General recollections.

Clive Brown: Photo taken by Spike Milligan in the summer of 1951, I think, or it might have been 1952. (Trevor?) Lund, Denis Machin, Clive Brown( see Gallery General Section).. For some reason the three of us were missing when he took a full photo of the Va form. I haven't met up with anyone from the school except (Ian?) Black, the Matron's son. I met him at UKAEA Culham Laboratory where I was working at the time. Haven't heard a sound from anybody else.

Colin Laycock: Education certainly was different then - "Boney" Thompson, "Fungus", "Spike" Milligan, "Max" Ebbage, "Sam" Lack and others. I also still have a handmade and signed menu for a Prefects` Dinner at Bettys Restaurant, York, in 1960. The names on the Menu are: Hardaker, Faulkner, Elliott, March, Harris, Bell, Shephard, Braim,Hudson, Swann, Smith, Hodgson and Laycock. The Headmaster was D A Frith

Martin Davies 52-56 AHGS was the making of me. I'd been an abject failure in the Classics stream at Bradford GS (2.5% in the Greek exam), but I found my niche in the fifth form at York after my father moved there to be the Unitarian minister.
I shall always remember the kindness and the generosity of Michael Binks on my first day there in the playground, introducing me with wonderful panache to others in my year - including, Michael said, the boy with a name like a tractor and a face to match (he didn't have, of course, but the remark, to my naive ears, was amazingly stylish), David Brown (whom I'd known previously in Pudsey). Graham Smith, Gogs Thorpe - with whom I struggled (successfully, in the end) to pass French at A-level, under Cis.
Stuart Lack, Michael Ebbage (who gave me lifts to school from Acomb Street) Michael Vonberg (whose Iago in St Johns next door was vibrant with sensuality as he made love to a concrete pillar). I did my best as Dr Faustus, but was displaced on the opening night by my 'understudy' who was infinitely superior to me - especially when it came to kissing Helen of Troy. And I could only gasp with admiration at the dramatic accomplishment of Frank Smith, photographer's son, as Peer Gynt.
I realise now (as the admissions officer for an undergraduate degree programme) how incredibly privileged we were in that AHGS sixth form. But you don't think about it at the time.

Colin Laycock: I was very interested to see reference to actor Frank Smith - I am pleased that it confirms I have remembered his name correctly - I do remember his amazing acting ability and also his humanity and maturity. (You can look up details of Frank Smith under his stage name of Frank Barrie on the web.

Rod Shaw: Who remembers Saturday nights at the Theatre Royal, in the "Gods" for about 1s/9d, paying 10% attention to the play, 50% attention to the QA and Mill Mount girls also present (I know, I'm married to one of them), 20% attention to annoying Boris, and 20% to making paper darts and landing them on the stage? Shooting off at fulltime asap to get a swifty one in at the Starre or Punchbowl or Thomas'.....Ah yes, those were the days......

Pete Gott: Yes I remember the Saturday theatre expeditions very well and the paper dart episode although now with some embarassment. The thing got caught in the beam of light from a spotlight and floated serenely and inexorably down to the stage to land at one of the actor's feet. There was a sort of sharp intake of breath from the audience. You may recall there was even an editorial in the Press the following week complaining of "unacceptable rowdyism at the theatre culminating in this sorry episode" or some such journalistic hyperbole. Fortunately there was no DNA testing then or I would probably been caught and transported to the colonies.

Rod Shaw: Come now Pete, I wouldn't be embarrassed by the feat, it was a masterpiece of aviation design, only perfected after innumerable earlier test flights (by yourself and other designers over several years) plummeted to their doom in the 3rd row stalls, or once, remarkably, somewhere to the rear of the upper circle thereby taking out a middle-aged usherette with an icecream tray and false teeth.
The early problems were largely due to failures in the first stage boosters (ie how hard you flicked them off the balcony of the Gods). Also the ablative coating (chewing gum) on the nose-cone of the re-entry vehicle may have put excess weight on the pointed end.
The event you describe was indeed the one I recall. The actor was dramatically solilo-whatevering in a single spot and the Gotterschmitt 748 did a perfect 3-point at his feet, having first cast a growing dramatic shadow by majestically flying down the spot beam. He stopped, momentarily, looked down, looked up, frowned, grinned and continued without missing a word. And the Gallery rose, as a single person, and cheered, only to be thrown out en masse by the "miserable little ..." who acted as crowd control up there (Boris?).

