Atlantean Hoard

Subject: Submarine Liberation Front

Posted by Ern
Friday, May 26, 2000 at 17:20:34

Manson, submarines are very difficult to drive safely and you would get into awful trouble with the government - worth a crack though!

Subject: Submarine

Posted by Manson
Friday, May 26, 2000 at 16:28:54

Just out of interest.. if one were to get on board in the dock.. shut the hatches and flood the ballast tanks.. just how difficult would it be for the owners to regain access?
Just curious honest!

Subject: Win a day on a submarine!

Posted by Cap'n. Nemo
Friday, May 26, 2000 at 13:04:52

no .. really

Subject: Chip the Alien

Posted by Ron
Thursday, May 25, 2000 at 19:27:41

Good God, PFW, you've solved a riddle for me. A few years ago I read a book on the Roswell(?) incident, and though I racked my feeble grey matter at the time, I couldn't think who it was that the pictured alien reminded me of. The cold staring eyes, hairless pate, thin body - Chip Robinson to a T. Of course the eyes are a bit different, but that could be surgery or contact lenses. No wonder the US Government are so secretive about it - their 'evidence' obviously escaped and spent the next few decades masquerading as a schoolmaster in an isolated area of England. He would have picked an English speaking country as, having learned the language of his captors, he would be saved the trouble of learning another Earth tongue. Is it coincidence that this 'Chip' character taught BIOLOGY? - all the better to study Earthlings while teaching the lifecycle of the butterfly. What a cover! I bet he was really a Town Planner.



Posted by Ian T
Wednesday, May 24, 2000 at 21:16:54

Now that the BiF Legend site has gone, how are we to locate all the missing Old Barrovians?


Subject: Submarinophile

Posted by Ian T
Wednesday, May 24, 2000 at 14:17:25

Phil (and others) Here's a good link for you.. It seems that the pride of the Estonian State Maritime Museum is a submarine called Lembit built in BiF in 1936. Go see for yourself at

Subject: Robotics

Posted by Ern
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 21:58:46

Phil, Is the chap leading Brassneck a composite life-form comprised of members of the BBGS humanities department teaching staff of the 70's, or is it just past my bedtime?

Subject: Robotics

Posted by PFW
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 21:04:22

Subject: Planners

Posted by Ron
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 20:12:17

Sorry Ian T, just a little jibe. Unfortunately, you belong to one of the groups in society who never get a win - you're luck to get a draw. Town Planners only get mentioned when things have gone wrong. I'm sure you're looking forward to the day when you read the newspaper headline "Town Planners Create Great New Town Centre", but I wouldn't hold your breath. In my business life I deal with a lot of plant engineers in large factories who install, and maintain, very expensive and increasingly complex machinery. When everything is running well, upper management see little use for plant maintenace and cut budgets, and hence staff, accordingly. But the moment things go wrong, or break down, it's all the Engineer's fault for not having staff (made redundant) to keep the plant going. It's the way of the world, I'm afraid. As humans, we really only care about what affects us personally - apart from those saintly souls who dedicate their lives to others. Similarly with our view on the passing of time (cool segue, or what!). When I was about ten, I was with my mother in the part of Barrow where she still lives and she remarked that twenty years previously it had been all fields ther. To a ten years old, twenty years ago was practically Victorian. Now when I look back twenty years to the early eighties, it seems like the day before yesterday. The Faulklands war was eighteen years ago- doesn't seem like it, does it?


Posted by
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 20:04:46

First, the diagonals across grassed areas... Landscape architects have a name for them..they are called 'desire lines' or 'desire paths' and we try to design in such a way that we avoid them Planners and architects don't have our skills! Second, Cash had the most eccentric ways of pronoucing the words budgerigar (stress on second syllable) and Massachusets(stress on 'ch' and a short 'u'). he also used to relish the phase 'coonskin cap' as in Davy Crockett and his coonskin cap. Nothing politically incorrect about this. It was racoons he was referring to.

Subject: Cash and margarine

Posted by ian
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 19:05:31

Unfortunately, Cash's pronunciation was correct (it's one of these irritating words like 'turquoise' which, if you pronounce it correctly, gets you funny looks). Chamber's Dictionary allows either pronunciation, but notes that the one favoured by Cash is the historically correct one. I loathe the stuff (why not just cut costs and put axle grease on your bread?), so the number of times I've ever had to say the word has been limited. I pronounce it the popular way, but always have this uneasy feeling of Cash tut-tuting when I do.

Subject: Cash

Posted by PFW
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 17:10:37

Yes alright.. I take it back
He was never wrong.

Subject: Cash

Posted by PFW
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 16:55:53

Of course Cash was never wrong!
Save in his pronunciation of "margarine".
I think the original idea was to have been a nice promenade along what is now the Strand.. and a great view of all the magnificient ships that were to have used the dock facilities (built to rival Liverpool and opened by Gladstone himself). The view in the other direction could not have been so grand as Barrow was quite late in introducing a closed sewer system and as the town grew it got quite unpleasant (did it recover?)

Subject: The Planner's Diagonal

Posted by PFW
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 16:50:48

Ah.. now Ian you can explain why planners always design public grassed areas with a nice path going around it .. whereas people like to walk across - naturally taking the shortest path - Result.. a muddy track across the grass that looked so attractive on the computer simulation.
Also - re:town centres... do they include in their plans lots of quiet crannies for late night relief?

Subject: The Planner from Zog

Posted by Ian T
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 13:55:50

I've spent most of my working life alongside planners and some of them are indeed from Zog. There are also quite a lot of sincere ones who really do try to improve places, and if you have ever seen cities that have grown rapidly without the benefit of planning (Istanbul, which I know quite well, is a very good example) them you might think less harshly of them A much more dangerous species, at least in my experience, are highways engineers, who think that everything will be all right as long as the cars can go faster. But when they make the roads wider, they just fill up with even more traffic. And the average highways engineer gets no schooling in aesthetics. For the record, I'm a landscape architect, thus entirely on the side of the angels.

Subject: RE: RIP Barrovian Legend Org

Posted by Ern
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 12:04:35

Jo Dillon asks "Would the same happen in another part of the country, I wonder?" The answer would appear to be 'Yes'

Subject: town planning

Posted by ian
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 11:27:21

I have long speculated on why Barrow town planners seem to change the traffic system with such regularity. The Zog theory sounds more plausible than anything else I've heard so far.

Subject: TH

Posted by Ron
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 09:51:21

Ian, your belief system is safe. If the TH was built the wrong way round, it was probably more by mistake than design (bit of an accidental pun, there). Liverpool has a similar example of builders looking at the plans upside down. There's a hall on Lime Street (St George's Hall, I think) which was home to an Art Gallery the last time I was there, which is similarly disoriented. I agree with you Ian T about the square in front (or is it at the back) of the TH. Also, is the rumour true that Town Planners are really agents from the planet ZOG bent on the destruction of civilisation as we know it?

Subject: town hall backside

Posted by ian
Tuesday, May 23, 2000 at 09:34:02

The tale Cash told us was that the Town Hall was built that way round because at the time it was thought that the principal part of the town was going to be on Walney, so the TH faced that way. If Cash was wrong about something then a central tenet of my belief system is in danger of collapse.

Subject: TH - supplementary

Posted by Ian T
Monday, May 22, 2000 at 23:25:37

'while I was living there' - just to correct any impression that I once lived in the Town Hall.. I didn't.

Subject: Town Hall

Posted by Ian T
Monday, May 22, 2000 at 21:53:32

You know, I never noticed this oddity about the Town Hall while I was living there, but you're right, it is endearingly whacky and it would be interesting to know what was in the architect's mind at the time - or what his clients told him to do. I seem to remember some discussion about this on the late lamented BiF site. Any stories about it being built wrong way around are almost certainly apocryphal, but perhaps there was some idea about it facing towards the docks... Actaully I think what they have done at the 'back' of the TH, where there was nothing but a nasty car park, and now there is a pleasant setting for the entrance, is entirely commendable. But I would say that as a town planner and landscape architect. I'm less certain about the square at the 'front' which is perhaps a bit contrived, but I can understand the motivation behind it.

Subject: Barrow flux

Posted by ian
Monday, May 22, 2000 at 11:15:38

Ian T, I agree with a lot of what you say, but the idea of permanence in Barrow definitely does not extend as far as the traffic system (which seems to change every few months when I visit) and the development around the Town Hall seems to be the latest in a very long line of minor tinkerings. BTW, isn't there something wonderfully endearing about Barrow that the Town Hall faces backwards to the main part of the town?

Subject: Mid-life gloom

Posted by Ian T
Sunday, May 21, 2000 at 22:45:00

Enough of this trivial stuff about school plays. Let's get back to some serious mid-life gloom and puzzlement about the inexorable passing of time. Phil, your posts a while ago about a misplaced sense of permanence set me thinking (not hard to do, since my first degree was Philosophy). Everything is flux, of course, as Heraclitus and the Buddha both pointed out, but the flux goes on at all sorts of different rates. At one extreme we have geological rates of change - at the other we have boy bands and National Lottery presenters. We are all thrown into this whirlpool and for a while suffer from the illusion that things are fixed. I remember, as a kid, watching 'All Our Yesterdays' on the black-and-white TV. It seemed like I was watching ancient events that had no connection with my peaceful 60s and 70s youth, but those events, from the perspective of the 44-year-old I've become seem very recent indeed. Towns and cities are relatively enduring, though my current employer, Newcastle University, has knocked down the Haymarket pub where I spent a lot of my student life and a lot of my grant. Barrow is recognisably the town it always was, and most of the changes I've noticed seem like improvements.. yes, even including the new square in front of the Town Hall. Perhaps the saddest aspect of this flux business is when you realise that many mere objects change a good deal more slowly than the human body. When I was a kid, my mum and dad told me that one day I'd inherit the grandfather clock. It is standing in my hall now, but I know that I'll just be looking after it for a while. Oh dear!!! I'm going to get into such trouble for posting this!!!

Subject: School plays

Posted by Ron
Friday, May 19, 2000 at 00:11:25

I don't recall many plays during my time, but that could just be failing memory. I was an extra in one, playing one of a bunch of cowboys (I haven't changed much)sitting at a table, stage right, muttering "rhubarb, rhubarb" etc. to add a little background colour to the main action, centre stage. To add a little extra colour, I started an 'argument' and threw a glass of red-eye (in reality, cold tea) in the face of the cowboy opposite. He was naturally horrified, but not as much as I was. He was a big lad, and I was, and still am,a little weedy guy. I confidently expected a thump in the face for my impromtu 'realism', but luckily didn't get one. I was not foolish enough to push my luck subsequent performances, though. What lighting system?

