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October 2009

3 4 5 7 8 10 12 15 16 17 18 20 21 22 23 25 27 29 31 33

IN THIS ISSUE Chairman’s Letter Social Calendar

OAS Membership

From the Headteacher

Two early photographs

Jacobean Society Outing

‘Happy Harry’ Gledhill Is this a record? New poetry

‘The Almondburian’ online

Sports Notes: Cricket Tennis

Badminton Golf

President’s Day Postbag

Letter from Porthcawl

The Taylor Dyson Library

And back at the School … Obituaries


The ALMONDBURIAN Editor: Roger Dowling

October 2009

The magazine of The Old Almondburians’ Society

Chairman’s letter



WRITE AT THE END OF SUMMER, as your Society’s thoughts become dominated by the annual dinner on 21st November 2009. We will be at the Galpharm Stadium again, and application forms can be found elsewhere in this magazine. Following the successful revival of Founders’ Day last year, there will be a Founders’ Day service at All Hallows Church, Almondbury, at 11.30 am on Sunday, 22nd November.We do not yet know whether it will be possible to use the School as a base for the traditional walk up St Helen’s Gate beforehand, so either listen for an announcement at the Dinner, or contact a member of the committee, or see the website for details, since this will be the last issue of the Almondburian before the event. Or just turn up at the church for the service only. 3

Our summer event this year was President’s Day, organised as usual by the Cricket Club and advertised as a joint event with the OAS in our last issue. A report appears on page 23.The general feeling of the committee is that it will be good to continue with this format as an opportunity for members to get together at an organised summer event, and there is no need for the OAS to organise a separate non-cricket event. As always we will be interested to know what members think. One question the committee has been discussing this year has been how many members will want to continue to receive this magazine as a paper publication and how many would rather access it on-line. Responses to Vicky Taylor’s trawl for opinions earlier this year (see page 17) were inconclusive, but our impression is that younger members and recent leavers might be more at home with an on-line publication than a paper copy. So for 2010 we will start moving to electronic distribution for those who prefer it. But we certainly do not intend to stop sending the Almondburian in the post to members who want it, so you only need to let us know if you would actually prefer to have access on-line and not receive the paper copy. Finally our Annual General Meeting will be onTuesday, 5th January 2010 at 7.30 pm somewhere in Almondbury. If you are interested in coming, or in joining the Committee, please look on the website or contact any member of the committee  nearer the time for details. Floreat schola Almondburiensis!


ANNUAL DINNER Saturday 21st November 2009 The Galpharm Stadium

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING The AGM will be on Tuesday, 5th January 2010 at 7.30 pm (see panel opposite for details)

This year’s Annual Dinner will be held on Saturday, 21st November at the Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield.An application form is enclosed with this Magazine. Members of the classes of 1939, 1949, 1959, 1969, 1979, 1984, 1989 or 1999 (for example) may wish to organise a class re-union and should consider starting to organise their class re-union earlier rather than later.

BADMINTON AT SCHOOL Thursday Nights at 7.30 pm (Winter Months) New players most welcome: see Badminton report on page 21

DATES OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS, 2009 Held at the Woolpack,Almondbury 7.30 pm prompt. Dates: Monday, 5th October; Monday, 2nd November; Monday, 7th December Any member of the Society will be made most welcome.

FOUNDERS’ DAY Sunday 22nd November 2009 All Hallows Church,Almondbury

The traditional Founders’ Day Service will be held at All Hallows Church,Almondbury, on Sunday, 22nd November, 2009. 4

OAS Membership



NTHE SIX MONTHS since the last membership report was written, we have welcomed a further 10 new members to the Society taking the total number of new members recruited in the last membership year, between September, 2008 and August, 2009, to 64. Following a number of resignations, our total membership now stands at 693. Of these 693, 23 are life members, 47 are current staff and 510 are fully paid-up members, a total of 580 full members, which is an increase of 53 since the last membership report was written. Unfortunately, 71 members are still paying their subscription at the old rate, although this figure has been reduced by 11 since the last membership report. However, a number of those who are still paying at the old rate are members who have failed to notify us of a change of address, resulting in their magazines being returned. Because we have therefore lost contact with them, they will not be aware that the subscription rate has changed. Including some more recently ‘lost’ members, there are 22 people in total who are paying a subscription but who receive no magazine because we don’t have any current contact details for them.With your help we have tracked-down a good number of such members in the past, so thank you to the members who supplied this information.The members with whom we have currently lost contact are listed at the end of this report and, if anyone knows the whereabouts of any of them, then we would be delighted to hear from you.The list has changed since the last magazine, so please check carefully whether or not there is anyone on it whom you know. Finally, we currently have 33 members who are in arrears with their subscription for the current year. The vast majority of members now pay their subscription by

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at the ‘Woolpack’, Almondbury on Tuesday, 5th January 2010 at 7.30 pm.

Nominations for office on the Executive Committee are required by the Secretary in advance of this date, so that the election of officers can take place at the Annual General Meeting in accordance with Rule Eight.

All members are urged to make every effort to attend the Annual General Meeting. Andrew Haigh, Secretary


standing order and it would be much appreciated if those of you who don’t yet do so could complete a standing order mandate. If not, please pay promptly. Subscriptions are due on 1st September each year. If you receive a letter with this magazine pointing out that your subscription is not up-to-date, please do complete the updated standing order mandate that accompanies it and return it in the envelope provided without delay.Alternatively, you may renew online, using PayPal or a debit or credit card, by visiting and clicking on the ‘Join/Renew Online’ button. We are delighted to welcome the following new members to the Society: Name





Resident in


1986 1982 2003

1989 1987 2008

Edinburgh Fenay Bridge Fenay Bridge



Alec Walton




Royston Elsey



Adam Holden Fiona M Marshall Matthew Marshall


Barry Brook


Resident in

Derby Canterbury Baildon

Richard Nicholas Ainley 1968 Edward Asquith Donna E Buchan 1977


Christopher Ramsden




Adelaide, Australia

Gone missing! Members of the Society with whom we have lost contact are listed below. If anyone knows the whereabouts of any of these people, please contact the Secretary: Name









Edward A Armitage



John Chacksfield



Lucy J Jacob



Anthony John Bramley



Sydney C Edwards



Charles K Sykes



Kathryn E Auger

Peter Ralph Breach Matthew S Brearey

Frederick C Bungeroth David Philip Burnett Stuart G Carby


1982 1972 1988 1951 1952 1962

1987 1978 1991 1959 1954 1970

Dr Laura Joanne Cliffe


Sarah E Foster


Randon Ian Gallaway


Carl Maxwell Hague


Timothy Jackson


1996 1992 1955 1962 1973

Michael J Rimicans Michael Alan Taylor Gerard N Vinton

Michael Craig Vinton Stephen D Wilson

A word from your Editor

1992 1965 1977 1985 1970

1994 1973 1983 1989 1977

ou have a new Editor. After three years and nine issues,Vicky Taylor has decided that it is time to put her editorial blue pencil back into its case and I, for my sins, have now been drafted in to take her place for a while.The Magazine has gone from strength to strength under Vicky’s editorship,and the Society is indeed very grateful to her for her efforts. She will be a hard act to follow. Readers will have noted that with effect from the last issue we have restored the name The Almondburian, the traditional name for the school magazine for as long as most of us can remember. I hope that The Almondburian, now in full colour, will increasingly become a magazine rather than just a newsletter, with new regular features and contributions from OAS members. One final point: please remember that The Almondburian is YOUR magazine, not ours! We look forward to hearing from you in the months ahead. Roger Dowling