Malcolm Beckwith: Wonderful to be able to reminisce could not remember the name of the tuck shop on Lord Mayors Walk with their penny drinks

John Zimnoch: I think after a few more months of the site being broadcast we should have a reunion at the tuck shop on Lord Mayors Walk with penny drinks all round! Also drank tons of beer at The Hole in the Wall under Bootham Bar. I'll be over to York late June why don't we all arrange to meet in the Starre Inn for bevvies? That was another popular watering hole with Brown Bill the barman, very jovial and fond of us young schoolboys- "put the money in the palm of my hand young man" with a smile on his face!!
It grieves me,even as a non scholar, that such a fine institution is now a co-ed comprehensive; and we hated it when the school was moved from the lovely buildings at Lord Mayor's Walk to those boxes on the Hull Road, especially when we had to move out to accommodate those ****** at St John's next door.

Hugh Bracey: The current photo of me on the Roll Call clearly shows the bump on my head, which I received at AHGS, so I did leave with a permanent reminder of my days there!
I was running headlong up the main stairs, not looking where I was going, and my head hit the corner of the School Hi Fi equipment (or at least the main unit), which was being carried downstairs carefully and slowly by a Boarding House Monitor (Haynes). That piece of school equipment must be worth a fortune now on Antiques Road Show!
I still remember the school being allowed to listen to a Cup Quarter Final on it in the School Hall because York City managed to get that far. (Colin Addison was playing for them then).

Rod Shaw: It was the replay of the FA Cup Semi, played one Wednesday (Hillsborough?) afternoon, KO probably at 3pm. We were all marched into the hall (I think it was compulsory), told to sit down and shut up (fat chance) and listen to the game scratchily relayed over about a 1 watt PA system. Quite unreal, I remember the masters trying to appear disinterested and then jumping up and down and yelling with the rest of us.
York City held Newcastle to a draw in the first game (Villa Park?), 1-1, I think, and had a second goal disallowed in the last few minutes. As it was, they were the first 3rd div team to get a replay in the semis. They beat sides like Spurs on the way there, 3-1 or 4-1, from memory, and Blackpool by a similar margin (very strong 1st div side then, I'm not sure whether Sir Stan was still playing for them then).
Arthur Bottom (of whom there is Only One, and he is alive and well and living in Sheffield, I'm told by Josh Easby) was duly transferred to Newcastle but did not do particularly well there (served them right). I think he was the leading goal scorer in the FA in that famous year (56?)

John Foggin: Rod, you are well up on your soccer memories. We name you our Leslie Welsh! We all had to sit on the hard floor for about one hour and for those some distance from the stage it was quite inaudible. Bottom scored in that semi and also in the replay which, of course, Newcle won and went on to win the FA cup ( Jackie Milburn was the captain of Newcastle)

Alan Etherington: I remember having to listen to the football match and it must have been early 1955 as we were on the front rows. When people were told if they had to go then they could (meaning those who had to catch buses) I got up as well for, truth to tell, I find football like listening to paint drying. I was mocked by those in authority as I was a Boarder and obviously had no bus to catch. Such is life.

Frank Laurence: Mention has been made of Frank Smith (aka Frank Barrie), but what about Peter Woodthorpe (of 'Waiting for Godot' fame) - and what about Frank Dobson? Whatever our political viewpoint - didn't he do well!
Finally what did happen to Scrancher (Johnson?)? If you didn't know him, you will not understand why he comes to mind. As a prefect at the time of his arrival, I remember him well - too well!

Roger King: Wasn't the boy at the back on the right of the Prefects 61 photo David Barber? (Now added - Geoff)
1956-61 - Good days!

On Staff

Hugh Bracey: One of the hats that I wear these days is that of a Governor of a "modern" Boys Grammar School. One of the biggest differences between today's schools and schools like 'Archies' in its days at Lord Mayors Walk is the length of time spent at any one school by the teaching staff.
I think it is fair to say that the majority of the staff who were at 'Archies' in the 50s were probably still at the school long after its move to Hull Road. On the other hand, at the school that I serve on the board of Governors, I doubt if more than 25% of the staff who were there during my sons time 1987-95 are still there now in 2002.