Subject: Plays

Posted by Phil
Thursday, May 18, 2000 at 10:07:58

Ron... you must have undergone the experience of amateur theatricals surely? The lighting control kit was definitely out of the Ark and best operated with a pair of rubber gloves.
As for the age spread of the correspondents who feature here.. well my guess is it's pretty narrow... especially given that there are only about 10 regular contributors. It is more like a chat room, notwithstanding complaints about content.

Subject: School plays

Posted by Ron
Tuesday, May 16, 2000 at 19:55:50

Reading recent postings on plays, I'm yet more convinced that I was born too early. You 70's lads seem to have had a great time. To change the subject I see the Barrow Legend site is no more. I can't help but agree with Joseph about the standard of contribution - it was dismal. But again, no postings there from my generation - am I the only one left? Come on you 60's kids, get your postings in & bore all these lucky 70's and 80's kids with long tedious tales of how hard things were in our day (a la Monty Python's Three Yorkshiremen sketch)


Posted by
Monday, May 15, 2000 at 18:06:10

Subject: tortoise head

Posted by ian
Monday, May 15, 2000 at 13:09:28

I believe you're right, Sheridan - it was Simon Livesey playing Julian. I think Dave Hill was understudy, which is where I was getting confused (Mr Hill is, alas, beyond the reach of even email now, so not very easy to check up on this info). Come to think of it, what would that play have been like had Tarantino rather than Grunt directed it?

Subject: RIP Barrovian Legend Org

Posted by Censor
Monday, May 15, 2000 at 09:49:29

Oh no... does this mean there will be no outlet for future bogus postings of a BiF nature?
This site has been terminated due to the administration required. If Barrovians cannot conduct themselves in a mature, responsible and tasteful way, then they cannot enjoy the resources available here. I do not have the time or inclination to moderate and censor each and every byte of drivel posted here. It is a sad reflection on the people of the town I grew up in. Would the same happen in another part of the country, I wonder? If anyone would like to manage this site on their own server, please contact me ( and I can arrange a handover of all html files.

Subject: The Tortoise's Head

Posted by Sheridan
Monday, May 15, 2000 at 09:40:16

Yes you're right.. it was not actually cut off.. this was pre-Tarantino... but the styrofoam head, carefully assembled by Shirley, did actually fall off after the first performance. I have no recollection of D Hill's part in the play but do recall Simon Livesey. The lack of synchronisation between the "brick" and the window breaking suggested a throw that would have qualified for the Olympics.

Subject: beheaded tortoise

Posted by ian
Saturday, May 13, 2000 at 17:04:27

As I recall, the whole point of the play was that the tortoise wasn't beheaded. Dave Hill (playing a character called Julian) had smashed a church window [the sound effect for which was never in synch with the lighting or the hurling of the very obviously foam 'brick'] as the dare set by the character played by Bonzo Jones, and Julian then reciprocated by daring Bonzo Jones to kill the tortoise. Of course, he chickened out, leaving Julian the new leader of the gang. A fair bit of the play revolved around everybody making fun of the name 'Julian' (at the end it transpired it was the name of the Bonzo character's father who'd deserted the family years earlier - so the play had Freudian insight as well as gratuitous vandalism). Yet another lump of utterly irrelevant trivia which leaps effortlessly forth, but I can't remember the names of people at meetings.


Posted by Sheridan Whiteside
Friday, May 12, 2000 at 21:01:46

Who could forget Pete Gibsons classic portrayal(in size 13 high heeled shoes - very difficult to locate as I recall!)of middle-aged 'woman in the street' Mrs. Hodge -
Could the footwear have been borrowed from Ma Emerson? - we should be told

Subject: School Plays

Posted by Ern
Friday, May 12, 2000 at 14:32:51

Who could forget Pete Gibsons classic portrayal(in size 13 high heeled shoes - very difficult to locate as I recall!)of middle-aged 'woman in the street' Mrs. Hodge in 4Bs somewhat less than enthusiastic rendition of 'Burning Topic'. Olaf the Redbeard must have despaired as he watched Kieran McKusker deliver his one and only line ("where is this bus?")with all the flair and passion of a roof joist. To the rest of us, this was the best moment in the play! I was bullied into playing one Matthew Lickett - pop star, by Olaf and I must say that I felt a bit of a tw*t - a condition into which I have relapsed on several occasions since! Still, it's entertaining to remember those innocent times before sex, drugs, rock'n'roll and other adult pursuits took their toll.

Subject: Olaf...

Posted by Luvvie
Friday, May 12, 2000 at 09:59:54

Oh er.. no that was another classic "The Beheaded Tortoise".... Olaf - Dave Hill - John Sloan - ...etc... My mistake..... Perhaps you could repeat the role for the Rugby social?

Subject: Olaf

Posted by Phil
Thursday, May 11, 2000 at 23:01:36

Oh yes... Olaf and the Ogre.. my God what a piece of work. The preparations were as tense as a West End show.. Grunt was obliged to assault Bonzo Jones with a copy of the script following a row over artistic differences... As a reward .. we had a packet of crisps.. supplied at great expense by Grunt. I think we lost out to sport reporter Francis Cassidy.. playing a French woman in "The Sky is Overcast".. a kind of 'Allo 'Allo but ahead of its time.

Subject: School Plays

Posted by Ciaran
Thursday, May 11, 2000 at 19:03:59

Speaking of school plays, I seem to vaguely recall getting roped in every year to the Lower School drama competition firstly against Forms in your own year then the winners went through to the grand final. I think we even won it one year as 3K with a play called "Olaf and the Ogre". Strange how some things stick in your mind. I've no Idea how the competition was judged nor what we received for winning nor wheter anyone really cared! Anyone out there remember? Still it obviously set me on the path of appearing every year in the Vickers Rugby Club's Christmas Cabaret in Women's clothes, but I don't want to go into that now!!

Subject: Bangs

Posted by Dr Bunsen
Thursday, May 11, 2000 at 11:18:37

Beside the Margaret Mead classic the other popular book dealt with home experimentation; it had a nice chapter describing how to make a particularly unstable explosive from iodine and conc ammonia. This was all the rage for a few weeks. Some did find itself scattered on the stage during rehearsals for a school play and a large lump was prematurely detonated by Malcolm Taylor, who singed his suede boots in the process. Big Ron held an immediate inquiry and there seemed no point in denying responsibility. I recall another unfortunate (subsequently to hold high office in the local Trading Standards establishment) who attempted the synthesis in a bunged test tube, cunningly concealed in his blazer pocket. The inevitable evolution of hydrogen soon lead to a loud pop and an armpit full of concentrated ammonia... Bongo was soon hovering about.."I'm sure I heard a pop!?" - Almost as funny as the Moffatt Patented Chemical Striptease.

Subject: RE lessons, Moon, etc

Posted by ian
Wednesday, May 10, 2000 at 18:58:02

PW, you clearly had more erudite RE lessons than we got. The most philosophical we ever got with Bump was debating why doing things because they were pleasurable wasn't sufficient justification (an argument I still find baffling). It's just occurred to me that I had the pleasure of Moonhead teaching RE for a year (it speaks volumes about RE lessons at BBGS that after a week or so of messages on the topic, this memory has only just returned). The high point of the year (it must be, as it's the *only* memory I've got of these classes) involved making flow diagrams about the alternative consequences of a single sinful act. I think we managed to produce World War 3 as one supposedly plausible outcome of a drink driving accident. Needless to say, Moon was not amused. In fact, I generally supposed that Moon had practically no sense of humour. My mum (who was a teacher until she retired) told me years later that he had a very good sense of humour when mixing with other teachers and adults, but like a lot of teachers, went into banana republic dictator mood as soon as he was in the classroom.

Subject: Samoa

Posted by Chuckles
Wednesday, May 10, 2000 at 12:30:02

Any idea why "The Coming of Age in Samoa" was the favourite book in Wilf's fine library?

Subject: RE

Posted by PW
Wednesday, May 10, 2000 at 12:22:51

I did once attend an RE period with Bump.. though I was generally excused for crucifix-kissing and other demands of the true faith. In this period he pursued the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle and it's application in theology ... ie: we can't know everything with complete certainty ... therefore God may exist. I'm sorry to say we all poured total scorn on the man's carefully constructed arguments and he got his rag out.. it was fun though.
I remember well the last day when a few of us managed to climb up to the "bell" tower. God it was a disintegrating pile of wood.. absolute deathtrap.. it also contained a trapdoor with access to the nicotine-choaked staffroom. Far below we could make out the purple-veined face of Stoker yelling "Come down from there!"


Posted by Ian T.
Tuesday, May 09, 2000 at 22:53:00

It's a conversation Dave! Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we moan, sometimes we're thoughful and reflective. Just go with the flow!

Subject: Just a Laugh

Posted by Dave
Tuesday, May 09, 2000 at 21:23:59

I too share the concerns of Ciaran re: the mood change on the page. This started as a laugh remembering some of the more colourful moments from a young mans school days. Not I feel as a platform for one's personal soapbox. I understand the rights to be heard but there are chat rooms for people with other interests. Lets get back to what this was, a bloody good laugh and God knows i need one. ( Sorry didn't mean to bring religion into it)

Subject: History et al

Posted by Ron
Tuesday, May 09, 2000 at 19:56:52

Phil, you're on the nail again, my lad. If your kids are anything like mine, they were always wanting to know what life was like when I was young. I know it was a bit mean, but when they were very small I managed to convince them that the world was in black and white in my childhood (the photographs of the time proved it, didn't they?)In order to satisfy their curiosity, I had to dredge the swamp of my memory to revisit times and places I thought I'd left behind. The truth is, of course, that you can never really leave the past behind but that doesn't mean that it must be dwelt on. I'm of the opinion that in this country we spend far too much time harking back to the past. Whenever we play Germany, the tabloids are full of references to Krauts, Nazis, and the Dunkirk Spirit. We've seen something of the same attitude in the recent attempt by BMW to sell Rover. As a nation we seem to be too preoccupied with preserving the past, to the detriment of our future. The sooner we learn that we are no longer an important country the better. We lost our position as a world leader after WWI and have never got it back. Yet how the memory (or myth)of Empire is harked back to whenever events conspire to remind us of reduced in status we reaally are. It's a sort of national comfort blanket.Your last sentence is one that Wilf Kimber (or myself) would have been proud to pen. Naturally enough, I suppose, we see and judge everything from our own narrow perspective. Issues or events that to us are of overwhelming importance will hardly rate a line in future histories. The effect can be judged even within our time and sphere. I found a desk diary from a few years ago in my desk (where else)and thumbed through it. It was recent enough for me to remember the various events noted on its pages. Crises of the time passed and, looking back, I wonder what the fuss was. Yet at the time......

