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Share Your Memories of Royds Hall

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Anita Taylor - 1969 to 1974

My first day in an over large uniform. Richmond house swimming gala at Cambridge road baths. Speech day at the town hall, the school song taught by Mr Ward , Swooning over mr Cleary and hating hockey! Art lessons on the big benches. All my old friends who will never b forgotten. Cold days spent huddled in the playground. My grandfather went to Royds with his friend Harold also his namesake who later became prime minister. Many happy years !!!!!

posted on Sunday 16th Feb 2014 at 09:34 PM

Joyce Vanderpost - 1932 to 1938

I attended Royds Hall from September 1932 to June 1938.  My name then was Joyce Calvert.

I have a photo of my Form One class, with our homeroom teacher Mrs. Bamforth who was a widow, as married women teachers weren't allowed in those days.  I think we were the first co-ed school in Huddersfield.

Would you be interested in hearing how it was pre WWII?  Our uniforms (for girls) consisted of a brown tunic, brown blazer with blue trim, brown and blue striped tie, brown stockings and shoes, and in winter a brown velour hat. 
In summer we wore a brown dress with a Panama hat.  Rival schools, such as the Greenhead “butcher boys” called us the “chocolate dollies.”

Through the main entrance of Royds Hall were gates and a gatekeeper’s house.  On part of the big playing field were Quonset huts housing, during 1932-33, Basque refugees from the Spanish Civil War.  Our gymnasium was in the old coach house.  We used Quonset huts edging on the quadrangle for classes in home economics and biology.  There was a glass corridor from the old mansion to the first new wing.

Room B in the old mansion was Form Six’s domain.  There the prefects ruled the roost.  Do they still have prefects?  In the beautiful hall of the old school was an impressive staircase under which the prefects had a “tuck shop” for the students.  There was a walled garden with beautiful big trees, called the “fairy garden,” at the rear of the Quonset huts.  I have some photos of the garden.

As for activities, there were 1st eleven and 2ndeleven girls’ field hockey teams, sports days, and tennis, netball and soccer teams.   The school was divided into
“houses” - we had White, Red, Blue and Green Houses.  Do they still?  Also, we put on plays, musical events and had parties and dances.  The Form Six published a booklet each year called Ave et Vale (Hail and Farewell).  This was kind of a yearbook with news about the school.  Form Six students also used to study in the attic of the old mansion, and sunbathe on the roof (against all the rules of course).

We celebrated Empire Day with an assembly, flags, and sang patriotic songs. Remembrance Day was very solemn, almost like a service.  In those days the whole town came to a halt to commemorate with two minutes of silence.

I remember a number of other things including the caretaker peeling potatoes at the back of the old mansion and storing them in water in a bathtub outside.  The charitable Cinderella Society asked the students to donate toys for the poor children of Huddersfield. Students walked to school or came by tram or train – there were no school buses.

There was a diphtheria epidemic (in 1933 I believe).  Many students were admitted  to the Fever Hospital and some died.  Carriers also were put in isolation in the hospital.

There were also student exchange groups, including a very “traumatic” one in 1936 or 37 involving German students.

Teachers I remember: Miss Isaacs, Mr. Diggle, Miss Boden,
Miss L. Cookson and Miss E. Cookson, Miss Brown, Mr. Bates, Mr. Selley, Mr. Rice, Mr. Gobat, Mr. Wilson, Miss Whelan, Miss Bishop, Miss Foreshaw, Miss Carew and Mr. Gurney the Headmaster.

As for me, I went to Maria Grey College in London in 1938, taught school during the war, emigrated to Canada in 1947 to marry my Dutch fiancee.  I
flew to Canada in a Lancaster bomber.   I have lived in Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario and have a son and a daughter.  I am 92 years old and have enjoyed being able to reminisce here.

posted on Wednesday 6th Mar 2013 at 05:49 PM

Gary Kershaw - 1951 to 1956

Initiation consisted of being forced into an underground passage which led under a grating where older boys above shook sods and dirt on us. I think it was closed off the year after.

Soon discovered I was bored to tears with history and Mr James. Used to do homework for the other classes during history.

Much anticipation of the school trip to Luxembourg, a most enjoyable time on my first trip outside the country.

Found out how mean certain teachers could be (only two of them).

Giggles in Mr Newton's class making whistling noises so he'd fiddle with his hearing aid. I don't know how he did it, but I had no grasp of maths at all until one day in his class, it was as if a switch came on in my head and I suddenly understood it and began to enjoy it. Thanks Pete.

Struggling with tenses and cases in German. Only lasted one year.

Being falsely accused of throwing girls into the holly bush and summoned to Dan's office and given two pages of French to learn by heart.

Can't count how many columns of log tables I had to add up in as punishment in Mr Smith's class.

Doris Norris going on strike and refusing to teach the class.

Permission to have an unsupervised music club at lunch time by Mr Raymond. Lasted a week until he found us playing rock'n'roll on the gramophone.

