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THE


CLAVIAN
Magazine of the Grammar School, Bury
2
Editorial
                                                              who have contributed photographs of a professional...
From the Headmaster
                                                                                      sector has led.
...
BBC’s Children in Need Appeal; a          International’, which raised £455 and           their participation in such acti...
DEPARTING STAFF
MALCOLM CURTIS
                                                                                   in charg...
infinitely poorer without the company
                                           kids working together and motivating
teac...
records. In his more active days he
Nowadays, having exchanged bikes                                                    wi...
the other great love of his life; a fine
enormous value to our older students.                                            ...
local concerts. This passion for the      displays on matters as diverse as the
has always been the theatre. In 1990,
    ...
usually able to defuse even the most
                                         is denied access to food. Two
domain, we onl...
and a member of The Royal                glory days of the Piccadilly Marathon      his outstanding talents for all this
E...
Clavian Magazine 2008
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Clavian Magazine 2008

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The Clavian - 2008 Edition

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Clavian Magazine 2008

  1. 1. THE CLAVIAN Magazine of the Grammar School, Bury
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. Editorial who have contributed photographs of a professional The Editor’s warmest thanks are extended to all who standard for several articles; the staff of the have contributed to this year’s edition of The Clavian. Development Office who have kept me abreast of a Special mention should be made of those upon whose variety of matters; and Nigel Reece and the staff at shoulders a particularly onerous burden has fallen: Jarvis Print who have again successfully produced a Mrs McCoy, who again translated the arcane splendid publication and also continued to sponsor the hieroglyphics of boys (and staff) into golden print; Mr Clavian competitions. Koziura for his marathon trawl through much of the School’s sporting achievement, cast into honeyed DSB prose; Mr Marshall who also has written or organised a multitude of articles amid his many other responsibilities; Nathan Chandler and Mrs Grundy 3
  4. 4. From the Headmaster sector has led. This education embraces not only INDEPENDENCE I am beginning to sermonize – a academic rigour but also a rich particular danger when a Head is also diversity of extra-curricular activities In an article in The Independent in a cleric. So, one final point about – sport, music, drama, debating, September, columnist Dominic independence and autonomy – and outdoor pursuits and community Lawson wrote: ‘Don’t complain that is that with independence and service. And the result of this about private schools. Learn from autonomy must come responsibility. emphasis on an all-round education is them.’ Lawson said that Britain’s A responsibility to be prophetic – to not only a rich experience while boys independent schools are the best build schools which are not mirrors of and girls are at school. Former schools in the world. His judgement society but mirrors to society; schools independent school pupils accounted is borne out by the Organization for which seek to nurture in those in our for 37.3% of Britain’s medals at the Economic Cooperation and care a view of life which challenges Beijing Olympics. Development’s Programme for selfishness and greed. At this year’s HMC conference, International Student Assessment. In It is one of the aims of this school we were presented with research this assessment, UK independent that the boys will leave with a desire carried out at the Centre for schools achieved the highest score in and a determination to make a Education and Employment Research international comparisons of reading, contribution to the betterment of the at the University of Buckingham. The in the year 2000, and shared the top society of which they are part. I hope research showed that the success of places with independent schools in that the seeds of that desire and that independent schools cannot be Korea and New Zealand in the 2003 determination are sown and nurtured attributed just to selective intake and maths survey and the 2006 science while the boys are with us. The social advantage. On selection, the survey. charitable projects, which were a research shows that HMC schools Lawson’s view was reflected in a major part of our first World achieve better A Level results in 24 MORI survey, published in June this Challenge expedition to Mongolia out of 30 subjects than maintained year, which found that independent this summer, were life-changing for grammar schools – despite the fact education is more popular than ever. that most maintained grammar Nearly three in five of all parents said those who took part in that expedition schools have a more selective intake. that they would send their child to an – a lesson that it is in concern for, and And the research also shows that independent school if they could practical help of, others that our pupils at independent schools are just afford to do so. That is the highest deepest happiness and fulfilment are as likely to come from low income level since the survey began in 1997 to be found. homes as those at the top 200 and is up by 20% on the last survey We were inspired in February comprehensive schools, but that they in 2004. when Mr Robert Forrester, an Old decidedly outscore them. The