Subject: Ron

Posted by PW
Tuesday, May 09, 2000 at 10:00:17

Ron I agree - a connection with the past is important. It's probably the result of having kids but I did become curious about my origins. It appears that on the paternal side my ancestors ran a "petrol station" (well hay) in the 1830s in Sunderland - after that.. it was all shipbuilding - Doxfords and Sons in Sunderland on the paternal side and Greenock on the maternal. I suspect, given the influx into Barrow in the late 19th C, that the same would be true of a number of native Barrovians. The history of Barrow is also quite interesting. It would be interesting and useful if we were equipped with a more flexible sense of time: We could observe the scurrying activity as BiF changed from a farming community - to a steel town, shipbuilding, and then the decline again to ultimate obscurity, all in a few minutes. Harking back to my earlier post; don't we suffer from a misplaced sense of permanence about places and institutions that will mean nothing to subsequent generations?

Subject: IanT

Posted by PW
Tuesday, May 09, 2000 at 09:40:15

Yes I remember Newcastle in the late 70s.. I was installed in Leazes Terrace.. sharing a room with Noel, a moron from Birmingham who was reading Physics. He used to play a Hawkwind cassette featuring a track called "The Flying Doctor"; this consisted of the refrain "cabinet D, cabinet D".. repeated until you were sectioned. At the end of the tape he would rewind and play it again. Because of the strikes there was neither bread nor heating.. I seem to recall a Barrovian was head of the students union at the time and there was talk of a rent strike. James Whale was on Metro and had a pretty funny phone-in program.
Re: Vickers - I recall BBGS was pretty snooty about the place and Dennis Clampton used to threaten us with the image of the big shovel that awaited us in the yard. On the other hand - as virtually the sole employer in the town .. it's not really a case of being "sucked in" - you'd have to be quite contrary to find profitable work anywhere else. Anyway.... I feel some kinship with the remaining Marconi(?) guys having had the shared experience of Mr Joseph Stringer spitting mouth froth into my face and coming under the cigar-chewing tutelage of the drawing instructor whose name escapes me. I don't think it hurt a "Grammar School" boy to feel the occasional fleck of deranged saliva - I'm sure it provided the necessary touch of humility overlooked by our great institution. In any case .. we're all on the same work treadmill - so what the hell? The characterless jerks I'm obliged to work with now aren't nearly as interesting as the colourful, well largely alcoholic, ex-mariners that comprised SMITE.

Subject: Hair

Posted by PW
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 23:20:29

Hi Ciaran
I see the occasional pic of Pat in the Mail - I assumed he was shaving his head!
For myself.. we don't have the genes for hair loss - though... my beard has turned almost totally grey - so I cut it off!
Contributions toward Just for Men welcome.
Yeah I plead guilty to leadening the tone! More Prozac!


Posted by
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 22:40:50

When I was a student in Newcastle in the mid-to-late 70s, a walk down Northumberland Street could seem like a walk down Dalton Road. There were a lot of BBGS old boys here - David Baines, Howard Woodall and myself all worked on the Courier, the university's student newspaper, while Andy Craig had the disco scene sewn up (on route to greater glories at Metro Radio and then TV). Ties with BiF were very strong, and could be reinforced every year by a Christmas trip to the Stawberry where one was fairly likely to meet a lot of people one knew. Over the years these links get weaker and weaker - of the people mentioned, David Baines is the only one I still see. In the sixth-form I had a naive sort of optimism - I somehow thought that all my contemporaries were on the threshold of tremendously interesting lives. Maybe some realised that imagined potential - Philip Brown was in Mutiny on the Bounty alongside Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins, for example, although he now looks after the cells at City Central. So, like Phil, my main interest in this site is not nostalgia, although its fun to hear some of the old stories again, but a curiosity about what happened to all those people I haven't kept in touch with. I hope I can feel pleased when I hear of others who have done well - being born in Barrow was perhaps not the most auspicious start a boy might have - but doubtless, human nature being what it is, there might be some pleasure in tales of failure too. A fear of the parochial put me off the idea of joining the Old Barrovians; I imagined a lot of stuffiness and self-indulgent reminiscing, but the tone of this site, so far, has been much fresher. I always imagined that people who showed enough initiative to get away from Barrow and not get sucked into the shipyard (apologies to anyone who has spent their life there), might go on to do some very interesting things. How much evidence is there that this is true?

Subject: It's getting deep

Posted by Ciaran
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 21:19:25

Well I really should have stayed on and took my A levels, It's all getting a bit deep for me at the moment! Your right about old photo's and how people revel in the fact that they appear to have outlived or "out looked" their contempories. Ah well I've still got more hair than my younger brothers so I don't care!!

Subject: Misc

Posted by Phil
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 20:55:33

Ron - just kidding.. I fully expect an onset of nostalgia at some point. I just don't express myself very well! I suppose it depends how you define it; I do get a laugh from hearing anecdotes about days in BiF. I guess what I was meaning was the parochial mindset you can come across, where the comfort of the familiar dulls the senses and one can grow old without noticing.

Subject: Ouch

Posted by Ron Burns
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 20:00:00

Hmmm, I seem to have touched a nerve or two with my recent postings, Firtly, Phil you make some good points in your Atropos piece, particularly about human appreciation of risk. If humans were good at calculating risk and probability, there'd be no bookies, for a start. Most things in life involve some sort of risk or other, whether it's smoking, drinking, driving, starting a business, or even crossing the road in some cities. Life would be incredibly dull without risk. As for nostalgia - that's definitely something that creeps up on you like a thief in the night. I don't think most of your contributors are that nostalgic - it's only boring old sods like me. Then again, it's sometimes easier to know where you're going when you know where you came from.I share your views on the newspaper column - probably most of those who regularly scan the "Look who's..." are seeking assurance that their contemporaries are in worse condition than themselves. Paul, thanks for the correction on the Dickens (capital D, note) point. In fact I was taught several times by Wilf (at BGGS) and we didn't do any Dickens at all. I've read several since leaving school and don't understand his enduring popularity. His work was written for periodicals aimed at a middle class readership and it shows. As for RE, the idea of teaching us anything of other religions hadn't crossed the horizon of the educational establishment. RE for us was limited to Christianity, and only one strand of Christianity at that. Perhaps they were afraid in those days that if we learned of other religions, we might question the validity of England bringing "civilisation" (for that read Christianity) to the savages (non-Christians) and thence the whole basis of the "Greatest Empire The World Has Ever Known". Of course, since then we've all learned something of other religions and are better for it. You were rather better taught than we were in that respect

Subject: portuguese poetry

Posted by ian
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 19:44:38

I suppose visiting Barrow can do strange things to the psyche, but I've never seen such tangible proof before.

Subject: Poetry

Posted by Ern
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 19:18:18

what theories are there for those who feel their brain about to break, like a tooth of a beggar who emigrated? Many is the time that I have asked myself this same question!

Subject: Portugese Fraud

Posted by Paul
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 17:29:40

That poet's never been to Barrow!! Where's the river Furness? All I can remember are a few muddy becks and Walney Channel. I also remember going bird watching in Walney Channel with Wilf, who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything feathered. He was also a very nice, genial soul and I very much regretted his unfortunate, four letter signature of our early years at BBGS. After a while he dropped the two initials A(lan) and N(eil) or is my mind playing tricks on me and is this an apocryphal tale, too? Did he really have a friend called Carruthers? Thanks for the picture, Phil, that was quick work!

Subject: Portuguese Engineer

Posted by PW
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 16:36:06

The following is an approximate translation of the Portuguese poem that appears in the Links section
Thanks to BJ

The opening words of the poem are about (1st person) being vile, low, like everyone, without ideals, not believing in what i believe in, like everyone, while not dying, i read and talk, ... gods, souls, so much explanation that explains nothing, ... sitting on the dock, river running cold and dirty, i pass like you, worthless... universe, tangled novel, ... what remains is not a novel, to play at what? love? indifference?... run, river, and take my subjective indifference to the sea, ... life lives to give names to dead things, ... furness, 3 more days for this imprisoned engineer... after, i go away, with my dislike, and you will go the same way as always, ... finished, i did the calculation, left, was praised, ... disilusions, futile details, useless conclusions, confused theories... what theories are there for those who feel their brain about to break, like a tooth of a beggar who emigrated? i close my appointment book, and the envelope that i am... how long, portugal, have we been separated... ah but the soul never strong or calm, doesn't forget you... I dream, o river furness, ironically accompanies me, i'm stopped and he runs... so much? yes, relatively, enough distinctions, subtleties, metaphysics of the sensations... enough of this and everything else...ah what human anxiety to be a river or dock!

Subject: Wilf

Posted by PW
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 16:24:29

Ron - re: Wilf
Yes he is still around - recently married I believe and living in Gleaston. He was quite encouraging to me as I went thru various incarnations as bum and scholar. I think I spotted him in the Ship at Roose.. with Slug etc... grizzled but in rude health

Subject: Atropos

Posted by Phil
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 12:08:26

I was interested in Ron's observation concerning the number of people who have shuffled off since the photos were taken. I don't actually think it is more then the statistical tables would predict. Rather that we don't generally study the state of some 600 people at a time. Which may explain why people in general have problems in visualising risk - health risks in particular. In the case of smoking, for example, it is always some other poor stiff who gets the tap on the shoulder.
In an indirect way it leads me into the question of the point of the site. I think for me it isn't really nostalgia - I can't say it was the best of times - though I may shift that view in say twenty years time. Curiosity is the main drive. At the same time when I look at the pictures I get an impression of the brevity of life and how potential may not always be realised and how rapidly it can all crystallise and become fixed.
Those "look who's 40,50 etc" pictures that the Mail seems to enjoy I find quite sinister. Nostalgia, particularly when blended into a day to day immersion in the comfortable and familiar appears to me like a Siren call to lure one from living - at least when defined as the enjoyment of new challenges and situations. Maybe one takeaway message from all these images is that you don't get a lot of time to do anything.


Posted by PW
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 11:28:29

Hoof-glue, velcro? Perhaps we could pursue the theme of History Through Adhesives? My generation could place itself at the junction of cellotape (or cEElotape as Cash had it) and BlueTak.

Or alternatively .... audio reproduction: the wax cylinder (Ron?), LP, reel-to-reel, 8 track, cassette, CD, DAT, minidisc, MP3...

I recently gave in to the pressure of technological advances and got a CD player.. they're rubbish! I spread peanut butter all over the disc and couldn't hear anything.

Subject: RE (again!)