From the Headteacher



HE ACADEMIC YEAR 2008-2009 will long be remembered by everyone connected to the school. It was a year in which we featured regularly in the news and our achievements and activities enhanced our reputation. It was a year that started with the news that the school had achieved record results and ended with all those records being beaten. In between we had the celebrations for the 400th anniversary and the school achieving mumerous accolades including the granting of the prestigious ICT Mark and the achievement of ArtsMark. We had confidently expected our GCSE results to break all previous records so it was no real surprise to have our expectations confirmed, on GCSE results day, in late August. The year group had worked extremely well throughout and fully deserved their exceptional results. I personally thought that they were the bestYear 11 group that I had encountered in over 30 years of teaching. They were a real credit to themselves, their parents, their communities and our school. The 5+A* – C results of 82% are by far the best in the history of the school and provisional results indicate that they are the best in Kirklees.The 5+A* – C, including English and Mathematics, was another record at 64%. Our previous record, set in 2007 was 54%. In addition every student achieved at least 5 GCSE passes, a statistic that not many schools can claim.We achieved record results in English, Mathematics, Science and ICT. In addition, we broke many more records including:  The number of A*/A grades, at approximately 24%, was almost double our previous record  59% of our students achieved 10+ A* – C  86% of the girls achieved 5+A* – C  78% of boys achieved 5+A* – C Everyone connected with the school is extremely proud of these results.We now need to build on our success and sustain our position as the school with the best results in Kirklees. Finally I would like to thank the King James’s School Foundation for its continued financial support. Over the years its kindness has allowed us to purchase equipment that has enhanced the learning environment of our students. In September, thanks to their generosity, we took delivery of a brand new mini bus. This will allow further opportunities for our students to take part in a variety of extra curricular activities.  I look forward to seeing you all at the OAS Annual Dinner in November. 7


Two early photographs



Nich Briggs writes:

HAVE COME INTO THE POSSESSION of a very unique piece of KJS history.It is a c1904 postcard by Bamforths of Holmfirth and is a picture of the gardener of the time cutting the tennis courts in front of the Library. In the picture are two children (inset), identified by Christopher Mann as the Crumps’ children.The card was written by Mrs Crump herself.

Christopher Mann adds:

The card was indeed sent by Mrs Crump. She came from Bath and presumably was staying with her parents at the time. I would say that the photo is 1901-2: the laboratories were built in 1900 and there are plants shown around them ;the card is dated Jan 1904 and so was printed by 1903; the reference in the card to Robbie and Marion complies with the names of the two elder children of the Crumps and what more natural than to have them included in the photograph when it was taken? I cannot yet identify the name of the gardener. Robert Crump was Head from December 1900 to August 1912.

 Do you know the name of the gardener or anything else about this postcard ? If so, drop us a line: contact details on back cover.



Terry Buckley writes

ATTENDED ALMONDBURY GRAMMAR SCHOOL from 1948 to 1953 and was a member of Jessop House. My father also attended the School from c1921-1926. I have an original photograph taken, I believe, at the Huddersfield Theatre Royal, again in the early 1920s, depicting the complete cast (plus supporting members of staff) of a production of one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operas.

 Gilbert & Sullivan productions were, of course, an annual feature of school life from 1922 to 1938, initially being organised by Major Hirst and Haydn Sandwell and later by Mrs Sizer and Harry Gledhill.The tradition was revived after the SecondWorldWar with productions of The Mikado (1947),The Gondoliers (1948),The Pirates of Penzance (1949) and HMS Pinafore (1953). The photograph shows the cast of a production of The Gondoliers around 1925.The master on the extreme left is John Baldwin, who went on to become Headmaster in 1945. Third from the left is art master Edward Akroyd, who traditionally looked after the scenery for these productions, and next to him are Robert Burn and John Hopton. We are grateful to the eminent Gilbert and Sullivan director and performer Alistair Donkin for identifying this historic production. Any information from members of the Old Almondburians’ Society as to who played the principal roles will be gratefully received.



Jacobean Society Outing



Tuesday July 20, 1954

R BYRAM ON THE BACK SEAT most of the way and over it or under it the rest.The ‘Ivy Coach’ began the day well by leaving St George’s Square 10 minutes late, and soon was well under way upon its career of hilarity and merry-making. Passing through various centres of interest such as Wakefield, Pontefract, Knottingley and Goole the coach soon encountered the cretaceous chalk escarpment of the Yorkshire Wolds. Meanwhile, the back seat crew had organised itself and indeed all that could be seen of Mr Gelder was his ‘back seat’. After the first stop a lottery was run on the back wheel of the bus with only one vice-president deigning to join in. Apart from the occasional girl who came in sight in either direction, very little heed was paid to the countryside. At Beverley, the second stop, the coach pulled up adjacent to the ancient minster. Half a dozen members ascended one of its towers and 200 feet above ground had their photograph taken without camera fee. One member made use of this halt to fulfil a Gerald Stead (1948–56) is a former Head Boy of King certain rendez-vous. Grammar School and The coach left Beverley less certain latecomers who James's long-established member of joined the coach to the derision of Mr Fawcett.With only The Old Almondburians’ the members at all vociferous the coach eventually Society. He was President of the Huddersfield Textile Society reached Flamborough Head, where lunch was eaten during its centenary and ‘alfresco’. After lunch, most members stormed the cliffs, became Honorary Life Member (with stones), encountered the sea and explored the in April 2006. beaches and coves, setting at nought all dangers. All paying 1d ransom fee the coach was boarded and the journey to Whitby begun, following the coast through Filey, Scarborough and Robin Hood’s Bay. At Whitby, a regatta was soon organised and apart from a few swamped boats, several soaked shirts and one pair of oars all returned safely to shore after an hour’s rowing and swearing. In spite of the narrow escapes in the form of rollers and sand-banks the urge to adventure was not satiated in the party skippered by Ian Shaw, who decide when paddling to leave their shoes and stockings a prey to the incoming tide. Hence their barefoot returned to the coach and their drying their feet out of the coach windows. Hardly 10

anyone, after their jaunts at Beverley and Flamborough, attempted to climb the steps to Whitby Abbey and those who did found the entry fee of 6d prohibitive. After leaving Whitby, late of course, most members became more voluble. The sun was showing its effects. A welter of songs, mostly the same ones over and over again, drowned the intellectual hubbub of the front. Swiftly glancing at the receding vista of the magnificent scenery of the North York Moors, the coach party diverted itself to improvising novel verses of the ‘quarter master stores’. The back-seat coterie disbanded one by one according to the fortunes and diverted its attention to dress, (notably Mr Emsley), or to encouraging all females passers-by under the age of 90. The coach arrived atYork leaving time for an hours boating – sufficient to deprive the chairman of his shirt. The vice-presidents’ clique soon disappeared into the maze of streets that isYork, shaking off those who would ‘tail’ them.These latter were to settle themselves in a hostelry around a brass bound table and a pack of dominoes. The shivering Mr Byram and the peregrinations of his saddened shirt were the source of much humour on the rest of the journey. He it was and Mr Binns, who were the only two to be pulled across the back seat and spanked. The secretary, seeing his fate imminent judiciously removed himself to the vice-presidents’ wing. However, the chairman recovered from his outrages in time to make a breathless, breathtaking speech of thanks, principally to Mr Hudson the organiser, and to all the staff. Further singing and rioting ensued until Huddersfield was reached at 10.30 pm. This was surely the most enjoyable and most exhilarating of all the Jacobean trips. 


