I got up first this morning and before breakfast Clarice and Julia and I took Ginger for a run in the park.
Later in the morning I went round to Dorling’s to get this week’s Listener.
I spent the rest of the day doing Revision except for a short period in the evening when I cut the lawn and took Ginger out.
After tea we all went for a walk to Coventry Road taking Ginger with us. The new ’buses were running. They are numbered, I believe, between 2626 and 2655 but the design is the same.
This morning we went to the Biology lab. until break. After break we had Maths II exam until 12.25, in Mr. Williams’ room.
There was a Choir practice as usual. [Haydn’s] Creation is on July 18th.
From 1.45 to 4.15pm we had the Geography exam. It wasn’t too bad. I should get 45% anyway.
Nothing else happened all day.
Korean Diary for June 20th–27th
22nd. Secretary-General of UN sends request to thirty nine member States for more troops.
23rd. Mr. Malik, Russian delegate, broadcasts cease-fire proposal.
24th. “Reds” intensify east front attack.
25th. Foreign Secretary says Govt. is studying ways of following up Malik’s proposal for cease-fire talks.
Mr. Truman says USA ready to join in any real settlement.
Nothing much happened today. The Head announced that two bicycles were stolen from the sheds yesterday by an outsider who must have walked up Park Vale. Michael Jacks’ bike disappeared from the sheds a month or so ago.
This afternoon I did a little more revision and then went to Cubs tonight. We played cricket.
There were no exams today. J.K. Bean (a prefect) took us for Chemistry. Mr. Monkcom is back again.
After dinner, there was A.T.B. practice in the Music room. I am hoping to sing Tenor or Bass next term. I’ve been an Alto for nearly eighteen months now.
Mr. R. Cook took us for French. This evening I played outside for some time and took Ginger for her evening walk.
When I got back I blancoed my belt and gaiters and polished brasses and cap badge.
From 9.30 until 11.30 we had the third of the Maths papers.
I paraded today for the first time for five weeks. We had a rehearsal for the Inspection which takes place on July 13th. J.T.C.
This afternoon I played for the 3rd XI v Porter’s on Park Vale Pitch. I won the toss and put Porter’s in to bat. Then Bottomley and I opened the bowling and Bottomley soon had a couple of wickets and took, altogether, 5 wkts. for 39 runs in 14 overs. We bowled throughout the innings. I clean bowled three batsmen for 28 runs in 11 overs, two of them maidens. Two catches were grounded and FIVE other catches were missed, the fielding was so poor. Porter’s ran up 101 for 9 dec. but should only have scored about 50 at the most. We were all out for 45. (Bottomley 19) I got a “duck” again.
For the first two periods today we had Mr. Hurn in the Art Room and Mr. Ballance in Lecture Room 3 after break.
This afternoon we had our last exam — Chemistry from 1.45 until 4.15. I don’t think I did particularly well though.
I got home by 5.0pm. I was on my bike as usual but I did not cycle yesterday.
After tea I went to the Library and later I took Ginger out. Mam and Dad are at the cinema.
Nothing much happened at school this morning.
In Chemistry we did some analysis.
This afternoon, I cleaned my aquarium then went down the village with Ginger before going to John [Maund]’s birthday party [at 92 Shirley Road, Acocks Green] at 4.15pm.
After a very nice tea, we all went in the car to play cricket at Solihull Park until 8.30. We each batted three times and I hit the stumps three times (and my own twice).
After supper, we played one or two word games. I got home for eleven o’clock.
This morning I did some homework and read this month’s Meccano Magazine.
After dinner I completed some outstanding Biology notes.
This evening we walked to Grange Road, Solihull, and back.
Korean Diary for June 27th–July 3rd
29th. Gen Ridgway sends message to Communist Commander-in-Chief proposing cease-fire talks.
30th. Agreement reached between 16 UN countries on seven point cease-fire proposal.
1st. Communist commanders make counter-proposal for cease-fire talks.
3rd. Gen. Ridgway agrees to cease-fire talks at Kaesong.
I caught the S.B. this morning. In Geography, Durnell and I have started a brief history of Birmingham.
In Physics, the period was in Room 57, we started Sound, while in English we started to read a play, or rather a series of scenes, about Parliamentary procedure. It is “Pageant of Parliament” in the “Dramatic Civics” Series.
I went to Choir Practice as usual after morning school. This week in Maths we are doing Stocks and Shares. We went outside to play basketball in Gym but it soon rained and we had to come indoors.
Nothing else happened all day.
As usual, nothing happened today at school. I came home through town.