Posted by Paul
Monday, May 08, 2000 at 09:57:47

First, though, fancy Ron getting his dickensian facts wrong, did you really attend BBGS? Anyone taught by Wilf (Brassneck to us after his habit of extending his neck by several inches to emphasise a point - the name came from the robot boy in the Dandy or the Beano of the time (Phil, can we have a picture of the real Brassneck?)) will recall the dickensian truths. Bumble said the law is a ass, when the courts accused him of having control over his horrid wife. Bump, our long suffering RE teacher was actually a very nice man, convinved of his faith, so much so that he left to become a practising vicar. Still living in Barrow, I came across him at my great aunts funeral. And he recognised me! mind you, I was his paper boy for years. I seem to recall learning quite a lot from RE, sorry, but where else would I have learnt about Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Daoism, every other -ism, etc. most of it pretty relevant today. I don't recall any God bothering at all. Travelling abroad on business, its quite comforting to have a basic recall of the origins of several cultures. RE was incredibly boring, though, and I have to admit, the moralising was not enjoyable. Still, it was better than playing table tennis in the hall.

Subject: School Photos

Posted by Ron Burns
Sunday, May 07, 2000 at 22:02:38

I've looked for the first time at the '72 and '77 school photos. One thing that strikes me is the large number of staff and boys who have sadly died in the years since the photos were taken. It is interesting to see the wide variety of occupations now enjoyed by old boys. Also, What's Cash's secret. He looks years younger on the '77 photo than on the '72 photo. Ian T, you've summed up Sam Price better than I ever could have hoped to. He was a very strict disciplinarian, but fair with it. His younger son was in my year and Sam was scrupulous in showing him no favours - he probably went too far in the other direction, in fact. I don't even think he was made a prefect, though I could be wrong there. The story we heard was that Sam had expelled his elder son for being seen smoking in town one saturday afternoon. I caught the rough end of Sam on quite a few occasions, but I probably deserved everything I got. He ran the place like a minor public school, but I suppose that criticism could be levelled at most Grammar schools of the time. One really annoying thing was that between them, Sam and Miss Wells did just about everything short of issuing chastity belts to prevent contact between the two sets of pupils. This, coupled with the previously-mentioned risibly skimpy sex education meant that all of us, boys and girls, were in a perpetual hormonal frenzy. It was the times, of course, but God it was hard. Another thing I noticed on the '72 photo is that an ex-pupil, one Colin Jones, is the head cider maker at Westons in Much Marcle. Fred West the 1990's serial killer from Gloucester (girls bodies under the patio) was born and grew up in Much Marcle, worked for a while at Westons and buried a couple of bodies in fields in the village. He hanged himself in Winson Green while awaiting trial. His wife, Rosemary West is serving multiple life terms in Durham Jail, where my younger daughter is doing chemistry (in the University, not the Jail, I hasten to add)


Posted by Ian T
Sunday, May 07, 2000 at 09:44:29

Ron, It would be interesting to read a bit more about the Sam Price days. To a first-former, he just seemed this austere, intimidating authority figure, but there must have been more to him than that.

Subject: Caps

Posted by Ron Burns
Saturday, May 06, 2000 at 19:30:26

Ian T, your memory, being younger, is probably better than mine. I must have read the article later than I thought. The point about the increased confidence of later generations still holds though. Nice idea with the badges. Why didn;t we think of that? Mind you, velcro was not the universally available material then than it became later. To give you an idea of the sort of materials we had then, the glue in the woodwork room had to be heated in order to make it usable. There were probably the bones of a few old Derby losers in that glue pot. The idea of Sam Price giving sex lessons is still bringing a smile to my lips. "So bizarre" is right


Posted by Ian T
Friday, May 05, 2000 at 22:31:44

Ron, When I was typing my Sam Price anecdote I was thinking '..this is so bizarre. Am I remembering this correctly?', but I think I am. Caps, I seem to remember, were still being worn by sixth-formers when I was in the middle school, but I think we were free of them when I went into the sixth in the early 70s. There was a fashion for fixing our school badges onto our blazers with velcro so they could be whipped off the moment we were beyond the gates. But these were the years of Moonhead (formerly known as Chip).

Subject: RE... Sex ...& Bump

Posted by Ron Burns
Friday, May 05, 2000 at 21:16:02

Ern, my profound apologies. We were spared the Zealots. We were taught RE by masters who appeared to be as bored by the subject as we victims. Who was Bump?. Ian T, I'm amazed. Sam Price and sex lessons? That must have been wonderful to behold. The only sex lesson my generation got was one period with Chip Robinson in hia alter-ego guise as biology master, during which he produced a dissected frog pinned down in some noxious liquor. Taking a pair of laboratory tweezers(the kind with the ends bent at right angles),he inserted the bent ends into what was presumably the rude bits of the frog and explained that that was where the male frog iserted his penis. AND THAT WAS IT FOR SEX EDUCATION EARLY SIXTIES STYLE. According to the biology textbooks of the era humans had no reproductive equipment at all. The pervading ethos of the time was that sexual urges were something that had to be eliminated by cold showers or "healthy" pursuits like cross country running. Thinking about it, that could be the reason cross country was so popular at the time with sports masters. From what I gather from these posts, you younger lads had stuff like table tennis. On another subject,the generation that came after I left in 64 were made of better stuff than us feeble postwar baby boomers. I was visiting my parents Barrow in about 68/69 and read an article in that august organ, The North Western Evening Mail, which described a revolt by sixth-formers against the wearing of the school cap on the basis that, at eighteen, they were young men rather than schoolboys. They were right, of course, and apparently got their way. Either Sam Price had mellowed considerably or the sixth-formers had more confidence than we had. I prefer to think the latter. We all moaned like hee, among ourselves, about cap-wearing but didn't have the guts to do anything about it. Which brings me to another point. Occasionally, as prefects, we had to carry out uniform inspections on the rest of the school. There'd be a couple of us at each of the main school entrances and we had to report anyone not wearing full kit. Sam would then read out the miscreants names in assembly, get them in his study and give a bollocking about School Honour. One of my fellow prefects reported me! So much for fellowship, eh? Sam had me in his study after he'd seen to the lesser mortals, but what a bollocking I got when the time came. I'm not a big bloke to start with, but he made me feel about two inches tall.

Subject: RE, Sex and Cricket.

Posted by Ian T
Friday, May 05, 2000 at 18:43:03

Sam Price was in the last year of his headship when I was in the first year. The only lessons I ever got from him were notionally RE, but for some reason he used these periods (not for Stock Market tips, but..) for a form of sex education. This consisted of meticulous blackboard drawings of the male and female sexual organs, but with absolutely no explanation (as far as I can recall) of how these different parts were supposed to come into contact. We were left to pick up the details of how men and women got together, and what they did when they had, from older boys in the playground (who didn't know much either). Another bizarre touch was that we were rewarded for answering questions correctly by being thrown a sweet. Unfortunately if you didn't catch it cleanly, you weren't allowed to keep it - the rationale behind this was something to do with improving performance in the slips. As a dyspractic I didn't get a lot from Sam's classes.


Posted by
Friday, May 05, 2000 at 15:11:49

Subject: R.E.

Posted by 3F
Friday, May 05, 2000 at 12:44:14

But what I meant to say before sending the previous message was that I remember seeing the "bump" chap about but never understood his function.However,I was taught none other than Sneck who of course did have another function. The only problem is I can only recollect two facts- one was that everyone who's surname began with O' or Mc. left the room and did sod all for 40 minutes and the rest of us were subjected to health and efficiency lessons-particularly how to keep your member clean with a teacup and cold water whilst on camp.No wonder I never felt the need to embrace Christianity.

Subject: R.E.

Posted by 3F
Friday, May 05, 2000 at 12:35:39

I never had the pleasure of being taught by bump.


Posted by Ern
Friday, May 05, 2000 at 09:13:40

Ron, I think you may be mistaken in doubting that any master wanted to teach R.E. As I recall from your earlier posts, you were at the school in a slightly earlier era and were, therefore, probably never exposed to the fanatical religious zeal of one Brian Otto - a man so deluded by the christian myth that he was unable to understand why fast maturing young men were not flocking to praise the lord! Personally, I was much more interested in the fast maturing young women next door, terrible 'progressive' rock bands and volunteering myself as a guinea pig for the evil upper sixths neuro-transmitter chemistry experiments. (All this, of course, had to be fitted into the short periods of time when I was not in the pub with Gibson!)

Subject: RE...Again

Posted by Ron Burns
Thursday, May 04, 2000 at 22:43:20

Yes Ian, you've most certainly got it right. Which goes to prove Mr Pickwick's (or was it Mr Micawber's) dictum that "in that case, Sir, the law is an ass". I doubt, though, that any master actually WANTED to take RE, but had to take it to balance timetables or something. Even had I known that at the time though, it would not have made the periods any less tedious. Anyway, your grudging respect for them shows a generosity of spirit sadly lacking in myself.

Subject: RE lessons revisited

Posted by ian
Thursday, May 04, 2000 at 19:51:12

If I remember correctly, until recently, religious instruction was the only thing which all schools had to teach by law. For all my snide remarks re: Bump a few posts ago, I think the poor guy and the other RE teachers were genuinely trying their best, but it was a no-win situation - at a simplistic level, in RE lessons, anyone who was religious had heard it or similar messages before, and anyone not was on principle going to oppose it. I confess to having a secret respect for masters who wanted to take on RE lessons - it must be the teaching equivalent of Glasgow Empire on the wet Monday night.

Subject: RE

Posted by Ron Burns
Thursday, May 04, 2000 at 18:43:50

Unlike Dave, I was in the C of E majority (which roughly tranlates as "We don't really have a religion, but we want Christmas & Easter off")and Boy! did we envy you non-Anglicans. You didn't have to go through the hymns and "lesson" at morning assembly (but you got the boring notices) AND no RE. Since RE was only for the non-religious CofE's, what purpose was it supposed to serve? Was it just to fulfill some national educational requirement, or what? Surely they can't have thought that one period a week would turn us into believers. It was hard enough staying awake during RE in Winter, but in Summer, with the sun streaming through the open windows, sometimes the hum of bees and the smell of new-mown grass, and someone droning on about illiterate fishermen who died 2000 years ago - impossible. Odd isn't it, that whilst we laugh at anyone who claims to be the Son of God these days (David Icke - turquoise shell suit and all0, we condemn those who did the same thing 2000 years ago. Plus ca change......


Posted by
Thursday, May 04, 2000 at 17:08:38

Subject: RE

Posted by Dave
Thursday, May 04, 2000 at 16:17:44

Being a left-footer,I never had instruction at the school. Instead we got a free lesson and usually played table-tennis against each other in the main hall. However, in return we would have to go to the Catholic Youth Centre on a Friday after school for instruction from Father Woods et al. This wasn't too bad as we could then stay for snooker and yes more table tennis if we wanted. I never realized until now how religiously symbolic the game of table tennis was.

Subject: RE Lessons (?)