£350 goes a long way in 1940



HE GREAT EVENT of this term [December 1940] will be the combined effort of the School and Old Boys to raise a fund by means of a School Fair on Friday and Saturday, July 12th and 13th. During the past few years, by various efforts, the School Fund has provided, among other things, at a cost of over £350, wire netting and supports around the tennis lawn, a motor mower, the rebuilding of the cricket pavilion, the returfing of the cricket field, half the cost of the school epidiascope, a microscope for biology, chess sets for the school chess club, complete sets of Gilbert and Sullivan gramophone records, fees for outdoor lecturers, etc. We should like to get such things as school cinematograph apparatus, school wireless set, new heavy roller for cricket field and, if fortune smiles on us, a fives court or hard tennis court in the near future.  11


‘Happy Harry’ Gledhill



OR ANYONE who attended King James’s between 1930 and 1966, the word ‘music’ means just one man: the diminutive Harry Gledhill, a cheerful figure appropriately known throughout his teaching career as ‘Happy Harry’. Harry Gledhill joined what was then known as Almondbury Grammar School as a part-timer, at the age of 28.The school was still recovering from the shock of losing its previous music master Haydn Sandwell, who collapsed while taking a singing class at school and died soon afterwards at the tragically young age of 39. Harry was well qualified, as an associate of the Royal College of Organists and a licentiate of Trinity College, London. At the same time as teaching at Almondbury Grammar School, he had similar responsibilities at Elland Grammar School, Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley and Huddersfield College. Perhaps surprisingly, he did not become a full-timer at AGS until as late as 1952. He was also a busy man outside school. For 16 years, he was musical director of the Huddersfield Light Opera Society and the Dewsbury Collegians’ Society. “Harry

Harry Gledhill poses in the school gym with his choir of 1955


Gledhill was my first Musical Director for Light Opera when I was only 15 years old,” recalls the Society’s present secretary Wendy Taylor. “Obviously I was keen to do as I was told and I just remember that he ran a really good rehearsal. We must have liked him Harry’ receives a farewell gift on his retirement in otherwise he would not ‘Happy 1966. Left to right: P A Shaw (Head Boy); Harry Taylor; Harry have stayed as long as he Gledhill; Fred Hudson did.” Harry was also much involved in the church. At various times he held appointments at Golcar Parish Church, Lindley Parish Church, St John’s Church, Birkby, and St Matthew’s Church, Rastrick. In 1963, he was responsible for music at Huddersfield Mission, Queen Street. A Freemason, he was a member of Huddersfield Lodge and a Past Provincial Grand Organist. So what did he bring to AGS? In the early days, music lessons were held either in a partitioned-off part of the ‘Big’ (now the Library) or in the ‘Small’ nearby. “Harry Gledhill just used to come along on Wednesdays,” remembers Austin Holroyd (19361941). “He never taught us anything academic like tonic sol-fa. It was just a case of us singing songs with Harry acting as accompanist.” As a prelude to Harry becoming a full-timer, a big event took place in 1950. As Headmaster Horace Moore reported in The Almondburian: “Two bedrooms over the kitchen have been made into an excellent Music Room. Not only does it concentrate music in one place, but it leaves the Small free for its rightful occupants. Far more difficult than the actual conversion of the two rooms into one was the prospect of moving the piano!” The new music room was the one remembered by former Head Boy David Morphet (1951-1958). “My main recollection of Happy Harry is of a genuinely kind man who presided over the interminable singing of sea shanties by small boys in short trousers lined along wooden benches in the musty Music Room. I remember the class once killing themselves over his pronunciation of ‘Lah Boh-haim’, clever little O-level French-pronouncers that we thought we were.” My own recollection is very similar. In the First Form, Happy Harry would check our singing ability by going round the room, one by one, asking us to sing a few verses to his accompaniment on the piano. I had never sung in my life, even in the bath, but I still launched out with misplaced confidence when it came to my turn. After a few bars, he brought the proceedings to a halt with a sad shake of the head and even, I am sorry to say, a tiny glance of sympathy. And that was the beginning and the end of my singing career at Almondbury Grammar School. 13

Bill Godwin (1952-1975), now resident in Canada, adds, “I remember well the difficulty I had finding the music room. Waiting for us at the door was a smiling character not much taller than we short-panted students. His nickname, Happy Harry, was most appropriate for he always seemed to be smiling despite having the challenge of controlling us somewhat unruly boys.” Having become a full-time teacher, Harry was able to able to find time to undertake other teaching responsibilities at AGS besides music. His church connections and his knowledge of the Christian gospel enabled him to make religion his second teaching subject. I recall that he also taught us junior Geography in the 1950s, although ‘teaching’ might be a slight exaggeration in this case. His unique approach was simply to read from an exercise book borrowed from a high-flier of the previous year (no doubt taught by Fred Hudson). Pronunciation continued to be a challenge: I remember a lesson on Argentina when he told us all about its capital ‘Bew-nose Airs.’ So was Harry Gledhill a great teacher? In an academic sense, I think the answer has to be ‘no’. Today’s pupils at King James’s have a purpose-built Music Room, and they learn not just about tonic sol-fa but also about composition, musical notation and all those technicalities of music-making; a far cry from singing sea shanties around the piano. But if Harry was no academic, it did not prevent him from making an enormous contribution to the history of King James’s. Undoubtedly, his greatest musical triumphs were in connection with the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, for which he was responsible from 1931 until the last performance – HMS Pinafore – in 1952. He also had a major role at school Speech Days which, as there were not quite as many prizes


The great search for Harry ‘Wood’ Gledhill

e recently received an intriguing email from Old Almondburian David Sinclair who had acquired a copy of Taylor Dyson’s Almondbury and its Ancient School with the signature ‘Harry Wood Gledhill’ (top right) on the title page. Could the book have been owned by Happy Harry, asked David. It was a question easier to ask than to answer. On the face of it, the idea seemed quite plausible, although ‘our’ Harry Gledhill never revealed any middle name in his time at the school. In 1926, he would have been 24. Perhaps he fancied a job at the school one day and thought that it would be prudent to get a copy of the Headmaster’s new book to prepare himself for any possible interview? Moreover, a comparison of Harry Wood Gledhill’s signature with Harry Gledhill’s (bottom right) showed a somewhat similar structure for the name ‘Gledhill’ even if the ‘H’ had become a little more sophisticated over the years. But, alas, after many searches of census records and conversations with Old Almondburians, we have to report that Harry Wood Gledhill was NOT Happy Harry.The issue was finally resolved for us when Nicky Green kindly consulted the file index of former pupils and found that a Harry Gledhill, born in 1915 (Harry W Gledhill on his birth certificate), became a pupil at the school in September 1926. No doubt he received the book from his proud parents as a Christmas present that year. He became a solicitor and died in Australia in 1958. A nice thought while it lasted!


to award as there are today, used to include a goodly number of meticulously rehearsed musical contributions from the school choir. And there is one other good reason for remembering the name of Harry Gledhill to this day: it was he who, in association with ‘Tich’ Blackburn, composed the music for the School Song which first saw light of day at the Pageant of 1936. I am sure every Old Almondburian will remember Harry Gledhill with fondness: a friendly, cheerful character who was never happier than when he was sitting at the piano or organ making music. On his retirement in 1966, he initially continued to live at Newsome before moving to Burn, near Selby where he immediately set up his own choir. His death there at the age of 73 in 1975 was widely mourned not only by Old Almondburians but by musical organisations throughout Huddersfield and  beyond.

