Atlantean Hoard

May 30 - July 17

Subject: Feedback

Posted by PW
Monday, July 17, 2000 at 11:44:30

OK.. so I lied ... but they are up now.
Just what was The Brian Hughes Band?
Any ideas?

Subject: Mystery man

Posted by PFW
Friday, July 14, 2000 at 15:46:41

I'm sure it is...
I'll put up the other two issues tonight.
Surely a contribution to world culture.


Posted by Ern
Friday, July 14, 2000 at 14:03:21

I've just noticed the signature on the 'Man the Warrior' poem from Feedback - could this be Taunton's very own Tony Tompkinson - mystery man and rock'n'roll singer?


Posted by
Friday, July 14, 2000 at 10:54:50

Subject: Navel

Posted by Dr Stuttaford
Thursday, July 13, 2000 at 16:10:52

What a tragic case. Could not a prosthetic one be produced and fitted?
On one hand it is clearly a trivial deficiency but one could imagine this minor idiosyncracy assuming massive psychological proportions in certain circumstances.

Subject: Various

Posted by Alan Tomlinson
Thursday, July 13, 2000 at 16:06:34

I asked Nicky and Bim Wilkes's dad if Bim really did have no belly button. Apparently it's true, due to an early operation on an umbilical hernia (probably as much fun as it sounds) he has no discernible navel. Phil Boundy landed the first RAF Hercules into Sarajevo after the blockade was lifted. Dave Cooksey died in 1977 after a local quack misdiagnosed peritonitis Phil Jordan committed suicide in 1999 by jumping off the high-level bridge, he had suffered from depression for several years. I find it very interesting to note that the widely held belief that manual labour is beyond many of our fellow pupils persists - if anyone needs a top-notch job doing in the plumbing or heating line, contact me, distance no object, discounts for BBGS, no grudges held.

Subject: Info for BBGS 77 Picture ( Part 7 )

Posted by Bill Burns
Thursday, July 13, 2000 at 13:11:51

Left uk 87 worked as travel rep for 2 years in Spain. Moved to Sweden 89 . Married 90 divorced 94 two Kids Hanna and Christian . Still living in Sweden currently working as Marketing and Projects Manager for Western Eurpoe at a Finnish company based in Sweden . Starting to study at the Word Of Life bible collage in Uppsala in August 2000 . Can be Reached on


Posted by Ern
Wednesday, July 12, 2000 at 15:35:43

Well, it's time for the annual imbibing session that marks my birthday. The chaps and I will be performing an evening of blues music to mark this momentous occasion at The Westgate public house (near the police station) in Taunton on July 21st and you are all invited. Should any of you deign to actually turn up, please note that I will require some form of present - preferably illegal or made of rubber (or both!) Guinness will be the prefered intoxicant for the evening, but hey - any port in a storm! see ya there


Posted by
Wednesday, July 12, 2000 at 14:37:16

Subject: edukation

Posted by Ean Lewin
Wednesday, July 12, 2000 at 14:35:51

I have just spent an hour reading backwards ( not literally) through the postings and cracking up, I gather that's Big Ern out there and Lowdy as well as Pete Gibbo. I arranged a stag weekend for Jethro, Steve Buckett, Vic (Brian), Pete "mingings" and myself who at that time went by the monniker of Ed. Most of the conversations were also of BGS, teachers like Gus, Stiff and Slug, Ma Burr, Trout face and Fifi. Then it all degraded into the events at the 'berry and wrecking cars up the lakes,....finally the Guinness took control and narcolepsy ensued. Now I remember, it was Paddys night and Martin(Jethro) still wasted a Saturday and got married again.. Ian Mowatt passed me the site address, cant you find find one a bit shorter, thanks if your out there..


Posted by Ian T.
Wednesday, July 12, 2000 at 13:30:16

Check out this link:


Posted by ian t
Tuesday, July 11, 2000 at 11:48:46

Nutter, Brown and White - names to frighten the horses! Dak was particularly scary - wasn't he arrested once for riding pillion on a motorbike with an air gun and taking pot shots at pedestrians? There is some irony in Phil Brown's present incarnation as the custody sergeant at City Central, but what became of the other two? Are they in custody perhaps?

Subject: Tash

Posted by 3f
Tuesday, July 11, 2000 at 11:24:15

Tash seems to have left the impression of having infinite patience.Maybe it was only the infamous 3F of 1970 that saw the other side - he actually held someone over a bench by clamping their tie in a woodwork vice and then laid in so hard that he snapped a length of 3/4" dowel over the victim's backside. I think it was Keith Nutter..or maybe Phil Brown... or Dak White...all angels of course, none of whom would have dreamed of smacking every precision honed wood chisel against the nearest piece of steel.


Posted by
Friday, July 07, 2000 at 09:35:03

There was also a not-so-intricate device for holding fuse-wire. Absolutely useless. It puzzles me that someone as ham-fisted as myself should have ended up teaching in an architecture school where the students make beautiful models of things like the Vatican over a week-end. For most jobs around the house, I have to pay some non-grammar-school type to do it properly. Going back to the school culture, one of the things that still rankles is the low status that was given to things like woodwork, art, music etc. Creativity was not something that BBGS knew much about.

Subject: Chisel holder

Posted by PW
Friday, July 07, 2000 at 09:20:29

I believe that would be Kenny Jacobs.. who went on to join I Wharton esq in the great North Sea oil bonanza

Subject: tash

Posted by ian
Friday, July 07, 2000 at 07:23:39

Phil, very true, though not, alas, a universal rule (I still can't be trusted with anything more complex than MFI units and emulsion painting). BTW, didn't someone in our year manage to stick a chisel through their palm in one of Tash's lessons?