Made a lifelong friend, we still email each other daily.

posted on Wednesday 28th Mar 2012 at 09:21 PM

Christine Browne - 1953 to 1960

40 years on when afar and asunder, parted are those who are singing today. Will they look back and forgetfully wonder what they were like in their work and their play?

Indeed they will!!

They all say also "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". My experience at Royds Hall was "all play and no work". I left with no GCE's but ended up in France as Sales Manager in an association of Electrical Engineers. I have happy memories of sneaking out of school after lunch (strictly forbidden) to go to the pond in the allotments behind the tennis courts.

Getting Saturday morning detentions regularly (with 2/3 friends).

The WHOLE class being kept down an extra year for bad results.

The class getting forgotten in the "attic" on a day when everyone was sent home because of fog.

A French teacher who used to throw our satchels out of the window if they were in the aisles. He also had a plug on a length of wire which he swung round his head.

A lady gym teacher who kept loosing her dentures. Our headmistress Ms Bamforth who we called "Beaky".

I also remember being so cold in winter with our thin uniforms and ankle socks in the snow. We used to hide in the toilets at break-time but always got thrown out by the prefects who then barricaded the doors to stop us getting back in.

All in all I must have learned some things in between all these "play times". Such happy memories - I would go back any day!

posted on Friday 2nd Mar 2012 at 10:30 AM

Tony Wrathall - 1948 to 1953

When you read this you will realise that I was not the top drawer material that Royds Hall was looking for. My main achievements included breaking bounds on numerous occasions without being caught and avoiding both evening and Saturday morning detention yet never getting the cane. Here are a few of my memories, at least the ones I want to put to paper.

Hearing the shout "Stop running boy", then being led along by the ear by Godfrey Evans. How do you manage to inflict so much pain through an earlobe?

Being sent to stand outside of the class by Miss Bishop, only to be harangued by Beaky Bamford.

Mr Wilson checking the class register for a Silas Marner, not realising that it was a book.

Mr Wilson’s comment in my school report; "Does not know East from West, a distinct disadvantage in geography.

Getting an ‘A’ for drama from Mr Chippendale for appearing in the school play. I think everyone who had the bravery to appear in it got one.

Mr Poulter continually falling asleep in woodwork class.

Mr Poulter giving me and David Whitworth a pigeon each when he thought we were keen on keeping pigeons. Neither could fly and one only had one leg. Hard to imagine them breeding, but it was a nice gesture.

Mr Marshall’s Manx Norton. A really great guy with or without the bike.

Playing cricket for the school team when not banned for some other misdemeanour.

Running the 100 yards for the school at the inter school sports.

Ducking out of the cross country run by hiding when out of sight of the school, then rejoining when all the runners had passed on the way back.

Standing outside Dan Gurney's study on so many occasions expecting to get the cane. Fortunately I never did.

In spite of all this I have to thank Royds Hall and particularly the teachers for having the diligence and tenacity to force an education into me despite all my efforts to avoid one, and giving me a good grounding for my later career.

posted on Tuesday 20th Sep 2011 at 03:00 PM

Michael Wood - 1966 to 1972

Chippy amazing the whole class by quoting TRex and how it wasn’t real music.

Singing the solo "Follow Up" at Town Hall speech days.

Playing rugby in the snow urged on by Mr. Capper.

Trips to Llangollen with Taffy Jones & sometimes even seeing a performance!

Mr. Marshalls painful knack of twisting your ear.

Mr. James aiming chalk at sleeping pupils.

Mr. Smith trying to get order in assembly with people fainting daily!

Walking through Greenhead Park en route to Cambridge Rd. baths for the swimming gala. (Come On Richmond House!)

The wooden lockers in the glass corridor (Walk Don’t Run Boy!)

Watching 1st man on walking the moon on a telly in the science lab.

Lessons in the quadrangle on hot sunny days - climbing out through the big window in the library.

Being put up against the air raid shelter walls & pelted by snowballs. (Wearing short trousers)

Walking in the rain up to the old house for Tech Drawing lessons with the girls upstairs cooking buns in domestic science.

Learning the Gay Gordon, Barn Dance etc. for the annual Christmas dance.

Screechy violins & my equally squeaky clarinet in Mussorgski's Great Gates of Kiev.

Girls swooning on the arrival of new teacher Mr. Creary.

Watching Mr. Ling manoeuvre his steering wheel with his prosthetic hand.

Blocking up the showers in the bottom corridor changing rooms to form a pool.

Furtive forays to The Angel to try and get serve beer.

The ice-cream guy (Bernard) that used to park at the school gates (Luck Lane side) and cadging broken chocolate wafers off him.

posted on Tuesday 6th Sep 2011 at 02:36 PM

Comfort Awoyemi nee Awoyemi - 1969 to 1970

Can remember playing ball on the field with the guys (was such a tomboy then) and taking dancing, drama and music classes! These I'm sure has influenced my life career as a lecturer in dramatic and gender studies.

