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March 2013

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A word from your Editor OAS Calendar Annual Dinner/Founders’ Day

From School to Academy

Oastler: the Factory King Centenarian Percy is still church organist Minutes of Annual General Meeting Accounts 2011-2012 Executive Officers 2013 Cricket Badminton Football Tennis Golf George Hotel closes – for good? Farnley Lines Bonsai and poetry at Wisley Article sparks new Teak interest Exclusive: how to beat the bookies Who would be a proofreader? Terry’s Teaser New sports pavilion Olympics display was a cracker George Beharrel: the Dunlop man OAS membership Postbag Obituaries

(Opposite): The main school entrance has changed little since this drawing by the late Brian Littlewood (obituary: page 51) which first appeared in The Almondburian 50 years ago, though the grass tennis courts in the distance have now sadly disappeared

The ALMONDBURIAN Editor: Roger Dowling

March 2013

The magazine of The Old Almondburians’ Society

A word from your editor



T was pleasing to see the good turnout for theAnnual Dinner last November when we presented Exploration Bursaries to three former KJS students to mark the birth centenary of former Head of Geography and Second Master Fred Hudson. A full report with photographs appears on page 5.As a postscript, we are pleased to congratulate Hannah Ward, a student at Greenhead College, who won a special £25 ‘Fred S Hudson Centenary Prize for Geography’ donated by OldAlmondburian Gerald Stead. It provided a neat link with Greenhead, which was attended by Gerald’s mother and wife and by Fred’s daughter AnnWalker. 3

It will be observed that a severe case of poetry seems to have broken out in this issue. On page 26 we report with pleasure that one of David Morphet’s superb poems has been selected for display in the world-famousWisley Gardens in Surrey. Not to be outdone, John Goodall has also been inspired by the teaching of the late Albert Makinson to submit some of his poems toThe Poetry Society’s 2012 competition (page 43); while Jim Toomey owns up on page 42 to have been in league with real-ale third-former Michael Jackson in composing the 1956 pseudo-Latin poem that so intrigued Denis Taylor in our November issue. Coincidentally, both Dave Bush and JimToomey refer to the proud tradition of Scouting at King James’s. Please let us have your memories and photographs. I should also welcome your recollections of the unforgettableWalter Haigh who taught PT, mathematics, geography, science and even religion in his long career from 1929 to 1967.Walter was of course also a form master and a champion of Fenay House which under his influence invariably came top in sports. A feature onWalter will appear in a future issue. 


of 1943, 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1988, 1993 or 2003 for example or, indeed, anyone else who takes a notion to do so, should consider starting to organise their class re-union earlier rather than later.

DATES OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS, 2013 The Executive Committee of the Society meets upstairs at the Woolpack in Almondbury, at 7.30 pm. Meetings are usually held on the first Monday of the month, although there are exceptions due to Bank Holidays and school holidays, and there is no meeting in August.Any member of the Society who would like to attend one of these meetings will be made most welcome on the following dates: Monday, 11th February; Monday, 4th March; Monday, 15th April; Monday, 13th May; Monday, 3rd June; Monday, 1st July; Monday, 2nd September; Monday, 7th October; Monday, 4th November; Monday, 2nd December.

FOUNDERS’ DAY The Traditional Founders’ Day Service will be held the day after the Annual Dinner, Sunday, 24th November, as usual. Full details will be announced in a later magazine. BADMINTON Thursday evenings from 7.30 pm until 9.30 pm, until Thursday, 23rd May 2013. Fee: £6 per person per evening.

CRICKET Presentation Evening: Saturday, 2nd March, 2013 at 7.00 for 7.30 pm.Venue: Lockwood Park. Booking:Tim Taylor (

ANNUAL DINNER This year’s Annual Dinner will be held on Saturday, 23rd November. Full details, together with an application form for tickets, will appear in the next Almondburian, which is due out in July. It is always good to see members making a special effort to stage a re-union of their year at the dinner and such occasions are always enjoyable, so those with a special anniversary this year, members of the classes

TENNIS The season will start on Thursday, 6th June on the school tennis courts from 7.15 pm to dusk. GOLF Gothard Cup:Woodsome Hall Golf Club on Friday 5th July 2013 followed by Dinner.


Annual Dinner/Founders’ Day


ORMER King James’s student Rebecca Addy (17) was all smiles on 24th November when she received a cheque of £1,000 at the annual dinner at the John Smith’s Stadium. She was the winner of the special Exploration Bursary presented by the Old Almondburians’ Society to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Fred Hudson. Rebecca, now at Greenhead College studying geography and mathematics, is busy raising over £3,000 for a ‘World Challenge’ trip to Nepal when she will be trekking and working on various community projects. The bursary was presented by Fred Hudson’s daughter Ann Walker, who was Guest of Honour at the dinner. “For many months I have been busy with fund-raising projects,” said Rebecca. “These have included organising events, running a sweet shop and taking part in me and

Fred Hudson’s daughter Ann Walker was Guest of Honour and presented the awards

coming back in a year’s time to tell the Society how the expedition went.” The Old Almondburians’ Society also presented runner-up awards of £500 to Aron Thompson from Fenay Bridge and Tom Boothroyd from Almondbury. The dinner attracted 110 members and guests, including 13 members of the‘Class of 1956’ 50 years after they left the school your ti ll a r fo l in 1962. Those present travelled from as nata nk you y father’s ing to tha I am writ ing this year of m y award is such far away as the United States, Germany dur rsar care taken he exploration bu l to witness the and Norway, as well as from all over the .T fu centenary nd it was wonder them. a United Kingdom, and they spanned over s r of an honou ients’ acceptance ches and donation ip ee p ec s r e g sixty-six years at the school, from 1940 n th t en of you nisation sive. It w nning The orga was most impres la p r to 2006. In addition toAnnWalker, guest ues nks to you of the cheq d enjoyably, tha speakers included Peter Tracey and n a smoothly a most to detail. d n on a ti r is en ou th Gerald Stead.Also present were current tt t hon ed in and a en a grea en involv It has be erience to have be excellent Head Boy Alfie Ruttle, Head Girl g exp h the ian. interestin sion, together wit r bu d Bethany Smith, Head Teacher Robert on er ca Alm Ann Walk special oc tive issue of The a or Lamb, and members of staff. commem The annual Founders’ Day service took the Huddersfield 10km place the following day at Almondbury run. The £1,000 bursary was a lovely Parish Church.  More photographs overleaf surprise and I’ll be looking forward to 5

Top table guests (left to right): Robert Lamb (Head Teacher), Bethany Smith, (Head Girl),Alfie Ruttle (Head Boy),Ann Walker (Guest of Honour), Nick Briggs (OAS Chairman), Brian Stahelin (Chairman of Governors), Rev Dennis Handley (Rector,Almondbury Parish Church), award winners Aron Thompson, Rebecca Addy and Tom Boothroyd

Clockwise from left: Bethany Smith (Head Girl), Nick Briggs, Peter Tracey, Gerald Stead, Founders’ Day procession

Annual Dinner and

Founders’ Day 2012 6

Photos: Andrew Haigh

Above:Winner of the £1,000 exploration bursary Rebecca Addy receives her cheque from Ann Walker. Below:Ann Walker withTom Boothroyd and AronThompson, who each received cheques for £500


From school to academy



In January, Robert Lamb completed ten rewarding years as Head Teacher. He looks forward to the many challenges that lie ahead…

’M an early riser – up at 6.00 am and ready to leave by 7.00.As most people know, I’m a Lancastrian: I come from Shaw, near Oldham. However, I’ve lived in Rochdale for more than 30 years – it’s just 19 miles from Almondbury and it takes exactly half an hour to get to work, less time than when I used to work in Manchester. I’m rarely affected by bad weather or holdups on the motorway. I get to School by 7.30 am. My PA is also in by then so it’s a good chance to find out what’s going on and review the plans for the day.A number of staff will come down to see me about specific matters before they start teaching.Then it just goes crazy and I never seem to have a spare moment. We have a short senior team briefing at around 8.00 am followed twice a week by a briefing with all the staff at 8.25.Then I’ll wan-


der round the School to see what’s going on. Back in my office, I’ll then check my emails – typically between 30 and 50 each morning, many of which will require action. Then there’ll be numerous meetings in my office on teaching or pastoral matters, staffing issues, the academy, finance and so on. Even at weekends, it’s still an early start. Our sonWilliam, 13, is in his school football team so if he has an away match I’ll need to get him to his coach by 8.00 before following by car to watch the game. In the afternoon, we’ll go to watch the great Oldham Athletic in action. Our son goes to school in Oldham –the same school where my wife Jane is head of mathematics. Our daughter Katrina, 23, is at Oxford University studying medicine In no time at all it’s dinner time so I’ll go round to the

Jenny Ainger

The School’s status as a Specialist Science College resulted in greatly improved results in science and mathematics. Isaac Russell and Lily Cameron prepare an experiment.

dinner hall to help supervise the children. I’ll probably eat my own dinner standing up. There’ll be more meetings and correspondence in the afternoon and with a bit of luck I’ll finally get away by 5.00 pm. But there are also regular Governors’ meetings, in which case I’m more likely to get away around 9.00 pm. One week before half term I clocked up 62 hours in school. A lot of my time has been taken up in recent months by the conversion to academy status. Will things change? Well, it will still be called King James’s School and it will hopefully still be a very successful and very popular school. But where it will change is that we will have all the extra


funding we have been denied in the past and we can spend it on the things the children deserve. King James’s has been by far the worst funded school in Kirklees in recent years, to the extent that some schools have been receiving up to twice as much money per pupil as ourselves. It’s the result of many years of providing additional funding for pupils in deprived areas, which – however worthy – works to the detriment of pupils from more affluent parts of the borough. Nearly half of all secondary schools in Kirklees have now become academies and I suspect most of the rest will become academies over the next few years. A priority now that we have the extra funding will be to increase the number of

Time for algebra: Robert Lamb keeps his hand in with students from Year 8.

staff. Our pupil-teacher ratio is currently the highest in the whole of Kirklees – we have roughly one teacher for every 18 children compared with 9 or 10 in some other Kirklees schools. Consequently they can have much smaller classes than we can. Our situation is even worse, because many of our older classrooms are so small. So, we’re in the absurd position of having to teach large classes in small classrooms.We’ve already made a start in engaging additional staff and this will continue during the coming year. Of course, we will also need more classrooms in the years ahead.There are times at present when the number of classes being taught is exactly the same as the number of classrooms available so that we literally have no spare capacity at all. But the problem with classrooms is that they are very expensive to build and providing new ones will probably have to