Posted by Ron Burns
Wednesday, May 03, 2000 at 21:58:23

I remember only one useful RE lesson in my seven years. Sam Price (the Head, in the pre-Moon era)took it due to regular staff absence. We all thought we were in for some actual religious instruction (whatever that might have been)but Sam was a revelation. In approximately 30 seconds he got from religion to Stock Market investment advice - and sound advice it was. Up until then I thought the stock market was where farmers bought animals.

Subject: re: house rugby

Posted by ian
Wednesday, May 03, 2000 at 18:55:17

Paul, unless my memory is seriously failing (a possibility which cannot be ruled out, I guess), I was in the Butler table tennis team of which you speak. We didn't finish last, but equally, we weren't first. And no, I cannot recall us being singled out for any praise by Tes (certainly not at house meetings, which in Butler's case reached a level of clinical depression). Are you sure this wasn't a case of Captain Sarcastic's legendary wit?

Subject: Butler, etc.

Posted by Paul
Wednesday, May 03, 2000 at 17:35:50

I seem to recall that the Butler House table tennis team didn't come last when we were in the fourth year, which was the Butler house pinnacle of sporting achievement. I think they may even have won the competition, but probably not. Anyway, Tez Mays was always keen to reward any show of valour in the classroom with a signed photo of Butler's table tennis team. I was in Barrow, and we were blessed with Dave Rooke in our rugby team, who just picked up the ball and scored, a seventies version of Jonah Lomu. It was always Fell that won things though, and the funny thing was, we didn't give a toss. Remember "House meetings" - what was the point? One year, Phil W and I scived off and hid in the cloakroom nearest the biology lab. On breaking cover, who should appear but Stoker, yelling and thundering at us. We split, and ran off over the fields and weren't recognised, but it made for some heart-thumping moments over the next few school assemblies when "Batman" swanned past.

Subject: re: exercise books and Butler

Posted by ian
Wednesday, May 03, 2000 at 17:16:23

I ceremonially burnt my Russian and Geography exercise books as soon as I dropped the subjects, but I seem to recall that the Russian book was grey (or was it a very dark red?). Also, wasn't there an ill-fated exercise where one year we were given an RE exercise book? I can't recall ever writing anything in it, so perhaps this is a figment of my imagination. I recall Bump giving us an exercise in the fifth form where we all had to write down what we hated about RE lessons (to Bump's credit, this was done anonymously). Can anyone recall who wrote 'you, mostly' as his response? I was in Butler from 71-78, and no, I can't recall us winning a single thing (I think we all felt quite sorry for Tes, who really did deserve better). During my one pathetic year in house rugby, the scores were 47-3, 64-0, 34-0 (I may be out by ten points in these). I know that Moon once refused to read out one of the scores in assembly because he thought the result in front of him was a slip of the pen.

Subject: Grey Russian

Posted by Derek Walmsley
Tuesday, May 02, 2000 at 23:59:11

I have failed miserably trying to recall the colour of the Russian Exercise book but would have a stab at grey (thinner than the rough book). This will have to do until I raid the loft. I did get my Russian O-level but haven't found a use for it in Barrow. I used to enjoy writing the Russian letters but that's probably because I'm left-handed and hold my pen in an unusual way! Mind you, the fact I was Secretary of the School Council might be construed as being quite communist and radical for the BBGS establishment!

Subject: Butler

Posted by Ron Burns
Tuesday, May 02, 2000 at 23:10:14

I was in Butler and in my seven years I don't remember the house winning any trophies. Is there anyone out there who does remember the house actually winning anything at all? All those exhortations to "do well for the Honour Of The House" seem to have fallen on deaf ears - or was that just me?

Subject: Silver Surfer

Posted by PW
Tuesday, May 02, 2000 at 20:47:29

More Brookes! I didn't know that. Probably unrelated but.. Shirley used to own a treasured copy of SS (No 18?) and it mysteriously vanished.... I'm sure he still misses it.

Subject: Those exercise books

Posted by Ciaran
Tuesday, May 02, 2000 at 18:36:17

I think there's one Missing Derek!! What colour was Russian and did anyone get an O level in it? If they did has anyone moved into the foreign office on the strength of it? PS I was in Butler too, 5 years of Sporting Hell. I think we got beat by Barrow in our first year rugby match 96 - 0 I don't think we won any sporting contest in my 5 years. Remenber "Proficiency Points" for athletics, they were a nightmare too. Tez Mayes used to force me and Karl Dodd in for everything as we were the only people, I recall, from Butler who were on the fringes of any of the school teams. It got worse in the 4th years as I had an early Birthday and was forced to compete at U16 against the 5th form. Quite embarassing when you could barely pick the shot putt up or jump over the higher hurdles.


Posted by Ian T.
Tuesday, May 02, 2000 at 18:22:09

Thanks Phil. A more than adequate explanation. Getting these little mysteries cleared up always ensures a good night's sleep. Your mention of US comics reminds me that Derek Brooke (who has been mentioned before on this website) was an obsessional admirer of the Silver Surfer. Derek, I believe, had an older half-brother (whose name I can't remember),who filled his Ormsgill bedroom with US comics. Everyone dismissed him as a wastrel, not realising the incredible value these were going to accrue. I've heard a story - it may be Barrovian urban myth - that this brother went on to found a chain of comic shops and is now worth millions. Anyone out there know the truth?

Subject: Theme

Posted by PW
Monday, May 01, 2000 at 14:41:48

Yes Ian well I have a little difficulty developing a cohesive theme! No there is no connection. I was something of a collector of US comics long ago and I was struck then by the fact that almost everyone was mostly interested in the adverts. Bob Parker reminded me that I'd left out the Sea Monkeys.. a great product.. and Moon seems right at home with them. I did once own a "Silent Dog Whistle".. but funnily enough no dog.


Posted by Ian T
Sunday, April 30, 2000 at 16:09:02

Phil, The Water-Moon-Baby graphic is surreal and inspired, but is there some historically rooted significance to this (and to the Sea-Monkeys) that may be lost on my (slightly older) generation?

Subject: practical jokes

Posted by ian
Saturday, April 29, 2000 at 14:39:22

The tale I heard re: the dismantling of a master's car was told to us by Tes Mayes (anything rather than discuss The Caretaker, I suppose) - it was an Austin Seven which wasn't so much dismantled as simply hidden in a shed. I can't see how an Austin Cambridge could be easily dismantled - rather like its owner, the car was of impressively solid construction (this analogy could be taken a lot further, I guess). Also from the Mayes fund of anecdotes was the end of term prank when the cars of the entire staff were advertised on the same night in the Evening News.

Subject: Practical jokes

Posted by BJ
Friday, April 28, 2000 at 23:04:14

The balloons in Cash's office and the interminable Sermon on the Mount were actually part of an orchestrated and sustained campaign of practical jokes on our last day of school, partly to make up for two years of inactivity in the shadow of the Evil Upper Sixth. On the same day we kidnapped young Quilliam (then a fourth former, I believe), wrapped him in tape and attempted to ransom him - unsuccessfully, as no one was willing to pay. We also entered the staff room and climbed up into the bell tower. There may have been other things too - it was a while ago, and memory fades. The version of the reassembled car story that I heard was that Stoker's Cambridge was dismantled and put together in a tool shed. Anyone know the truth about this?

Subject: Cash again

Posted by Ron Burns
Friday, April 28, 2000 at 20:07:20

Ex Cash neighbour. You go too far, Sir. Cash laugh? Never on this planet. Then again, I do seem to remember something of grimace crossing his 5 O'clock shadowed visage when describing an incident during the Sainted Palmerston's premiership. The London mob, in outrage of Austria's treatment of Gallant Little Hungary who at the time were on an independence jag, rolled the Austrian Ambassador in a blanket and generally manhandled him. I'm sure Cash believed that if only Pam were alive again, two thirds of the world map would still be red. I could be wrong about the "laugh". Maybe it was just his way of controlling flatulence. How old is he, anyway? He was about fifty in 1964.Still no news on Wilf Kimber?

Subject: Cash

Posted by PW
Friday, April 28, 2000 at 14:51:13

Yes indeed I believe I spotted the great man on the side of Coniston a couple of years ago... I was busy depositing a monomolecular layer of two stroke in the pure lakeland waters, much to the disgust of the abundant tourists, when I spotted the familiar hairy gut.. now free of partially restraining shirt as our our favourite historian prepared to plunge into the cold waters. Much pleased I started up the trusty Seagull and pottered out to Peel Island for my annual al fresco dump.

Subject: Quadraphenia

Posted by STEFAN
Friday, April 28, 2000 at 11:47:54

Was anyone else out there subjected to the Parka incident? One evening after last bell there was a greater than normal hububb in the cloakroom.Cries of"my coat's been nicked" filled the air untill Stoker cut in with "any boy missing a coat report to Mr. Robinson. A great throng of boys immediately headed toward the dingy suite of rooms at the front of the building where a most unexpected site awaited.In the centre of the inner sanctum was a large pile of Parkas looking like Custer's last stand whilst The Moon ran around the encircled green coats,stick in hand,inviting individual guests to find their offensive garment whilst dishing out retribution. I wouln't have minded,but mixed within the pile of offensive green canvas and fur was my co-op blue nylon job for which I received the same couple of swipes. (painless I must add) Oh well,back to the gaberdine!

Subject: practical jokes

Posted by ian
Friday, April 28, 2000 at 11:25:39

Putting Cash's moped for sale in the Evening News did happen (he used to relate it to us in history lessons in the sixth form). Another year it was said that Stoker's Austin Cambridge was put in for sale (he supposedly found it less funny). The balloons in Cash's office happened at the end of term in 1978 - the creator of this site had not a little to do with it, if I remember correctly. Cash thought it was hilarious and insisted on keeping some of he balloons for himself. This followed an assembly at which Bill Johnston read the lesson (the sermon on the mount, appropriately enough) and didn't stop at the allotted point, but carried on and on in spite of Sledge repeatedly kicking him. The only plan to backfire was the bag of flour supposed to explode over Sledge's head at the start of assembly. Unfortunately, an eagle-eyed Mr Benn spotted it before assembly started.


Posted by Derek Walmsley
Thursday, April 27, 2000 at 22:47:48

Being a total anorak myself, I can confirm the hard green crinkled cover on the music book which also contained blank and manuscript pages. I have many memories of Philip Bond's music lessons, from mediaeval music to Debussy (piano, orchestral and Tomita's electronic versions) and the Strawbs (Bonzo Jones' and Craig Stevens' guitar renditions of "Lay Down"). I must have been impressed as I'm off to Preston to see the Strawbs in concert on 11th May, 27 years on! Other memories include singing a song called "John Mouldy" with the choir in the old Public Hall at my first Speech Day. I also remember singing John Joubert's "Torches" and songs from Britten's "Ceremony of Carols" at the Abbey Road Baptist Church carol service. When Mr. P.J. Bond had conducting duties, Mr. D.A. Garnett took over on the piano. When my voice broke, I also decided I had better concentrate on the piano.