Up The Royds Hall!

posted on Sunday 4th Sep 2011 at 10:17 PM

Martin Caufield - 1979 to 1984

Losing 8-0 in the final of the school's football cup competition against Honley (I think!) in thick fog and lashing rain - Mr Mullany kept our spirits up and reminded us of how much of an achievement it had been to get there against some great local school teams (some had players who went on to make it professionally - Andy Thackeray, Norman Bernard). It must have been 1980 or 1981 although my memory has somewhat faded since! Great days and fantastic that this legendary football coach is back at the school doing a spot of gardening ("horticulture" I believe is today's term however!!).... I've still got my runner's up medal too.

posted on Sunday 7th Aug 2011 at 03:53 AM

Dave Whitworth - 1948 to 1954

I arrived at Royds in September 1948 from Crosland Moor County School and, fortunately, managed to evade being thrown through the dreaded holly bush with many of the other ‘scruffs’, as we newcomers were called.

In the spring of the following year I contracted scarlet fever and was incarcerated for several weeks in Mill Hill hospital.  As a result I missed the exams and had to be content with being in the ‘B’ stream for the next two years.  Then, at beginning of the fourth year, to address an imbalance in the numbers, the top three ‘B’ stream pupils were moved into the ‘A’ stream.  Happily I was one of them and went into form 4A.

One of my very early memories is of arriving at school late after assembly had started.  Benny Barker, who used to be at the windows end of the platform, spotted me walking up Victory Avenue and took me to task when he later saw me in the corridor.  He said that if he saw me that late again he would ‘bang my head against the wall’, though that might have been in response to my attitude in receiving his admonishment.  However, I don’t think I was that late again! 

When the time round for the GCE exams I was not considered fit to be entered so I had to come back for another year in the fifth form.  I then passed six out of the eight subjects, failing Geography and English Literature.  They had never been my favourite subjects but Eng. Lit. did leave me with a love of poetry which I still enjoy.

Art was always my best subject, particularly after Derek Marshall arrived on the scene.  It was the Manx Norton, on which he used travel to school, that sparked in me a passion for motorcycles that I still have to this day.  I seem to recall that he said he could set off back to his home near Newcastle at 4pm after lessons finished on a Friday, a journey of over a hundred miles, and arrive in time to take his young son down to watch the 6 o‘clock express pass nearby.  I had originally intended to take up a career in art but, in my final year, I decided that I really wanted to be an engineer which is what I eventually became.

posted on Monday 25th Jul 2011 at 10:00 AM

Ian Baxter - 1949 to 1954

1  1st day memory - catching the No 90 trolley bus at Longroyd Bridge and sitting opposite two other boys in new school uniform.  We then walked up to the school together.  Later that day all new boys were all thrown into the Holly Bush.  I have not seen one of these since the day I left school, but am in contact as recently as last month with the other who now lives in the home counties.

2  2nd year - Form 2DW shared classroom attic 1 with 'Horace'.  If you don't know who 'Horace' is I can explain!

3  Sometime in 1951 a young man arrived at the school just before 9-00 AM on a Manx Norton racing motorcycle.  This was ex Beaufighter pilot Derek Marschall who had ridden down from Sunderland to take up his new appointment as Art Master at the school.

4  3rd year - Disappointed that I could no longer study German as I needed to take Chemistry for my chosen career.  My end of year examination results that had previously been near the top of the set dropped badly in my last German exam due to lack of motivation.

4  A morning in June 1953.  Went to Honley Grammar School (where they had better jumping pits than Royds) for the Inter School Sports jumping events but did not get a good result.  Later in the day I won the Middles boys half-mile race on the cricket field at Fartown wearing the No 7 team number of Royds Hall.  At the end of the sports I was asked to receive the trophy won by the Royds Hall middles boys team.  Does the school still have this plaque?

5.  Mr 'Chemmy' Clarke closing all the windows in the Chemistry lab. on the bottom floor to teach the 5th form Chemistry set not to fill the room with Chlorine gas.

6  10-18 April 1954 to Paris with a school party from the 4th, 5th and 6th forms for a week just before Easter.  I have some tatty photographs of this but all the original large format roll-film negatives.

7 May 1954 Great excitement amongst the athletics fraternity that the 4 minute barrier for the mile had at last been broken by Roger Bannister.

8  July 1954  Left Royds Hall with regret and no unhappy memories.

9.  August 1954 returned to the school for my GCE results which were passes in all the 8 subjects I had taken.  This was more than the standard required for entry into studies for most of the professions at that time.  Went on to Huddersfield College of Technology to study for the Associateship of the Textile Institute, a degree equivalent professional qualification, followed by a 50 year involvement in several sections of the Textile Industries.

posted on Friday 10th Jun 2011 at 12:08 PM

lola sarge - 04/09/2006 to 24/09/2010

I have so many good memories of this school and miss it so much. The teachers are fantastic and were a pleasure to have :-) I am grateful to have actually been a part of the school x

posted on Sunday 5th Jun 2011 at 05:41 AM

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