popularity of the independent Boy who was Captain of School in The research suggests that the sector is due in part to its academic 1946, came to speak to us in success of independent schools stems success. Independent schools in the Assembly about how he was proposing to celebrate his 80 th from their independence and UK produce nearly two-thirds of the autonomy. Across a range of A* grades in single subject science at birthday. His intention was to climb countries, independent schools do GCSE – from only 7% of the school 80 peaks in the Lake District and better than government-run schools. population – and around half of the A North Wales in 80 days. He explained Interviews with Heads indicate that grades at A Level in subjects such as that he was seeking sponsorship for the key advantage of independence maths, physics, chemistry and his climbs to support the work of and autonomy is that they enable modern foreign languages. As Martin WaterAid in Tanzania. His target was teaching and learning decisions to be Stephen, the High Master of St Paul’s £10,000. We decided that we would taken close to the classroom rather School, London, said recently: ‘The support him through a non-uniform than being handed down through knowledge economy of the UK is day. Very sadly, soon after speaking central directives. While one may kept alive by independent schools.’ to us in February, Mr Forrester regard the independent sector as an But it is not, I believe, only became seriously ill; and he died in unlikely godparent of a revolution in academic success that accounts for May – without being able to attempt education, the Government’s the popularity of the independent any of the 80 climbs. We did, Academies programme in the sector. I believe that the key reason however, hold the non-uniform day maintained sector is, perhaps, a sign why independent schools are so and sent £1300 to WaterAid. that the maintained sector is popular is their commitment to Other charitable activities following where the independent providing an all-round education. included a non-uniform day for the 4
  5. 5. BBC’s Children in Need Appeal; a International’, which raised £455 and their participation in such activities Sweet Sale in support of World Aids enabled 350 books to be sent to will help to nurture in the boys that Day; a Sponsored Silence, in which children in developing countries. ‘desire and determination to make a seven boys in last year’s 2UC raised I commend the boys for their contribution to the betterment of the £200 for World Vision; and a charitable activities – which last year society of which they are part.’ Sponsored Read in aid of ‘Book Aid raised almost £6000. And I hope that Steven Harvey This year’s successful Oxbridge candidates. Back row, from left to right: Richard Stanton, Shantanu Kafle, Christopher Stanton. Front row: Scott Mody, Richard Chew, Richard Barker, Christopher Bryant. 5
  6. 6. DEPARTING STAFF MALCOLM CURTIS in charge of the sport at all is rather David Armsbey, David Wilson and remarkable: when applying for the others at the Grammar School. post at BGS he believed that his CV Malcolm was initially employed was somewhat thin, and, as he had here to teach Economic and Public jogged once or twice around the sand Affairs, a mixture of Economics and dunes at St. Annes, he thought that he Politics, but when that syllabus would put running down as an disappeared in 1996, he discontinued interest of his. Who would have the teaching of the Politics and thought that 35 years later he would concentrated on Economics and still be in charge of such a successful Business Studies, which Keith club and one of which former Richards wanted to introduce as a members speak so fondly when GCSE subject. The inevitable remembering their time at school? consequence of this was that it would I know that the Cross-Country have to be made available at A level: Club has provided Malcolm with the words Malcolm Curtis and some of his fondest memories of trailblazer might seem to be unlikely Bury Grammar School. The bedfellows but Malcolm was, in fact, escapades at Helsington, the School’s the first Head of Department to own outdoor centre in the Lakes, introduce modular A levels in Bury provide a bank of memories for him: Grammar School with Business Malcolm Curtis came to Bury how he would take groups of boys Studies, much to Graham Simpson’s Grammar School in September 1973. twice a year for cross-country and horror. As a result of all this, To put that into some kind of how he had to explain and Malcolm has spent much of his time perspective, David Armsbey had been demonstrate – not literally, I trust – at BGS teaching older pupils, at school for three years and a good how to use a chemical toilet. Such although he has taught a fair amount number of the current staff had not was the impression that Malcolm’s of Lower School History too. In even been born. instructions and squats made on the whatever he has done, however, he 35 years is a long time in any boys that when Helsington closed, has shown huge enthusiasm and institution and well over half a they rescued one of the commitment and he has always lifetime away for Malcolm. I have aforementioned loos and presented developed a tremendous rapport with been privileged to spend twenty of Malcolm with the seat, a souvenir his students, who have found him to those working with him and during which hangs in his summer house to be easy-going, approachable, that time he has proven to be a this day. knowledgeable and engaging. wonderful colleague and a loyal Helsington also provided His lessons have also been friend. Malcolm with other tests: the emotionally challenging. People, Malcolm was born in Kettering, orienteering event always required a well, one person…Malcolm himself, educated in Derbyshire and he member of staff to ask the boys