Alan Etherington: (Re: R.G.(Fungus) Currington). The serious illness mentioned was in our 4th year when he contracted TB and we all had to troop off to the hospital for a chest X-ray.

Rod Shaw: Drill was where you stood in the hall motionless for 30 minutes, as I recall, while Fungus marched up and down between the rows armed with a cane.

Hugh Bracey: I had forgotten all about Fungus's TB and our X-rays for it. The bit about his army life brought back memories of how we used to try to get him to talk about the Army or the Romans in an effort to reduce the amount of time spent on learning Latin.
One other thing that I do remember about Fungus is that he was a good Clarinettist!

Alan Etherington: He was also a darn good pianist.

Bob Foster: The teachers who I remember with fondness were particularly Jock Caley who taught me German , which I still use from time to time and Young Robbo who taught maths. Another older history teacher I liked was named Adams. DAB Berryman taught us English Lit & although I did not really appreciate Shakespeare & Wordsworth at the time I regularly go to the RST & climb in the lakes now.
Does anyone remember the punishment of "Subtractions". Stan Tilsley the woodwork teacher would regularly give the whole form one hundred subtractions and the number to use was 398.

Geoff Portas: Yes I remember subtractions and the tricks we tried to save time, like doing the first 10, then the last 10 by working backwards from 0, then filling in the rest with random numbers! I can't recall if we ever got away with it though.
I remember Stan best for his instructions for getting the keys to the bench cupboards: "One, Two, Three, Four" (pause while keys were collected) "Five, Six, Seven, Eight" (another pause), then with a finality of tone "Nine to Twelve".

Hugh Bracey: I for one do indeed remember "398 the form" (see the caricature on the SKULE DAZE program.) Maths teacher Dennis showed a complete lack of imagination when it came to numbers and used to let us pick our own, whereas Spike Milligan, I am sure, used to research number sequences and often gave difficult 4 figure subs which took the experts longer that 10 minutes to do.
I can still remember Spike doubling up (100, 200, 400) for daring to protest at being given subs. I never got more than 200 more than once from him!

Bob Foster: Does anyone remember the rhubarb fight, which happened I think in 1957.

Rod Shaw: Probably about '57 or '58. End of summer term riot, large sticks of rhubarb imported from over the back wall in Brook Street, used as weapons and then left all over the yard and Boney coming out and marching us all into the hall and reading the riot act with a not very straight face. We weren't allowed home till every single bit had been picked up. Probably related to the Goon Show, I suspect.

John Foggin: The rhubarb is well remembered! Jordan got his mother to bake a rhubarb pie and he presented it to Coleman, our math teacher at the time. That earned him another class dismissal. (Whatever happened to Jordan I wonder?)

Alan Etherington: It was Dennis Coleman, do you remember getting 22/20 for homework and 10 Oral if you got it all right? I remember Horner being turned out of the class on a regular basis.
"Horner, go and stand in the middle of the hall and don't move till you get there" was one of his famous phrases. One hot sunny day he was thrown out as usual. All the windows were wide open and Horner sneaked round to the nearby bins and threw a bin lid through the window. Dennis was so startled; everything stopped. He then rushed to the window. No-one there. It could only be Horner so he rushed to the door and there was Horner nonchalantly reading a book in the middle of the hall, he had thrown the bin lid in and rushed back into the hall almost before it landed knowing that Dennis would be startled so he had plenty of time. Dennis had no evidence and so the case rested, unproved, although the world knew what had happened, (even Dennis despite his being rather unworldly).

Rod Shaw: He once asked us to tell him the results of two maths tests, geometry first, algebra second, and make absolutely sure we got them the right way round. He got to Rob Corbett who asked Dennis several times which way round he wanted them, Dennis got exasperated and told Rob to just get on with it and get them the right way round, so Rob said, OK, sir, 17, 17... Dennis was actually a nice guy, we used to meet him in a pub down Monkgate years later and have a laugh about it. He was amazingly sane.

Hugh Bracey: I recall the day that a group from the form took the afternoon off (or at least double maths with Dennis Coleman) to go train spotting by getting a 1d (remember them?) platform ticket then getting on the next train to Doncaster/London. I can still remember poor Dennis being perplexed because he was teaching a big chunk of empty desks that afternoon.

