Opening of the school, 4 October 1929
A scan of a photocopy of the programme for the opening ceremony. From the late Malcolm ‘Jake’ Jackson’s collection of HMGS memorabilia.
Download .pdf here:
Stan Revill 1907-1993
An appreciation of Stan Revill (1907-1993) who taught history at the Mellish for 43 years (1929-1972). Written in 1996 by John Michael Lee (who left the school from VIUA in 1950) Emeritus Professor of Politics in the University of Bristol. From the late Malcolm ‘Jake’ Jackson’s collection.
Golden Jubilee 1979
This pamphlet was produced by the school, by 1979 a City comprehensive, to celebrate the 50th anniversary. From the late Malcolm ‘Jake’ Jackson’s collection.
This article was sent to Malcolm Peaker by Colin ‘Charlie Love in 1980. Nottingham Education Committee Circular, October 1979, 901-904.
Letter to the late Peter Nequest from GFH
Robin (William Henry Mettam) Bailey’s School Reports 1930-1935
Here is an example:
Download the complete set:
Robin (William Henry Mettam) Bailey’s School Certificate 1936
Junior Speech Day November 1935 From Robin Bailey’s collection via Simon Bailey
Senior Speech Day March 1936 From Robin Bailey’s collection via Simon Bailey
Physics in Form 4A 1933-34 From Robin Bailey’s collection via Simon Bailey
School Trip to Rome Olympics 1960 (material from Robert Dawson)
Robert Dawson writes:
In Rome we were lodged at the Instituto San Michele, it was said to be an orphanage at other times. We slept in dormitories and each morning the Italian flag was hoisted and ‘Arrivederci Roma’ played over the tannoy. When we moved onto the hotel at Finale five of us shared a double bedded room with extra beds crammed in. Memories of Rome, apart from the Games and sightseeing, were of venturing into the nearby streets and the shock of seeing beggars, water melon sellers and groups of local boys who approached us asking for money and when refused practised their vocabulary with some ‘very rude English phrases’.
The ‘New’ School Uniform (from Robert Dawson)
Autumn Fair 1957 (from Robert Dawson)
Admissions Letter and School Rules 1957 – from Robert Dawson
Satellite Photographs from Google Earth in 2007
The state of the school before closure and demolition can be seen. The only major change from the early 1960s is the extension from the new classrooms built on the school field. As a consequence the biology labs must have been demolished. Note the use of the playgrounds for car parking.
Bell Ringers 1949 (from Michael Bridges)
Three Bramcote boys in the school campanological society (trained by Kenneth Crofts – see Staff page) ringing at
Bulwell parish church: Michael Bridges, Ken Edge, Bill Oldbury.
Commemoration Services 1958-63 (from Robert Dawson)
Download: Commemoration Service 1958.
The 31 October 1958 service was the first airing of the school hymn composed by J.B. Brocklehurst. The words are a well-known hymn by G.W. Briggs (can be found here). Garry Humphreys found a copy of the score and my daughter-in-law, Min-Min (Yih-Miin Teh) played and recorded it:
Carol Service 1972 (from Nick Clifford)
City Transport Bus Pass 1963 (from Robert Dawson)
1974-75 Fixture List and School Calendar (from Martyn Shaw)
Railway Accident 1947
Trip to Bouillon, Belgium, April 1962. Photographs by A.P.R. Brook
Thanks to Steve Brook, Alan Brook’s son, we have scans of the photographs he took on a trip to Bouillon in Belgium for Forms I-III in April 1962. The trip is described in The Centaur (Summer 1962, page 18). The following is a composite pdf but I have copies of the jpg files if anybody wants to print one or more of the photographs.
