Preston Grammar School Association
16th June 2017
Yesterday saw the Association's annual visit to the School, with a goodly selection of members (and some non-members!) enjoying the occasion - some for the first time in 50 years. We were warmly welcomed by the newly-appointed Head Teacher Ben Corbett and his staff and shown the excellent facilities now available to the students, together with a brief description of the proposals currently in hand for the immediate future. Pix of the day (courtesy of Maurice Barker) can be seen here
. The School website has a lot of information here
7th June 2017
Further to the previous entry the visit in question took place from 30th September to 3rd October 2016. Within days of the event one of the participants, Ian Mather, provided a report but it went mysteriously absent and has never been published - until now. Ian has provided a replacement copy - it can be seen here
, as a .pdf.
1st June 2017
After a visit by the Association's Military Interest Group to the Lochnagar Crater on the Somme battlefield, the Executive council arranged for the funding of a memorial Plaque in remembrance of the 59 Old Boys who are known to have been lost in WW1. The plaque (pictured here
) has now been installed at the Crater, notwithstanding the mis-spelling of Bazentin.The Crater itself is pictured here
1st June 2017
It is with deep regret that the Association has to announce the passing of John Lester Baines, at the age of 97, on Thursday 4th May 2017. Always known as "Jack", he attended Preston Grammar School between 1931 and 1936, and was in Thornley House.
No further details are available at present, but the thoughts and best wishes of the Association go out to his family, friends and colleagues in their time of loss.
31st May 2017
David Clarke (1948-1955 and now living somewhere in darkest Cumbria) has recently renewed contact with his old form mates. In addition to some (so-far-brief) reminiscing he has provided a series of photos from the halcyon years 1954 and 1955 as well as some other items of interest. See his page in the Gallery. Although his memory has performed magnificently regarding putting names to faces there are still a number of lacunae - any help gratefully received!
24th May 2017
Ronnie Foreman's funeral has been re-arranged for tomorrow Thursday 25th May, at 12 noon, at Preston Crematorium. Apology for the short notice.
11th May 2017
The Association's AGM took place on Friday 5th May at Fulwood Conservative Club and was followed by the customary hot pot supper. The event was not as well attended as in previous years, for the ever-more-normal reasons of ill-health and a decreasing membership. Even so an interested congregation saw Jim Goring invested as President by Past-President John Whalley and enjoyed a convivial evening. Pix, from Maurice as usual, can be seen here
(Please note: the funeral of Ronnie Foreman, referred to below, did not take place as advertised because of the illness of his son. A new date is still to be notified.)
28th April 2017
It is with deep regret that the Association has to announce the passing of Ronald Foreman, at the age of 100, on Wednesday 12th April 2017. Ron, better known as "Carrots", always a source of amusement to him, taught French and Spanish at the Grammar School for many years, and also Spanish at the Harris College.
The Funeral Service will be held at Preston Crematorium on Wednesday 3rd May 2017, at 11.15am. We have no further details at this time. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Ron's surviving son Bill at this very sad time.
27th March 2017
The Association's Annual Dinner 2017 took place on Saturday 18th March at the Samlesbury Hotel. A convivial evening was enjoyed by all, although as is inevitable with the march of time numbers of attendees are steadily diminishing. Pix, as usual, from Maurice are here
12th February 2017
The New Year of 2017 has seen the appointment of Mr Ben Corbett as Head Teacher of Moor Park High School and Sixth Form College, following the retirement of Peter Cunningham after many years' meritorious service. The Association has enjoyed a very successful relationship with Peter and wishes him a long and happy well-earned retirement. The Association wishes Mr Corbett a long and successful tenure as Head Teacher and looks forward to a successful and mutually-beneficial relationship with him.
10th February 2017
Further to the death of Bill Heane announced below John Whalley has sent us the following brief note about Bill's life.
"After leaving school in 1938, Bill joined the RAF with the aspiration of becoming a pilot. During initial training in Canada he shocked his flying instructor by only just pulling out of a spin before landing safely! The advice, now, was for him to concentrate on becoming a navigator, which he did with great relish. He joined Bomber Command and the Lancaster Pathfinder Squadron 582 and completed 57 operational missions, mainly over Germany, with the same 'lucky' skipper and crew! After demob. he joined the family firm in Preston, WS. Heane, and enjoyed a number of leisure pursuits including sailing his boat Kingfisher from Glasson Dock, active family holidays and walking, He was a member of St. Bartholomew's Church Choir until last year. He leaves his wife, Margaret, whom he met when she was a midwife at Sharoe Green Hospital, son David and daughter Janet together with five grandchildren".
