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High Storrs School


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1 hour ago, lysander said:

What was the name of the small neighbouring wood, which was out of bounds, and was the site of many a triste between the boys and girls?

That's probably "The Roughs". Access from what I remember, was a gap in the fence in the corner of the playing field behind the Girls' Tennis Courts, or a large hole under the fence .

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Keith_exS10
On 21/12/2017 at 13:51, highstorrsman said:

I was at High Storrs Grammar 1958-65. I agree with Keith that one of the brochure photos is mis-labelled, but what a super document. It brought back a lot of memories. I only went back twice to play in Old Boys' rugby matches. Somewhere else on the web I have found a photo of teachers in 1953. Apart from George Mack,  spotted Jack Tattersfield (maths),Alf Ridler (chemistry),"Pop" Robinson (physics), Colin Smith (Latin), "Kipper" Herring (physics), ? Tickner (economics), Tom Haller (science), "Tache" Billington (english?), "Pharoah" Smith (physics), Joe Collier (german), "Polly" Stamford (chemistry) and of course "Monty" Beaumont (games/PE). There are one or two others who seen familiar but I can't put names to them.

I did attend George Mack's memorial service in the Cathedral over the Christmas vacation from University.

 

On 21/12/2017 at 13:51, highstorrsman said:

I was at High Storrs Grammar 1958-65. I agree with Keith that one of the brochure photos is mis-labelled, but what a super document. It brought back a lot of memories. I only went back twice to play in Old Boys' rugby matches. Somewhere else on the web I have found a photo of teachers in 1953. Apart from George Mack,  spotted Jack Tattersfield (maths),Alf Ridler (chemistry),"Pop" Robinson (physics), Colin Smith (Latin), "Kipper" Herring (physics), ? Tickner (economics), Tom Haller (science), "Tache" Billington (english?), "Pharoah" Smith (physics), Joe Collier (german), "Polly" Stamford (chemistry) and of course "Monty" Beaumont (games/PE). There are one or two others who seen familiar but I can't put names to them.

I did attend George Mack's memorial service in the Cathedral over the Christmas vacation from University.

My belated thanks for some intriguing info. Surprised to learn that some staff were still there that I assumed would have retired, notably Pole (in my day) Robinson. That puts them contemporary with my father who was called up at forty two. I don't remember teaching being a reserved occupation and none of them looked medically unfit. Monty in my day was an expert gymnast on the horse and very obviously fit.   No consequence now I suppose. 

The big one is the early demise of George Mack who strode smartly about everywhere. He did disappear once for a few days and then turned up with an arm in plaster. It transpired Mrs. Mack had suggested not very tactfully  that he was not the same and challenged him to a weekend in the Lake District . Great Gable won,  but at least he tried. 

With all the upheaval it was surprising that High Storrs had few refugees to deal with. The earliest was Pedro Albaya da Gago, whose family fled the Spanish Civil War and had perfect English.  Next came the Zilzer brothers Carl and Ernie, resonable English with a German overlay. Carl was a Modern man, Ernie a definite Science man, better than most of us if truth be told. All these three came and simply  fitted in. The last  were two Austrian brothers about third/fourth year level. The state sent them to be educated and that was that. Total lack of English was a problem apart from them being in modern parlance a right pair of tearaways. Where they should be was one thing; where they actually were and doing what  was something else.   Joe Collier being the only one who could penetrate the thick Viennese Austrian found himself in charge, not to his liking, and for once he surprisingly spoke his thoughts to us. To everybody's relief they disappeared after a few months. Normal service was resumed. 

Surprising how things come to.mind years after. By walking, cycling or tram and bus we got to school from all round the city. Somehow I don't remember seeing the staff coming or going. We did presume they all had homes to go to, so what. The one exception was the Shaws, father (maths) and son. who lived opposite the school entrance and came separately. I found that at least  Pharoah Smith could walk. Meeting him one day early on  I dutifully touched the cap neb and got the full force.  To show respect properly the cap will be raised at least.six inches, held for the formal " Good Morning Sir" and replaced. Was that clear? It was. It was also mid Saturday morning way down Psalter Lane. Something else quite rightly not practiced today I hope. Wonder if there was any truth in the story as to how he got his nickname?

