Girls Blazer Badge Boys Blazer Badge

Extracts from "The Halesonian"

Pictures from the Archives

Halesowen Grammar School Magazine 1908-1919

Halesonian Magazine Mr Dickinson "The Halesonian" was the HGS school magazine and it started at about the time that Mr Dickinson was appointed as headmaster in 1904. For some years it appeared as often as three times a year but after several years it became irregular though never less than once a year. Not all copies have survived in the school archives for the period we are concerned with and it is most unlikely that a complete sequence will ever be found. So we must pick out parts that are of special interest to us insofar as they shed some light on the life of the four Bradshaw children who attended, especially Neville Bradshaw, our headmaster.

Those parts in bold face are direct quotations from The Halesonian; the rest is comment.

The HGS archives also contain a number of old photographs, some showing NRB himself, taken with plate cameras. Most of them are sepia-toned and quite high definition. Where possible these photos have been used to illustrate the extracts from, and commentary on, The Halesonian.

October 1908

Speech Day in the New School Building

New Assembly Hall This issue was the first edition of The Halesonian to appear after the new school building was officially opened in May 1908. The frontispiece of this edition is a photo of the new assembly hall showing the stained glass window at the north end. The window is still there in 2003 but the assembly hall is now part of the school library.

Most of the contents of the magazine are reports of events in the previous term concerning speech day, school sports, cricket and swimming. Curiously there seems very little about the new buildings as such, apart from a comment from Viscount Cobham, chairman of the governors, in his speech about the need for neatness and general care of the school buildings and furniture. "Alas, no longer can illustrious patronymics be carved by future Prime Ministers, . . . ". Heaven help anyone caught carving their initials on the new desk-tops!

From the report of the speech day in July and the report on the sports day it would seem that the school was already partially coeducational. Prizes were awarded to forms VA, VB, IVA, IVB, III, II and I. Given the small number of pupils, about 120, the classes would have been about 15 to 20 in size.

The examination results reported were quite modest by later standards but it has to be remembered that examination performance was not considered very important in those days, except for a few children with professional career prospects.

There is a report of the Old Boys Association, which was relatively new and small, but active. Its main functions were of a social nature and provided support for the Old Boys' soccer team - much like the Old Lewesians Association in the early 1930s.

NRB Joins the School

A key item from our point of view is a short paragraph that names the new boys (16) and girls (14) who had just started at the school in September 1908. There we find one "Bradshaw" who was in fact NRB aged 12. By 1908 there were several free places awarded on merit to local children paid for by Worcestershire and Staffordshire County Councils. It is possible that NRB had won such a place from his village school at Knowle which was just over the border in Staffordshire about three miles from Halesowen.

The 1908 School Photo

The headmaster, Mr Dickinson, about whom much will be said later, had been in post four years at this time. A group photo was taken that autumn, 1908, with the headmaster, staff and children posed informally in front of the assembly hall stained glass window. A copy of this photo survives in the school archives and is reproduced here. There are 137 pupils and staff in the photo, about 125 being pupils.

Staff and Pupils 1908

NRB 1908 Mr Dickinson is near the left end in his gown. Other members of staff can be seen scattered among the pupils. The young Bradshaw can just be picked out slightly to the right of centre. To make it easier we show a magnified portion of the image showing NRB wearing the wide Eton collar worn by schoolboys in Edwardian days. This is the earliest photograph of him that we have.

Although the building had been completed and opened in May 1908, there were presumably many details to finish, as with most building projects. You may be able to see a painter through the window at the right wearing a long white apron, his face partly hidden by the bars.

The Three Muses

Stained Glass Window The central panels of the stained glass window in the 1908 Assembly Hall shows three female figures (the Modern Muses?) representing Mechanics, Commerce and Science which reflects the concern of the times in that part of the country, by those who had influence on policy, of the needs of British industry. In this type of grammar school the expectation was that practically all of the pupils would be employed in the management of local industry. The window was paid for by the Hingley family of Netherton who owned the factory that made the anchors and chains for the Titanic and other great ships.