21st January 2017
It is with regret that the Association announces the passing of Bill Heane, (Flt Lt William Henry Heane DFC) who lived in the Chipping/Bilsborrow area, who died on Wednesday 11th January 2017, aged 93. The funeral service will take place at Chipping Parish Church of St. Bartholomew on Wednesday 25th January at 11am, prior to interment at St Hilda's, Bilsborrow. The Association will be represented by John Whalley (and perhaps others), who knew Bill. See here
19th January 2017
It is with immense sadness that the Association has to announce the passing of Frederick Michael "Mike" Tyrer, who died at home in Fareham Hampshire on 16th January 2017 after a short illness. The funeral will take place at the United Reform Church, 18 Osborn Rd S, Fareham PO16 7DG 31st January 2017 at 1400hrs. See here
Donations may be made to The Rowans Hospice c/o Messrs M Coghlan Limited, Westbury Rd, Fareham PO16 7XU.
11th January 2017
A goodly array of Members of the Association, along with a number of wives and guests, enjoyed today's informative and interesting tour of St George's Church and Preston Minster, led by Father Tim Lipscomb who was in fine form. Pix from Maurice here
The Executive Council Meeting originally programmed for Thursday 12th will now take place on Wednesday 18th January, time and place unchanged.
5th January 2017
The first update of the New Year is a photograph (resurrected, having been misplaced recently) of the School's ATC squadron at camp in 1944. The camp was at Calveley, Cheshire, and was held from 2nd - 9th September. The group pictured includes members of squadrons other than the PGS (2148) squadron. The individuals named are believed to be all the PGS members - the colours have no significance other than to connect names to faces. Any corrections gratefully received. See here
(29th December 2016)
The Archive page now includes a .pdf of the School's production of "A Man for All Seasons". This copy of the programme has been supplied by Brian Lodge - to whom go our Thanks.
(25th December 2016)
Following yesterday's additions are 2 more of Paul Dodd's contributions - programmes of the School's productions of Noye's Fludde (Noah's Flood to you and me) and a Tribute to Shakespeare, both from 1964. They are also on the Archive
(24th December 2016)
A couple of months ago Paul Dodd (1962 -1968) sent a series of photographs and scans for inclusion on the sports and other cultural pages. At long last the opportunity has arrived for these items to be uploaded. The first batch - 5 pix of the School cricket teams from the 1960s, featuring the aforementioned Paul - are now in the Gallery
. Also supplied by Paul are the pages from the Speech Day programme for 1968, now on the Archive
(22nd December 2016)
Our readers will have noticed a lack of site activity over the last month. This has been caused by a coincidence of factors, culminating in Mrs Webmaster suffering a heart attack and being subsequently incarcerated in hospital. Things are now looking a bit brighter so with luck activity will shortly be resumed.
(26th November 2016)
The 2016 Hot Pot Supper took place last evening, at the accustomed venue (happily repaired after lead-stealing thieves caused severe damage). The usually-staid event was enlivened by a follow-up presentation by our tame ex-policeman Bob Helm (former Detective Superintendent)of some of his professional adventures. Maurice's pix in the gallery here
(14th November 2016)
Yesterday the Association held its annual Service of Remembrance at Preston's Minster Church, led by our Chaplain Father Tim, with a splendid congregation present. Photographs courtesy of Maurice Barker here
(8th November 2016)
A miscellaneous assortment of files from Alick Hadwen's archive has been added into the Military Service records section (although they contain some non-military items!).
(6th November 2016)
More "missing" info recovered - this time the Gordon Knight Richardson data. It's in the Gallery. More info has also been added to the Military Service Records.
(3rd November 2016)
Some of the "missing" photographs (cricket and rugby teams) added to the Gallery.
(9th October 2016)
Members (and guests) of the Military Interest Group visited France over the weekend of 30th September/3rd October on an organised conducted tour of some of the sites of the 1916 Somme campaign. Charlie Billington's pix of the "Remembering the Somme 2016" Tour can be seen here
. Report awaited.
(21st September 2016)
On 15th September members of the Association and guests visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, calling first at the German War Cemetery, just a few miles away. Pix (from our Secretary) here
. Report awaited.
19th September 2016
A link to the Military Interest Group has been added to the links list, and corrections have been made to the "Military Records" and "Speech Day" sections.
7th September 2016
The 2016 Annual PGSA Masters Golf Tournament took place yesterday, at Ashton Golf Centre. Pix from Maurice here
. Report here
25th August 2016
The death has been announced of James Anthony Paddock, at the age of 87, in the USA, on Thursday 11th August 2016. See here
7th July 2016
The Roebuck Cup, the annual PGSA Masters Bowls Tournament, took place today at Guy's Eatery and Fun Palace at Bilsborrow. Beautifully organised by Tony Olivine (with no repeat of last year's failed gymnastics exhibition) and won by Allan Turner, the Report is on the Events page here
(in the Bowls Tournaments section) and the pix are in the gallery.