to actually…have been moved to tears studied for his degree in Economics bring an object back to base camp. of grief at his account of the and Economic History at the One former colleague, not MJC I execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, University of Liverpool from 1966- might add, asked his charges to bring and the devotion shown by her 1969 when he graduated. From there back a live creature, but instead of the faithful dog at her beheading and we he moved to Lancaster where he did beetle or grub the Master had desired, in the Common Room would wait his Teacher Training at St. Martin’s one lunatic brought back a live rabbit with bated breath when the end of the College, and carried out his teaching from a pet shop in Kendal. Malcolm lesson came in which Malcolm had practice at a school in Burnage, asked the members of his group to told the story to see whether or not he Manchester. Although his time there bring back a house brick. had had to resort to the Kleenex and predates the antics of Noel and Liam Unbeknown to him, a lady in a would be in need of solace. Gallagher, so grim did he find it that nearby village was having an In 35 years, Malcolm has been he resolved never to set foot in the extension on the back of her house Head of Economics and Business city limits again. and, finding a hoard of boys taking Studies, but he has also done so much From Manchester, then, Malcolm easy pickings from a stack of bricks more to enrich the life of the School. moved to the relative tranquillity of on her lawn which were about to be He ran the Tuck Shop when it still the Fylde when he obtained his first used in the construction of her new existed, but found that he was far teaching post at King Edward’s, conservatory, she promptly turned her better suited to the running of the Lytham. After two years and a term, ire on a hapless Mr. Curtis, accusing Cross-Country Club, which he has however, in the autumn of 1973, he him of gross irresponsibility. managed with great vigour, skill and, moved to Bury, just nine miles north Malcolm is, however, and has indeed, love since his first few days of the Manchester he had vowed always been, a truly marvellous at BGS. The fact that he came to be never to revisit, to join John Robson, 6
  7. 7. infinitely poorer without the company kids working together and motivating teacher during his career and one of Malcolm and indeed those other them, the teacher is the most who, for me, embodies the true spirit colleagues who are retiring this year. important.’ of the School, with his selfless Malcolm now plans to pursue his This is certainly true of Malcolm’s devotion to it through 35 years. He keen interest in gardening, bird teaching, a fact borne out by has always gone about his business in watching and skiing, interests which countless boys who have spoken with a modest, quiet, unassuming way, but BGS has, of course, allowed him to me about what a good teacher and has never shirked responsibility or cultivate on Friday Afternoon genuinely good man he is. It is, been afraid to stand up for what he Activities, together with cookery – I however, not just the boys who have believes in. Malcolm is not a fan of know he aims to cook every recipe in benefited from his companionship. bureaucracy or of change for the sake at least one of his very many There are several people in the of change: he has always had the cookbooks. He goes on his way with Common Room, both past and interests of those he teaches and those our very warmest wishes for a happy present, whose lives have been he cares for at heart. He may well be and healthy retirement. directly touched and enriched by surprised to learn that he shares the DRL Malcolm Curtis and I personally have opinions of Microsoft supremo Bill much to thank him for. My life at Gates, who remarked: ‘Technology is BGS next year will certainly be just a tool. In terms of getting the TONY YOUNG Simpson’s promotion to Second his father’s life. He was educated at Master. St. George’s Primary School, now a In 1995 our roles were reversed pub, Johnson Fold Junior School and and I found myself in the quite Smithills Grammar School where he intimidating situation of being Head was a classmate of Dave Spikey – that of Department to two former heads of explains a lot – and where he followed department. I need not have feared, as in the footsteps of Sandra Glancy. both were incredibly supportive so From there he went to Bedford maybe it is somewhat ironic that Tony College at London University where should spend his last year at BGS as he obtained a first class degree in my Head of Department yet again. Mathematics followed a year later by Tony’s skills as an organiser and an MSc, also in Mathematics. Tony, solver of puzzles and problems were not being one for writing essays on not overlooked for long. In fact they the theory of education, or having run were never overlooked at all by Stuart out of money, decided to skip his Brady who regularly brought Physics PGCE and apply for jobs nearer problems to be solved in the maths home. So it was in September 1975 office. While the rest of us tried to that he joined the staff here at BGS. hide on hearing Stuart’s impending Sadly I know little of his early As I have aided, or more likely arrival, Tony was always game for a years here, or of his exploits with the hindered, Tony for the last years in the challenge. His organisational ability staff cricket team, or of his refereeing; giant Su Doku office known as the became even more apparent when, but he hasn’t just taught maths. For Timetable Office, I will start there. Of just four years after relinquishing the 14 years on Friday afternoons he course he has provided moaning head of department post, he was taught car maintenance, giving boys material – “Oh God, not the second appointed Director of