Jenny Ainger

be the subject of successful funding bids to the Government.There have been no significant additional buildings on the site since I have been here, just a few mobile classrooms and a few enlargements of existing classrooms. Now we are an academy, the day-today running of the school will continue to be in the hands of the governors but major longer-term decisions will be the responsibility of the trustees. I don’t expect much of an organisational problem as the five Trustees are also members of the Board of Governors. Of course, there is a down-side to all this.This is the first time in my teaching career that I have been unable to continue to teach a class alongside my duties as HeadTeacher. I very rarely take school assembly nowadays. There is a school assembly each day, but these are taken by members of staff on a rota basis. They

normally last 10-15 minutes, and typi- pleased about the proposal to build a new cally include videos and PowerPoint pre- cricket pavilion. It will be an excellent sentations about current issues – charity new resource for the school and indeed activities, current affairs, natural disasters for the Old Almondburians’ Society and and so on. They are no longer religious the local community. Our sports facilities occasions. here at King James’s School are already Looking back, it’s been a deeply re- very good – tennis, rugby, soccer and warding ten years since I arrived at the badminton in the sports hall. It will be School.The 5+A-C* GCSE pass rate was good to improve our cricket facilities. around 51% when I arrived and we got I’d like to see a strengthening of the reit up to 95% last year. But the Govern- lationship between the Old Almondburiment has now changed the rules so that ans’ Society and the School staff. It’s not the measure is 5+A-C* including English an easy problem to solve because the and Mathematics.At the moment our fig- newer, younger members of staff tend to ure is 70% on this measure; the equiva- be more mobile and career-minded than lent figure when I arrived ten years ago used to be the case. So it’s difficult to dewas 31%.We hope that our new status as velop that long term relationship with an academy will enable us to continue to the OAS that used to exist and it’s a real improve our results, though the Govern- challenge for the OAS to face in the years ment has recently changed the rules again ahead. to exclude certain subjects from the By the end of a long school day, there’s league tables. not always much time ‘I’d like to see a The achievement of left for relaxation and Specialist Science Col- strengthening of the perhaps that’s why I lege status in 2004, tend to be something soon after I arrived, relationship between of a night-owl. Howwas a major step forever, we do enjoy the the OAS and the ward. It strengthened theatre and cinema, School staff’ our science and maths and we’ve really enenormously. Mathematics was very weak joyed the recent terrorist thriller Homewhen I arrived at the School, with a pass land on television. rate of 37%. Last year we got our bestBut all too soon it’s time for bed, and ever results of 80%; as a mathematician I dream about the challenges that lie in myself, I’m very proud of that achieve- store now the School has become an ment. Our Science GCSE pass rate last academy, and the possibility that we year was 89%. might one day have our own bowling  I’ve always enjoyed sports since the green. days when I used to play crown green Robert Lamb was talking to Roger Dowling. bowls with my dad as a youngster. I also The full interview can be heard on the OAS used to be a keen cricketer so I’m very website at 11



Oastler: the ‘Factory King’

ORN in Leeds in 1789, the labour reformer Richard Oastler played a major role in the campaign against the use of child labour in the 1830s.This was subsequently to lead to the 1847 Factory Act which for the first time restricted children to a 10-hour working day. This is the subject of a new book edited by former King James’s School Head of History John Hargreaves in collaboration with E A Hilary Haigh. Based upon a conference at the University of Huddersfield, the collection of essays explores the links between Richard Oastler’s campaign and the successful campaign to abolish the transatlantic slave Slavery in Yorkshire: Richard trade led byYorkshire MPWilliamWilberforce. Oastler and the campaign In addition to contributions from John Harg- against child labour in the Inreaves, the book also includes a detailed account of dustrial Revolution Oastler’sYorkshire slavery campaign by Professor Edited by John A Hargreaves and Edward Royle at the University ofYork who at- E A Hilary Haigh tended King James’s Grammar School from 1955 University of Huddersfield £24 pp238 to 1962. 



Centenarian Percy is still church organist

) were delighted to learn from the Alveston Courier that Old Almondburian PercyTrutone (1922-25) has just celebrated his 100th birthday – and is still the regular organist at his local church. Percy, a Buckinghamshire resident for the past 60 years, had a tough start in life. Born by caesarian section in 1913, he lost his mother from diptheria when he was only three and was brought up by his father.After his time at AGS, he proceded to Magdelene College, Oxford on condition from his father that he became an accountant. However, such was his self-confessed idiosyncracy that he flaunted his father’s wishes and in due course became an opthalmologist. But music was always the most important part of his life. “Percy has always been the village impressario when it comes to organising local musical events,” reports the newspaper.  12


The Annual General Meeting of the Society was held at theWoolpack, Almondbury, on Monday, 7th January 2013, at 7.30 pm.

Attendance: In the absence of Nicky Briggs, John Broadbent took the chair and Keith Crawshaw, Roger Dowling, Andrew Haigh, Angela Melling, and Richard Taylor were in attendance.

Apologies for Absence were received from Jack Taylor, Gerald Stead and Nicky Briggs. A Minute’s Silence was held for members lost during the previous year, including Bob Brook and Les Baxter. The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Monday, 9th January 2012, were read and approved and there were no matters arising. Chairman’s Report: There was no report.

Treasurer’s Report: Keith Crawshaw presented the accounts for the financial year ended 31st August 2012, noting that this year subscription income has decreased and the cost of distributing the magazine has increased due to the considerable increase in postage rates. Indeed, the total cost of the magazine now accounts for 90% of subscription income, compared with 76% last year. He felt that is still OK, since there is an excess of income over expenditure of £186.94 and, overall, the Society is still in a healthy position and able to support anything that we might want to support. Acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Andrew Haigh and seconded by Angela Melling, before being carried unanimously. The Chairman thanked Keith.

Subscription Rate for the Financial Year Commencing 1st September, 2013: Keith Crawshaw saw no reason to change the basic subscription rate from £10 per annum and recommended that it should remain the same. However, he was concerned at the poor response that we get from the recent leavers who are members for free for the first year and cost us a significant amount in postage.The take-up rate is only two or three new members per year and so it is probably unsustainable. He therefore recommended that new leavers are no longer automatically made members for free for their first year, but that we perhaps give them the first magazine after they leave and offer them the opportunity to opt-in to the others. Andrew Haigh noted that those who sign up usually do so early on. 13

Membership Secretary’s Report: Andrew Haigh reported that membership currently stands at 720, compared with 730 at this time last year, a reduction of 10, due to a number of deaths and resignations. However, eight new members were recruited during the course of the last financial year, three of whom were school leavers in 2011, so we are still recruiting new members quite well even if not many are recruited immediately upon leaving the school. Indeed, most new members are probably recruited through the web site. As a result, membership still remains healthy and four more new members have already joined the Society during the current financial year. Election of President: Richard Taylor proposed that Robert Lamb should be invited to continue as President of the Society.There were no President’s Remarks, due to his absence from the meeting. Election of Executive Officers for 2013: Although absent, Nicky Briggs had previously indicated his willingness to stand for a third year as Chairman and he was duly re-elected. The other Officers were then elected as follows: Vice-Chairman Honorary Secretary Honorary Treasurer Media Editor Ordinary Committee Members

Vacant Andrew Haigh Keith Crawshaw Roger Dowling Emily Briggs Martyn Hicks Walter Raleigh Three vacancies Rev Stuart Roebuck Angela Melling

Chaplain Representative of the School


Date of Next Executive Committee Meeting: - The Secretary asked that the date be fixed for the next Executive Committee Meeting. Due to several members being unable to attend on the first Monday in February, Monday 11th February was suggested, and this was agreed. Cricket Section: Richard Taylor mentioned that the Dinner will take place on Saturday, 2nd March at Lockwood Park.

The Meeting closed at 8.33 p.m. and was followed by the customary pie and peas supper. Signed: A M Haigh (Secretary) J Broadbent (Chairman) .

Opposite:Annual accounts presented by N Briggs (Chairman); K Crawshaw (Treasurer); J A Swift (Independent Examiner)



2826 1166 257 25 60 166 24 14 228 —

— 996


Printing, Stationery & Postages: Magazines, Printing 2759.24 Magazines, Stationery & Postages 1602.95 Other Stationery & Postages 377.48 4739.67 Jessop Prize 25.00 Young Old Almondburians’ Prizes 60.00 Sundry Expenses 95.00 Paypal Charges 27.50 Loss on Quiz Evening Supper — Loss on Reunion Evening — Loss on Annual Dinner 126.23 KJS Contribution: 400th Anniversary Gates 93.94 Excess of Income over Expenditure 186.94

5762 2011



1815 1965 — 120 707 13573

5597 22 5 — 5 — 133

Subscriptions 5245.00 Transfer from Life Membership Account 21.75 Interest Received 82.26 Surplus on Sales of DVDs 4.00 Surplus on AGM Supper 1.15 Surplus on Quiz Evening Supper 0.12 Surplus on Annual Dinner —




Accumulated Fund Balance as at 1st September 2011 8615.25 Add Excess of Income over Expenditure 186.94 8802.19 Life Membership Account Balance as at 1st September 2011 351.08 Add Interest 2.98 354.06 Less Transfer to Income & Expenditure Account 21.75 332.31 KJS Development Fund Balance as at 1st September 2011 1815.28 Add Interest 15.43 School Histories 10.00 KJS 400 Merchandise 30.00 1870.71 Cricket Pavilion Appeal Fund 2065.00 Annual Dinner Receipts in Advance 249.50 Subscriptions in Advance 110.00 Sundry Creditors 523.06



18 Trophies 18.00 15 Stock of Ties 15.32 175 Stock of Prints 175.00 Stock of Morning Assembly Books 1454.00 — Less sales 720.00 734.00 Life Membership Account 351 Nat West Bonus Saver Account 332.31 KJS Development Fund 1815 Nat West Bonus Saver Account 1870.71 Cash and Bank Balances National Westminster Bank: 8144 Bonus Saver Account 10707.58 2985 Current Account 52.59 48 Paypal Account 2.08 22 Cash in Hand 45.18 10807.43

