Stuart Steels

'Some Memories of HSB '55 - '58'

September '55 first day of term. The playground was heaving with the old boys whilst the new intake stood around in fear and trembling. The 2nd and 3rd year pupils were admitted first then out came the 'fearsome' Mr. Mason brandishing a 3 foot cane, promptly blew a whistle and bawled out STEELS!  Oh no thought I, what could I have done already?  "I understand your musical son". " Ye ye yes sir "I replied. "Then get on that piano" So began my role for morning assembly for the next 3 years. I never did find out who informed of my musical interests.

I was sad to read in Roger Gale's piece that Ginger Brownlee died in his early 30's. My first encounter with Ginger (don't think I ever knew his Christian name) was on the game's field on Inglemire Lane. Mr. Martin was organising football teams and I put myself forward as a goalie and Ginger was captain.  We lost 7 nil.  Ginger approached me after the game and fearing the worse (he was head and shoulders above me) put his arm around me and said "You stick to your piano and leave the football to us". I followed his advice. Incidentally, the only recollection I have of Roger (Gale) was when he told me it was to be his Confirmation the following weekend.

Yes Daddy Bray was certainly a character.  He would head a convoy of cyclists from Osbourne St across the City centre to the workshops in Queen's Gardens.  I recall him having at least 3 morning papers on his bench one of which was the Financial Times for his mid morning break whilst we lads would be playing miniature cricket with bats which he cut out for us on the potentially lethal band saw (no health and safety in those days!)..

The '58 trip to Brussels is mentioned elsewhere in the web site. Although technically, I along with others, had left school the previous week, we were able to enjoy the experience of foreign travel. I recall we were only allowed an equivalent of £6 spending money which unfortunately was insufficient to allow a trip up the Atomium.  Does anyone remember taking it in turns to carry the large shopping bag of Mrs. Wallis (wife of Daddy Bray's successor) around the various pavilions of the World Fair site?
One evening I recall sitting around a table in the dormitory with Mr. Martin and others when he asked me if I was alright as I appeared to him to be in a trance. I said I'd just experienced a strange feeling that I'd been here before.  He reassured me it was a phenomenon of deja vu.  
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