M.M.S. Magazine - December 1956

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MMS Magazine 1956

For a really healthy pastime why not take up cycling? You can get to many places on a bicycle whereas you couldn't otherwise. First of all, to start cycling you want a bike. The prices vary from £16 to £40 or even up to £50. My hobby is cycling and on Sundays I go with the Ravensthorpe C.C. Before I joined the cycling club I used to go off at about seven or eight in the morning and didn't arrive back until about eight o'clock at night. To join the Ravensthorpe C.C. you have got to pay 17s. 6d., but before you pay you are allowed three runs out with the club to get an idea what it's like. The subscription of 17s. 6d. covers the year.

The club meetings are every Thursday evening and every time you go to the club room you have got to take 3d. for subs.

At Christmas I am going to get a new frame which is going to cost £14 and then I am going to build the rest of the bicycle to the frame. Altogether it is going to cost £40. The bicycle is a Viking Tour of Britain model. Next season I intend to start racing. You benefit from this hobby by keeping physically fit.




Early this morning I awoke full of excitement, with the thought of the journey buzzing in my head. I had a quick breakfast, my head still a mass of nerves. After breakfast I waved good-bye to daddy and settled myself in the taxi, which we had ordered the night before. When I arrived at the station to my amazement, the train was already in. Mummy told me I had plenty of time, but here was the train! True it was stationary but to me it seemed to be moving. I jumped in an open carriage door and scrambled to my feet for I had fallen to the floor; I looked out of the window. We were moving. Slowly the train pulled out of the station; at last we were moving on our way to Scotland.

It was not long before we were winding our way through beautiful countryside. First we passed quite near a stream, and as we rattled over the bridge I could see fish darting to and fro, some under stones, others gliding through fresh green pond weed. In the distance I saw spruce trees stretching out as far as the naked eye could see. When we had passed the trees, before me was a sight far too beautiful for words. For there, down in the valley was a lake, sparkling in the sun. Round the margin of the lake was another sight far too beautiful for words for beautiful weeping willows lush green. Beyond those were mauve mountains whose peaks seemed to reach the sky. I must have fallen asleep for I remember no more till I heard the train screeching to a standstill. I looked out of the train window. I had arrived in Scotland. As I stepped on to the platform I saw my aunty running towards me, “Have you had a good journey?” Then after those words she called a porter then turned to me. I looked at her and said, “I’ve had a good journey, aunt."

Then we went to the taxi. As I stepped into the taxi I suddenly found myself hungry. It was not a long journey and it was not long till we were sitting round the fire eating hot buttered toast. Bed-time was 7-0 p.m. and it was now seven. I went upstairs feeling tired.  I felt that I was just beginning a wonderful holiday.




The school harvest festival was held on September 11th, 1956. Each person brought a contribution for their form. The children of each form helped to decorate their own baskets. Some sheaves of corn were brought. The fruit was arranged beautifully in the hall by Miss Collomosse and Mrs. Whitaker.

The service was held at 10-30 and lasted till 11 o'clock. Mr. Besly walked down the hall followed by the head of each form with their baskets. Prayers were said by Mr. Besly and the school sung hymns.

After the service the contributions were divided. Fruit was sent to the Toddlers' Home and hospitals, also to two members of the school, Mr. Byrne and Mr. Burley, who were ill, and to Miss Leonard, the retired secretary. At 3-45 each child of the school was able to take a gift of fruit or flowers to a sick person.

We held a successful harvest festival which must have brought joy to many old and sick people.




One Wednesday the West Riding Orchestra came to our school. Not all the forms could watch, but the 2nd, 3rd and 4th forms could. Then Mr. Haycock (the music teacher) came and said that anyone in the 1st form who was in either the violin class or the choir could watch. As it happens I am in both of them, so I had a good chance to go and hear some good music.

The conductor was very nice and said that before he had set off he had said “Wouldn’t it be a nice day to go to Scotland and see 'Fingal's Cave’?" and so he asked the orchestra to play a piece of music called ‘Fingal's Cave’.

The orchestra played two songs. The first one was ‘Cherry Ripe’, but I didn't know the second one. They also had a soloist to sing these songs and she had a lovely voice. Then he started to show us all the instruments excepting the strings, and they had to go out. As the concert finished a prefect called Philip had to go to the conductor and make a speech. Then Mr. Besly told us to be back at 1-30 p.m. for registration. All except 1A. They had to come back at 1-15 p.m. because they were going to the baths. He let the others come 15 minutes later because the concert ended late.



