Our nicknames for the teachers

May I compliment Geoff Crambie on his reflections about Colne Grammar School in the 1950s, which brought back many happy memories, having received my own secondary education there during the years 1950-55 and having been taught by every one of the teachers mentioned by him.

They each had affectionate pet nicknames allocated to them by the students: Mr Phillips was called “Bracket” or “Brash” and the others named by Geoff were known as “Granny” Boyes, “Bertha” Harrison, “Peggy” Wells and “Terry” Land. Other notables were Miss Whittaker “Ticker” (English), “Wally” Hargreaves and “Kab” Kelloway (both maths), “Winnie” Hartley (English and French), “Sloper” Griffiths (boys’ PE and woodwork) “Slick” Livesey (art) and “Alolphus” Smith (general science). Although Mr Allison became headmaster in 1958 he had originally joined the staff in about 1953 as deputy headmaster in place of Mr Barwise, being initially known as “Jimmy” on account of the Jimmy Edwards-style handlebar moustache he sported at that time, and being later called “Creeper” and “Crow”, attributed to his uncanny ability to turn up in unexpected places and apprehend miscreants.

I have much for which to thank all these respected teachers and some 60 years later they all remain fondly remembered.

Finally, I have to say the admission price of 2/6d (25p) to the sixth form dance seems pretty meagre at this distance in time, but in those days it wasn’t a particularly cheap outing as far as I was concerned, as an impecunious fifth former struggling through the run up to the impending GCE O-levels (needless to say, I didn’t attend that particular occasion but I did go the following year).

David Pickles