15 33 7




OFFICE President

NAME Robert Lamb




Keith Crawshaw

Media Editor

Roger Dowling


Hon Secretary

TEL (01484) 412990


Nicky Briggs

(01484) 305734 Mob: 07427 668004

Andrew M Haigh

Tel: (01484) 432105 Mob: 07770 220733 WorkTel: (01484) 400032

Tel: (01484) 533658 WorkTel: (01924) 409311

Tel: (01925) 756390

Ordinary Committee Members

Emily Briggs Martyn Hicks

Tel: (01484) 305734 Tel: (01484) 539409 WorkTel: (01422) 371751


Rev Stuart Roebuck

Tel: (01484) 306644

Andrew M Haigh

As above

Simon A Russell

Tel: (01484) 685365

Nich Briggs

Mob: 07771 865330

M F Dyson Nicky Murphy J AWard Keith Crawshaw John M Drewery Malcolm JTaylor David A Bush Ian Shaw

Emily Comer K G Shaw Richard J Green Paul A G Balderstone Jack ATaylor James NTaylor Graham Cliffe Bryan Hopkinson

School Reps Badminton

Cricket Section Golf Section

Tennis Section Archivist

Ind Examiner

Walter Raleigh (Two vacancies)

Angela Melling Tel: (01484) 412990 Alfie Ruttle (Head Boy) Bethany Smith (Head Girl) Jack ATaylor

Andrew M Haigh (Vacant)

Vice-Presidents E Brian Carter Peter L Burns D G Armitage Geoffrey Douglas J RichardTaylor J AmandaTaylor David Gary Croft RobertWilliams

As above

33 16



N the ‘bleak mid-winter’, as I avidly read The Last Flannelled Fool by Michael Simkins, my thoughts inevitably turn to a new season – hopefully with better weather than that experienced in 2012. Some enlightened readers may know Simkins as the ultimate Sunday cricketer: passionate, obsessive, technically inept and hopelessly deluded.When an injury rules him out of an entire season, in the book he sets off on an odyssey across the counties of England in search of that golden time in his youth when his passion for the game was first kindled. A welcome pre-season ritual for similarly deluded Almondburians is the rigour of net practice, which started at Almondbury High School on Sunday, 20th January. As yet another new season approaches we also eagerly look forward to further positive news towards the realisation of a new cricket pavilion on the present Arkenley site, to replace the existing one.


‘Cola’ – Joe Colagiovanni – will again be First XI captain for the coming season


This year is be the Centenary of the Huddersfield Central Cricket League. On Monday, 8th December 1913, men representing seven clubs met at

structuring following the latest departure and demise of a number CRICKET CALENDAR of teams, the most recent being Badger Hill (formerly Rastrick CENTENARY LEAGUE DINNER New Road Cricket Club) and Friday, 1st March, 2013 at 7.00 for 7.30 pm Venue: Cedar Court Hotel,Ainley Top Woodfield Park (formerly Police Cricket Club). PRESENTATION EVENING At our AGM, held on Sunday, Saturday, 2nd March, 2013 at 7.00 for 7.30 pm Venue: Lockwood Park 6th January in The Woolpack,‘Cola’ Booking:Tim Taylor (Joe Colagiovanni) was unani( mously re-elected First XI captain EARLY SEASON FIXTURES and Jonathan Mansell was honSunday, 21st April, 2013 at 2.00 pm oured with the Second XI capFirst XI v Bradley & Colne (home) taincy. Unfortunately, our treasurer Leymoor v Second XI (away) of long standing, LouiseWalmsley, Saturday, 11th May, 2013 at 2.00 pm has tendered her resignation. We First round Allsop Cup are grateful for her skilful and dedFirst XI v Upper Hopton (away) icated handling of our finances. Thus an opportunity is created for ‘COPYMARK’ 20/20 CUP a volunteer, anxious to gain expeCOMPETITION The First XI have been drawn at home in rience in the world of finance, to the first round against Edgerton and Dalton; step forward. games to be played on or before We are delighted to welcome Friday, 24th May. former player Maurice Peters back to the club as one of our Huddersfield’s Pack Horse Hotel in designated umpires. The former Kirkgate in order to form a new cricket Woodfield Park resigned from the league. The seven clubs were League, but this has now fortunately Almondbury, Hall Bower, Primrose Hill, enabled Maurice, their umpire, to St Andrews, Salendine Nook Baptist, represent the Almondburians’ First XI. Honley Wesleyans and Bradley Mills. Traditionally, the first round of the Although not present at this meeting, I Allsop (First XI) and Tinker (Second XI) did make my playing debut (as a Cup competitions was held on the same batsman!) in the Central League in 1949 weekend, early in the season. However, for the now-defunct Rowley Hill. a recent League rule change relating to Currently there are 53 teams in the the Tinker Cup (‘Entry into this League, with upwards of a dozen former competition will be optional’) has led to Central League teams having moved to our reluctant withdrawal from the the Huddersfield and District League in competition as we experience great recent years.At the time of going to press difficulty in raising two teams on doublewe await details of the League re- header weekends.  33 18




OU will recall that in the last issue of The Almondburian I reported that the 2011-12 season was not a success, with attendances being too low to cover costs. I went on to say that although we received assurances that everyone was keen to continue to play, was happy to pay an extra pound per week and would try to attend more frequently, the 2012-13 badminton season started on Thursday, 6th September with just four people playing! I went on to recount how Matthew Booth, a former regular player who now lives in Cambodia, where he owns the OceanWalk Inn, had returned to the United Kingdom and made a reappearance at badminton, his popularity causing players whom we haven’t seen for months to flock from far and wide to the school sports hall just for the privilege of playing with Matthew once again. It was good to see Matthew again, not least because of the boost to our attendances. Unfortunately, however, it

was, literally, a flying visit, and he only made two appearances before returning to Cambodia. Upon his return home, Matthew e-mailed me to enquire whether all his disciples had continued to play after his departure and, I regret to say, they did not. We are once again struggling for numbers and your Badminton Section needsYOU! It has again been difficult to scrape together sufficient funds to pay for the hire of the sports hall and, so tardy must our payments have become, that we arrived a few weeks ago to find ourselves locked out and having to hang around the car park in shorts and T-shirts amongst the piles of snow. However, it subsequently transpired that this was not punishment for our inability to pay our debts, but simply because the caretaker thought that it was Wednesday and there were no bookings! Dave Bush, who played with us for many years, still plays on Thursday evenings but now with Porthcawl Badminton Club from where he reports burgeoning attendances. So, come on, Almondburians! We play in the School sports hall on Thursday evenings during termtime, from 7.30 p.m. until 9.30 p.m., until the season ends on Thursday, 23rd May.The fee is now ÂŁ6.00 per player, per week. Please come and join us. 


What a racquet: Neil Gledhill (19541959), Ian Daffern (1977-1982) and Adam Daffern (current Year 11)




HE Almondburians’ Football Club continues prosper, as our First XI finds its feet this season newly promoted to Division 2. Our overall financial position is good. A new £350 sponsorship deal has been secured with PC Specialist and their logo will appear on the back of our training jackets. Serious consideration is being given to forming a Third XI. This follows the great success we have had DIVISION 2


Sandal Wanderers


Morley Town Leeds Indep


Huddersfield YMCA St Bedes Res

Old Mods Res


Wood Moor Medics IV

Colton Inst Spurs III

E Ardsley Wd Bram Jun III






Cents Res


Almondburians Res

13 12 13 15 14 15 13 13 15 15 13

29 27 21 21 20 15 14 12 11

8 3


Alwoodley III Farnley Sp R

W’wright OB College Res

Hudds Am III North Leeds City OB Res Moderns IV Thornes III

with our Second XI which has seen a big influx of new players.Where they will play and who will manage them are questions for further down the line. We were able to train up to the end of February on the floodlit all-weather field at Mirfield G r a m m a r School. [One third of the pitch for one hour cost us £36; who would have believed that football pitches (not even real ones!) could generate over £100 an hour?] After a brief dalliance at the Radcliffe, we have reverted to the Woolpack as our post-match venue. Finally, you cannot fail to have noticed Played Pts our new club motto 16 34 (above). It arose from 16 34 a suggestion from 13 31 Greg Sykes and Rob 17 30 Antich who had at14 27 tended the OAS Dinner last November and 15 22 noted with approval 16 19 Fred Hudson’s lifelong 16 17 mantra:‘love the game 13 14 beyond the prize’. 15





Sandal A Res 33 20


Yorkshire Amateur League tables as we go to press (early February)

Greg even suggested a possible Latin translation which, after consultation with the UK’s top advisers in this field (known to you and me as Dave Bush and Jim Toomey) ended up

in the form you see here. Never let it be said that your committee members fail to take their responsibilities seriously or have time on their hands whilst  at work…




HE 2013 Almondburian tennis season will start on Thursday, 6th June and will run until Thursday, 29th August. We shall be playing on the school tennis courts eachThursday evening between these dates, weather permitting, from 7.15 p.m. until dusk, and anyone is most welcome to join us. During term-time, it is possible to play

badminton in the sports hall if the weather is inclement, although this is not possible during the summer holidays due to maintenance work in the sports hall. The fee, to cover the cost of balls (and showers during term-time), will be the princely sum of £3.00 per person, per evening. Almondburian tennis is purely social, so  why not come along and join us?


FTER the dismal last minute cancellation last year, I have now booked Woodsome Hall Golf Club on Friday, 5th July for the Gothard Cup. As usual the tee is reserved between 4.00 and 5.00 pm. Dinner will be served inWoodsome’s magnificent dining room at 9.15 pm. Any Almondburian who does not play golf is very welcome to attend the Dinner. I need to know numbers as soon as possible so please get in touch at or 07798823825.

Golf: Gothard Cup SIMON RUSSELL



George Hotel closes – for good?


Many Old Almondburians will be shocked at the news of the closure of a famous Huddersfield hotel.It has two notable historic links with the School

NE of the most well-known hotels in Huddersfield – the George Hotel in St George’s Square – closed at the beginning of January. It’s the second time in a year that the Grade II listed 60-bed hotel has closed its doors. The presentVictorian building with its Italianate facade on St George’s Square is the third on the site.The original George Hotel, believed to date back to 1687, was owned by Huddersfield’s principal landowners the Ramsden family. A second hotel was built on the site in 1790, and with the arrival of the railway in Huddersfield the Ramsdens decided to construct the current building on its present site in 1852 as a cost of over £10,000.

