The seasons and years quoted below are the dates obituaries first appeared in the Gazette and not necessarily the date of death
Several memorial trees have been planted in the school grounds by the association at the request of family members.
If you would like to plant a tree to commemorate a former Moseleian, either pupil or staff please contact Richard Cobb.
Who died on 14th August 2018 aged 87
Gordon attended Moseley Grammar School 1942 to 1947.
He always spoke fondly of his time at School, in fact his family found he had kept his old school tie and so dressed him in that ready for his final journey.
Gordon was one of those natural sportsman. He played rugby, cricket, swam and wasn't bad at the long jump. He later played rugby for the Old Moseleians and was also a member of Sparkhill Harriers Athletic Club claiming a personal best time of 10.3 seconds over100 yards.
Gordon started working life in the catering trade in Hereford later moving to Cheshire working in personal at ICI.
Who died on 27th March 2015 aged 82
We have recently heard of the death in 2015 of Clive Wallis who attended Moseley Grammar School from 1944 to 1947.
Clive was very proud to have studied at Moseley and claimed it was the excellent teaching which stood him in good stead during his service in the Royal Air Force and future employment.
He was an electronics engineer designing aircraft simulators at Smiths Aerospace in Cheltenham before joining the research and development team at Staverley Machine Tools in Bedford and Worcester.
He became a research fellow at Birmingham University and obtained his M.Sc. whilst teaching undergraduates.
In 1981 he joined British Aerospace at Stevenage and was very involved with the space programme designing solar powered satellites.
He married Janet Dollman in 1960 at Kings Norton parish church and was a keen amateur radio enthusiast. Clive had a dark room at home, built an electronic church theatre organ, enjoyed sailing a Mirror dinghy and was a keen fruit and vegetable gardener.
Carter, James Sydney (Jim)
Who died in February 2019 aged 86
Jim attended Moseley Grammar School from 1943 to 1948 and left for the business world of insurance. He became a loss adjustor at Thomas Howell and enjoyed an active life, especially in the RAF. From hockey to tennis and from ballroom dancing to Scottish country dancing, he poured huge energy and enthusiasm into everything he achieved. He leaves his widow Margaret in Wythall
Who died on 14th February 2018, aged 87
Denys attended Moseley Grammar School from 1941 to 1948. He spent his entire career with the Bakelite Company where he was employed as a research & development technician then chemist mainly dealing with resins for the surface coating Industry. Later he moved to EDP (Electronic Data Processing) as a systems analyst.
Music and drama played a big part in his life and with his late wife Vi he was involved in local theatre performing many backstage and front of house roles including light settings at the Old Rep Theatre in Station St Birmingham. Denys served as president of the local Guild of Dramatic Art as well many other administration duties.
Who died on 4th October 2018
Some of you may remember Eddie from the site team at School. He retired from Moseley a couple of years ago and the Association presented him with a high level token of appreciation. He was always very helpful when we held events and nothing seemed too much trouble for him. Eddie's sense of humour was renowned and he always seemed to laugh best at his own jokes!
Who died in May 2018 aged 89
Roger Norfolk writes:-
When I arrived at Moseley Modern in September 1969, Ron was already in post in his Art department having joined the school on 1962. We soon struck up a friendship through our mutual theatre interests, for Ron, being chairman of the Drama Committee, was the guiding light behind the school drama productions and I was fully prepared to take over the vacancy in stage lighting. At that time, the school was working through the Gilbert and Sullivan operas but soon we graduated to more ambitious West End shows such as Carousel, South Pacific and Fiddler on the Roof. Ron's guiding hand was always there in the background to make sure that resources were not being overstretched and to empower staff and students through to polished productions. He was invariably involved with the artistic design and often produced cartoons to enliven the programme covers. Never one to grab the limelight for himself, for the shows were there to showcase the student's abilities, he did take the lead role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof to great acclaim and was able to reprise this part with the city's Crossed Keys Musical Theatre Company on the Old Repertory Theatre stage some years later. His involvement with this latter company began through his enquiry to your writer during the late 1970s and Ron was still performing with them when I retired from being their Stage Manager in 2003.
We also soon found a common interest in steam engines. Ron had visited a steam show in the early 1970s in Birmingham's city centre and, as a result, had joined the Hockley Heath Steam Association. Here were like-minded individuals who owned and ran steam traction engines and road rollers and, whilst not owning one himself, Ron was happy to clean and prepare them for runs and exhibitions. He was also active in helping to edit their quarterly magazine where, once again, his cartoon skills adorned the front covers. At some of the shows and rallies he even took to the microphone to commentate on proceedings. He will be remembered by school students and staff of the time for his bringing one of the engines to a summer fete, with it hauling a trailer to give rides around the school playground.
Ron was a popular Head of Art for many years before becoming a senior teacher and head of sixth form. He also became chief examiner for the West Midlands. He was very proud of his Black Country origins and never lost his accent and talked about his roots to staff and pupils alike.
On a day to day basis, it was always a pleasure to work with Ron, a cheerful personality and always ready to help the students achieve their best potential. School is not just about academic achievement, important though that is, but also the development of wider interests and abilities. Ron's leading hand in the development of the schools' theatrical productions was an integral part in this facet of life.
Ron retired in 1996. Staff members will also remember him for his ballroom dancing which he loved to do and singing in the staff choir when school duties allowed.
Jones, Ronald ‘Jonah’
Who died on 24th January 2018
Ronald was born in Hall Green, Birmingham and attended MGS 1933 to 1938. After war service in the RAF he joined the Scottish Widows Life Assurance Society. He was transferred to Leicester in 1954 and remained with the same firm in the East Midlands until retirement in the 1980s. He passed away aged 95 and leaves a wife 'Betty' and three sons Peter, David and Timothy.
Who died 5th June 2018
Martin attended MGS 1959 to 1966 and went on to gain a Geography Degree from Sheffield University in 1969. After a short spell of teaching he joined the Careers Service in Coventry. Later he worked for the 'Connections' Career Service in Torquay.
Unmarrried, he enjoyed travelling particularly in Austria, Switzerland and Scotland. He also loved great music and theatre, inspired by his time at Moseley.
He enjoyed his quaint cottage in Halberton, Devon where he passed away from prostate cancer.
We were also informed of the passing of the following former pupils
Shell, née Phillips, Pam
Who died on 19th March 2018
Pam, who was lifelong friends with school pals John and Margaret Yarnall, passed away after fighting a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Pam was a pupil of Moseley Modern School from 1953 to 1958 and is survived by husband David, daughter Amanda, son Laurence, and brother Eifion.
Who died in February 2018
Who died on 13th October 2017
David attended MGS 1947 to 52 and was a regular attendee of the Moseleians annual Christmas meal at The Navigation Inn, Wootton Wawen with his wife Irene.
Harris, Anthony 'Tony'
Who died on 22th April 2018 aged 75
Tony attended MGS 1954 to 61. He was a highly respected solicitor in the Solihull and Birmingham area having graduated in Law at Birmingham University after leaving school. He founded the legal firm of Harris, Cooper, Walsh in Solihull where he was the senior partner for 27 years. There he became a specialist in commercial and property development and latterly focussing mainly on health care advice, setting up medical practices and mergers after joining Sydney Mitchell in 2009.
Tony was a member of Rotary International and often visited orphanages in Romania to distribute shoe boxes of equipment to children. He also helped schools and impoverished villages in Transylvania.
by Dr Colin Harris
Nigel Graham Adams of Athens, GA was born in Birmingham England, and attended Moseley Gramnmar School and Birmingham University where he earned his BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees in Physics, and his DSc in Space Physics.
He was on the faculty of Space Physics Research at Birmingham University for over twenty years before he relocated to the University of Georgia, where he was a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry. In 2014 he retired, becoming an Emeritus Professor.
During his career he published well over 200 scientific papers, and edited several books. He was an invited speaker at many national and international conferences and was considered one of the leaders in gas phase ion chemistry and in the field of ion-electron recombination, having developed several ground breaking experimental techniques for the study of these reactions. Nigel passed away on 2nd November 2017
Moffat, Ian (aka Moff)
Bob Cross writes:-
Members of Form 5A (1950-55) will be sad to learn of the death of Ian Moffat aged 78. We remained friends for nearly seventy years. He enjoyed a long career with Joseph Lucas and had a good retirement in Sutton Coldfield. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Pat and daughter Rosemary. Ian passed away on 17th March 2018
We were also informed of the passing of the following former pupils
Who died 24th September 2017
Richard Harrison writes:-
Dad spoke fondly of his short time at Moseley and indeed visited fairly recently. I understand that the Moseleians kindly helped him to find out more information about his older brother's last fateful WW2 RAF mission. John attended Moseley Grammar School 1940-41.
Who died 16th April 2017
Alan Lamb writes:-
Alan Briggs attended Moseley from 1935 and, as a child, lived in the same road as me but completely lost touch after leaving school. We only resumed a friendship through our wives who worked together.
Who died 23rd December 2017
Peter attended Moseley Grammar School from 1935 to 1941.
Who died in September 2017
After leaving school Geoffrey, who attended Moseley from 1937 to 1942, went into banking with Lloyds and on his retirement some 25 years ago was manager of their Warwick Road branch.
Harold attend Moseley Secondary School which, for whatever reason, he always referred to as Moseley Grammar School and from his reports we have discovered he was in form 2B in 1935 and 5C in 1940.
He was evacuated to Cheltenham during the war but always told his family that he had requested to be sent home as the schooling was not as good as he was used to receiving.
After school he became an engineer ending up as General Manager of a group of die casting factories in Birmingham while living at Hunt End Redditch before "retiring" to become a sub postmaster in the Cotswold village of Poulton between Cirencester and Fairford.
He and his late wife eventually retired to Cradley near Malvern and four years ago he moved to live near family in Sussex firstly living with his grandson and his wife in Rottingdean and for the past three years residing in a nursing home in Horsham.
He leaves three daughters and passed away on 22nd April 2017 peacefully in his sleep at the grand age of 92 following a short illness.
Lukeman, Philip John
by Ray Plenty
Philip, who attended MGS 1939-45, was born on 7th October 1928 and died on 19th July this year.
He and I were in the same form at MGS and we remained friends after leaving school. I was best man at his wedding to Pam in 1951. Pam sadly died in 2012 having celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2011.
In 1949, when just 21, Phil caught the polio virus which left him with muscle wastage in his right leg which stopped him playing rugby for the Old Moseleians. Instead he took up horse riding and then sailing which became his great passion.
In 1973 he bought a bungalow in Cornwall so that he could keep his boat there. He made many trips to France, the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly and was never seasick.
Philip trained as a Chartered Surveyor and Auctioneer with Bright Willis and Son in Birmingham. He then worked at Stone, Hooper and Pritchard which became Jack Cotton and Partners where he rose to be a senior partner at their Solihull office.
Philip was one of the Old Mo's Ground Committee responsible for the creation of the Sports Ground and Clubhouse at Lugtrout Lane and because of his expertise he became the prime mover in the project.
He was a kind gentleman, courteous and thoughtful, and will be sorely missed by his friends and family. He passed away on 19th July 2017
Turner, Frank Dr FRSC
Dr Frank Turner passed away last year, aged nearly 90, after a long illness at Broadstairs, Kent where he had lived for many years.
Frank attended Moseley Grammar School just before the war (Sept 1938) the headmaster at the time being Major E H Robinson MC. He always spoke fondly of his time at school and also about his time when evacuated with the school to Cheltenham. He wrote an account of his time in Cheltenham which he entitles “The Last of the Summer Wine”.
After leaving Moseley, Frank took a teaching diploma and taught at Handsworth Grammar and various technical colleges, having taken an external degree (in Chemistry) in the meantime. He later achieved a PhD at Birmingham University and went to work for Pfizers (a pharmaceutical company) in Kent, becoming a director of a subsidiary company. At the end of his working career he was persuaded to return to teaching at a local grammar school teaching maths and science, which he greatly enjoyed.
Frank made many visits back to Moseley over the years and even donated his moth-eaten scarf and cap - very vintage!
Frank passed away in 2016 aged 89
Masding, John William MA Oxon. LLM.
John attended Moseley Grammar School from 1950 September 1958. He then went to Magdalen College, Oxford as a Demy and was awarded an MA in History in 1962. After completing a Certificate of Education he taught at King's School Peterborough until he attended Ridley Hall Theological College, Cambridge in 1964 to be ordained Deacon in 1965 and Priest in 1966.
His first appointment was as curate at St Michael's Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield where he met Veronica his first wife who worshipped in the congregation and they were married in 1968. They moved to St Paul's Hamstead, Birmingham in 1971 where John was Vicar and had two daughters, Aelfwynn and Miranda. Sadly, while still an incumbent at Hamstead, Veronica died and in 1992 he remarried Margaret, who was herself a widow of a clergyman and mother of two daughters. John retired in 1997 due to ill health and they moved to the South West where he continued to serve the diocese of Bristol and also Bath and Wells
John was far from ordinary. Few parish priests drove vintage Bentleys especially in the heart of Birmingham while an incumbent at Hamstead. He epitomized the Anglican parson, kindly in manner, unobtrusive in liturgy, consistent in teaching and dedicated in the service of his parishioners. He chaired the English Clergy Association and was active in the Prayer Book Society.
When Cardiff University introduced its Masters Degree in Canon Law, John was amongst the first to sign up and provided wise and insightful contributions to seminar discussions and a valued member of the Ecclesiatsical Law Society advising and supporting parish priests with his expertise in this area. John became convenor of the LLM alumni, hosting an annual dinner at Magdalen College, Oxford with style and grace reliving his undergraduate days there.
John's funeral was held at St Andrew, Chew Magna, Bristol, where people had travelled from all over the country to pay their last respects to a popular gentleman.
John was a devoted family man leaving nine grandchildren, and indefatigable correspondent and much loved by his many friends. He passed away on 14th April 2017 and will be sadly missed.
Ronald, who was born in 1919, attended MGS as did his younger brother Gordon. Ronald returned to Moseley for a number of reunions which he thoroughly enjoyed. Having been Birmingham born and bred he was very proud of his time at the school and took a keen interest in what was going on via the Gazette. He passed away in Dec 2016 aged 96
Dr. Colin Harris reflects on the life of a well respected teacher.
William (Bill or “Neddy”) Bacon hailed from Nottingham and came fresh from Chemical Researches at Oxford University in about 1956 to Moseley Grammar School. He was deeply respected for his enthusiasm, sincerity, drive, encouragement, deep and positive thinking. Above all, he was a practising Christian with a positive, fun-loving personality and sense of humour. His knowledge was profound, his delivery clear and succinct and he always had time to explain issues with great clarity. He was at his happiest wearing a white coat and safety goggles at a laboratory bench surrounded by many reagent bottles and test tubes when he demonstrated to us and took the mystery out of “chemystery”.
He organised many industrial visits with his colleagues, Dr Dave Spikins, Hank Freeman, Taffy Hingley, Bog Bush and Harry Lambert, assisted by the ubiquitous Mrs Perkins. The great Moseleian tradition of science, medicine, engineering, technology continued to flourish and I, like so many others, took him with me into my own career in chemical research and education.
It was our fortune that he was always willing to talk about “The Goon Show” rather than chemistry, so the nickname “Neddy” was quickly formulated.
I respected his memory and sense of humour when, just a few years ago at St Martins in the Bullring, where he was a trustee and warden, I was taking a group of visitors and a deep voice boomed from behind a pillar “Ah! Harris! You still haven't handed in your essay on “Relationships in the Periodic Table!”, for he had spotted me with his indomitable mischievous twinkle in his eye.
I have received many letters of appreciation for Bill Bacon but feel this obituary is best ended by his own hero, Spike Milligan, who has on his tombstone, “I told you I was ill”!
And From Others:-
“I am sorry to hear of the death of "Neddy" Bacon. He had the challenge of teaching 3B on his arrival at Moseley in 1954/5. We were a very lively class and had a lot of fun in chemistry.
Putting sulphuric acid into inkwells, pouring tap water on to lighted
magnesium strips and mixing up the racks of chemicals were just a few of the escapades we got up to. However, we did have a real deal of respect for Ned because he was so sincere and committed to helping us.
Barrie Stokes, former Head of Turves Green School.
“I was privileged to have William "Neddy" Bacon as my chemistry teacher between 1958 - 1960. There are many stories of teachers having a major impact on the life of a student and Neddy certainly was that teacher for me. He was also a wonderful human being who instilled a love of chemistry and biochemistry that has been with me my whole life. Next year marks my fiftieth year at the University of Manitoba, where I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy a very productive career and I am forever thankful for the wonderful classroom experience he brought. It was not just his teaching style but his humour that made his classes so enjoyable. I always remember coming out of the gym with Colin Harris and sitting in the front of the class with our wet hair parted in the middle. He looked at us, smiled, and continued his lesson. I truly regret not remaining in contact with William "Neddy" Bacon.
Unfortunately computers and e-mail were not around during the first 20 years of my career. I know it is a little late but I want to thank him for opening so many doors for me in a world full of opportunities and challenges. He should know that his life had an important impact on me, as well as many other students. It can truly be said of William "Neddy" Bacon that his life was one well lived. “
Professor Michael Eskin, Canada
“Sad news. Neddy was a great inspiration for me, as well as being a brilliant Chemistry teacher. Without his efforts I doubt I would have got a state scholarship for university. He was new to MGS when he took over my A level education, and part of a great science team that included Taffy Hingley, Beefy Bullock and Boggy Bush.”
Mike Taylor, MGS 1950 -1957
“I am saddened to hear of Bill Bacon's passing, that most youthful of teachers, and sobered by realising that he was born barely a decade before us. Thank you for keeping me in touch. My sympathy goes to all who knew and felt his worth.”
Finally, from Sue Robinson of Brecon, daughter of Norman “Taffy” Hingley
“I'm not sure whether I have a REAL memory or one that may have sprung from your tribute to my Dad but I seem to recall that Dad enjoyed many deep discussions with Bill Bacon in their rare break-times. I think Bill would have been very pleased to know that my Dad changed from being an absolute atheist to more of a questioning open-minded agnostic just before his death.”
Derek was Deputy Head when Mr Gaskin retired and as the Local Authority had decided on re-organisation of the education system from 1974, he was asked to act as Head from 1972 to prepare for amalgamation and until permanent appointments could be made.
Teaching at Moseley Grammar School under Mr Gaskin had been challenging, rewarding and pleasurable, so it was not surprising that some members of staff and many parents had some misgivings about the radical changes proposed. However, most teachers realised that these changes were inevitable and, true professionals that they were, they set about preparing themselves to serve the interests of all the pupils who would make up the new school. Mr Moore refused to lend his name to those parents and others who opposed the changes, pointing out that the derogation of comprehensive education could only demoralise pupils, staff and parents of the new school.
For the next two years Derek Moore and his staff worked with Mr Wilford and his staff to prepare as best they could for the changeover in 1974.
Derek then moved to the Headship of Byng Kenrick Central School. He took retirement in 1986 and lived in Solihull, where he enjoyed close contact with his family (three daughters and four grandchildren), some gardening, bridge, golf (occasionally with John Reid) and a little work marking GCSE for Oxford and Cambridge Board. A true Welshman, he was a supporter of the national rugby team as well as Welsh football.
His funeral at Robin Hood Cemetery was attended by a number of ex colleagues and students from Moseley School.
Whittington, Ian Dr
It was late last year that we were informed by one of his close friends of Ian's death on 27 October 2014 aged 54.
Ian went to Moseley during the 1970s before going to university, He completed his PhD at the University of East Anglia in 1986 with Dr Graham Kearn, a leading authority on the Monogenea, small parasitic flatworms mainly found on skin or gills of fish.
Ian then moved to Australia in 1987, where he worked at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences. He won a prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in 1990 and continued his work on Monogenea in the Department of Parasitology at UQ before accepting a Lectureship at the same institution (1993-1996).
Ian maintained high research productivity during his Directorship of UQ's Heron Island Research Station (1996 to 1999) and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1997. During his 15 years at UQ, Ian built and led the Monogenean Research Laboratory, the only Australian research team dedicated to the study of this group of fish parasites.
