Harry Downes

Barry Patterson would have been in an older class, one year further on from me. I left at Christmas 1959 as my 16th Birthday was in Feb. 1960. Barry would remember a fullback in his team, I'm not sure if the name is correct but it was either Spafford or Spradbury. What was special about this lad was he had polio when he was younger leaving him
with a withered leg and pronounced limp. Despite this handicap he was a tremendous player, great positional sense and nigh on impossible to beat him. You tend not to forget people like that and I admired his determination.

I can recall playing against Hessle High School at Hessle in a Schools Cup match either 1957 or 58. We won 3-2 but I'm sure we lost in the next round against Ainthorpe H.S. I damaged my Achilles tendon and missed out  for some of the games that season

The school was bomb damaged. The front, as I remember, was the playground. When you crossed the road from the Cecil, there was the large wrought iron fence facing you, the school gates to the right. Once through the gate you walked approx. 40 yards across the playground to reach the school entrance

I was at HSB from 1956 to 59. The school was definitely Victorian Period with a tall spire, directly at the back of the Cecil Cinema in Osborne Street. Next to the school was a building with transmitters or some type of Radio mast on the roof-not sure but it could have been Marconi. Prior to being HSB, I think one time it was a special school for handicapped or special needs children

The staff and pupils that I clearly remember. There were only 4 Teachers come to mind: -

Frank Mason -           Deputy Headmaster
Charlie Sugden -         History?
Larry Baines -            Art.
Johnny Redpath -       Practical Bricklaying.

Frank Mason (Dep. /Headmaster) was the expert at giving out punishment. He  used a 4 ft blackboard ruler on your backside if you misbehaved. He was well liked and he always reminded me of Alfie Bass (of Bootsy & Snudge
fame). Larry Baines (Art Teacher) left HSB around 1958, to go to Hornsea  Potteries as a co-founder.

Johnny Redpath was the Bricklaying Instructor at the Annexe in Salthouse  Lane, beside The Hull College of Technology.

I can recall one funny incident, when Frank Mason embarrassed me in front of the whole school. During the early morning assembly Frank was addressing all the pupils about the news and forthcoming school events. All of a sudden he said, "Over the past week, I have been looking out the window during the morning break sessions” I have been monitoring the behavior in the playground and I have noticed some rather odd behavior by one of our pupils". This remark quickly drew the attention of the assembly and you could have heard a pin drop. He then said “Harry Downes-would you like to tell the school, why every day, you move all the crates of milk from one area of the playground to another?". Of course with all eyes on me I froze in horror but re gathering myself I  blurted out, "Well Sir-the delivery man always leaves the crates in the sun and when the milk gets warm it makes me sick and I can't drink it!. The assembly burst into laughter but Frank raised his arm for silence and said:-"Hands up the pupils who like warm milk?” As no one put their hands, Frank said, "Oh! In that case, any boy misbehaving from now on will move the crates and give Harry a day off! You never forget moments like that but I always found that Frank had a devilish sense of humour but could be strict when it was needed

Larry Baines was quite an influence on me as he urged me to continue painting and it must have worked as I still do landscapes of the Scottish countryside.

The fish shop on Osborne St. was well known for frying in oil not lard or dripping because of religious food rules. Seems to be fairly common now for chippies to have a notice in the window stating what they use for frying, I suppose veg. oil will keep their veggie customer’s on board, personally, the replier stated, I’m convinced that you can’t beat a good thick cut chip fried in beef dripping.

The shops on the west end of Osborne Street were mostly Jewish or Polish owned. The bakers shop was second to none-the bread and cakes tasted wonderful. The pupils at High School for Building used to buy the large circular cob loaves, scoop out the dough from the inside and fill it with chips from Lavines. From a distance, people thought we were biting into full size footballs

I used to play for the HSB Football Team, so most of the pupils were also  team members. Their names were as follows: -

John Mooney,  Ken Oxtoby,  Colin Appleton,  William (Billy) Fee,  Trevor Ward, Arthur Bartram,  David Earl,  Ken Fewster,  Geoff Magson,  Roger Tankard,  Brian Sach

The only one, I keep it touch with is Arthur Bartram. We both went to 21st  Avenue Juniors together prior to going to HSB. Arthur now lives in Toronto  and has his own business in Real Estate. We have been good friends since
the age of seven.

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