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                                                     Alan Spedding

.                            Not the Placeís Fault. 
                                   (Acknowledgement to Phillip Larkin.)
                        Reminiscences of a 13+er.
                High School for Building 1956-1958.

I have no recollection of being invited to take the entrance examination or of the exam itself other than that I think it was held in the science lab. I had not heard of the school previously nor did I know anyone who had. It goes without saying really that I was an 11+ failure and not having been entered for the 12+ was getting my second chance.

Among my fellow victims whom I recall as class-mates included; George Spradbury, Keith Saunders, Peter Smales, Dennis Johnson, Roy Freer and Roger Mason. Rogerís dad was our mathís teacher and assistant headmaster an unusual situation that nevertheless soon went un-noticed except maybe the time that Frank gave him the ďpannerĒ and Roger refused his lift home.

Not many of our year appeared at the last re-union (2008) though, as I said to George Spradbury, I couldnít recall any bearded bald headed boys anyhow.

One familiar figure at the exam was that of Birdie Martin who was my temporary scout master although I hadnít known until that moment that he taught. He later claimed that I was the only boy that he had ever caned. Did the record stand I wonder?

Other teachers whom I recall with particular affection include Charlie Sugden and ĎDadí Bray. Iím certain that Mr. Sugden took us for Art and Mr. Bray, who taught Carpentry, retired at the end of our first year. The English teacher was a Mr. Morrison who was known as Jobby Legs (donít ask me, we got it from the older boys). He also taught R.E. which he probably thought deserved more of the time-table than it got because at the drop of a hat our English lesson might take on a religious flavor. His technique with the cane was remarkable; using a short inflexible stick which he aimed, just one stroke, with uncanny accuracy at the tip of the middle finger. First time out I was sent back to my seat thinking there was nothing to it until I realised that the finger was numb and the feeling returned with excruciating effect.

The fact that I have no school photos leads me to believe that there were none. There was a soccer team but I played rugby and HSB did not. For P.E. in the winter months we used the Hull Boys Club in Roper St. which stank with generations of sweat. For fresh air in the summer months we used the fields of the Newland High School for Girls, on Inglemire Lane.

To make up for time spent traipsing about between the main school and various workshops we had an extra 15 minutes added to each day compensated for by giving an extra weeks summer holiday.

The firm for which my father worked closed for their holiday one week before the schools and I had always been allowed to take the extra week. Now instead of seven weeks I had eight, which was nice.

We were told of plans to elevate the school to 11+ statuses and that it might occupy a floor of the, then nearly completed, new Technical College. Sad to relate that in the light of such ambition the school was to survive only 10 more years