From Bees to Buzz-bombs by Robert Raymond, Australian Broadcaster and Mellish Boy
I tracked down a copy of Robert Raymond’s From Bees to Buzz-bombs on sale in Australia. An outline of Raymond’s life is on the Obits page. The book covers the early life of the Australian broadcaster. He arrived at what was then the Henry Mellish County School in 1936, beginning in 3B. He was born in rural Queensland where he lived until the death of his itinerating schoolmaster and beekeeping father. He and his mother joined two of his other siblings in England. The family decided to move to Nottingham and for a time ran a small shop on Highbury Vale. Then his mother took over a boarding house (named ‘Stralia House’) in the city centre. After the outbreak of war Robert and his mother moved back to London in order to be near his brother and sister. At the time he was a draughtsman at Ericsson’s. In London he was taken on by the Daily Sketch as a copy boy where at nights on the streets of London he experienced the blitz at first hand. A move to the London office (housed in a suite at The Savoy) of a new Australian newspaper saw him accredited as a war correspondent in order to collect despatches from government departments. War became a reality when he was roped in as a proper war correspondent. He saw the landings of the Canadians on Juno beach on D-Day from the converted car ferry that had carried them and their landing craft from Portsmouth. While on board an American destroyer he came under fire during minesweeping operations off Cherbourg. His journalistic expertise came to the help of the captain in writing an official account of the action and the commendation that came by return.
I had no idea when first watching Hong Kong television in 1966 that a Mellish boy was responsible, along with Michael Charlton, later of BBC’s Panorama, for the Australian current affairs programme, Four Corners. Rediffusion, the only channel then available, ran it to the great entertainment of British expats. The slanging matches between Australian politicians pulled no punches with language that used Aussie slang to the full (you are a drongo, bludger, galah etc.). Conversations with friends in the days after each programme started with, ‘Did you see that one one about the import duty on tin trays?’ Four Corners, first broadcast in 1961, is still going strong.
This is a short extract from Raymond’s account of life at the Mellish:
When we had first arrived in Nottingham I was enrolled, as a matter of convenience, in the nearest secondary school, which happened to be only a few minutes away from the shop. It was important, everyone had agreed, for me to get in as much schooling as I could before returning to Australia. The Henry Mellish County School, named after some worthy local burgher, was one of a new class of fee-paying secondary schools in England. Subsidised by the county education departments, they were meant to help bridge the gap between the free council schools and the very expensive private schools. To us the county school seemed a convenient and affordable alternative to the ancient and prestigious Nottingham High School in the city.
I found Henry Mellish very different from Skinners’ (and not least in its fees, which were only five guineas a term). But the atmosphere was workmanlike, the teachers keen and well qualified, the boys likeably blunt and matter of fact, and I had settled into Form 3B quite happily. I knew my mother was looking forward to getting away from Nottingham and going back to London, but she could see I was dreading the prospect of beginning all over again at yet another school. She finally said she thought I should continue at Henry Mellish, and that she would stay and look after me. Both Moore and Blue pointed out that my mother’s resources would not last very long if we had to live on our own, and at the same time keep me at school. Nor could we expect much in the way of direct financial support from them, although of course we were always welcome to live with either of them. My mother then came up with her own solution.
“I think I’ll run a boarding house,” she said. “That will give us somewhere to live, and there’ll be some money coming in.”
At first none of the family would hear of our mother, at the age of fifty-eight, going back to work to look after strangers. But she insisted that she was perfectly well and strong and that she had stayed in enough boarding houses during summer holidays in Queensland to know how they should be run. And since no one had a better suggestion, estate agents were contacted and a series of inspections took place. Finally my mother took over the goodwill of a “quiet, respectable boarding establishment” at 78 Goldsmith Street, in the centre of Nottingham. Our return to Australia receded a little further into the distance.
Raymond, Robert. 1992. From Bees to Buzz-bombs. St Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press.
MP 17 June 2022
Henry Mellish School Old Boys and Staff- WW2: Details of the Memorial on the Imperial War Museum Website
Full details of the school’s war memorial and its location can be found on the Imperial War Museum’s website. There is also a full list of the 58 old boys who were killed.
Graham Arthur Mottershaw [1942-1950] is quoted in book on National Service
Graham Mottershaw wrote from his R.A.F. training unit: ‘the talk consists of filth and blasphemy which surprises even a vulgar person like me; more sensitive and sheltered natures must suffer hell’.
From Richard Vinen’s National Service. Conscription in Britain 1945-1963, 2014, London: Allen Lane, p 152. Mottershead (b 26 May 1932; d 26 February 1996, Shropshire) was living in Arnold at the time of the emergency census in 1939. A first XI cricketer, he was writing to his friend, John Michael Lee (see Obits page). The letter is in Lee’s papers kept in the Nottinghamshire Archive.