In July 2001 his group had the honour of hosting the 4th International Symposium on Monogenea, demonstrating significant international recognition for Ian's research during his early to mid-career. In January 2002 Ian's status as an outstanding scientist was acknowledged when he was recruited by the then Director, Professor Tim Flannery, of the South Australian Museum (SAMA) to take on the role of Senior Research Scientist, heading the Parasitology Section. This was a joint appointment with the University of Adelaide (UoA), where he delivered ever popular parasitology lectures. In 2006 he was promoted to Principal Research Scientist/Associate Professor.
Ian was passionate about his subject area and published over 170 articles on the biology and taxonomy of monogeneans, making significant contributions to the knowledge of tropical marine parasitology. He was an important consultant to the aquaculture industry and many of his graduate students now work in senior fisheries and agriculture positions in government. Ian served on the editorial boards of many journals on parasitology and chaired many organising committees for conferences, where he also spoke.
Mike Kidson writes: It is with great sadness that we were advised of the death of John, a great friend to me and many others for over 60 years, on 23rd November 2016, aged 85. He was the epitome of the word “Gentleman”.
John enjoyed a life of sport. I remember him as a prefect when first attending MGS, playing rugby and cricket for the school alongside David Heath, John Connacher, David Constable, Les Meddings, et al.
One day during my first year I uttered a very naughty word when John was passing and because of his seniority he took me into the gym changing room and lectured me about this; a lesson in politeness which I never forgot. Neither he nor I thought at the time that he would be my best man when I married in 1959.
Once we were both old boys we met up again, playing cricket and rugby. After national service he joined a company as a representative, from where he set up his own successful business, J S Andrews Coatings Ltd, still going today under a former employee.
I would like to share two special memories of John with you:-
The first concerns the day I married. John, as best man, took my bride Toni and I from the reception venue to catch a train to London and the start of our honeymoon. After we departed somehow or other John managed to reverse his shirt collar to resemble a clergyman's dog collar, also producing a special type of hat then commonly used by the clergy. As he, so dressed, and others of our guests were leaving, they encountered a group of clergyman, all dressed similarly to John. He never was ordained.
The second anecdote concerns our rugby days., He playing scrum half, I was fly half. On December 6th 1955 the Varsity match was played at Twickenham. Two Oxford players, Welsh scrum half Ollwyn Brace and English fly half Mike (MJK) Smith, ruled the day. During the game they introduced a new move in attack, the Scissors, in which the fly half, with ball, goes one way while the receiving fly half goes the other.
Come the following Saturday, when the Old Moseleians were playing Old Warwickians on their pitch on the banks of the River Avon, John and I agreed to work this new move. We made a complete hash of it. John went to the left, I went to the right, but somehow the ball simply went to ground in between us, with both of us looking rather bemused!
Les Meddings was a good friend of John for 73 years. Both entered MGS in 1943 and became form friends. Both represented the school, together with those mentioned earlier. Les was a cricketer and recalls a particular tour to North Devon with the Old Boy's. Being the youngest pair, he and John had to share an attic room at the Woolacombe Hotel. They remained very good friends throughout their maturing years and, with others, enjoyed each other's company on many lunch dates each year. He says that in footballing terms, Andy (John), Fred (Rice) and Les would form a good mid-field!
Smith, John Barry
Barry died of an aneurism on 18th April 2016, just nine days short of his 90th birthday.
He was admitted to hospital with an upset stomach, whereupon it was discovered that he had an aneurism, which he recalled having been advised of some 40 years before but had forgotten. Unfortunately the aneurism proved fatal before tests could be carried out.
We were also informed of the passing of the following former pupils
John Brazier OBE
John Brazier died on 11th October 2016, two weeks before he was due to turn 84. He had sponsored a tree in the memorial garden in memory of his father some two years ago. It continues to thrive.
Maurice Webster FCIB, FBIM
Moseley Secondary School
1937 - 1942
Moseley Modern School
1959 - 1966
Moseley Grammar School
1934 - 1944
A personal tribute from A.C. 'Andy' White, MGS 1956-1964.
Allan Bealt, a long-serving teacher at Moseley School, died suddenly on 15th June. In January he had celebrated his 80th birthday and felt rather bemused at being in his 'eighties' while continuing to lead such an active life.
Allan grew up in Tipton and went on to study Geography at the University of Manchester where he met his wife-to-be Jane, from Leicester. They went to London to study for their teaching diplomas. In 1959 they married in Knighton, Leicester but sadly, many years later in 1995 Jane died from leukaemia. Allan spent a year teaching in Dudley before joining the teaching staff at Moseley Grammar School, in September 1959. He was one of the first appointments made by the recently appointed Headmaster: Mr. D.B. Gaskin. Allan was appointed to the Geography Department but also to undertake supervision of cross-country running and tennis.
He spent the majority of his teaching career at Moseley, becoming Head of Geography and eventually a member of Senior Management until he left in 1986. He was an examiner for Geography, writer of a text book, and successfully completed a part-time M.Ed. degree at the University of Birmingham. Following his departure from Moseley he worked for the LEA in an advisory capacity for a short time.
In retirement, Allan continued his thirst for knowledge and travelled abroad regularly seeing and exploring most continents. He was President of Edgbaston Rotary Club and followed many interests including walking and speaking engagements.
I was someone who had a relatively undistinguished academic career at Moseley, but found my achievements in sport: cross-country and athletics. Allan Bealt proved to be a source of encouragement and enthusiasm. We were given responsibilities for organising training and team selection.
I renewed my acquaintance with Allan at Mr Gaskin's funeral in 1993 - someone for whom he had much admiration and respect. We kept in regular contact, with a guided tour in Leicester to see King Richard III last year, followed by a visit to the church where he married Jane in 1959. We had planned to walk in Northamptonshire the week during which he died.
This self-effacing, quietly-spoken teacher, with a great sense of humour and charm will always be remembered by those students to whom he gave identity and purpose.
Andy White was Captain of Cross Country and Vice-Captain of Athletics in 1963-1964. After leaving MGS, he followed a career in secondary teaching, becoming Assistant Principal at Wreake Valley College, Syston. He moved into Teacher Training where he was Associate Tutor at the University of Leicester School of Education until his retirement in 2012. He continues to live in Birstall, Leicestershire where he is a church organist and enjoys walking and gardening. Allan passed away in June 2016.
Gordon was an apprenticed toolmaker who went on to machinery design (zip fastener making) and then went to Austin development and at Rover, where he was chief engineer of the P6 project - the one with four headlamps. His work took him to most western European countries testing motor vehicles. He retired in 1982.
He took call ending Channel Isles occupation
Entrepreneur, airman, sailor and author Harry Simpson has died aged 101. He was the oldest former pupil in touch with the Moseleians' Association at the time of his death in August having arrived at Moseley in 1925, only two years after it was established.
Harry's had a great enthusiasm for flying and despite settling for a job with Bakelite, he inveigled himself into a part-time attachment to RAF Castle Bromwich which led in 1935 to RAF flying training as a Reservist at Prestwick.
Those who read a review of his biographical work Land Sea and Air in the last Gazette will recall a hair-raising episode with Coastal Command, and there were many others on operations and in training such as when he found on landing his plane had no brakes. Harry dismissed all his aerial scrapes with death as “adventure”.
He became a qualified navigator and was promoted to squadron leader. Having married during the war, and wanting to settle down, in 1945 he left the RAF shortly after taking the surrender of the German commander in the Channel Islands in a telephone call to his Coastal Command base in Cornwall!
Having kept in touch during the war, he returned to his production and research role at Bakelite where he was highly regarded, but soon started his own specialist abrasives manufacturing company in the London area using a world-beating technique he invented.
Business expanded, he established links with overseas companies (through one he met the Queen in India), two more companies were founded to be based in Hampshire, and Harry had the wealth to indulge his love of fast and luxury cars, golf, fly fishing, skiing and travel.
We have also been informed of the passing of Maurice Parsons (MSS 1939 - 43)
Maureen trained to become a teacher when her children, Ashley and Dominic, were well into their teens and arrived in the English Department at Moseley School in September 1999.
Her ability to form positive relationships with some of the most challenging pupils soon led her to join the Special Needs Department. There she excelled in supporting pupils with additional needs.
She soon progressed to become a Head of Year and took great pride in the year group she nurtured and led through their school life. In 2004, supported and encouraged by the then Head, David Peck and Shannon Moore, Chair of Governors, Maureen's work led her to be invited to give a speech at Oxfordshire LEA on work with Afro-Caribbean pupils at Moseley. Those present reported that she “lifted the spirits of all involved”. She went on to address a school development conference in Oxfordshire, speaking about “Beyond Compliance, providing good race relations and improved Ethnic Minority achievement”.
In school Maureen ran the Positive Personal Transformation Support Group - an initiative which provided a forum for the promotion of pride and self-esteem amongst one group, Afro-Caribbean students, with the intention of spreading good practice to other groups within the school and to other schools. The initiative was very successful and gained national recognition when Moseley School won the British Diversity in Education Award in 2005. As a result of her passion, commitment and development work in this area she was chosen to escort a group of Moseley students to an international conference in Philadelphia called “Leaders of Tomorrow”.
Years on, her roles in school changed but always centred on raising pupils' confidence, self-esteem and achievement. Hundreds of pupils will remember being rewarded by Maureen's unique beam of a smile. As David Peck recalls, “Mo had a heart the size of a planet and was dearly loved by so many students.”
She left Moseley School in July 2013 and sadly was diagnosed with terminal cancer almost straight away. Chemo and a massively positive attitude kept her going beyond the 16 months she was given. On 4th December 2015 she pushed herself to join a mass of friends, colleagues and ex-students at the Covered Wagon to celebrate reaching 61. Unbelievably she managed to give a speech which conveyed the warmth and appreciation she felt and in which her farewell message was “Be kind to one another”.
She was inspirational to the last and truly lived every moment until she died on December 17th, 2015.
Lumby, John Dr.
After leaving Moseley John Lumby embarked on an illustrious career in industry and academia although his interests extended from science to history and rugby to motor sport. He was 79 and had been a member of the Moseleians Association since its early days.
During his climb to prominence he took a degree at the College of Advanced Technology later Aston University and subsequently at Birmingham University gained his M.Sc. followed by his doctorate.
From his initial work and study when at ICI Metals Division, he moved to the Lucas Group Research Centre in 1965 where he concentrated on the development of advanced industrial ceramics. In this field his work on the invention of the material sialon became internationally recognised, though John was always self-effacing about achievements which led to his securing 20 patents worldwide and lecture tours to Europe, the USA and Japan.
of her husband's career his wife, Erica said: “John always spoke in glowing terms of the staff at Moseley, particularly his science teachers, who gave him the grounding for his lifetime's work.”
Among recognition he received was in 1984 the Prince of Wales Award for Industrial Innovation and Production, shared with Prof. Ken Jack of Newcastle University.
He left Lucas five years later and spent a decade as visiting research fellow in Warwick University physics department, again much involved in the development and industrial application of sialon, which resists temperatures up to 1250 deg C.
Father of a son and daughter, John whose first name was Roland became historian and membership secretary to Worcester Rugby Club and, living in Fernhill Heath, formed an affinity with the nearby Droitwich History and Archaeological Society. He was also a keen supporter of the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb. John passed away on 26th June 2015
Derek passed away after a short battle with cancer. He thanked his lucky stars for his wonderful family and friends, believing his three greatest achievements were marrying Pat in 1961; becoming a Dad, then Grandfather; and emegrating to Canada as a young man in 1958.
Starting out in Brum, “Nipper” as his dad called him, came a long way in his eighty-one years. From paper boy in 1945 to 1948, to Administrative Officer at the University of Alberta from 1975 to 1991, Derek succeeded and prospered “enough” so that he and Pat were able to make the most of their retirement years traveling much of the world and was able to fill his passion for a good game of golf.
Derek left this world thankful for all the family and friends who contributed to make his life the “wonder it was” and hopeful that he had in some small way added to ours. “Sir,” you certainly did and your crooked smile will be dearly missed. Derek passed away on 9th February 2016.
Laurie passed away on 8th October 2015 after a long fight with Parkinson's Disease. He was always a lively character at school and one of a group of students of the same era, who were close friends at school and remained so afterwards. During lessons we usually sat together at the back of the classroom discussing anything but school work, ranging from the latest hit records or football. Nothing probably changes, even today!
However, in those days our classroom discussions were usually interrupted by a well-aimed piece of chalk or blackboard rubber thrown by the teacher, which would often land directly on our heads, bringing us back to the world of learning.
In the 1950s all young men, on reaching the age of 18, were required to complete two years of National Service, usually in the army. Laurie joined an infantry regiment the Sherwood Foresters, who were stationed in what was then West Germany. He became a clerk in the Regimental Office eventually being promoted to Lance Corporal, resulting in a pay rise of 25p per week. Those were the days!
After leaving the army in the mid-1950s Laurie joined a stationery company, becoming a sales representative calling on customers around the Midlands.
Over the following years our group of old Moseleians only met occasionally until the grand reunion in 1993, when many old friendships were renewed and the Moseleians Association was formed.
During the years after that Laurie and I would often go together to watch cricket at Edgbaston in the summer. Laurie, however, joined the Barmy Army and followed the England team abroad, often going to the West Indies, where he met his wife Sharron in Jamaica. She came back to Birmingham, where they married in 1988 and had two sons, Ryan and Dale.
Laurie would always volunteer to help at any open day or school event where the MA played a part and was keen to join the annual Remembrance Day event at school and the 1950s group who have met every December since 1993 for their Christmas Dinner.
Hathaway, Derek OBE
Derek left school aged 16, following the premature death of his father and pursued an apprenticeship in engineering. D. B. Gaskin’s comment on his final report recorded that he had “no great brain but enormous determination”.
Enterprising even as a child, he had not only taken on a paper round but also organised all the other rounds, receiving extra payment for doing so and then earning extra from those customers who wished to be woken with their paper delivery.
In 1966, aged only 22, he formed his own company, Dartmouth Investments Ltd, becoming a millionaire overnight when the company floated on the stock exchange five years later.
By 1979 Dartmouth Investments had been acquired by the American Harrisburg Steel Corporation (HARSCO). In 1984 Derek left for the US to join HARSCO’s main board as a Senior Vice President before being elected Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the group in 1994, expanding the company’s operations to more than 45 countries. He retained that position until his retirement in 2008, the same year in which he was awarded the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to industry and charity. He also received several American awards, together with honorary doctorates from no less than three American universities.
Derek worked actively on behalf of a number of charities In particular he served as Trustee Emeritus of the American Air Museum in Britain, working alongside former President George W Bush and HRH The Duke of Kent.
In 1997 he was named Business Leader of the Year by his adopted home town, Harrisbug, Pennsylvania, where he held a number of public offices.
Despite the distances involved, Derek was an active member and supporter of the Moseleians Association, attending association functions whenever he could. Those who attended the 80th anniversary reunion in 2003 will remember the spectacular fireworks display which he contributed to the occasion. He also took a close interest in the activities of Rod Ling and Keith Townsend in uncovering the history of the old Spring Hill College building.
Derek passed away on 22nd September, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by wife Margaret, sons Paul, Matthew and Charles and several grandchildren, to all of whom we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
We were also informed of the passing of the following former pupils
Anthony (Tony) Buffery
Moseley Grammar School
Moseley Grammar School
1948 - 1955
Moseley Grammar School
1948 - 1954
Moseley Grammar School
Moseley Grammar School
1948 - 1954
Moseley Grammar School
1937 - 1942
Moseley Grammar School
1942 - 1948
Moseley Grammar School
1935 - 1939
Moseley Grammar School
1935 - 1943
We have also been advised of the death of Ronald Careless, author of For Their Tomorrows, who attended Moseley from 1937 to 1942 and passed away at the end of April. He was on HMS Nelson in Penang when the Japanese surrender was signed aboard the shipon 2 September 1945. He later joined Birmingham Education Services, rising to become its deputy head.
Gwen was a teacher at Moseley from 2000 to 2009. She taught PSHE and health and Social Care and was also a Lead Learning Mentor, running a team of learning mentors helping pupils to overcome difficulties which were hindering their progress in school.
Through her caring approach and ability to form relationships with some of the most challenging young people she made a significant difference to many lives.
In her private life, Gwen was a great adventurer, travelling extensively in this country and abroad. In retirement she continued her work with young people in need and through Malawi Kids UK she worked for several months in an African orphanage and was planning to go again before she tragically died aged 64 in July. Her death was totally unexpected and happened during a cycling holiday in the Hebrides.
Her son, Peter, a former pupil at Moseley, said that he was trying to find consolation in the fact that she was doing something that she loved in a beautiful part of the world.
Gwen will be sadly missed by her family, many friends and those whom she helped during her time at Moseley.
We regret to report that Harold (Harry) Nash died on 3rd September 2015 at the age of 93. after a long battle with bladder cancer.
Harry recently contributed a series of articles to the Gazette on his time as prisoner of war in Germany after being shot down in a bombing raid in WW2 . After the war he undertook an RAF German Interpreters Course, and, following post war duties in occupied Germany, Harry eventually went into teaching back in England teaching French and German to both O and A levels.
Later Harry came to Moseley Secondary (Modern) School 1960 as Head of Modern Languages and followed on to Moseley School on the merger of the two schools n 1974, eventually retiring from school teaching in 1981.
But Harry never really retired until illness took over in recent months.
He spoke regularly on British and German television about his experiences and each year was invited to speak to both English and German sixth formers and adult audiences. As a now confirmed pacifist, Harry worked for friendship between the two countries and in 1993 was awarded the Order of Merit by the German Government for his services to reconciliation.
Alongside that Harry also continued teaching French and giving talks mart conferences and meetings about France and the French. He helped form the Anglo French Society in Biimingham, and became its President in 1999 at aged 78, and for his continued work for friendship with France he was awarded the Diplome d’honneur de l’Alliance Francaise de Paris in 2000. Until the last 12 months he continued to teach French and German to groups of much younger ‘retirees’ at Birmingham Fircones.
Harry had an ever increasing following of friends thanks to his warm personality and good sense of humour.
His body will be cremated at Redditch Crematorium on Thursday 17th September 2015 at 11.00, followed by a memorial service at Earlwood Methodist Church, which is located at the corner of Rumbush Lane and Wood Lane, Earlswood B94 5JH. The former is likely to be a family service.
Photograph From: http://www.anglo-french.co.uk/a_la_memoire_de_harold_nash.htm
It is with deep regret we report that, after a long battle with illness, Rod Ling died on 9th July 2015 aged 65.
As many will know he made an enormous contribution to, and was one of the back-bones of, the Moseleians Association, firstly acting as a very efficient school liaison officer then, after taking early retirement in 2009, continuing as an active member of the committee, taking a role in every event and continuing to organise Spring Hill College Heritage Open Day on behalf of the school and association.
Rod was genuinely interested in the human condition and could see an education angle to every activity, he was hungry for knowledge. As a keen gardener Rod was chairman of Billesley Lane Allotments Association and a champion of causes that he felt impacted on our daily environment. These were not necessarily the big environmental issues of the day, although these did concern him, but smaller local issues: hedgerows, grass verges, Moseley Bog, architecture, ancient buildings and our local heritage.
With his wry smile and gentle sense of humour, Rod will be sorely missed by family and friends alike. A deep thinker and a good talker his encouragement and support brought out the best in others, spurring them on to achieve their personal goals.
Born and raised in Norfolk, and hence a lifelong Norwich City supporter, Rod remained in Birmingham after graduating from the University of Birmingham in 1971 and maintained that he tried secondary school teaching while waiting for the right job to come along. Some years later, supported by a working wife, he thought he might better enjoy the life of academe. He completed a Master’s degree and then embarked on a PhD.
Having already faced problems of his own personal development, he had worked for some time as a volunteer counsellor. Now, failure to ‘follow through’ with his PhD and a new personal crisis led him to offer his services as a teacher-counsellor in a tough, north Birmingham, neighbourhood. This was a period in which schooling was freer to experiment than was, perhaps, appreciated at the time.
A new relationship and a new post at Moseley School, teaching PSHE, a unique educational and architectural heritage prompted further effort at poetry and other forms of writing, the culmination of which was a novel, published in 2014, for teenagers aged between thirteen and ninety-nine called ‘If These Walls Could Whisper’. This novel cleverly draws together Rod’s research into the history of Spring Hill College and its relationship with Mansfield College, Oxford through the eyes of a group of school friends following mysterious clues.