This school was no academic hothouse for classical scholars destined for the ancient universities and the higher reaches of the Civil Service. It was there to service the needs of local industry and commerce. But the headmaster was wise enough to realise that some pupils would go on to higher education at university from time to time.

School Plays

Later in the magazine a notice announces that the school play, traditionally put on just before Christmas, is to be "As you like it". As will be seen later, the school, though small, put great emphasis on amateur theatricals and concerts. In later years NRB appeared in most of them and this may well have been one of the reasons he was so keen to carry on the tradition at LCGS.

December 1908

The magazine carries reports of the many activities involved in putting on the first school play in the new school building. Constructing a stage in the new hall is a major concern and required much carpentry. Besides that and rehearsals there are reports on debates and school football matches. The Old Halesonians' soccer team seems to have played matches in the local league every Saturday and had considerable local support.

There are reports on the girls' hockey team, which flourished in spite of the relatively small numbers of girls at that time, so much so that the magazine carries a limerick.

There was an Old School at H---s---n
Where the pupils ne'er did any s-w--g
The hockey field there
With none could compare
For the grass did not need any m-w--g.

February 1910

Prize Day

In the account of prize day (perhaps this was thought to be a more interesting title than speech day) on 3 December 1909, Lord and Lady Cobham were, as usual, the principal dignitaries. Among the various successes the headmaster reported that they had succeeded in getting a pupil through the London Matriculation for the first time.

After the usual exhortations from the platform the prizes were distributed and we note that N.Bradshaw was awarded the 2nd prize for form IIIB. The named forms in the prize list are II, IIIB, IIIA, IVB, IVA, and V.

In the higher reaches of the school (it did not yet boast a sixth form as such) one boy passed the Oxford Senior exam and another gained matriculation at Birmingham (as would NRB five years later).

NRB makes his Debut

The magazine carries an extensive account of the school play put on for two evenings in December 1909. This was "A Midsummer Night's Dream" complete with the musical parts of the play. Everyone in it appears gets a mention and half way through the plaudits we find "Nor must we forget to mention the marked ability and success of Bradshaw as Puck." He was thirteen years old.

September 1910


This edition looks back to the summer's activities giving accounts of hockey and sports day. NRB does not appear among the many results, which is perhaps no surprise. It was not an activity in which he excelled. However, we find a reference to C. Bradshaw coming second in the 60 yards girls' race. This is Cicely, or Cissey as she was called by the family, whose name also appears in the headmaster's report to the governors as being a winner of a free place at the school - following in her brother's path. She was two years younger than NRB.

The accounts of the summer's cricket, giving the results of matches against local grammar schools such as Stourbridge, Kidderminster, and Dudley also show that the school fielded a girls' cricket team which played four such matches. The Bradshaws are not mentioned in this context.

There are also accounts of inter-house cricket matches. From this we see that there were four houses named Cobham (Lord Cobham was the local big-wig and chairman of the governors) , Hingley, Shenstone and Abbey (there is a ruined abbey at Halesowen). So did the idea of four competing houses at LCGS come from this example?


The Cooling Pond Mention is made of the swimming competition held at the Halesowen Baths. In earlier years it had been the custom for local people to bathe in the open-air cooling pond of the electricity generating plant of a local factory. The owner of this factory, who was a school governor, allowed the boys from the school to use it freely - others paid a small charge. By all accounts the water was full of wildlife of various types and something of a hazard to health.

At some later date the factory owner, Walter Somers, closed his generating plant and converted the old pond into a proper outdoor swimming lido of considerable size for the use of the local inhabitants. These were the Halesowen Baths where the school competition was held in 1910.

Halesowen Baths c.1910

We shall see later that in early 1914 the headmaster, Mr Dickinson, resolved to build a school swimming bath and began excavation. The effort and ingenuity required in the construction process must have dulled the brains of those organising this project. For some unaccountable reason the need for an adequate supply of water had been completely overlooked. At some point after the foundation had been dug and the concrete base laid somebody realised that a bath without its own copious water supply would look pretty silly and immediate steps were taken to find an adjacent spring as a source . They dug and dug and ne'er a drop was found. Red faces all round! The "swimming bath" foundations stood unused for many years to remind everyone, including the headmaster, of the need to "think ahead"! This white elephant was eventually covered by foundations of the school extensions built in 1931. The school never did have its own pool.