 Do you agree with this assessment of Harry Gledhill? Do you have any interesting memories or anecdotes? If so, drop us a line (contact details on back cover).

Is this a record?



N THE 400 YEARS since King James I ordained that there be ‘one Grammar schole for the teaching, instruction, and bringing up of children and youth in Grammar and other good learning’, many boys (and girls) must have passed through its portals. Few of them, I suggest, would have had as many close relations on the registers as myself: Maternal Grandfather Grandfather Father Uncle Self Brother Cousin Cousin Cousin Cousin once removed

Arthur Matthews Thomas Senior Thomas Harold Senior Victor Alexander Senior John Peter Senior Thomas Bryan Alexander Senior John Kenneth Sugden Robert Hirst Senior Clifford Warwick Matthews Martin Andrew Shaw

1868 1874 1898-1900 1900-1902 1934-1939 1939-1946 1925-1934 1934-1936 1936-1941 1965-1972

Of course, families used to be larger (though, sadly, many children did not survive to school age). And nowadays, families are more widely scattered – my brother Tom is in the United States, and my cousin Warwick in Canada.  So I venture to say – Any Challengers?

John P Senior (1934-39) left school to become the youngest-ever General Manager of Burnley Transport Department and later Assistant General Manager at Ribble Transport.Then came a complete change of direction when, in 1963, he was called to the Church and became a priest in the Church of England.


New poetry



HE LAST EDITION OF THE ALMONDBURIAN carried a specially commissioned poem by former KJGS Head Boy David Morphet (1951-58) who had a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service, the Department of Energy and the private sector. A successful poet, he has published a number of collections of poetry under the imprint Notion Books. His latest volume – the acclaimed ‘daydream in five cantos’ The Maze – has now been pubLate in the year, one morning I awoke and found myself shut in on every side lished (opening by high and thorny hedges, with a cloak verses on right). Written in terza of thick fog everywhere. There was no hide or hut; no sound, no voice; nothing to show rima (a verse form with a rhyme location or bearing; nothing to guide – scheme aba bcb cdc, etc), it is an imaginative excursion into poetic only a narrow alley where, with slow steps, I moved between the hedges, feeling landscape, involving calls on Alexander my way, the mist swirling, my courage low. Pope, Dr Johnson, Wordsworth, Blake, Keats and Ezra Pound. As day wore on, the haze dispersed, revealing long lines of foliage with intersections and dead ends. I knew then I was dealing

with a maze, full of obscure deflections, with walls which blocked me off or led me on, sending me back and forth in all directions. Each broad way would turn out to be a sham; and all the work of threading twist and turn be lost as I came back where I began. Deception followed deception. No return seemed possible; no exit from these pounds of lost content; no end you could discern. The alleys seemed to have elastic bounds: the more I walked, the further they would go; the junctions multiplied, the high surrounds grew higher, darker, and the sun dropped low. Then to my horror, at an alley’s end, I saw a black dog prowling to and fro.


OAS poetry lovers may also like to read another of David’s recent poems The Silence of Green.This is a remarkable collection of 58 poems (sample on right) covering many aspects of our relationship with the complex processes of the green world, and how we relate to them. The collection has been widely praised: Dannie Abse found it ‘a Xylem’s the green world’s Grand Trunk Road, remarkable book, all of its sequences of a the fibre super-highway piping sap piece’, while Anthony Thwaite admired its from unlit depots up through bole to tree-top termini. Plants stretch up tall ‘pertinacity of observation and clear to make a thoroughfare. lines’. And yet there’s not a whisper to be heard. The Maze is priced at £5.00 (pp in UK: No resonance or rushing in the tubes, 50p) and The Silence of Green costs or gurgling in the long capillaries, £9.99 (pp in UK: £1.20). Both books can or tremolo as sap threads through the narrowest branches. now be ordered online from the Buy It Now page of the OAS website ( where Out of foliage pour endless molecules. The air is thick with them but there is still no you can pay via any credit or debit card or by sound. Paypal. Alternatively, all David’s books are Xylem conceals great silences like that of lymph or other noiseless interstitial fluids, or corpuscles, available by post from Notion Books, 11 Daisy or the unheard motion of bacteria. Lane London SW6 3DD, enclosing a cheque  payable to David Morphet.

‘The Almondburian’ online

In the September 2008–February 2009 edition we invited members to complete a short questionnaire regarding the OAS magazine.The replies we received suggested that:  Some members would be just as happy to view their magazine online via the OAS website ( as in hard copy form.

 Most members viewing their magazine online would still be happy to continue to pay the full £10 annual membership fee. As internet distribution – for those who prefer it – would help the society to save on printing and postage costs, the proposal will be discussed further at the AGM on 5th January 2010; if agreed, we will simply ask members to let the Secretary know by email if they would like to view online in future. The Magazine will, of course, continue to be published in printed form for the many members who will wish to continue to receive it through the post in the normal way. Vicky Taylor

Footnote:The online version is visually identical to the printed version but is also fully searchable and includes links to any websites or email addresses mentioned in the magazine text. 17




HE OLD ALMONDBURIANS’ CRICKET CLUB’S 2009 SEASON saw the First Eleven in Section A of the Arrow Huddersfield Central Cricket League, having been relegated from the Premier Section at the end of last season. The Second Eleven occupied their now legendary position in Section E. Against this background the club was highly optimistic that better weather would prevail (‘barbecue summer’) and the two teams would enjoy greater success. On completion of the season I am delighted to report that the Firsts convincingly consolidated in their section, occupying a mid-table position. The Seconds narrowly m issed gaining promotion into Section D when they were sadly beaten by Horbury in the last match of the season. The final league positions this season were: FIRSTS

Almondbury Wes A (Champions)

Old Almondburians’ Cricket Club A


22 22


12 7








Nortonthorpe B (Champions)

Old Almondburians’ Cricket Club B


20 20


14 10







The Seconds were semi-finalists in the League’s Tinker Cup competition, losing to the eventual winners, a very strong Cawthorne team. Father and son, Old Almondburians Steve and Thomas Slack, captained the First and Second Elevens respectively. From the season’s results it is obvious that Thomas has inherited no small measure of Steve’s cricket acumen – and ability. Prominent first teamers have been Tim Taylor, Will Atkinson, Mat. Brooke, Andy Pearson and Simon Lyons, whilst in the Seconds ‘Graham and Richard’, John Headey and the Clutterbrooks (David and John) have given admirable support to Thomas. Steve and Tim both achieved century scores during the season. 18