Petrol came on ration but there were few vehicles available so  there were none parked in the grounds at all even by the staff. Ocasionally Pole's car would be seen about the place, the oldest smallest Morris saloon in captivity but again not in the grounds. At that time a sixthformer could legally drive a motorcycle which George Mack let the upper school know would not be permitted on the premises. Chance wo0uld have been a fine thing, (beyond our pockets). We had in the form one Sam Taylor who lived at Fulwood. not far as the crow flies but not easy by normal means. He acquired an elderly noisy 1920-something B.S.A. and turned up on it. However he went past the entrance and parked in the back of the corner.property of Ringinglow and High Storrs Roads next door to the Shaws. From there he walked the fifty yards to school with his perpetual grin. George Mack had evidently noticed it but was furious at being unable to stop Sam parking his bike in Grandma's backyard all day. I look across at the school over my fence with it's crowded car park and think how times have changed. One thing is nearly the same. School buses packed to the doors as in the 1940s but they all have a mobile phone in their hand.

 

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This is a great site.  I was at High Storrs 1967 to 1975.  I remember 'Killer' Johnson who gave me crammer A level history lessons in a stock cupboard - for those who remember him, you can imagine what that was like; I'm female - can you imagine that happening now?  My father was there 1936 to 1941 (when he joined the RAF under age) at the time the school was new, so the history of the old Central and opening of High Storrs was really interesting; he said I should search under the lab benches for his name. He also mentioned George Mack. I'm sorry he isn't here now so that I could share these memories with him.  Isn't it amazing how you can recognise faces you haven't seen for over 42 years - Miss Freeman, Tim Mardell, Barbara Peck and David Watkins, I'm sure there'd be a lot of others, but I can't get a big enough image of the 6th form photo in 1971 to be able to tell. I remember a paper crisis in my 6th and we had to buy our own, and I remember revising by candle light because the miners were on strike and there was no electricity.  I recall the sound of the wind howling round the high windows, does it still do that or are we double glazed now?  There was a tuck shop too.  The school went co-ed in 1969 which came as a surprise to the teachers as well as the pupils, the male ones didn't know quite how to react; the boys' school was dark and dingy whereas the girls' had seemed relatively bright. We'd had fresh flowers on the teachers' tables every week - don't suppose that happened in the boys' school!  On the last day of school, the head boy's trousers somehow ended up on the goal post..... happy days.

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Paul Connor

Went to High Storrs in the 60's. George Mack was the formidable, but fair headmaster. I can remember him dying, and my cousin who was head boy at the time going to his funeral at Sheffield Cathedral.

i went into 1d and in those days two classes did French and two German. I got French. My teacher was Mr ( Tash) Billington.

All in all I had a great time there. I remember playing Arial in the Tempest in my first year, a Sid Hoffman production. Covered in green calamine lotion I was!

it was a pretty uneventful time, only on reflection do I now realise what a wonderful school it was.

I went into the sixth form and did Bioligy, Physics and Chemistry. The only thing I remember about chemistry was the teacher Alf Riddler saying "you can't mix sheep and goats" in reference o normal and molar values. In those days it was arts and sciences, a little less flexible than today. However I snsged to get to Bristol University to study Dentistry. I was even s prefect in the sixth.

My contemporaries were, John Thurston with whom I am still in contact, Ross Cullen, John Constantinr, Alan Weston and a few others.

Good memories that only now, in retirement  I relive.

 

 

 

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RichardS-UK

I just stumbled across the 1971 High Storrs photo and can see myself, Richard Sutton, in it plus many old friends that I have not seen for 40 years. Phil Beasley, Dave Greensmith, Rick Barnes plus others who I knew like Phil Royston-Bishop and his girlfriend who I think was called Linda, plus many others whose I knew but can't really remember as the photo is too low resolution.

Great memories.

Richard

 

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Keith_exS10

It was certainly The Roughs in my day 1942-1949  .When l started.there was 6 foot steel.fencing down the school side which then went across the bottom some 30 yards from the playing field edge heading for Bents Green. 

One day about 1943 came the man with the  cutting torch and the fencing  supposedly went for scrap.to help the war effort (another myth)  As l.recall.occasionally the duty master would declare them out of bounds but it was rare.

There was one positive advantage. The Harriers soon found a route back from the estate across to the gynasium. It. cut out the old route through houses and along Ringinglow Road..

..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Steel City Reject
On 29/12/2017 at 10:30, Keith_exS10 said:

If you mean the one on the slope past the football pitches, The Roughs in my day.

...as were many of the girls chased down there at lunchtimes

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What a great site... I was at High Storrs from 1958 - 65 and I came across this because I was searching to be reminded of the names of some of the staff. A couple which don't seem to have been mentioned were, I think, Gordon Allen? (Art) and a young maths teacher who I recollect was always called 'Bugsy' - perhaps his name was Malone..

