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King Henry VIII Grammar School

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Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1336 of 1396  Sun 17th May 2020 9:25pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:731

On 17th May 2020 6:59pm, Exilium said: Speaking of Kitty Fisher; he was our Form and Latin Master in 3A. I understand that he'd spent 22 years at a well-known Catholic boarding school for boys from 1982, the last six being Deputy Head and the School's Child Protection Officer
On the way to Oxford... by any chance?
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Exilium
Oakville, ON, Canada
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1337 of 1396  Sun 17th May 2020 11:03pm  
Member: Joined May 2020  Total posts:6

No, the other one. On the way to Shepton Mallet
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Exilium
Oakville, ON, Canada
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1338 of 1396  Sun 17th May 2020 11:24pm  
Member: Joined May 2020  Total posts:6

On 17th May 2020 9:12pm, Slim said:
On 16th May 2020 2:09pm, bohica said: I seem to remember Jack Wrench having a sand glow MGB GT.
Jack Wrench must have had a few MGBs. That's 3 different colours now! It's quite probable, given that we're all from different school generations.
The model I recall was "bronze yellow" to give its BMC/BL paint code, and chrome bumpers too!
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Skybluethinker
South Cambs
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1339 of 1396  Mon 18th May 2020 3:02pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2019  Total posts:9

Talking of MGs, does anyone remember “Bronco” Steers (Chemistry mid 60s?) who had green MG which may have been a 50s edition? He would halt our preschool football game as he drove across the playground to park behind the Chemistry/Physics building. Not sure about the model but looked well on its way to being a classic car.
Alec Porter

King Henry VIII Grammar School
Midland Red
Cherwell
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1340 of 1396  Mon 18th May 2020 4:28pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5631

Skybluethinker, see post #694 of this thread
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Disorganised1
Coventry
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1341 of 1396  Mon 18th May 2020 11:35pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2012  Total posts:255

On my constitutional today I walked up Davenport Road to Spencer Avenue. The garage we used to use to get out of the rain was still there, by the side of the Bishop's house, and the old green box we used as an exit is still in the fence, though fenced in now. Looking through the gates part of the playground has been sacrificed for an extension alongside what was P3 classroom, and the rest marked out for car parking. The junior school hall, which was new when I started in there in 61 has grown somewhat as well. Bert Stangers woodwork classroom seems to have gone as does the metalwork class next door. Looking back from Spencer Park and the footpath down to Anarchy Bridge is a strange mixture of old and new. The sports facilities have extended onto the field, but I'm sure that was still the old scrummaging machine alongside the changing rooms. It's 50 years since I walked out the gates, vowing never to return, back in 1970. It's perculiar how so much of the school still resonates in my life. Wednesday I shall be sharing a glass with a lad I first met when he was in 2A and I was in 2 Alpha. We recently went to a 6 Nations Day at the Butts Park Arena, which included a talk from David Duckham. Obviously the 3 of us talked about Henry's and masters we knew in common. In the crowd watching the game there are generally 2 or 3 old Henry's boys who we bump into. When I went to collect a plaque for service as a school governor it was another old boy who gave it me, Cllr Blundell, and when I was locked out of my home last November and had to rent somewhere to live at short notice, my landlord turned out to be another old boy, and married to the sister of a lad from my year. I must go to the next open day. (If they ever let us have a social life again.)
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1342 of 1396  Tue 19th May 2020 8:17am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:731

"Looking through the gates part of the playground has been sacrificed for an extension alongside what was P3 classroom, and the rest marked out for car parking. The junior school hall, which was new when I started in there in 61 has grown somewhat as well. Bert Stanger’s woodwork classroom seems to have gone as does the metalwork class next door."

I’ve only set foot on the premises once since leaving, about 3 or 4 years after I’d left, on a Saturday, to help out with some money-raising charity event (can’t remember the details). The grounds then were exactly as they were when I was a pupil. That was the first time in my life I’d been there on a Saturday – I’d always managed to avoid the dreaded Saturday morning DT.

