The Old Almondburians' Society
OAS Written Archive
Written archive pre-1946

The Written Archive summarises, in their own words, the careers and other activities of former pupils of King James ’s School. If you would like us to add YOUR details, please click here.
William George Goodall (1928-1934)
On leaving school joined P.O Research Station at Dollis Hill, NW London. 1940-1946 served in RAF reaching rank of F/LT after serving through ranks. After war re-joined PO Research Station working on Submarine Cables and Underwater Amplifiers (Repeaters). Became Chartered Electrical Engineer working on 1st Transatlantic Telephone Cable and then Pacific Cable to New Zealand. Retired 1980.

Paul Holdsworth Nicholson (1933-1938)
After school in 1938, worked in management at Jarmains wool mill at Kirkheaton until early retirement in 1980.  (Jarmains was founded in 1873 by the son of George Jarmain, sometime Chemistry teacher at AGS in the 1850/60s). Served in the RAF, ground staff (radio) from 1941-1946, never leaving England! Also known, by subsequent scholars at AGS as Harvey Nicholson ’s elder brother, Dartmouth Medal and Jessop Prize 1944, etc.

John Peter Senior (1934-1939)
I am 84 and I live only a few hundred yards further from the school. And whilst I did not cycle from Hinchliffe Mill every day, I did walk from near the Waterloo end of Fleming House Lane. Whilst never achieving the kudos of writing an excellent history of Woodsome Hall I did become Britain ’s youngest municipal transport manager, before joining the 5500 employee Ribble company as Assistant General Manager in 1957. Then I gave up horizontal transport for vertical (as some wag put it when they began putting the adjective “reverend” before my name). My last parish was Heddon-on-the-Wall in the delightful country of Northumberland – but on retirement the attractions of Almondbury proved too much!

Robert Ian Chappell (1934-1939)
Have worked for Midland Bank (now HSBC) for 35 years, with an interlude on army service from 1941-1946, serving with The Royal Deccan House, Indian Army for three years in India and Burma. Past member of Headingley, Leeds and Wakefield Golf Club, an active walker and bird watcher. Have now retired with my wife to the RMBJ Home at Connaught Court, York.

William B Varley (1935-1940)
In 1942 volunteered for Royal Engineers in the Army. In 1943 first convoy through the med to India to be with Indian troops, in Engineer Battalion with Sikh C.O. Landed in Bombay, by rail to Mhow in Punjab. Went into Burma – Ramree. Went into Indonesia, Java then back to Singapore. Back to England in Brittania to get BSc Tech at university. Specialised as Sewerage Engineer and moved around, eventually Assistant Chief Civil Engineer in Sheffield. Next to Severn Trent Water for two years. Took early retirement in 1980. Now aged 84 in 2007. Married in 1950, looking forward to 60 years in 2010.
Could never speak Latin but in Urdu ‘Bahut Atcha’. Regards to all.

Gordon Teal (1936 – 1943)
1942-1945 – Leeds University (BSc Civil Engineering) 1946-1948 – Corps of Royal Engineers, commissioned service in 1. Waziristan (North West Frontier) attached Indian Army 2. Middle East Land Forces with construction unit in Eygpt (canal zone) or Cyrenaica (Libya) 1948 – Demobbed and engaged in construction of London airport. 1949 – Engineering assistant with Wakefield Corporation waterworks on construction of Baitings Dam. 1953 – Assistant Engineer, Manchester Corporation Waterworks on Construction of Bouland Forest Tunnel – Hawes Water Aqueduct Scheme 1958 – Chief Engineering Assistant to Consulting Engineers on construction of Selset Reservoir for Tees Valley Waterworks. 1960 – New works engineer, Leeds Corporation Waterworks. Resident engineer  Thruscross Dam. 1968 – Supply Engineer, Leeds Corporation. 1971 – Chief Engineering Assistant, Leeds Corporation 1974 – Contracts Engineer, Yorkshire Water 1983 – Retired. Married in 1949, 2 sons, 1 daughter. Member of Institution of Civil Engineers.