63% of boys do not go out with their parents.
80% are allowed out with girls.
Teeth brushed once daily on average.
85% boys like present staff.
The average boy is allowed out until 10-0 p.m., but 10% are allowed out until 11-0 p.m. or later.
13% are interested in politics.
50% like Rock an' Roll, 30% like modern music, 20% like classical.
10% parents are very strict, 87% are fairly strict, 3% not at all strict.
On an average boys clean their shoes 8 times in 7 days.
30% boys attend Evening Institute, 20% attend Youth Clubs, 50% attend neither.
3% boys think holidays too long.
23% of fourth form boys wear some school uniform.
90% of boys can swim.
50% boys prefer soccer, 28% prefer rugby.
Other sports are cycling, tennis and golf.
28% prefer Blackpool, 10%, prefer Scarborough, 16% prefer Bridlington, 16% prefer Filey.
40% prefer Bill Haley, 20% prefer Elvis Presley, 10% prefer Lonnie Donnigon, 15% prefer Mario Lanza, 7% prefer Ruby Murray, 8% prefer Max Bygraves.
Film star favourites are Diana Dors and Marilyn Monroe, Alan Lad and Tony Curtis.
Favourite colours: 30% prefer Red, 20% prefer Green, 43% prefer Blue, 7% prefer Yellow.
67% have bicycles.
On an average each boy attends church once a week, but 40% never go.
70% stay to school dinners.
Average savings each week, 4s. 6d.
Average visit to cinema is once a week.
Average number of brothers or sisters is two.
80% use public library.
70% use hair cream.
Most popular hobby is cycling—followed by modelling, reading and music in that order.
Other hobbies are stamp collecting, billiards and collecting fossils.
Average attendance at professional football matches—six times per season.
84% of boys like dancing.
72% of boys like school.
75% of boys claim that they help elderly people.
The average boy watches TV 6 hours a week.
Now fathers, are we very different from what you were like?


Average number of children in family—3.
Favourite hobbies—Needlework 20%, reading 20%, dancing 13%, nursing 6%, knitting 4%.
Other hobbies include fencing, horse-riding, skating and archery.
Average visit to cinema is once a week.
School dinners—60% of girls stay.
Average amount spent each week is 3s. 9d.
Average amount saved each week is 2s.
Attendance at Church or Chapel—average once a week.
Girls who attend Church of England—30%.
Girls who attend Non-Conformist Churches—45%.
Two out of every three girls go out with their parents.
Number of girls who use public library—42%.
On an average, girls clean their teeth twice daily.
Girls who like the present staff—95%.
Girls interested in politics—8%.
Girls who prefer classical music—6 %; girls who prefer modern music 69%; girls who prefer rock an' roll music 25%.
Parents—4% are strict, 86% are fairly strict, 10% are not strict.
Girls who clean shoes regularly once a day—91%.
Girls who are allowed out until 8-30 2%, girls who are allowed out until 9-0 20%, girls who are allowed out until 9-30 33%, girls who are allowed out until 10 23%, girls who are allowed out until 10-30 20%, girls who are allowed out until 11-0 2%.
Girls who attend Evening Institute—14%.
Girls who attend Youth Club—33%.
Girls who attend neither—53%.
Girls who think holidays are too long—16%.
Girls who do not like school—20%.
Average girl watches TV 11 hours per week.
Girls who wear no part of school uniform—23 %.
Girls who cannot swim—23%.
Girls who prefer hockey 18%, girls who prefer netball 22%, girls who prefer tennis 18%, girls who prefer rounders 40%, girls who prefer horse-riding 2%.
Girls who like dancing—97%.
Girls who wear make-up—40%.
Girls who wear nylons—67%.
Girls who claim that they help elderly people—80%.
Girls who prefer Blackpool 20%, girls who prefer Scarborough 12%, girls who prefer Bridlington 14%, girls who prefer Filey 7%, girls who prefer Rhyl 7%.
Girls who are allowed out with boys—40%.
Girls who prefer red as favourite colour 12%, girls who prefer blue as favourite colour 40%, girls who prefer green as favourite colour 20%, girls who prefer yellow as favourite colour 8%, girls who prefer pink as favourite colour 16%, girls who prefer orange as favourite colour 2%, girls who prefer white as favourite colour 2%.
Ruby Murray 8%, Mario Lanza 8%, David Whitfield 26%, Ronnie Carroll 9%, Dickie Valentine 3%, Kathleen Ferrier 2%, Elvis Presley 14%, Frankie Vaughan 6%.
Most popular film stars are Dirk Bogarde, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Rory Calhoun.
Girls who own bicycles—48%.
Girls who play a musical instrument—30%.
Have girls changed very much over the years?
What do you think, mothers?



