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Bilborough Grammar School

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Tuesday, July 24, 2001 06:01 AM

Truly amazing to come across this site and to even see the latest letter on view was from someone in my class. I attended BGS from 1958 till 1964 when I moved up to the Wirral with my parents and finished my 6th form at a school there. I went on to become a teacher and then had a career change late in life to be an archivist and librarian specializing in digitisation. I remember many happy days in Nottingham and still keep in touch with one particular school friend (we started together at Portland Infant School).

Eileen Hume (née Armstrong)

Wednesday, June 27, 2001 12:40 PM

Just a quick note to say how chuffed I am to have located the web site. I was at BGS from 58-66 and some great timees. I found the site having received a letter from Dick Harwood who also lives in Leics. I am keen to contact Glenn Latimer to catch up on all those miles we ran together. Many of the names on the site are familiar and to Dave Fox, I was on the Lakes trip. Look forward to the re-union.

Graham Blatherwick

February 2001

Found the site just browsing, memories slowly coming back by reading some of the web pages. I was on the first intake, passed 11+ at J. Player Junior school, attended Forest Fields for about a year then onto BGS. Our classrooms at Forest Fields were I remember wooden huts in the corner of the school yard. Names that spring to mind are: Dave Wardle, Phil Barret, Eric Tomlinson, Mick Faulconbridge, Mick (?) Braithwaite, Pat Thornhill, Pat Buckley, Cath White, Susan Clementson, Ray Shaw.

Dave Robinson

Mon, 15 Jan 2001 18:07:07 +0000

Mike Robinson lives near me in Wollaton and told me about the site -- absolutely delighted to discover its secrets. I was at BGS 59-66 and remember Chris Haywood well -- straight fair hair so he was nicknamed "Curls". I remember Lynn Wood very well -- is the Steve Wood her brother the hockey player who went on to play for Beeston and England? Lynn let me know. I haven't seen John Ryland since school -- but see Johnny Asher regularly in Wollaton. I kept up hockey after I left school and so kept well in touch with Mike (MT) Robinson -- and Rob Breckles, Andy Neep, Keith Hale and one or two others. Does anyone see Pete Pitchford? -- he lived on Parkside, two doors from HJP -- would love to know if he became a vet.

Mike Upton

[Mike is a contributor to Mike Robinson's history of BGS. - jm]

Tue, 14 Nov 2000 13:37:01 +0000

Long time no hear ... and no sign of the school pic ....

Are you OK?


Monday, October 30, 2000 02:50 PM

The way I came on to the site is a bit of a long story. I was talking with a colleague who said he had got in touch again with his old national service regiment through the web. [This] triggered a thought that I'd often had previously, which was whether or not BGS had ever formed a 'former pupils' association ... I tapped a suitable query into my search engine and -- hey presto!

I thought the site was most interesting, not least because of the reminiscences from my own time there -- and I was fascinated by Mike Robinson's book, a lot of which I read there and then at great cost to my phone bill! It would be useful to get more input from ex-students. They always have a different perspective on things from the staff. I have a number of anecdotes myself which I could be persuaded to reveal at some stage.

Regarding the 1961 photograph, not only was I in it, but I still have my copy, rolled up in a draw. It is far too unwieldy to do anything else with. I also have a school photograph of my form (1A with Miss Lynch) when I first joined in 1957. I played cricket with Chris Haywood, I think (1st XI, 1964 -- not a successful season!).

Best regards
Richard Challand

Sun, 13 Aug 2000 15:17 PM +0100

Happened upon your site by accident and what a great surprise - it certainly triggered off the memories. I was at the school from 72-77 (the last intake - we were forever 'sprogs' !), and the most vivid memories I have are: 1. The 'record breaking' coughing bouts at the start of assembly. One particular bout involving nearly all the pupils seemed to last ten minutes. 2. Mr Littlewood's (Physics) lectures about the evils of television. ('CRT's are for oscilloscopes!') 3. The time when somebody threw a box to me from a window on the 5th floor; I caught it (clean catch) only to discover it was a carton of 200 Navy Cut cigarettes. Milliseconds later Mr McNaughton stuck his head out of a window on the 2nd floor and summoned me upstairs for interrogation. I only gave name,rank and serial no. (What happened to the cigs??) 4. After a misdemeanour during registration Mr McNaughton told me to take a heavy box of pebbles down to the bicycle sheds.Upon reaching the bicycle sheds and with my knuckles grazing the floor I shouted to him 'What shall I do with them now, sir?' From his vantage point on the 2nd floor he replied 'Bring them back, Dykeman' Please include me on your contact list - it would be good to hear from anybody from the school !