What is surprising is that this lesson was not passed on to Neville Bradshaw or that he forgot. In the 1930s he organised the building of the swimming pool at Lewes without first making certain that an adequate and affordable water supply was available. As is recounted in Barbican No 6 "The Building of the Place of Swimminge" and in "Alma Mater" the pool was finished before searching for water. At one time it looked as though the whole enterprise would be yet another considerable embarrassment. Water was eventually discovered but it was not a copious supply, which is why the water was not changed often and was usually green and tepid rather than clear and cold.

Dr. Thompson - Science Master

Dr Thomson c.1910 A small note in this edition records that Dr. K. J. Thompson had left the school for a new appointment as science master at Pontefract Grammar School. From other records in the archives we learn more of this gentleman. For a small grammar school he must have been a rara avis. He had picked up several scientific degrees at British universities and then spent several years in Leipzig in Germany where he acquired a Ph.D. He then returned to Great Britain and spent several years at Halesowen as the science master. He appears in several photos of sports teams as a short stocky figure in cap and tweed jacket in the fashion of the time. In those days the openings for highly qualified scientists were limited. There were few universities and not a great deal of industrial research. The boom in scientific research was still many decades away. Teaching was often the preferred career for the best qualified science graduates.

A Sixth Form

This 1910 edition has a small section with letters to the editor. One such was a request from a fifth former asking for a sixth form to be created next year and the answer, from the editor, checked with the Headmaster one presumes, is "We hope so, and that you will be in it." If that was the case then the sixth form was established a year or so ahead of NRB's entry to it.

December 1912

Oxford Local Results

The results for external examinations are given. These would be the equivalent of HSC and SC, or in later terminology O and A levels.

In the senior section the results are graded in 1st, 2nd, 3rd class honours and Pass. Four boys were in the first class and one of these is accredited as "Excused Responsions at Oxford University" although no mention is made of him going up to Oxford. In the second class there is one pupil , two in the third and 11 passes. With 18 taking the higher level examination it is clear that the sixth form was growing rapidly.

In the junior examination, equivalent to O level, there are 20 in total: one in the first class, one in the second, five in the third and 13 passes. In the third class we find the name Bradshaw. On this evidence alone it would seem that he was not an outstandingly clever young man at that stage of his development. But then, brilliance at 16 is not necessarily a good indicator of later achievement.

The Literary and Debating Society

The reports on this school activity is prominent in most of the editions of The Halesonian. It seems to had been popular and well attended. The programme ran various activities from formal debates to play-reading. NRB's name appears occasionally - such as the time he voted against the motion "That in the opinion of the House girls have more personal vanity than boys", which was defeated by a small margin. A later debate on the motion "That in the opinion of this House War is a thing undesirable and unnecessary" provoked a lot of interest. Presumably the political tensions on the continent and on the high seas could be felt quite keenly even at this level. Neville spoke against the motion. At some point an amendment was proposed "That War is a thing undesirable but necessary" and was carried by a majority of nine.


During the summer terms some of the boys were involved in shooting contests against other grammar schools. The rifles were probably owned by the Territorials and kept at the Drill Hall adjacent to Lower School. It is very likely that some of them were of very ancient origin for in a match on the ranges in Sutton Park (a large area of open country on the other side of Birmingham) they had to "use the service rifle with ball ammunition, which was new to us".

December 1913

A Cadet Force

In the editor's round-up of the year we find that "We wanted a Cadet Corps. We didn't get it for several reasons . . . " but the reasons are not given. So with the Great War only eight months away officialdom had decided that such frivolities could not be countenanced. They were to change their tune when the war began.

