story is based on some of the deeds and misdeeds of the Knights of the Round Table and their ladies and begins when King Arthur (TERRY KITSON) sets out to rescue some fair damsel in distress. He gives the task of keeping the court ladies in order to the old magician, Merlin (RICHARD HOLT). To accomplish this, Merlin casts a spell by which a mark would appear on the Round Table before the place of a Knight whose lady had been unfaithful to him.

Queen Guinevere (VIVIENNE PALTRIDGE), aided and abetted by her old nurse (SUSAN ATKINSON), is determined to remain faithful to King Arthur but finds it very difficult as she is fond of the bold Sir Launcelot du Lac (MARK BAWCUTT) who is deeply in love with her.

The flirtatious and cunning Lady Vivien (ANN KIRKWOOD) loves and is scorned by Sir Launcelot and so is determined to trap him in a suspicious situation with the queen. She enlists the help of Merlin and they hatch a cunning plot.

But the play, like all good fairy-tales, ends happily and the situation is saved by the old carpenter, Master Bores (GODFREY ALDERSON).

Terry Kitson gave an excellent performance and was much envied by the other members of the cast when he breakfasted, each performance, on chicken legs. Vivienne Paltridge made a charming and dignified Guinevere and tackled the problem of a wig which slipped slightly askew with great presence of mind.

The younger members of the audience were delighted by the roars and cackles of Merlin and amazed when he turned himslf into a bird and flew away.

The flighty Lady Vivien was played most convincingly and naturally (no offence meant) by Ann Kirkwood and JILL RAYNER brought out the humour of the country maid, Annie, and made the most of a small, but important, part.

Although hampered by a profusion of hair, both on face and head, Mark Bawcutt managed to look chivalrous and courageous, in fact, the true knight. Godfrey Alderson made a most natural and dignified Master Bores and Susan Atkinson gave a very convincing performance and delighted the audience with her singing.

The sound effects and properties were expertly taken care of by ROGER STYRING and EDWARD WILLS, and the lighting was in the capable hands of RICHARD SMITH.

We must once more thank Miss SHEARD and Miss JEFFERY who made an excellent job of some very difficult costumes and last, but certainly not least, we must thank our able producer, Mr. S. W. EVANS, who devoted all his time to ensuring the success of the play.


On April 4th a fashion show was held at School by arrangement with Messrs. Rush worth of Huddersfield, in aid of the Fire Appeal Fund. Girls taking part were, JUDITH FAIRS, SHEENA WILD, PAT DENTON, MARGARET HANDLEY, ANN BOOTH, EILEEN SMITH, CAROL BOOTH, SUSAN SMITH, GRUINARD WHITWORTH, DEIRDRE WOOD, PAT NORTH and I, and the show was introduced by Mrs. RUSHWORTH.

It could almost have been the House of Dior with the long catwalk, myriads of plants and the soft music, but in reality it was the School hall. There was tense excitement as girls hurriedly clambered into the clothes they were to model.

The catwalk seemed unending and the audience seemed to be silently criticising one's faults. The first time was truly an awful panic, but after facing the ordeal once, the next time was no longer frightening, but fun. Not a moment was lost, with the girls showing beachwear, slumber wear, casual wear, summer dresses, coats and suits.

When the last item had been shown it was quite impossible to believe just how the time had passed. I am sure that the girls taking part enjoyed both the show and the preparations and hope that the audience enjoyed it as much.



The shape of Mirfield Grammar School is changing rapidly. The foundations of a new three-storey block have been laid on the site of the "Old Block" destroyed by fire in March, 1961. As this is being written, steel girders are being hoisted into place and soon the "skeleton" of the new block will be complete.

In no way connected with, but soon after the fire in March, 1961, work was started on a new Dining Hall and Kitchen and these were first used at the end of May, 1962. In this new Dining Hall was served the dinner at the Twenty-Seventh Annual Re-union held on September 29th, 1962. Most people present thought this a great improvement. We were pleased to have with us again, Miss Conyers from Castleton and Mr. Hepworth from far-away Gloucestershire as well as many other old friends. Mrs. W. E. Whitwell (known to most of us as Beryl Goldthorpe) made an excellent speech in proposing the Toast, "The Mirfield Grammar School," responded to by Mr. J. D. Fairs. Councillor J. W. Bell ably proposed the Toast, "The Mirfield Old Grammarians," responded to by Miss D. Wood, our President. The function was most successful and enjoyable and, although the number of people present was greater than last year, we should, however, like to see even more present another year.

Mr. W. S. McLauchlan, who was with us at the Reunion, was unfortunately taken to hospital a week or two ago, but we are pleased to report that he is improving after his operation. All Old Grammarians will surely wish him a speedy and complete recovery and hope to see him out and about again before very long.

Old Grammarians—wherever you may be—we wish you well—we hope that you will be successful in all your undertakings. News of you would be very welcome.


Our first Annual Dinner in the new octagonal dining hall was a good start to this year's Reunion. The fluorescent lights radiating from a central point cast a brilliance we have not experienced before. It was ideal for a banquet.

To the Old Grammarians who were unable to be present I hope those of you who can will attend next year's Reunion and then you will see for yourselves the beauty of this modern hall.

After the brightness of the octagonal hall the lighting of the School Hall seemed quite dull at first but by the time the music started for dancing one had become accustomed to the change and soon our eyes were focussed on an exhibition of the Twist from the Young Group. If you would like to Twist come along next year-be modern and join in the exercise. Mr. Fairs had "a go" this time and did quite well for a beginner but we look forward to an improvement at the next Reunion. There could be a new dance in vogue then, of course, and if so, Mr. Fairs will, no doubt, rise to the occasion.

Some Old Grammarians, it is noticed, manage to attend the Reunions with remarkable regularity and to those who come a considerable distance to meet their contemporaries-cheers!

To Old Grammarians everywhere may good fortune, good health and happiness be with you.



President: Miss D. WOOD

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

W. R. Beaumont, Esq., F. Brearley, Esq., W. H. Brook, Esq., J. D. Crawshaw, Esq., J. D. Fairs, Esq., B. G. K aye, Esq., H. Lawes, Esq., R. Lockwood, Esq., J. Martindale, Esq.

Hon. Secretary: Miss M. L. Sheard

Hon. Treasurer: Mrs. H. Jessop

General Committee:
Miss J. Armitage, Mrs. A. Edwards, Mrs. D. W. James, Miss M. R. Jeffery, Miss J. Ramsden, Miss M. Stead, G. D. Barrowclough, Esq., D. N. Bruce, Esq., J. Butler, Esq., G. B. Holmes, Esq., M. Storey, Esq., P. Storey, Esq.

Dramatic Section:
Hon. Secretary: Miss J. Ramsden — Hon. Treasurer: Mrs. E. Chandler

Badminton Section:
Chairman: J. Butler, Esq.
Hon. Secretary: Miss J. Armitage.
Hon. Treasurer: P. A. Swire.