One of life’s gentle-men Rod made a difference to people's lives. We offer our sincere condolences to Diana, Joe, Claire, Stephen and the rest of his family.
We are very sad and shocked to report on the sudden death of our Membership Secretary, Vic Corner, on 25th April 2015. Vic was a much liked and hard working member of the MA Committee and his loss will leave a large hole to fill.
Victor attended Moseley Grammar School from 1956 to 1962 and was a tireless supporter of the Moseleians Association and a very active member of the Committee. He carried out his roles as one of the backbones of association, archive group and more recently as Membership Secretary with gentle kindness and good humour and his expression of genuine interest in those he spoke to and concern for Moseley School will be sorely missed.
Race, James Malcolm
We have learnt sadly of the death of master mariner, James Malcolm Race at the age of 81.
From Moseley Grammar School, Jim went to Warsash Merchant Navy College on Southampton Water, where he won the prize for the best student at navigation and displayed his native cunning by taking the advice of foreign classmates and claiming to be a follower of the Greek Orthodox religion in order to avoid the otherwise compulsory church parades on Sundays.
Jim joined the Merchant Navy in 1950, at the age of 17, and for 10 years served as a Deck Officer with Royal Mail Lines Ltd, working on cargo and passenger ships on the South American and West Indies trade routes and troopships travelling to Korea.
He qualified as a Master Mariner in record time, but with the Merchant Navy in decline he pursued a career in business, joining the hospitality industry, rising to become a Midlands area manager and then director for Ansells Brewery, and helping set up its restaurant chain. He was later a director for Ind Coope Ltd.
Jim's love of the sea never deserted him and, in the 1980s, he helped set up the Allied Lyons Cruising Club and introduced scores of their employees into the world of sailing, creating a vast network of friends.
In retirement he taught navigation to the Royal Yachting Association students at night school, and was also a founder member, and first Commodore, of the Heart of England Offshore Cruising Association. He served the community teaching underprivileged youths how to sail with the Youth Afloat charity in Redditch, continuing with his work for this and other sailing charities for many years.
Jim received the Royal Yachting Association Community Award from the Princess Royal in 2009 for his commitment to the sport of sailing.
James Malcolm Race is survived by his wife of 58 years Elaine (nee Gopsill), children Nigel, Karen, Hazel and Jacalyn, and grandchildren Corey, Casey, Edward and Freya.
Hitchings, Colin Ross
We learnt in January of the death last June of Colin Hitchings who attended Moseley Grammar School in the late 1940s. Colin was a former president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and was awarded both the Franck Medal in 2005 and the Joseph A Oddis Award (posthumously) for exceptional service to international pharmacy.
After leaving Moseley, and studying pharmacy at university, Colin registered as a pharmacist in 1963 and after a number of hospital jobs in Wales became chief pharmacist of Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn Garden City in 1965. He went on to become chief pharmacist at Northwick Park Hospital in 1969, holding the post until 1973 before taking on the roles of group pharmacist at the Royal Free Hospital and area pharmaceutical officer in Camden and Islington until 1980. For the next 15 years Hitchings worked as the regional pharmaceutical officer for the South West Thames Regional Health Authority.
Colin was a keen advocate of hospital pharmacy and was president of the RPSGB between 1983 and 1984, becoming a fellow in 1992 and remained a registered fellow until he died. Subsequent to his tenure as president, he was the pharmaceutical adviser to the World Health Organization from 1986 until 1990. He also held positions at the International Pharmaceutical Association, latterly as the elected professional secretary between 1997 and 2001.
Outside pharmacy Colin was a keen follower of sport, being a regular attender at International Rugby matches, and a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club.
John Singles, who attended MGS from 1944 to 1949, passed away on 25 September last year after a seven year battle with prostate cancer. John became the first Secretary of the new Association, formed after the great reunion on July 1993.
At school, John played rugby and took part in athletics both for his house, Midgley, and for various school teams. He was a member of the Athletics team that came third in the 1948 Grammar School Sports meeting.
John sat his School Certificate Exam in 1949 in which he selected to include the Welsh Language, which he had taught himself with some assistance from (Taffy) Hughes, a physics teacher, himself a fluent Welsh speaker. Indeed John obtained a pass, which was a first for the School. He always enjoyed visiting Wales, walking in Snowdonia and travelling on the marrow gauge steam railways, some of which he supported as a member.
After leaving school John worked for two years for the City Council's Education Department before commencing National Service at Catterick Camp. From there he joined the Queens Own Hussars driving light armoured vehicles first in Germany and later in Malaya where he saw active service. When leaving National Service, John's commanding officer commented on his release papers that John was 'inclined to grumble and always air his views'.
John then joined Birmingham Social Services Children's Department, alter working in a similar field in Solihull and Worcestershire before taking early retirement in his mid-50s.
He had an amazing memory covering events in European history and folk music, which he enjoyed playing and singing, in particular risqué rugby songs, reciting dozens of verses non-stop. Being keen on Irish and Scottish music he and I went to many concerts at Birmingham Town Hall, enjoying bands such as the Dubliners and the Corrie Folk Group from Edinburgh.
During the early days of the Moseleians Association, John discovered that a long serving PE teacher James Gillespie was around 100 years of age and living in Scotland. John was despatched by the Committee to visit James in Milngavie to celebrate his 104th birthday and to present him with some memorabilia items from the Moseleians. James was very touched.
After John stepped down as Secretary he continued to support functions and open days, taking part regularly in the annual Remembrance Event in November, where he would speak eloquently about events in both World Wars, and his visits to the battlefields in France and Belgium.
John's funeral took place on 6th October at Robin Hood Crematorium attended by family, friends and Association members. His funeral was accompanied appropriately by music from the Dubliners. His family have donated a number of books on languages to the School from his extensive collection.
In 1965, the young male staff at Moseley Mixed School in College Road was full of anticipation. A new member of staff had been appointed: her name, Beverley! Not only that, Beverley was joining the boys' P.E. Department!!
How foolish they were made to look when introduced to this 6'2" giant of a man who quickly made his presence felt in the classrooms and corridors, playground and sports field.
Bev was a truly first class, all round sportsman who excelled at basketball where he was a regular for his school team, Kings Norton Boys, had trials for the National R.A.F. team and England, and was a member of the Old Nortonians Squad that went undefeated in Midland League games for ten years in the 1960s.
He was also an excellent table tennis player and won several individual titles in Birmingham and District Table Tennis Leagues. Bev was a more than competent golfer, and was a member at the prestigious Moseley Course for many years, qualifying for the Sunrise Medical Finals, run by Peter Alliss at Gleneagles in the 1990s.
On the football pitch he was a languishing right winger. He had great skill, the ability to beat players and was a superb crosser of the ball.
His real sporting love, of course was cricket, where he represented Kings Heath with distinction for many years. Bev was a demon opening bowler, twice taking ten wickets in an innings: once against Northampton Saints and once against Leicester Ivanhoe. He was also selected to play for Warwickshire C. C. C. Second X1.
But most of all, Bev was an excellent teacher who was totally committed to inspiring a love of sport in all of his pupils, an ambition which he achieved with distinction. In addition his enthusiasm and energetic approach motivated many of his colleagues to run various school teams in the evenings and on Saturday.
Under his leadership, sport at Moseley flourished and teams won Birmingham titles in a range of sports including the prestigious Docker Shield Cricket Competition.
However, Bev also had time for youngsters of all ages and abilities and introduced many different activities into the curriculum for those not blessed with talent in the more traditional games.
Under Bev, Moseley staff enjoyed regular basketball and cricket matches against other Birmingham teachers and a staff cricket team toured Cornwall as a one off in 1976 but continued to do so for the next thirty years!
Hundreds if not thousands of pupils from the former Brandwood, Moseley Secondary and Kings Norton Mixed Schools have reason to be grateful to Bev Packwood for instilling into them not only a real love of sport but more importantly, real sportsmanship.
For the last ten years of his life, Bev lived in Perranporth, Cornwall with his wife, Bridget, who nursed him through his final days until he sadly succumbed to the Cancer that he had fought for so long and passed away on Wednesday 14th. January, 2015.
Mayman, Derek (FS), BEM
It is with great sadness that we heard of the death in November 2014 of Derek Mayman at the age of 93.
Frederick Sylvester, always known to friends and colleagues as Derek, was the first Chairman of the Moseleians Association when it was formed back in 1995, until he stepped down in 1999. Along with Mary Miles, then head teacher of Moseley School, Derek was a leading figure in the campaign to preserve the Spring Hill College building and thwart the City Council's plans to for its demolition.
In his day job Derek was the founding Director and then Chairman of a successful business in the construction industry FGF Limited - which supplies insulation, mineral fibre, glass fibre, roofing products, and spray adhesives to the building industry.
After leaving Moseley Grammar School, Derek had a distinguished war record. He was a Lieutenant in The Royal Artillery 1944 and a 2nd Lieutenant in The Middlesex Regiment. He never talked much about his wartime ventures, but he went over to Normandy in June 1944 and travelled on to the Ardennes in the following treacherous winter, before being amongst the first Allied troops to cross the Rhine in early spring 1945. He did not return to England until a few days before the end of the War, and then joined the TA afterwards.
Derek had many interests including the Moseleians Association where he continued to support events and also personally to fund many projects at school including the flagpole and flags on top of the Tower which he would look out for on his way to work. He also paid for a Sports Wall which used to stand on the playground between East and West. This was an experimental company product with cricket markings basketball hoops goals and other features for kids to use at breaks. That was sadly demolished as part of the new School building work.
He always attended the annual Remembrance event and came to many open days, until ill health got in the way and he was accompanied by his daughter Elizabeth.
Derek lived in the small hamlet of Blunts Green near Henley in Arden and his house looked onto the North Warwickshire railway line, which led to him being the prime mover in organising local opposition to its closure. As Chairman of the 'Save the Line' Committee, Derek helped retain the rail link from Tyseley to Stratford-upon-Avon.
Derek received the British Empire Medal in the 2013 Queen's New Year's Honours “for voluntary service to Railway Heritage in the West Midlands and Wales,” and recognises a lifetime's effort in furthering railway preservation, most notably on the Welspool and Llanfair.
He was one of the first directors of the W&LLR Preservation Company formed in 1960. Having been closed by British Railways in 1956, the line reopened under the control of preservationists in 1963, and is now over 50 years old.
Derek went on to play a leading role in the running of the line for many years, with perhaps his crowning achievement being to secure four carriages from the Austrian Zillertalbahn line in 1968. As well as forging a strong link between the two railways, the arrival of the Austrian carriages with their open end balconies provided the W&LLR with a “unique selling point”, and these coaches remain just as popular with today's travellers.
He retired from the W&LLR board in 1991 and in recognition of more than 30 years' service to the line he was immediately made a Vice President, a post he held until his death.
In celebrating his 90th Birthday in 2012 Derek hired a train consisting of a Castle Class locomotive with Great Western coaches to run a special from Tyseley to Oxford via Stratford. Tony Wright recalls the trip. “My wife and I had been invited to join Derek's family and friends on what turned out to be a very memorable day out, the highlight of which was hurtling at 70 mph with whistle blowing through Banbury Station to the amazement of onlookers.”
Richard Cobb said “Derek Mayman will be remembered by so many for his boundless enthusiasm and support in many areas of preservation of our heritage as well as his support for the Moseley School of today.”
Hague, Sir Douglas
The death in February has been announced of Douglas Hague at the aged 88. He was one of Margaret Thatcher's earliest and most loyal economic advisers and was the co-author (with Alfred Stonier) of A Textbook of Economic Theory that Hague, then Professor of Applied Economics at Manchester Business School.
Douglas was born in 1926 and attended Moseley Secondary School in the mid-1930s before going on to King Edward's High School and then on to study Economics at Birmingham University. He later joined the teaching staff followed by University College London and by Professorships in Business Studies at Sheffield and Manchester Universities.
From 1983 to 1987 he was chairman of the Economic & Social Research Council, and thereafter he was a non-executive director of a variety of business ventures. He continued to write speeches for the Mrs Thatcher from time to time to whom he had been first introduced in 1967. He was appointed CBE in 1978 and, in 1982, became the first of Mrs Thatcher's economic advisers to be knighted.
Douglas was a prolific author and co-author, turning his attention in the last phase of his academic career to the relationship between science and business innovation.
Thorpe, Dr Philip E
Philip Thorpe's achievements in drug targeting angiogenesis and antibody-based therapeutics had global impact, and his loss will be felt deeply on our campus and well beyond," said Dr. Greg Fitz. Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School.
Dr. Thorpe, a Professor of Pharmacology who also held an appointment in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Centre, was the holder of The Serena S. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Cancer Immunopharmacology. Dr. Thorpe discovered that a fatty lipid molecule, phosphatidylserine, is preferentially expressed on cancer blood vessels, where it can serve as a target to increase the specificity of drugs to the tumor.
He was firmly dedicated to the translation of his novel concepts in drug design into practical drug therapies for cancer, imaging agents, and antivirals," Dr. Fitz said. "His expertise covered a wide range of fields including protein engineering, synthetic chemistry, pharmacological testing, cell biology and immunology. Five drugs developed wholly or partially in Dr. Thorpe's laboratory have entered clinical trials." For the past 15 years, Dr. Thorpe also worked as a scientific advisor to Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in Tustin, California, to develop novel therapeutics. He was included in 252 issued and pending worldwide patents, including 74 in the U.S. He was the author of more than 200 publications in the fields of drug targeting, angiogenesis and antibody-based therapeutics.
In 1998 Dr. Thorpe was named one of the first recipients of the Pierce Immunotoxin Award, an honour presented every two years for outstanding contributions to immunotoxin research. He also received the Texas State Legislature Award for Research Excellence in 1997 and the American Cancer Society Award of Excellence in 1999.
Dr. Thorpe graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor ofScience in pharmacology from the University of Liverpool in 1972 and earned a Ph.D. in immunology from London's Clinical Research Centre in 1976. He served as a Medical Research Council Fellow at Chester Beatty Research Institute in London (now The Institute of Cancer Research) until 1981, then as Director of the Drug Targeting Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London until 1991. At that time, he joined UT Southwestern as Professor of Pharmacology. From 1998-1999,
Dr. Thorpe also served as Associate Director of the Center for Molecular Medicine at Maine Medical Centre Research. Dr. Alfred Gilman. Nobel Laureate and Regental Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology, said, "Phil Thorpe was a marvellous combination of immunologist and pharmacologist. His insights into biological problems were keen, and his imagination and sense of daring were inspiring. We were privileged and honoured that he was our colleague and friend for more than two decades."
Trevor Iliffe, who set a new school record for the mile in 1948 and went on to compete in middle distance running for Small Heath Harriers and the army, has died age 83.
Fiercely competitive on the track and in the ballroom, Trevor turned out to be a born salesman and covered the Midlands and Northern territories for the Beecham Group for 25 years, boosting the company's toiletries sales to major national accounts.
Although suffering Alzheimers, his memory for past events remained and right to the end he never forgot people and was able to recognise the many old friends, including school chums, who visited his Redditch home in recent times, when he was also diagnosed with prostate cancer.
His wife and dancing partner, Irlys, said: "Because his past memory remained, the events of his early years and the school became far more important to him. So many came to see him and he always said he wanted to write his own obituary but in the end illness prevented that. He was very determined. It had to be right - in the ballroom where he where he won many medals and with his running where he had to win."
The Army regarded his athletics prowess so highly he was kept in the UK to compete rather than being posted to either the Malayan or Korean conflicts which were ongoing during his National Service. Prior to joining Small Heath Harriers, where he also ran for Warwickshire and engaged in cross-country running, Trevor had been a member of Sparkhill Harriers while still at school.
While Trevor was forced byhis developing condition to resign from his long association with Probus and his Masonic lodge, his good voice enabled him to gain further fulfilment with the local Arrowvale Singers and he was a lifelong supporter and season ticket holder with Birmingham City FC, whose matches he attended with another Old Moseleian, his cousin Barry Smallwood, until Barry's death..
Before his incapacity Trevor, who joined the Moseleians Association in 1997, came to many events at the school to lend a hand and having taken early retirement from a second main sales job with Carters soft drinks, he and his wife, who brought up three sons, tragically losing one when he was age 35, were able to devote much time to theirfour grandchildren. The funeral service, followed by cremation, was on 8 September at St Peter's, Ipsley, the church Irlys and he have attended since 1977.
A crowd of more than 150 were present at the funeral of Jeff Adams (1935-41) and his wife, Doris, in January, including many Moseleians. The couple, married for 63 years, died within days of each other, leaving a son Richard, who was at Moseley 1965-72, a daughter Lynn, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Jeff, born in July 1924, was at Moseley Grammar School from 1935 to 1941, a year before he was called up for wartime service in the Royal Signals Corps and drafted to face the Japanese in Malaya.
He had played for the school’s first teams at rugger and cricket but while the lure of leather on willow was to remain with him, he was to forsake the oval ball in favour of soccer, a game he originally played as centre forward while at Acocks Green Primary, with the 10-year-old Gil Merrick, later of Birmingham City and England, in goal! Jeff married Doris in 1947, not long after his demob, by which time he had joined the family wholesale jewellers of E Smith and Co, founded in 1894 by his grandfather. He Yepped’ for the company in its dealings with retailers all over the country, while Doris was recruited to help run the office. At weekends Jeff- by then an established No. 5 batsman and leg spin bowler – played league cricket for Moseley CC on Saturdays and for Old Moseleians on Sundays, having spent the morning at the Lugtrout Lane ground with a mower, to prepare the pitch. Doris helped prepare the teas and take a turn as club scorer. In the fifties Jeff embarked on a decade of summer tours to play in Cheltenham, then London area clubs and, finally, various teams in Devon, which conveniently doubled as family holidays based on Woolacombe Sands for the players’ wives and children. In keeping with Jeffs reputation for “love of life and sense of humour” it was no surprise to hear how one member of their party silenced a nearby Boys Brigade camp bugler, who, annoyingly, sounded reveille when the late-night cricketers wanted to sleep in. Someone located the bugler’s tent and “borrowed” the bugle for a few days. But the game was up and police were called when one family member blew the bugle from their hotel balcony. In the winter Jeff turned out for Moor Green FC, yards along Sherwood Road from the house he and Doris bought to raise their family. Roy Moore, who was at the school a year or two ahead of Jeff, mischievously told of the time Doris, at the end of a long journey with fractious kids, delivered a much-used chamber pot to the hotel reception on arrival, quite a contrast to the shy bride in 1950 who changed for bed on their honeymoon by stepping into the wardrobe at the Pentire Hotel in Newquay. Jeff, a regular until recent months at Moseleians Association events and meetings, always ready to lend a hand where needed, retired in the early 1980s while living in Earlswood. He and Doris were able to spend more time cruising and in France where, when Doris was a girl, her grandfather had successful racing stables. For the last 18 years the couple lived in Amethyst Court, Olton.
Former Moseley pupil Liz Roberts has informed us of the death of her father: It is with great sadness I report that my dear dad, John Roberts, passed away on 26th November 2013 at the grand old age of 91 years. Dad was fortunate to lead a full and active life right up until the final few months of his life, when cancer and frailty took its toll. Known affectionately at Moseley School as ‘dad’ Roberts he was proud to have taught there for over 25 years in an area he was passionate about, metalwork/engineering. For any pupil who showed a genuine interest in this subject, he was happy to spend time encouraging and nurturing their skills, even if this meant doing so after the school day had ended. During his retirement dad kept in touch with many of his colleagues who he always spoke of with great affection. The family were touched to receive cards and words of comfort from his friends at Moseley and also to see so many of them at his funeral. He will be sadly missed.
