Pupil Arrivals and Departures in the 1950s and 1960s
 
 
 
The path to School from the Green Gate. 
 
"Then pictures of our lovely, envied grounds come into my mind. I see them transformed into a fairyland in winter. The branches and delicate twigs of the huge trees suddenly form lacy patterns with pure, soft snow. The plot between the two paths to School is ceaselessly beautiful. It makes a carpet for the frail, shy snowdrops, then come the triumphant golden daffodils, and the deep, glorious colour of masses of bluebells and the warm gold and mauve of overwhelming beauty, the honey suckle, roses, rhododendrons, the stately waving borders of lupins and delphiniums, and the wild beauty of the quarry from its tall shrubs and trees to the daisies which cover the lawn. Memories of all these flowers rush into my mind. I can see them in the brilliant sunshine, under cloudless skies and also standing brave and firm on warm, wet, dark days when the sombre, heavy green of the trees and lawns form an entirely different background."
A.K.J. 1938


 

 

MY FIRST DAY AT H.G.S.
What a wonderful day to start a new school.
In uniform neat, for that is the rule.
Frightened yet thrilled at what I might find,
Hoping that new friends and teachers are kind.
The faces of children were all very new,
As I gazed around in the dinner queue.
My satchel then was empty and bare,
But lots of books now repose there.
And I know in my heart what I must do.
Work very hard and be one of the few,
The G.C.E. to try to pass.
LABOR IPSE VOLUPTAS.

 Joyce Gibson. 1B. Talbot.

 How was your first day? 

 
 

On my very first assembly in 1955, Mr. Walker was on the stage in his teaching gown as we entered the Hall (gym). That first day was quite an experience. HGS seemed immense and the Prefects were huge. They stood at the side of the Hall while we sat at the front on the floor. The first year boys all wore short trousers. Hard to imagine that today.
Dave McKenzie HGS (1955-62)

 
 
 

Hello David,

You asked about my thoughts of Hemsworth Grammar School. My most vivid memory is actually my very first day. I won a transfer scholarship from Kinsley Secondary School and commenced my years at Hemsworth Grammar School in January 1956. I walked through the enormous Green Gate into massive grounds that seemed to go on forever. As I walked tentatively up the drive towards the huge school building, my feelings were a mixture of pride and absolute panic. I felt so alone, and very conspicuous in my brand new school uniform. Nearing the top of the drive, I saw a young girl who looked as anxious as I was, dressed immaculately, also in a new school uniform. I can't remember now who was the first to speak, but we soon struck up a conversation and walked into school, "two new girls" together. That young girl was Ruth Ashley from Upton.sked about my thoughts of Hemsworth Grammar School. My most vivid memory is actually my very first day. I won a transfer scholarship from Kinsley Secondary School and commenced my years at Hemsworth Grammar School in January 1956. I walked through the enormous Green Gate into 
Jean Tallett
 

 

Assemblies in the school hall bring back some vivid memories. Standing there on the first day of each new school year waiting for your class list to be read out and then departing with your classmates. On my very first day at the school I had to sit there through all the 700 or so names and was one of 3 small girls left over after everyone else had departed. I wonder if Jill Andrews and Marcia Gunhouse are out there somewhere as they were the other 2 girls. We were underage entries to the school and had not been allocated to forms. A quick glance at the numbers on the lists and Mr Hamilton allocated us to 1C. This was a stroke of luck for me as 1C's form room was room 3 (behind the head's study) and it was lovely to be in one of the older parts of the building in that first year. 
Janet Thorley
 
 

I remember with some clarity my first day at school. It was a custom in those days (certainly in the South Elmsall area) for your parents to arrange with the parents of an established student, for their offspring to act as your minder on day one. My minder was Sid T. who, having escorted me from the bus stop in Moorthorpe to the school playground, abandoned me with the words 'Now off you go and look after yourself.' In the best traditions of H.G.S., I repeated the scenario the following year when I acted as minder for Bill Annabel.

Keith Twigg
 
 

Speaking of being a 'sprog' and seeing the Salvete and Valete lists on the website for the first time in years reminded me of my first morning at Hemsworth. The girls were always referred to by their Christian names and surname whereas the lads were always referred to only by their surnames. Well I'd never experienced that before and this little incident goes to show how we think the world revolves around ourselves especially when you're only 11. We were all assembled in the Dining Hall opposite the 1st year block and Mr Collette was 'marching' up and down, gown flowing and making a speech. I'd sort of drifted off and not really paying much attention as it was all going over my head. I believe he must have been telling us about the great sporting traditions of HGS. Suddenly he referred to the fact that Kenny Johnson had been picked to captain the England Schoolboy Rugby Union team, except his words were "...and Johnson has been picked to captain England at rugby..." That woke me up. I must have gone white with fear and I nearly fell off my seat in panic thinking "I don't want to captain England at rugby I've only just got here..." Of course I daren't tell anybody about this but was mighty relieved to discover that he actually meant Kenny Johnson and not me.

Fred Johnson

 
On the thought of Leaving School
 
I am leaving this July. There are just three more months of School left and then I shall be an Old Hilmian. I shall be able to come back as a visitor, chat to the Staff; wait outside, or inside, the office until the bell goes, then lean on the radiator with a superior air and watch the children hurrying by. I shall be greeted with gasps of incredulity and looks of envy - but what will be my feelings? Shall I be pleased or sad? Shall I envy those still at School, or shall I pity them? I couldn't say. I wish I knew.