I got to know George Mack quite well, not only from him doling out 6 of the best frequently ( in my early years there, as I was the only boy from my school to have won a place there amongst large groups of others from Abbeydale etc., I was the target for bullying and, inevitably, when I retaliated, it was I who got caught and sent for the sit of shame outside Mack's office..), but also because my father's decorating and property repairing company did all his home decorating and repairs and in the holidays, I often worked with my father on jobs at his house.... also Kipper Herring's. Outside of school he was a very nice chap, quiet and caring..  Also when I married I moved to a house not far from my favourite teacher Alf Ridler and so was able to keep in touch with him until he died.

While there my favourite subject was chemistry and, as a class, we got up to antics that would probably have seen us locked up nowadays - if anyone was still allowed near chemicals. Does anyone remember seeing a large green stain on the ceiling of the chemy lab in the 'new block' between the main building and the craft workshops? That was care of our class in the first week that the labs were open... We were doing the preparation of Acetaldehyde in pairs by heating alcohol with Sodium Dichromate under reflux which gave a lovely green solution of Chromic Oxide in the flask. One pair decided that there was time for them to sneak off to the loo for a smoke and left their apparatus boiling away on its own and, after just a few minutes, there was a whoosh and a fountain of brilliant green liquid hit the ceiling before raining back down over the whole bench area. The stain was still there when I left.  On another occasion, we had begun a habit, in the mid-week chemistry lesson, of preparing Nitrogen Tri-Iodide solution ( a potent and unstable explosive), soaking a filter paper in it and, before it dried, tearing it into little squares which we littered the corridors with. When they dried, if anyone trod on one, it would explode harmlessly with a satisfying 'crack' under their shoe. One week, however, during a Friday lesson, someone had to go too far and he soaked a whole box of filter papers and left them in his desk over the weekend. When we arrived on the Monday morning, the form room was a complete mess - the solution had dried on the filter papers and, presumably become unstable and had exploded tearing his oak desk into splinters, throwing the lid about 15 feet, showering the room with shredded papers and text books, and breaking a number of the windows. I don't believe the true cause was ever really disclosed. Another terrible trick was mercury plating pennies to pass off as half-crowns on the bus home - not me, I always walked....!

Someone else on here referred to the antics of the girls on the Roughs - does anyone remember the girl we used to know as 'Hairy Mary' who regularly occupied a group of shrubs on the Roughs at lunchtime and hung her school scarf on the outside of the bushes if she was entertaining a 'guest'?

Bittersweet memories of a very formative part of my youth..  thank you

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I have remembered a couple of the other teachers from my time at High Storrs who were characters - one was Wille Gagan, a small older chap who taught Maths and could be seen wandering the corridors with a clear polythene bag containing his assorted white and coloured chalks, a board rubber and a couple of sandwiches for his lunch - all mixed in together. I suppose it was a way of him keeping his calcium levels up!  The other was, I think, Ron Ellis? who taught English and always had his pair of size 12 white plimsoles on his desk which he hurled with pin-point accuracy at anyone who wasn't paying attention. There was also the teacher whose name I can't remember who went berserk and smashed a window in a first floor classroom and started throwing out anything he could and Mr Shearstone and Peter ? the lab technicians, the latter of which blew himself up trying to make black powder gunpowder for a boy in our class who had a muzzle-loading shotgun which they planned to fire on the Roughs at lunchtime. He was off work for a long time with severe burns to his face and chest and the hair on the front half of his head never did regrow.

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Dr.M.H.B.Morton

I attended High Storrs Grammar School from 1953-9.

At the time of Building Schools for the Future in the Blair years, I was a member of the school premises committee of the London borough of Kingston where I now live. We were given a presentation by our Premises Officer of an official DES case study to illustrate how we should proceed.

One example was to demonstrate how a school could be upgraded to have flexible, multi-use teaching spaces  and another when demolition was the best option.  The first example was High Storrs; the one for which demolition was the answer was Silverdale, built around 1956.

(I did ask how they planned to make flexible teaching spaces at HS given that all classrooms had solid walls. They were put out when I told them I knew the school.)

One lunch time around 1958, a large number of HS boys set off towards Bents Green intending to  invade Silverdale school. They were headed off at the gates of Silverdale by a flying squad of HS staff. The raiders were frog marched back to the hall at  HS and over 140 boys were caned.  I missed the fun; I lived nearby and had lunch at home.

Dr.M.H.B.MORTON  

(I include my doctorate as a tribute to the superb science education that I received at High Storrs. Alf Ridler was brilliant but "Pole" Robinson was in a class of his own. I struggled with Physics until I was taught by him in the Sixth Form.  He made everything comprehensible.

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