Frederick William Fox (1936-1941)
1943-1947 Royal Navy, 1947-1951 University of Leeds, 1951-1953 Graduate Apprentice for Joseph Lucas Ltd. Technical Sales Engineer 1953, Resident Aircraft Engineer, Lucas, Paris 1962-1966, Overseas A/C Engineer Lucas Airspace 1966-1972, Marketing Director, Lucas 1972-1979. When in the UK I played lots of cricket at good club level in Birmingham and since retiring have taken up Bridge. The best thing by far is to have married a girl I met at Leeds with a first brain, warmth, charm, understanding and outstanding generosity of mind and spirit that is so rare to meet, no wonder that she is a psychotherapist.

Geoffrey Darby (1937-1943)
I left AGS in July 1943 and on August 12th started a new life as an apprentice with Huddersfield Corporation Waterworks Dept. I intended to become a civil engineer as Huddersfield corporation intended to design and build Digley Reservoir with direct labour.
I was based at Blackmoorfoot Reservoir, but by the summer of 1944 I was working with the Government, surveying and checking the construction of anti dive bomb nets around the reservoir. We had intended the ‘bouncing bomb’ to attack the German dams and had to prepare for retaliation. It was a good day to eventually watch a Lancaster Bomber check our work and give us the ‘thumbs up’. Then my call up papers arrived, conscripted as a bevin boy to work in the coal mines – demob No. 64. So December 1944 to January 1948 saw me at the coal face at Lepton Edge Colliery.

After being keen on football in the AGS 1st Eleven, I had permission to work Friday day shift and go back in Friday night shift to have Saturday off for footballing. I trained with Huddersfield Town AFC but on May 14th 1947 I broke my leg playing and the Huddersfield Town trainer Bill Bott said I was slowing down going into a tackle, so I had to find another sport! Table tennis - private lessons in Leeds - up and down the country for competitions and reserve for Yorkshire.

In 1948 my demob arrived – Digley Reservoir was going to a private company. So I moved to the electrical department and took higher national certificate and many endorsements for the institution of electrical engineers and my chartered engineer status.

I then worked in Leeds for the Generating Board in the technical/protective gear/commissioning department and studied nuclear engineering at Leeds & Bradford – moved to Nottingham for commissioning tests on Willington & High Marnham Power Stations. Then followed a three year period at Harwell Nuclear Research and Dungeness ‘A’ Nuclear Power Station. Founder member of the British Nuclear Engineering Society.

Finally I moved to Guildford in Surrey for the engineering projects required with the new 400kv transmission system. I retired in 1987 and moved back to ‘Yorkshire Roots’ with my wife Jean who I married in 1958.

At Guildford I was sent on a three year management diploma course and became an active member of the British Institute of Management. This helped me to become chair for seven years of Bisley Parish Council, Chair of Surrey County Association and sit on the National Executive committee and the S.E. & London Sports Council under Roger Bannister. A relaxing part of all this work was for my wife and I to attend three Buckingham Palace Garden Parties and have a talk to some of our Royal Family.

We are now living in a flat, its not really ‘feet up’ time but out daily into the Dales or a peep at Huddersfield again.

Colin F Lawton (1937-1944)
Queen Mary College, London University to gain degree in Civil Engineering 1944-1946. 1st year evacuated to Cambridge, Kings College, second year in London. Joined Royal Engineers 1946, commissioned 1947, served in three railway units in Germany until 1948. Glasgow University from 1948-1949, still civil engineering. Joined family business Fred Lawton & Son Ltd late 1949, spinning woollen yarn. Married Jo in 1950. Studied wool textiles at Huddersfield Technical College part-time to gain AT1 in 1951. Became Managing Director of Fred Lawton ’s in 1954, Chairman in 1985. Moved three factories to Meltham Mills before retiring in 1991. Spent most of retired years restoring and renovating a country property in S.W. France where we now spend 5/6 months per year, otherwise based in Ilkley. Two of our four children now live in Australia and so have spent some winter months there for the last 14 years.