Imagine a lonely boy hitch-hiker, tired but happy at the end of a long journey, in the extreme North East of Germany in August, 1939. This traveller was about to buy a train ticket to see him swiftly back across Europe to home and comfort.

Then imagine a very charming young girl . . . and war about to break out between Germany and Poland around the town of Danzig, which lay on my route home. Worse still . . . this charming young girl (such is the way of the creatures!) had wasted my time right up to the brink of war, and she had wasted most of my money.

One Sunday morning, frightened by now, I determined to spend my last traveller's cheque on a train ticket as far as it would take me, and to hitch-hike the rest without stops or food. I could get to a town called Schneidermuhl, which happened to be a frontier-town on the Polish German border. But 1 had forgotten that, as the banks were shut for Sunday I could not cash my traveller's cheque. I started arguing, persuading, cajoling, to be allowed to get on the train and pay the other end, after the overnight journey. The Germans are very strict people, and the idea of anything irregular like this filled them with horror. Each clerk I went to gave me a slip of paper about myself, passing me hastily on to somebody else. From clerks to station master, police, customs officials and other mysterious, solemn, uniformed bodies. In the end I had quite a file of papers about myself, but I did talk my way on to the train.

The ticket and customs officials on this huge, rather sinister trans-Continental express were very puzzled by the peculiar English specimen without a ticket, so they took my papers away to the guard's van to study them. By this time, with all the arguing and explaining that had gone before, the Germans in my compartment knew very well where the rather comical little foreigner was going. Exhausted after my day of haggling, I fell asleep in the crowded compartment.

“Englishman! Englishman! Wake up! Here is Schneidermuhl!"

That was the next thing I knew. I jumped up, startled, to find the huge train just beginning to pull out of Schneidermuhl station. I grabbed my haversack, jumped down on to the platform and just saved myself being carried 200 miles out of my way.

BUT—my precious documents disappeared into the distance in the guard's van of the train!

Here, on a frontier-station, just before the outbreak of war, was an Englishman, apparently dropped from nowhere, without a ticket and with a cock-and-bull story of how he got there. An enemy—fifth column?—a SPY. I know not what those serious Germans thought. What they did was very simple. They key of the local gaol turned in the lock, and there was I cooling my heels behind stone walls in the early hours of that memorable Monday morning, and by this time I was downright scared. As I looked through my prison bars I could see road-convoys and trainloads of troops, trucks, guns, tanks, ambulances, field-kitchens and mobile workshops all pouring into Poland.

Various grumpy German officials came to interrogate me during the day, and each went away unsatisfied by my explanations. At last somebody believed me, and I was marched out under escort to the Bank. Here, I cashed my last traveller's cheque, paid practically ail of it towards the fare, and was discharged almost penniless with 400 miles of very hostile country to cross between me and safety.

I made it, and I have not been to prison since—at least, not that I am telling you about!




As I read the morning paper and saw the news that thousands of Hungarian refugees were escaping over the frontier, my mind went back several years and I remembered ....

The sound of barking dogs and tramping feet brought fear to me once more, I had just escaped from a German prisoner-of-war camp in Berlin and was making my way to the western frontier.

The noises grew louder and I pushed myself deeper into the filthy black mud of the swamp.

Suddenly, coming towards me only a few yards away, were several German soldiers. They spoke rapidly to each other and though I had little knowledge of German I could only pick out odd sentences.

The mud soaked into my clothes making me heavier and caused me to sink further into the swamp.

The soldiers came nearer every step and I felt sure they were bound to see me. It seemed to take them hours to find me and with every pace they took terror gripped me like a vice.

At last they were past and as their voices died away in the distance I longed to jump up and shout for joy.

Instead I lay there for half an hour then slowly I began to drag myself out of the thick black mud.

I was coated in mud from my neck to my feel and could hardly move my cold, cramped limbs.

I crawled for almost a mile until my hands and knees were bleeding and with no skin left on them. I was exhausted now and could go no further. The mud by now was almost dry and I managed to brush some of it off, then I lay down and slept.

When I awoke the swamps and moors were almost in pitch darkness and the stars shone brightly from a black sky.

I knew now that I could not be more than a mile from the frontier.

I pulled myself up and slowly began my trek over the dark moors which skirted a village.

Finally there in front of me were the frontier gates. I could hardly believe my eyes, only a few yards away were freedom and friends.

Thinking of these things I forgot about the German guards and ran forward. Strangely enough there were no guards in sight, but suddenly a shot rang out shattering the quiet stillness of the night. A stab of pain pierced my right shoulder. With all the strength left in my body I staggered over the white lines, over the frontier, to freedom.