Subject: 1958 1B

Posted by Jim whitton
Thursday, July 06, 2000 at 13:05:01

Thanks for the photo. Some additions to the gaps/queries on the list - Jim Whitton, Alex Ross, Ian Payne, Keith Blackburn, Bob Knox. Has anyone got any photos of school plays in the early 60's - especially "1066 and all that". We had a great laugh doing that. Does anyone remember 'Slasher' Hawkins brilliant stage sets?

Subject: Tash

Posted by pHIL w
Thursday, July 06, 2000 at 11:13:26

Yes.. I take the most extreme care over any woodwork type jobs now...
I can't help thinking that it is alien to any healthy boy of 11 to be carrying out precise activities like woodworking, or brain surgery, with any care at all. Now if Tash could take us back at 30 we would do a great job. I'm sure even the most primitive cultures would trust the tribal trepanning to the more mature members of the group, and likewise the construction of fancy stonework, obelisks etc...

Subject: tash

Posted by ian
Wednesday, July 05, 2000 at 16:19:49

I had a curiously intense flashback of my lessons with Tash a few years ago when I hammered a picture hook nail through a water pipe hidden in a cavity wall. Actually, I have fond memories of the guy; unlike most masters, who would roast you if you were useless at something, Tash seemed to take it in a fatalistic but good humoured spirit (most treasured comment - 'please promise me you're not taking woodwork next year' as I presented him with yet another complete disaster for inspection). My attempt at a chisel rack (and can anyone tell me *why* such an item would be considered useful?) brightened up a family Christmas ('just look at what he brought home from school ...' etc, etc).

Subject: Tash

Posted by Biggles
Wednesday, July 05, 2000 at 15:19:35

Yes, he was patient. I remember on one occasion he had been sent out patrol the playground. After twenty minutes of being buzzed by pupils humming the theme from 633 Squadron, he rather plaintively turned to us, opened his palms in a despairing gesture and said ' I don't know what it is with you chaps. Actually I was never in the RAF'.


Posted by
Wednesday, July 05, 2000 at 14:24:22


Subject: joint

Posted by Tash
Wednesday, July 05, 2000 at 12:53:44

I recall the infinite patience of the man.. and the sad expression he produced when I attempted to make a mortice and tenon (?) joint in record time by boring a 20mm hole and hammering in a 22.5mm square piece of wood. As a bedside lamp it was a fine piece of kindling.

Subject: Fowler

Posted by Ian T
Wednesday, July 05, 2000 at 11:52:59

Has anyone else seen the excellent Chicken Run yet? The character 'Fowler' is rumoured to have been based on Wing commander 'Tash' White who later went on to command the lathes in the BBGS woodwork room. Best line in the film - The RAF don't let chickens behind the controls of their aircraft. Here's a link:

Subject: the single fateful question

Posted by ian
Tuesday, July 04, 2000 at 17:18:09

I believe you're right, PW. Shall now spend the evening trying (fruitlessly, no doubt) to remember what the question was (correct - I have no life). I recall feeling sorry for him at the time. I presume my recollection that he headbutted the desk is a false memory?

Subject: UC

Posted by PW
Tuesday, July 04, 2000 at 13:36:25

Well.. yes.. I will probably be corrected and then killed if I'm wrong but I think the final came down to about one question. I draw a veil over who provided the fateful but wrong answer. Luckily he is without internet access until about Thursday.....

Subject: amygdala

Posted by ian
Tuesday, July 04, 2000 at 13:22:24

Yep, the amygdala would do, but you'd have to be pretty careful where you stuck the electrodes. Even a millimetre out and you could start hallucinating Old Barrovians on quiz shows. Actually, I remember BJ being on that programme. I had just settled down to watch it and kept getting phone calls from people saying 'did you know that Bill Johnston is on the TV?' with the result that I saw about 30 seconds of the programme. Didn't his team get to the finals?

Subject: OPiates

Posted by Bamber
Tuesday, July 04, 2000 at 11:38:31

Barrow quest for national fame.... c1982
"Your starter for 10 - no conferring...

Subject: Wired Amygdala

Posted by Laboratory rat
Tuesday, July 04, 2000 at 11:13:26

Yes!!!!!! Yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!!!

Subject: cheap

Posted by Phil
Tuesday, July 04, 2000 at 09:37:05

Would it have been cheaper to have an electrode stuck straight into the amygdala (?) and activated by a button? I figure that if I could rig it up to my word processor then I could learn to enjoy writing turgid papers...

Subject: !!!!

Posted by Ern
Tuesday, July 04, 2000 at 09:24:02

Jeez, you mean I've spent many, many thousands of pounds over the years on substances to 'heighten' my perception - and all I really needed to do was breath harder?

Subject: hyperventilation

Posted by ian
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 19:14:35

Practically any induced heightened state of arousal can make a person more receptive to new ideas (unless they exceed their optimal level, in which case ... cont. practically any psychology textbook). This principle works anywhere except the classroom and lecture theatre, where union regulations require that at least 90 per cent of the pupils/students must be in a near vegetative state and thus beyond any arousal before teaching begins.


Posted by Phil W
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 17:22:58

A psychologist writes: members of religious cults tend to be individuals who question values and are looking for a belief system.
That's a relief.
Interesting... are you also familiar with the hyperventilation theory.. in which individuals are made more receptive to new ideas by inducing states of hyperventilation? I believe that there was at least one psychologist who was observing a voodoo ceremony and is now Baron Samedi's righthand man.