The George Hotel has two special links with King James’s Grammar School. It is generally accepted that the catalyst to the foundation of the professional Rugby League at a meeting in the George Hotel in 1895 was the ‘rugby rumpus’ created by Rev Francis Marshall, headmaster from 1878 to 1896. Marshall objected vehemently to the growing professionalisation of Rugby Union, leading ultimately to the breakaway professional league. A display of rugby league memorabilia set up by Old Almondburian Chris Earnshaw, who died last June (obituary: page 46), forms the basis of the Rugby League Heritage Museum at the George Hotel. More recently, in 2004, the George Hotel was the venue for a mediation meeting relating to the School’s historic trusts, which the OldAlmondburians’ Society claimed had been badly administered by Huddersfield Corporation and Kirklees Council. A marathon session of meetings lasting a total of 15 hours resulted in a major sixfigure out-of-court settlement in favour of the Society and the School, leading to the setting up of the King James’s School  Foundation.


Farnley Lines



ET’S get The Big Disappointment over first. I left you at the very end of my last epistle with the tantalising titbit that early in 2013 I was to undertake ‘my most adventurous birding trip so far’. I imagine you tearing open your latest Almondburian, flicking rapidly to Farnley Lines and… then there’s this. Ah, such self-delusion! (Apologies to the Editor about the exclamation mark)*. Any road up, as I believe they say round ’uddersfield – the aforementioned trip is still on; it’s just that your esteemed editor’s deadline is five days before our departure from Heathrow. You’ll just have to wait until the July issue of The Almondburian.

Earning my stripes at the OAS Dinner It’s certainly not an ego trip but I suppose I still experience a thrill at the OAS Annual Dinner when soaking up a few complimentary comments. Not so initially this year for I appeared wearing the striped blazer, pictured here. Veiled queries politely delivered were numerous, while Bob Williams, never one to beat about a Dave Bush nor let the opportunity pass for a witty remark, suggested it was my deckchair attendant’s uniform for summers on Porthcawl seafront. Others perhaps quietly muttered “Senility”. It was naturally a relief to be able to explain briefly during the speeches that when I succeeded the great F S Hudson as Deputy Head he passed on to me his academic gown and university blazer. I felt deep emotion. I was puzzled at first as the blazer did not bear Fred’s exact initials. Daughter Ann explained that these were his elder brother’s and it had been passed down to the younger sibling.

*Who would want to be a proof-reader: page 31

Dave Bush, Fred Hudson’s daughter Ann Walker and THAT jacket at the OAS Dinner 23

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: a 1991 show written and produced by Helen Hebblethwaite for her pupils at Rosemeade School in Almondbury where she moved from King James’s in 1978

We calculated that it was at least 80 years old but obviously had shrunk over that period as it was impossible by a large margin to fasten it (exclamation mark suppressed). I have now passed it on to be stored/displayed in the school’s archives.

Founders’Day A delightful evening with fine tributes was followed next day by a slightly larger group than normal making its way up St Helen’s for the Sunday morning service.What was normal was how moving this service is whatever one’s belief. But why, oh why are there no representatives from the School? It is an OAS occasion but I am sure some pupils and their parents would take part if a strong invitation were issued. I must confess to a fluttery moment when, with the vicar waiting on the chancel steps to begin the service, a large-hatted, archetypal Church Lady asked me to read a prayer from the School statutes. This contained passages such as‘beautify by the light of thy heavenly grace the towardness… (OK, spell check but you have not read Morning Assembly) of our wits, the which with all powers of nature thou hast poured into us.’ I think I just about carried it off. Plenty of time on the way back to Porthcawl to mull over such matters as I sat for more than two hours near the junction of the M42 and M5 after a serious accident.

Farewell to the formidable Helen I was saddened to hear of the death of Helen Hebblethwaite (obituary: page 46). Hers was a formidable presence in the corridors of KJGS and I likened her movement to that of a Spanish galleon under full sail. It is rumoured that pupils in the ‘Gab Lab’ ( language laboratory) deliberately sabotaged their machines so that HH had to lean over them to effect repairs. I had heard that she lived in a large house in Beaumont Park. However, when I first arrived there to give one of her daughters some private tuition in Latin I thought the house was not so large. I then realised I was looking at the triple garage with granny flat above; the main house was to the left. My payment was a length of finest worsted from the Sykes & Hebblethwaite mill. Does it still exist? Made into a suit, it served me well for my interview for the King James’s Deputy Headship. I know she retained, for many years after she left, fond memories of her time down St Helen’s Gate.


Scouting at King James’s Flicking through Morning Assembly I noticed (prayer 60) that HarryTaylor had included a prayer for Scouts. An indication of their importance in the school? I should like to think so. Jim Toomey and I have often discussed the

Dave Bush and Jim Toomey with ‘46th Huddersfield’ scouts and senior scouts in 1961.

possibility of writing a history of the ‘46th’ but with no real source material I fear it is a non-starter. Jim mentioned the Court of Honour which met one lunchtime each week – scouters and patrol leaders – to discuss topical matters and plan the next meeting.What happened to the minutes book? Any exKJ scout’s memories will, I am sure, be warmly welcomed by the editor.


More grand weather here in Porthcawl As I tap away on my keyboard there’s a song thrush tuning up in the woods at the top of our garden, a sure indication of the changing of the season. Here’s to better weather in 2013 although we still rush down to the front when there’s a strong south westerly blowing and a high tide. The novelty of seeing seas such as the one pictured here will never fade. Ken Leech, Bob Field and Andrew Haigh have all walked along the top of this breakwater – in calmer conditions. I remember Jack Taylor declined. Typhoid booster tomorrow and then all ready to go. Let’s hope I do not share the experience of near neighbour Coral who flew for the first time at 84 to her granddaughter’s wedding in Perth. “How were the flights, Coral?” I queried. “Fine going out , Dave, but coming back there was an awful lot of flatulence.” As I said to my Ozzie pal, Ken Leech, if the plane were full of beerswilling, baked-bean chomping Australians… 


Bonsai and poetry at Wisley


Old Almondburian’s poem is selected to mark the opening of a new ‘BonsaiWalk’ at Royal Horticultural Society’s 60 acre gardens in Surrey

ISLEY, in Surrey, is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society. The original garden was the creation of George Fergusson Wilson – businessman, scientist, inventor and keen gardener and a former treasurer of the RHS. After Wilson’s death in 1902, the garden and the adjoining Glebe Farm

were bought by Sir Thomas Hanbury, a wealthy Quaker who had founded the celebrated garden of La Mortola, on the Italian Riviera. In 1903, SirThomas presented the Wisley estate in trust to the Society for its perpetual use. Last year,Wisley opened its latest addition: the Herons Bonsai Walk, an impressive avenue of beautiful, hardy bonsai trees. Old Almondburian David Morphet (1951-58) was invited to read his poem Bonsai atWisley from the collection The Silence of Green.The President of the RHS Elizabeth Banks and its Director General Sue Biggs were both there and they came up with the idea of displaying the poem at the Walk. “No one who has visited the RHS flagship Garden atWisley over the past five or six years can fail to have been


Walk, which expands the original collection and provides a really dramatic feature. I was honoured to be invited to read my poem at the opening and even more delighted when the RHS decided to display the poem in the Walk itself. “There is something quite magical about ‘timber made petite’ and I sincerely hope that the poem will in some small way increase the pleasure of visitors to the Walk.” 

impressed by a collection of bonsai provided and curated by Herons, a leading nursery,” said David. “I was so taken with it that I found room for a bonsai poem in my 2007 The Silence of Green which inter alia contains over thirty poems on individual plants – from aloe to yarrow – which have meant something special to me in my life. “Earlier this year, the RHS and Herons got together on the new Bonsai


Article sparks new Teak interest


HE article in The Almondburian about Edward ‘Teak’ Akroyd (May, 2011) has revived interest in paintings and drawings by the former King James’s Grammar School art master. Surprisingly for a prominent local artist who had his own studio in Huddersfield, Kirklees Museums & Galleries have only a single example of his work: a fine 122 x 92 cm oil painting of former Mayor of Huddersfield Reginald Wood (1956-1957). The painting was acquired as a gift from Mrs Akroyd in 1988. Kirklees Museums & Galleries have now created an artist’s file for Edward Akroyd and we should be interested in the whereabouts of other paintings and drawings.Any readers who can help are asked to contact The Almondburian (details  on back cover).


Exclusive: how to beat the bookies THE T IPSTER


The Almondburian reveals top tips for a profitable day at the races

NE-TIME captain of the School cricket First XI and vice-captain of the Soccer XI, Oxford graduate, higher servant and Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, Commandeur de l’Ordre National de Madagascar – Old Almondburian Bob Goldsmith has many claims to fame. But one interest may be less well known: his love of the turf. So what could be more natural, when he was posted to the distant outpost of Papua New Guinea in the 1980s, that he should devise an ingenious way of continuing to enjoy his recreation by remote control? All he needed was a couple of‘agents’ back in the UK who would place bets on his behalf in accordance with his predetermined criteria so that he could collect his winnings when he returned. He called his system GRIP: the Goldsmith Racing Investment Procedure. It was based on a simple irrefutable proposition: that horses which have already won are likely to win again, and they will win again more often than horses with a losing record. However, as many punters before and since have discovered to their cost, it’s not as simple as that. Circumstances change for each race: different competing horses; weight carried; distance run; and so on. But Goldsmith reckoned that given the average


odds at which winning horses are returned, a success rate of only 30% was all that was required for long term profitability. So all that was needed was careful numerical analysis of the key factors. After much deliberation, Goldsmith reckoned there were 11 factors in total: winning margin last time out; number of runners last time out; going (ground conditions); draw; jockey; trainer; distance; prize money; weight carried; name; and course. Then, he devised a scoring algorithm whereby points could be scored in relation to the perceived importance of each factor. The highest number of points scored would determine which horses would be backed. Having developed the system to his satisfaction, Goldsmith’s next task was to select his two agents back in the UK.Two fellow members of the Civil Service Crusaders cricket team immediately sprang to mind: Ronald GeorgeWarr and Reginald BasilWood.To be a Crusader, one had to be a First XI member

of one of the better cricket clubs in the London area.Wood was reputedly the best leg spin bowler in London club cricket.Warr, the elder brother of Middlesex and England cricketer JohnWarr,had scored over 20,000 runs for his Ealing club. In true secret agent style,Warr was given the code-name‘Rigor Mortis’(soon changed,following not unreasonable protestations from his daughter, to ‘Brideshead’); and Wood was given the name‘Basilisk’. And so, with criteria agreed and agents selected, the great project was launched. Goldsmith provided each agent with a £100 kitty and awaited results. Alas, it has to be recorded that the initial results were not too promising. Far from achieving a modest profit by the end of the season each agent sustained a £40 loss. But Goldsmith was not discouraged.“It cannot be said that the procedure is an utter failure,” he insisted.“The use of random selections, or slavish recommendations of a particular newspaper, would almost certainly have turned out more costly.” The first problem was that the system was over-complicated, with too many factors to be taken into account. He decided to abandon the considerations of ‘winning margin’ and‘number of runners last time out’. He also decided that, as their reading ability is very limited, horses were unlikely to be influenced by the name under which they were running, so this