Studies, whose and girls their first taste of the internal year from hell last thing on a Friday!” duties he has carried out with the combustion engine. Eventually in this – for much longer. It was in 1976 that utmost conscientiousness and ever-increasingly litigious world, he began to learn the ropes with the efficiency ever since. Health and Safety issues forced him to then Headmaster, John Robson, There have been aspects of Tony’s park up and close the garage. Graham Simpson and Roger Foster. life that few will know about. He and Tony quickly settled into life at Being locked up with Tony for five to his wife, Pauline, were at one time BGS and his legendary sense of six weeks is very strange! members of SPICE, the “High Life humour soon surfaced as he Conversations have been varied, Adventure Club”. Activities such as convinced the younger boys that his funny or downright weird. One day water skiing, abseiling, driving a wife was indeed Chinese and called he burst out with: “I want to be hovercraft and freefall parachute Egg Fu Young. He told one form: cremated,” so I said, “Get your coat, jumping were undertaken. They skied “The volume of a prism is found by let’s go.” I must say, however, that it extensively on the slopes of North multiplying the area of the cross- has been a fascinating experience and America and Canada for a number of section by the length, this being an privilege putting together the School years until a serious knee injury to example of a Long Prism Sentence.” timetable. The information contained Pauline forced a premature retirement Tony’s organisational and in his head alone is quite staggering. from the pistes. They are great cat management skills were recognised in Tony is a Bolton lad through and lovers and also sponsor donkeys that 1988 when he was appointed Head of through, except for his Austrian give rides to disabled children. Mathematics following Graham mother who somehow waltzed into 7
  8. 8. records. In his more active days he Nowadays, having exchanged bikes without fear of contradiction, the and Pauline used to take off for six for motorbikes, T and P can be found strongest mathematician in the weeks with car and tent discovering impersonating Carl Foggerty department. He will be missed by the many parts of Europe. He’s even throughout the Trough of Bowland boys. Many, many pupils have driven through Death Valley in the most Sundays. regarded him as their favourite middle of summer and he has driven, Tony has benefited hugely from teacher and I’ve never heard a Jeremy Clarkson style, Formula Ford the only perk we get at BGS: free derogatory word spoken about him. cars round the Aintree racing circuit. school dinners. Tony Two Puds, as Generations of mechanics pupils will But I will remember the kit cars he we affectionately refer to him in the remember his reference to sex and Pauline spent thousands of man maths office, has enjoyed his meat education: “Every Couple has its and woman hours on. I believe he and two veg, and multiple puddings, Moment but there is no Resultant.” completed four from scratch, not only especially apple pie and rice pudding Tony is a thoroughly selfless man. putting them together but also – not together of course. The I know that he would have been designing his own wiring systems. abolition of the self-service counter absolutely devastated if he had been It’s all the more remarkable when you was something of a blow. He is the unable to donate one of his kidneys in realise that Tony’s manual skills are one who polishes off the bourbon order to keep Pauline off dialysis. akin to an elephant wearing boxing biscuits in the common room in the The operation was a great success and gloves. morning. He likes his food and I’ve we wish both of them a long and Tony has given 33 years of loyal enjoyed many meals served up chez healthy retirement together. Tony did, service to the School, the Young. Pauline does the cooking but however, hint that he might like a Mastersingers and, more recently, the Tony digs out the liqueurs from his part-time post-retirement job, perhaps Choral Society. He could have been extensive cabinet. as a driver. May I suggest he tries the schoolmaster characterised in the Cars have always featured being a dustbin man; they only seem T.V. series To Serve Them All Our strongly in Tony’s life. There have, of to work one day a week. Tony will be course, been the numerous assemblies missed by boys and staff alike - Days, he has given so much to the on racing drivers, racing cars, racing except for his puns maybe. School. He is the one we in the maths circuits and determined attempts to MJS department have always turned to for break any number of land speed advice or confirmation. Tony is, JOHN KENDALL him, long before the phrase became to travel north the next day. fashionable, every child did matter. I Somewhere else’s loss was very am sure that generations of BGS boys definitely Bury Grammar School’s remember him with enormous gain, for John Kendall has given affection. outstanding service over the last 33 France, of course, is the love of years. His early responsibilities John’s life and there are few places included being in charge of that he has not visited in his extensive reprographics and the tuck shop, in travels in that country. As a student both of which areas his efficiency and he worked as an assistant in south- common-sense approach led to west France. In the summer of 1976 significant improvements. he participated in the Bury town With the arrival of Keith Richards exchange visit to Angoulême and in in 1990 and the creation of the posts of Heads of Section, John was subsequent years accompanied appointed Head of Lower School various French department trips to with responsibility for the pastoral Normandy, Paris, Versailles, Alsace care of some 300 boys in years 1 to 