Pre-season, the OACC– represented by Michael Buck, John Clutterbrook and John Headey – relinquished our hold on the OAS Quiz Trophy. This disappointment was banished by the subsequent successes on the field. Early in the season the cricket pavilion, 50 years old in 2008, benefitted from a grant from the King James’s Trust Fund. New toilets and showers were installed, in addition to renovation to the wooden veranda. Not only players, but the many visitors to Arkenley have appreciated the overdue improvements. Our thanks are due to the Trust and we are sure the School will also reap the benefits from the alterations. I must share with readers my experience of the first game at Arkenley in April 2009. On my late arrival, owing to a previous engagement, I was confronted with the total on the scoreboard at 281; batting first, the Second Eleven, lead by teenagers Joe Johnsey (86) and Charlie Mitchell (51), had put the visitors, Calder Grove, to the sword. After tea, Calder were vanquished for 18! In previous seasons, all too often these totals have been reversed; this proved to be a good omen as the season got under way. We were very pleased to hear later in the season that Charlie had been selected for the Yorkshire under 14 XI. Another Second XI player, Joe George, had enjoyed a preseason two-day coaching course with the M.C.C. at Lords. He was supported by a generous grant from the Harry Taylor Trust Fund, arranged by Richard Taylor. Shortly into the season both Charlie, Joe George and Joe Johnsey gained promotion into the First Eleven and achieved considerable success. President’s Day*, held in conjunction with the OAS, and was held on Sunday, 16 August. The change from ‘the last Sunday in August’ was necessitated by the club’s participation in the Almondbury 20/20 competition, hosted this year by Almondbury Wesleyans CC, on August Bank Holiday Monday. In a ‘round robin’ competition an OACC XI, whilst beating the Wesleyans, lost to eventual winners Almondbury CC. The revised date proved to be a good choice as, compared to the afternoon washout last year, there was much welcome sunshine. Coincidentally, the ‘last Sunday in August’ was a grey and bleak day. A large marquee, housing the bar, and a barbeque were the main off-field attractions. Light refreshments were available in the pavilion. 19

In the course of the day a tombola stall, ‘breakfast’ raffles and tea interval ‘bowl at the wicket’ competitions were well supported. During the morning a ‘fathers v sons’ match took place; pitting Steve against Thomas, Graham v Tom and Andy v Charlie, amongst others. The match was played with great endeavour, fathers considerably raising their game (and blood pressure), to the delight of the many spectators – and biased mothers. In the afternoon an OACC XI entertained the Almondbury Casuals who featured our former Second Eleven captain Geoff. Headey. Batting first, the home team scored 283 in 40 overs; in reply the Casuals were all out for 170. It was encouraging that a couple of our players were subsequently invited to guest with the Casuals – continuing the lineage established by the chairman (in the 1960s!), Richard and Tim Taylor, and hopefully securing further fruitful interaction between the two clubs. On the whole, President’s Day proved to be a most enjoyable day for players and spectators alike. The OAS Executive is to explore the possibility of further collaboration along similar lines next year. The Club’s Annual Dinner and Presentation Evening will take place on Saturday, 10th October, at Lockwood Park, home of Huddersfield Rugby Union Club. Our guest speaker is Old Almondburian Michael ‘Tony’ Lee, the official ‘Beast of Bodmin Moor’ – all will be revealed on the night! * A report on Presidents’s Day from our special correspondent ‘FailedWicketkeeper’ appears on page 23.




HE 2009 TENNIS SEASON showed a significant improvement on the 2008 season, not least because last year only five of the thirteen Thursdays in the season were dry. This year, by comparison, we were unable to play on only three Thursdays and only one of those was due to rain, the other occasions being because the tennis courts were acting as a car park for a parents’ evening and because one week only Neil Gledhill managed to turn up to play! So, perhaps we don’t need to install a retractable roof at Arkenley after all; the one at Wimbledon didn’t do Andy Murray much good, did it? I have written in recent Badminton reports of the international flavour of the Badminton Section these days and now the Tennis Section is getting in on the act as well. This summer we had a guest appearance by Rutger Olk from Zaandam, just north of Amsterdam. He is only thirteen but, being Dutch, was by no means the shortest person on court that evening! The season was certainly a most enjoyable one and this is probably best exemplified by the fact that on the final Thursday of the season, the last Thursday in August, play 20

Some of the Old Almondburian Tennis players during the 2009 season (left to right): David Parry, Hazel Pacurib, Andrew Haigh and Neil Gledhill

continued until nearly 9 p.m., despite the presence of threatening black clouds meaning that it was almost completely dark by then. Obviously everyone was enjoying themselves so much…or was it just the determination of those who were winning to finish the set? Those who played tennis this summer are: Neil Gledhill Rachel Kershaw Robert Kershaw David Parry Hazel Pacurib Ron Jones Rutger Olk



Andrew Haigh Andrew Jones


AST SEASON the numbers playing badminton were the best for a good few years and I’m pleased to report that the early signs are that the trend might be set to continue this season. We did, unfortunately, lose one of our regulars after only one week of this season, when Matthew Booth left to live abroad. Matthew has bought a guest house in Cambodia ( and I would expect him to offer a generous discount to any Old Almondburian who visits. Indeed, we’re now waiting for him to organise the Old Almondburians’ Society Badminton Section Tour to Cambodia. However, we have been pleased to welome Ruth Comer, Emily’s mum, who claims to be coming along to replace Matthew. She is, of course, totally inadequate as a replacement for Matthew; she doesn’t play badminton in shin pads for a start – and she is alert to the direction the flight of the shuttlecock is taking and moves accordingly! Our badminton seasons traditionally get off to quite a slow start in terms of numbers, but on only the second week of this season we had eleven people playing. I’ve been asked by one member to point out that the second week of this season was also notable for the fact that everyone brought their own soap! 21

The international flavour of Old Almondburian badminton also continued into this season as we welcomed AurĂŠlien Guyomar and Isabelle Guinard as guests from France. Our season runs from Thursday, 4th September until Thursday, 27th May and we play in the school sports hall each Thursday evening A good turnout early in the new badminton season: the scene in the school during term-time from sports hall 7.30 p.m. until 9.30 p.m. The fee, to cover the hire of the sports hall, shuttlecocks and showers, is five pounds per person per evening. Please come along and join us. However, please note that due to school events or examinations there will be no badminton on the following three dates: Thursday, 17th September, 2009 Thursday, 22nd October, 2009 Thursday, 4th March, 2010 Those who have played during the early part of this season are: David Parry Hazel Pacurib Andrew Haigh Neil Gledhill Richard Green Nicky Murphy AurĂŠlien Guyomar Isabelle Guinard Ruth Comer Emily Comer Ron Jones

Golf: Gothard Cup



HE GOTHARD CUP GOLF COMPETITION took place on Friday, 10th July 2009 at Woodsome Hall Golf Club and included a presentation dinner in the club house afterwards. Disappointingly, there were seven cancellations on the day, leaving 14 to take part in the Competition. The winner was CRAIG JOYCE; second was TIM ROBERTS and third was ROBIN SHARMAN.  22

President’s Day 2009



n Sunday 16 August cricket was played all day at the beautiful Arkenley ground, and quite a few of us went along to watch it. It started with a ladsv-dads single wicket competition which was most entertaining for spectators, since the aim seemed to be to hit the ball as far as possible over the wall and into the adjacent garden. This also gave full play to some epic Oedipan struggles as lads fell to dads and dads to lads to the great amusement of mums. Then the main set-piece was an afternoon game between the Old Almondburians and Almondbury Casuals - a team formed, I am told, by the late Harry Taylor, which has always had a close relationship with the OAS. The hosts won comfortably but that was not the point: it was a festival day with good weather, and well over a hundred people turned up to chat, watch, eat from the all-day barbecue and take in a couple of drinks. One highlight for me was listening to John and Jean Broadbent trying to explain to their Ethiopian guest how cricket worked – it must be great fun trying to commentate in a foreign language on such a jargon-rich activity: think of wicket, slips, silly-mid-on, googly, even batsman and bowler. I said he should just regard the whole thing as an elaborate ballet, and indeed I too found that worked quite well,

Photography: Andrew Haigh


and made the result irrelevant. I’ll try it for the next Test when England are losing. Another highlight was hearing Jack Taylor’s story of how, playing for the Casuals, his captain declared leaving him on 99 not out, which remains his highest score. He tells this story with good humour but the pain still shows through. Everyone who attended will have some memory like this. The good weather undoubtedly played a part in making the day a success, but the smooth organisation was a credit to the Cricket Club, and this formula of a joint event with the OAS (though in truth all the work was done by Cricket) is one that should become a  regular summer event.