Subject: Flatulence

Posted by Paul
Thursday, April 27, 2000 at 17:02:50

As schoolboys, flatulence was a ready source of entertainment and it still is. How many times was the morning hymn punctuated by a well oiled fart? And often the cuprit was obvious, "Get out Gibson, stand outside my office, boy!" thundered the Moon. Then there were the really noxious ones that couldn't be avoided. Anyone in the vicinity of a particularly, "Eggy Boff" or "Frank" (Bough, geddit) as they became colloquially known couldn't get up and move away, but had to choke in silence. My brother tells the tale of the great "Gus" Kelly, geography teacher and long-distance runner, entering the geography room, shouting, "Shhhhhh Lads!" getting silence and breaking it with a huge, ripping passage. Another unfortunate teacher, still with us, but this is too embarrassing to name him, during examination invigilation, took himself off from the front of the hall, where invigilators habitually stood, manouevred himself into a position at the back of the hall, manipulated himself carefully in order to avoid distraction (pointed toe, raised knee), but failed and let out a prolonged squealer. This single fart cost the Grammar cumulatively, about 75 grades on that year's Mathematics O level. It's very difficult to stop laughing when the requirement is for total silence, and a glimpse of very reddened teacher's visage was sufficient to start the sniggers and splutters off again.

Subject: Cash (again)

Posted by An ex-near neighbour
Thursday, April 27, 2000 at 16:51:45

Wonder if anyone remembers the practical jokes played by pupils on staff? One year Cash, by then almost universally known as "Yao" after the registration plate of his cherished moped, was bothered constantly by callers at his home wishing to purchase said motorised bicycle. A pupil had advertised it for sale in the local paper. Cash thought it was hilarious! Really. Then some sixth formers filled his office with ballons through the open window whilst he was out. He thought that was funny, too. Some years earlier, some sixth formers took Ronny Horrocks little car, removed the wheels, carried it into the assembly hall and then put the wheels back on. It then wouldn't fit through the doors. Did this really happen or was it an urban myth? I do remember sitting in Jimmy Mont's disastrous Biology practicals and making tiny darts out of needles with small paper flights. They flew really well. The idea was to get someone to be called out to the front and fire said dart "Pouff!" through a hollow pen case into the unfortunate's leg, or arse. What fun!!!

Subject: wilf

Posted by ian
Thursday, April 27, 2000 at 16:42:59

Wilf is still happily with us. He retired and then got married [sic] and now lives at Gleaston. Also, at the risk of being a total anorak, there is a slight amendation to Sass's list of exercise book colours - the music ones were not only green but had a sort of crinkled cover (a bit like fake leather) for some reason.


Posted by Ron Burns
Wednesday, April 26, 2000 at 23:22:02

Cash & Bernard Eales Thanks,Alan, for update on Cash. I'll try & look him up next time I'm in Barrow. I guess he never got his racehorse. As for whooping it up, he's most likely revising his Life of Palmerston (and loving every minute.On punishments, Cass has it right. Forget all the violent psychopaths (we had plenty in my time, the pain from their punishments was fairly short-lived. Eales was a master at the prolonged agony. I think it was in the second year that he got us in the gym and gave us a list of exercises to do (chins, bench presses, sit-ups, and a host of others). We had to note down how many of each we could do in a minute - no further explanations. Being 12/13 years-old lads,we all exaggerated our scores, like you do. After all exercises were completed, we were told to divide the scores by two. Easy so far! Then the swine informed us that we had to do the exercises in sequence to the scores achieved(reduced as above), with no gasping breaks."That'll teach those who lied" was his comment, I think. He called it circuit training - to me it was hell on earth, and it went on for 40 minutesstraight, EVERY WEEK!!! Since then I've had a pathological hatred of physical exercise of any description. Give me a thump on the ear or a well aimed board eraser (thanks,Hammerhead) any day. Has anyone any idea of the whereabouts of Wilf Kimber


Posted by Educated
Wednesday, April 26, 2000 at 11:08:12

My memories of the more violent staff circa 1967-72 in no particular order except the undisputed No.1 (How many others were sacked for it? Weston (Chemistry)Was known to attack with a handle-less cricket bat.Obviously surrered from small mans'syndrome. Cranstone (Music)Had a selection of hard round rods which were rapped over the fingers resulting in the formation of lumps.One was a budgie perch,one a snooker cue...I wonder at what point in his career did he decide to pack a budgie perch into his brown satchel? Big Ron (Chemistry)Well documented elsewhere. Stiff (History/Geography-the minimum of)Also well documented. Bellarby (P.E.)Once felled Dak White in the changing rooms with a punch straight in the guts.Another small man. Eddie Fell (French)The undisputed king!A farmer with very strong arms, (nothing to prove here)he could knock a boy sideways with one smack of his hay-making hands and then stick the boot in before you came round.Did it once too often and was given a free transfer to Holker Street(school-not soccer club).Eric Cantona 20 years too soon!

Subject: Moon

Posted by Alan Tomlinson
Tuesday, April 25, 2000 at 21:24:01

I had completely forgotten the Moon's previous incarnation as "Chip". Where did it come from, where did it go? Cash is still alive and whooping it up on the old age-pension in Rampside Rd., Ron.

Subject: Punishment

Posted by Cass
Monday, April 24, 2000 at 16:29:07

The most bizzare punishment I received from school came not from "lines" or cane but from Bernie " And its There, and its There" Eales. Dateline Late 70's Friday 2,45 pm. Shotput practice for School Games. " WHAT EVER YOU DO DO NOT THROW THE SHOT PUT BACK TO YOU TEAM MATES" (ratio 4 boys :1 shot.) I had thrown and retrieved was walking back and was within 3 feet of Johnny Livesey so i tossed it on the floor. Bernie with Megaphone and sky blue track suit " Cassidy , sprint to me boy,--I said Sprint" yes sir "did I say do not throw the shot towards people, yes sir but..... "Quiet boy now go and do an infinite number of laps of the track.. and while your there ask Mr Mouncey if thats enough" yes indeed it was the best of times , it was the worst of times ;


Posted by Ron Burns
Saturday, April 22, 2000 at 15:49:42

Re 1B days Reading through Derek Walmsley's list of Staff is something of a revelation. I left in June 64 and the only names I recognise are Jimmy Montague, Moonhead, Bernard Eales, and Cash. Had there been a mass clearout of staff in the intervening years? Were they really from another planet and had returned thence once their tours of duty on Earth were over? Hmmm My abiding memory of the great Cash was his performance while covering the Greek war of Independence (independence from Turkey, for you non-historians. The reverberations of Turkey's 600 year dominance of the Balkans are being felt strongly to this day). Fists clenched in front of, eyes tight shut in ecstasy,(he must have studied all those old Hitler newsreels for oratorial tips)he came to the Treaty of Unkair Slelessi, which gave the Greeks what thet wanted. "Think of the name, boys, Unkiar Skelessi!! Unkiar Skelessi!!! What a wonderful name! If I ever own a racehorse, I'm going to name it UNKIAR SKELESSI". I suppose it's a tribute to him that such things are so memorable. He loved history and passed his enthusiasm for the subject on to me, if no-one else. In contrast, we had a bloke who took us for European history (his wife taught at school as well. They are sat together on the 1962 school photo) who had a droning, tedious, Lincolnshire accent. I can't even remember his name. Is Cash still alive?

Subject: 1B DAYS

Posted by Derek Walmsley
Friday, April 21, 2000 at 21:02:45

1B ('71-'72) and the Sass Exercise Book Colour guide (from memory). Music (Philip Bond) Light Green; Chemistry (Bongo Hemingway) Dark Blue; Physics (Moonhead) Dark Green; Biology (Jimmy Montague) Orange; English (Fred Gallimore) Flesh; Maths (Ma Smith) Mid-Green; French (Ma O'Neill) Purple; History (Cash Pickthall) Red; Geography (Stiff Holmes) Light Blue; Woodwork (Tache White); Art (Shirley Eaton); P.E. Bernie (hands up all those who are wearing underpants) Eales; R.E. (Bump Otto) Brown. I also recall the Roughbook was grey and the Hymnbook red. I even have a copy of the 1B Timetable somewhere!! Paul- I remember the Andy Wolf "Mr. Sneck" incident well; I remember he came from Queensland and his dad Cec worked on the Purchase Accounts in Vickers when I started there in '78. David Tucker is, I believe, headmaster of a primary school down south- used to live in Parker Street. The other "class of '71" I also went through St. James Junior School with were Karl Dodd (police force, Melbourne, Australia), Ian Millard (still lives near me), Tim Gibbons and Nicholas Hooper (lives down south). I also recall one of Moonhead's Physics lessons when he was showing us the structure of a molecule using one of Mr. Lomas's models (made of ping pong balls and springs). He dropped it just as Litmus walked in. Ping pong balls bouncing all over the floor and a red-faced Headmaster! I was in Butler, following my dad's allegiances. This was probably appropriate as I couldn't take part in most games for medical reasons!

Subject: Book Colours

Posted by Dave
Friday, April 21, 2000 at 18:18:30

Biology was orange, History was Red, I laso want some information on the last assembly of the BBGS before the comprehensive system. I remember "older boys" had placed stink bombs under the lectern so that when Sledge lent on it the smells began to eminate from the front stage,( reports claimed some cross legged "Fags" sat at the front never fully recovered). However the real genius move in this well executed plan came when they tried to evacuate the hall only to find all doors had been chained and padlocked. Hats off to all concerened!!

Subject: Info on the photo of '72

Posted by Steve Low
Thursday, April 20, 2000 at 16:27:07

Great to finally find the elusive BBGS website I have heard so much about. Looking at the 1972 photographs I noticed one or two things which need changing 402 should be Andre Chavez 434 Former head boy is Nigel Mitchel now a personnel officer in Kendal 501 is Alan Mossop affectionately known as 'ALI ATOM' 505 is me the correct spelling of my surname is LOW I am currently working as a Training Officer for BAE SYSTEMS in Barrow I have some old athletics team photos I will send in as soon as I can retrieve them from my mother. Thanks for the memories Steve Low

Subject: Mr Sneck

Posted by Paul
Thursday, April 20, 2000 at 14:54:35

Sorry, me again. Remember the Australian lad, big Andy Woolfe? In a maths lesson that curly haired maths mistress (can't get her name - it'll be there somewhere) was furious with him for having taken an exam paper home and filled it in there, rather than under exam conditions. Poor Andy, who was new to the school, replied, "But Miss, Mr Sneck told me to do it!" Colours of books?? Light blue - geography?? yellow - english?? I came across a report book of my brother's with some really offensive comments from teachers, I'll try and persuade him to let me enlighten you all. (eg, "he is a lazy boy who'll never amount to much" - Stiff). Mrs SMITH!!!! Knew it was there somewhere.

