The Prescotian Webzine

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I started very soon after the end of the 1914-18 unpleasantness, my father having been invalided out just before the Armistice and I have a quite vivid memory of my interview with the formidable 'Richie'. My elementary education had been purely and simply the 3R's and, although I was completely unable to point out Hull on that wall map behind his desk, my high speed reading turned the scale and I was 'in'. He was, of course, a native of Hull but was born for PGS of which he was very proud - and he made us proud of it, too.

Woe betide any boy going without his school cap and tie in or out of school hours, including weekends. He did his best to persuade us to call him 'Red lamp' but we stuck rigidly to 'Richie' or, very occasionally, 'Dick'.

His Staff was all female. Dorothy Huckle was a member of a local family with a house in the middle of Khowsley Park where Sunday Tennis Parties were a feature. Dora Hilburn was a pink and white Durham graduate with a marked tendency to blush at the slightest embarrassment, e.g. when Richie came into the room. These two ladies stayed for quite a long time after the men appeared and Dora later married Frank Bailey. After his death, years later, she started a private school which was very much better than most of its type. Miss EM Button, I remember in the Assembly Rooms and possibly in Harland's chip shop next door to the pub at the corner of Hope Street. The remainder of the staff were the Misses Dalglish and Gladys Ainge who taught the classes from IVa upwards - much to the delight of the lecherous lot in Vb in the case of the latter!

Physical Training was taken by a tough but pleasant type named, I think, Jones who used to appear in a blue and white soccer jersey which, when asked, he said was Reading strip. The Central Hall in Chapel St was used for music when Fred Stevenson came, although his speciality was Geography. 1 do not remember ever doing the geography of England but I was able to tell the Americans quite a lot about the USA when I went there in 1968. 'Wee Willie' Whitworth came back from the War and is well remembered for his oft-repeated joke about the man who went to Paris and complained bitterly that he was never allowed to board a tram going to COMPLET. Herbert Chant was an early arrival after the War and Dora Milburn greeted him with a tremendous blush when he cane for his interview. I worked in London for fifteen years and met his son, John, on the tube but there was not much time to talk. C L Soar also arrived but I have a feeling he died young. He was different from the rest of the staff in same ways and was very popular with the boys. Joe Hammond was a classical scholar of the first order and a firm but fair disciplinarian (although I still do not know why he sent me off the field when I stopped the ball with my hand in a Founders' Day match) incidentally, did PGS invent Six-a-Side Soccer - do you remember Soccer sixes?

Everyone remembers Ernest Croft Wood - and no wonder! He was understood to have been on Bolton Wanderers books as an amateur but, fact or not, the older boys - even those from rugby families took him to their hearts. (ECW was, I think, a Balliol man. Ed). JJ Robinson was another pleasant type who went to Tower College when he retired. Others who arrived in my time were Fred Bailey, JE Hawthorne and George Drewry who started swimming lessons and had such to do with the establishment of Sports Day.

I could go on at length about my particular friends and our fight to have Rugby added to the sports available, but I feel that I have taken up enough of your tune, so may I please plagiarise Lady Godiva's words at the end of her famous ride when she said, "Thank God I have reached my close."


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