Two years ago, July 1948 seemed decades away, but even so, on looking ahead, I used to think, "Ye Gods! Only two years to go! What a terribly short time." Then came the beginning of this year. Des didn't come back; George had left, Dek. went to University - Keith, Nev., and Johnny had all gone, even young Pete! But there were still Pong and Doug, and Benny, it wouldn't be so bad - or so I tried to think. I didn't succeed. School seemed lifeless. Now I began to say, "Oh, Lor'! A year, twelve whole months before I leave. I'll never last it." The Prefects' was dead. There was no pushing and scrambling, no shouts of "One off!" no grabbing for balls for the inevitable "chase 'em." We could play freely all day if we wanted.

Then the new Prefects invaded our domain and I became Head Boy. In the first flush of excitement and pride, School became interesting again. The new Prefects seemed rather less riotous than last year's but they were not the sort to allow morbid thoughts in their company. Jim, Eric, Bob, Bill and 'Wom' all contributed to the enlivened atmosphere of the rejuvenated 'Pre's' room. Then Doug left and later Benny. Gradually School slipped back into the old routine once more - but with a difference. I now had a post of greater importance, necessitating a greater interest in School affairs than previously. Nevertheless I still looked forward to the end of July.

The Christmas Holidays came, and with their going, July seemed months nearer. I began almost to count the days towards the Easter holidays. They are now only a memory - and I have begun to wonder...... I now ask myself, "Do I really want to leave?" I still answer "Yes! Seven years at the same School is enough and to spare!" But not quite so emphatically as before. I try to imagine what it must be like to be free to do as I choose while others are still at School but I find it impossible to visualise; I remember Rugger, The Prefects' Room; Sports Day; excursions and the thousand and one other joys of School life. I think of the many friends I have made - Bry, Rod, good old Nobby, Young Mac, Eric, Jim and Bill and all the rest. Shall I leave them when I leave School? I sincerely hope not.

Two or three months after the final breaking-up, I shall be going into the army, meeting new people, making new friends. That is one thing I am really looking forward to without any doubt. And so now I find I want to leave School, yet I hate the thought of losing all contact with it. Perhaps the real truth is that I want to get away from its restrictions yet still retain its amenities and be a part of its social life. Whatever the reasons, I shall soon know for certain.
Derek Wilkinson, U6A, Holgate (May 1948)

On Leaving School (Summer 1938) 

This is my "Goodbye" to School. In July I shall leave, as a pupil, for ever.The headaches and gladness it has given to me I shall never know again. To this, my sixth and last School I leave a special farewell, for it is, I suppose, the one I shall remember longest. I shall remember those first winter terms when it became dark about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and when our greatest delight was 'to have the light on', when every Wednesday we used to gather in the Hall - somehow it always seemed cosy then - to listen to 'Macbeth' when instead of 'a fanfare of trumpets' one boy gave the Scout Call on his bugle somewhere near the Physics Lab; or to 'Oliver Twist' when Mr. Runnels Moss took all the parts. How we used to look forward to Wednesday! I remember one winter term, I believe it was my first, when a thick fog lay about for a week and we had to walk home from School at night, and another time when the snow was about fourteen inches deep. It's queer to think how we used to love walking home in the fog and snow, but how we would wait half an hour for a 'bus on a fine day. The day of the Christmas holidays, we used to draw all manner of wierd designs round a magnificent 'Merry Xmas' done in every coloured chalk imaginable on the blackboard. And at the bottom always appeared something like this,

"No more Latin, no more French,
No more sitting on a cold, hard bench".
 

Then there were the film shows in the Art Room when we sat enthralled by Leni Reifenstahl in the pictures set in Switzerland and such exciting ones as 'The Key' and. 'Metropolis'. I have a glowing memory of these cheerful, eventful and exciting days.
 
Summer had its share of events too; Sports Day and its excitement; the Country Dance Festival and its gaiety and prettiness. The many people walking about the grounds, the gaily-coloured dresses under the brilliant sun which usually favoured us, the races, the tug-of-war, the exhibitions, the tennis and cricket matches, all went to make everlastingly memorable occasions.  And then the night of the Country Dance Festival with hundreds of people dancing on the Cricket Pitch, the Maypole, the Sword-Dances, the popular "Goddesses", "Picking-up-Sticks" and finally the many circles of cheery, laughing people dancing" Sellenger's Round". One summer term we saw a play, in one scene of which the couch from the Girl Prefects' Room was used. The heroine sat on it and patted it as an invitation to the hero to sit beside her. Do you remember the howls as clouds of dust rose as a result of her gentle patting? Then pictures of our lovely, envied grounds come into my mind. I see them transformed into a fairyland in winter. The branches and delicate twigs of the huge trees suddenly form lacy patterns with pure, soft snow. The plot between the two paths to School is ceaselessly beautiful. It makes a carpet for the frail, shy snowdrops, then come the triumphant golden daffodils, and the deep, glorious colour of masses of bluebells and the warm gold and mauve of overwhelming beauty, the honey suckle, roses, rhododendrons, the stately waving borders of lupins and delphiniums, and the wild beauty of the quarry from its tall shrubs and trees to the daisies which cover the lawn. Memories of all these flowers rush into my mind. I can see them in the brilliant sunshine, under cloudless skies and also standing brave and firm on warm, wet, dark days when the sombre, heavy green of the trees and lawns form an entirely different background.
 
And all these, that were once realities are now memories. Never again will these happy sights belong to me. If ever I come to School I shall be an onlooker not a partaker. Perhaps I shall wander round trying to live again the joyous hours that at once I took for granted; but everything will have changed and probably I shall be thought "just another Old Hilmian making herself a nuisance and acting as if she owned the place".
 
So, for all these memories, School, I thank you.
Audrey K. Jenkinson 6S., Price