Subject: Derek and Ciaran

Posted by Miss Piggy's Fan
Thursday, April 20, 2000 at 14:47:50

Hi, Derek, Hi, Ciaran!! Just quickly to correct Phil, my parents went to see the Moon about sports subs. For some reason they thought that paying the school 30p per year for sports gear was apalling and refused. So Moon agreed to speak to them about it. I still cringe at the thought of my parents uttering the immortal words, "if you think we're paying for that, you're as daft as you look." Remember Dave Tucker? one of the original 1B boys, Phil's peripatetic pupils? What happened to him, Derek? and Dog? where's he? I just thought I'd dwell on our cruel treatment of Sid LOvejoy some more because its actually very funny. It began as a subtle thing, one or two of us swapping seats while his back was turned (he used to write lots on the board for us to copy into our brown?? (Derek?) RE books. It developed into everybody changing seats in an ordered and regimented fashion. Then people would open the back door and knock at the front, "Sorry I'm late Sir!", sit down, open the back door and come round again. Then someone (not me! I was good!) began rifling his briefcase and writing "Sid" on everything with a marker pen. Remember Craig, who used to sit next to the book cupboard at the extreme right hand side of the room as you faced the blackboard? He was deaf in one ear, and Tez Mayes used to sneak up on his deaf side and shout, "STEVENS!!!! are you alright, Stevens?". Apparently Tez is dead, now, heart attack. He twice gave me 11/10 for my English work. I liked him. And the champion shot putter, Tom, something or other that I used to go fishing with once upon a time, Hickey, that was it ("hur, hur, sixteen pints of lager"). Tez used to take the piss out of him too. And Tez was housemaster for Butler, who never won anything, and he'd take his duties very seriously. Do anything well in English and he'd compliment you in public and bestow a virtual signed photograph of the Butler House Table-Tennis team. Weren't you in Butler, Derek? Wasn't Miss Piggy lovely? or was she just female? That's enough for now, but there's plenty more where that came from. Will right moor layter Paul. PS 3/10 for spelling - Tez PPS smack on the botty from Jimmy Mont for the sake of it. PPS two sides on the sex life of a ping pong ball from that Pakistani prefect we used to have. PPPS two sides from Cash on the rise and fall of the Sumerian occupation of Mesopotamia and its implications for the development and decline of graeco roman architecture in Eastern Europe. (Think that's obscure, boy! make that four sides - and write in small writing!!! Snmall margins Boy! Narrow lined paper! etc etc.) What's your favourite punishment (from school days!!)


Posted by CENSORED
Thursday, April 20, 2000 at 11:23:15

Yes Derek,I particulary remember having to sit through "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel only to find that the line referring to "Whores on seventh avenue" had been cut!The saving grace was the antics of Chip (this was pre-moonhead era) and Cash prancing aroung the stage trying to stop the entire assembly shouting "chsssh" after every lye la lye. You had to have been there!


Posted by 'RJ' Milling
Thursday, April 20, 2000 at 10:55:56

9.1 is Anthony Grayburn left at end of 1G (Gottle) 9.2 should read Graham 'Dan' Dawes 8.6 is Craig 'Crag' Sharp

Subject: Long Assemblies

Posted by Derek Walmsley
Wednesday, April 19, 2000 at 22:48:45

Remember those long assemblies of Sneck's with the old Grundig reel-to-reel which, with any luck, overran at least 10 minutes into the first period. Especially useful if this caused the cancellation of one of Cash's history tests! Philip Bond then acquired a STEREO reel-to-reel (the technology!) for recording the choir but told everyone not to tell Mr. King. One day Sneck walked into the music room during a choir practice and assemblies were in stereo thereafter! Still remember the first day in 1B (Sept.'71) when all the different coloured exercise books were handed out. Must be getting senile as I can remember which subject was which colour! Our form room was the Music Room (Room P) and therefore we were labelled the "peripatetic" form by Cash. Ciaran- hope this doesn't cause as much problem as Gestetner!

Subject: Film Buff

Posted by Grizzly Adams
Wednesday, April 19, 2000 at 17:33:52

And there was the nameless eccentric film buff - later rumoured to have attempted to join the Police force - who completed his History examination by providing a synopsis of the film version of "The Scarlet Pimpernel"

Subject: Moon

Posted by Grizzly Adams
Wednesday, April 19, 2000 at 14:38:55

Ah yes Paul - and was it not your mother who was one of the few people to have referred to Moonhead as "you little worm!" and lived to tell the tale?


Posted by Blue Stratos
Wednesday, April 19, 2000 at 11:17:31

Gestetner! Shame on the those pallid products of the computer age... Can anyone forget the smell of Gestetner ink? I suppose they use boat-shaped stencils as well. Are there people still able to draw a penetration without the aid of CAD?

Subject: Paul and Derek

Posted by Ciaran Trainor
Wednesday, April 19, 2000 at 11:12:11

Paul, Keep going how the hell do you remember this stuff!! Derek, you've lost the whole of my office with gestetner but we found it on the net eventually, 8/10 sounds brilliant to us but then again we all brought shame on the school and left in the 5th year. It was amusing returning for a final speech day to hear moon's disgust at the hordes of degenerates running around the corridors getting their books handed in and signed for so we could run down to the DSS and sign omn for our 10 dole prior to embarking on fulfilling careers in the yard.

Subject: Joe Bananas

Posted by Derek Walmsley
Tuesday, April 18, 2000 at 23:59:25

Joe Bananas certainly kept the gestetner and spirit machines busy with his handouts. Think I've still got my Geography and Economics notes in the loft- probably explains why the house is subsiding! Expert on everything from Ouagadougou to Shadufs to Keynes, does anyone remember his White Volkswagen Beetle with the "WAL" sticker (which we thought was West African Loony!). Probably one of the first to have his own slides of foreign lands. The burning question is, did he ever give anyone more than 8/10 for homework ? 9 and 10 did not seem to exist!

Subject: Languages

Posted by Paul Ryder
Tuesday, April 18, 2000 at 18:55:52

Remember Juicy? did he ever look at anyone directly? Never did work out what was stuck in the top right hand corner of the room. There was a classic once when either Phil, or was it Keith Johnson, organised it so we all span around and stared into the corner too. Then we had the sxxxxxxxx Mrs O'Neill in her three wheeler, and Sandra Burr Hmmmmmmmm - broke David Anderson's nose on his desk for looking up her skirt. Only Shirley was allowed to look up women's skirts in those days. Dennis WAS brill, and couldn't believe it when we all did crap in multi-choice exams - a monkey would have scored more than Phil, and guess what, Phil was so proud of his statistical anomaly. The actual O level itself - I remember when Keith Johnson was asked, what did you do on your holidays, he replied "La vache est mort". Didn't pass. Poor Fifi!! what a bloke. Anyone remember Frankie B? the mad monk of the maths department? and I'm surprised that there aren't too many tales of Stiff, Tez and Wilf. And Sid Lovejoy - real name - the badly done to mature student? He taught RE so badly that even the left footers wanted to come to his lessons. Bump is now a practicing vicar. Better stop, could go on all week.

Subject: Hacked off on a Tuesday PM

Posted by PW
Tuesday, April 18, 2000 at 14:19:01

I recall when the great school amalgamation took place.. (79-80?) One of the first results was that someone had it away on their toes with all the assorted cups, swords, etc.. that were displayed in the entrance foyer. I felt a little sorry for Stoker as I imagined he used to spend a lot of time polishing them. Did they ever return? or were they fenced on Rawlinson Street?


Posted by Thrash
Monday, April 17, 2000 at 20:44:51

Phil, The links page is crying out for an 'add a link' button! More PERL methinks!

Subject: Joe Bananas

Posted by Ian
Monday, April 17, 2000 at 10:40:01

Joe Bananas was also known as Joe Cool - I believe christened by Chas Watling esq. who went on to form the Anti-Cool League - a poorly supported, loose-knit federation of freedom fighters dedicated to bringing down false South American dictators and all those who impersonate them. The ACL was organised along the same lines as the Baader-Meinhoff gang (then in the news) using a cell structure for the organisation. Unfortunately, one of the primary rules of the ACL was that no member should know who the other members were. This lead to some confusion and the eventual disbanding of the ACL, who eventually re-formed as the South Furness Liberation Army, an organisation which flourishes to this day, somewhere, maybe, I think!!

Subject: BBGS - BGGS

Posted by Ron Burns
Saturday, April 15, 2000 at 01:16:39

I know I'm a bit late on the girls/boys social contact topic, but I seem to remember the girls being banned from one of our 6th form dances. The dance came shortly after Sam Price rollocked us for lying on the grass banking between the two schoolyards. He just wouldn't believe that we were there to enjoy the azure sky, the sweet smell of new-mown grass, the beauty of Lancashire (as it was then, AND BY GOD IT ALWAYS WILL BE - to me at any rate). The suspicious old bugger thought we were there to enjoy the sight of the beauties of Lancashire (and those navy knicks with pockets, of course). Miss Wells had apparently complained about us and retaliated to the exercise of our natural inclinations with the ban. Ah, all that pulchritude, so near yet so far away

Subject: Ones I remember

Posted by Dave
Thursday, April 13, 2000 at 17:42:21

Top Ten In No particular order Dave Wilson (old boy himself and all round nice bloke) Piggy Punton( good at math and told great Colditz stories) Dennis Clampton (I still remember some rules regarding verbs) Tash White ( free Lesson) ? Crozier ( scottish chem teacher with a bizzare temper) M Mancey-Jones (?) Shirley Eaton ( always get a runner for lunch) Phil Bond- and was Jerusalem builded here? Crazy Joe Bananas- Ok if you were good at footie Fred Gallimore- Top bloke.

Subject: Shirley

Posted by PW
Thursday, April 13, 2000 at 12:38:01

Yes he was an entertaining character.. I recall one of my first encounters when I and another guy were volunteered by Wilf to guillotine wrappers for the now defunct Old Barrovian magazine. Chopping away in the art room we were enthralled by Shirley's account of King Louis crapping behind grandfather clocks and having servants to remove it with a gilded shovel. The story was interrupted when Shirley, irritated by the squeaking of the guillotine (how apt), asked whether we were almost finished. "Yes" spake my partner - "No" said I simultaneously (a natural pervert I guess) - much amusement from the 6th form. In a snit, he then dispatched me for some oil from Tash White.

Subject: 77

Posted by PW
Wednesday, April 12, 2000 at 12:41:19

I hope the guy who requested the list of names for 77 can fill them in... When I said I don't know who they are I wasn't kidding.