Speech Day

From the headmaster's report on speech day we discover that building works had taken place. The old Lower School had been converted into a dining room, gymnasium and manual training room (?) and the new headmaster's house on the hill above the school had been completed. The number of pupils was 155 - the same as in the previous year - one third of whom came from over the Staffordshire border. He was pleased by the quality of the Debating Society and a new Scientific Society had been formed. The chairman, Lord Cobham, made some forceful remarks about the evil of parents removing their children from the school at the age of 14 or 15. It did not give sufficient time for the benefits of secondary education. Old habits died hard in the Black Country.

In the Oxford Local results we see that Neville Bradshaw had achieved a straight pass in some part of the Senior Examination.

In the speech by the principal speaker, the chairman of Staffordshire Education Committee, he said that the school was heavily handicapped by the lack of scholarships to any university. If any persons were disposed to provide such scholarships, they could not spend their money in a better way. Should England ever fail, he said, it would be owing to lack of means for the development of brainpower. Such a comment from the chairman of one of the two education committees that funded the school is clear evidence that local authorities in 1913 did not themselves provide grants for university students and had no plans to do so. Neville Bradshaw and his parents would have been under no illusions that university education would not be subsidised by the state, local authority or school. Apart from a few scholarships from charities it was all down to family funding - a formidable obstacle.

The Debating Society

In this report on the society's activities we find that the new secretary is - Neville Bradshaw!

To accommodate the number of members the meetings were held in the greater comfort of the new dining hall. In the first debate they discussed a motion on the benefit that would come from "the present Channel Tunnel construction". This attracted almost 100 members, nearly all of whom wanted to speak. The debate eventually had to be terminated and the motion was lost 55-33. Little did they know it would be another 80 years before such a project would come to fruition.

"On Thursday, October 23rd 1913 a meeting of the Debating Society was held, when the house assembled to discuss the subject of corporal punishment. Bradshaw upholded that corporal punishment was beneficial, while B. Abbiss opposed the motion. The debate was not so good as usual, as there were not so many members present, and fewer took an active part in the debate."

In the event the motion was lost 37-24. So it would seem that our late headmaster at Lewes had already made up his mind about use of the cane by the age if 17! One wonders if a better debate might have changed his mind - but it's unlikely. He was not easily persuaded by argument.

On October 30th they debated "The Blame for Recent Railway Disasters lies with the Directors, and not the Companies' Servants". This was passed 46-15. Eighty years later the subject is still controversial and unresolved.

April 1914

The School Swimming Baths

Mr Dickinson, about whom more will be learned later, was a great believer in the benefits of self-reliance and hard physical work. He had already organised parents and boys to level sports fields by pick, shovel and use of a portable rail system. About this time he resolved to build a school swimming bath and The Halesonian reports the good news that work is in progress. At this stage everyone had completely forgotten about the need for a copious water supply. The bad news would come later that term!

The Parents' Evening

This seems to have been a novel event in the school calendar - no mention of such has been found before. "On Friday March 27th, responding to the invitation of the Headmaster about two hundred parents assembled to spend an evening at the school. The proceeding commenced with an inspection of the Science Laboratories, Art Room and Woodwork Shop." A lengthy list of the topics on show, some of them of a humorous nature, are mentioned. There was then an interval for refreshments followed a concert involving singing by the younger boys, a short "French" play by form III and concluded with the VIth form acting the "Gadshill Robbery" from Shakespeare's "Henry IV".

The account of this event in the Halesownian appears over the initials N. B., as was a report on the Debating Society which consists mostly of a polemic from him about the need to improve the quality of the debate and the numbers attending, especially the numbers of girls. Form IVB comes in for some some pointed criticism ('twas ever so) about its failure to participate "as it is the slackest form in the school".


Unusually the School Magazine carries some sketches by a pupil, H. S. Wright, of his recollections of Mr Dickinson and life at Halesowen Grammar School -

Sketches of School Recollections

The Christmas Play 1913

"On Monday and Tuesday, December the 22nd and 23rd, the school presented 'The Merchant of Venice.' It is the general aim to keep up the high reputation the school play has achieved, and if possible to enhance it; judging from the various comments one may conclude that the play this year was quite as successful as those of the preceding ones, and everybody seemed sure that it was far more enjoyable to have one play than two, as we had last Easter."