Above: Keith Crawshaw, Graham Cliffe, John Headey and James Cliffe watch from the pavilion Top right: Robin Merchant and David Parry watch the match unfold Centre right: James Cliffe wonders what happened to his promised hog roast Bottom right: Always a popular haven: the bar




From Roger G. Harrison (1958–65)


AM PROMPTED TO WRITE to the Society magazine by two events, one being my attendance at the 400th Anniversary Dinner and the second being the appearance of a picture of myself in the September 2008–February 2009 magazine as part of the cross country team. While I joined the OAS a few years ago I have done nothing other than be amazed by the clarity of recall of so many of the staff and alumni. For my part the school time seemed to go by in something of a blur. I recall the names of masters when prompted by reference to them in the Magazine, and very occasionally can recall some incident or event which was truly unusual, so it was with some doubt that I ventured back across the Atlantic for the Anniversary celebration. I was joined by my brother, Richard (1957-63), currently living near Derby, who had done a somewhat better job of keeping contact with some of his old classmates. At the dinner I was re-introduced to some of my old class. There were about eight there in total and amazingly I only had a clear recollection of one of them! However, we chatted easily enough and as the drinks flowed we were able to recall events from the past with some greater clarity. The speeches were generally interesting and the meal was well quite good so overall the evening passed well. It was really the next day and the visit to the school that was the highlight of the trip. It was there that I was able to have a tour in the company of the deputy head and to visit many of the rooms that had changed little since my time. Memories did begin to return, along with an appreciation for the foundation that the school had given me for my future. Having always being interested in science, particularly chemistry, although this was not particularly well reflected in my O- or A-level results, I was able to get a place at Leeds University. I somehow managed a first class honours BSc degree in chemistry and then stayed in Leeds for a PhD, which I received in 1971. From there I went to the University of Zurich in Switzerland as a post-doctoral fellow, with a strong interest also in improving my skiing! By that time I was also married to Desiree, whom I had met in Leeds. We returned to the UK in 1972 with me having a job at the Lilly Research Centre, near Ascot, as a medicinal chemist. I had set my heart on breakthrough medical discoveries. However, I soon moved into the ranks of management and over the next few years had leadership roles in research, product development and regulatory affairs. With Lilly being a US company it was not a big surprise to be transferred to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1984, along with my wife and now 10 year old son, Jerome. Quite a culture shock but we thought it would be for one-two years only. However, the best laid plans do not always play out and over the next 17 years I was given 25

tremendous opportunities including being Director of chemistry research, biochemistry research, product development, project management, alliance management, and a role as a global team leader. Industry certainly opened my eyes to several challenges and opportunities and I was indeed able to have my fingerprints on some successful new drugs. However, I left Lilly in 2001 to become CEO and President of a much smaller pharmaceutical company, Antares Pharma, on the East coast near Philadelphia. This was quite a challenge and a lot of hard work for the 3½ years that I stayed there. Having decided to leave in 2004 I joined a world wide consulting group called Plexus Ventures as a senior consultant and still work in this role as well as sitting on some company boards. Running has also remained an important part of my life. I have run several marathons including the 100th Anniversary of the Boston marathon where I was joined by my son. It was a fun moment to cross the line together. My personal best time in the marathon is a little over 3 hours 2 minutes when I was 50 years old. Since then injuries and age have slowed me down a little but I still compete and also for the past 20 years have done quite well in duathlon competition. Our son has picked up the athletic mantel and now competes around the world in the infamous Ironman competitions. So overall it has been an interesting life. It is truly amazing what the school foundation provided for me with the abiding interest in running and science. It has been quite a journey and there is still more to do. We are relaxing a little more now and, as well as a home in the US, we can be found at our holiday home in France for most of May and September. Access to computers and mobile phones allows me to work from anywhere in the world. Roger Harrison (1958–1965) Downingtown, PA 19335, USA  Footnote:The photo (below) showing the cross country team has at least one face I recognize. I am the blond boy third from the right on the back row


Letter from Porthcawl



HAVE BEEN CAUGHT UNAWARES. Knowing that a ‘Special Edition’ of the magazine was due out at any moment, I had not expected a request for an article for a run-of-the-mill contribution so soon. The last time I missed an edition there was such an outcry – at least two people protested – I must cobble together a line or two before the deadline. My main incentive for writing anything at all is to satisfy the curiosity of all those who have been following the JB Wilson saga with mounting excitement. (Selfdeception increases in direct proportion to increasing years). A quick re-cap for any new readers and those few who have not been gripped by the protracted story. ‘JB’ was a former KJGS pupil who decided to show me his true worth after being reprimanded for ‘wasting his talents’. His academic career in the fields of Palaeontology and Sedimentology led to his being included in the world’s leading 2,000 scientists. His work has been concentrated in the West Indies. As I was flying out with six other members of the Glamorgan Bird Club to Trinidad and Tobago for two weeks’ bird-watching, we agreed we would try to have a reunion. Now if Ryan Sidebottom had not flown home for treatment the day prior to my arrival we could have had a trio of Old Almondburians meeting up in Port-of-Spain. I digress. Mobile phone calls set up an assignation in the Pax Guest House in the outskirts of the city. My memory of JB from more than thirty years ago was of a small lad often with a quizzical expression and as a ‘second’ in Otter patrol in the school scout troop. He declined promotion, he reminded me, to patrol leader.What a contrast to the hirsute six foot two fellow who firmly shook my hand. He was accompanied by his West Indian wife, Jacqui, of fifteen years - duration that is, not age.What a beautiful, utterly charming treasure he has in her! She works in the university medical department.Two hours of unrestrained nostalgia-wallowing ensued. We had much ground to cover. All very moving, very satisfying. For those ornithologists among you and those who enjoy exotic nomenclature we did see some wonderful birds such as Toucans (as in Guinness adverts of yesteryear) in the rain forests of Trinidad and Magnificent Frigate Birds bombing unfortunate Tropic Birds off the coast of Tobago. On my return I always select the top three. In reverse order of memorable names: 3rd place to the Rufous-vented Chachalaca, 2nd to the Grey-throated Leaf-Tosser and 1st place to one which sounds as if it ought to appear in an orchestra or at least the dawn chorus, the Violaceous Euphonia. Our regular correspondent needs little introduction. Dave Bush spent his entire teaching career at King James’s, latterly as Deputy Head. After 35 years’ service he retired in 1996 to Porthcawl, where he is now our chief reporter. 27