MARTIN, Anthony John
David (“Doc”) Martin (MGS/MS Staff 1968 -1989), writes that his brother, Anthony John (“Tony”) Martin, (MGS 1942-1948) passed away on 28th May 2013. Tony served in the Royal Military Police for National Service and when that was completed he qualified as a draughtsman. He joined the Ford Motor Company, firstly at the Research Centre in Hands worth, then at Basildon. Essex, where he spent the rest of his working life. For some unknown reason his nickname at MGS was “Narna” or “Nana”. He was always immensely proud of his time at MGS, especially playing Rugby for the School. He leaves a wife, two Sons and a daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Muriel died 31st August, 2013. Ms Hipsley, as she was known to students, taught needlework in the early days of Moseley Modern School. Sadly, she died at the end of August last year. When we were organising the Golden Reunion of Moseley Modern School in 2005, we managed to track her down and she was very much an honoured guest at that memorable event. We asked her to set out some memories of those days back at Moseley Modern and that piece appears on our website. She described 1956 the post war bulge year – when she first started, as organised chaos. Do things ever change? She recalled that in her teaching career she never again taught in a school which had such a philanthropic outlook and she was sure Moseley School children of that time would remember the look of wonder on the faces of the visitors. It was a school that ran like clockwork, Miss Cohen first headteacher – was a disciplinarian and a line was drawn over which a pupil stepped at peril. Stealing, lying, truancy, defacing school property and insolence were all punishable. The cane could be used, but strangely, it was seldom needed. Everyone knew what the rules were what the punishment could be and virtually no one wanted it, so it didn’t happen, only rarely. Both Ms Hipsley and Ms Cohen will be fondly remembered.
MOLE, Ron (MGS 1945-49)
Passed away at Myton Hospice on 23 January. Ron, also known as China, lived at Exhall, Alcesterwith his wife June, to whom we extend our sympathies.
Janette Blandford Has advised us of the death of her father, Jack Blandford (1932-37) died 11th November 2013 aged 92 after a short stay in hospital. He served in the RAF in Bomber Command and was shot down over Belgium in 1944. Helped by the resistance, six months later he made it to Switzerland and at the end of the war he returned to England. He married Janet and made a career in the meat industry, centred around Birmingham Markets. He was a member of several Masonic Lodges and also a keen golf player. He is survived by a son and a daughter, both of whom live abroad.
Our dad, David Marks passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on 26 Sept 2012, aged 75. He was a pupil at MGS from 1948-1953. After leaving school, and serving his 5 year apprenticeship at Joseph Lucas Ltd, he enjoyed using his engineering skills at various companies around Birmingham, latterly spending 5 years with BSA, supervising their special projects. His love of Triumph motor bikes never left him, although after a rather horrible crash, resulting in a metal plate being inserted in his leg, he never rode again.
He married our Mum, Elaine in 1961. In 1966, after answering an advert and accepted to join Singer in Clydebank, we made the move to Scotland. A few months later, IBM UK Ltd became the next employer where Dad would spend 23 years.
After taking early retirement, he enjoyed many years of voluntary work, including local Enterprise projects, auditing, chairing various panels. He was proud to become Chairman of WSHA, a local housing association, where he helped win several awards for Design etc. Favourite passions included his love of cars, of which he had many that he would tinker with for hours, His love of foreign travel took Dad and Mum several times around the world. His fishing adventure in the Amazon unfortunately proved unsuccessful! He loved his garden, sunbathing whenever possible and would regularly spend lots of time watching and feeding the wildlife therein. He was proud to have been a Moseleian
Gary & Clive Marks
EDKINS, John George (MGS 1937-41)
We have been notified of the death in May 2012 of John Edkins in Plymouth, where he had lived for many years with his late wife Olivia. In recent years John had been a director of the management company for the flats where he lived Vic Corner has advised us of the death of Dave Lumby (MGS 1953-1960). Dave was a keen sportsman and played rugby for the school. He also held the long jump record for 3 years. He was very popular, with a good sense of humour and could always tell a good story. Dave sadly passed away on 25* August after a short illness.
MAYFIELD, Gordon (MGS 1934-38)
Raymond Mayfield writes from Somerset, sending greetings to fellow members of the association from him and his wife, and gives news of the death of his brother in November 2012. My brother Gordon was justly proud of his time at Moseley and as well as the academic side he always enjoyed sport and in particular rugby, continuing to play for the Old Moseleians after leaving school.
He started his working life as a trainee Quantity Surveyor, progressing over the years through further studies and practical experience to attain full qualification and membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. With the outbreak of war in 1939, he was resident on site on one of the many Air Ministry contracts where he was destined to meet his wife to be ….although it would be another ten years before they were married. Military Service with the Royal Engineers enabled him to make full use of his construction skills as a training NCO and I well remember him recalling some hair raising moments putting recruits through their paces, building Bailey bridges across the fast flowing River Ribble. Back in Civvy Street he was involved in many large scale construction projects right up to and beyond retirement age. Sadly his retirement was overshadowed by the death of his beloved wife Hilda in 1996. However he found solace in voluntary work at his home church of St Mary’s in Kidderminster where his advise particularly on fabric matters was greatly valued. He gained strength from an active involvement with the church and was able to maintain his role until the last few years when declining health took its toll and he died shortly after admission to hospital on 18 November 2012.
MOLE, Peter Alan
Ronald Mole writes, I have to report the death of my brother at the age of 85. He was well known in the Motor Industry and was instrumental in the design of disc brakes.
DAWSON, Wendy Dawson, teacher at Moseley
1985-2010, who died in February. aged 61, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Wendy joined Moseley School as a Maths teacher in 1985, part time initially but later full time. As well as being a talented mathematician she worked as a Deputy Year Head for many years and made a difference to the lives of very many young people. I counted myself fortunate when, as Head of Year, Wendy became a tutor in my Year Team. She always went the extra mile for her tutees and found and brought out the best in each one. As one ex student put it “She was one of the good guys”. Wendy was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and retired in 2010 to spend precious time with husband Dave, and children Paul and Jen and grandchildren. Many staff, past and present, will remember Wendy for her kindness, sense of humour, love of red wine and straightforward approach to everything!
HARPER, Don (1943-48)
Doors of two of England’s most august institutions opened freely to 1940s Moseleian Don Harper who died towards the end of 2012. Don, hailed as an ace salesman, progressed from selling ladies fashions to confectionary and by the 1960s greetings cards, and charmed both Lords and Wimbledon authorities into admitting him to some of the great sporting occasions. He became a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club, enjoying the privileges of the hallowed pavilion and international matches at the home of cricket. As a tennis player – still on court at age 79 shortly before his death – Don was a member and twice chairman of his local club at Toddington, Bedfordshire, where he was also a cast member, with his wife, of the local amateur drama society, later performing as its consummate bar steward. He acquired Wimbledon tickets by virtue of working for the Lawn Tennis Association in a volunteer capacity while also continuing for 14 years after “retirement” at age 65, as a sales consultant with the greetings card company which years before headhunted him to handle their big national accounts, including in Ireland and the Channel Islands.
Don remained in touch, also helping with a reunion of former classmates, despite living outside the Midlands most of his business life, Bedfordshire being home since his second marriage, to Molly, in 1965. Don leaves two sons and a daughter by his first marriage and was “stepdad” to the two daughters and son by Molly’s first marriage. For relaxation they shared the enjoyment of singing holidays, performing in a group without orchestral accompaniment, the last occasion as recently as April 2012.
A Giliespie protégé who became judo champ. Martial arts exponent Brian Eustace who chose a police career after in 1946 leaving Moseley where he had been a fast, hard driving wing forward in the rugger XV, has died age 81. His jujitsu skills even impressed experts in Japan, where he visited and competed, and he became world-renowned for his achievements in this field, including the highest UK grade in Taiho Jutsu and his Aikido grade is rarely attained outside Japan. Indeed Brian wrote several books on Aikido, judged competition in Europe and Japan and the family home accommodated Japanese experts on official visits to the UK. Alongside top international certificates Brian also held the Kudan Diploma and won the 9th Dan Black Belt in Paris in 2004 when aged over 70. For all his toughness, few in his class at Moseley would have visualised Brian developing into a world-beater in this particular pursuit as he vaulted and tackled the wall-bars under the eagle eye of gym guru James Giliespie in the mid-forties. But his sporting prowess was such that after he retired from his CID and self-defence training role with Warwickshire Police he was recruited by the Home Office as the first chief instructor in the art of Taiho Jutsu to forces across the country. In one spell he was delegated to teach the techniques to the Garda police in Eire. Brian, who lived in Stratford upon Avon, leaves a widow, Patricia, a daughter who is a medical practice sister, and sons with careers in IT, medicine and teaching. At his funeral, where the coffin was draped in the flag of Warwickshire Police, the family were joined by dozens of Brian’s students and officials and practitioners of martial arts, plus former police colleagues.
BARRETT, George W
It is with sadness we report the death in February in his adopted state of New Jersey of association member George W Barrett. Moseleian Gerry Thompson, who maintained close contact with George, writes: “He had been unwell for a some months and underwent a number of medical procedures to no avail. George visited last year and he joined us [a dedicated band of Old Boys from the '40s and '50s] at our monthly get-together at Hampton-in- Arden. Little did we realise that on his return to the US he would become so suddenly ill. “We extend our sympathy to Wendy, his wife of 56 years, and to his family.” Joining Moseley in 1945, George developed his sporting skills and was selected for the School first teams in both games and on leaving school in 1951 joined the Old Moseleians, becoming captain of the First XV. He also played alongside county and international rugger stars in the Birmingham Combined Old Boys team. He joined Joseph Lucas, Great King Street in 1951, later transferring to the Gas Turbine Division as development engineer. In 1966 he left to work for GE in the US and soon managed to find a rugby club for which he continued to play until age 50. In the early 70s he rejoined Lucas at their new facility in New Jersey and became the president of Lucas Aerospace USA, responsible for developing and operating the business in North America. Subsequently he was appointed president of Thompson Engineering in New Jersey, also becoming president of Simmons Engineering and Datron Arresting Systems Inc. He later acted as a consultant to Biosearch, a group of retired research chemists, helping them to obtain Government funding. After rugby he switched his sporting skills to sailing and skiing, eventually moving to a lakeside town in New York state where he enjoyed sharing his new pastimes with his children and grandchildren.
With great sadness we must report the passing of former Gazette editor Maurice Paramore. Former Head David Peck probably knew him better than any of us. He writes: Maurice was a very special person, a man whose qualities were appreciated by all who knew him. In management speak, he was an ‘energy giver’, someone who always leaves others feeling better for having encountered him. I am fortunate to have counted Maurice as a friend and am deeply grateful for all he did for Moseley in my time as Headteacher. I first encountered Maurice in 2001 when I was appointed Headteacher. At a time in his life (his mid 70s) when most people are taking things a little easier, Maurice was energetically engaged in his third career, as a volunteer with the Samaritans, at a local primary school and at Moseley.
As a student at Moseley Grammar, Maurice had first entered the Spring Hill College building as an 11 year old in September 1937. His gratitude for the start in life he was given by the school was reflected in his deep commitment to ‘giving back’ through his work as a member of the former students’ association, The Moseleians’, and as a member of the governing body. It is hard for us to imagine now, but during the second world war the school was evacuated. Maurice was a schoolboy at this time and hence was able to provide today’s young people with a valuable first-hand account of local history. However, any trauma Maurice may have felt related to evacuation was dwarfed by then terrible loss of his elder brother whose name is amongst the 96 on the war memorial in the foyer of the West Wing. In addition to the enormous amount of time he gave, Maurice brought so much wisdom to the governing body. As a result of his first two careers, as a senior executive with Heinz and then running a small business (a toy shop) with his wife, Beryl, he had a unique combination of experience from which Moseley students and adults were able to benefit. By their very nature, governing body meetings are not always the most exciting of events. Maurice made valuable contributions, listening carefully and ensuring that business was conducted in plain English. I have fond memories of Maurice responding to my over-use of education jargon with a comment along the lines of ‘David, I have no idea of what you are talking about’. Another very fond memory is the surprise 80′” birthday party we hosted for Maurice in the West Wing library. The planning required considerable subterfuge and secrecy involving many people but particularly Maurice’s family and Kate Wade, my PA. It was an extraordinary event and a real joy to share Maurice’s happiness. The world would be a much better place if everyone shared Maurice’s level of commitment to the community. It would be very difficult to list his personal qualities but a good sense of humour and humility were certainly amongst them. I have no doubt that his response to tributes would be jokes about not recognising the person concerned. There were many moving tributes from family and friends at Maurice’s funeral where, unsurprisingly, there was standing room only. His passing leaves a considerable void in the lives of many people, particularly, of course, Beryl and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The service was very much a celebration of Maurice’s life and what a full and fulfilled life it was. I shall remain ever grateful to Maurice. I certainly feel privileged to have known him.
Active Assocation member Dennis Goodyear, who played a prominent role in reunions and dinners back to the days of the Old Moseleians at Lugtrout Lane and before, has died age 80. Dennis, who treasured the distinction of becoming engaged to his sweetheart Pam during midnight mass at Christmas 1959, came to MGS in1942.
The love of cricket and rugby he developed at school stayed with him, along with a similar passion for soccer, until he took to more sedate pursuits to be found in his membership of Shirley Golf Club, Tanworth in Arden Bowls Club and Wythall British Legion club. He and Pam also kept fit on the dance floor – often while on holiday cruises in later years – she having been a professional dancer in her youth, appearing on stage in many countries. After National Service in the RAF from 1949-51 Dennis joined Lucas Girling, not only meeting Pam, who was a secretary with the company, but embarking on the career he was to follow until retirement. On marriage in June 1960 the couple set up home in Coverdale Road, Solihull, the address Dennis was still living at when illness led to his admission to hospital, where he died. Dennis had been devastated by Pam’s sudden death in 2005 but managed to cope by bringing his well-known gentlemanly dignity to bear, always showing respect and consideration for others. He continued to support Association events until quite recently. A number of Association members paid tribute to Dennis in attending his funeral at Robin Hood in June and his niece, Ann Gabriel has asked the Gazette to convey her and the wider family’s grateful thanks for showing such generous support and contributing to a collection for the British Heart Foundation totalling some £825 at the last count.
DEMPSEY, Peter Dempsey 1952-2012 (MGS 1964-71)
Known as Jack to many of his friends, Peter’s early love was opera, especially Italian. During his studies at Moseley Grammar School, while most of us were singing Dylan, Stones, T Rex, he would be regaling us with arias from any number of operas. Whilst an Undergraduate linguist at Birmingham University, as part of his course he spent time in Italy during the early seventies and was invited to perform an extensive repertoire of vocal music from opera and oratorios in recitals during his residence there. Through his love of what might be termed “archive” music he became a world authority on the early years of recorded music. His record collection numbers tens of thousands, from early “shellac” recordings of Caruso to Gigli or John McCormack to Paul Robeson, or from Max Miller to Jimmy Durante (two of his personal comedy favourites, along with Benny Hill!) His encyclopedic knowledge of recordings and their performers is evident by the incredible detail of “sleeve notes” on the thousands of CDs for which he has provided the original recordings he is often quoted “verbatim” by radio music presenters, which always resulted in a wry smile from Peter! He performed on radio himself during the 1990s. He was an exceptional tenor and worked with several opera companies across the country, as well as performances from an extensive solo repertoire. One of the highlights was his performances with the locally acclaimed Three English Tenors. His specialism became ballads, especially Victorian, and he released several CDs as a solo performer. He was a sought after speaker, recently to commemorate the composer Albert Ketelbey (another Brummie), and regularly for the Eric Coates Society. His wish was not fame or celebrity but an earnest desire to expose or introduce more people to the music, poetry, literature and performers he loved and which he saw as being ignored almost the point of extinction by current cultural trends. To this end and at great personal sacrifice he was still striving when he was taken from us with so much still to achieve. He was never happier than when listening to music with likeminded friends, a pint or two of good beer, cheese and bread adding to the conviviality, finishing off with Pete’s own rendition of Londonderry Air (Danny Boy), never bettered in my opinion.
Of the numerous trades and professions chosen by pupils from Moseley in the latter half of the last century, farming must be a rarity. From this purely urban base, nearer to industry than the pastoral scene, it happened, however. Yet the unusual choice is brought sadly into focus only by the death of Clem Constable. An off-spin bowler and contemporary of School XI and Old Moseleians county-class opening bat John Heath, he is thought to have been hooked on agriculture age 10 when in 1939 his family started taking holidays on a farm in Shelsley Beauchamp, Worcestershire. Evacuation with pupils from the school during the early part of the blitz to the rural rich red soil of Kidderminster and King Charles Grammar School gave him chance to consolidate his interest. On leaving Moseley in 1945 he moved from job to job on the land to expand his knowledge, spending his entire career in farming and associated activities. His brother, Don, who took the more traditional route into industry, described from his home in Cornwall how Clem – Connie to his schoolmates – took low-paid work as a farm labourer to gain hands-on skills in arable, dairy and chicken farming until in the prime of life he attained a golden goal, to manage a Jersey herd in Hockley Heath near Solihull. In parallel he developed another specialty, an almost scientific knowledge of agricultural fetilisers and weed control methods, giving him a sound basis for another aspect of his career in land management. Quiet Clem, who liked to keep his own counsel, never joined the Moseleians Association and never left his home territory, always working in the Warwickshire-Worcestershire area and living in Orchard Road, Hockley Heath. Age 82, he leaves his wife, Biddy, a son and daughter and four grandchildren.
FRENCH, Geoffrey Stanley
Geoffrey died on May 11 at 92 years old, a Moseley pupil in the late thirties. On leaving school Geoffrey became an apprentice at the Austin Motor Company, Longbridge. He joined the TA in 1938 and served throughout the war in the RASC, with which he was evacuated from Dunkirk, after which he saw action in Madagascar, India, Persia, Egypt, Palestine and Germany. After the war he returned to the motor industry and spent over 25 years with Renault. He is survived by his wife Jean, to whom he had been married for just over 60 years.
FAVELL, Lt Cdr Henry (Harry) (MGS1939-49)
My father has recently died of supra nuclear palsey. He was very proud of his roots, which is why he wished to remain associated with your organisation. He left Mosley School and joined the Navy and after a rewarding career in the medical branch lectured in Health and Safety. He only gave up when he was 70!
Marion (Favell) Lamb
WALKINSHAW, Ken (MGS 1946 – 51)
In April 2012 we heard that Ken passed away. Ken attended MGS 1946-51 and lived in Weymouth, Dorset.
JONES, Roy (MGS 1932-39)
It is with regret that I inform you of the death of my stepfather Roy Jones on the 11th March 2012. He was 90 years old and had enjoyed a very full and successful life since leaving school. He was always proud to have been a pupil at Moseley
LOCKWOOD, Keitha Nancy (1935-2012)
Keitha Burns joined Moseley Modern School in the late 1950s as a domestic science teacher, after finishing teacher training college at Gloucester. She died on 8 July. Her daughter, Katie Skinner, shares her memories. At Moseley Mum met my father and they married in 1959. She always fondly recounted the story of how the headmistress, Mrs North, announced, to the dismay of the school at the end of one spring term, that Miss Burns was unfortunately leaving but then, to their delight, she announced that she would be returning as Mrs Lockwood after the Easter holidays. She loved that story and was also particularly proud of how she would often be sent the “difficult” children who had been removed from other lessons and quickly got them making scones or a cake with some spare ingredients. They were always quite happy to join her lessons. Mum taught cookery and needlework and I believe that she became chief examiner of home economics in the Birmingham area after she had had me and my brother, Richard and was then working part time at Moseley. She loved her job and I never heard her complain, apart from the dismay when her old room was dismantled as an HE room after she had retired and the government had effectively removed cookery from the curriculum in favour of Food Technology. She always believed in the importance of teaching pupils how to cook nutritious meals and she would be really supportive of the return of teaching more traditional cookery skills to the Design Technology curriculum.
As well as being committed to her teaching she played a very active role in helping to provide the costumes for the school plays and musicals and was always a support for many school extracurricular activities, such as organising the food for the cottage fundraising sponsored walk to Wales, Operation Grouse, in the early 1980s. My mum was very proud of having worked at Moseley School and loved meeting past pupils, as she often did in Tesco. They always greeted her with much fondness, even in the later stages of her illness. Moseley School was a very big part of her life; she loved the children, believed passionately in the importance of her subject and also made many lifelong friends from the staff who worked at the school. It held a very special place in her memories, especially after my father passed away. Another passion in her life was of course Gorran Haven. It became such a special place to her and we spent so many wonderful family holidays there as part of the WALOW* cricket tour, mainly because of the close friendships made there. Her final holiday was taken down in Gorran just a few years ago but at that time she still recognised the village and all her friends, so that will remain a very special memory to us. Mum was also deeply committed to Moseley Operatic Society, which had started as a group at Moseley Mixed night school and included ex students and others and developed to produce annual events at Solihull Library Theatre.