The pupil who played Shylock is the first to be singled out for praise, especially for his rendition of the Court scene. The next paragraph reads
"Bradshaw, as Bassanio, deserved especial praise. He seemed, as of course he should, to put his whole heart and soul into his part and to feel every word he uttered."

There is praise for most of the cast and for all those that contributed in various ways including the costumes - usually organised by the Headmaster's wife Mrs Dickinson.
"The costumes were very striking, and the brilliance of Bassanio's attracted the eye of the audience." Neville was obviously in his element. Did he ever consider treading the boards professionally, one wonders?

Owing to the absence of some editions of The Halesonian we cannot bring you accounts of his performances in school plays held in other years. However, from a tattered collection of disintegrating programmes in the archives we can report that he also took the part of Brutus in April 1913.

These programmes also reveal that his brother and sisters also appeared in school plays at later dates. Ronald seems to have had small parts in "As You Like It" in 1915 , as Snout in 1916 and Prospero in 1917. It seems as though amateur theatricals ran in the family - one wonders if there was some parental interest in drama that encouraged them to partake.

July 1914


"This year there has been a considerable increase in the number of boys attending the swimming baths. The fine weather we have been enjoying has induced many to forego cricket practice occasionally to disport themselves in the cooling waters. Boys who could swim at the beginning of term have become more proficient in the natatory art, and Stevenson, Butler and McFarland have learned to swim since the beginning of the summer. We hope these boys, and others more at home in the water, will not rest content with being able to look after themselves. There are various methods of rescue which every swimmer ought to know, and the bottom of the bath should be as familiar as the very solid bottom of another bath we might mention."

The last comment in the report above obviously refers to the concrete base of the abandoned school bath with which they are now all too familar and which has become something of an embarrassment to the school.

Boy's Cricket

"This year as last, we have not had a great deal of luck, especially with the First Eleven. To a certain extent, no doubt, we are still suffering from the exodus of bigger boys, which took place two years ago, leaving us the task of building up an entirely new team." This does sound rather a feeble excuse. In two years one would expect a school first XI to have changed completely!

"Still, even taking this into account, the team as hardly done as well as it ought to have done. Put in a nutshell the outstanding failing, common to the majority of the players, is a want of pluck - indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that quite half of the team is out before it goes in."

"Such a lack of care is particularly deplorable in view of the great amount of labour that has been expended on the relaying of the central part of the ground this last year."

The next section of the Cricket report, "Characters of the Cricket Team" gives a short comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the eleven members of the team. One is Neville Bradshaw. Perhaps one should be surprised that he was in the First XI for it is said that his eyesight was poor and he could see very little without his glasses.

NRB at 18 "Bradshaw, when he has been able to play, has shown himself to be very patient and useful with the bat." One notes with some amusement that the initials at the end of this report are N. B. himself !

By luck this cricket team of 1914 was photographed and a copy survives in the archives to which we have had access. By this time Neville Bradshaw was 18 years old and those of you who knew him will have no difficulty in recognising him. He is standing, somewhat diffidently, in the back row fourth from the left.

The First XI 1914

The Cricket First XI 1914

Occasional Notes

An old boy of the school, G. H. Goodman, who left HGS in 1911, is recorded as having graduated with an M.A. at Birmingham University. As will be seen, this is the route that Neville Bradshaw was to take after the summer holidays that year, for he left school at the end of this term and would go on to Birmingham University. You will read more about that in the next section.

August 1915

Occasional Notes

It would seem that the authorities had woken up to the fact that the country was at war and had authorised a Cadet Corps. In fact what had happened was that the Scouts had been disbanded and now wore cadet uniform. They were part of a larger Halesowen battalion and had been to summer camp at Himley Park, the estate of Lord Cobham. Later in this edition is a full report on the activities of the Cadet Corps which shows that the degree of training for rifle work, infantry work and trench warfare was intense and comprehensive.