An OAS inspired trip recently took us to Berlin. I say ‘OAS inspired’ because former colleague Bob Field and pupil Ruth Ainley have for years told us what an excellent destination it is. We were not disappointed. However, we had decided that it was to be our first coach holiday – an experiment. Suffice to say it is a long way from Porthcawl to Berlin! Nearly as demanding as ‘The Italian Journey’ which Jim Toomey, his wife, Betty and I made 41 years ago. We took around 40 KJGS pupils by coach, boat and train from Huddersfield to Rome and Pompeii. Some journey, some challenge – but a great success. We were home for only a week before we were off again, this time to northern France. This visit was certainly KJ connected for it was to the home of Yves Gasnier. NowYves has been mentioned many times before in ‘Letter from Porthcawl’. He was

‘Porthcawl has an exceptionally sunny climate’

the French assistant at King James’s from 1967–68, proved most popular and played soccer for The Old Almondburians. Contemporaries remember him as a svelte forward gliding over the ice at Old Rastrickians. Today he weighs twenty stones. Shortly before our arrival he had fallen, broken his tibia and dislocated his ankle. Consequently we got to know Beuvry Hospital and car park very well. However, I was able to hand over my inscribed copy of the recent history and show his wife the OAS website. It is now logged into ‘favourites’ and should provide Yves with many hours of pleasure during his recuperation. As I write it is pouring down here on the South Wales coast. Cynics will declare that that is surely the norm for mid July in the Principality. Actually it is not true in Porthcawl which has an exceptionally sunny climate. I mention it because the rain has come to England’s rescue – at least temporarily. I refer, of course, to the cricket, 1st Test at Cardiff which has roused enormous interest in these parts. Also it offers a lead in to a phone call I had last Wednesday, the first morning of the match. It was from that most eminent antipodean OA, Ken Leech. He still supports England while his wife, Janine, being Australian naturally roots for the baggy green caps. I sat watching, a coffee in my hand while Ken did the same except he was caressing a Shiraz. We described the scene on the screen to each other and in perfect clarity we were seeing the same picture. This led us to reminisce. For me, childhood memories of listening to the commentary from Down Under, ear to radio, twiddling the tuner as the broadcast faded among whistles and whines. Sixty years have seen such a change; what will granddaughter Anna, aged 12, be seeing sixty years on? And finally, as I sink still deeper into my metaphorical rocking chair, I should like to include a snippet of KJS, or in this case KJGS, history. The memory was aroused last Thursday evening at badminton. The sports hall where we play doubles up at this time of year as an examination centre. I was struck by all the instructions, some in Welsh, regarding the conduct of examinations and the list of items, notably mobile phones and ipods, which are banned from the exam room. What a contrast to King James’s in the early sixties before their advent. One invigilator stands out in my 28

memory: George Beach. The silence of the room and the concentration of the examinees would not infrequently be broken by the scratching of chalk on the blackboard as George marked up the latest test score. He also insisted that following examination regulations all working out had to be dispatched to the examiner. So if anybody had doodled on his blotting paper this was to be parceled up along with the scripts. (Would older members kindly explain to younger ones the nature of ‘blotting paper’?) My grandchildren had no idea what the words mean. George pointed out that, following strict adherence to the regulations, any exam-related graffiti on a desk meant that it too should be posted off. Harry Taylor,headmaster, censured that! Addendum: Immediately after completing this article I spoke to Pat Reid and I related part of the George Beach story. Pat reminded me how once Dave Gregson and John Eaton emerged from an exam room in exasperation, and stitches. Apparently George had asked that those students who required more lined paper should hold their hands up straight while those needing extra graph paper should circle their hands above their heads. The imagined scene is wonderful.  To the many – more self-delusion – who have had emails returned of late I must inform Old Almondburians of a change in email address. It is now I look forward to hearing from you.

The Taylor Dyson Library



HOSE AT SCHOOL in the early 1950s may remember this collection of books originally accumulated by Taylor Dyson. It was kept in a little room adjoining the Small opposite the School Library and was accessible to students upon request. At that time it comprised chiefly books concerning local history and in later years Old Almondburians and friends of the School donated other volumes thought to be of special interest. Those of us who used the facility were thus able to learn about subjects which were not on the curriculum and it served to advance one’s general knowledge and of local history especially. Taylor Dyson died in 1957 and a little time afterwards the Old Almondburians decided to commemorate him and commissioned a bas-relief in bronze which it was thought might be placed with this special library and be kept in his old study. When the School lost its Sixth Form most of the volumes were sent to Greenhead but there was little space to display them, a token number being exhibited in a bookcase in their library. The others were never even unpacked from the boxes in which they had been delivered. 29

The Committee has been at pains to ensure that both the bronze and the Memorial Library are conserved and during the last three years efforts have been made to relocate the Library. Members will be pleased to note that in the present absence of available space elsewhere the Archive of the University of Huddersfield has agreed to accept the library, now consisting of over 500 volumes. Information concerning the books is being made available via the local history section of Huddersfield Public Library to the effect that members of the public may have access to the books by appointment with the Archivist at the University and it is expected that a full list of the volumes will be available on the websites of both the Public Library and the University Library. There is of course the advantage that the volumes are now secure, may be added to and will be conserved archivally. The Archivist’s website is  Left:The bronze bas-relief of Taylor Dyson, commissioned by The Old Almondburians’ Society from the London sculptor Sydney Harpley and completed in 1962.

Below: R A Whiteley and P A Shaw consult reference books in the Taylor Dyson Memorial Library in 1967.The Library was formally dedicated by the Society’s Chaplain, Rev F D Sykes, at a ceremony immediately following the Founders’ Day service on 24th November 1963.The bas-relief was unveiled by Mrs Taylor Dyson, the ceremony being relayed by closed-circuit television to the nearby Library.


And back at the School …



OT TO BE CONFUSED with the BBC event at the Royal Albert Hall – though on almost the same scale – the annual KJS Prom, marking the departure of Year 11 pupils from the School, has without a doubt become THE major social event of the school year. It’s an occasion that positively oozes prestige and glamour. Senior members of The Old Almondburians’ Society, recalling that in their day few of the masters – let alone the pupils – even dreamed of owning anything as exotic as a motor car, will be amazed at how times have changed. Partygoers to the Proms, dressed up to the nines, now travel to the event in cars, tractors and stretch limousines.There are still fond memories of one enthusiast dropping in by helicopter. This year’s party on 19th June at the Holiday Inn, Brighouse fully lived up to expectations, as the photographs below will confirm.

PROM 2009

Photography: Jenny Ainger



School is awarded ICT Mark The School has been awarded a prestigious ICT Mark by Becta, the governmentfunded body responsible for promoting the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in schools and colleges. Headteacher Robert Lamb said: “It recognises our positive approach to ICT and the benefits it is bringing to our students.” Arts Mark Award The School has also been awarded an Arts Mark Award by the Arts Council of Great Britain. The Award comes after a lengthy and searching audit of arts provision at King James’s School, and hearty congratulations are due to Nick Fazakerley, Kathy Brook-Benn and their team.

Student/Parent Questionnaire The School commissioned Kirkland Rowell, the market leaders in educational questionnaires, to carry out a major survey into students’ and parents’ views on the standard of education being provided. Students returned 703 completed questionnaires (a response rate of 82%), and parents returned 613 questionnaires (71.4%). The students gave the School a good overall performance score, while the parents gave a very good rating. The charts below give the response to specific questions: School has lived up to or exceeded expectations: 93%

Improved over last year: 59% Worse than last year: 10%

STUDENTS: Is the School getting better or worse?