Subject: kicking

Posted by ian
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 16:57:42

A psychologist writes: members of religious cults tend to be individuals who question values and are looking for a belief system. Prior exposure to religion doesn't usually have much effect. Anyway, back to the main point - I think that for all its faults, I'd sooner have had BBGS than a laissez faire 'let's respect every child as an individual' sort of place. I know we *think* we'd have preferred it, but I doubt if the reality would have appealed (too little to be cynical about). Curiously, nobody has really griped about the obvious trappings of the old school system - uniform, prefects, sides, etc. What seems to get our collective goat are the antediluvian morals of some of the staff and the unecessary harshness of some of their tempers. Incidentally, I didn't say that there was *no* bullying, just that it was mild in comparison with some other places (and most bullying could be attributed to a couple of Neanderthal-brained individuals in each year rather than it being a school tradition).

Subject: Kicking

Posted by Phil W
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 15:34:17

True Ian... Being dragged to mass was a very useful lesson for me.. my only concern now is that my kids may find religion a fascinating novelty and join some collection of God-botherers and wind up praying for a good mortgage. This Sunday I shall take us all to church!! re: Barrovian.. well I wouldn't want to bash those teachers who did their utmost for us but maybe there should have been more intellectual honesty from those who shared our scepticism... then again we all have to worry about funding and promotions now so we are probably no better...


Posted by
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 15:33:31

There was bullying. Not the worst in the world, but rough if you had bright red hair or sticky-out ears of came from the south of England! None of these characteristics was mine! Despite my utter lack of prowess on the sports field I managed to escape the worst of it, but some weren't so lucky. One guy, who I won't name because he's had enough grief in his time, got mercilessly pilloried because he wanted to become a vicar. He was pretty sanctimonious, but I don't think he deserved to be tied to a chair and dangled from an upper storey window. But the general point about a generational gap between the pupils and those who taught them is surely right. Not true of all individual teachers - Shirley Eaton was pretty liberal I recall - but true of the place as a whole . The great fear was of comprehensivisation, and comprehensives have had a lousy press down the years, but you're probably right Paul. I would find it pretty hard to square a belief in grammar schools with my other political and social views nowadays. So RIP BGS.

Subject: Barrovian

Posted by ian
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 13:48:54

I tend to agree, Phil, but on the other hand, if we hadn't had those values to kick against, what would we have done? Teenagers are natural cynics, and having a regime bleating about apathy, team spirit, should never have withdrawn from Suez, etc, probably did us some good in that we could identify ourselves as belonging to a different culture. Better that than picking on each other (e.g. I can never recall bullying being a great problem at BGS).

Subject: Rule Britannia!!

Posted by Paul
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 13:38:28

Having just found the magazines, I can see why the fuss! My memories of school are happy ones, but when I read the Barrovian (and that letter in Feedback about "Apathy" - Bloody Hell!) I have to stop and think. Its a 1930's time warp. The sports reports - "should have won more but were careless, and bad finishing lost us the game" (0-31 or something like it). It didn't really matter how well we did, we were always going to be snotty, dirty, inferior little squabs who needed a good thrashing to get the best out of us. I believe very strongly that this is what is missing from schools today, children should be soundly beaten for dropping a pencil in Chemistry, their heads should be bashed against desks for getting 3/10 in French. Any success that children do show should be treated with the appropriate amount of disdain, dressed down with humbling addenda, eg, "this shows what senior pupils are capable of" - (pause for good effect) - "if they can summon up the enthusiasm" or, "Oh yes, by the way, some sixth formers did raise 2000 for charity during the holidays" - this after a long slagging off for failing to do something really important, play cricket well, or something like that. What is needed today is compulsory Scouting, followed by National Service. Let's jolly well bring back the good old days when Britannia was supreme. Let's re-establish the status quo, bright boys go to the grammar for indoctrination, then to university, other, stupid boys go to crappy schools, then work in Vickers or for the council and all girls should learn to sew and get married. Memories quite quickly develop a rose-tinted shade, don't they.

Subject: Barrovian

Posted by PhilW
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 12:32:06

Good question.. on the one hand the school did serve us well but on the other... what about all those kids who were effectively scrapped at 11 and told they were best suited to a manual trade? After much deliberation I'm glad it's gone along with all the bogus crap promulgated in the mag.

Subject: Reflections on Barrovian

Posted by Ian T.
Monday, July 03, 2000 at 10:37:31

It really does read like a byegone age. But then a third of the world was coloured pink in our school atlasses. Reading the etorials and one or two telling pieces by pupils, it is clear that the creaky old institution was finding it very hard to come to terms with the aftermath of the sixties. All that stuff about the House system - perhaps it was all really about Suez or the Vietnam War. Do you remember those War Memorials in the assembly hall? Chilling. I'm sure in different days we'd all have been packed off to the trenches. I'm not a father yet, but in the not unlikely event that I may yet become one, I wonder what sort of school I would choose? I've had a rather rosy nostalgic view of BGS - most of us got good A levels after all - but as for the values it promoted, I'm not sure at all. Reading the Barrovian just reminded me how rebellious I felt most of the time I was there.