Andrew Kenyon Hirst (1938-1943)
A career of forty three years in Nat West ended in December 1986 as regional director for London, following wide ranging roles including an enjoyable spell in Sheffield. Several years were spent hidden in head office. Retirement has been varied, living in Warwickshire with active participation in activities in the local village. Eyesight started to decline some eight years ago, which was followed by my move to a smaller property in Henley-in-Arden and the sad death of my dear wife two years ago.

Ronald Courtley Young (1939-1945)
1946-1947 Student Medical Laboratory Technician, Leeds Maternity Hospital
1947-1949 Medical Branch Royal Navy
1949-1952 Medical Laboratory Technician, Leeds Maternity Hospital
1952-1955 Chief Laboratory Technician, East African Medical Survey and Filarias B Research Unit, Mwanza, Tanganyika
1955-1968 Medical Representative, South Yorkshire
1968-1970 Export Manager Burroughs Wellcome based at Crewe
1970-1973 Marketing Manager Burroughs Wellcome (South Africa) based at Johannesburg
1973-1988 General Manager, Burroughs Wellcome (Indonesia)   President Director, P.T. Wellsome (Indonesia)
1988 to date  Retired and living in Norfolk

Ken Kaye (1939-1946)
Born in Farnley Tyas 29/02/28, product of the ‘The Gaffer’ Taylor Dyson and Co. Great Days. I remember Austin Holroyd (Siddon I believe?), just my senior. Derek Ibbotson, a little later than me. Ex RAF, wireless fitter (conscript). A complete change of career took me to Sheffield University, graduated in 1957 (MBChB). Married a local girl from Thurstonland in 1956. Rest of my life has been spent in South Yorkshire as a GP. Hopefully will reach 80 years next February, as a widow, in the company of two sons and six grandchildren. My greatest school friend, Dr. GW Sykes sadly passed away last year, after 40 years working in Canada.

David Utley (1940-1945)
My wife and I returned to Weston-super-Mare in March 2006, where we have lived with our family for nearly 30 years. In 1992 we had returned to Almondbury and enjoyed re-visiting familiar places and discovering new ones. We also enjoyed the company of old friends and relatives. For various reasons we decided to move back to Weston and now live close to local amenities with easy access to places of interest and also about two hours to the Devon or Dorset coast. We miss our friends and relatives, Yorkshire, The village, I also miss watching live rugby league.

Geoffrey Lees (1940-1945)
Articled clerk with Stanley Carr (Chartered Accountants) 1945 to 1950. Qualified as a chartered accountant May 1951. National service in RAF 1951-1953. Commenced employment as chief clerk with Smith Craven, Doncaster 1953, admitted to Partnership 1st January 1962, became senior partner 6th April 1971. Retired as partner both September 1989 and continued as consultant until December 1994. Married Elizabeth Kipling 9th June 1956, celebrated Golden wedding 9th June 2006. Three daughters, three grandsons and one granddaughter. Joined OAS on reformation after the war and will try to get to the 400th celebrations.

Malcolm Halma Mitton (1940-1945)
In 1945, after leaving school I attended the Huddersfield School of Architecture for three years before serving my National Service with the Royal Engineers as an architectural draughtsman, following which I was employed by the Huddersfield Education Architect. In 1953 I married Dorothy Shaw and in 1957, we emigrated with our daughter to Canada, where I worked for numerous architectural companies in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I became a property manager with the Bank of Nova Scotia in N.S and Toronto, Ontario for some 13 years. In due course I obtained a similar position with the federal government until retirement in 1990. In addition to the above I had a mini career in music, singing 2nd tenor with the Shantymen and other groups on the CBC. My singing career started at the age of 7 at Moldgreen Parish Church, eventually becoming a tenor in Woodhouse Parish Church. Eventually I became the tenor soloist at two churches in Halifax, N.S. Unfortunately I attended school during the war years when the G & S shows were suspended! I now reside some 15 miles outside Halifax N.S and have four children (2 of each), 9 grandsons, 1 grand-daughter and 2 great-grandchildren (1 of each).
Greeting to all. Floreat Schola.

