Abergele Grammar School football team 1943-44

Andy Hilton (aka Nigel Hinton) has been a long-time contributing editor to AbergelePost.com. He wrote recently:
“I wonder if you can help me out. You may recall that some time back I put out an appeal via AbergelePost.com to see if any of our readers had any group photos of past Abergele Grammar School pupils, to include in the magazine. I recently heard from Derek Harper, who attended the school between 1940-44. I replied to him direct & we’ve subsequently spoken on the phone.
“He’s a sprightly 87 year old gentleman who, in his time, was very much into sports, especially athletics, winning numerous & various awards. During his (almost) 2 years in the army just after the war, he became a Physical Training Instructor, whilst even in his 60’s he was still competing at sports. He also attained his Private Pilots Licence, so you get some idea of his mettle, though he did mention that he’s now only allowed to fly solo, i.e. wiithout passengers, in view of his advancing years. So, that’s some of his background.
“His original email & 3 photos are attached, prepared by his daughter, as he says he’s not overly computer savvy. What I hope we can do is upload the 3rd image to the appeal page on the site, as a fairly large size, so that the readers can better view the pupils with their teacher. All of their names are included in image No.2. “
“DerekĀ  says he also has a list of the teachers who were at the school during his years there & will post that information on to me in due course.”

Thanks Andy and Derek. Here are Derek’s photos. Click on the image to see them at their original size. Please feel free to use the Comments section to add any information, names or stories.

Abergele Grammar School football team 1943-44 - Derek Genders Abergele Grammar School football team 1943-44 - Derek Genders

Abergele Grammar School football team 1943-44 and Derek Genders
Abergele Grammar School football team 1943-44 and Derek Harper

3 thoughts on “Abergele Grammar School football team 1943-44

  1. Nigel Hilton:

    Thanks for sorting that for us Gareth and to Derek for responding to the original appeal. I owe him an apology as I’d assumed from his email address that his surname was Genders, whereas it is in fact Harper. Sorry about that Derek. I now have the details of the teachers who were at the Grammar School during Derek’s years there, along with some other of his recollections. I’ll see about posting them here shortly though how on earth Derek remembers all their names I don’t know. Thanks again to you both and if any other readers have photos they’d care to share, please contact us at abergelepost.com.
    Nigel Hilton.

  2. Nigel Hilton:

    Following on from the above, Derek has provided a list of the teaching staff at Abergele Grammar School for the period 1940-44, as he remembers them. Every generation of pupils has given their teachers nicknames of some sort and it is interesting to see that, even in those years, the pupils were no less inventive in that than earlier or later youngsters:
    Head Master – Mr D. B. Jones, Deputy Head – Miss Wynne, Physics & Sports Master – Mr Ivor (uncle Ivor) Jones, Chemistry – Mr Alfred (Alfie) Easom who as a former Royal Flying Corps pilot during W.W.1 was also the Officer Commanding the Abergele Air Training Corps., Mathematics – Mr Jenkins (?), Geography – Miss Richards (aka Miss Dick) who was awarded her MSc circa 1942 or ’43., French/Spanish/Welsh – Miss Wynne, History – Mr William Waters (aka Willy Wet) & Mr Hartley (aka Jammy, after the Hartleys Jam manufacturers), English – Mrs Davies, Biology – Miss Lloyd, Shorthand/Book-keeping – Mr Hughes, Art – Mr Marsden (1940-42), Domestic Science – ? with last but not least, as Caretaker – Mr Williams (father of Gerald & Tudor).
    Derek went on to add some interesting notes:
    Mr Easom (Alfie) had a rather special bicycle. The handlebar was a 1 inch diameter straight piece of galvanised pipe. Whilst quite fashionable in our presend day and age, in the 1940’s it was most unusual. The seat was also larger that the ‘norm’ having being taken from a motorcycle. Mr Easom also organised gymnastic displays in The Quad on a number of occasions. At one point, there was also a bi-plane, possibly a Tiger Moth, displayed in The Quad though how they got it in there or when it was removed, Derek doesn’t know.

    One pupil from the school, ‘Gabby’ Fawkes, belonged to another branch of the A.T.C. and was sadly killed, along with several other cadets, in a plane crash whilst on a flight circa 1942-43.

    Derek, himself, was a member of the local Army Cadet Force and got attached to the local Home Guard unit, held in Abergele Central School. He was a qualified signaler, manning a small telephone exchange during various exercises which were held in the school buildings during the 1943-44 period.

    I found it fascinating reading Derek’s notes, permitting a glimpse back into school life during those wartime years. It is interesting to compare the subjects taught then, when compared to my years there (the 1960’s), not to mention those on the present day curriculum. These, presumably, reflect the potentially different career opportunities available to school leavers in those years. It would be lovely to hear from other readers who attended the school around that time in the hopes of painting a fuller picture. I’m sure Derek has other memories too which, perhaps, he will share with us. Thanks.

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