Rod Dykeman

Sun, 06 Aug 2000 06:37 PM +0100

I was in the last intake of schoolchildren to pass through Bilborough (September 1972). I have good memories of the school. I remember Mr Littlewood falling for the plasticene ball full of water trick in physics. Also Mr MacNaughton's iron rule in geography. Along with that the session that Mr Richards ran after hours for the couple of us who were interested in electronics. Names I remember include Mr Yarnell, Mr Downing, Mr Kirton, Mr Goodchild, Mr Mahoney, Mr Jacobs, Mr Owen, Mr Delstanche(?), Mr Nielsen, Mr Hill, Mr Bhambra, Mr Southgate, Ms Elias, Ms England, Ms Newman, Ms Gotheridge, Ms Bowen. Anyone from these times, teacher or pupil, please contact me and let me know how you're doing.

Keith Shipman

Tue, 04 Jul 2000 08:50:30 +0100

Well, what a surprise! My brother, Steve Wood passed the website details on to myself and my brother Chris -- all of us were at BGS. I was a contemporary of Chris Haywood and left in 66. Steve left in 69 (I think) and Chris was there when it was Bilborough College. I remember Celia - who was a much admired upper school pupil, and, of course all the people that 'Curls' lists. I've kept in touch with Jenny Bentley, Ann McKay and also seen Mick Upton, Duncan Hunter and Derek Allwood (at the 40th reunion) - along with numerous others from that cohort.

Lynn Powell

Sun, 7 May 2000 06:23:46 EDT

Just stumbled across the BGS page. Many thanks for running such an excellent nostalgia site.

I was there from 1969 to 1971. I was among the small group of late developers that were let into the Sixth Form from the sec mods (or bilaterals as Nottingham insisted on calling them). I came from Peveril along with Paul Levy and Gordon Wilkinson.

I recognise most of the names from Fred Miller's contribution -- many were in the English groups (with Mr Saunders, Mr Binding, etc), the Geography group (Mr Singleton) and the History group (Mr Downing, Miss England, and Mrs Stott who was only there for a short time but who was a wonderful teacher).

Other alumni not on Fred Miller's list: Janet Bignall, Susan Cantello, Steven Ashmore, ... then I'm struggling.

I was a member of the PE Class that staged a famous sit-in in the changing room because we objected to the type of PE we were being made to do. The PE teacher -- I forget his name -- fetched Mr Williams, who appeared attired in gown and threatened to expel us all. So we all got changed and went to do PE!

I was also a member of the persecuted long hair brigade -- I had hair then! Mr Williams sent a number of us to the barbers.

I am now teaching History at Hucknall National School where I've been for twenty years. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers me.

Best Wishes,
Colin Sansom

Fri, 28 Apr 2000 10:17:28 +0000

As promised [in earlier correspondence below], the Derek Green story, which starts at the end of our school exchange visit to Ettlingen at Easter 1964:

A group of us were waiting with suitcases, on the station platform, ready for our return journey to England. Derek marched up to us and said in an angry tone:

"Right, everyone get on the train, sit down and do not get up again!"

Apparently, unbeknown to us, he had just had a big row with one of the German teachers, who had been unreasonably rude to (or about) Mr Newcome. We exchanged puzzled looks but did as he asked. I was one of the last to get onto the train and, as a result, could not find stowage for my suitcase. In desperation, I abandoned it in the space by one of the doors, although it was clearly in the way. While waiting for the train to depart, I suddenly spotted a space on the racks and quickly got up and re-positioned my suitcase. Just as I sat down again, DG appeared, still raging.

"Haywood, I told you to sit down and not to move! Now sit down and do as I say!" he shouted.

Unfortunately, being a stroppy 16 year old, I immediately lost my cool at this injustice. I stood up, eyeballed Mr Green and replied in an aggressive tone:

"Look, Sir. My case was blocking the door, Sir, because I couldn't find a space for it in the racks, Sir. Then I spotted a place in the rack, Sir, so I quickly got up, Sir, and put it in the rack, Sir, and then sat down again, Sir!"

At this point, I quickly sat down again. Derek, who at each successive "Sir" had turned a darker shade of purple (exactly as intended), said nothing - although his face was a picture. I imagine he wanted to murder me on the spot but somehow, by a super-human effort, managed to walk away in silence.