There is a brief mention of Cicely Bradshaw in the girls' cricket team. She was two years younger than Neville. Nothing has been said so far about Ronald (b.1902) and Grace (b.~1903) both of whom attended HGS.

A curiously naive but chilling paragraph states "A pleasant reminder of the work being done in Flanders by Mr Hoare (an HGS master who was now in the army and was killed very shortly) and his section - mostly Old Halesonians - was brought to us in a visit by Major Addenbrook, who paid a high tribute to the work being done by the Machine Gun Section in 'Plug Street Wood'."

Among the successes of Old Halesonians reported is a note that Mr. N. Bradshaw has passed in four subjects in the Intermediate Arts Examination at Birmingham University. Later there is a mention that he had returned to the school in July 1915 to help officiate as a judge in the school sports - a nice touch.

December 1915

The Halesonian was devoted mainly to aspects of the Great War which was now approaching its worst. There are accounts of Old Boys who were now in the trenches and accounts of the Cadet Corps, its training and fund-raising activities. In the reports on external examinations Cicely Bradshaw is named as obtaining a pass at senior level. One wonders what became of her.

Meanwhile Neville Bradshaw at Birmingham University has just completed the first term of his second year and has decided to break off his studies and enlist

July 1916

There was news of several Old Boys gaining degrees at Birmingham University. This seemed to be the main route for Old Halesonians to get university education. Being local it was possible to commute to the university from most parts of the Birmingham and Black Country.

In a list of Old Boys on active service appears L/Cpl. N. Bradshaw - Worcester Regiment. The magazine was now reporting the names of Old Boys killed in action in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and France.

The Cadet Corps seemed to be very busy training and exercising. One gets the impression that the school was now more of a military academy than a grammar school. The headmaster was Captain Dickinson and many of the staff had military rank. Ronald Bradshaw is mentioned as a Bugler. Among the photos in the archive is one of the school cadets which is titled "1st Cadet Batt., Worc. Reg., Halesowen Coy., Cadet Group."

December 1916

The numbers in the school had now risen to 200 and accommodation was beginning to be a problem. Not only was there a shortage of space, but the school was also short of money for various projects. It was hoping for money to provide more science facilities, a library, etc, etc. The problems would get worse for many more years. There was a war on and education was not a priority.

December 1917

Numbers were now 229 and the problems of accommodation were getting worse.


Ronald Bradshaw was appointed as a prefect along with many others - both boys and girls. Surprisingly, until this time there had been only four prefects and this position went automatically with being the head boy of each house. The magazine carried a substantial piece on the responsibilities of prefects and their potential contribution to good order in the school. It is clear that the reason for increasing the number from four to 24 in one step was that the staff, many of whom were older teachers brought in to replace those serving in the war, were finding it difficult to cope with supervision of the so many children.

July 1918

Numbers were now over 260, increasing to 280 in the next term and expected to reach 300 by the end of the academic year. A new Education Bill was before Parliament that would expand still further the provision of education. This would have most effect in cities and large towns. Rural areas would tend to be neglected because the schools were necessarily small, they had to be within walking distance of the pupils, and the governors tended to be older and more conservative in outlook than their urban counterparts. This imbalance in educational provision between cities and rural areas persisted until the 1944 Education Act.

The war dragged on and yet more names appeared on the casualty list.

Ronald Bradshaw was captain of cricket, although the amount of cricket played had been reduced because of the amount of time needed for Cadet Corps training. He came in for some criticism for not being sharp enough and not exerting his authority over the team.

April 1919

The war was over but another scourge appeared that was almost as bad - the ravages of influenza which had caused much disruption to school activities. The numbers were now 313 - the highest in the school's history - and it became necessary to hire rooms outside the school grounds to cope with the rapid growth. The education authority was drawing up plans but the situation was getting worse faster than the proposed solutions. It would be another 10 years before the school would start building an extension sufficient to cope. Inevitably, even that would prove insufficient in the late 20th century.