3, and Provence. John took over a post which he held until more responsibility for the French trips in recent reorganisation led to the An Old Boy of Burnley G.S and 1992 and continued right up until appointment of separate Heads of alumnus of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, 2006 to organise holidays in many Year. It was in this role that he truly John Kendall joined the French parts of France, including the Loire came into his own. He always made it department in September 1975, but it Valley and the Alps as well as the his business to get to know all the was largely thanks to our often much areas mentioned above. Every year boys in his care, and he never passed maligned postal services that he did his French holidays were fully a boy in the corridor without not go elsewhere, for the letter subscribed and hundreds of boys speaking to him, occasionally giving inviting him to come for interview have fond memories of the happy a reprimand, if needed, but more was incorrectly addressed, bearing no times they spent on what was often often than not a cheery greeting. town, only the street and the county, their first visit to the country. Although a huge success as Head of Oxfordshire. Somehow the letter In more recent years, John Lower School, John would have been found him in Wantage, where he was organised the joint BGSB and BGSG equally effective as Head of Middle doing teaching practice, just in time sixth form exchange visits to Dijon School or Head of Sixth Form; for for him to make hasty arrangements which have proved to be of such 8
  9. 9. the other great love of his life; a fine enormous value to our older students. John Kendall certainly made a super- pianist and sometime cellist, his In 1998, John was appointed Head sized contribution to the life of BGS, musical knowledge is extensive. He of French and led the department by but for this writer arguably his has been a leading figure in Bury example for the last 10 years. As a greatest talent was that of giving an Choral Society for many years and if French teacher John has no equals. assembly. Taking his inspiration from he is not at home when you call, the Someone once said he was the best a wide range of sources, from offbeat chances are that he will be at his French teacher in England, a newspaper articles to the beloved Bridgewater Hall. His statement difficult to prove, but you masterpieces of classical music, John contribution to the musical life of the would have to go a long way to find constructed assemblies which were School is unparalleled. For over 30 someone not only with the subject vastly entertaining, laced with years he has been the mainstay of the knowledge, but with the imagination, humour, ranging from the sublime to tenor section of the Choral Society, the sense of humour, the ability to the ridiculous, but always carrying a appearing in countless productions, control a class, and the sheer serious message, which often in including Ruddigore, Pirates of determination to get the best out of recent years related to rights and Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, boys that John has shown in the responsibilities. His assemblies had Yeomen of the Guard, which he also classroom throughout his career. Year something for everyone, from the 11- produced on another occasion, and in, year out, for a third of a century, year old on the front row to the Orpheus in the Underworld. his pupils have achieved excellent wizened old cynics in the staff seats. Apart from the big productions, he results. Generations of BGS boys In his hands assembly-giving became also provided excellent entertainment have been grateful to him for having an art form. as compere of an Old Time Music pushed them to their limits. John Kendall truly has been a Mrs. Georghiou referred to John colossus in all the areas in which he Hall evening held in the Girls’ School earlier this year as “The Colossus of has contributed to the life of BGS and many years ago. He performed in Founders’ Day”. She was lamenting I am sure that all who have been innumerable concerts and he will be the fact that he would not be present privileged to work with or learn from sorely missed in the Choral Society. at the Junior School Service, because him will wish him, as I do, a long, A colossus of Founders’ Day, a he was singing in the choir at the happy and healthy retirement. gargantuan presence in the classroom, Parish Church. Music, of course, is DAW the Placido Domingo of the choir, MICHAEL BYRNE standing ambition to play alongside the resolve and determination that his son John who, at 17, was a was to see him establish himself as a regular member of the same team. highly-regarded member of the Bury At an even higher level of Grammar School Boys’ Common achievement stands his contribution Room. to the legendary staff football team Michael actually joined the where he and the aforementioned Mr School in 1989, following several Sherlock formed the heart of the years’ teaching at Elton Primary hardest and meanest defence ever to School. He became a Transitus form grace the battlefields of Buckley master, under the leadership of the Wells and the Astroturf. late Mr. T. H. Hill. Having He was just as ready to don specialised in Geography at the City spotless cricketing flannels when Mr of Manchester College, Michael Kozuira resurrected the Casuals, the brought both specialist knowledge staff cricketing XI, some years ago. and a high academic level to his His slow right arm over the wicket classroom. After the Junior School proved a thorn in the side of many an became a separate entity in 1992, opposing batsman. He was a much- Michael was appointed Deputy Mr. Michael Byrne retired from his valued member of the side which Headmaster, a post which he held for post in the Junior School at the end of went on to lift