Peter Ward (1950-57)

I spent seven happy years at Nether Edge from 1950-1957 and gained much during
my stay.
Only six pupils out of a class of forty at my Primary School passed the eleven plus
and it was certainly a big step for my family for me to be going to a Grammar School.
They were very impressed when I came home being able to quote a little French and
later some German.
I was placed in form 1B and our form master was Peter Spinks who was also then
new to the school.
I remember, during one of Mr Ramsbottom’s Scripture lessons, the HM walking in
and informing us that the King had died whence Mr R. led us in a short prayer.
I was often late for school during my time there and, as a result; regularly kept behind
in detention where we given, what were to me, long meaningless Latin words to copy
I recall, in Maths, being given fifty lines as a punishment to write – ‘x to the power
zero is always one’ – I have never forgotten that!
I, as others have mentioned, feared Mr Len Buchan, the English teacher. Strangely
though, with him, I was once top in Literature but bottom in Language.
Chemistry was one my favourite subject though the teaching of it could have been
better. Freddy Potts would spend most of the lesson talking about anything but
Chemistry and John Mann, who joined the school in my last year, spent most of the
time passing on reams of notes that he had when he was at school! I spent most of my
pocket money buying chemicals and apparatus and performing experiments in our
cellar at home and after graduating in the subject ended up teaching it myself for over
forty-five years with genuine enthusiasm for the subject.
Maths was well taught. We were doing Calculus with Mr Wilkinson in 4S and in the
Sixth Form, Messrs Laurie Arden, Andy Walker and Tom Rigby challenged us with
masses of difficult Pure and Applied Maths problems.

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