Subject: Night of the Living Dead

Posted by Colonel Wappitt
Friday, June 30, 2000 at 15:55:15

Anyone who can generate excitement from Millom should be either knighted or horse-whipped

Subject: Double Entendre

Posted by Ern
Friday, June 30, 2000 at 15:11:12

When I suggested to my missus that the bit about Millom wanting to make him come was a double entendre, she said it was just my dirty mind! Last time I saw Trev Curwen he was the sound engineer at Moles Club in Bath (circa 1994-5?). He was considerably more sober than I was and a damned fine sound engineer to boot!!

Subject: big ron

Posted by fag
Friday, June 30, 2000 at 11:23:53

Ijust found this site whilst browsing through ask Jeeves under the heading "dead chemistry teachers". What happened to him? Did he finally meet an even bigger bully who picked him up by his ears and then smashed his head on the nearest desk?

Subject: Grease

Posted by P
Friday, June 30, 2000 at 09:55:39

Come to think of it you are right... this must be an image from.. hmm well let's say 1959...


Posted by Ian T
Friday, June 30, 2000 at 09:34:46

'Marc Glitter' is very probably the nom de plume of Trevor Curwen - and that double entendre about Millom wanting to make him come sounds like his line in humour. Trevor also went by the name 'Trev Tinsel'. These were the days of Glam Rock, you must remember. And long before Gary's fall from grace. Trevor had a minor career as a rock star in Bath, but I haven't any recent news of him.


Posted by Ern
Friday, June 30, 2000 at 09:23:48

My brother is the one to ask about grease - I believe that he used to swim up and down Windermere for fun, absolutely covered in the stuff! Are you sure this is Ma Emerson? My memory paints her as looking more like someone whose sister had just had a house dropped on them by some juvenile from Kansas!

Subject: A face from the past

Posted by PW
Thursday, June 29, 2000 at 21:46:12

Clark... go get your swimming kit lad and I shall apply the goose grease


Posted by Ern
Thursday, June 29, 2000 at 20:19:27

Jeez - school senior swimming captain and all round good egg - what happened - I'd actually forgotten that I did all that stuff! Great fun reading the poems - can anyone shed any light on the real identity of Marc Glitter?

Subject: mags

Posted by ian
Thursday, June 29, 2000 at 18:44:47

I found the editorial quite amusing, especially since after bemoaning the apathy and lack of sporting prowess there is a little note to say that oh, by the way, some pupils broke a world record (for a marathon badminton match) in the holidays.

Subject: Mag

Posted by PW
Thursday, June 29, 2000 at 14:32:30

I did enjoy reading the mags again.. All the critical editorials warning of the rising tide of apathy and existentialism... Can the "House" system survive?
Oh dear.. I suppose in another age it would have inspired people to kick a football through no-man's land. The highspot was the introduction of a mildly critical note in the obituary for a deceased pupil.. "could have done better" I suppose.


Posted by Ian T.
Wednesday, June 28, 2000 at 09:35:34

I was the youngest in my year, with a birthday on the 30th August - always in the vacation and usually Bank Holiday. It seems like I had my 40th birthday about two weeks ago, but actually I'm pushing 45, which I always thought of as true middle-age. There's nothing much you can do about the big 4-0 - just embrace it and pretend you're pleased. I seem to remember the name Neil Clapham. Perhaps he was on my table at school dinners. Chris Blackhurst, who seems to have gone on to great things in the press, certainly was.

Subject: Birhdays/diddy Dvae Wilson

Posted by Alan Tomlinson
Tuesday, June 27, 2000 at 17:16:46

Paul, you'll be chuffed when they wield the cake I'm sure, your Dad had a lucky escape didn't he? "Diddy" Dave Wilson now works in Sweden, and commutes weekly back to Barrow where his wife is a District Nurse.

Subject: birthdays

Posted by ian
Tuesday, June 27, 2000 at 11:42:09

I think it's Neil Clapham who also has a birthday in August. Since he now lives in Australia, I suppose there's a good chance that he can avoid surprise visits.

Subject: 40th Birthdays

Posted by paul
Tuesday, June 27, 2000 at 10:17:21

I recall that Basher and some other boy (Neil something?) both had birthdays on the 28th August. Mine being on the 10th, I appreciated their efforts in making me not the youngest in the year. It was always nice to avoid the bumps during school holodays and other ritualised bullying routines. I need some tips, some advice, a strategy to cope with a family that is desperate to make a big thing of my birthday. I've told them I'm off to Iceland for two weeks, a lie, but now I've heard a rumour from my sister that mater and pater are planning to attack me there with cake and "surprise" party. Ooo-er. PS, what's 40 like, Ciaran, you old git?


Posted by Ian T
Monday, June 26, 2000 at 19:44:27

Well you've made my day! Being generally crap at sport and no good at bad poetry, I didn't think I would find my name in the Barrovian, but if anyone can be bothered to read almost to the end of the Editorial in Winter 1972, there I am, described as the 'highly capable' chairman of the school council. I can't even remember doing this, but there were no other I. Thompsons, so it must have been me! It makes me wonder what stooge wrote the editorial. Was this a member of staff, or did one of my mates write it? I also noticed one J. Tyson has a very scholarly analysis of the education system in amongst the bad poems - he went on to get a PhD in Anthropology, so it perhaps isn't surprising.

Subject: Moon the sea monkey

Posted by ian
Monday, June 26, 2000 at 19:10:49

Just noticed that on the animation of Moon the sea monkey on the opening page, there's a curious twitching in the groinal area (Moon's, not mine). Please tell me that it's accidental.