2nd July 2016
At a meeting of the Executive Council last Thursday (30th June) a proposed modification to the wording of paras 18-20 of the Constitution was proposed - see here
Only 1 visit to the School was planned for 2016 and this took place yesterday. Pix in the Gallery.
3rd June 2016
The PGSA Masters golf tournament finally took place on Tuesday 31st May - delayed from the original date because the course was waterlogged following the wet winter. Pix in the Gallery.
7th July 2016
The Roebuck Cup, the annual PGSA Masters Bowls Tournament, took place today at Guy's Eatery and Fun Palace at Bilsborrow. Beautifully organised by Tony Olivine (with no repeat of last year's failed gymnastics exhibition) and won by Allan Turner, the Report is here
and the pix are in the gallery.
26th May 2016
A bargain find at Preston Market which uncovered a long lost football shirt has ended up scoring support for St Catherine’s Hospice. When Andrew Atkinson came across the item he snapped it up and sent in a photo to the Lancashire Evening Post in a bid to find out more. He was contacted by the Preston Grammar School Association, which identified it as having belonged to a member of a Preston Grammar School Old Boys’ team so he knew he’d found something special. The Association was keen to add the shirt, which dates back to the 1930s, to its archives, and Andrew was pleased to offer it them in return for a donation to the hospice. He said: “I have a friend who runs a pub in Spain, who wanted me to find some local football shirts to put up there. I enjoy going to auctions and car boot sales, so I went to a car boot at Preston Market to see if I could find anything for him. I noticed this one at the bottom of the pile and just thought it was interesting – it seemed to be of some significance.”
He bagged a bargain after paying just 50p for the shirt, and was keen to help St Catherine’s when the opportunity arose to present it to the Preston Grammar School Association. Charlie Billington, Secretary of the Preston Grammar School Association, said: It’s an Old Boys’ shirt and the badge is from the Lancashire Amateur League Northern Section, Division Two, 1938-39. It’s quite unusual to find something like this, and it’s significant because it was worn by a player who belonged to a Championship-winning side – in 1939 the Club won both the First and Second Division titles, a unique feat".
Members from the Association met with Andrew at the hospice to present the cheque to the charity, and receive the football shirt.
18th April 2016
Accompanied by Charlie Billington, I went along to Coniston House in Chorley to visit Ron Foreman, one time Master at Preston Grammar School. Ron spent most of his working life at the School and managed to get me through the French ‘O’ level. He also taught Charlie the intricacies of the Spanish Language both at the School and later at the Harris College.
He is still very mobile, though with failing eyesight is occasionally a little unsteady on his feet. We spent well over an hour chatting to him and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He talked at length about his time at the School, even remembering the slope of the playground where, in frosty weather, one had to be extremely careful not to slip after leaving the canteen, confessing that he was ‘no good at sliding’ (although he would have loved to have been!).
His sense of humour was infectious, constantly laughing and not afraid to poke fun at himself. He has had an extremely happy life, meeting many lovely people (and a few of the others) along the way. He considers himself to be very fortunate in still having good health and being extremely happy in his current environment, though missing some of his favourite pastimes like swimming and playing the piano (but not at the same time).
On the 26th of April 2016, Coniston House will be putting on a party to celebrate Ron reaching his 100th Birthday. We understand that the Queen has been informed and will be sending him a Telegram, though unfortunately she is unable to attend in person. I too regret that I am unable to attend as I will be out of the country at the time, though Charlie hopes to be there with Dave Sharp, as both of them not only know Ron, but also knew his late son Alan, who was Dave’s Best Man.
(Jim) I have fond memories of my time at PGS, having the greatest respect for Ron Foreman, and would like to take this opportunity to wish him all the very best for his 100th Birthday and the future.
(Charlie) Like Jim I have the greatest respect for Ron (“Carrots” doesn’t seem right anymore!), and I always remember him spurring me and others on in 2A by giving us a copy of “Le Figaro” if we came out on top in his tests. The fact that I later qualified as a Linguist meant that at least one Master (as well as “Splints” Woodall) had got through to me, despite my legendary rebellions. Testament indeed! Of course, he was also a great raconteur and quite easy to sidetrack during lessons if they became too boring. It was a privilege to see him again, although I never quite lost touch. By the time you read this his century will have been and gone, but I shall have passed on the best wishes of all of you as Members of the Preston Grammar School Association, as well as my own.
Jim Goring (with Charlie Billington).