Alan Etherington: I hadn't realised that there was a picture of the Staff in 1960 on the site. What an august bunch! If you recall, we used to have to kow-tow to the likes of little Noddy Dearman, raising caps etc!
I remember A Holderness (of fond memory) going into his chemical store in Room 12 for the Acetaldehyde and coming out with an empty bottle with a loose cap and saying something to the effect that "some idiot has left the cap loose and when I get hold of him..........."
From this I learned that Acetaldehyde has a low boiling point and evaporates readily given the chance, I have never forgotten this! (B.Pt. 21C). - AH was a bloke that I would still raise my cap to for his knowledge, teaching ability and attitude.

Hugh Bracey: Other teachers I remember were; our English Teacher who was an ex destroyer lieutenant and knew how to throw a board rubber. Forster the physics teacher who was the author of one of our text books? ---- And who could forget Mr "LULU" Mayes the music teacher who ran the school choir and orchestra.

Rod Shaw: I think Albert Holderness, chemistry, was the textbook writer. He also persuaded me that science offered a better future than Latin (I got about the same marks in each) so off I went and did biochemistry at Sheffield.

Frank Laurence: I've a few memories, which might prompt others.: Brook Street, with Messrs. Truscott (of Lynton on Ouse) and '398-the-form' Stan (Jock) Tilsley (already mentioned by one or more of your contributors). I used to leave the profile of the latter wherever I found a steamed-up window - not that most realised who it was meant to represent.: Dennis (Daddy) Coleman was too nice a bloke. We used to take advantage. One of the tricks in my form was to leave a satchel in the aisle, the satchel containing a brick - not easily kicked aside. I was part of the torment until I met 'Daddy' in town and discovered what a decent a chap he was, after which I was ready to do battle on his behalf. He had a daughter (at Mill Mount ?).: Who remembers 'Mad Acko' Atkinson (Latin) and Alf 'Galloping Major' or 'the sacred river ran' Galleymore (Physics) ? - the latter was a perfect gentleman, a really nice man. He was forever holding up a former pupil, Proctor, as an example to us all - if only I had known Proctor, life could have been so different!: The teacher I best remember as having a good grasp on what makes youngsters tick, was George ('Gus')Robinson. I was sorry to hear from Neil Guppy that GR has passed away - a great guy.: The most professional teacher in my opinion was Holderness ('Nero'). He had a sense of humour, once deriving great amusement from Jonathon Selby's reference to a 'loose pair', as opposed to a 'lone pair.' I had the distinction in the upper school of being called a spiv by Nero (his house was on the way to my then girl-friend's house, which might have explained his assessment). He was an excellent teacher, but, hopefully, not such a good judge of character. There were many good teachers at AHGS but I hold Nero in highest regard.: Other names I haven't seen mentioned yet are 'Bug' Allen (Biology), 'Bogey' Baines (Geography), 'Cis'Wilkes (French), Ken Parsons (Art) and A. Foster(apparently renowned for taking a metre rule to a whole form - and breaking several in the process -rulers that is)(His son was at AHGS, Dean, leaving1950/51).: There were some teachers who gave us a hard time and it's not appropriate to dwell on what we thought of them. However, despite his 'drill' reputation, I would say that I found 'Fungus' Currington to be excellent company outside school - Ye Olde Starre Inn, Stonegate, comes to mind.

Barry Atkinson: The staff picture lists the short, bald guy on the back row as Atkinson, I think it should be Anderson (Bodkin) (That's now been corrected - Geoff)

Alan Etherington: Barry Atkinson is right. I can see where the error is, it is that when the good Mr Anderson (History and Architecture) joined the staff there was a notorious murder case in full swing and every now and then there was a picture of a little bald fat bloke purporting to be the said murder suspect, called John Bodkin Adams. As the likeness to the new Mr Anderson was so startling he became known as "Bod" or, indeed, "Bodkin" on Sundays. So in effect you were on the right lines but tripped at the last fence, as it were.

Hugh Bracey: I am pleased that errors are being pointed out - my own memory is getting worse but that is mainly short term memory ! Bodkin Adams features in the 1960 6th form pic too! (Got the name wrong there too!)

Alan Etherington: Brook St was taken over for our school and housed the gym (Fraser), Room 16 (Taffy Evans), Room 17 (Trussy), Room 18 (Bloss Ward, maths), Room 19 (various) and, of course, the woody lab with Stan (the Man) Tilsely of whom it has often been said.