Subject: barrovian

Posted by ian
Monday, June 26, 2000 at 17:03:30

I agree - sublime beyond all measure (especially some of the contributions - nice to see what Steve Lister was doing before he started writing professionally). Can't wait for the next instalment.


Posted by Ian T.
Sunday, June 25, 2000 at 23:23:03

Wonderfully dire. All that sport. Can it be true? - did we really have something called the Cock House Competition?

Subject: Feedback

Posted by PW
Sunday, June 25, 2000 at 22:02:29

Most definitely... all obtained from the Johnston Archive...
Three copies of the high quality magazine "Feedback".. plus a number of
"The Barrovian".. my God I'd forgotten the poetry contributions.. and the
complaining editorials.... a real treat.

Subject: barrovian

Posted by ian
Sunday, June 25, 2000 at 18:24:31

Is this the start of a series (perhaps culminating in the short-lived 'Feedback')?

Subject: brothers

Posted by ciaran
Sunday, June 25, 2000 at 12:05:45

A bit of idle gossip. Bumped into your brothers down the gaza strip last night Phil. Boy are they xxxx dancers especially when p***ed!! Also bumped into Mark Williams in Pizza Hut. apparently he's the baby of our year and doesn't hit the big 40 til august and he's dreading it.

Subject: burette

Posted by Mr Neutron
Thursday, June 22, 2000 at 17:04:11

Hey Ron .... if he did suck it from a burette I hope the tap was open!

Subject: Caustic soda

Posted by Ron
Wednesday, June 21, 2000 at 21:31:02

I didn't know Lewis was in St John's or Red Cross. Hmmm, that gives pause for thought. But to my 15 years old eyes, John Tipping's bright red lips and tongue looked fairly nasty. He was off school for a while anyway. Perhaps Screwy was better at spotting a lead-swinger than I was. I would imagine Screwy was of the same school as the referee at a Spanish football match a couple of seasons ago who booked a forward for diving in the penalty area (enthusiastic applause) only to see him stretchered off with a broken leg.

Subject: Dave Wilson

Posted by Mr Neutron
Wednesday, June 21, 2000 at 17:45:15

No he didn't last very long. He left to go to Sellafield... maybe he got a job measuring fuel rods for Japan?

Subject: Netscape

Posted by PW
Wednesday, June 21, 2000 at 17:40:49

At last the thing stops underlining comments...
er.. I don't the slash anchor tag had closed the link properly at the top of the page.. duhhh

Subject: tom brophy

Posted by ian
Wednesday, June 21, 2000 at 14:27:56

I remember T.B. teaching me in first year. He was off school for two or three weeks having knocked himself out during a match against the New Zealand touring side. I was at the match, and if memory serves me correctly, he concussed himself against one of the posts.


Posted by
Wednesday, June 21, 2000 at 10:17:45

PS - odd about Screwy's callous indifference, Ron. He was in the Red Cross or St.John's Ambulance service.. I remember getting demonstrations of artificial resusitation. Perhaps the soda burns were trivial!!


Posted by
Wednesday, June 21, 2000 at 10:12:58

My only regret as an arsty farty is that I never learnt calculus. This may seem strange coming from someone who specialises in making places pretty by tree-planting, but whenever I lunch with my highly numerate colleagues from geography I feel a bit of a dunce. Most arts people can cope with a bit of popular science though - look at Melvyn Bragg! Actually I know some scientists who have read more nineteenth and twentieth century literature than I'm ever likely too. I never got back into Chemistry after missing a couple of lessons with Tom Brophy - he was covering valency. I was off school because I'd come off my bike on Mill Brow. When I came back into Brophy's class sporting two black eyes and a scar on my forehead, it was the first and only time he acknowledged my existence! Anyone remember Brophy? Wider than he was tall, and only at BBGS so he could play rugby league for Barrow?

Subject: Carnival of Thieves

Posted by PW
Tuesday, June 20, 2000 at 15:00:30

This just in from our American correspondent....
The cast of "Thieves Carnival" - produced by the joint Grammar schools
in 76(?)
Full cast list to follow.

Subject: Artsy farts

Posted by Ron
Monday, June 19, 2000 at 20:35:12

I'm one of Ian T's arty types,(French, History - the blessed Cash - and Geography at A level) and I reckon we got the better end of the education system. I'm still quite handy with maths, biology & chemistry (at least in their 1960's incarnations), but how many Science people do you know who can remember any of the Arts subjects they did. A mate of mine who did engineering at Cambridge knows the monarchs of England going back to oooh, Elizabeth II, and his French extends to Bonjour (on a good day). Now you mention Lewis, I remember once in chemistry we were measuring quantities of caustic soda using burettes, and Lewis had warned us of the dangers. One John Tipping in his enthusiasm, got a mouthful of the corrosive solution. The esteemed Lewis seemed more concerned that Tipping had ignored his instructions and risked damaging school scientific equipment. Lewis's son, John, was in the same form as me up to O level. Just fancy having Lewis at school, and then again at home - some people are just born unlucky I suppose. I never suffered Ron Horrocks as a master (I was lucky, by all accounts), but it's sad that another link in the chain has gone.


Posted by Ian T.
Monday, June 19, 2000 at 10:33:36

Being an airy-fairy artsy-farty type, I didn't have much contact with the late lamented Ron. He was just someone tall and intimidating and best avoided. I remember getting chemistry classes from somebody called Thwaite, who had an equally awesome reputation. Apparently he 'caned' people with the towel rail off the front bench. He also had a legendary bald patch - the myth was that an experiment had gone badly wrong. Anyone rememember this cuddly ogre? There was also 'Screwy' Lewis, who was much more benign, but he was about 357 years old when I was in the lower school.