THE BRAINS BEHIND ‘GRIP’ Bob Goldsmith (19351942), achieved a First Class Honours degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. He was deputy head of the first UK delegation to the then European Economic Community and appointed CMG in 1974. On leaving the Civil Service, he became a delegate of the European Commission. Bob Goldsmith now lives in retirement in Scarborough.

factor was also abandoned. Goldsmith also realised that the procedure required more of a mental effort and more of the agents’ time than he had originally expected.(One agent wrote that he always worried when the postman called lest a new mass of GRIP material should be stuffed through his letter box).Goldsmith reluctantly accepted that a revised GRIP must take account of this‘human factor’. Goldsmith also berated his agents for failing to apply the GRIPS procedure ‘au pied de la lettre’. He grumbled that on occasions they allowed extraneous factors (such as‘tips from Peter O’Sullevan*’,‘ratings in Football and Racing Outlook’ and‘deferential attitudes towards the higher female aristocracy in the person of Lavinia,Duchess of Norfolk†)’ to influence their selections. So, a revised GRIP made its appearance in 1987,and it is this (see panel overleaf) that we are now proudly able to reveal exclusively to readers of The Almondburian. It needs little explanation. Any horse

Peter O’Sullevan was the BBC’s principal racing commentator from 1947 to 1997 † Owner, breeder, rider and trainer, Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk was one of the most knowledgeable women in racing. She died in 1995. *



INSTRUCTIONS TO AGENTS 1. Select the race with the most prize money at stake at the principal meeting of the day on Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays (BASILISK) and Tuesdays,Thursdays and Saturdays (BRIDESHEAD). 2. List the first five in the betting forecast for each race selected (first six if there are 15 runners or more).

3. Discard any horse among the first five (or six) in the betting forecast never to have won a race or been placed second. 4.Award points to the remaining horses on the following basis: (a) if trained by Cecil, Harwood, Hindley, Stoute or Cumani (one point)

(b) if ridden by Pat Eddery, Starkey, Swinburn, Carson or Ives (one point)

(c) if the horse won on its last outing or last but one outing (one point) (d) if its winning margin was a length or more (5 or 6 furlongs or 2 lengths or more (longer distances) - (one point)

(e) if it won on a left (right) hand track and is now running on a similar track (one point)

(f) if the going on the day is about the same as when it last won or was placed second (one point) (g) if a horse is penalised in the weights for a previous win (deduct one point).

5. Maximum points is six. List the horses in the order of their ‘score’ in accordance with paragraph 4. Back the one with most points. If two or more horses are equal in the points listing, back the one at the longest odds in the betting forecast. 6.All wagers are £5 to win. Results of the wagers with names of selected horses to be sent to me once a week for verification

that has not previously won or placed second is disregarded, and of the remainder points are awarded to horses with notable trainers or jockeys. (Henry Cecil, Guy Harwood, Jeremy Hindley, Michael Stoute and Luca Cumani were all very successful trainers in the 1980s, while Pat Eddery, Greville Starkey, Walter Swinburn, Willie Carson and Tony Ives were top jockeys in their day). Additional points are earned through various other factors as identified in the original GRIP exercise. So how did Basilisk and Brideshead fare when they set to work to put the Revised GRIP through its paces in 1987? Al-


though most of the records have been lost over time, we are pleased to report that a single tantalising report for 22nd May 1987 has survived in the extensive Goldsmith archives. During April and May of that year, Basilisk backed eight horses (four winners) and won £19.94. His colleague Brideshead was even more successful: he backed three horses (two winners) and reported winnings of £31.50. It may be that present-day Old Almondburians will be inspired to put the revised GRIP to the test, updating it with their own choice of jockeys and trainers. If so, we will have great pleasure in reporting their results in a future issue. 

Who would be a proofreader?



HERE is one very good reason errors of fact or grammar, and so on. Can why The Almondburian is not you spot them? (Answers overleaf). A significant number of corrections in error-strewn from cover to cover. His name is Keith Crawshaw, and each issue is related to issues of ‘house style’ – the often arbitrary conventions he is our faithful proofreader. Proofreading is the final vital stage that exist in all publications to ensure a before any magazine goes to press. uniformity of presentation. This may, However diligent, it’s a fact of life that a therefore, be a convenient time to set strange word-blindness seems to prevent some of these out for the benefit of any writer from spotting his or her own future contributors. Top of the list is the name of this magmistakes.That’s certainly true in the case of The Almondburian: typically, Keith azine (which, by the way, is no longer a identifies 50 or more such infelicities ‘newsletter’). Nor is it ‘The Almondwhich require correction to his exacting burian’ or the ‘Almondburian’; it is The standards before the magazine finally Almondburian. The names of all publications mentioned by name in the magazine goes off to the printer. are normally italicised in English is a strange lanthis way. guage, full of traps to Then there’s the issue catch the unwary. If you of spaces. Almost every don’t believe me, take a article I receive for publook again at the story on lication is blighted by page 12 about our centedouble or even triple narian organist Percy spaces between senTrutone. In fact, this tences. This is a relic of story is entirely fictitious the days of typewriters and I’m truly sorry to say when all characters (inthat Percy Trutone doescluding spaces) had exn’t exist (keen crossEITH CRAWSHAW (1964actly the same width, and word-solvers will have 1971) is an accountant by a good typist would alspotted immediately that profession. He has been ways insert two or three his surname is an ana- treasurer of the Old Almondburians’ Society since spaces between sengram of ‘not true’). 1973 and was chairman in tences to avoid an overMoreover, this short 1980. For over 20 years he cramped appearance. article contains no fewer has organised the annual quiz. He has lived in Multiple spaces are NOT than 10 deliberate errors OAS Almondbury all his life. required with today’s – misspelled words,



electronic fonts, which are clever enough to generate a space of just the right width. Abbreviations are another problem area. The Almondburian house style does not use dots so we prefer ‘KJS’ to the cumbersome‘K.J.S.’And while we’re on the subject of the School, any references to ‘our’ school are capitalized whereas – as you would expect – lesser schools receive no such recognition. Dates in The Almondburian are always shown in the form ‘25th May 2013’ and not ‘May 25th’ or ‘May 25.Times of day are in the form ‘6.00 pm’, not 6 pm or 18.00 and certainly never the illiterate 12.00 am or 12.00 pm (as often seen on television weather charts and elsewhere). Numbers up to and including nine are normally spelled out, but all other numbers are shown numerically, eg 17, 24,000 etc. Double inverted commas are normally used around speech, eg “The sun has just come out,”she said. Single inverted commas

are used elsewhere, eg He thought a more suitable word would have been ‘academic’. Finally, please think twice about using exclamation marks (often known in America as ‘screamers’ – and for very good reason). If you think you are writing something hilariously funny, let the reader be the judge. I hope that none of the foregoing will discourage anyone from sending me articles! (Ooops, there we go). But it might just give poor old Keith a bit more time to get on with other jobs around the  house. PERCY TRUTONE (page 12)

1. Alveston is in Gloucestershire, not Buckinghamshire 2. Caesarean, not caesarian 3. Diphtheria, not diptheria 4. Proceeded, not proceded 5. Magdelen College, Oxford 6. Flouted, not flaunted 7. Become, not became 8. Idiosyncrasy, not idiosyncracy 9. Ophthalmologist, not opthalmologist 10. Impresario, not impressario



1 2 4 8 7

Difficulty: tough

Each row, column and 3 x 3 box must contain the digits 1 to 9

8 2 9 32


3 1 7

4 9 8

2 6

7 8 2


9 3 4 8 1 2


Compiled by Terry Buckley (1948 - 1953)

Entries to the Editor by 1st June 2013 1

2 20

8 20







16 20


4 20 20











Prize: 12 months free OAS membership

5 20

11 20










20 20






35 They’re up in arms! (5) 37 Confused melee before the National Trust found the member (7) 38 Medical loafer? (6,9)

DOWN 1 Go ahead, it’s easy (15) 2 Accomplished throughout (4) 22 23 20 24 25 26 3 Get a date in old Rome (4) 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 4 Preparation for the plough ? (10) 5 Garland of pale irises (3) 20 27 28 20 20 20 20 29 6 Profited and gave way (7) 30 20 20 31 32 20 33 34 20 7 Played by suicidal gamblers? (7,8) 9 Villain in lifelong association (5) 20 35 36 20 37 10 The world of rare almanacs (5) 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 12 Direction finder in aviation (3) 18 Distinguished indeed, if it were 36 converted (10) 20 Outstanding merit (3) ACROSS 21 European mate (3) 1 Itinerant actor is sure to get run 21 A study on the Arabian Peninsular? (4) 23 The bar in the cricket club is ran out! (9,6) 22 Challenge dignity (4) sacked by a thousand and one, for 8 Works in the middle of a field (7) 24 In the black, tried tonic, well the material (7) 11 Green girl (5) shaken (2,6,2) 25 Snuff out soak (5) 13 Forever in the red (3) 27 Generally and privately worn off 26 Head of Leviathan Enterprises (5) 14 Change in Paris (3) duty (5) 28 As a word, nation becomes a 15 Sorts shot silk (4) 29 Everything heard for the leather consumer (3) 16 An invoice without heading is bad (3) worker (3) 32 Duck or goose egg ? (4) 17 Damon backed ‘The Wanderer’ (5) 30 Of ducks and spiders (4) 34 Except in the United Kingdom 19 Unravel and mend - who, then, will 31 Seen ahead in the Middle East (3) itself (4) get the family garment ? (4-2-4) 33 Reverse short numbers, my boy (3) 36 Florence’s Duomo has two (3) 19











 The winner of Terry’s Teaser No 7 (November 2012) was Keith Crawshaw

Across 7.Wrongful arrest 9. Scrape 11. Gite 12.Triptych 14. Intros 15. Satire 16.Ate 18. Steward 19.Wearing 20. Ace 22. Queens 25. Civics 26. Jettison 27. Stye 28. Mellow 30. Ostentatiously Down 1.Anna 2. Offers 3. Gluepot 4.Arrays 5.Weight 6. State run school 8. Reconstruction 10. Ptomaine 13 Calamine 16.Ada 17. Ewe 21. Chilean 23. Ejects 24. String 25. Commit 29. Laud

Articles and photographs

The Editor is always delighted to receive articles for The Almondburian. Photographs are also welcome; if sent as email attachments the preferred format is jpeg (.jpg) with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.Alternatively, send your photographs by post and we will scan and return them.When submitting photographs, always provide a suitable caption.




