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Joan M. Tindale
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 22:16
Boys' Grammar School Photo 1960
Haha - the Boys' Grammar 1960 - that species from outerspace who used to play rugby in the field next door to the Girls' Grammar!!!? Anyone got a photo of the Girls' Grammar 1960? Thanks - recognised quite a few - didn't boys look tidy and clean in those days?
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:09
Yes Joan, 'species from outer space' were definitely better groomed in 1960 than they seem to be these days! Not sure about the existence of any Girls Grammar School photos, mobile phones with cameras hadn't been invented back then ,-)
Joan M. Tindale
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 15:22
Are you on the photo Andrew? At that time the girls had to play hockey (over the wall from rugby) in their navy blue knickers - not many of us had shorts don't think! Freezing cold red and blue legs - not my scene anyway - but it was compulsory! Think there is still a KBGS web site, not sure about the girls - will take a look! Still got my Dad's cricket cap from around 1937 - don't know the best place to donate it as yet!
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 17:54
No, KBGS had already burned down when I was at primary school (I was born in 1960 Joan!). Am I correct in thinking it was on the site of the current Keighley Tech’?

We were ‘sent’ to South Craven comprehensive where I too nearly froze to death on the rugby field in winter as I stood there in shorts, trembling with zero motivation for the game. In fact on the isolated occasion the ball was passed to me (probably for a joke) I nearly got killed in the stampede. I closed my eyes and threw the ball forwards, which meant that no one ever passed the ball to me again.

I much preferred cross-country where I could have a cigarette or two in isolation down the beck side or up Bent Lane somewhere. I would get back to the school wheezing and out of breath, but not due to running.
Alan Pickles
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 18:37
Just to correct your mistake - the Boys' Grammar School did not burn down. The school moved in the early 60's to a site up Oakworth Road where it is now. The building which was on the corner of Cavendish Street and North Street was the Mechanics Hall and was a part of the whole block. This burnt down as can be seen on the Boys' Grammar School website. The new building which took it's place and was joined on to the part which was left standing, formed the Keighley Tech. They are now wanting to pull the whole building down to allow for redevelopment. The photograph which you refer to was taken in the playground at the Alice Street side of the building. I think that this would be the last one to be taken there. This still exists and is used as a car park. In it's heyday around 600 lads used to crowd into the area at play and lunchtimes and heaven help them if they were caught straying over the wall to find a ball which might have been kicked over. Prefects' detentions were the punishment dished out for so doing. Happy Days, for some, maybe.
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 19:52
Thanks Alan, I got my fires mixed up! I well remember when the building on the corner of Cavendish Street and North Street burned down (or partially burned down), sometime around the late 60s.

Interesting to hear that Keighley Tech may be demolished to make way for redevelopment. I guess there's nothing more constant than change.
Howard Barrett
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 23:44
I'm on that photo, having gone there in 1959. The building behind the assembled throng is largely unchanged today, as Alan suggests. The students were positioned in a semi-circle and the camera panned around slowly from one end to the other, taking about a minute to do so.

In fact this photograph was the second attempt of two, spaced about a month apart, because at the first attempt one student who was at one end of the photo ran round the back to the other end after the camera panned past him, and he appeared on the same photo twice. This was not discovered until after the photo was developed. It was said that the lad was expelled, but it seems a rather severe outcome considering the offence. That said, I don't recall ever seeing him again.

I believe the fire was in the winter of 1962, during a freezing cold Saturday night. A discarded cigarette at the Saturday night dance at the Municipal Hall was cited as the cause. I was woken at about 03.00 Sunday morning by a classmate who was outside with his dad, who had a car. We went to the school along with many others. In fact it was said that more students turned up that night to watch the school blaze than attended school on the average day!

Plans to build Oakbank, KBGS's planned replacement were accelerated but in the meantime the old building was only repaired to make it water-tight. Accordingly, my form room, which was on the top floor, remained for the duration with black walls and three one-foot waves between one-end of the room and the other, caused by the floor buckling. Oakbank opened at Easter 1964 and I left the school just one term later. The H&S people would have had a field day had it happened in recent times.

I have the photo framed in a single strip. It's difficult to see on the sections but by positioning the students in a semi-circle to make them appear to be in a straight line, the building itself has a "hall of mirrors" kind of distorted appearance.

Whether all the trauma of the aftermath of the fire caused us to look like a species from outer space, I do not know. It was more likely that the cross country run we had to do to Greenhead before and after playing a game of rugby that caused that. Or could it have been the navy blue knickers??

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