Subject: Clumsy Pete

Posted by paul
Sunday, June 18, 2000 at 19:51:51

I remember many of our teachers quite well, but a certain maths tutor not too well. What I do remember was during extra maths lessons in the sixth form (joy of joys!) Pete used to teach us. We'd all be sitting in the classroom and he'd approach, complete with stack of exercise books, texts, chalk and board duster. When switching objects between hands in order to open the clasroom door Pete always used to drop something. Sometimes he's attempt to hide this by preparing himself further up the corridor (spelling? Wilf! help!) but would drop soemthing there, instead, usually something hard that would bounce and resonate. Besides, we used to sit in dead silence, listening. Hence we named him "Clumsy Pete". There was also a small Physics teacher called Dave something. I know he was called Dave, because we met him in the Ambrose at Christmas time and he was off his box on Hartleys XXB. When accosted by someone who defends the consumer rights of Barrovians, these days, he told us, "Don't call me, "Sir" - call me, "Dave"". So we did. Did he survive very long? And what was Malcolm's surname, who told us to remember the spectrum by saying, "virgins in bed get your organs red", backwards? As pathetic young boys we were dead impressed, but Jim Friar was quite offended.

Subject: Big Ron

Posted by Q.
Saturday, June 17, 2000 at 23:21:00

Sorry to hear of the passing away of RH. Had the pleasure of playing Basketball in the same mixed pupils/masters team as him, in the Furness league, along with Messrs McsSweeney,Mounsey, Clampton,and Bispham. It sometimes felt that us boys were only invited along as persons to blame when errant passes did not meet their desired destinations.As regards Ron, a decent bloke once you got to know him. RIP.


Posted by Ian T.
Saturday, June 17, 2000 at 08:18:51

Welcome James. Very intrigued to hear that you owe your artistic abilities to living in Barrow. I'd also be interested to hear how Barrow compares with Rio! Apparently some American academics did a study of the world's best 'party cities'. Newcastle, where I now live, came eighth! Rio was also in the top ten, but I can't remember exactly where. Sadly Barrow wasn't mentioned!


Posted by James Alves Martins
Friday, June 16, 2000 at 15:18:47

Hi...I lived in Barrow in the seventies, went to ABCS for Boys ( back then as it was...) Could you tell me if they have a page like yours on the net?... Would be glad to know... As for the link where you put "please someone tranlate this"... it's a poem by the greatest poet of the portuguese language of this century, Fernando Pessoa, in the beginning of the century he did live in England, not sure where, this poem of his has puzzled me over the years but I promise myself to translate it to you sometime. ... I live in Rio de Janeiro, I am 36 years old, graphic designer and painter and I own my artistic habilities to my living in Barrow in my childhood, Wainting for your reply...ALL THE BEST TO YOU! James Alves Martins


Posted by James Alves Martins
Friday, June 16, 2000 at 15:12:01


Subject: BIG RON

Friday, June 16, 2000 at 12:31:53

I hear big ron has expired. I felt the same emotion when reading of the demise of Pol Pot.

Subject: Stiff

Posted by PW
Monday, June 12, 2000 at 11:57:07

Oh yes.. Stiff can be observed most nights in The Ship at Roose.. drinking away with the Slug.. .. Maybe we can get a webcam installed.. a sort of Jurassic Park thing for Old Boys

Subject: stiff

Posted by ian
Monday, June 12, 2000 at 11:46:29

Stiff is, to the best of my knowledge, alive and enjoying retirement. In his defence, I've got to say that although he scared us all ****less, I learnt a lot from him. It may be that having been taught by him in the 6th form, my views of him were mellowed somewhat.

Subject: Big Ron

Posted by PW
Monday, June 12, 2000 at 11:16:53

It would have been a nice gesture if they wrapped the "box" in magnesium ribbon..he would have liked that.

Subject: The Ambrose

Posted by PW
Monday, June 12, 2000 at 11:15:28

Funnily enough we must have crossed paths in BiF.. as I was there on Saturday night. The Berry was packed with pierced young oiks watching "large screen" football. The Duke of Ed bar was better.. just the two of us and a pool table.
The Ambrose was a highlight.. one of the outer doors was shut.. looking in I asked "are you open?" .. "No! we're fucking closed" shouted Oscar Wilde from the barstool
Excellent. It had the amateurish atmosphere of someone's living room.. about 6 guests lounging around in various postures of amiable drunkeness. It was like being at a wake for the town.. with a lock-in!
p.s. I hear that last week, in a great fit of generosity, BAE Systems sacked two guys for using e-mail

