Farewell Old School – Welcome to the New

Pat Brooks has written many popular pieces for this blog.  Her memories of Knowles’s Newsagent, Tobacconist and Confectioner have proved to be one of our most popular posts.  Pat has also written about her memories of the Jazz Club at the Bee Hotel, and also Grange Road.  In this latest post Pat evokes memories of Rhyl Grammar School and Rhyl High School.

“I recently decided to sort out a case of old photos and some things which my mother had kept for many years.  One was a photo taken in Rhyl Grammar School on the grass area beside the School Assembly Hall, dated 1953/54, which was of a French Folk Dance.  The dance was included as part of a day when we had to speak French to the best of our ability, generally use the language and show how much we had learnt from our teacher, who was I believe Mr. Worthy (crouched in the top right corner probably cringing!).

rh 4

It evoked so many memories of my time there – not all good, not all bad, just memories which are a big part of my life,  – the things I  learned there and some not so much!  I was never the brightest button in the box.  Its strange how some people seem to have stayed in my memory more than others.
Maybe many other people will remember Mr. Messham, Mr O’Hare. Mrs Tudor Owen, Miss Homer Beckett (my favorite), Miss Watson, Miss Davies, Miss Godfrey, Mr Savage and many others who I can remember but cannot bring their names into my head ( an age thing!)  Also, because I live nearby I am watching those memories come and now go, and have to say that I will miss the school buildings as I have seen it from being Rhyl County School to Rhyl Grammar School to Rhyl High School. I was surprised that I could remember most of the children in the photograph, some  are no longer with us which is very sad.  I  smiled when I saw the various dresses we had on as we appear to have all swapped clothes and the fashion – well it just was not there. Imagine 13/14 year old girls now in clothes like that, I think not!
At the bottom of the case my mother had kept the majority of my old school work books and reports. Oddly enough on the day I found
all these I had been to look around the new Rhyl High School and was in wonderment at all the facilities and the beautiful styling,
outside and in, which are available to today’s pupils.

Rhyl High School

I hope that they will take full advantage of all that is offered there and remember that all these things are part of their future , so treasure them. It seems to be a wondrous place to me – I have such memories of the old Rhyl Grammar School and how I was overawed in the same way when I first went there after Primary School.  Now of course I watch its demise – it has had many changes since both me and my children were there and I seem to have feelings of sadness saying goodbye to a part of my history and hello to the new part in the history of today’s children.

As I write this they are way ahead now in the flattening of the old buildings, it is an enormous job which has to be done.  I
know that things are progressing in Rhyl, which is a good thing.  I hope, like me, that many people will have many happy or maybe not so happy memories of this old school landmark, and how many people it has helped to inform and form them into who they are today.

hs 2

So I say a fond goodbye to the old and good luck to the new in the hope that today’s children will go on to bright futures and that Rhyl High School will stay in their memories too.hs 3

Thanks to Rhyl’s School Teachers past and present who are and always have been the true heart of all of our schools. It must be a
wonderful feeling to know you have been a big part of so many children’s lives.”




Filed under Memories

18 responses to “Farewell Old School – Welcome to the New

  1. Maggi

    Thanks Pat-really enjoyed reading this. Did you know Miss Beckett’s still alive? She’s in a home in Rhyl.

  2. Hi Pat, yes ‘I remember it well’ just as you recall.
    However it was Miss Margaret Davies who taught me French and was in charge of the Annual French ‘Concert’ in the garden in the middle, the Name of which in French escapes me.
    In addition to those mentioned above were Mr Boswell – German and English, Mr ‘Pop’ Davies – Chemistry, Mr Pritchard – Maths and Mr Jo Pownall- P.E., Mr Owen – Woodwork, Miss Owen – Biology, and Mrs Trevor Owen- Domestic Science I think. Like you Pat the rest need a little help to come forward in my ‘Little Grey Cells’.
    Alan Nuttall has emailed that the invitation Trip around the ‘Rhyl New School’ has been confirmed, but not the date yet, for those who expressed an interest at the RGS Re-Union last year when we had a conducted Tour around the ‘New/Old School’ which was only just a bit cosmetically (not the paint etc) different from 60+ years ago to my personal knowledge and probably the same as my Mother knew way before that!
    I never had much chance to visit the ‘Old/Old’ school in my day as I believe it was primarily for the Office, Head’s Office, Mr R.B.Evans, and Mr Houghton’s Library and Sixth Form, for which I never stayed. I do recall that at the front was Mr Houghton’s Rose Garden with Sundial which was Out of Bounds to all but the Privileged, such a shame to see it going to ‘Seed’.
    RGS Website has much much more, enjoy.
    ‘Thanks for the Memories’,
    . .