The atmosphere was electric for a few minutes but gradually faded to normal. I don't know whether I was considered a hero or an idiot by my fellow travelers, probably a mixture (but favouring idiot). The journey to Calais passed off without further incident and we boarded the ferry for Dover. Of course, 'the lads' made a beeline for the bar and we were all served pints, despite our tender years - and despite the terrible consequences if Dr Peake ever found out.

Just as I was downing the last drops of my pint, Derek Green appeared at my shoulder, smiling. My whole life passed before me in those few seconds, as I wondered how on earth I was going to explain expulsion to my parents. Then Derek spoke:

"Hello, Haywood. Want a drink?"

In my book he was a great man from that day forward.


Hope you find the story vaguely interesting. It was fear of having to teach schoolkids like me that kept me out of the profession!

I shall watch the site with interest to see if others from my year make contact. The biggest problem is making people aware of the existence of the site, of course. I happened to watch a programme on Sky TV that mentioned it -- but otherwise would have remained in blissful ignorance. I guess Bilborough would turn up via one of the search engines ... must try it some time as a test.

By the way, how did you finish up in Canada? ...

Kindest regards.
Chris Haywood

Wed, 26 Apr 2000 13:16:06 +0000

Delighted to find the site! I have just spent a pleasantly nostalgic few minutes reading and remembering ...

I was at Bilborough from 1959 - 66 and studied German with Mr Gilliver, Mr 'sandals' Newcome and Derek Green. The mentions of these three brought memories flooding back. Whatever happened to Miss Skedge (who performed a miracle in getting me my 'A' level English)? French was the much fancied Miss Loach (Mrs Sullivan) and Miss Thompson (Senior Mistress).

Do others remember Dr Peake at assembly, leaning against the table on the stage, swinging one leg forward and back as he spoke? Or Mr Williams at the lectern, trying to complain about "hooliganism" - while struggling to pronounce it?

I remember with some affection Mr 'Chemistry' Robinson (to distinguish him from Mr 'P.E.' Robinson). He ran the sixth form cricket team and coaxed me back into the fold, after a 'resignation' from sporting activity. He impressed by treating me like an adult, rather than just another number. I doubt if he will remember me (a mediocre left arm 'quicky') but he's there among my 'great and good' (along with Derek Green).

... I also went to Ettlingen with the school in 1964 and had a big bust with Derek Green, which led to us becoming good friends. I'll tell the story one day ...

As for my fellow students, I would love to hear from (or read about): Glenn Lewinski, John Ryland, John Allison, Graham Blatherwick, Colin Simmonds, Robert Allwood, Michael Upton, Vance Lupton, Chris Davey, etc.


Best wishes to all.
Chris Haywood

Sat, 22 Apr 2000 08:42:45 +0100

My former BGS classmate, now naturalised Canadian, Glenn Price pointed me in your direction. Already I recognise some of the names on your listings -- ah, the memories!


Apart from Glenn Price, some of the others from my year were: Chris Allen; Max Kirman; Richard Hawes; Alan Clarke; Nicholas Martin (your brother?); Steven Fell; Gerald Lewis; Sally Cope; Sandra Claxton; Rob Kent; Colin Gregory; Steve Coney; Neil Lambert; Dave Funnell; Phil Whiley; Michael Pound; Dave Dunsmore; Dave Huxtable; Malcolm Evans; Chris Meads; Murray Mahon; John Roskell; Gill Robinson; Avis Brindley; Lyndsey Wilcox - after that, I'm struggling!

Keep up the good work on the site!

Fred Miller

[Nick is my brother and I recognize many of the names Fred mentions. If you are any of these people, or recognize their names, send news! -jm]

Mon, 17 Apr 2000 11:45:56 +0100

I was really chuffed to find [the BGS page]. I went to the briefly mentioned reunion of 1997 and was one of the founding cohort -- we went to Forest Fields near the Forest and wore Mundella uniform! BGS was an absolutely wonderful grammar school and quite, quite special as a pioneer in all sorts of things. We did feel blessed and special, won acres of sports trophies as well as being quite a bright bunch!


Celia Blair

Wed, 12 Apr 2000 12:27:07 EDT

Delighted to see the site. It was a mystery to me how and why a very good school could have gone 40 years without a single official reunion. This must have constituted some kind of record.

Still, I have spoken with both Mike's recently and Mike Clark was my guest at Nottingham Forest a couple of weeks ago ...

When I went to see Martin Slattery the thing that stunned me was that his students don't come from Nottingham. In my time it was the Grammar School for the west side of the city. Now the bulk come from the county, Derbyshire, etc.