Improved over last year: 36% Worse than last year: 2%

PARENTS: Is the School getting better or worse?

School has not lived up to expectations: 7%

NEW PARENTS: Is the School living up to your expectations?

Year 8 Maths Puzzle Evening Earlier this year, the Mathematics Department launched a new Maths Puzzle Evening, attended by 30 pupils from Year 8. Five teams - named Fibonacci, Pythagoras, King, Fermat and Euclid – tackled a range of mathematical problems. To the delight of teacher Kathry Gouldin, the King team – the only one named after a female mathematician – was victorious. 32




School thespian and guitarist who wrote definitive book on rock and roll

We are sorry to report the death, of cancer, of ROGER MALLINSON on June

2nd 2009 at Saint Charles Hospital, Kensington. Roger attended King James’s Grammar School from 1953 to 1961 during which time he was editor of The Almondburian; Secretary of the Jacobean Society, renowned for his legendary minutes; thespian of note as Apollodorus in Frank Anderson’s production of Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra; and cross-country runner par excellence, calling for half a bitter with the late Michael Jackson at the Castle Hill Pub during Sixth Form PE lessons. He was the first pupil to introduce rock and roll music into the hallowed halls of AGS when, with a few afficionados under the name The Jacobites, he performed a Shadows style version of ‘My Grandfather’s Clock’ at a Prefect’s Party, much to the delight of then Headmaster Harry Taylor and the assembled gathering. Whilst in the Sixth Form and before leaving to study English at Kings College, London, Roger became a renowned ‘lead’ guitarist on the Huddersfield beat scene playing in The Strangers (a reincarnation of The Jacobites). After graduation he became an English Teacher at Camden High School, North London, where he remained until taking early retirement, always preferring the classroom to education management. Roger was secretary of the Old Almondburians’ London Branch for many years before handing over to Christopher Mann and as such was responsible for organizing many memorable dinners at the Lord’s Tavern. After retirement Roger took up genealogy and continued to play guitar on the London pub circuit with his band Return Flight. In 2004 he published a definitive book on rock and roll in Huddersfield in the early sixties to great acclaim. Roger was briefly married to Nancy Ollerenshaw of Gledholt in the mid sixties but for most of his life he lived as a bachelor in West Kensington. Clive, Roger’s younger brother, who also attended King James’s, died of cancer in 1976. Roger is survived by his niece Cymone, nephew Conrad and their four children. PAGB


GEORGE W BRODIE (1931–1934

Former Gilbert & Sullivan performer who played for OAS football XI

GEORGE WILLIAM BRODIE died in Worcester in October last year after a long

illness. He attended King James’s Grammar School from 1931 to 1934. While at school he took leading roles in several Gilbert & Sullivan performances. He later played for the Old Almondburians’ football team. His employment took him away from Huddersfield and therefore was not an active member. George was also uncle to Old Almondburian Richard Green. RG


Jessop Prizeman and school singer who became a leading design engineer

KEITH HAYDN LIVESEY was 84 on September 5th 2008 and died two weeks

later from complications arising from surgery for a heart condition.Why Haydn ? His parents were barmy about music. He attended all the reunions of surviving classmates (1935 to 42) held in 1995, 1996, 2000, 2004 and most recently in June 2008. In his school days, we ordinary mortals regarded him as a near genius. He was always top of the class in both half and full term exams and he franked this form in the School Certificate exam of 1940 by gaining 7 “A’s” and 2 credits (9 subjects were the maximum allowed in those days). Over these years John Kenneth Hall was almost invariably next to the top. In the Higher School Certificate exam in 1942, Hall surprised us all, very likely himself included, by out pointing Keith Livesey and winning a State Scholarship, a rare commodity in AGS in the 1930s. Keith had to be satisfied with the Jessop Prizeman award rather than the Dartmouth medal. As he was always, or seemed to be, a phlegmatic sort of lad, this setback, if it was one, did not worry him very much. He went to Leeds University to study civil engineering. Students of scientific and allied subjects during World War II were permitted to complete their degree courses before being conscripted into HM forces. Keith Livesey, only a few months away from his final degree exam had volunteered to join the RAF and was called up for pilot training. Near the end of the war when there was only a limited need for pilots, he was transferred to the Royal Engineers to serve out his time mainly in N. Africa. Back then he went to Leeds where he took a First-class Honours BSc degree, followed by an MSc and met the lady, Nan,who was to become his wife and the mother of his two sons. (She also confessed under close examination that she also got the same qualifications as he had done). His first job was with the ICI Dyestuffs Division in Huddersfield from which he was posted, after a few years, to Grangemouth in Scotland. He became out of sorts with labours for the ICI because, according to him, only tall men seemed to get 34

promotion. Keith was not tall. In any event he wanted to stay a hands-on engineer rather than moving into management. So he left the ICI and joined the engineering consultancy firm of W. A. Fairhurst whose headquarters were and are in Glasgow with branch offices in Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen. Keith became a partner in the firm and eventually as one of the senior partners was in charge of the Edinburgh office. All told he spent some 50 years in Scotland without acquiring the slightest trace of the speech, which passes for English, north of Hadrian’s Wall. He remained faithful to that refinedYorkshire twang which, like that of the late Harold Wilson, betrayed his origins in Milnsbridge. He retired from his work at the age of 60 (also like Harold) having ascertained that those who did so were, according to actuaries, far more likely to enjoy a long life than those who carried on to 65. During his period as a consulting engineer he was responsible for all manner of projects including inter alia the design and construction of schools, swimming pools, motorways, bridges, collieries and oil and gas installations. He became a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of Structural Engineers, and of Highways and Transportation. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. After retirement he and Nan continued for some years to live in Edinburgh. One of their sons, a physicist, took employment in the USA and raised his family there. The other worked on Teesside and lives with his wife and family in a house in Hutton Rudby which, as readers of this magazine will know, is just on the North Yorkshire side of the boundary with the County of Durham. Keith and Nan eventually sold their house in Edinburgh in order to relocate in a pleasant bungalow in Hutton Rudby. His only genuflection in the direction of his Scottish surroundings was to give his sons local names (Ian and Alastair). His years at AGS were marked by two major assets. The first was his intellect. The second was his voice. The quality of Keith Livesey in the school his voice gave him a star billing in Gilbert and Sullivan operas production of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ in 1937 in the late nineteen thirties and, even more unusual, selection to sing solo at the annual Speech days in the Town Hall. Keith, as schoolboys go, was an amalgam of Einstein and Caruso. In case you should think that this obituary is being used only as a vehicle for praising accomplishments, I can certify that he was totally useless at kicking footballs or wielding cricket bats. On the other hand he was good at diving (nothing to do with seeking penalties). Keith became a Chevalier in the St. Lazarus Order, originally set up to help Crusaders who caught leprosy and now still active in supporting those afflicted with present day scourges such as Aids and cancer. Keith attained the rank of Knight Commander of the Order and acted for many years as Receiver General of the Scottish Jurisdiction. Bob Goldsmith


Chairman BRYAN HOPKINSON Apartment 206, 1535 The Melting Point Commercial Street, Huddersfield HD1 3DN Tel: 01484 469804 Email: Secretary ANDREW HAIGH 2 Arkenley Lane, Almondbury HD4 6SQ Tel: 01484 432105 Email:

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The Almondburian is distributed to OAS members free of charge. Price to non-members: ÂŁ3.00

The Almondburian October 2009  

Magazine of The Old Almondburians' Society

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