The following items are edited extracts from the MITRE in the early 60s

MR. J W. Saunders,

It is with great sorrow that we record the death during the Summer Term of Mr.J.W. Saunders. It seems so recently that we shared his ready wit, and joined in his infectious laughter in the Common Room, that it is difficult to realise that no present pupil member of the School had the privilege of being taught by one who served the School faithfully from January 1920 until July 1952
Old Boys will especially remember his activities, both as actor and producer, with the Old Boys Dramatic Society, or his readings in the classroom, where his appreciation of good characterisation was vividly and sincerely communicated.
It was, however, in the more serious teaching of the scriptures that he most excelled. Many a boy who thought that he had asked an awkward question was treated to a lucid exposition of doctrine that was the product of long thought, hard-earned wisdom and, above all, common sense. It is perhaps in this context that he would have liked most to be remembered.


Mr. Arthur Benjamin Hodgson, headmaster of Archbishop Holgate's Grammar School, York, for more than 20 years, died on Sunday at his home, in Southampton, at the age of 62. His health had been indifferent for some years and he had retired much earlier than he need have done.
Hodgson went from Leeds Grammar School to Leeds University, then to Oxford, where he read Modern Languages and took the diploma in education. He played Rugby football for his school XV, the Leeds University XV, the Yorkshire Wanderers and Headingley, and played in the Oxford University trials in 1921 and 1923. His enthusiasm for the game and belief in its merits never waned throughout his life.
He began his teaching career at Bury Grammar School and continued it at Cranleigh School and Christ's Hospital, Sussex, where he became senior housemaster and commanded the Officer Cadet Corps.
In 1937 he went to York as headmaster and almost immediately was faced with the onerous task of guiding his school through the difficult war years and then the period of transition afterwards when the school became controlled by the York City Authority. He never lost his sense of perspective or of humour, or an ambition to enhance the quality and the reputation of his school by drawing on what he thought best in both public schools and grammar schools.
A keen Freemason, he was a member of a number of lodges, and the founder of one, which recruited its members from old boys of the school. As a mason, as a schoolmaster who loved teaching, and as a Justice of the Peace in York - an honour that he relished, but insisted on attributing to his school - he made and kept a huge circle of friends. He spent lavishly on his school and the city qualities that might have made their mark on a wider world.
He leaves a widow and young daughter, and a son by a former marriage.

(As printed in " The Times ")

Mr. R. G. Currington

At the end of the summer term, Mr. R. G. Currington, a member of the staff for 27 years, left the School to take charge of a larger classics department in Scunthorpe.
A southerner by birth, he began his education at the City of London School and from there he gained an open scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he achieved the distinction of a First Class in Part I of the Classical Tripos. His first teaching post was at Kingston-upon-Thames Grammar School and then, in 1934, he joined the staff of the School as assistant Classics master.
During the war he served in the R.A.S.C. in India, rising to the rank of Captain. No doubt many Schoolboys will remember his stirring tales of wartime activities in the Far East.
Returning to the school in 1945, he became head of the Classics department, the post he so ably held until his departure this year.
By nature a strict disciplinarian, Mr. Currington always carried out his work in an imposing and efficient manner, and his stern methods will surely be remembered with a feeling of dread by those who attended the weekly drill in which he made no concessions to feebleness.
To know Mr. Currington was to like him, and, above all, to respect him. Both masters and boys alike will remember his supreme devotion to the School and his unyielding spirit during his recent severe illness, and his familiar, bearded figure will be much missed around the School.


"Play up, play upupupupupup"

as A.B. Hodgson used to encourage us

Alan Etherington: AHGS COLTS 56-57 PHOTO
No wonder we always won, we had 20 men playing. Mick Easton used to play right wing and when I was on that line we'd go like mad. I'd keep shouting "Outside Mick," and he very nearly passed it to me many a time he reckoned. If he had I wouldn't have known what to do with it, I was more of a hockey player and swimmer, I didn't like playing these sorts of games with all those rough boys. What ever happened to Mick? We were always in the same class going up and down like yo-yos in the first year 1X, 1Z, 1Y - there weren't any left or we'd have been there as well! Then we stuck in the B stream for the rest of our school lives until he left to join the police at the end of the 5th year. I met him after that and he had left the police and started with British Railways in the main offices. He said that there were too many bosses in the police and they wouldn't let him home at the end of shifts and he had to get the last bus anyway so if he missed it he had to sleep in the cells.