TAYLOR, Eric (MSS, 1933-38)
As we go to press we have learned of the death of Eric Taylor, known as Buck, who was at Moseley Secondary School, 1933-38. His wife Beryl tells us that he died on March 20, 2012 aged 89 years. He joined the Association in 1998.
Henry died in September 2011, he came to MGS at the outbreak of the war in autumn 1939. He was a fine sportsman and a genuinely fast bowler. He was in the school eleven which played against an M.C.C. eleven captained by former England and Warwickshire Captain, R.E.S. Wyatt. Henry, by now a prefect, was requested by their skipper to carry Wyatt’s cricket bag to the Pickwick C.C. pavilion. Henry reflected upon this for a moment and then negotiated a deal whereby, upon fulfilling this chore, he received a packet of 20 Players cigarettes!
After leaving Moseley he became a chemist at one of Birmingham’s leading paint manufacturers, eventually rising to chief chemist. He continued playing cricket with the Old Moseleians Cricket Club, becoming a good all-round player. Whilst at school he developed a love for New Orleans jazz. He and a K.E.S. Bristol Road friend put together a 6-piece band “Ray Foxley’s Levee Ramblers”. This continued at a greater pace when school days were over and they travelled the length and breadth of the country, playing at concert halls and Jazz Clubs, including the BBC Jazz Club. Two other Moseleians in the band were Tony Gibbons – clarinet, who went on to carve out a professional music career and Geoff Allen, who defected with his trombone to play in Australia. Henry continued playing his trumpet until his front teeth, already having had an altercation with an opposing rugby player’s boot in a school match, decided to retire without Henry’s permission! He also continued to play golf with the Old Moseleians Golf Society until it ended a few years ago. He could be seen at most local jazz clubs until just before his demise in September. His humour and wit will be sadly missed by his friends at dinners and luncheons that he attended.
I first came across Henry’s name at. the Midland Jazz Club in Hill Street, where the Second City Jazzmen played weekly during the fifties. He was even at that time something of a legend, as he had disappeared from’the jazz scene and nobody knew of his whereabouts. All | could find out was that he was the lead trumpet in a very young band which played in clubs and pubs during the late 40s but which had since disbanded.
Sometime in the 60s I attended a Second City Band reunion at a pub Opposite the Digbeth Institute and partway through the evening the band introduced “a very special guest” to, play with them… Henry Gardiner. It was quite a moment for me, for there in the flesh and playing hot music was “The Legend* who everybody used to talk about. The next time I; met Henry was at the first live Jazz Evening I put on at the Billesley Hotel. At that time I had no idea Henry had attended Moseley. It was quite a surprise. Henry and his wife Jean came to all of my jazz concerts, enabling me to talk to him about the early days of jazz in Birmingham. I still have a 78rpm record of the “Levee Ramblers” to remind me of a legendary gentleman who came to life through the Moseleians Association,
GRIFFITHS, Ronald ‘Ronnie’ John
Died in November 2011. Ronnie attended MGS1957-1962
Eric died in December 2011, aged 87. Many of you with connections to Moseley Mixed from late 60s to early 80s may remember with fondness Eric Westley, a well-loved and inventive member of maths and remedial teaching staff, who sadly passed away in December, aged 87. After early retirement Eric continued his outdoor life, walking, cycling, and doing volunteer work for his local church at Acocks Green, as well as tutoring for the school there. With Kath, his devoted wife, he began a family-tree stretching from six children to eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. After losing his wife, and moving from the family home to a warden controlled one in Cotteridge his health deteriorated, yet still he was witty and the life and sole of any conversation you cared to have. Sadly the last 10 years of his life were taken up progressively by dementia. He passed away, with family around him, at Bramley Court, ironically and fittingly within minutes of our former family home that nurtured us ‘up the Maypole’/Kings Heath. The most amusing trait his family has inherited from him is ‘debating’, or being ‘devil’s advocate1 (sometimes a little heated – he was a union rep at school!). They are also keen to ‘try their hand’ at things that don’t come naturally. Helping others to reach their potential gave Eric his most long lasting satisfaction, and whether this was his family or teacher colleagues who asked him his advice, or the many students of all achievements and skills he mentored, he will be remembered for giving his all, sometimes quietly, other times a little more vocally.
WHYLEY, Ron (1942-47)
Ron died in October 2011, aged 80 Ron attended MGS from 1942 to 47. After leaving Moseley and completing his national service in REME he served in the West Midlands Police Force for 31 years, retiring in December 1984 after rising to the rank of Inspector. In 1989 he was a founder member of the Birmingham City Police Choir and for 21 years served as General Secretary.
Alan died in January 2012, aged 95
Those who read the story of his joining the Association last year when aged 94, and those who met Alan Bradley at last year’s Farewell Reunion will be sad to hear of his death, aged 95, in January. Alan was fading fast in the last few days, having been admitted to Solihull Hospital on 20th December, 67th wedding anniversary of he and his wife, Muriel (known to friends as Queenie). Alan’s son, Roger, wanted the school security staff to know how much Alan appreciated their willingness, on the busy day of the Farewell Reunion, to open up SHC specially so Alan could savour, for what has proved to be the last time, the atmosphere of the building he first entered in the 1920s.
HARRIS, Nick (1965-72)
Nick died in January 2012 Nick, died of heart disease in January 2012. He attended MGS from 1965 to 72.
HUNTING, Morris (1940-45)
Morris died in January 2012, aged 82 Morris had been the proprietor of a record shop specialising in jazz on vinyl records since 1942. Initially in Moor St., Morris finally transferred the business to Bromsgrove St. The present Manager, Jimmy Shannon, had worked for Morris for 42 years. Morris leaves a widow, Giselda, and a daughter. Their home was at Simmons Yat.
SLATER, Ian (1973-80)
Ian died in February 2012, aged 50
Arriving at Moseley in September 1973 I was sitting in the front row, next to Ian and by break time we were the very best of friends, exploring our new environment together, widening our group of new friends as we went and I can now confess that much of my maths homework was copied from him! Ian stayed on into sixth form, gained an HMD from Matthew Boulton College and graduated from Warwick University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He had a successful career in estate management, working for the heath authority, Birmingham University and latterly as site manager for Ashchurch MOD. At school he was an active member of the Field Club and Pete Anstey recalls the big contribution he made to the club’s first Alps trip in 1980, to study glaciers, and remembers the trouble they had finding crampons big enough for his large feet… Ian was a big lad! Liz McElligott, who was on that trip, recalls her concern as she watched him walk across the fragile glacier. Her concern wasn’t so much for his safety but that she was roped to him! He was a keen cyclist and photographer who travelled extensively in Europe, Canada and America and was fascinated by vehicles of every kind. He was always ready and willing to help others, although it was hard to know what Ian actually did for a living because when you asked he would regale you with funny stories about the situations he found himself in or the people he worked with and the antics they got up to; people, incidentally, who he affectionately referred to as The Muppets’. Indeed with his quiet, gentle and friendly nature Ian was always a fund of good stories.
Moving from Greet to Childswickham, Worcestershire, Ian served for many years as a Parish councillor, including a period as its secretary. He had a passion for animals, especially those living in the wild and was a keen supporter of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund for endangered mountain gorillas. He attended last year’s Farewell Reunion and his muttley laugh will be greatly missed.
Alan died in February, aged 92
Alan was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government between 1971 and 1974. Born in Birmingham on July 17 1919 and educated at Moseley Secondary School and Birmingham University, he stayed on at Birmingham to teach, becoming Professor of Metallurgy. As the government’s chief scientist he oversaw the introduction of a new and controversial structure for the financing of governmentsupported scientific research. During the debates over the future of Britain’s nuclear power programme, Cottrell favoured the British-designed steam-generated heavy water reactor against the American pressurised water reactor favoured by the Central Electricity Generating Board. In 1974, in evidence to the Select Committee on Science and Technology, he expressed doubts about the safety of steam pressure vessels used in the American design, and the committee recommended against the American design on safety grounds.
His scientific work was primarily concerned with the effects of radiation on the structure and properties of metals and in the early 1950s this took him to the nuclear research centre at Harwell, where he became deputy director. He returned to academic life in 1958, becoming Goldsmith’s Professor of Metallurgy at Cambridge and a fellow of Christ’s College. In the same year he was appointed to chair a working party examining the causes of the accident at the nuclear reprocessing plant at Windscale.
In 1974 Cottrell become Master of Jesus College, a post he used as a platform to campaign for changes in energy and industrial policies.
An impressive-looking man, well over 6ft tall, Cottrell served as Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University from 1977 to 1979. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1955, and served as the Society’s vice-president. Cottrell was knighted in 1971.
MORRIS, Arthur Royston
We have also been advised of the death of Arthur Royston Morris, who lived in Coventry. He passed away suddenly on 14 May 2011.
SINTOME, John (Moseley Modern)
Born April 1946, John Sintome died in June of this year. His brother Andy writes from Adelaide; John’s Moseley Modern years saw him play football and cricket for the school before leaving to work at Cadbury’s in 1961. Eight years later, having married Jeanette, a nurse, they emigrated to Australia, eventually deciding that Cairns was the place to live, John having worked in the shipyards at bothAlice Springs and Darwin. A few years ago John and Jeanette took time off to travel most of Australia. John leaves two sons and three grandchildren.
Reg Hudson, whose death was announced in May, was at Moseley during WW2 and went on to combine his business and family life with sterling public service as a Conservative councillor, representing a Sutton Coldfield ward on the local borough council and, after the authorities merged, on Birmingham City Council. His dedication was very apparent to another Moseley student, John Davis (1940-47). Johnwrites: “Reg and I, a Liberal, contested the local seat over several elections, which he always won!. Reg, who was 82, was an honorary alderman of the city. Passionate about leisure, he was an advocate of conservation projects in his area, helped improve ground safety at Villa Park and St Andrews, and some years ago travelled the world promoting Birmingham’s bid for the Olympics. The former president of Walmley CC leaves a widow, Phyllis – they married 56 years ago – three children and eight grandchildren. One of their two sons is Gary Hudson, the former BBC Midlands Today reporter, who told the Sutton News: “We’ll always be proud of him.”
Vince died 14th March 2011On the morning of Monday 14th March the Moseley School community was shaken and deeply saddened to hear of Vince Fegan’s sudden, tragic death in service. He had worked at Moseley for 25 years, first as a Science technician then as part of the IC support team. We greatly admired the good humour, generosity, patience and technical no use he extended towards colleagues wrestling with the school IT system. Vince’s loyalty to the school was absolute. In his role as a staff governor he was an unflinchingly robust defendant of the best interests of both students and colleagues. His articulate passion moved and inspired; a great ally. I recall him walking out of one meeting after delivering an excoriating critique of the self-serving politicking that he had witnessed, leaving behind a palpable sense of shame that those who remained had drawn the stinging opprobrium of someone of integrity. Personally speaking, I will most miss his excellent conversation. Erudite, witty, a wonderful raconteur and an encyclopedic knowledge of the more obscure recesses of music history, he could riff on any subject amusingly and at length. His warm, sincere friendship is the quality for which he will be most remembered by all who knew him.
Basil French died on 16thMarch 2011. He is survived by his wife, Beryl, and two daughters, Jayne and Lynne .Basil was born in 1922 in Enfield Middlesex. After his family moved to Birmingham Basil and his older brother, Geoffrey, attended MGS where he distinguished himself as asprinter.WW2 cut across his youth, as it did for all the men and women of his generation, and the memories of those years, particularly as he grew older, have formed a backdrop to his life. His army service took him to India and Burma where he became a Captain. He fell in love with India and spent periods of leave in Calcutta. In 1999 Basil set about writing down his wartime experiences. He wrote carefully and conscientiously for several months and produced a soldier’s memoir which he called Quite an Experience. He sent a copy to The Imperial War Museum who were delighted and invited Basil and his brother to visit them for a VIP tour of the archives. Basil’s faith was quite straight forward. He disliked fuss and flamboyancy and anything that disrupted life’s gentle flow. He was at his happiest enjoying simple pleasures, working in his garden, playing Bridge with friends, enjoying the fellowship of the church, his masonic lodge and Probus and being with his family. He would do anything to help his friends and neighbours in times of need. You can find ‘Quite an Experience’ www.burmastar.org.uk/french.htm
BASSETT, Graham (Gus)
Gus, as he was known at MGS, and always from then on, very sadly died aged 64 on 30th December 2010. He had a distinguished time at MGS (1957-64) where, while he lacked many skills on the field he excelled on the stage, taking part in many school productions. After MGS h e went to Manchester University to read law and after a spell at the College of Law in Guildford, joined Bexley Council as a junior solicitor. Gus stayed in local government around London for the rest of his working life, moving to Kent, Southwark and eventually becoming Head of Legal Services at Redbridge. Retiring in 2002, he moved back to the Midlands to live in Wythall with his wife Christine. After gaining a further OU degree Gus took up part time lecturing in law and aimed to continue travelling aboard and enjoying his life in retirement. Gus was ‘a life and soul of the party’ character who excelled in telling funny stories and being the best man at many weddings. He will be greatly missed by all his many friends, including many ex-MGS pals. Our deepest condolences go out to his widow Chris.
David Died 3rd November 2010 “Who’s that fat guy you’re with?” That was David’s reply when I sent him a photo from the reunion in 2003. David was always looking for life’s one-liners! Sadly, he died at his home in Ludlow on November 3rd 2010. We had been the best of friends since our days at Moseley from 1945-50. Our meetings had been few and far between, with me living in Canada, but we always met up again with the easy familiarity of good friends.
After leaving school, David worked in the family business a very successful newsagents stand in Burlington Passage until he emigrated to Canada to live in Toronto for two years before finally settling in Vancouver. He wrote so enthusiastically about the city and life in Canada that in 1958 I joined him in a small apartment in the city’s west end. Unfortunately, in that same year, his father suffered a serious health problem, and David returned to continue running the business, adding two more profitable stores. He retired in 1995and busied himself with a number of things, including editorship of the Moseleians Gazette. He had moved to Ludlow two years before and became active in the community there, as an acclaimed act with a concert party singing World War One songs! He was an enthusiastic U3A student, part of a light hearted philosophy discussion group, studying the Bard’s work, the better to understand the performances staged during Ludlow’s annual Shakespeare festival. At the celebration of his life, Frank Sinatra’s ‘Come Fly with Me’ and Louis Armstrong’s version of ‘When the Saints go Marching In’ were two of the pieces of music selected. Just perfect for David – a Renaissance man to the end! He is survived by his daughter Susannah and two sisters.
PETTIT, Sir Dennis
Dennis passed away on 16th Jan 2011 at the age of 85, in Nottingham, (we are told by his brother, Bill Pettit, from his home in Telford.)
MARCH, Douglas James (1935-39)
Mrs. Beryl March tells us that her husband left Moseley in 1939, when his family returned to Wales and he completed his education at Howard Gardens High School, Cardiff. But “He was very proud to be a Moseleian and always enjoyed reading the Gazette, especially when he spotted old friends therein.” Sadly he passed away on 16th October 2010.
MORGAN, Ivor (1936-39)
Ivor’s death on December 2nd 2010 has been notified to us by his daughter, Trudi.
Jim Bolton (1938-43) died 15th. January, 2011 aged 82 years. John Andrews remembers him well: Anotable Moseleian who, it is thought, still holds the school long jump record. He will be particularly remembered for his prowess on the wing for the O.M.s Rugby Club in the 40′s and 50′s. He was captain of the winning Sevens at the Reddings in 1955 and played several times for the North Midlands. A particular honour was to have been selected for the Midland fifteen who played an International team at St. Andrews. Injuries took him out of rugger and into golf, where he again excelled, playing off a 4 handicap, and Captain and Chairman of Fulford Heath, where his wife Ilma was Captain and President of the Ladies’ section. Ilma introduced Jim to tennis at the Hall Green Club. They were able to celebrate their Diamond Wedding on Boxing Day 2010. They have a son, Timothy, who lives in Holland.
GOUGH, Alfred Norton
Sadly we recently received a letter from Mrs Mary Gough telling us of the death of her husband, Alfred Norton Gough, alias Goofy. Alfred, who lived in Builth Wells, Powys, passed away on September 21 2010 in the Cottage Hospital, Builth. He attended Moseley Grammar School from 1940 to 1946.
HART, Anthony (MGS 1935-40)
Died on 27 February 2010, aged 85. After leaving school he served in the Royal Navy for four years then went to the Gas Board, where he became Technical Spares Officer. His main interests were rugby and music. He and his wife Kathleen had one daughter. Kathleen continues to live at Wythall, where they were very happy.
MATTEWSON, Ronald Gordon (MSS 1929-34)
Ron passed away on April 1 2010.
WILFORD, Donald (MM Head Teacher 1967 – 74)
We recently, belatedly, learned of the death of Donald Wilford, Head Teacher of Moseley Modern School from 1967 -1974, whom we were pleased to welcome at the 50th Anniversary of Moseley Modern celebrated in 2005. The following tribute, by Brian Miles (Staff, 1967-93) and Rick Coleman reflects the impact that he had on the staff and pupils:-
Born in 1923. Donald followed the legendary Mrs North as Head of Moseley Modern School, taking up his post in September 1967, He loved children and CARED about them and his staff at a time when the tradition of raising a family on one young teacher’s wage was proving a problem. Advice was given, personal gifts and loans, even evening jobs were arranged.
Red tape, formality and insincerity were among his pet dislikes, yet intellectually he was supreme. Readily acknowledged was the fruitful partnership with ‘J.V.L.’ (John Lockwood), and the help given by Mrs Shuttleworth, the faithful, traditional’ school secretary. Leading by example, he was usually found at the school gate at the start and finish of sessions. He led a rugby team, selected primarily from boys not picked for other sports, and introduced the game to many others. He passionately supported the school team, kicking and passing every ball with them.
Much time was directly devoted to the less gifted and the least fortunate children, extra coaching being given by himself and other ‘volunteers.’ The exam grades achieved were outstanding for a ‘Sec’ Mod.”
For example, in 1974 the G.C.E. results, weeks before the amalgamation, would have made many a grammar school proud., while he himself taught history at 6th form level, with great success.
Life with this head was fun and busy -67 boys’ sports teams, plus many girls’ teams, countless clubs, musical performances, special activities and a thriving house system told their own story.
Legend tells how he was found at the bottom of a scrum, in his best suit, 30 minutes before the start of speech night! Rick particularly remembers being heavily quizzed about his motives when he plucked up courage to ask his advice concerning an application for a post at another school, -”but he undoubtedly helped me gain the position; and then re-appointed me just before Moseley Mixed school joined with Moseley Grammar School.”
That was in summer 1974.. Staff shortages, overcrowded conditions, lack of relief teachers and a changing catchment area were serious difficulties to be tackled but not worried about. (Classes were taught in classrooms, stockrooms, on the stage, and even under the stage!). Stress was a post-Wilford phenomenon.
Alan Goodfellow was appointed to be the head of the ‘new’ school. And Mr Wilford was appointed to organise another local amalgamation of schools, at Yardley. All admired the great dignity, sense of duty and, as always, the humour he showed at this stage. He will be remembered with real affection by all those who were lucky enough to have known him.
The Moseley Modern ‘Golden Reunion’ in 2005, was his last visit to our school. A visit he greatly enjoyed. Post teaching, he enjoyed the adjacent Arboretum Park of Illumination fame, played bowls and published his own children’s stories. He outlived Adele by a few years and leaves three sons, now globally scattered.
As a final tribute to a tremendous character and public servant, some words from Joyce Grenfell which seem to sum up Donald Wilford.
If I should go before the rest of you,
Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I’m gone speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Parting is hell, but life goes on.
So…sing as well!
Dr. Gregory John Lawson (1936-42), died in December 2006. Born in Birmingham and educated at Moseley, he graduated with a first class degree in Chemistry, from Birmingham University, at the end of the war. A PhD followed in 1952, when he came back to Birmingham University to take charge of a new Coal Research Group, and five years later became a Lecturer. Greg spent the rest of his working life at Birmingham becoming a Senior Lecturer, and Reader, and achieving his Doctorate in Minerals Engineering in 1984.
For over 20 years he supervised post-graduate students, and took great pleasure in their achievements until failing eyesight prevented him from maintaining contact. He was survived by his wife, Betty.