  3. Alice Harrison

    Lovely memories, Pat. I think we must be of a similar age and your name rings a bell though maybe it was different then. The French concerts were called Fete Champetres.
    Alice Harrison

    • Pat Brooks

      Yes, I do remember you and I was ‘Jones’ when the photo was taken and thanks for putting in the Fete Champetre – I did not name it because I am ashamed to say I had forgotten how to spell it!

  4. Miss Beckett and Miss Davies were both formidable women in a world when men so often called the shots. They had style and substance and were nothing like the dozy headmaster of my time 64-72 who knew nobody and I dare say knew even less about Education. But the person who inspired me to succeed and be a maverick was the great Ken Worthy, who I imagine, is no longer with us.

  5. Keith Hackney

    I was at RGS from Sept 1947 to June 1952. There were two buildings then, the two-storey older was the Old Building, the single storey was the New Building. The teachers at that time were: R B Evans, Head, Stan Jones, Deputy head, geography. Miss Watson, French, scripture, J Messham History, English, Miss D Miller, Geography, Mr Brookes, Maths, R D Pownall, P T and Games, Bill Williams, Physics, Harold Davies, Chemistry & Biology, G D Wood, English and Scripture, Mrs K A Newton, French & Scripture, R D Pritchard, Maths & Music, D O Owen, woodwork, Miss E M Homer-Becket, English, W G Evans, Maths, F O’Hare, French, T J Jones, latin, Miss Wilkinson, Art, A Boswell, English, German, Mr Houghton, History & Scripture.

    I also posted a photo on the RGS site of some of the teachers at the Fete Champetre in about 1951 or 52. I have great memories of being at the school, and really enjoyed the experience.

  6. Keith Hackney

    Further to the above, Mr T J Jones, also known as “Dinty”, always cycled to school on an old bicycle, and the following rhyme followed him:
    Dintimus ridimus
    On the bikolorum.
    Bikibus collapsimus,
    Dinty on the floorum!

    • Maggi

      Keith, My Mum used to trot this rhyme out if ever we were talking about RGS !! What years were you there? I’m sure you’re much younger than her !! Hope you and Merle are both well. xx

  7. Pat Brooks

    Keith I was there 1952 I would have been 13! Thanks for bringing back some of those names brought back many more memories – not all good! Mr. Pritchard forced me to sing – I still cannot keep a tune!! I remember Dinty as he was known I believe he had a son in my class (could be mistaken) Mr O’Hare with flowing black robe rushing around the corridors and Mr Brookes who had a habit of dealing with misbehaviour by pulling you out of your seat grabbing your hair and skin just above your ear!!Would that be pc now? Mr Owen the woodwork teacher had a nickname too but I will not disclose it – you may remember it? How those years have flown by.

  8. sue carter

    I loved the old building with the blossom trees at the front, my form room was upstairs. Reading all those teachers’ names has jogged my memory!

  9. Pat Brooks

    Keith, the photo you sent in is in exactly the same place as my original ‘dance’one. I recognise the lovely Miss Beckett and I think the dark haired lady was Miss Watson but cannot recall the others names, any information?

  10. John Rumball

    I was at RGs from September 1946 to September 1952. I still have my school Report Book! I remember all the teachers named. I received a letter from Miss Beckett about eight years ago written in the most beautiful hand. I hope to be lucky and be one of those able to return for the opening of the new building. I now live in Leicestershire having lived in a number of places in England and Wales over the years. It is good to read memories of the School. Thank you for recalling them.

  11. Pat Brooks

    Love Leicestershire my daughter and son in law live in Quorn nr. Loughborough. She also attended RGS and sad to hear of its demise.

    • wyn bulkeley

      WYN BULKELEY nice to read comments. I attended RHYL GRAMMAR 1950_1955 Have been living in Cheshire last 50 years

      • John Rumball

        Good to hear from you. I left RGS in 1952 and joined the Liverpool City Police Cadets. For a coincidence, my daughter lives at Bulkeley Road, Handforth. Any connection?

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