John Zimnoch: I even spent a very happy year in the 8th form to improve my grades- never happened but I got my first-15 colours and we had a very successful rugby season; beat Willie Turners at Redcar and even QEGS from Wakefield - brilliant.
One of my happy memories is playing in the first fifteen in the last year at school and beating the older students from St John's at our new ground at Hull Road, even after Mick Barker, our stand off, got hurt.
I was sad to see Trevor Howe on the roll call, seeing his name I was hoping reports of his demise were false but alas wishful thinking. I would meet him for a pint whenever I visited my mum in York, he was a lovely quiet man with a great sense of humour and a love of sport, an enthusiastic cricketer.
Nobody could beat Pete Sedgewick, remember what a batsman he was?
I never thought of myself as an athlete, mainly because rugby was the thing and I was never a star at that, solid perhaps-what a poor thing that is-next in the line is crap!
However, school swimming champion 6 out of 8 years, captain of basketball for 2 years-no defeats maybe I wasn't as bad as I thought I was.
I think I would also be in the running for most lines, subs, detentions, drills, and canings - maybe not the winner in each individual category but in the medals overall.

Frank Laurence: Ilkley 7-a-side
I'm in the subject photo - wish the hairline hadn't changed. Missing names are, b.r., l to r, David Owen Smith, Gerald Richardson and yours truly. The missing name, f.r. is Peter Ayres. Houseman's firstname is Chris. I'd have said the year was 1958 if Chris hadn't featured. He was a year or so in front of me so maybe it was 1957. I think I was in the Colts in 1955.

Peter Smith: Missing names for the 7-a-side Rugby Team, Ilkley 1955 are as follows: Back Row L - R Smith D O, Richardson G or J (Jeg), Laurence F
Front Row L -R Ayres (Min)

Bob Foster: My passion at school was rugby although I never made the First XV. I played club rugby for 15 years after leaving school. I greatly regret having lost contact with my school friends many of whom went on to University. I went on a school trip to Boppard in 1962 and I can remember also climbing into the school field to play hockey against QUAGS - this was not an authorised event.(See Photo in Sports Section of hockey team)

Frank Laurence: I was fortunate enough to represent AHGS on two occasions at Ilkley and my abiding memory is of the atmosphere there on both occasions, electrifying. If anyone is able to put me in touch with Geg (Jeg)Richardson, one of those featured in the photo, there's a bottle of malt on offer.


When I was at Boarding School.....

Geoff Portas: I often recall summer nights after lights out, listening to Lulu playing Beethoven's Fur Elise on the piano in the hall, which was just below my window. I don't remember him playing anything else, perhaps that was the only tune he knew.

David Harrison: Did any of you make any fruit hooch, I made, kept and drank mine in the model cupboard and can anyone remember who's bottle exploded in their locker as Hodgson was leaving House prayers? Anyone remember listening to Radio Luxenburg on "cats whisker" sets we made in match boxes when we were in junior dorm?

Hugh Bracey: Of course I remember - would still be using one if I could pick up FM ! At least I could work one of them, which is more than can be said of 'them thar noo fangled video contraptions'! I used to hang out mainly with Font and Pug and Derek Newall and in last couple of years we spent a lot of our free time at the Record Rendezvous, round the corner from Lord Mayors Walk, next door to the Ballroom. I still remember climbing up on the book cupboard ledge with Font and Pug regularly so we could listen to Radio up there without disturbing others in the day room. I was a real rock n roll music fanatic then and still am.

Vic Worrall: I do remember Radio Luxembourg, Jack Jackson and Gus Goodwin and having to stand on the cabinet ledge to hear it... and I still have a 78 record which the School Male Voice Choir made in StJohns Chapel Any Boarders remember the weekly Top 20s that we used to compile?

Hugh Bracey: I remember those Top 20s well, and can even remember composing a piece in a boarders magazine that Spike produced with lots of (mainly American) song titles hidden in it as a quiz. I was a real rock n roll music fanatic then, and still am.