We thank Roy Mardon for bringing this to our attention.
Another loss we have to report belatedly is that of Paul Brown (1947-53), whose home was in Shropshire, and who died in 2008. His six years at Moseley embraced the period when, after 30 years, the school lost some of its original staff team, with the sudden death that year of Mr. Andrews, the retirements of the Deputy Head, Mr. Hughes, and of the senior English master, Mr. Keyte.
Paul, who was a life member of the Association, lived in Wem, Shropshire with his wife, Anita.
Gary Cubbon (1968-73), born 30/4/1957, died 19/11/2009, after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Steve George writes that, during his lifetime Gary had a variety of jobs, and lived on the Isle of Man for the last 20 years. His brother Simon Cubbon is also a Moseleian.
Lifelong sprinter and sailing enthusiast Brian Ariss, who carried off many awards for athletics while at MGS between 1949 to 1957 died aged 71 at his Hampshire home in December 2009.
Barry Phillips writes: Brian was a science achiever from entry form through to his years in the 6th at Moseley, taking an apprenticeship with Lucas and, with a B.Sc Dip from Aston University ultimately being admitted as a Chartered Electrical Engineer with membership of the Institute of Electrical Engineers.
During his career he was recruited into some of the biggest names in UK industry, notably Pilkington, GEC and in the ’90s Balfour Beatty. For many years he worked on nuclear power stations for GEC, and finally joined Severn Trent.
Right up to the age of 70, he continued to put in outstanding performances as a sprinter, retaining membership of the Solihull-based Midland Veterans through whom he did much of his competitive running in maturity. Also a dinghy owner with experience of crewing oceangoing yachts, his great passion for sailing led to his being selected in 1995 to undertake one leg of that year’s celebrated Round The World race, however, work pressure forced him to withdraw.
Brian, who also played rugger for the school, was a great supporter of the Moseleians Association and donated a number of exhibits to our burgeoning archives. Chris Noad, a close friend from their youthful schooldays at Moseley, travelled from his Lancashire home to the funeral held near Brian’s home in Chandlers Ford to deliver a heartfelt tribute..
Brian leaves a widow, Beryl, whom he married in 1981 and two sons and a daughter from his previous marriage.
Tony Day (1945-52) who also played rugger for school and Moseleians Association, has died at his home in the Channel Isles, aged 75. After leaving school, Tony trained as a dentist at Birmingham University Dental School. Later, commissioned in the Royal Army Dental Corps, his principal posting was to Cyprus, where he also learned to sail and to ride. Clare, who became his wife in 1958, recalls not only an enjoyable social life, but that Tony turned out to indulge his passion for rugger, on rock-hard pitches.
Back home he formed his own practice in Castle Bromwich before making his home in Jersey where he built a reputation for restorative dentistry.
His close friend, John Andrews, writes “Many will be saddened by Tony’s death; he will be remembered as a fine rugby player for the Old Moseleians, which included playing in the 1955 team that achieved the first of two successes as North Midlands Sevens champions.” Tony and Clare had three children and five grandchildren.
Peter Weetman (1943 -48) died in March aged 76. A family man, peter made a career move from the Midlands to Lancaster many years ago and he and his wife Pat lived at Fulwood, Preston.
John Morrell (1937-40) lived in Halesowen. sadly we have no other information.
George Taylor (1932-37). His daughter, Dinah Taylor informs us that George lived in Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada and passed away on 3rd August 2009.
Graham Coit (1953-58) died 3rd March 2008 after a short illness, aged 65, writes Michael Hunt, “He had recently retired from Clarkes, solicitors, of Telford, and his funeral was attended by other Jaguar club enthusiasts.” Graham played cricket with the Old Moseleians, of course. He leaves a wife, Norma, and ason and daughter.
Ken Avery (1942-48) passed away suddenly, in October 2008. Mrs. Mary Avery tells us that it had beenan enormous shock to her and their sons, David and Philip. “He always looked forward to receiving the gazette, which I read to him as he had lost his sight. The last issue has many items which he would have found interesting, and brought back many memories of the rugby trips, with the Old Moseleians. He was a champion sprinter and a keen rugby player, and played for the school and then for the O.M.’s. He often talked of his schooldays.
Gordon Davenport (1938-40). Alan Lamb (1936-41) remembers that they both spent time as evacuees in Cheltenham, during the war, and that Gordon, who lived in Rhyl, revisited Moseley and umpired during the cricket match that was held as part of the ‘Moseley at 80′ celebration. He died on Dec, 24th 2008, following a stroke some months before
SUMMERTON, George Leslie
George Leslie (“Les”) Summerton. Passed away 27th Dec. 2008, while visiting his daughter in the Forest of Dean. John Wall tells us that Les and he were at Moseley from 1943-50 and so have been friends for nearly 60 years. After leaving school they went on several “Holiday Fellowship” holidays together, with other former friends from the school. He is survived by his wife, Jenny, their two children, Cheryl and Clive, and grandson William, aged just 15 months.
Walter Hyatt, our last Moseleian from the 1923 intake, is understood to have died on 1st Jan 2009. We hope to give further details in our next edition.
HOUGHTON. Roy Stanley
Roy Stanley Houghton (1937-42) died on January 25th, 2009, just two months before his 83rd birthday. He served in the R.A.F in India, in the latter part of the war, and on demobilisation he went into Insurance, and then the Gas Board, and finally, Lloyds Bank. He married Sheila, and set up home in Web Lane, but sadly, his wife died 5 years after he retired.
Roy had a long association with All Saints Church, Kings Heath. Geoff Hunt and Alan Lamb represented the Moseleians at his funeral service. They had been friends for over 70 years
ASHLEY – HE BROKE MOSELEY’S “RUGGER ONLY” TRADITION Career engineer Howard Ashley (MGS 1943-7), who died in April 2008, aged 76, was one of a spirited group of pupils who defied the ‘ban’ on on soccer at Moseley but nevertheless got picked for the Junior XV. His contemporary and fellow soccer enthusiast, Dennnis Goodyear recalls Howards enthusiasm for both winter games and cricket, for which he was picked for the school. “Mr Robinson had made it clear anyone who played soccer in the quad would not be considered for the rugger XV but after a resounding defeat of the Junior XV he relented. He reallised the side was weakened by their absence. The out come was soccer being allowed on the bottom corner of the school field.”
Howard was among those whose football prowess led to the emergence of Warstock Celtic and Oakleaves FC at Kings Heath, for which they played. After leaving Moseley and serving in the Royal Navy during National Service, Howard joined Stourbridge United FC. ” He was a great sportsman,”says Dennis, “and we usd to joke about the number of hospital operations he underwent for sporting injuries – ankles, knees, elbow, wrist and shoulders.” Back in ‘civvy street’ Howard gained his engineering knowledge, first with Serck Radiators and later joined a metal fabrication company. Having gained seniority there, he travelled widely to represent the company’s export effort to the Far East, Middle East the United States and Europe. His home was at Blackwell, Barnt Green and he leaves a son and daughter. A lifelong non-smoker, he
contracted lung cancer in his latter years, but until a month before his death was not deterred from joining the small group of school pals who still meet for a meal several times a year.
Oliver “John” Skinner (1932-38), passed away 17th. June 2008, aged 86 years. Several members have wished to pay tribute to John , who, in a long life, had been a pillar of the school rugby team, and of the Moseleians XV’s after service in the war, – which had taken him to North Africa and to Italy. He served in a tank Regt. which could not have comfortably taken his 6ft 5in frame! Writing of their old friend, Freddie Rice and Barry Phillips remember that John’s career was as a senior civil servant in the Pensions and Labour Ministry, and that he ruefully recounted an occasion when he was all prepared to present recommendations to Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister. Maggie swept into the appointed meeting, said “This is not the time” and swept out again. In fairness she was coping with Arthur Scargill, and Argentinia at the time. In retirement he looked forward to his role as a sidesman at St. Alphege, his choir afternoons in Knowle, his Probus meetings, theatre visits and our monthly lunch, with other O.M.’s rugby players. He was additionally a regular supporter of Association events while his health allowed. He and Mary married in 1954, but now, a widower, he leaves a daughter, Joanna, and a very special grand-daughter, Olivia. His daughter, Joanna Toye is a writer and producer with the BBC’s long-running serial, The Archers,’ prime listening for John, each evening.
Dr John Williams (1948-52) died in June, 2008, while on holiday in Florida. His wife Barbara has written from their home in Mansfield, Connecticut. “John always talked about his days at Moseley and a lovely photograph of the 1951 Cricket Team hangs in our house. He loved to travel, in our caravan, and saw almost every part of the U.S.A. He also loved his electronics, tinkering with his car, photography and music.” . They married in Birmingham, at Boumville, and had a son and daughter, who were both born in Birmingham. Armed with a PhD gained at B’ham University, and 3 years at Brunei University, Uxbridge, John made his move to the USA in 1959 as a visiting Fellow at Cornell, and a year later joined the Mechanical Engineering staff of Connecticut University, where he spent more than half his working life.
Keith Bartrup (1954-61) had passed away on 8th August 2008, aged 65 at his new home in Meyrals, Dordogne, France Keith only retired last year, and settled in France for his, sadly, short retirement. He is survived by his wife, Joy, and by his daughter Nina, and her family, in Denmark. His first wife, Marianne, died some years ago.
Those who knew Keith will remember the skinny “whippet” of the cross-country teams, who brought back so many honours for the school. They may also remember his ready wit and his ‘Paddy’ Breedon impressions. An accomplished linguist, he progressed from Massey Ferguson in the UK to the Nordisk Tractor Co in Denmark where he married Marianne and raised his first family. He then went on to procurement duties with UNICEF all over the Far East, and I caught up with Keith in Delhi, and met Joy and Nina – and was taken on a 5-mile run in the 45c. degree temperature! The following day, 21st May 1991, the whole country was reeling from the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. During those UNICEF years Keith worked in Thailand, India, Phillipines, Sudan and many other impoverished hotspots, doing his bit for children, traumatised by wars and famines, as a true
Fred Ashford, passed away 3rd. June 2008. Freddie Rice (1942-47) remembers Fred as a keen Rugby player, and, later a fisherman. After school he served in North Africa, and then Italy, before he qualified as a building quantity surveyor. He leaves Barbara, his wife, and daughter Helen, and son David.
Ronald Thomas French (1931-36) died during 2007.
Howard Vann (1928-33) Aged 90 of Park Rd. Solihull, died on the 19th November 2007. His daughter in law, Mrs. V.K. Vann tells us that he was fit and active until earlier in November and she wishes the Association continued success.
Rodney Bainbridge (1956-62). Known to fans worldwide as The Fortunes’ bass player and lead singer, Rod Allen, Rod came to Moseley in 1956, when his family moved from Leicester. A keen fan of Lonnie Donegan, it was not long befpre his musical talent came to the fore and with fellow Moseleian, Barry Pritchard, he formed his first group while still at school. Rod’s vocals featured strongly on a string of Fortunes hits, including “Caroline” (1964), “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (1965), “Here It Cones Again” (1966) and “Seasons In The Sun” (1968). The group’s first hit, “Caroline”, became the signature tune of pirate radio station Radio Caroline and The Fortunes will always be remembered for their “Teach the World to Sing” Coca-Cola TV advert. Rod leaves a wife, a son and a daughter, to all of whom we extend our sympathies.
Albert Lesley Edwards (1931-36). He died in Sept. 2007, following retirement to Weston-Super-Mare in 1970. His widow writes that he thoroughly enjoyed his years at Moseley. After leaving he served in the R.A.F. and then worked at Lucas, & S.U.Carburettors, (which became part of British Leyland), as an electrician.
Norman King (1945-50) born in 1934, died in mid-September 2007., aged 73 John Singles remembers:! had known Norman since my childhood. We used to play cricket in Highbury Park and he was a canny left arm slow bowler. Norman was always a quiet unassuming chap, who valued service to the community as part of his Christian faith. He joined the Birmingham Social Work service in 1960, and served as an Education Welfare Officer until his retirement. In addition, for over 50 years, he was linked with Moseley Carnegie Club which gave lads a chance to foster meaningful relationships; and for 30 of those years Norman was the Club Leader and doubtless never missed a club night unless he was confined to bed.
He joined the Moseleians Association when it was formed in1994 and always attended The Act of Remembrance, and the A.G.M. I never heard him say ill of anyone and he did not share his personal concerns because he did not wish to worry others,.Steve Barlow recalls his help with the Moseley School Work Related Events- sharing interview skills, and in Industry days etc.”He always had a good word for the students, and they, in turn , always spoke positively of him. He will be missed.”
Marwood Brown (1927 -), died in October 2007, aged 91. His family moved to Birmingham when he was 8 years old, and he was educated at Tindal St. before coming on to Moseley. After having served in the 2nd World War in a tank training Regt. he trained as a teacher, specialising in Maths. He subsequently worked in Primary, Secondary and Comprehensive schools and it is recorded that he was happy at each and every school. Aged 70, he became a Maths student-and gained a Maths’A’ level! He became a B’ham City Councillor in 1970, was on the Governing Board of several schools, and was a member of the Council of B’ham University. Always keen on sport, he had, as a younger man, been a football referee in the Handsworth and Dist. League.
John Heath (1938-44) . John died in his sleep, after a long illness, on December 20 2007, in his eightieth year. John Sheppard remembers: “His many friends will have known him above all for his two great passions – cricket, and the care of animals. At school he played for, and captained, the first X1, before joining Moseley C.C. and becoming a longtime member of Warwickshire C.C.C.
On leaving school John graduated at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, specialising in Opthalmology, before joining the 608 Practice in Solihull – which he duly took over, and worked with for fifty years. Even after retirement he took surgeries, and helped SPANA, a charity which works to improve the welfare of donkeys, especially in Africa. He was well known in his profession for his friendly and caring attitude, and in 1988 he was awarded the Francis Hogg Prize for services to Veterinary Sciences. Over the years he was also a member of Shirley Round Table, Shirley Rotary Club (as President 1984-5) and Caxton Lodge.
He leaves his wife, Anita, a daughter and son , and 3 grandchildren.”
Freddy Hall (1943-47) died at Nether Wallop on 1st Sept 2007, aged 75.
EDGCUMBE , Chris
Chris Edgcumbe died on Friday 4th. May 2007, in Granada, Spain, after a long illness. David (Doc) Martin (Staff, 1968-89) writes “Chris had been compelled to leave the police in 1997, and retired to Spain. His daughter, Kelly, brought his ashes back to England and they were scattered at Yardley Cemetery.”
William (Bill_ Laight (1945-1950), who died 26th March 2007. Bill spent most of his working life with Severn Trent Water Board, after graduating from B’ham Univ. Although he never married, Bill was part of a gang of Moseleians from the 60′s who remained in contact.
Don Layfield (1939-44) remembers Syd Parsons:- We both started at Moseley in Autumn ’39 and were evacuated to Cheltenham as war was declared. We had been friends since we first met in playgroup qnd then went through Acocks Green Primary schools with Ray Lincoln. Syd went on into the 6th Form and to captain the 1st XV, before National Service in the R.A.F. and graduating at B’ham University. His brother Gordon Parsons also came to Moseley. Syd moved into a Management position with Smith’s Industries and I moved North, but Syd, Ray and I met up again at the Grand Re-union in 2003. Many of his old friends will remember him, in the company of Don Abbott, Chris Busby and Tony Carthew etc. at the Hall Green Fellowship most Saturday nights! Syd lost his wife a few years ago, but had 4 children and several grandchildren.
Syd Parsons (1939-1946). Syd, who would have been 80 in October (on Trafalgar Day), had his home in Alstone near Tewkesbury.
Anthony Jackson (1955-60) classical and television actor, sadly passed away 26 November 2006 Lifelong friend John Garratt writes.
Tony Jackson and I were friends ever since we entered Bill Rees’s 1st Form together in 1955. Despite the fact that my wife and I have lived in California since 1967, Tony and I stayed in touch, and we generally saw each other on all my visits home. I guarantee, that any of you that ever spent any time with ‘he man, has a larger than life story to relate. If you’ll indulge me, I’ll relate just one of mine.
During a visit home, Tony came out, one night, to have dinner with Yvonne and I at the Hotel where we were staying in Oxford. The dinner was most enjoyable, but as we finished, Yvonne, still suffering from an 8hr jet-lag, excused herself, and went up to our room. Tony and I repaired to the bar. Me for a couple of Scotches, Tony for a bottle of Port (the acquisition of the Port, is another, ‘larger than life’ story). Sometime in the early hours, Tony remembered that he had a couple of very nice Cuban cigars in an inside pocket and we prepared to indulge ourselves. Since neither of us had come equipped with matches, Tony approached the barman, who was by now, leaning on the bar, eyes half closed, head nodding. When asked for matches, he fumbled under the bar for, what he thought, a reasonable length of time, before announcing, that none could be found. The barman was only too pleased to pick up the phone, dial a number and give the handset to Tony, who requested that a taxi be dispatched to the hotel with all haste, – but added the caveat, “Make sure that the driver has matches with him”. Of course, when the taxi arrived, Tony went outside, gave the driver a generous tip, took the matches, and came back into the bar, where I had another couple of Scotches, he finished off his bottle of Port, and we both enjoyed our cigars !!!!! I once heard it said, that, “It’s not how many years you’ve owned the car when you trade it in, it’s how many miles you’ve put on it that Well, Tony was only 62 when he died, but he surely put at least 100,000 on that chassis.
Jerry Pickard (1923-28)- the last of the 1923 Originals.
On 27th February, 2007, Jerry Pickard, who was, as far as we know, the last surviving member of the first intake into the new Moseley Secondary School, died at his daughter’s home in Harlech, aged 96 years.
John Singles, who had maintained a contact, writes: transferred from Colmore Rd School ,aged 13, with 90 other timid, young boys to a new Moseley Secondary school that was in no way fully prepared. Furniture was in short supply, and the new boys had to assist in clearing trees from the playing fields in order that cricket and rugby pitches could be laid out.Jerry remembered that the first school competitive rugger match was against Burton G.S. who won, 97-0! In 1926 Jerry thought that he had failed to matriculate and found himself a job, but returned to be School Captain 1927-8 – his predecessor was the well-known E.F.Beardsmore. He was called up (from the City Treasurer’s Dept.) for WW2 Army service in 1939, joining the Army P.T. Corps., becoming a Company Quartermaster Sergeant P.T.I.- as had his “mentor” Jimmy Gillespie in WW1. Jerry Pickard
Jerry married his first wife, in 1936, and they had 4 children, (plus 6 grandchildren and 1 great grandson, Harry). After retirement in 1963 they moved to a village near Harlech. Sadly, his wife died in 1980. It was on a bridge playing sea cruise that he met his second wife, to whom he was married for 23 years . I enjoyed many happy times drinking shandies with Jerry in his sun lounge. Jerry had attended the Moseleians grand re-union of 1993 and enjoyed avidly reading the Gazette. Jerry was hoping to attend the 2003 re-union, but his health did not permit.” Although his health was failing he could still recall events from his school days”.
Donald Wilford was Head of Moseley Modern School from 1967-74. He passed away on 7th May 2006. More..
Philip Crocker (1960-65). Aged 57. Phil passed away suddenly, on 6th. August 2006. Despite only having joined the Moseleians a couple of years ago he had become a valuable member of our team and a tireless worker, helping with the MM Golden Reunion last year, searching for the College Rd WW1 war memorial and helping to research the history of Spring Hill College. Phil wrote earlier this year of his fond memories of his days at school. He looked back in affection and gratitude at the hard work undertaken by all the staff, and concluded Thank you to all for this, and may the memories linger on’
Roderick Jones,. (1952-57) Passed away on 11th. April 2006.
John Antony Wright, died April 6™ 2006. His wife Audrey writes from Walsall “He always spoke fondly of his days at Moseley School , and although he hadn’t belonged to the Association for very long, he looked forward to any news about the school.”
Stanley “Stan” Phillips (1941-48), who lived in Hall Green, passed away 21st. March 2006.
Brian Massey (1942-47), of Henley in Arden. died 6th March 2006.
Edmund Frank Fidgeon (1932-8).. Edmund died on Dec .20th 2005, aged 85
Terence Walters (1933-38), of Solihull. Died October last year.