"It's 50 years since I walked out the gates, vowing never to return, back in 1970. It's peculiar how so much of the school still resonates in my life."

Occasionally, I drive past, and the place has changed out of recognition. The playground seems to have all but disappeared, either taken over by new buildings, or become a car park. I daresay there are now more teachers, classroom assistants, assistants’ assistants etc., who all drive cars. I note that even the junior school playground has become a car park. I do wonder where the kids play now, at break and lunchtimes. Maybe, with current ‘elf ‘n safety, such recreation is deemed too dangerous. Our generation was called the baby boomers, then came the millennials, now they talk of snowflakes. There was always a metal work classroom, but metal work had disappeared off the syllabus long before I did woodwork. All machines had gone, and it was used simply as an overspill classroom. In the 5th or 6th form, we were in there one Wednesday afternoon as all games had been rained off. Mr Liddiard took us. That was the only occasion I ever met him. He started off by saying “just get on with your schoolwork” so we thought great, let’s get some homework out of the way. After a while, there was a loud shrill, short whistle-type noise from my side of the room. I think a boy had been trying to blow fluff or something out of his pen, and the whistle was accidental. Mr Liddiard’s hearing was probably not too good, for he went ballistic, and picked on a poor innocent lad on the other side of the room. He accused him of whistling, and when the boy protested his innocence, we were all stunned by the tirade that followed. It went something like “How dare you, Smythe! You think you can show disrespect in my lesson by whistling in class, and now you are lying to me by saying it wasn’t you. Well it was, because I saw you when you walked in. You had your hands in your pockets and you were whistling then, as if you couldn’t care less - I don’t know what’s happened to you. I’ve heard all about you, Smythe, from your teachers in the staff room. You started off in the top group at the beginning of the year, and showed so much promise, but over time your work has gone downhill and your attitude has deteriorated. Showing off to your mates has become more important than your work. All the staff know about you.”

"(If they ever let us have a social life again.)"

I do wonder. They keep talking, incorrectly, of social distancing. It’s physical distancing. And they keep inserting a rogue three-letter word – dem – into pandemic. It’s the Covid-19 panic.

NB: for GDPR reasons, Smythe is not his real name. I don’t recall there ever being a Smythe during my time there.

King Henry VIII Grammar School
bohica
coventry
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1343 of 1396  Wed 20th May 2020 6:23pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:285

Having a discussion with a school friend and could do with a little help. Looking for the names of the RE teachers during the early 70s. The only ones I know for sure are 'Pope' Harris and Ernie Shaw. Is anyone able to help?

Question

King Henry VIII Grammar School
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1344 of 1396  Wed 20th May 2020 9:31pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:731

I'm fairly certain Busgy Leachman was still there in 1971 when I left. He only taught us once, in the thirds, not geography but RE. I do remember Pope Harris by name and by sight, but we never met lesson-wise. I always had him down as an English teacher.
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Bags
Saltash
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1345 of 1396  Thu 21st May 2020 9:53pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2013  Total posts:98

'Pope' Harris took my set for English O level and he was a very good and informative teacher. He was also justifiably proud that he got all 17 of us in his set through the O level with a passing grade. Apparently the first time in history that had happened. Before anyone corrects me on that, it was what he told us after. He also gave us an excellent tip for passing history with a good grade. He said that if we knew the answer but embellished it with reasonable made up historical facts and basically stories the examiners doing the marking didn't have time to check all those so called facts out and would just think we were very knowledgeable on the subject. Hence I wrote reams and reams on Mussolini embellishing it at will. I'm pretty sure that 'Bugsy' Leachman was still there in my last year 1975 and took us for swimming at Cov Baths on a Wednesday. Could be wrong there. Didn't he wear a hearing aid? I am also pretty sure that he lived on Borrowell Lane in Kenilworth.
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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1346 of 1396  Thu 21st May 2020 11:11pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:731