New sports pavilion

HE project continues to gather momentum. In the last issue of The Almondburian we published for the first time the plans for a ‘newbuild’ pavilion (below) which have replaced the original option of restoring and extending the existing building. It is envisaged that the pavilion and associated works will cost in the order of £450,000-£500,000. The project has now received the ‘wholehearted support’ of the King James’s School Foundation which has agreed to meet 50% of the cost. It is hoped that the balance will be raised through contributions from national sporting bodies and through fund-raising activities on the part of the School and the Old Almondburians’ Society. An important aspect of the plan is that the pavilion should not only be available for use by the School and the Old Almondburians’ Society but also by the local community. The next step will be to secure outline planning permission; once this has been obtained, the ‘Call to Action’ appeal will be formally launched and fundraising committees will be set up. Meanwhile we should like to thank again those Old Almondburians who have already sent in contributions to set the ball rolling. Martyn Hicks/Graham Cliffe



Olympics display was a cracker C ATHERINE WHEEL

An Old Almondburian’s fireworks company was responsible for the opening and closing displays at the London 2012 Olympic Games acclaimed all over the world.We reveal how it was all done


port them to fireworks loaded on barges in the river that runs through the Olympic Park. There’s a hush – and the ceremony starts. Dream on! Even I, with fond memories of the 5th November fireworks displays in Ravensknowle Park, could not believe that the brilliant displays to mark the opening and closing of the London Olympics could really be just scaled-up versions of the displays of my childhood.

T is the evening of 27th July 2012 and the Olympics 2012 opening ceremony is about to get under way.A team of 1,000 pyrotechnicians has been assembled, ready to light the blue touch paper as soon as they receive their instructions on their personal radios. They have protective clothing to shield them from the showers of sparks that will soon be raining down on them, and fast motor boats are moored nearby to trans-

Nick Alloway


Kimbolton’s displays director Darryl Fleming at the stadium roof firing control position

But how on earth was it all done?When I heard to my delight that the man behind the display was Old Almondburian Ron Lancaster MBE (1942-1950), this seemed the perfect opportunity to find out. As we reported in The Almondburian in March 2010, Rev Ron Lancaster set up Kimbolton Fireworks in 1964.The company today is the UK’s market leader in firework production and operator-fired displays. Their involvement in the Olympics commenced with the receipt of tender documents in early September 2011. After the lengthy procurement process, they finally got the go-ahead in November, when the London and Edinburgh New Year’s Eve fireworks displays were already making big demands on their time and resources. The artistic director Danny Boyle was keen that any displays around the Olympic Park should not be to the detriment of spectators within the stadium it-

Sarah Gardiner

self. He envisaged what he described as a ‘ceiling of fire’, with pyrotechnic effects being fired from the inner gantry of the stadium over the heads of the 80,000 audience, 2,000 athletes and 4,500 performers. Never having been attempted before on this scale, this was to prove a major challenge. The stadium firing positions were in three specific locations. Around the outside circumference were 56 equally spaced firing positions; there were a further 14 firing positions on the curved lighting poles or‘paddles’ around the arena; and finally there were another 56 firing positions directed towards the field of play from the stadium’s suspension ring gantry 30m above the spectators. In addition to the stadium display, there was a requirement to create a wider spectacle around the rest of the Olympic Park. This was achieved by positioning five barges 200m apart along the River Lea which runs through the site; shells on these produced an overlapping wall of star bursts over a length of 1 km. Further

Nick Alloway


Spectacular: the view from the firing position on the ArcelorMittal Orbit

low level roman canthe River Lea was apt dles along the towto flood; the prospect path added an extra of the firework-laden dimension: in total barges breaking from some 75 firing positheir moorings was tions stretched some not a welcome 1.5km all the way prospect. The solufrom the Velodrome tion: more substantial to the ArcelorMittal – and more costly – Orbit, the 115m high moorings. sculpture and obserStorage and firing vation tower to the of such vast quantities “I watched from home,” admits Ron east of the stadium. of fireworks within The Orbit itself provided the final firing such a highly populated site also presented location within the Park. a major worry and the team were fortuIn total, nearly 250 firing positions nate to receive full cooperation from the provided a 2.5km frontage, all carefully Health and Safety Executive in securing synchronised with the choreography of the necessary exemption certificates and the ceremony itself. licences. As the Opening Ceremony apAnd where was Ron Lancaster on the proached, the Kimbolton team was some night of the Opening Ceremony? I imag50-strong. They ran 15km of data cable, ined that he would have a grandstand seat connected and wired 12,000 igniters to in the stadium but the reality was more set off 20,000 fireworks to be launched prosaic. from firing positions around the Park. “There was a very tight three-layer seBut why only 50 pyrotechnicians rather curity system to get anywhere near the than 1,000?The answer, of course, is the Olympic Park,” says Ron. “I decided that ubiquitous computer; or rather many at 82 I was too old for that hassle so I computers within the FireOne XL4 con- stayed at home and watched on televitrol systems that were used to ensure that sion.” the ceremony went off smoothly. Based Did he enjoy the fireworks? “Yes and in Pennsylvania, FireOne Pyrotechnics no,” he laughs. “The tension made it abManagement Inc has developed sophisti- solute agony. But believe me, I went to cated digital firing and integrated fire- bed a very happy man when it all went off  works-to-music choreography systems so smoothly.”  We should like to thank Darryl Fleming, that are now in use all over the world. The team faced some unusual chal- display director at Kimbolton Fireworks, for lenges. Remember the endless rain we help with this article. An interview with Ron had last ‘summer’? Not surprisingly, they Lancaster can be heard on the OAS website at were warned that every 100 years or so 37


George Beharrel: the Dunlop man


N September 1884, a young lad of 11 nervously presented himself at the gates of Almondbury Grammar School to become one of around 25 boarders at that time. He left school at the age of 14 to join the North Eastern Railway Company and was in due course knighted for his services to the country in World War 1. By the time he was 50 he had become managing director of the Dunlop Rubber Company and then a director of Imperial Airways. His name was John George Beharrel. In An Illustrated History of King James’s School published as part of our 400th anniversary celebrations, I presented my ‘Hall of Fame’ of former pupils of the School who had distinguished themselves in later life. To some extent my list was arbitrary and I was uneasiily aware that it might unknowingly omit many who deserved an entry. With your help, dear reader, I would like to extend the list through the pages of The Almondburian, and the name of George Beharrel seems to me to be an excellent one with which to start.



Rev Francis Marshall, the formidable rugby enthusiast, had been headmaster for six years when John George Beharrel joined Almondbury Grammar School.The School was doing well; in fact, it was bursting at the seams and the previous year Mrs Blanche Brooke had laid the memorial stone in the Fenay Quad which marked the start of a major building programme that would result in the ‘Big’, the ‘Small’, a new middle dormitory that would later become Dorms 2 and 3, and a masters’ common room.Wherever he went, the young Beharrel would have been beset by the smell of new paint. Beharrel was one of 21 pupils who joined the School that year. The Beharrels were Huguenots who came over from Holland and adjacent parts of France in the 1620s to escape religious persecution directed against their Protestant faith.A branch of the family moved to East Yorkshire and George Beharrel himself was born in York on 11th March 1873. Marshall worked his new boys hard: he entered Beharrel for various subjects

in the College of Preceptors and Cambridge Local Junior Examinations in 1885, 1886 and 1887. Beharrel finally achieved a Second Class, Second Division in the former and a First Class Honours, Second Division, with distinction in mathematics, in the latter. Despite this academic success, however, he cannot have overly impressed Francis Marshall as he had a marked distaste for rugby, though this did not prove any barrier to his being press-ganged to play in the School Rugby XV in the winter term of 1887. He was however gifted at handling figures, and when he left school to join the North Eastern Railway he gradually rose from junior clerk to assistant general manager. He also developed a deep understanding of railway operations and finance, so much so that when war broke out he was appointed Director of Statistics and Requirements at the Ministry of

Munitions. In due course, he was sent to France as Assistant Director-General of Transportation. He achieved the rank of lieutenantcolonel and then became Assistant Inspector of General Transportation for all theatres of war. For his distinguished wartime services he was awarded the DSO and, in 1919, a knighthood. On leaving government service in 1922, Sir George was appointed managing director of the Dunlop Rubber Company, a company of which he would later become chairman and, in 1949, president. The Dunlop Rubber Company was set up in 1889 in response to a growing interest in bicycling: John Boyd Dunlop took out a patent for the pneumatic rubber tyre which was to lead to the company’s massive growth in the years that followed. Motor car and aircraft tyres were to follow, but by the 1980s the company was in serious financial difficulties.The name lives on today thanks to links with Goodyear and Sumitomo Rubber Industries of Japan. By 1926, Sir George had been appointed president of the India Rubber Manufacturers Association. In 1932 he became president of the Federation of British Industries, and in 1935 he chaired the 6th International Congress for Scientific Manage-


Chocks away: an Imperial Airlines aircraft refuels at Tsemah, Palestine in the 1930s

In 1923 George Beharrel unveiled the War Memorial in the ‘Big’. It was designed by art master Bradley Shaw and presented by him to the ‘Old Boys’ Society’ for the School

ment set up under the patronage of the Prince of Wales. In June 1937, Sir John became chairman of Imperial Airways (later BOAC and today British Airways) in succession to Sir Eric Geddes with whom he had worked closely over the years. He retained this position until the following year, when the position was taken by the formidable former BBC Director General John Reith. George Beharrel never lost his

affection for his old School. On 24th March 1923 he returned to unveil the Old Boys’ War Memorial which graces the wall of the ‘Big’, and in 1958 he contributed to the Pavilion Fund. He died at his home in Harpenden on 20th  February 1959.