the hugely prestigious a short time before relinquishing it, the academic year, 2008. Manchester Tax League Shield in and continuing as the respected form Michael was a late entrant to 1998 when the Casuals were at the master of Exitus Scarlet for the teaching. Following his early height of their powers. remainder of his career. education at Thornleigh College, Within the Junior School, Michael When Michael came to the School Bolton, he had joined the civil has the reputation of being a first-rate he began to play for the Old Boys’ service, and had worked there for a coach of Association Football: many football team. In the season 1993-4 he played in the 3rd team, alongside considerable period before deciding of the trophies currently gracing the on a change of career. In itself, that Junior School Trophy Cabinet were Mike Sherlock and Peter Kozuira, cannot have been an easy decision, as won regularly under his tutelage. that won the Lancashire Amateur Michael had three children still at Michael also coached Cricket and League title, winning every away home, but it is, perhaps, a measure of Athletics, but his strongest interest game. Michael achieved a long- 9
  10. 10. local concerts. This passion for the displays on matters as diverse as the has always been the theatre. In 1990, performing arts extended to many plays of Shakespeare and the popular in conjunction with Mr. David Lee, other areas: he is now a regular culture of 1960s England. Members Michael produced the Senior School attender at the annual Edinburgh of his form have always found him an play, Animal Farm. Thereafter, he Festival, with its hugely diverse range ideal model for life: well organised followed it up with several of acts and art forms, whilst his and firmly disciplined, yet always memorable Junior School dedication to radio comedy reached a sympathetic to an individual boy’s productions, in partnership with Mr. zenith when he was able to attend a worries and problems, always as John Edwards, the then Head of live performance of Radio 4’s I’m much a friend as a member of staff. Music. He has taken great pride in Sorry I haven’t a Clue shortly before From my personal point of view, the success which his daughter, Michael has been a cheerful and an Elianne, has enjoyed in pursuing a the death of its revered chairman, enthusiastic colleague. I have professional career on the stage. Humphrey Littleton. Michael’s ever- appreciated his ready assistance in The sports field and the stage are ready, razor-sharp wit always had the whatever task, and I shall continue to just two of the widely contrasting best of role models. value his friendship. It is for me to facets of a highly cultivated and all- Michael has always been a first offer Michael, his wife, Diane, and round man. He has a love of rate form master and subject teacher. their family our very best wishes, and literature, and has been able to Those boys whom he has taught have it is for us all to hope that Michael transmit this to many of the boys in always found his enthusiasm himself will have many years of his charge. He is also a keen listener infectious and inspiring, whatever the peace and prosperity in which to to music, particularly the popular lesson, whatever the topic being enjoy his retirement. styles of the ‘60s and other ‘pre- taught. The walls of his form room PGN historic’ decades, and was often to be have constantly borne testimony of found in the audience at a variety of his ever-imaginative approach with SANDRA GLANCY shampooer she had brought from particularly determined and “bossy” home! Head Girl. Thwarted in her first In September 1994 she assumed ambition of becoming a ballet dancer, responsibility for school publicity, Sandra studied at the University of securing very full coverage in the Nottingham for her B.Ed and was Bury Times when she realised that awarded the Wortley Prize in the secret to publication was to Education. There have always been provide the copy herself! In many strings to this lady’s bow. September 1995 BGS acquired its Clearly a talented dancer and an first female House Master when accomplished singer, Sandra has a Sandra succeeded John Bisson in passion for poetry and the expressive Hulme House. Sandra led the House arts but less well known is her to considerable success. Only last interest in Indian bead-making! June were we reminded of the Since September 1992 Sandra has passion and enthusiasm she brought been a permanent member of staff to that post as she cheered Hulme and she became full-time the competitors home in the School following year. In 1993 she became Athletics Sports. a 4th year form tutor – a position she In January 1992 John Darling was In 1998 she relinquished has filled with distinction ever since. unwell. We needed supply cover. responsibility for Hulme House in Sandra’s style is idiosyncratic – The response to our adverts was not order to become School Librarian. references to “Lawrie’s café”, encouraging – the man with the She soon stamped her own mark questions about whether an offender psychology degree who said, “I love upon that august institution, seeing might value his knee-caps and reading history books,” was perhaps her task as raising the profile of the appeals, often falling on deaf ears, to the least bad. Then came the phone Library and, that most difficult of all chivalry etc. call from a lady in Whitefield who tasks, persuading teenage boys to Sandra has never shied away from had recently resigned from a rather read. hard work. She had been allocated high powered post in Rochdale. She introduced special days and what is now UP as a form room. She Sandra was exactly what we events. The “Bug Man”, writing asked me what needed to be done needed – a gifted and experienced workshops, Carnegie shadowing over the summer and I told her that, teacher who was available exercises and various “meet the since resources were stretched, the immediately. Bury Grammar School Author” days, perhaps the most cleaning staff would probably not get has benefited from her enthusiasm, impressive being when, allegedly, we around to giving the room a thorough talent, wit and sheer professionalism had a visit from ex-SAS soldier Andy bottoming. I thought no more about ever since. McNab - although, since no this but towards the end of the A native of Bolton, she attended photographs were allowed and since holiday I discovered Sandra in her Smithills Grammar School where no pictures of him are in the public marigolds wielding a Vax carpet- Tony Young, her junior, remembers a 10