Subject: Two topical areas

Posted by Paul
Monday, June 12, 2000 at 10:28:50

Big Ron and the Gazebo. I'm sorry to have distracted all away from Ron's passing with mention of the gazebo. It reminds me of the time when the council had some money left over and were desperate to spend it and did so on some ill-advised re-design of the park gates, and new roundabouts in Harrel Lane and Friars Lane. Unfortunately there was a bus strike on at the time, and when it was over the buses couldn't negotiate the new roundabouts, which had to be removed, utilising huge chunks of next year's budget. Town planning in micro-cosm. The gazebo, I'm sure, looked very nice in the catalogue, surrounded by trees and everything. This subject was never meant to distract from the passing of Big Ron, isn't it odd how the nastiest teachers we ever encountered are fondest remembered? When will Stiff die? or has he, indeed? or was he dead already? he certainly possessed no detectable trace of the better human emotions apart from a friendship with the great Tez Mayes (RIP) and a liking for beer. Did everyone simply turn out at Urswick to make absolutely certain Ron was really dead? That man was pure evil in the classroom and in the examination hall. I recall him battering some maths candidates head on his desk during the official maths O level exam and frog marching him out. Maybe he was chewing or something equally heinous. Admittedly, he did keep a disciplined class, but only because we were terrified of him. At A level, he did mellow, slightly, and became more approachable, but most old boys will remember dreading Ron standing over the shoulder (JUST THERE!), watching like a hawk for the first instance of stupidity that he could pounce on and address with typically violent and over the top action. Tell me, he didn't escape between Urswick and Thorncliffe did he? PS - was in Barrow this weekend and the John Winnerah Institute was still there! The fire station is now a trendy shop for something exciting, so exciting I can't remember, and the library (our old toilet on the way home from the Ambrose) looks just as popular with the townsfolk as it was then, ie, it was empty. Anyone any comments on the great Barrow museum? or museums, because now there are two!

Subject: university at barrow

Posted by ian
Sunday, June 11, 2000 at 08:48:57

There's the occasional mention of plans for a University of Cumbria in the Evening News, but nothing concrete seems to come of it. In any case, Lancaster already has satellite courses running at Barrow and Carlisle. I pity any lecturer who has to spend the whole semester shuttling between Lancaster, Carlisle and Barrow to give classes (or are the lecturers confined to specific sites?).


Posted by Ian T
Saturday, June 10, 2000 at 10:14:31

There really ought to be a University of Cumbria. I for one would consider working there! But the chances are that if such an institution was ever created it wouldn't be sited in Barrow. Actually U of Northumbria (formerly known as Newcastle Poly) has some sort of campus in Carlisle. Does Cumbria count as part of Northumbria?

Subject: Ron's funeral

Posted by alien
Friday, June 09, 2000 at 19:07:10

Ron Horrocks, His funeral service today was in Urswick church which was packed to capacity. Rev. B.OTTO was officiating and there was a very large turnout of ex.staff and former pupils. Just before Ron's body was taken to Thorncliffe we all sang two verses from OUTWARD BOUND. Those who knew Sam would not have been suprised if Brian had made us sing it again,few knew the tune. R.I.P Ron.


Posted by alien
Friday, June 09, 2000 at 18:55:24

Subject: Large Ronald

Posted by P "W" W
Friday, June 09, 2000 at 17:24:06

Yes he was probably right.. it would be a fantastic location.. hell they might even electrify the rail link.. and fill in Morecambe Bay
Speaking of reputable.. I recall taking my leave of Barrow College of FE..
Ol'Simpson gave me my final marks.. I was curious to see that I had gained some respectable grades for computing.. I pointed out that I hadn't taken it.. but he seemed well satisfied if I was. I told him I was leaving double bastard files for genetics.. He then quickly pulled out a book from his drawer and suggested we attempt the breeding of a red budgerigar. Apparently there was a prize! Top bloke.
"the last one stood on one leg"
old Pete joke

Subject: Big Ron

Posted by Old Boy
Friday, June 09, 2000 at 17:03:23

On one occasion Ron commented that the single biggest boost to Furness's economic and cultural life would be the creation of a reputable institute of higher education. The area would at least be given a fighting chance of diversifying its gene pool. 20 years later, his comments still probably ring true.


Posted by Ian T.
Friday, June 09, 2000 at 14:02:47

I realise now that I have passed the great gazebo on many occasions! Did this modest structure scandalize the town? Quite jolly, I thought, and fairly inoffensive. If Dalton Road was lined with Grade II Listed Buildings it might be a different matter.

Subject: gazebo

Posted by ian
Friday, June 09, 2000 at 07:50:53

The gazebo itself isn't all that bad, it just looks inappropriate where it is. Something that size might be okay in a largish private garden (if you like that sort of thing), but in a public street, it's too small and looks like a bandstand for midgets.

Subject: gazebo

Posted by ciaran
Thursday, June 08, 2000 at 19:35:22

For those of you yearning for the gazebo, if you look at Bill Clarks Barrow Website The Gazebo is just visible on a photo called Dalton road shopping 1998. I'm sure if you put in a request he'll take a special shot for you! It's not that bad really Paul, is it?


Posted by Ian T.
Thursday, June 08, 2000 at 08:59:47

Where is the great (and greatly amuzing) gazebo? I shall include it on my itinerary on my next nostalgic trip to farthest Furness.


Posted by Conflagration Spoon
Wednesday, June 07, 2000 at 16:42:00

When I saw it I tried hard not to laugh.
Oh let yourself go.. if you are up there you could do with a laugh
On the cumberland sausage front, its definitely true that Co-op cumberland coil was the best. I used to bring home to Newcastle at least three yards of the stuff after every visit to BiF
A few yards?.. do you think this is that utilitarian approach to food that the Europeans accuse us of?

Subject: Big Ron

Posted by PW
Tuesday, June 06, 2000 at 23:22:14

As I write I raise a glass of scotch to the Evil One.. he only swung me by my hair a few times and he did explain SN1 and SN2 reactions pretty well.
True he did keep order as well.
Alas the only words of encouragement he offered me (whilst attempting to benefit from voluntary extra tuition) were

I don't know why you are bothering!

Subject: Big Ron

Posted by PW
Tuesday, June 06, 2000 at 21:43:48

What a shock.. now I can never be blanked at the Whitewater Hotel!! What will we do?