Derek Newall: Just read the memories board and references to music. Do you recall how we used to produce out own top ten - each of us would nominate our top ten and our first would be given ten points, second nine etc. Then totals would be calculated for each of the songs and a combined result published. All went well until some tasteless individual put "If I were a blackbird" top of their list with the result that, in the late fifties, it appeared in the middle of our hit parade. Music is still important to me and I'd be embarrassed to count how much has been spent on hifi over the years!

Alan Etherington: All the Boarding House pottery had Mitre on each cup, saucer and plate! Lovely design, lousy food and in parsimonious quantity, I think we Boarders would all agree. How I recall the pangs of hunger. We were allowed into the first bit of kitchen where bread was available in between 2 trays wrapped up in a damp sheet. We could have as much as we needed, provided we didn't need too much, with jam or marmalade out of one of the big stoneware "useful pots" (see Winnie The Pooh for an explanation). Those pots are worth a few bob nowadays. The cloth was an unsuccessful attempt to prevent last week's bread from going rock hard ("with compliments from the stone masonry department", I believe someone once said!). I was hungry! Bryan Milner famously counted the baked beans on his plate with the half doorstep of greasy fried bread one mealtime and found 28. Cleverly, I sat next to Hugh who, for some reason, didn't like meat and I used to take his off his hands so getting double rations but twice nowt is still nowt! Maybe it was the lack of meat in your formative years that caused it Hugh. At one time Boarders were always first for seconds at school dinners (a double-edged sword eh?) until the good Mr Frith came on the scene and made us take our turn which went down like a lead balloon with us, this was our main source of nourishment, Day boys went home for a decent meal later, we had our 28 beans for tea!

Geoff Portas: I remember the fried bread served at breakfast on Sundays. We used to apply marmalade and leave to soak for 10 mins, then it was soft enough to eat. I also remember the hot orange squash served at suppertime. Guaranteed to make you want to pee at 2 am, a practice much frowned upon by those in authority. Before I went to Archie's I was a very fussy eater. --- Not any more!

Vic Worrall: Well remember the piles of bread and making sauce sandwiches with 7 or 8 slices and then squeezing it all together so the sauce permeated through - hardly haute cuisine but very satisfying, as were the waste pastry round buns that you could get from the bakery at the top of Gillygate .. delicious when stuffed with a few pennies worth of chips. I can not agree that all the food was crap and sparse, the treacle stodge was out of this world.. especially if you had it without Mrs Boags thick lumpy custard!!

Hugh Bracey: Vic, I remember your predilection for treacle stodge came back on you - literally - on a Scout Cross Country race at the Knavesmire as you came into the finishing straight in a reasonable position- ruined the image of the superb athlete! (I think you had had 3 or 4 helpings an hour before the race!) I also seem to recall that Alan did that run as a guide for some blind scouts - his excuse for not having to exert himself.

Vic Worrall: Predilection!!!! What sort of a word is that for an Archies boy? I am impressed......but you are right on all counts. I was rather partial to it and it or forces unknown caused me to stumble out in the wilds of the Knavesmire, game boy that I am I got up and finished 3rd I believe. Was Alan a guide? ....lucky him, must of been far better than being in scouts!!

Alan Etherington: The Scout Cross-Country Run was almost true in the details you all recall except that, the way I saw it, was that we were gathered around a blackboard on the Knavesmire with a map on it and were told the course. As there were so many folks in the race I didn't pay much heed, as there would be someone nearby who knew where we were supposed to go. We all lined up, the gun went off and everyone buggered off into the distance, over the hill and out of sight except for me and about 4 other lads. By now we were well into some woods and weren't sure what had happened so I asked these lads where we were supposed to be going. They said they were blind and were following me! Now this was obviously a case of the blind leading the blind so we crashed around a bit in the woods and were getting nowhere quite quickly. Eventually we found a track and wandered along it and finally saw the Knavesmire stands in the distance and made our way towards them. With these others being blind, their minders, who must have thought that it would be good for these lads to get out in the fresh air, were getting a bit fretful at having lost their charges and were starting to feel they ought to be looking for them. No one gave a tuppenny for me, it's been the same for most of my existence really, and we wandered in somewhat behind the leaders. One thing I have never been accused of throughout my long and varied existence is being athletic, skinny - yes - undernourished - also - but athletic - never. Well we all rolled in little the worse for our disappearance and I don't think I was ever asked to run for the Scouts ever again so some good did come from it after all.