  11. 11. usually able to defuse even the most is denied access to food. Two domain, we only have Mrs Glancy’s difficult of situations. examples will serve: word that the hunk who so impressed On a personal note. I could not i) Arras, Northern France, at the the ladies in the office was who he have wished for a better colleague. end of an exhausting and somewhat claimed to be! Sandra has been a rock. Always a emotional day. We find a baker’s One of the two landmark good listener, always having time. shop, shortly before closing time. developments in this school in the Sandra’s strong Christian faith clearly Mrs Glancy declares her desire for past decade has been the Learning underpins her actions. She has real pizza, she is outmanoeuvred by Resource Centre. Sandra’s values to which she always adheres. Richard Johnson who purchases the contribution to the detailed planning Hers is a practical Christianity – she one remaining slice. Feet are and launch of this showpiece was belongs to “the church militant” and stamped, knee caps threatened but immense. Sandra is probably the only member our Economist friend munches away Nevertheless all the above pales of our Common Room in the in oblivion – probably very fortunate into insignificance beside her Mothers’ Union. She is a keen not to be despatched there. contribution to the History gardener and has a passion for the ii) The train home after a 6th Department. When John Darling did outdoors. She embraces the arts and Form History & Politics trip. Mrs return, briefly, he did not know what enjoys travel but, above all, she looks Glancy had entrusted her M&S tuna had hit us! On the day of the GCSE out for people. pasta salad to a boy earlier in the day. exam he came to me in a rather Sandra Glancy has played a When she asked him for the meal it perplexed state – “Sandra’s enthusing massive role in the life of this school had gone. Nothing could be done to about the ‘Stimulus material’,” he over the past 16 years. It is not an placate Madame – the journey home said. “What does she mean?” understatement to say that she will be was hellish as she resurrected all the “I think you will find she means missed hugely. She goes with our hurt and bitterness of the Arras pizza the map!” love and our very best wishes for a incident. She has played a welcome part in long, healthy, happy and fulfilling So, just a brief insight into many School trips. All who have retirement. Sandra’s time in BGSB. Never a dull spent time with Sandra will readily DEA moment, never afraid to take on even acknowledge what an agreeable the most awkward of young men – companion she is. Until, that is, she TONY HARRISON listed for me in great detail in order (staff) were a bit mad. You could talk to write this article. I shall be giving to him like a normal person.’ It’s a faithful account of his many funny how Old Boys’ memories of contributions to School life, just in school are so often distorted and case anyone was unaware of his unreliable. In 1990 Tony was dedication and unbounded selfless promoted to Head of General Studies energy. and Coordinator of Friday Activities. In 1983, Tony became manager- He was also appointed as Chairman coach of the U15 Football Team. He of the Anglo-Israeli Committee, but was an inspirational figurehead and by whom remains a mystery. The steered his side to many victories; he workings of this body was never stepped down in 1994, a man still at really made public and this has led to the top of his game. The 1980s was much rumour and speculation – the decade of the yuppie (young wholly without foundation, Mr When I arrived at BGS in 1989, Tony upwardly–mobile professional), and Harrison maintains. Harrison was already well Tony…..well….. he became editor of Tony has contributed a great deal established. In post for an impressive The Clavian and Staff Liaison Officer to School productions over the years. six years, which in those days was a with the JCR Committee, roles which He directed several plays: A Servant quarter of my lifespan, he had of Two Masters (1985), the eerily demanded much of his time for the decided to take up a position at BGS titled Harvey (1987), Oliver (1995) best part of five years. Many Old in September 1983, instead of a place and A Midsummer Night’s Dream Boys who were at school between at Oxford University to read for an (2004). Every other year he has been 1985 and 2007 will remember Mr MPhil in English Literature; a involved backstage as props or stage Harrison as their Form Master in the sensible decision at last (Je ne manager. The amount of time and fourth and fifth years; a caring and regrette rien) after squandering much energy needed to make a success of approachable figure, greatly of the 70s as a disaffected computer these productions is phenomenal, respected. I met an Old Boy at a programmer. especially when the teaching load is wedding a few years ago, and His First Class at maximum level. Tony’s shows chatting about the old days (I Honours from Lancaster University were always of the highest standard; desperately trying to remember his in English (1982) confirmed there was a real sense of name) he asked whether ‘Harrison’ suspicions that Antony Harrison was professionalism, as one might expect was ‘still there’. I said that he was. brighter than he was letting on. from an MA in TV and Radio ‘He was all right, Harrison was,’ Tony has an impressive record of Scriptwriting (Salford University) mused the Old Boy, ‘a lot of ‘em achievement at BGS, which he has 11