OAS membership



INCE the last issue of The Almondburian, we have been delighted to welcome five new members to the Society, including one of last summer’s school leavers: Katie Stead (2007-12), from Hopton; Gail Sykes (née Falck, 1993-98), from Cowlersley; Peter H Heywood (Pupil 1945-51 and Staff 1962-67), from Filey; Darren Ardron (1979-85) from Salford; and David Micklethwaite from Penistone. For the few who do not yet pay by standing order, please remember that your £10.00 subscription for 2012-2013


fell due on 1st September last year.Thank you to those who have recently brought their subscription up to date; however, if you do receive a letter with this magazine pointing out that your subscription is not up-to-date, please do send your payment without delay. It does make life much easier if you can complete the updated standing order mandate that accompanies the letter and return it in the envelope provided. Alternatively, you may renew online, using PayPal or a debit or credit card, by visiting and clicking on the ‘Join/Renew Online’ button. 


YO U WRITE … The School’s ‘quasi public school’ atmosphere


From Simon Thackray (1965-1971) EMORIES, both happy and not so happy, have come flooding back sparked by the recent programmes on BBC4 about the history of the grammar school*. Doubtless many other Old Boys have watched it and reflected on the quasi public school atmosphere that existed back in the 60s and doubtless before and since. What rang the biggest bell from theTV programmes? For me it was probably the emphasis on sport, particularly interhouse which was fiercely competitive. Well, with Dave Bush as our housemaster it had to be competitive! My wife, comprehensively educated, is incredulous when I tell her stories of turning up after school to improve our cross country time just to get extra house points. “Why would you do that?” she not unfairly asks. Was it love of our house? Was it our own desire to do our best? Or was it that Mr Bush would be hovering around the playing fields and would demand an explanation if you didn’t turn up? The rivalry was particularly intense with Dave’s buddy Jack Taylor heading Fenay. One thing I clearly remember. One of the accolades one could receive was not just a mention in house assembly on a


Thursday morning held in the Library but better still was to be called out to the front by Mr Bush and receive his vice-like handshake to the applause of your housemates. I was fortunate enough to receive the handshake on a number of occasions. But one particular memory was when Mr Bush didn’t call out the usual achievers but made special mention of one lad who shall remain nameless who was not a sportsman and was also significantly overweight.This lad had turned up to rerun his cross country standard and, having not previously achieved a cross country standard, managed to achieve a ‘B’ standard, thus earning Jessop a house point or two. Maybe not the greatest sporting achievement of all time but Dave identified him, held him out as a lad of‘commitment & effort’ and summoned the red-faced young lad to the front for ‘the handshake’. Well done, Dave! I’ve not forgotten it and I doubt that young lad has forgotten it either. Beckenham, Kent * The Grammar School: A Secret History (BBC4).It is well known thatTaylor Dyson had early ambitions that King James’s should become a small public school. In 1915 he introduced the House system on the model of the pubic schools, to provide an incentive in both work and games. (Ed)


Michael Jackson composed the macaronic poem

From Dr Jim Toomey (staff 1953-1968)

GAIN a pleasure to receive The Almondburian. I am pleased that )Albert Makinson got a good coverage. I hope that some of his pupils will respond with friendly memories. Denis Taylor asked about the macaronic poem in the Summer 1956 issue. I think my only input was help with Latinising his name. ‘Michaelis Iacci f(ilius) Niger’ means ‘Michael the dark (haired) one, son of Jack’; ‘Iaccus’ is an invented Latin word. It is an imitation of a Roman name, and Niger is the cognomen. Rather corny, I agree. Readers probably realise now that it is none other than the late Michael Jackson, of real ale fame, who was then in the third form. He was an enterprising and resourceful boy, and he may have had some help from older pupils. Certainly the subject matter and the Latin are a bit advanced for a third former. I notice in the Scouts section of the 1956 magazine that Bill Rennison and I took 28 of the Troop to camp in Borrowdale.They will remember that it rained for days until, on a wild and stormy night, the tents were blown down around them and the nearby stream rose so high that it threatened to cut off any escape.We had to decamp speedily and spent the rest of the night in a church hall in Keswick, finding it hard to observe the Scout Law which says that a Scout ‘smiles and whistles under all difficulties’. Dave Bush and I talked a few years ago about a history of Scouting at

KJGS, but it would depend only on snatches of memory as (Dave said) the Minute Books of the Court of Honour (there’s a title from the past!) had been thrown out at some point. Bill did write a little in a couple of short articles some years ago, but only an outline from memory. Stourport-on-Severn,Worcestershire



My debt to Albert Makinson

From John Goodall (1953-1960)

HAT a fascinating selection of writing in the latest issue of The Almondburian. I was saddened to learn of Albert Makinson’s illness and death.Those of us whose school years coincided with his years at KJGS were fortunate to have someone whose love of literature was so infectiously communicated in his teaching. His presence lives on for me alongside that of Diggory Venn. Denis Taylor’s reflections of life at the school for an ‘under-achiever’ I thought captured well the zeitgeist of the 1950s from the standpoint of those who never quite got on one or the other of the

ladders of social mobility that the ‘high fliers’ of the period succeeded in climbing. Those, like myself, who kept falling off the ladder as the contradictions between the social milieu of their careers and their backgrounds and beliefs became unbearable can sympathise. I’ve no regrets about the time I spent working as a trolley-bus conductor for Huddersfield Corporation Passenger Transport Department. I almost wet my prostatectomised pants laughing at Reggie Byram’s musings. What a delightful story, told with such warmth and humour. Better than a session with a Rogerian(!) psychotherapist. My next job is to order John Tembo’s Dead Men A Walk to the Meeting of the Waters Don’t Talk on Amazon. “I know a bank” . . .where snowdrops grow In acknowledgement of my By raging rivers’ melting snow debt to Albert Makinson, I’ve Whose waters meet from South and North written a couple of poems under Before the coaly Tyne spews forth, my pseudonym‘John Purslow’. A Beyond the Armstrong Works at Benwell, Walk to the Meeting of the Waters Tanks that oil the flames of death smell; Where Phantoms fly at forty feet (left) was published by Seigfried’s Imperial terror, on full heat Journal (Journal of the Siegried To gild foul feudal fiefdoms’ tassels. Sassoon Fellowship, Summer Issue 2012) after I’d read it aloud at the Make no mistake, they’ll bomb Newcastle’s Fellowship’s event during the Workers when no more they’ll follow Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Labour leaders who betray to wallow Poetry Sunday on 15th July. In wealth with their own ruling class For fear their privilege won’t last Thou andYou is one of a selection The freedom of a world united; of 10 poems I’m planning to As rivers’ floods, no more benighted submit to The Poetry Society’s Sweep away, like drowning dross, 2012 competition. I hope Albert The borders Man was born to cross. would have liked them. Siegfried’s Journal, Summer 2012 Wakefield,WestYorkshire 43


Of course the Annual Dinner should be at the School

From Chris West (1960-1966)

CATERER (any old boys etc and who also might just wipe the tables?). The‘ambience’ of the Galpharm/John Smith’s may be fine, but I reckon you’ve totally missed the point with your comment that punters ‘would now find the school hall a less attractive meeting place’. I for one, would far rather enjoy a buffet at the school than a Dinner at the Galpharm, as I suspect would many more Old Almondburians. You could always test it out! Maybe if this note goes in the next edition, you/we would find out. As Mr Fry concludes,‘Food for thought’. Slaithwaite,WestYorkshire

’VE JUST read the letter in the November Almondburian from Chris Fry and the response from you guys. I can only assume that the members on the OAS Executive Committee have led a seriously protected and out of the real world life. The Committee reckon that having a buffet in the school hall would encounter ‘significant difficulties in terms of security’… A DOORMAN (any old boys run a security company?). ‘Cleaning’… A TABLE WIPER and A FLOOR SWEEPER (any old boys run a cleaning company?).‘Catering’… AN OUTSIDE


Food and drink at stadium less good in recent years

From Roger Battye (1962-1969) and six others AY we suggest we try somewhere (anywhere?) else this year. The standard of the food at the stadium has deteriorated over the last few years and was mediocre in 2012. Could we also suggest we go to a

venue that serves DECENT REAL ALE instead of the chemical swill served at the stadium? Greenhead Masonic? Keep up the good work and forgive this NewYear moan. Holmfirth,WestYorkshire


The shocking tale of football fan ‘Mr Gallagher’

From Bob Goldsmith (1935-1942) ’E read much these days about the shocking behaviour of football ‘fans’ in England. It wasn’t always so. Let me tell you the saga of Mr Gallagher.


I first became aware of him after watching a match against Derby County when I was abut eight years old. I was returning on foot along StAndrew’s Road opposite the group of streets (now demolished) named after

flowers – Rose Street,Lily Street etc.A man shouted, “How did we get on then?” I replied,“A draw,nowt-nowt.”“What sort of language is that?”quoth he.“You mean it was a scoreless draw.” Yes – ever since then I have described such matches as‘scoreless draws’. Now move on to a match against Blackburn Rovers later in the same season. It was one of those games with nothing at stake: neither side had fears of relegation or hopes of becoming championship winners. The crowd was sparse, especially at the Bradley Mills end where I was in my usual position on the parapet to one side of the goalposts. After 10 minutes or so there was one of those tackles between defender and attacker that ended up over the dead ball line. It could have been either a goal kick or a corner.The referee awarded a corner. There was a loud shout from someone just behind me.It came from Mr Gallagher, apparently incensed by this decision. “You

are a fat, bald-headed pig,” he yelled to the referee. True, the referee was on the plump side and he didn’t have much hair. But he certainly did not resemble a pig. We read in the following Monday’s Hudderseld Examiner that the Town management had decreed that Mr Gallagher should be refused entry to the ground sine die. [Clever grammar school boys (of whom I was not yet one) would have pronounced this ‘sinnay deeay’ but for most of the general public it was‘sign dye.’] To most regular Town supporters, this was a terrible punishment – worse than a month or two in gaol. Yet Mr Gallagher had uttered no obscenities or any kind of verbal abuse that is so common today. I often wondered if Mr Gallagher’s punishment was ever rescinded. I never saw him again, either near the ‘flower’ streets of St Andrew’s Road or in the stands at Leeds Road. Scarborough, NorthYorkshire

Leeds Road stadium in the 1930s.Today the site is a retail park; the centre spot of the former pitch is marked by a plaque (inset) in the car park outside B&Q. 45