DAVID OXLEY (1943-1950)
On leaving AGS I had to do my National Service and having been in the ATC at School for 5 years I opted for the RAF and after initial training I was posted to Germany - British Air Forces of Occuipation in early 1951 as a Clerk Equipment Accounting with 402 Air Stores Park at RAF Altona in Hamburg. It was here that my sense of call to the ministry of the Congregational Church developed and I was demobbed six week early to be able to start  my Arts course at Manchester University. Graduated B.A.(Theol) in 1955 and after a further 2 years at Lancashire Independent College I was ordained at Leigh Congregational Church in 1957. Married the same year to Myrtle Smith from Nottingham. Anticipated that I would spend my ministry in Lanahire or Yorkshire in working class areas but at the end of 1960 I was invited to come to a Congregational Church in Hobart, Tasmania and have now lived in Australia for the last 50 years, serving first the Congregational Churches and then the Uniting Church in Australia when Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches united in 1977.

I have had a very varied ministry. As well as Parish work I have also had a period of full time church administration and a period of 5 years responsible for the church's welfare programmes, and add to that 6 years with the RAAF Spoecialist Reserve as an Air Force Padre. I have been President of the Congregational Churches and Moderator of the Uniting Church. My wife Mrytle died of cancer in 1994 the same year that I took an early retirement. I have been the Chaplain for the RAAF Association in Western Australia for the last 18 years. I remarried and my wife Eileen and I live on a retirement estate established by the RAAFA in lovely Mandurah 50 miles south of Perth.

It's been good to get back on three occasions for the Annual Dinner but I am so glad for the life and opportunity Australia has given me. I have lived in 4 States of Australia and I wouldn't have changed anything. Hope to be back in Huddersfield for my 80th birthday next year.

David Rushforth (1944-1951)
After leaving school, did two years apprenticeship with Timothy Whives Taylor, then two years at Bradford and qualified as a pharmacist. Worked in Low Moor, Huddersfield before becoming area manager in Kent. After merger with Boots in 1968, managed shops in Gloucester and Bristol. Left Boots in 1984 to manage a Rest Home for our church in Stockport whilst ‘keeping my hand in’ by doing odd locum work around Southport. Retired in 1996 from rest home but carried on pharmacy work until 2006. Now completely retired!

Brian Sheard (1944-1952)
1952 - 1955 RAF including 2 years '53 to '55 at RAF Habbaniya, Iraq. On return to "civvy street" worked for Ambassador Radio and Television, Brighouse; followed by a short stint with the BBC, a few years with L. B. Holliday & Co.and several years with Hopkinsons at their Birkby works. Got married in 1957 to Nita and we have two sons. After Hops I went to St. Johns College, York (part of Leeds University) and did a three year teacher training course. Taught at a couple of schools in Devon but in 1972 answering a call from Victoria, came to teach in Australia. Taught at three schools ending up as Senior Teacher. I taught till I was 72 and since retirement in1975 have been working on my golf handicap.

Terence Haworth (1945-1950)
After various interesting studies, including National Service in the Royal Engineers, I was elected to membership of The Royal Institute of British Architects, later I gained a Diploma in town planning at Leeds Polytechnic. Along the way I married a lovely girl I met when walking. We have two sons, who due to changes in the educational system were unable to attend the ‘old school’. I rejoined the OAS in 1985 when my school friend, both infant and grammar, Fred Sheard organised a ‘forty years on’ at the annual dinner.

Michael Adrian Morris (1945-1950)
Joined Midland Bank Ltd, Holmfirth Branch September 1950 for two years. October 1952, National Service, firstly with Duke of Wellingtons Regiment, Halifax, then early 1953 the parachute Regiment at Aldershot. In October 1954 returned to Midland Bank and served in a number of branches in the Huddersfield area. Then second officer at Oakhans, Accountant & Assistant Manager at Rugby, finally at Kingsthorpe, Northampton. Took early voluntary retirement in January 1988. Qualifications – Associate Chartered Institute of Bankers, Member Chartered Managers Institute.