I've been thinking a bit more, this evening, when going for a walk to avoid going stir crazy during this enforced lockdown because of the Covid panic. Ernie Shaw was head of RE, but then RE was a relatively small group of teachers. In fact, apart from Bugsy one year (who was main geography), I can't remember there ever being another RE teacher. From the fuzzers to the fifth form, Ernie seemed to take everyone for RE in his room, 14 IIRC. Aside from being a good pianist and playing every morning in assembly (ok, 3 days each week), ignoring free periods, he had plenty of time, there being 5x7 = 35 periods per week. Ernie was not available one assembly, so Moaner stepped in – he could play grand piano too. Ernie was one of the few who always wore his gown. I suppose it protected clothes from chalk dust. In the sixth form, we were all assigned a compulsory (as opposed to elective) block of 7 periods; 4 were for general studies, whilst the other 3 were for MPR. In reality, these were just time-wasting fillers to pad out your time, i.e. no serious studies, no tests, no homework (occasionally there was a minute amount for general studies), and no exams. MPR stood for: Music. This was Beeb putting a 12” vinyl of classical music on the tannoy, then afterwards having a discussion and asking us for our opinions. Some of the older lads saw this as an opportunity to express their rebellious nature against the establishment: one lad* said he didn’t think much of the music. Beeb pressed him to expand, and the boy said, “Well, I mean, it don’t stick in yer ‘ead like proper music, does it?” I assume he was alluding to heavy rock. It had the desired effect, for Beeb gave an exasperated look, his face went red with anger, but for once he was floored and uttered not one syllable. After a pause, he changed the subject.

* Not Smythe this time, but someone else.

PE (physical exercise), or PT (physical training officially, but most called it physical torture, depending on who took you). RE This one is really bugging me; for the life of me, I cannot remember any of this, either a lesson, or a teacher. Bugsy did indeed sport a hearing aid, one of the old analog devices that had a metal enclosure for the battery, microphone and amplifier, and a flexible cord from that to the earpiece. In other words, it was a.f., not r.f., so there was no wireless, Bluetooth or WIFI. In one of the junior years there was a lad, who as I had been, was in the radio club. Allegedly he built some sort of transmitter that interfered with Bugsy’s hearing aid, and the class would be in uproar as Bugsy kept fiddling with his hearing aid, thinking it was faulty, and the whole lesson was disrupted. I don’t know if this is true, as I find it a bit hard to believe, given that the hearing aid was an old a.f. type. Unless the transmitter was so powerful that the r.f. somehow broke through and got demodulated…
King Henry VIII Grammar School
bohica
coventry
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1347 of 1396  Fri 22nd May 2020 1:10am  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:285

Thank you guys, Bugsy Leachman was the name I suspected, but neither of us was sure. Thumbs up
King Henry VIII Grammar School
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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1348 of 1396  Fri 22nd May 2020 8:47am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4362

Hi all, Mr Leachman was a dedicated teacher, who along with Mr Brotherwood, tutored me whilst I was in Paybody hospital, for months on end. His son was at the school.
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Midland Red
Cherwell
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1349 of 1396  Fri 22nd May 2020 8:56am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5631

Mr Leachman had an ongoing spat with the council in Kenilworth in the early 60s when they erected a lamppost outside his house, with the light adjacent to a bedroom window Oh my
King Henry VIII Grammar School
Disorganised1
Coventry
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1350 of 1396  Sun 24th May 2020 1:00pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2012  Total posts:255

Bugsy did indeed take swimming one year - and he actually got into the pool, which I don't remember anyone else doing. He was involved in an accident when he was swimming across the diving area and someone jumped of the board and landed on him - an accident I believe as the boy involved was fairly innocuous. Nobody hurt fortunately, but the guard nearly swallowed his whistle. Regarding Slim's story of someone fiddling with his hearing aid; there were a couple of lads who would produce a very high pitched whistle from between their teeth, not very loud, but persistent. They would stop when he started shaking the hearing aid and then start again a bit later. We had him for geography one year and people would distract him into talking about his service in the Far East. Far more interesting to a bunch of 12 & 13 year olds.
King Henry VIII Grammar School

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