Brian James.(1952-59) Mrs Pat James tells us that Brian died on October 4 2005, after suffering from Motor Nerurone Disease. She adds that he gained so much from his time at Moseley, “He was very proud of his school. He made some wonderful friends who he had contact with throughout the years”
Jack Grant (1932-38). Ken Griffiths writes: Jack died on 25th. September 2005, after suffering a heart attack. He excelled at sports, gaining full colours at rugby, and was a member of the school athletics team. He played violin in the school orchestra, but his forte was science. After leaving school he trained as a metallurgist and worked at Henry Wiggins where he headed a team researching malleable cast iron. During and immediately after the war Jack was a stalwart of the Old Moseleians Rugby club as an elusive stand off half, and a ferocious tackier, and was captain 1946-7, later becoming a golfer.
A keen climber, in 1945 he introduced other members, Jack Wilde, Roy Willars and myself to the delights of rock-climbing in N. Wales. In 1952 he met Celia and they were married in 1954. He leaves 2 sons and 4 grandchildren.
David SKELCHER passed away in January 2006. David, who served Birchfield Harriers as an athlete, coach, and young athletes’ team manager, He was 61 years of age.
Born in Small Heath, he was educated at Moseley Grammar School and joined Birchfield as a teenager, primarily as a sprinter but would always compete in a range of events to gain points for the club. He was subsequently junior cross-country manager for his club and for Warwickshire, and was a Club Committee member for a quarter of a century.
BEALE, John Malcolm (1950-57)
Bob Cross (1950-56) writes “Many will be saddened to hear of the death of Johnny Beale on Sept. 10th 2005. John attended Moseley between 1950 and 57 and subsequently became a teacher of Physical Education. His distinguished career culminated in becoming Deputy Head Teacher at Perry Common School and his dedication resulted in the production of many fine young athletes.
Following retirement he became a Parish Councillor in his local village of Yoxall, played golf, and spent many happy hours working on his cottage garden. Former classmates will remember him as a person of integrity, who entered into all aspects of school life with great dedication. The packed church at a thanksgiving service was an indication of how Johnny was regarded. Brian Conduit and I were privileged to represent his Moseley days and friends. Our sympathy goes to his wife, Margaret, son Andrew and all the family.”
FLETCHER, Sydney John (1925 – 31)
One of the senior members of the Association, passed away last August, 2005, . John lived at Ashley Lodge, in Moseley.
COOK, Eric Howard MBE
3 February 1912 -7 June 2005
Eric Cook was one of the first intake of 99 boys admitted to the new Moseley Secondary School in September 1923. He left in 1929 after taking his Higher School Certificate and started his career within the electricity supply industry at Nechells power station. He continued his education at night school, studying electrical and mechanical engineering, and won a special award for passing all his exams before the age of 21.
Eric and his niece, Gillian Figures during a visit to Moseley last year. Eric’s determination and his natural ability as a leader of men resulted in regular promotion and Eric became Station Superintendent of the prestigious new power station Hams Hall C in 1956, a position he held for a number of years. This was seen as a model power station and visited by many British and overseas dignitaries. He was held in high respect by all his colleagues, and his outstanding service was recognised by his being awarded the M.B.E. in 1971. He retired from the electricity supply industry in 1973 after 44 years service.
Eric recalled his school days with affection on his visit to the present day school last year. He attributed much of his success in his working life to the excellent teaching he had experienced there, and in particular that of Mr Lambert, the physics master. In memory of this remarkable man, his family plan, in conjunction with the Headteacher and his Staff, to establish an Eric Cook Memorial Prize for Physics.
SANSOM, Walter (1932-7)
Who lived in Yardley, has passed away.
EATON, George Harold (1931-36)
Died on 26fh. May 2005, aged 84, writes Denis Silsby (1941-48). After his time at Moseley, George joined Bakelite Ltd. and stayed until he retired in the 1980′s, having reached managerial level.He is survived by his wife, Kathe. His interests covered natural history, walking, G & S operettas, and holidaying in Scotland.
PARKER, Les (1931-36)
We are informed by his son, Mike Parker who also attended Moseley (1957-63), that Les died in July 2004, aged 83. Les served as a flight engineer in the R.A.F. and was a keen supporter of the old school and alwaysenjoyed attending the re-union, with his good friend Jack Hawksford Until his retirement he was atechnical manager in the oil blending industry.
Roger was born in 1939, and died on Christmas Day, 2004. He leaves a wife, Christine, and four children, Roger, Debbie, Alison and Vickie.
Rick Coleman (1964-69 & 1972-77) remembers a great friend who became an educational pioneer of national repute. Roger Perks was the only child of grocer parents living in Gt.Wyrley, and he was educated at Rugeley Grammar School, prior to entering St.Peter’s teacher training college, Saltley, as one of the last two-year trainees. Roger spent the whole of his teaching career in Birmingham in the course of which he arrived at Moseley Secondary Mixed School in 1965. The legendary head teacher, Mrs. Eileen North (nee Cohen) appointed him as Head of the History Department, succeeding John Hutchinson – who had become a Deputy Head at a Warwickshire school. Roger had been recommended to Mrs. North by Moseley’s Head of Geography, Alan (Bill )Williams, who had worked with him previously at Stockland Green Bilateral – and been impressed by his natural talents as a teacher and his love of young people. At Moseley his all-round enthusiasm soon endeared him to pupil and colleagues alike.
His teaching methods were innovative and even back in the 1960′s he brought a refreshing hands-on approach to teaching history. On one memorable occasion he took a whole year group to Kenilworth to reenact the 13th century siege of the castle. One hundred or so teenagers were bussed into the castle ground, dressed in full medieval regalia, and complete with replica weapons of the time. I was fortunate enough to be there!
His pioneering spirit was also evident in the classroom, where Roger was one of the first teachers in the city to introduce a mode three examination in C.S.E. for history. This entailed drafting out a syllabus to be approved by the examining board, setting the exam, papers, and marking the scripts before sending them for moderation.
Roger always loved sport, and hockey was his real forte, playing with Aldridge and B’ham Municipal, representing his county – Staffordshire – and having schoolboy trials for England. He certainly left a hockey legacy at Moseley. During one games lesson he hit a ball so hard that it went clean through a second floor window, continued its course across the classroom, exited via a window on the other side, and fell through the skylight of the metalwork room below.
Roger’s ambition took him to pastures new; firstly to Aston Manor, thenLadywood as Deputy Head, and then his first headship at Naseby School, Alum Rock. He raised the profile of Naseby in many ways, including organising the provision of breakfasts for the many pupils whom he realised left home without eating, and having the Lord Mayor attend the first session! He soon gained the trust of the local community, both the indigenous Brummies and the large Kashmiri population who had arrived in the area.
Baverstock was formed in 1983 from a merger between three closing and undersubscribed schools, and it was here that he became nationally known for his leadership. It was also here that he achieved his aim of giving equal educational opporunities to all children, whatever their ability or background. The school became the first in the West Midlands to be given Grant Maintained independent status, in 1988, and consequently successfully applied for its own 6th Form, onto which 75% of the pupils now move at the age of 16.
A mark of Roger’s esteem and respect in which he was held was evident at his funeral; -upwards of nine . hundreds attended, at least half of whom had experienced his specail quality when they had been his pupils.
VANN, Bernie (1949-54)
Died on 20th Feb. 2005, aged 66. A Tribute from Mike Gregory.
It is with great sadness that I am advising of the passing of Bernie Vann, my friend of some 55 years. He died in Seattle on February 20th at the age of 66 following a prolonged battle with Huntington’s Disease. Bernie and I first met in September 1949 on our initiation into Form 1A at Moseley GS, and continued our friendship throughout school and the Old Boys Association, together with other community and social activities. We played rugby and cricket for the school, and for the Moseleians, ran track, camped with the Field Club, cycled, played tennis, vacationed, and were very close friends.
When I was relocated from Cleveland to the Chicago area in 1968, Bernie and his wife emigrated in 1971 to Waukesha, some eighty miles north in Illinois. I then came to Santa Monica in 1973, while Jacqui and Bernie moved to the Seattle area, where he was employed with Boeing Aircraft. A memorial service, at which I was asked to give the eulogy was held on February 28th, and he was then laid to rest on a wooded hillside in Kent, Washington, overlooking Maple Valley, with majestic Mount Ranier in the distance. Those who knew Bernie will join me in condolences and sympathy to Jacqui,his wife of 39 years, and sons Jeremy and Jonathan.
CAMBELL, Gordon Henderson OBE
(1938 – ?) journalist, born 22nd. Dec. 1927, died Feb.10th. 2005.
The Times of 23rd. Feb paid tribute to the political journalist, who had died recently. Born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1927, Gordon, with his family, soon moved to Birmingham and he went to his first school in a kilt, because he had no school trousers! After attending Moseley Grammar School he served in the Royal Navy (on minesweepers) and became Navy flyweight boxing champion, as well as being a keen golf and squash player. He arrived at Westminster in 1951 as a holiday relief reporter for the Exchange Telegraph before joining the Scottish Daily Express and Independent Radio News, eventually establishing his own freelance business, dealing mainly with Scottish parliamentarians and their news and views. Gordon also worked tirelessly for the press gallery itself for 17 years, as Secretary. Indeed his long service earned him the unofficial title of “Father of the Press Gallery”. His QBE was conferred in 1973
LYLE, David (1938-43).
Ray Mayfield (1936-40) writes that he recently learned of the death of David Lyle on 1st Jan.2005, aged 78. He had moved to the Swindon area sometime in the 60′s; remained a bachelor all his life, cycled everywhere and never became a car driver.
LINCOLN, Raymond James (1938-45)
Born in 1927, Ray Lincoln died in Cornwall, on 17th Dec. 2004. two days after his 77th Birthday. Ray Lincoln was born in Acocks Green in December 1927 and attended the local infant and junior school, before winning a scholarship to Moseley Grammar School where he excelled at French and English. It is not surprising, given that his mother was an accomplished violinist, that classical music was always to be heard at his home, and Ray sang in the school choir and played the double bass in the school orchestra. He also regularly appeared in school plays – but he was no sportsman! Despite it being war-time he organised the odd social event and it was no surprise when he was appointed Head Boy. He considered his duties to be more pastoral than disciplinarian, and earned the respect and admiration of his fellow pupils, – to whom he was known as “Tubby.”
Accepted at Birmingham University where he graduated in French and Spanish, he was then a Sergeant in the Army Education Corps during his National Service period, and, before service in the Middle East, his initial training was in Bodmin, where he fell in love with Cornwall. He left the Army to start a teaching career at Austell Grammar School. After 20 years there , he moved across the road to the 6th Form College as head of the Language Faculty. Throughout his active life he retained an interest in the Arts. He appeared in many plays at the Arts Theatre, sang with the Choral Society and was a producer with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He later became Chairman of the St. Austell Music Festival. He had great enjoyment from everything he did. He always showed concern for everyone he met, and during the last 6-7 years many others Ray in later life.
A young Ray Lincoln unknowingly benefited from his compassion through his work with the local Samaritan Society – he will be greatly missed. Not least as a contributor to the M. A. G.
Edward was at Moseley from 1931 onwards, died aged 85.
JONES, Emlyn Jones (39-44)
Lawrence Turner O.B.E.(1939-44) informs us of the death of Dennis Emlyn Jones (39-44), on Sept. 11th. 2003, aged 74. A keen supporter of the school and the Association, (his dear wife Paddy had died 3 weeks earlier.)
MANNING, Hugh (1932-37)
Hugh died aged 83 on 18th August 2004. Stalwart of the Stage and President of Equity. In the August 27th edition of The Times recognition was given to the contribution that Hugh made to the drama (and particularly comedy) of this country during his lifetime. After leaving Moseley he became a trainee accountant and joined local amateur stage groups before making his first professional appearance in 1940. At the end of the war he was a leading figure in the New Dramatic Company, performing in B’ham parks as part of a Holidays at Home promotion, assisted by a young Ken Tynan who was given Hamlet to perform on the understanding that he would find enough Old Edwardians to fill the walk-on parts! Later Hugh was to save Tynan’s life when he walked in front of a car in a fit of depression.
As his acting ability became more widely recognised he gained experience with The Oxford Playhouse and the Bristol Old Vic company before his first West End part at the Haymarket in 1953(The Apple Cart) and then Blind Man’s Buff at St. Martins. Overseas tours with the Old Vic Company followed, and Shakespearean parts as Toby Belch and in As You Like It, and four years with the BBC drama repertory company. He was honoured by being elected President of Equity 1975-7. and won acclaim for his portrayal of C.S.Lewis in Song of the Lion (Westminster Theatre 1980.) His TV roles included Sergeant Cork, The Avengers, and Poldark, Hunter to athleen Harrison’s “Mrs. Thursday”, The Sullavan Brothers and as the Rev. Donald Hinton in “Emmerdale Farm”. He was a very recognisable character in many films.
KEMP, Anthony (1932-37)
Died, aged 84, on 2th August 2004. Mrs. Kemp writes that Anthony was close friends with Hugh Manning ever since their schooldays at Moseley – she recalls how much Anthony enjoyed reading the Gazette.They had many family holidays and joyful times together and the two friends died within a few days of one another. Arthur Kemp’s father was the Drama critic of the B’ham Post for many years.
WORRALL, Ron (1937-42)
Died 25™. July 2004, aged 78. After Moseley, Ron joined Lucas where he became Apprentice of the year, and after his marriage was asked by the Company to go to Argentina to oversee a new project.. Later, when he returned to England he found a new position in the North East. He moved to Redditch on his retirement, where he took a keen interest in golf as a player and as an administrator. Alan Lamb, a former classmate, represented the Association at his funeral.
MORGAN George Graham (1942-1949)
George (known as Graham) died on 22nd. June 2004, after a long illness.
EDWARDS, Wilfred (1931-35)
Mrs. Edwards tell us that Wilfred died on 29th Feb 2004. He often talked to his grandchildren about his school days at Moseley, and recalled meeting one of his old teachers on holiday in Scotland.
FORSS Leonard (1928-33)
Leonard died 21st January 2004, aged 86. His son, Geoff Forss writes: His interest in his old school was always intense and he enjoyed attending both the 75m re-union and last year’s 80th gala. He had a fine war-time career in the Royal Navy. Two of his sons attended Moseley, too, in the 60′s (including Geoff).
ALLEN, Geoffrey J
Geofftry who was at Moseley between 1939-44 died on January 17th 2004. His home was at Tenbury Wells.
“Bob” Shayler died on 24th Dec. 2003, aged 81. His work as Head of English at Moseley when he was a member of staff iswarmly remembered in tributes printed elsewhere, as well as his active membershipof the Association in recent years. Several Moseleians represented us at his funeral service.
Alan (1941-46) died on 17th Dec. 2003. After Moseley, Alan served inthe R.A.F. and then entered Lloyds Bank; his surviving brother Walter is also aMoseleian. Alan leaves a widow, Netta, two children and four grandchildren, to all of whom we extend our condolences.
Roy (1968-74) passed away 4th. November 2003, aged 62. Roy was a chemistry teacher at the then Moseley Grammar School from 1968 to 1974 as well as a form master of 1Y. Passionate about education Roy went on to be a Councillor for the Brandwood Ward of Birmingham City Council, which he held until May 2003. He became Chairman of the City Education Committee in 1997, which he lead for 5 years then becoming cabinet member for education and life long learning until he retired from the Council.
Roy was a staunch supporter of the Young People’s Parliament, the University of the First Age, and the International Young Citizen’s College. Roy was described by Professor Tim Brighouse (former City Director of Education) not just as a Brummie, but a great Brummie. He continued ” Roy connected theory and principle with reality. He was an ardent believer in the capacity of almost all minds and hearts.”
Apart from Education, Roy’s life centred on his family and football at St. Andrews, where Roy, his son and friends became known as the ‘Bovril Boys’. This is because they always had a cup of Bovril and a meat pie before the match and at half time. As a one-time vegetarian, Roy always used to say that there was no conflict of interest as there was never any meat in the pies anyway A humanist funeral was held at All Saint’s Church Hall in Kings Heath, ending with the Blues anthem – “Keep right on to the end of the road….”
A memorial Fund has been set up to help disadvantaged children with a focus on education – donations to the Roy Pinney Trust, The Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham B1
OLIVER, Victor (1930-39)
Victor passed away 30/10/03, aged 80. His daughter Clairewrites that he became a Pilot in the R.A.F. after leaving school, and then joined theFire Service. She would love to receive any records of his time at Moseley
Malcolm (1955-60) died in October 2003, he lived in Cardiff.
Roy (1940-45) was born Feb 1929, Canon Brookstein died 9thOctober 2003. His memorial service at St. Peter’s Church Hall Green, was attendedby a number of Moseleians, and by many other people who remembered andvalued his long service in that Church. Trained at Queens College, Birmingham, Roy was made an honorary Canon of Birmingham Cathedral in 1984. As well as hisoutstanding Parish work as a pastor and leader, he took a particular interest inhospital chaplaincy,at the Liver Unit at the Q.E. Hospital, and at St. Mary’s Hospice. He leaves a widow, Mary and two daughters, Heather and Anne.
SLIM, Percy J E
Percy J.E.SLIM (1928- 32) died on 28™ Sept. 2003, aged 88.
JONES, Dennis Emlyn
Dennis (1939-44), passed away after a long illness, and the recent loss of his wife, Dennis’s death occurred on 12th Sept. 2003 aged 74. Educated at Hall Green Primary school and Moseley, he completed his National Service after the war before qualifying as an accountant, and joining PDI Ltd. (a Perspex company). He held the position of Managing Director until a take-over resulted in him leaving the firm in 1 977. Dennis was an Independent Councillor on Solihull Council from 965-70, chairman of many local associations, and a governor at Tudor Grange School.
SLATER, Bill (1932-39)
Died 15th. July, 2003 , aged 82. Ray Saunders writes: At school Bill was an outstanding sportsman, representing the school at rugby, cricket, swimming and athletics. On leaving, his further education at University was interrupted by the war in which he served as an R. A. F. navigator mainly flying Mosquitos. Returning to civilian life, Bill entered the teaching profession and after a number of teaching posts became Head of Queensbury Special School in 1 974, until his retirement in 1981. His love of sports carried over into his teaching career, where he was influential in the development and organisation of Birmingham schools athletics. He became a qualified Football Association coach and referee and gave much of his time to schoolboy football in the city. A firm Christian, Bill devoted his career to the welfare of children with learning difficulties. Service to others was the theme of his whole life. He was a founder member of the B’ham Rathbone Society – a charitable organisation committed to the training and employment of young people with learning difficulties, serving as Chairman and President. And he served on the Committee of Birmingham Retirement Council and was its chairman for several years.
Bill (1928-1932) passed away 14th. June 2003.
CARTER, James A
James (1931-36) died on 6th. March 2003. Mrs. Carter writes that he always looked forward to re-visiting the school, and particularly the Remembrance service.
OSBOURNE, Michael and Helen
Michael (1965-71) and his wife helen tragically died together in a motor accident on 24th Dec 2002, we are informed by the solicitors for the estate. They lived at Chipping Campden.
HARRIS, Peter J
Peter (1932-38) Passed away 27th. Sept. 2002.His grand daughter Katharine Wain writes that he thoroughly enjoyed hearing about his old school.
Cliff Burrows (1923-1927). One of the original intake of 90 boys who was joined by his brothers Geoff (1925) and Ron (1927). Passed away in August 2002, aged 90.
Keith Robottom (1946-53) and staff member (1957-64) died 12th. March 2002. His wife , Margaret Turner writes that he found his life-long love of literature at Moseley (especially via Bob Shaylor) and was a dedicated English teacher and lecturer. He shared his passion and knowledge with his family – all of whom achieved A level passes in English. Keith took his wife’s surname in 1977 as Keith Turner.
John L. Hammond (MSS 1932-37) Of Moseley, Birmingham passed away 26th. Feb. 2003, aged 81.
PETTIT, Bernard (MSS1935-39)
Died 3rd Feb 2003. It was indicative of the high regard paid to Bernard that his funeral should have been so well attended by so many family and friends, including members of the Moseleians Association., and the Royal Air Force Association. Bernard had supported us so faithfully and he and Doreen had been ever-present at the Act of Remembrance each November since the Moseleians was reformed. We shall miss him. Everything he did was well done. Bernard was himself an Air Gunner in the RAF during the war, mainly on flying duties in the Middle East, and afterwards maintained close links with his old colleagues, via the R.A.F.A, acting as standard-bearer on many occasions.