Subject: The Late Ron Horrocks

Posted by Ciaran
Tuesday, June 06, 2000 at 20:49:20

Sad to report that Ronnie died suddenly at the weekend. A man with real teaching technique who took no shit from the likes of me and other clowns at the back of the classrooms. I don't recall stepping out of line in one of his classes!!


Posted by
Monday, June 05, 2000 at 15:46:02

Subject: New Barrow

Posted by Paul
Monday, June 05, 2000 at 13:17:42

Having been on holiday for two weeks, its amazing how much one misses, and how far behind current conversational topics the mind becomes. It might have something to do with Sangria and Guiness, and probably with a withering attention span due to my approaching 40th birthday. No-one has mentioned the great GAZEBO! My parents were really excited by the prospect of Barrow acquiring such a dictinctly upper-middle class facility, and waxed lyrical about it. When I saw it I tried hard not to laugh. A few wrought iron bars and a seating area for about 3 people and a dog. Still, its better than a pre-fabricated bus shelter, but not much. On the cumberland sausage front, its definitely true that Co-op cumberland coil was the best. I used to bring home to Newcastle at least three yards of the stuff after every visit to BiF, until one day when I forgot all about it and a strange, offensive smell developed over weeks in the bedroom. Eventually I retrieved a plastic bag full of viscous material, leaking stink and slime in my suitcase. The smell, incidentally, was not unlike the odour of the BBGS changing rooms. Did anybody else, apart from me have to wear any of Bernie Eale's offensive lost property items having forgotten his kit?

Subject: sausage site

Posted by ian
Friday, June 02, 2000 at 07:08:52

Phil, thank you for putting up the site address for Woodall's. I didn't know the firm was on-line. That should nicely add another few inches to the ever-expanding waistline. In complete contrast,glad to see that Dr Johnston is looking so youthful.

Subject: Sausage

Posted by PW
Thursday, June 01, 2000 at 14:57:24

Cumberland Sausage online

Subject: Co-op sausage

Posted by Ian T
Thursday, June 01, 2000 at 14:19:44

Sadly my mum died in December '99, but it would have done her old heart good to have heard you all speaking in such glowing terms about Co-op sausage!!

Subject: C-Sausage

Posted by Ron
Wednesday, May 31, 2000 at 23:31:10

Hi, Ron Duxbury. You're the first person I know of my school generation who has contributed to a Barrow site. On the row below you and two to your right is John Rooney who was my Best Man and teaches maths at St Bernard's in Barrow. Re Cumberland sausage-all our mum's seem to be in agreement about the Co-op variety. It really was good though.

Subject: Custom House

Posted by ciaran
Wednesday, May 31, 2000 at 23:30:11

Just to put you expats in the picture the Custom House is housed in what used to be the St Mary's Club , Next to what used to be the Union Jack Club, opposite what used to be the John Whinnerah (I think that's right) on the corner of what is now lacally called the "Tesco Roundabout" at the end of what still is Abbey Road. P.S. Phil did you see me and my rugby colleagues waving at the cameras during the Rugby Union Cup final at Twickers 13th May. We were the 44 people dressed as Elvis in the crowd !!! I was in a white suit couldn't miss me!


Posted by
Wednesday, May 31, 2000 at 22:42:58

Subject: cumberland sausage

Posted by ian
Wednesday, May 31, 2000 at 16:36:18

I agree about the Co-Op sausage. Surprisingly, Tesco's attempt isn't too bad (though in our local branch at least, they now seem to be offering the oxymoron of Cumberland chipolatas). Short of buying Waberthwaite sausage in bulk on a trip to my parents and bringing it back in a freezer box, it's the nearest we can get to civilised cuisine in the W Midlands.


Posted by
Wednesday, May 31, 2000 at 11:14:33

Phil, I lunch every day with beery geographers who eat chips with everything and usually ask for a little extra lard on the side, but I know what you mean. I think it is called the Customs House... my mental map of Barrow needs a bit of touching up, but it is somewhere beyond Ramsden Square heading towards the docks. Incidentally my mother used to be of the opinion that the best Cumberland sausage in the world was sold by Barrow Co-op and my sister and I, both connoiseurs of this delicacy, are inclined to think she was right.

Subject: Customs House

Posted by Phil
Wednesday, May 31, 2000 at 09:59:54

Ian.. where is that exactly?
In Sheffield they call that delicacy a "Cumberland Curl"... which doesn't put me off too much. Given my cholesterol levels and the fact that I'm surrounded by medics and sick people all day.. I don't get to enjoy it much!
By the way.. we seem to have made the national news again!! I'll see if I can wave at the cameras today.


Posted by Ian T
Wednesday, May 31, 2000 at 09:54:03

Maybe Brassneck has detected the creeping tide of cosmopolitanism that seems to have reached even to the tip of Furness. Yes they have a piazza (or is it a plaza?) in front of the Town Hall, and on my last visit I had lunch in a cafe/bar (the former Customs House). Admittedly it was Cumberland sausage and mash, but the ambience was decidedly continental. What next? Dalton road as Barrow's answer to the Ramblas?

Subject: 1962 Photo

Posted by Ron Duxbury
Tuesday, May 30, 2000 at 23:24:19

Interesting to see the 1962 photo - I have a framed copy hanging in our downstairs loo! I am in part 5 - the one furthest right on the back row, above the guy in glasses. Nice site. Cheers Ron Duxbury

Atlantean Hoard