  12. 12. and a member of The Royal glory days of the Piccadilly Marathon his outstanding talents for all this Exchange Theatre Writers’ Exchange. (1989) which he completed in a time, and it is no surprise that he feels Tony has written many plays (as scorching 3hrs 30mins. Tony is also the need to explore new possibilities. many as E. Wise, in fact) and we are good at golf, playing off an enviable He intends to read for a PhD and is grateful that he has kept them largely handicap of 14. Apart from literature seeking teaching opportunities in to himself and not tried to give them and sport, Tony has a serious interest Higher Education. I would not be an airing via the annual school in film. He will watch hours and surprised to see some of Tony’s work production. hours of arty nonsense as well as in print or on stage in the near future. Tony has always been about a proper ones with proper actors. Tony As Danny Boon in Billy Liar would decade and a bit ahead of me in age. also loves music: Dylan, Sinatra, say: ‘Good luck …..and remember …..keep writing!’ Tony isn’t a bit He provided me with a positive role Springsteen (when in acoustic mode), like that loser, Billy Fisher, though. model of what life was going to be and many others. Just need to make that quite clear. like in my thirties, and then in my The best thing about working with forties and so on. I lost interest in Tony is his sense of fun. In a school LWR 2005 when Tony had a hip such as BGS there is plenty of raw replacement. The operation was material to inspire humour, and this successful, but Tony must now accept has kept us going through some that his best running days are over. pretty tough times. So what now for However, he can look back on the Tony? BGS has been lucky to secure CAROLE STIRZAKER charge. Failsworth School, teaching mainly In particular the boys who have French with some Spanish. Whilst at studied A level French with her have Failsworth she also worked as invariably profited from her absolute examinations officer, and was Head mastery of her subject and many have of Sixth Form and Head of French. grown to share her enthusiasm for When Failsworth lost its Sixth Form and understanding of French Carole decided, since she did not literature largely through her want to lose the sixth form teaching, inspiring teaching. A recent, to move. In 1991 Failsworth’s loss particularly talented set of students was BGS’s certain gain. were rewarded for the spectacular Whilst at BGS Carole fulfilled a progress several of them had made in large number of roles: at various their studies by being rewarded, not times a form tutor of first, second and only with the customary Mars bars, third forms, a teacher of French which formed a regular prize for throughout the School and Latin and deserving pupils, but also by being German to younger boys, GCSE introduced to the murkiest depths of examinations officer, flower arranger Carole Stirzaker, or Carole Johnson the subjunctive mood – a higher extraordinaire, a lion tamer on as she was known, is an Old Girl of accolade could not be imagined! holidays in France and Belgium, and, the School, or at least the female She has wrestled (wo)manfully last but not least, Chairman of the branch, having attended BGSB under and successfully with the increasing Common Room. A goodly list of the formidable leadership of Miss intricacies of the examination system, responsibilities held, but such a list Lester, who was known as the Queen tiers of entry, extra time, new by itself can give only an incomplete to the girls. Whilst at BGSG Carole regulations, and has been a model of idea of the person who has performed met Mark Stirzaker, who was in the efficiency, ensuring that the the tasks. So what can be said about male branch, and later became Mrs S. examination season runs smoothly. Carole? First of all, that she has The family connections with BGS do The whole operation now seems to always taken all her responsibilities not of course end there: the present offer the logistical nightmares of a seriously and discharged them writer remembers teaching Mark’s full-scale military campaign, but conscientiously and effectively. younger brother, Ian, in the Sixth Major Stirzaker has been more than Whether dealing with spotty Form, and it is only three years ago equal to the task. adolescents, who are not always the that Carole and Mark’s son, Richard, She has never been a lady lacking easiest of beasts, at times are completed his time at BGS before in courage, a fact amply downright awkward, or with going up to Cambridge. But to return demonstrated two years ago upon the members of the Common Room, who to Carole: she read French at retirement of a couple of are not always the easiest of beasts, at Southampton University, considered distinguished members of staff. Such times downright awkward, she has getting a job in industry – indeed she events have traditionally been been understanding, usually patient obtained a post as “technical marked by the resurrection of the and firmly polite. She has taught computer programmer” with Plessey Mastersingers, the staff choir, to French very successfully at all levels, Electronics which she never took up perform a specially dedicated musical and has been concerned to get the – but then teacher trained, before item. Carole had been begged by a very best out of the boys in her returning north to spend 10 years at 12

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