Jim Bochsler: Don Nicholson was at school in York before coming to AHGS. He and I left together in 1956 to join the British universities expeditionary force to support Hungary at the time of the Russian invasion of Hungary. He later worked in an estate agents before running his own souvenir and sweet shop near Bootham bar.

Vic Worrall: I actually met Donald Nicholson a few years back, he was then living in Kirbymoorside operating as a major Kleeneeze franchise; previous occupations include Estate Agent, but he is not listed in the directory now. Trevor De Tute did board and then went to Scarborough High I think, seem to remember playing rugby against him/them on the top of Olivers Mount.

Jim Bochsler: If you are in touch with Trevor de Tute [his father was a police detective-sergeant] ask him if he remembers Yvonne and the "tunnel of love" at the Kursal in Southend. He came to stay with me one summer when my mother was resident housekeeper in a hotel at Westcliffe-on-sea.

Derek Newall: Were you there when we paid about one third of a weeks income to watch worms being eaten alive?

Hugh Bracey: I had forgotten about the worms - was it Andy or Mo Watson?

Vic Worrall: I was that worm eater!!

Derek Newall: I can't remember which Watson but it was certainly one of them; there were two chompers and the second would seem to have been Vic.

Alan Etherington: I recall that in the 6th we used to get the key to the gym and go over in basketball gear on a Friday evening carrying out clothes, put all the lights on, get changed into clothes and nip out to the Castle Howard Ox.
When you got to the pub there was a TV in the lounge and as we never got to see TV this was a treat and the landlord, Tom, used to charge us bar prices because he knew we didn't have much money as Boarders!
We once agreed to meet up at the Ox with Derek Newall and were in "going to the theatre gear", he was a bit later than us and when he got to the bar Tom asked him straight out if he was "From The School". This put Derek on the back foot and he had to admit that, yes, he was. "Right", said Tom, "That's 1/3 and not 1/4". He was a helpful soul. Trevor Willison and I used this ploy several times and became hooked on watching an RCMP called Gagner - he always got his man.
Further out of the back were the gates that during Boarders summer timetable (of which more could be written but not now!) were locked and chained and so we had to climb over to get to the school field and Wally Pallant did himself a mischief. This wasn't the worst thing for him that day, he had to let Matron have a look and dress it for him. Just at the gates there was a house, which housed Mr and Mrs Stannard (Mucky Alf) the caretaker, Boarders had to get the keys from him to get buckets of coal for the Day Room. Baggy Eddy lived in that direction too, a bit of rough, I understand.

Hugh Bracey: I seem to remember it was more to get to the shop round the back of Brook St where we bought cigarettes and also attempted to get served in the pub round there at the tender age of 16:) always making sure that Mucky Alf was not around to see us.

Vic Worrall: The shop sold loose ciggies, also in paper packets of two and for the effluent rich 5s and 10s.........Dominos, Black Cat, Turf, Park Drive and Woodbines as I recall.
We also had a hidaway through a broken window in the toilets in front of the old building/gym.

Hugh Bracey: Can anyone remember the name of the " Dolly Bird " cook who arrived at the school in about 1956/7 and for whom I think every boarder had the hots?

Vic Worrall: Are you sure it was a cook and not the dolly bird Matron who disappeared sharpish after some incident in the San.

Hugh Bracey: I thought it was cook but maybe it was housekeeper cos she had room in Heads (forbidden territory) part of building. I had forgotten about the swift departure bit and can only remember lusting after her in the supper queue when she sat at table with Spike, LuLu and Moggy

David Harrison: Things I remember:
Subbuteo, which was normally played, on the dais, in Ebbage's room. If I remember correctly Vic Worrall was always top of the league.
Penny drinks at Ma Parko's usually after the Sunday Minster service resulting in excessive burping during hymn practise. Milligan's train layout and the shelter cinema.
Scout wide games on Clifton Ings.
Trying to get rockets on to the balcony of St Johns on bonfire night.
Playing pop music and Lulu coming in and saying stop all this "beep bop a booping". The full size picture of Bridget Bardot constructed from successive centre folds of the "Reveille".

Ian Leckey: Bob Appleyard, now living in Australia has contacted me. I have also found out that Ted Middleton is living in the same town as me. I remember the old days in the boarding house, the scouts with Sam Lack, the trips to Wales. The film shows by Spike in the old building in the yard, the train layout he had in there as well.