Ronald Bradshaw passed his School Certificate examinations in 1918. He too would eventually go to Birmingham University.

The Future

The war is over and our thoughts are turned towards the problem of repairing the damage it has done. No one realizes more keenly than the Schoolmaster what education has suffered during the past four years, and what a vast amount of leeway has to be made up to bring it up to the standard of 1914. But the nation has awakened to the fact that the educational facilities of 1914 were not what they ought to have been in order to be worthy of the British Empire.

The Education Act of 1918 has opened paths hitherto unapproachable and its fruition will produce a revolution in the educational outlook of the nation. It is, for the parents of those children now at School, most important that they should look ahead and. try to realize the conditions under which their children will live when they themselves are no more. How often has one heard the father or mother in recent years bewail the fact that they have not had a better education! This lamentation is generally accompanied by the expression of a determination to give their children a better education than they themselves had.

Unfortunately this determination does not last long enough and the children after one or two years at a Secondary School are considered to have had as much as they need. In the bad old times this was wrong; it is more so now, and will be still worse in 10 years time. Then the Education Act will be in full operation. Every child will attend a school full time until it is 14 years of age. Then there will be two courses open : (1) to go to work at 14, and be compelled to attend Continuation Schools until 18 years of. age; (2) to attend a Secondary School and reach a certain standard of education until 16 years of age or over. In the latter case attendance at the Secondary School will of course commence before the child is 14 years old.

Is it then, not very important that from the present time every parent who wishes to do his best for his children should as far as lies in his power, send them to the Secondary School until they are 16 years of age? The tendency nowadays is to send them to work at 14 or 15 just when the real work of the Secondary School is beginning. Those leaving at these ages now, have only reached a standard of education which in 10 years' time will be the lowest standard required of all children. They will be uttering the cry of their fathers : " I wish I had had a better education." May we then strongly urge that no boy or girl should leave our School, except for reasons over which parents have no control, until 16 years of age!

But we do not want education to cease even at that age. In our own School we have had an Advanced Course in Modern Studies recognised by the Board of Education. Advanced Courses are for those who have passed the School Certificate Examination and can stay at school until about 18 years old. We can provide the necessary number of pupils for one Course now, but we also want to have a sufficient number for a Course in Science. With two Advanced Courses in the School we should then be able to provide the highest type of Secondary School work in those branches of learning which are most suitable for a district like ours. With only one course we are somewhat "lop-sided." The fact that many children, throughout the length and breadth of the country are taking advantage of such courses as these is going to have very definite effects in the labour market. Inevitably there will, in the future, be two classes of workers, the highly qualified expert and the ordinary worker; the tendency is growing in England as abroad for such experts to be called into commercial spheres of activity, and on the merely financial and social side such men and women are likely to be greatly in advance of those of their fellows who have not taken the fullest advantage of their early opportunities.

It remains therefore for parents to support our endeavours by determining to extend the school life of their children as far as possible. Our district has need of its best intellects and so has our country. Every facility should be given for their development. The Government and Local Authorities are spending money freely in the cause of Education, and will do so even more freely in the immediate future. Let us at the Southern end of the Black Country shew that we also are doing our part by determining we will be satisfied with nothing but the best for our children, remembering that their minds and characters can only be brought to a state bordering on human perfection, by long years of education and training.

The School Play

"Twelfth Night" was presented on the 14 and 15 February 1919. "Bradshaw completely identified himself with the uproarious, rollicking Sir Toby Belch, and in some passages towards the end , seemed to render him with an uncanny insight." This of course was Ronald Bradshaw who, as we shall see, became headmaster of a school at which a school play was a regular feature.

To celebrate the end of the Great War the school Cadet Corps joined in the various victory marches in the town and locally. But the combined effect of the cessation of hostilities and the onset of Spanish flu made serious inroads into the activities of the Cadet Corps. While there was a willingness to carry it on, it was clear that the expectation of a long period of peace would lower its importance in the school's activities.

Mr Dickinson