I'll watch the site and hope for another reunion

Phil Soar

PS. Why does Gillian Dennis's name crop-up everywhere?

Sun, 30 Jan 2000 12:15:33 -0000

Just a quick note to let you know the link is up and running ...

I was just looking at your site -- and also Paul Chadwick's -- it all looks very good. Believe me when I say it will grow and grow and grow and grow!! Reunions large and small will happen, probably all over the world -- have fun.

Beryl Gladstone

[Beryl runs another BGS site, Blyth Grammar School, Blyth, Northumberland, UK. Please see the links page for links to her site and a number of other school and "bgs" sites. -jm]

Thu, 6 Jan 2000 20:37:27 -0000

Thrilled to find your web site even though it made me feel so old! ...

I remember some of the names you mention and am especially interested in Michael Dennis whose sister Christine was a close friend. We lost touch over the years and I should love to hear from her again. ... Perhaps someone will see this message.

Passing years seem to make old friends and memories even more valuable. I seemed to spend much of my time rehearsing and performing plays and musicals (Romeo and Juliet, The Mikado, Dido and Aeneas, Arms and the Man, Trial by Jury, etc.) -- Bilborough seemed to give us so many opportunities, academic and otherwise.

Thanks for your efforts -- they brought back many happy memories, some of them unprintable! Perhaps the full story will be told one day!

Gillian Bridle (nee Dennis)

[If you have news to share, let one of us know! Gillian writes that she keeps touch with a number of "bilbos" including Ann Staton (now Potter), Sue Brown (now Staples), and Mick Yard. -jm]

Sun, 05 Dec 1999 03:16:14 PST


I enjoyed reading your memoirs which seemed pretty accurate to me ... but then there is no reason to suppose we are losing brain cells at different rates.

Did you omit the particularly Chemistry-oriented recollections to save Mike's reputation?

I seem to remember it was silver acetylide that we ignited in the downstairs Chemistry lab? I can remember the bang. The windows shook and it was a miracle no glass fell out. We all sat there stunned and every science teacher in the block came running ....

Of course I was sensitive to loud noises ever since Mr Wombwell's preparation of acetic acid went wrong. I wasn't paying attention ... probably looking at some female legs (in the hope of seeing some suspender). Everyone else saw what was coming and took evasive action. I was sitting at the back ... heard the bang and turned round to get the tail-end of a stream of boiling chromic acid in the face ... Mother thought I was blind in both eyes ....

Rob Hallam

[Mike Robinson was our chemistry teacher at BGS. Rob also indicated his intention to pick up a copy of Mike's Bilborough 1957-2000: Portrait of a College. -jm]

Tue, 7 Sep 1999 20:21:13 +0100


For ten minutes, I regressed 25 years ... thanks for an interesting read.

Best wishes,
Richard Coleman

Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:00:36 PDT

... thank you for bringing back so many memories ... I left in 1967 with contemporaries such as Rob Mould, Gordon 'Jock' Wright, Martin Lloyd, 'Froll', Dave Carter, Janis Thorne, ...

I too did German with Terry Newcombe and had quite a bit to do with him throughout my time at Bilborough. I was upset to hear that he died some years ago, of cancer I think, while still teaching at Herriot Watt.

One abiding memory of him was on the way to the Black Forest for the school exchange visit in 1964. A group of us were in the sleeper compartment next to the staff's - Derek Green is the only other teacher I can remember being there - and were taking advantage of the train bar, some of us drinking beer for the first time. The increasing rowdiness led Mr Newcombe to protest a couple of times before eventually losing patience and threatening the next one to leave the compartment with an early return home. Inevitably, not being able to get out to the loo, the problem then was how to get rid of all that beer. The problem was solved by with an admirable display of initiative through the carriage window. Mr Newcombe was renowned for his smelly feet and was apparently compelled to sleep with his feet close to the window in the staff's compartment, which, unfortunately, was downwind of ours! I can still remember the pain of trying not to collapse in hysterics as he stood, fuming in the doorway in his wet socks, complaining about boys emptying drinks out of the window.


Alan Sawyer

Mon, 08 Feb 1999 14:41:52 +0000

Thanks for the email and for the link. I never realised that Bilborough used to be a Grammar School!

I've put a link in for your page ... I have no idea whether any [other] resources exist for BC/BGS ...

It has been nice to hear from someone else who wants to keep former students in touch.

Paul Chadwick

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