A few memories: Alan Brearley

On arriving at Heath in 1932 the teaching staff numbered twelve full time male academics including the Headmaster Mr O.R.A. Byrde. Before I left five years later there had been ten replacements for staff who had either retired or left for appointments elsewhere.

In 1932 we were about 200 pupils in the senior school, including the sixth form of some twenty pupils. In the 1932 intake there were 53 divided into two forms IVB1 and IVB2. I was in the latter, and our form of twenty-five included ten pupils who had ‘come up’ from Transitus, the top form of the three-form junior school, which had 30 pupils. The fees for this junior school were 6 guineas per term and 7 guineas in the senior school (unless on a local scholarship); all the students had to pay 4 shillings games subscriptions per term!

Boys must not wear any headgear other than school caps — claret with an embroidered badge plus orange bands — or a straw hat with school ribbon, when in Halifax or district!

A few boys who lived at some distance away stayed for ‘school dinner,’ cooked by the resident caretaker’s wife at a charge of 1 shilling.

The first year subjects were English, Latin, French, Geography, Mathematics, Science and Art. In our second year the ‘top half’ of the form took Greek instead of Geography.

I rarely meet or hear of any of my contemporaries, apart from the occasional telephone conversation with Norman Sunderland who now lives in Battle (E. Sussex).

I trained in textile management, becoming a chartered textile technologist and after fourteen years at a research association, I moved on to higher education-lecturing and research. I retired in 1979 as Vice Principal of a further education college after a very satisfying career.1

If some of my Heath contemporaries are still around I should like to hear from them. My details are in the Halifax telephone directory.

Alan Brearley [Heath 1932–1937]

PS. Alan is secretary of Halifax Probus Club and is on the lookout for new members. The Club was formed in 1970 and its main aim is ‘to meet regularly for coffee, a talk and discussion, to be completely independent, non political and non-sectarian.’

The Club meets every Thursday from 9.30 am onwards at Halifax Bowling Club in Thrum Hall Lane. Other Heathens involved include Derek Bridge, David Horsfall, Roy Sykes and Richard Titley.

Alan invites you to come along as a guest on any Thursday, without obligation, to test the water!

1. In 2015, Some aspects of the life of Alan Brearley was published giving more information about Alan’s life.

Letter from Alan Brearley — dated 2nd July 2006

Alan celebrated his 85th birthday on the Reunion/launch day of the Heath Grammar School Archive and Pictorial History Book at CrossleyHeath School.

Dear Jon

I would like you to convey my sincere thanks to Mrs Rose Taylor, Russell Smith and all concerned with making the evening of my birthday such a happy occasion (including yourself, of course!). I was very grateful to receive the card and presents — one eatable, one drinkable and the other very readable! I can assure you I certainly 'burned the midnight oil' when I returned home, especially with the book which is a very laudable effort that should be on every 'old Heathen's' bookshelf.

My only regret was that I did not get inkling of what was to come, so that I could have prepared a more adequate thank you speech.

Again, very many thanks to you and the members (and their guests) of HOBA, who made me feel so welcome on Friday. The happy occasion will always remain in my memory.

With kind regards and best wishes for the future — to you and HOBA

Yours Sincerely
Alan Brearley