Posted by Ian
Tuesday, April 11, 2000 at 18:48:49

Steve, Chats at bus stops were still allowed in the 1970s, but I wouldn't say that contact between the boys and girls was exactly encouraged. I always thought this had more to do with a protective attitude on behalf of the Girl's School head, than with our own authorities. As for alcohol at school dances, it was strictly forbidden, but that didn't stop many of us smuggling powerful bottles of lager past the door.


Posted by 'RJ' Milling
Tuesday, April 11, 2000 at 14:56:11

72 photo 1st left behind gomez, still in barrow for your notes P.Thornbers dad had Vic Park more trivia to come, have just discovered site

Subject: 50-58

Posted by Steve Pick
Sunday, April 09, 2000 at 18:09:12

To "?" I thought my message with the photo would identify my generation. 1951 1A should tell it all! The photo must have been taken in spring as I entered in 1950 and left in 58. I don't remember anybody frowning on the after school chats by the bus stop at Victoria rd. I remember scout dances and prefect dances being well supported by both schools. I don't remember alcohol being consumed at school, and those who chose to light up had to be careful. On a Saturday at the Furness cricket club dance, the consumption of alcohol was not vetted except by the amount of "pocket money" one had, and the ability to ride a bike home. Steve


Posted by
Sunday, April 09, 2000 at 04:45:12

What generation were you Steve? My recollection (sixth form in '72-'73) was that contact was heavily discouraged, except for school dances where all the pent-up passions of several terms were vented in drunken fumblings in the common room. In true Colditz-style, a head-boy-to-be was once stripped naked, rolled in a carpet, smuggled into the Girl's School Main Hall and left to be discovered. The rest is lost in legend. In '72 or '73 there was a moment when all the discipline seemed to break down in a sort of belated 'summer-of-love'. I remember a huge flower being drawn on the playground with coloured chalks stolen from the labs, and a group of sixth-formers picking up Chris King's 'post-van-painted-brown' with the intention of placing on the Swamp. Someone from the staff room shouted 'Drop that car!' So they did.

Subject: Remote????

Posted by Steve Pick
Sunday, April 09, 2000 at 03:46:55

You must be joking. 9 till 3.45 there was separation (except for some, at lunch time). After school, I don't remember any barb wire fences, quite the contrary. Also there was that famous, or infamous photo, of the slogan painted on the girls roof saying something to the effect, "Miss Wells says beer is best". It is very difficult to frown on the escapade even now, and the names of the two painters are indelibly marked on my memory. Apologies to Miss Wells for my thoughts. Steve


Posted by Ian
Saturday, April 08, 2000 at 17:26:06

Ah the luscious lovelies of BGGS! But how remote they were then, what with all the barbed wire, search-lights and machine gun posts.

Subject: photos

Posted by Steve Pick
Friday, April 07, 2000 at 02:47:31

Just lifted dust in the corner of my study. I knew I would find them. 1. Barrow Girls GS 1953 Coronation Year. (2 copies ?) 2. BBGS 1951 Yours truly sitting like a mouse amid form 1A. 3 BBGS Oct 1955. Yours truly now a little more than a mouse. 4 Leeds University Degree congregation July 4th 1925 Explanation of 1 and 4. My sister is in photo 1 but why I have two copies I don't know. Photo 4 was my of my mother who taught at BGGS but who doesn't appear to be in 1. Phil, When I have a bit of time I will try scanning. Any suggestions on file size and should we start with '51 or '55


Posted by Austin Pickersgill
Wednesday, April 05, 2000 at 12:34:16

"including ill-fated 1986 World Cup match against Argentina" I like that.. ever thought of writing for the papers?

Subject: Re: 1978 pic.

Posted by Old Boy
Tuesday, April 04, 2000 at 17:52:48

In response to "The Judge": Gary Stevens is ex. Everton and Rangers full-back. Played for England on several occasions, including ill-fated 1986 World Cup match against Argentina in Mexico. Also played in that excellent BGS team which included Gary Westwood in goal, Neil Smart, et al.

Subject: RE: 1978 Pic

Posted by The Judge
Tuesday, April 04, 2000 at 12:00:15

Who is Gary Stevens?? of England football team fame?

Subject: Pants

Posted by Ron Burns
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 19:11:29

Extending chilhood into adulthood?.... certainly not on the part of the victims. It might have been an aim of some of the staff, though. In my time there seemed to be a lot of "bachelors" in the staff room. I couldn't wait to get into long trousers, particularly as I was the last in my year to get them. Short trrousers did have one minor, seasonal the time you got to school in winter (those of us who walked there)your long kegs were wringing wet and it was a fight to get near the radiators to get dry. Happy memories (not) of school kids gently steaming through double French. With short kegs it wasn't so bad, if you discount the frostbite on the knees.


Posted by Fat Jimmy
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 15:22:23

Cash bears no physical resemblance to Q at all! And Q was a much more benevolent being than the jingly one anyway. You never saw Jean-Luc doing mountains of 'sides' eh?


Posted by Phil
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 14:04:28

I rather like the way names now appear on the 78 photo.. stealthily, like toadstools in the night... 'Q'? Oh dear.. I've never seen any Star Trek since the 70s.. I mean the new stuff is just so unbelievable...

Subject: re: 1962 photo

Posted by ian
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 13:30:26

Anyone else notice the suspicious resemblance between Cash of this period and 'Q', the pandimensional superbeing from 'Star Trek The Next Generation'?

Subject: Staff

Posted by Phil
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 12:13:51

I recall Jimmy Mont calculated the occurrence of a solar eclipse during landings at Salerno (?) and Bobby Punton perfected celestial navigation in the trackless wastes of the North African desert.. apropo of nothing but I guess we will be the last generation to be taught by veterans of a World War.. now I suppose it will be veterans of the Sexual Revolution.....

Subject: 1968

Posted by PW
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 12:08:09

So is there a 68 photo out there somewhere?

Subject: Pants

Posted by PW
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 12:07:24

Hmm yes.. I spent a short time in the States where at school we all wore long trousers.. from kindergarten upwards! The supermarkets catered accordingly and one could buy natty 3 pieces suits for all ages.. On my return to Blighty in 71 (age 11) my contemporaries were all still in shorts! Very odd. Perhaps sign of a desire to extend childhood in the British male...

Subject: Photos

Posted by Ron Burns
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 11:50:04

Photos were presumably taken every 6 years. I was there 57-64 and the 1962 shot was the only one in my time. There was probably one in 56 and there was definitely one in 78.

Subject: Pants

Posted by Ron Burns
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 11:46:22

Re 1958 photo. Interesting that all the kids (who were 11-12 years old) wore short trousers. When do you see kids over the age of two in short trousers these days?

Subject: Photos - how often?

Posted by Ian
Monday, April 03, 2000 at 07:59:50

How often were school photos taken? Was there one in between 1962 and 72?

Subject: 1962 photo

Posted by Ron Burns
Sunday, April 02, 2000 at 21:19:11

You're right on all counts. It was cold and windy (if my increasingly failing memory serves me right) and my coiffure (we called them haircuts) was one of the eccentric ones. Mind you, at the time we all thought were the coolest dudes on the planet. Oh tempore, oh mores!

Subject: re: 1962

Posted by PW
Saturday, April 01, 2000 at 20:23:22

In addition to the rather low angle of the sun I think we might also surmise it was damned windy as well... there are some pretty eccentric coiffures in evidence


Posted by Ian
Friday, March 24, 2000 at 19:33:34

Since we are in adulatory mood (and since my last posting in this vein was suspiciously supressed), I remember two excellent teachers at BBGS - one was the aforesaid 'Cash' who was particularly riveting on canibalism during the Thirty Years War (or was it the Hundred Years War.. whatever...) The other was Wilf Kimber who even made 'Emma' seem like a rollicking good read. Another worthy of mention was Philip 'Shirley' Eaton whose liberal regime was such a refreshing antidote to all the stern uncreative hierarchical nonsense that we had to put up with. Its a pity, though, that no one managed to get me interested in maths. I might have been a wealthier man.


Posted by Ian
Friday, March 24, 2000 at 19:31:47

Since we are in adulatory mood (and since my last posting in this vein was suspiciously supressed), I remember two excellent teachers at BBGS - one was the aforesaid 'Cash' who was particularly riveting on canibalism during the Thirty Years War (or was it the Hundred Years War.. whatever...) The other was Wilf Kimber who even made 'Emma' seem like a rollicking good read. Another worthy of mention was Philip 'Shirley' Eaton whose liberal regime was such a refreshing antidote to all the stern uncreate hierarchical nnonsense that we had to put up with. Its a pity, though, that no one managed to get me interested in maths. I might have been a wealthier man.


Posted by Cash Fan
Friday, March 24, 2000 at 10:41:03

A very positive note! Cash was a bit of a pig when it came to deputy head discipline but I reckon he was the best teacher I have ever known.His graphic blackboard displays of "rotten boroughs" were a joy to behold.Compare this style of history teaching to a certain person who had a strange greasy haircut,used to throw beechwood blackboard erasers at 11 year olds' heads and did his homework marking (always 7/10)during class time whilst everyone read from a book and you have no contest. p.s.this person also had a strange arm.

Subject: Moonerisms

Posted by vile cow
Friday, March 24, 2000 at 10:30:55

Considering he was a Biology teacher,why was he so confused with bovine sexuality when referring to 3F as"vile cows"?

Subject: 78

Posted by PW
Wednesday, March 22, 2000 at 09:46:12

Seems I was a little too tight with the split on this photo and sadly some people have been cut off... maybe it should be complete before any attempt is made to index it...

Subject: School photos

Posted by Ron Burns
Tuesday, March 21, 2000 at 22:26:14

Hi, I'll be in Barrow before Easter, so if you give me an address I'll bring them round to you. Ron Burns


Posted by Keith Palmen 10: 5
Tuesday, March 21, 2000 at 21:40:57

For still living only 200 yrds from his former school he receives the 'Homer Simpson High Flier Award'

Subject: 1978 photo

Posted by Sean Rayner
Wednesday, March 15, 2000 at 13:54:58

Anyone doing an index for this? Could name most people, including neil barrowman who famously appears twice. But don't know where anyone is now.

Subject: 1978 photo

Posted by Sean Rayner
Wednesday, March 15, 2000 at 13:45:59

Anyone doing an index for this? Could name most people, including neil barrowman who famously appears twice. But don' know where anyone is now.

Subject: Trying to trace...

Posted by Steve Basterfield
Wednesday, March 15, 2000 at 11:03:41

I am currently engaged in tracing my family tree and would like to contact Gordon Basterfield who I believe may have attended Barrow Grammar School in years gone by. If any one has contact please pass on my details. Thanks very much. Steve Basterfield 143 High St Wollaston Stourbridge West Mids DY8 4PE tel 01384 830379


Atlantean Hoard