Helen Hebblethwaite (Staff 1963-1978)

Popular teacher who pioneered the School’s first language laboratory We are sorry to record the death of Helen Hebblethwaite on 22nd October 2012. Born in Halifax, Helen initially joined King James’s Grammar School in 1963 to teach French during Mr Addy’s illness. Photographed here in 1971, she stayed on to specialise in French and English, and was prominent in setting up the audio language laboratory in the former dining room. Helen was a respected colleague, always cheerful and friendly, gregarious in her contacts with fellow staff and students alike. Her enthusiastic approach to teaching was reflected in the positive and eager response from her students. On leaving King James’s in 1978, Helen became owner and principal of Rosemeade School in Bank End Lane where, in collaboration with her daughter, she heightened the school’s reputation for progressive pre-secondary school education. There was great sadness when Rosemeade closed in 2006 on Helen’s retirement. Jack Taylor Peter Heywood adds: Helen was very generous to her closest colleagues; Dave Bush and I were both ‘rewarded’ for our help and support in her work by top-quality suit lengths of our choice on visits to her husband’s mill Sykes & Hebblethwaite in Moldgreen. She was a very sensitive soul and arrived at School one afternoon in floods of tears: in Somerset Road, a bird had flown in front of her car and fatally impaled itself on the grille. I believe the bird was taken home and given a burial in the Hebblethwaite garden. A running joke among staff was the frequency with which she would appear at the end of morning school in the no-man’s land between the Secretary’s office and the Head’s study, ready to help Harry Taylor on with his coat before he left for his lunch. (She would in fact have ‘mothered’ us all). Her move to Rosemeade was to link her again to King James’s Grammar School, for in 46

the 1940s and 1950s the school was run by Mrs Hopton, the wife of the KJGS maths teacher ‘Johnny’ Hopton. My late wife, June, was a pupil there, as were the Carter boys of the same generation. More significantly, however, was the presence of another pupil at that time: a Gordon Hebblethwaite who would later become Helen’s husband.What a small world we live in! Helen was a breath of fresh air, kind and courageous; like many, I have very fond memories of her.

Michael Brown (1947-1953)

Accountant and church organist with a passion for steam trains and a day at the races Michael, a gentle,generous person all his life, died suddenly on 10th August 2012. Earlier he had beaten bowel cancer and had received the all clear after chemotherapy. Michael met his colleagues from the year of ’47 at the 400th anniversary dinner which required two tables to accommodate everyone. He had lived down south for many years working as an accountant for British Rail. At that time he supported Fulham and saw famous old boy JeffTaylor playing. Following his early retirement he moved back up to Huddersfield and became church organist at Rashcliffe and Lockwood. After his first wife died he moved to Thongsbridge and became organist at Thongsbridge St Andrew’s Church and deputised throughout the Holme Valley for services, weddings and funerals. Music was a major part of his life and at St Andrew’s he would play for small groups and follow up with a short talk on the composer. During this time he met his second wife and started to enjoy frequent UK holidays. He still found time to watch the Terriers, attend an occasional day at the races and follow his passion for steam trains with Rev John Capstick of All Saints’ Church, Netherthong. Michael will be missed by the congregation at St Andrew’s, and all his former classmates. Colin Cheesbrough 47

A C Earnshaw (1953-1958)

The Huddersfield Examiner

FormerYMCA rugby coach who helped to set up a heritage centre at the George Hotel Chris Earnshaw died in June 2012 at the age of 69, after a short illness. He spent a large part of his working life at the David Brown Gears Park Works in Lockwood where he was responsible for marketing and conference activities. Chris was a rugby enthusiast who devoted much of his time to coaching at HuddersfieldYMCA’s Laund Hill sports centre in Salendine Nook. He was one of those responsible for setting up the Rugby League Heritage Centre display of memorabilia at the George Hotel. Donald Sykes

Bust of legendary Huddersfield and Great Britain player Douglas Clark (1891-1951) at the Rugby League Heritage Centre

T R (‘Dick’) Moules (1937-1941)

Forestry specialist who scored a hat-trick in a high-scoring school football match We are sorry to report the death of Dick Moules. He was a good cricketer and footballer who famously scored a hat-trick in the Second XI soccer match against Honley on 29th October 1940 when the visitors were beaten 14-1. Even the Honley goal was scored by an AGS player, full back Jarman unluckily slicing the ball through his own goal. Moules served in theArmy in India, and after graduating in the Forestry School he spent his working life with the Forestry Commission in NorthYorkshire and Northumberland. Donald Sykes 48 33

D P V Crossley (1937-1943)

‘Bevin Boy’ who later qualified as an architect working with local authorities Peter Crossley died in April 2012 in Huddersfield. An able pupil, he gained nine School Certificate passes in the examinations held in July1942, of which seven were ‘credits’. He worked in the pits as a‘Bevin Boy’ during the SecondWorldWar, one of 48,000 conscripts and volunteers who performed vital but largely unrecognised service in the coal mines. He went on to become a qualified architect who worked chiefly with local authorities in theWestYorkshire area. Donald Sykes

P A (Tony) Haigh (1947-1953)

Noted local artist who recorded in pictures Huddersfield’s great industrial past No other artist in the area did more to put the old mills and factories of Huddersfield on the map than Old Almondburian Tony Haigh, of Dalton. But after a lifetime of recording the town’s industrial history, he died at the age of 75 in Kirkwood Hospice in June 2012. Tony was an artist all his life – even though his father had tried to dissuade him from the path. He was brought up in Huddersfield and in Ravensthorpe, where his father ran a grocery and provisions store. Tony worked behind the counter after finishing school, delivering groceries to local customers, but then embarked on a career as a salesman with a soap company. He had a brief spell selling records for EMI and then later worked for Huddersfield Borough Council and Calderdale Council as a school welfare officer. He was renowned for his work with youth and community groups, especially Deighton Nearly 60 years separate these drawings by Tony Haigh.Top: the old school entrance Youth Club. yard, drawn when he was a fifth-former in Tony was fascinated by the old textile 1952; bottom: the drawing specially produced mills of Huddersfield, the Colne Valley for the 400th anniversary in 2008. 33 49

and Halifax. He decided to capture in drawings and paintings as many as he could before they were demolished or converted to other uses. He also worked inside many of Huddersfield’s well-known factories, including Hopkinsons and David Brown Gears. He enjoyed painting and drawing many of the old churches and chapels of the area and regularly held exhibitions of his work at local galleries and museums.

Robert (Bob) Brook (1932-1939)

Air crash survivor who became a successful art teacher and chairman of the OAS Bob Brook who was chairman of the Old Almondburians’ Society in 1965, served as general secretary from 1945 to 1955, and was for many years an active committee member andVice President, died on 18th September 2012 aged 91. Bob was born in Almondbury in September 1921, the only child of Nellie and Harold Brook. He was a member of All Hallows’ Church in Almondbury and attended Almondbury Junior School before going on to Almondbury Grammar School. At school he enjoyed all subjects, especially chemistry, art, mathematics, history and English.A life-long love of English poetry was reflected in his ability to recall verse learned over eighty years earlier at school in Almondbury and the fact that he was still reading poetry to the very end of his life. He studied at St John’s College,York from 1939 to 1942, qualifying as a secondary school teacher.Wartime service in the Royal Air Force followed from 1942 until being demobbed in early 1947. In the Air Force he volunteered for aircrew but (fortunately for his life expectancy) this ambition was brought to a sudden end when a training flight in May 1943 ended in a crash, luckily without any serious injuries. He served at many stations and bases, principally in England and Scotland and had an endless fund of happy reminiscences and anecdotes about Service life. Bob met Barbara Barton, a pretty youngWAAF, at a Christmas Eve hangar dance at RAF Warboys in 1944. Barbara moved toYorkshire (a great leap for a girl brought up in London) and they set up home; initially with Bob’s parents in Almondbury, then Edgerton and Linthwaite, before finally settling in Marsh in 1954. Two children, Lesley and Adam arrived during these years to form the Brook family. 50

Bob taught in several Huddersfield secondary schools including Stile Common, Crosland Moor, Moldgreen and Deighton, Huddersfield Technical College and Deighton Adult Education Centre. He used his talent to design and print his own Christmas cards every year for over sixty years and was a keen student of architecture, design and typography. Gerald Stead/Lesley Brook

Brian Littlewood (1948-1956)

School scraper-board artist who became a top British Rail regional scientist Brian Littlewood died after a very short illness on 27th June 2012. He will be remembered by many Old Almondburians as a talented artist whose drawings often featured in the School magazine; an example appears on page 3 of this issue. With a Chemistry degree from Leeds University, Brian’s first job was with Laporte in Sheffield. Preferring analytical chemistry to industrial chemistry, he soon moved to Mullard and then to International Nickel in Birmingham. In 1965 he became head of British Rail’s central analytical laboratory and in due course became Regional Scientist in charge of R & D activities in the London Midland Region. Retirement in 1993 gave Brian the opportunity to concentrate on his first love of painting and drawing. He leaves a wife Hazel, three sons (Richard, Christopher and David) and four grandchildren. Gerald Stead

Les Baxter (1954-1959)

Stockbroker who was a Huddersfield District League football referee for many years The death of Les Baxter last November at the age of 69 is noted with regret. He was brought up in Lowerhouses and on leaving King James’s Grammar School he got a job at the former John Quarmby beermat factory in Milnsbridge. Quickly realising it was not for him, he joined the Huddersfield stockbroking firm of Robert Ramsden and Co (now Capel Cure Myers) as an office junior in the 1960s and rose through the ranks to become a partner in the business. Les became a member of the London Stock Exchange in 1972. For many years, Les was a football referee, officiating at games in the Huddersfield District League. 51

Chairman NICK BRIGGS 17 Fair Street, Huddersfield,Yorkshire HD1 3QB Tel: 01484 305734 Mobile: 07427 668004 Email: Secretary ANDREW HAIGH 2 Arkenley Lane, Almondbury HD4 6SQ Tel: 01484 432105 Email:

Treasurer KEITH CRAWSHAW 5 Benomley Drive, Almondbury HD5 8LX Tel: 01484 533658 Email:

Media Editor ROGER DOWLING Editorial address: Orchard House, Oughtrington Lane, Lymm, CheshireWA13 0RD Tel: 01925 756390 Email: Archivist NICH BRIGGS Tel: 07771 865330 Email: Website:


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

The Almondburian March 2013  

The magazine of the Old Almondburians' Society