WEBB, John (STAFF 1963 – 97)
Born1942 died February 2003. There are no words that can do justice to John as teacher and as a person. I counted over 40 members of staff at his funeral; the oldest was in his 80′s, the youngest 28. John was a “one school man”. He started work in Sept. 1963 at the old Moseley Mixed School, teaching Maths, and quickly became head of the Remedial Dept. (now Special Needs), where his gifts with young people, especially the less able, was used to the full. Laughter was never in short supply when John was around.
He loved the outdoors. The school cottage was dear to his heart and he organised many weekend trip with students; on one occasion the minibus got caught in a snow drift and all the gear had to be pulled up on makeshift sledges! He raised thousands ofpounds for school in organising the tuck shop, and in major events like the Half-Marathon from Portway to the school; the Triathion around the streets and canals; sponsored walks and six-a-side cricket. He said that he felt he was a very lucky man. he had only 5 years of retirement, but you can bet he enjoyed them!”
PERRY, Leonard Rupert (MSS 1926-31)
Passed away 10th Feb. 2003 aged 88. “I first met Len and his wife Connie in Sept 1992. It was a chance encounter during one of Moseley’s Open Days for prospective parents and pupils, and they had seen the event advertised and decided to “gatecrash” in the hope that they could revisit the scenes of Len’s youth. Len was the second very ‘old boy’ to visit that day and both had marvelous stories to tell about their school days as we toured old haunts. – even at the age of 78, as he was then. A reunion group was formed in which Len was very active and after months of work, in July 1993 the event took place and was a great success. The reunion led to the formation of an Action Group, the aim of which was to get the building fully repaired and restored. Needless to say Len was an influential member and of course several years later he was able to see the work completed. Len was one of those lucky enough to still have the legs and stamina to climb the re-opened tower. He was a very special man, immensely proud of his school as his school is proud of him.”
It was Len’s enthusiasm and obvious pride in his school that led to the idea of having a special Open Day so that Moseleians could visit and possibly meet up with others to share their memories. He was sure that many Moseleians would want to take part. What was so special about Len was that he pursued the idea and was prepared to do everything he could to make it happen
Following his death in 2002, The family have sponsored the planting of a treet in the school grounds, in his memory. he was one of four members of that family who attended Moseley. Ian (1973-79), Suzanne (1975-80), Neil, of course, and Caroline (1977-82).
ALLEN, Frank J
The Rev Frank J. Allen (MSS 1929-33). Frank passed away 25th Feb 2002 aged 84. He was the eldest of four cousins (Frank and Les Allen, David and Maurice Paramore) who all attended Moseley in the 30′s. Frank spent his working life at Bakelite Ltd. Before retiring to live in Herefordshire. In later years he was ordained as a C. of E. clergyman.
BADHAM, Leslie William (MSS1935-39)
Leslie passed away on 17th December 2001
JONES, Stanley (MSS 1933-37)
Stanley passed away 15th August 2002. Stan was a member of James House in his Moseley years. He had made his home in Woodloes Park, Warwick.
KING, Maurice Leslie (MSS 1933-38)
Passed away 12th. April 2002, aged 79. Died suddenly in Chipping Campden Church while attending an induction service, with his wife. He and Basil French were life-long friends, born on the same day, attended Moseley together, and married sisters
MINSHULL, Leonard A (MSS 1930-36)
Leonard Passed away 14th March 2002. His daughter Sandra writes from Bromley, Kent: “My father, Len, was a keen supporter over the last few years and attended the A.G.M. when ever he could. He was very proud of his education at Moseley and always expounded the virtues of good education to us all. He never forgot his roots and greatly valued them.” Charlie Ashford remembers him as a keen sportsman in the boxing ring, cricket and rugger field.
MORRISON, Ronald George (MSS 1927-30)
Passed away on l4th November 2001 aged 84. At 15 he entered H.M.S. Conway to train as a Merchant Navy officer. He survived the arduous Battle of Britain years before Joining Coast Lines in Liverpool and subsequently became Marine Superintendent in Liverpool. He was well known and much respected as founder of the Anchorage Club and a driving force in many nautical charities. Mrs. Morrison writes: Ron was a man who brought immense humour into so many lives and gave of himself to others with a selfless generosity.
SHAW, Sydney (MSS 1933-40)
Sydney passed away 2nd. August 2002 aged 80. A valued supporter of the Association who attended Remembrance days and other events until very recently. A fine athlete and rugger player in his school years.
WESTBROOK, Charles (MSS 1930′s)
Members will remember Charles (accompanied by his sister Pat) laying a wreath at out Act of Remembrance on 1996, in memory of his brother Cyril (whose name is on our school memorial plaque). Cyril lost his life in the submarine H.M.S. Triad off the cost of Sicily in 1940. They both attended Moseley in the 30′s.
WHITE Edmund ‘Frederick’ (MGS 1943-48)
‘Ted’ White. Passed away on 26th. April 2002, aged 69, after 2 years of illness. Another who was a good cricketer and soccer player and who played for Moor Green A.F. C., later serving in the R.A.F. for 3 years. Barrie Hazlewood who, with Peter Lyndon, Les Meddings and Erie Porter represented us at the funeral at Robin Hood.
WESTBROOK, Charles (MSS 1930′s)
Members will remember Charles (accompanied by his sister Pat) laying a wreath at out Act of Remembrance on 1996, in memory of his brother Cyril (whose name is on our school memorial plaque). Cyril lost his life in the submarine H.M.S. Triad off the cost of Sicily in 1940. They both attended Moseley in the 30′s.
WORTH, Norman (MGS 1939-44)
Norman passed away late in 2001.
(Cammy) Cameron my mind back, all those years to the halcyon days of scholastic protection when all could be forgiven and rapidly forgotten, I rue that I was not allocated to the teaching roster of said worthy academic. However, I count myself lucky that such a fellow was Captain of the Army Cadet Force, where, apart from wintry Wednesdays down the Dell, I had the opportunity to be motivated and influenced for my benefit in later life. Short, stout of stature with a ready smile, which concealed a seldom aired dry sense of humour, Cammy loved his pipe and his pupils; in that order. When attired in the battle-dress serge of his youth, (he had served with distinction in the Warwickshire’s), he was the perfect adjutant to the, (legendary racy) Maj. ‘Bob’ Shayler, the officer and sometime English master who had been responsible for press-ganging us likely lads into military brown during our voyage through the Third Form.
To be honest, my failing memory denies the exact details, (well it was some 45 yrs ago) but we all used to meet on the lower field one evening per week, after routine lessons ended at ten past four, formed up proudly Capt. Cameron would carry out his Inspection, prior to reporting to Higher Command, and ordering up marched off to the New Block quadrangle bordered upon one side by his own class room, to be drilled fit to protect H.M.Q. It was his quiet confidence in everything he did that gained the respect of all us cadets. Always ready to give a straight answer to any military question, he was also custodian of the Armoury, the Range, and later, the Old Block. On one occasion, when we had been enjoying a quiet drag behind the Armoury, we were warned by Capt. Cameron that danger was approaching in the shape of Mr. Lincoln, the Arts Master, who did not approve of smoking. Such support of the mere rank & file wineth wars! Though he chided us later: Thus armed, we took greater care. A lesson in man management that has stood me in good stead time and again. Would that I could shake his hand.
DAVIS, Tony (MSS 1934 – ??)
I would like to inform you of the death of my life long friend who I met at Moseley S.S. in 1934 who passed away in January last. He was Tony Davis (hated being addressed as “Anthony”) of 127 College Road, Moseley (during school years). Army Rank
Service: Kings Shropshire Light Infantry: Captain (Transferred to Military Police)
Stationed After: Madras India military service he was made ICI technical representative covering the whole of Southers and South Western areas, a post he held until retirement in the early 60′s. At that time he devoted much of his time to working with other volunteers caring for the environment in Buckinghamshire.
He was a very reserved person throughout his life to such an extent that his eldest son said to me on the day of his funeral that it was until now that he had become aware that his father had achieved the rank of Captain in the British Army. Realising how little his children and even his wife knew about him I filled them in about some of the escapades he and I had been involved in in those early days at Moseley. Perhaps one day in the not too distant future I may put some of them on paper for the magazine.
Gilbert Bourne (MSS 1933 – 39)
FRANKISH, Stephen W
Stephen Frankish (MSS 1930-35) Glover House, died in Sept 2000
FRENCH, W E (MSS 1928 – 1934)
It is with deep regret I have to record the death of my elder brother W. E. French – Moseley School 1928 – 34 on 22nd December 1999 aged 82. He was a Group Captain in the RAF also BSc, C.Eng, MIMech.E., MRAeS.
Ronald French (1931 – 37)
RIDER, Kenneth John (MSS 1928-33)
Kenneth (1926 – 2001) who was a member of Mansfield House had a great love of literature as a poet (whose work was published) and as a librarian initially in the Birmingham City Library Department and then as Head Librarian of the Birmingham Technical College which became the University of ‘Aston. His studies of Shakespeare earned him an M.A. and it is said that throughout his war service he carried a copy of Hamlet with him – even to Dunkirk’ will be remembered with affection as a Moseleian who with his brother William was a regular attendee at the Association Annual General meetings and the Remembrance Day gatherings at the school.
POTTER, George B. ( MSS 1937-42)
Died 30th May 2000
PURSER Ernest John (MSS 1927-33)
Died Nov 2000
WILLOUGHBY, Frederick E (MSS 923-28)
Died Sept 2000
ADAMS, Stanley (MGS STAFF)
Loving husband of Kathy, father of Hilary and Bernard, grandfather of Felicity and St. John died peacefully December 1st 1999 after a long illness patiently borne. As Chief Music Advisor to the Education Authority of Birmingham and West Midlands he enriched the lives of very many by his talent and enthusiasm.
From the Birmingham Evening Mail 4th December 1999 was his great delight and pride when he was able to take MGS boys to the Town Hall for the annual Grammar Schools Festival held on two consecutive days in March. Each school was able to give a performance be it choir, orchestra or such like, whilst on the evening of the first day a concert for parents was given. This consisted of a massed choir from all schools with professional soloists. One year I sang as a bass in the choir with Owen Brannagan as the bass soloist. We gave the first two parts of Haydn’s “Creation”. At one of these festival Roy Massey played the organ.
My second recollection was at the Christmas 1947 school play. It being the 25th year as a school, the staff decided to present something more that the usual dramatic play, and chose to do the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta “HMS Pinafore”. The school orchestra provided the music under the baton of Stanley Adams. On the first night (Thursday) of three we were half was through the first half with the Admiral singing “When I was a lad” when all the lights went out. As curtain man I was instructed by Bertie Line to close the house tabs, and Stanley asked the orchestra to play the overture, from memory. They did a very good job, and soon the fuses were mended and we were back in business. After the show we all congratulated ourselves of the smooth way we had overcome the problem.
Denys J. Silsby (1941 – 1948)
CHARLTON, Harry Ambrose (MSS 1933 – 1935)
Harry Charlton passed away on August 23rd aged 79 years. He was the devoted husband of Margaret for 54 years. Sadly missed by all his family and friends.
COTTRELL, Stan (MSS 1936 – 1942)
Sadly Stan Cottrell died in Dorchester in December last. Stan was a friend of mine from the time of our school days together, through University )Birmingham), during our working days at U.K.A.E.A., Winfrith in Dorset and more recently as retired members in the local community. Stan was the younger brother of Sir Alan Cottrell, also an Old Moseleian.
GRIFFIN, Peter (MGS 1946 – 50)
Peter and I first met when we were both 9 and I had recently arrived from Scotland complete with Glaswegian accent. He was looking for a companion to assist him in terrorising Bagnal Road in Kings heath and I was the perfect candidate. I must make clear that terrorising in those days was nothing like the terrorising, which goes on in some estates today. We formed a “gang” whose main purpose was to defend ourselves from a wicked local paperboy who we believed was intending to take over Kings Heath. To become a member one had to undergo a series of tests to prove that your courage and stamina were worthy of us. I well remember my brave little sister jumping from the roof of the outside toilet to earn her membership. We scrumped Mr. Adams’ apples, giving ourselves severe stomach ache as a result. We broke into the next-door school and left chilling messages, “We Are Watching You” and “The Blackhand Gang Is Here” on the blackboards, much to the irritation of Mr. Tomey, the caretaker. The only damage I remember us doing was when we constructed a tin can telephone from my house to his, about two hundred yards. Whether or not it worked I cannot remember, but it did remove the heads from my next-door neighbour, Mrs. Baird’s, roses when it collapsed because the string was too long to take the strain. We also formed a football team, called the Kings Heath Triangles. Which played in one of the local leagues and might even have won a game or two. And we smoked cigarettes made of catkins and made ourselves sick.
We remained in touch for the next 55 years, sometimes not seeing each other for some time. He ran a electrical repair business in Ludlow and Bourneville, had three children with his first wife Pat, Susanne, Mark and David, and as a result of a second marriage inherited two more. After selling up he went to live in Spain for a while but returned partly because his wife, Joan, became homesick. He returned to live in Diddlesbury in Shropshire were he had been for many years.
Peter had a quirky mind, a great sense of humour, was always seeking new knowledge, He had a particular interest in education and a great love of animals, particularly his King Charles Cavaliers. He died on 6th May this year and is greatly missed by Pat and the children as well as his many friends.
PARKER, Derek H (MSS 1932 – 36)
We have heard from his daughter that Derek Parker died on the 18th November 1999.
LANE, Patrick (MSS 1930 – 193?)
Patrick sadly died early in 2000. He suffered a serious stroke two years ago, which curtailed his membership of the Moseleians Committee. Patrick was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps in the 1939 – 45 War and served both in North Africa and in the Italian Campaign.
Patrick, and indeed his wife, led a full life in retirement and displayed many diverse interests. He was a member of both the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway and the reinstated Forest of Dean Steam Railway. He served the Outward Bound Movement for many years and was a frequent visitor to its Activity Centre at Aberdyfi in Mid Wales. Patrick was also a consummate artist and he always designed and had printed his own Christmas Cards. He always gave credit to the School’s Art Master, Mr. Woodhouse, for developing his great innate artistic skills.
However, one could say that Patrick’s great love was the Scout Movement. He had joined the then 1st Shirley Wolf Cub Pack in 1927 and remained a member of that Scout Group to the very end. He held various Group and District ranks throughout his long service and he was so thrilled, in the early 1990′s, to have been awarded the Silver Wolf, which is the highest Scout Award for faithful and meritorious service will be greatly missed by all who knew him as a firm and trusted friend, as indeed will his wife, Margaret. Together, they formed what might be termed the “ideal husband and wife team”. The sincere condolences of the Association go to their daughter, Penny, who has tragically lost both loving parents in the space of a six month period.
WITCOMBE, Douglas John (MSS 1928-19??)
I have heard through a friend of the death of Douglas John Witcolme, who was at Moseley about 1928/29. He was 83. He lived at Pewsey and taught at Marlborough School for a good number of years. Some of his friends may remember him so I thought his death should be announced in the magazine.
J. Silsby (1941 – 1948)
PURCHASE, Michael (MGS 1953 – 1961)
Fellow Old Moseleians will regret to learn of the death of Michael (Mick) Purchase on the 25th January in Solihull Hospital. Michael was at the school 1953 – 1961 and was a member of the First XV of 1060 – 1961, which lost only 1 game all season. Michael would have been 58 on 11th March. He was divorced, but leaves 2 children, Jo and Richard.
Graham Coit (1953 – 1958)
CULLIFORD, Mike (MGS 1954 – 61)
Mike Clifford’s untimely sudden death on 10th August 1999. Mike read chemical engineering at Loughborough and became technical director of an engineering company. He achieved a great reputation for conscientiousness, diplomacy and integrity in business, which led to many successful contracts all over the world, especially in China. His ashes are to be scattered in his beloved Lake District. He was born in Carlisle and had kept contact with the Lake District all his life. Many will sadly miss him.
Ralph Atherson (MGS 1954-61)
GIBBONS, Prof John MBE (MSS 1937-43)
John died on the 23rd April 1999 at the age of 72. He was School captain in 1943 and had previously been head of Glover house. He was a keen Rugby player, and although a large man, managed to get around the playing field very rapidly. After he left school he played for Headingly for a while. leaving Moseley he was briefly at Birmingham University but then joined the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1944. He was later commissioned in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and maintained army connections throughout his life.
He became very well known, and frequently appeared on television, as a thoracic surgeon at the Royal Victoria in Belfast, where at the height of the troubles he was given ample opportunity to practice his skills. His advice was widely sought and he lectured all over the world on the effect of bullets and explosions on the chest. He was a very easy person to get along with and enjoyed nothing more that a conversation over a drink. In fact he was even known to conduct medical tutorials in the bar. There is a story about him going into a bar in Belfast, which was not recommended for British forces, and ordering a drink “and a Guinness for the Captain here.” The captain in question probably had an uncomfortable half hour or so but there was no trouble.
KEMP, Brian W (MGS 1949-55)
Brian who was in Mansfield house passed away on 27th December 1998.
John Lockwood, who taught at schools in Moseley for 28 years prior to his retirement in 1983, died after falling from a ladder at his city home. He had been deputy head of the College Road school for 14 years, including a period as acting head teacher. John was aged 70, and died following a fall at his home in Dene Hollow, Kings Heath, while apparently cleaning out gutters.
His daughter Katie said: “He was a much loved man who was involved in so many things. “We are only just finding out how many people knew him and how many hockey and other associations he was involved in. He was heavily involved in Moseley Operatic Society as well as youth hockey at a regional level. He was a hockey umpire and also secretary of various hockey associations, including Birmingham.
PATTERSON, Alan H (MSS 1935 – 39)
Alan, who died in June 1999 together with his brothers Ken and Clive, (a trio of Mansfield men) was an original stalwart of the Old Moseleians Cricket club in the late forties and early fifties. He adored the game of cricket, was a kindly man, a true sportsman, and a perfect gentleman. There are many of us who recall those halcyon days with affection.
ROBBINS, John (MGS 1943 – 48)
John died on the 26th August 1999 after a long illness. Many of the older cricket members will remember John with affection. He was a keen cricketer and also played golf with the Old Moseleians golf society. Condolences have been expressed to his wife Helen and the family.
SKINNER, George Alexander (MSS 1930 – 36)
George died on the 2Ist May 1999 of cancer. He ran for the school end played rugger for old boys together with his brother Oliver. After Oliver the war, where he served with the R.A.F. in the Burma campaign, he qualified as an accountant and went into industry, where he was eventually Managing Director of Norton Motors until his its demise; the with Avon Tyres and finally at Lucas Head Office in London
GOODE, Marjory (Headmasters Secretary 1949 – 75)
Marjory Goode passed away on the 15th August last year following a sudden deterioration in her health. Marjory had not been too well in recent months and had suffered from very painful arthritis for some years, but her sudden death came as a shock to her many friends. Earlier in the year I visited Marjory and we chatted about school days past and the new Association, of which she was an enthusiastic supporter. Her memories were many and vivid and her delight at renewing acquaintance with former colleagues and pupils was very gratifying. If I needed confirmation that the Moseleians Association was worthwhile Marjory’s obvious pleasure gave it me.
Marjory occupied a unique position at Moseley, being for most of her twenty-seven years, the only woman in an otherwise male-dominated Boy’s School. She was frequently called upon to assist in matters outside her normal administrative duties to add a feminine touch to various problems such as calming tearful pupils suffering from various ailments, scuffed knees, and even an occasional bout of home-sickness. She also traveled with School groups visiting various parts of the world during the summer holidays.
Outside School, her hobbies were many and varied, including tennis and amateur dramatics in which she both danced and sang with the Birmingham and Midlands Operatic Society appearing at all the main City theatres. Marjory retired in 1975 when the Grammar School merged with Moseley Modern and became a Comprehensive. Until recent times she enjoyed a full and active retirement, her last years were enhanced by her involvement with the Association, and it was a great privilege and pleasure for all of us to renew her acquaintance; she will be sadly missed. Five committee Members attended Marjory’s Funeral.