This evening I went to Cubs, then took Ginger out when I got back. Then at 9.30pm., Mam, Dad and I listened to what has been described as the fight of the century — that for the Middle Weight Championship of the World between Sugar Ray Robinson (U.S.A.) and Randolph Turpin (G.B.).
Turpin won on points with some very fine boxing, his main “weapon” being the straight left. Never once in the whole enthralling hour did the fabulous “Sugar” dominate the scene. According to the [Birmingham] Gazette, Turpin won twelve clear rounds with a division of spoils in rounds six, ten and eleven.
This morning we had the final Chemistry result.
Altogether I am rather pleased.
For second period today, Dr. Willis Grant held a choir practise [sic] in the Music Room.
Break was immediately after second period so that the C.C.F. [Combined Cadet Force] could hold a full scale inspection rehearsal. After this we marched up University Road to do a platoon attack.
I was picked for the 2nd XI to play against Burgess’s this afternoon but our opponents were unable to field a team so we won by default.
I called at Bob’s office in town on the way home but he was out at the time.
In the afternoon I cleaned out my aquarium.
We had a Choir Practice during second period today. We had a Frenchman to talk to us during third period.
The Annual Inspection was held on the South Field this afternoon at 1.30pm.
The Inspecting Officer was Vice Admiral Sir H.W.V. McCall. After the inspection, the platoon did its attack, then at 3.40 the Vice Admiral addressed us for ten minutes in Big School.
At 4 o’clock I went to the Medical Room to choose my book prize but I could not see one that I really wanted. So I shall have a 15/- book token and choose my own book or books.
I came home through town and called to see Bob.
This morning was the Choir’s half holiday but I had to go to school this afternoon for a full rehearsal with orchestra and soloists. The rehearsal began at thee and finished at five fifteen. I cycled home with Philip [Martin].
Dad bought a second hand television set today. It is an Ekco [E.K. Cole] TS1105 table model with a combined radio as well. It has a 9–inch screen and we hope to have it tomorrow.
Korean Diary for July 4th–10th
4th. Gen. Ridgway and Communist commanders agree to hold preliminary cease-fire talks at Kaesong, July 8th.
8th. Preliminary meeting held.
10th. Armistice negotiations open.
This morning I spent doing some homework then this afternoon I helped Dad and two friends [Don and Ron] to install our new television set. It has an indoor aerial which had to be put in the loft.
We had the set on for the first time at 5.40 and we saw part of a “Children’s Hour” play “Where Love Is”.
The next programmes began at 8 o’clock. First there was a fifteen minute “Weekly Review” recalling events from last week’s newsreels, then a short film entitled “British Steel”. There was a play, “The Debutante’s Father” from 8.25 until 9,55. It wasn’t too bad and actually humorous in parts, but at times it tended to drag.
For the first three periods this morning I went to watch the House P.T. Competitions in the Gym. Mr. Williams’ House won with 75 points, Mr. Dunt’s House was 2nd, Mr. Burgess’ House 3rd.
There was no choir practice at 12.30 but we did have one in the afternoon from 2.25 to 3.45pm.
I came home on the S.B. and then watched the T.V. Children’s Hour. I saw the film Ninety Degrees South, H.G. Ponting’s film of Scott’s epic journey to the South Pole. It was most instructive.
After this evening’s Newsreel there was “Country Dish” in which Philip Harben made Syllabub. After “Men o’ Brass” with a brass band, came “What’s My Line?” There was then a visit to the South Bank at dusk to see some of the lights but this was rather disappointing.
Hymn Practice lasted for half an hour and there was no House Meeting. Nothing else happened at school. I came home on the 1A ’bus with Michael Jacks [who lives at 363 Brook Lane].
After dinner I went round the Chemist’s to fetch some enlargements of one of my snaps.
The choir, orchestra and soloists had a full rehearsal. This evening I cycled and got there on time at 6.0pm. I got home by 8.45 and saw part of “The Passing Show”, part 4 on T.V.
This afternoon’s programmes were quite good. At 3.0 Richard Hughes read his own short story — “The Overcoat” which was jolly good, then there was a C.O.I. film “Working in a Store” and a book review at 3.30.
Nothing much happened at school today. At dinner time I played cricket with John Winrow and others.
First period this afternoon we had a rehearsal for Haydn’s Creation tonight.
This evening Mam and Clarice & Julia came with me to school. The performance started at 7.0pm. Dad & Bob came later. It went extremely well as the accompanying column from the Birmingham Post shows. The soloists were excellent.
I did not go in uniform today and so I cycled. The form had got permission to watch the Individual P.T. Competition but I had a Choir practice for first period. I spent the next two periods watching the competition. J.R. Luckett won and D.H. Benson and B.J. Pierce were equal second.
In J.T.C. we cleaned rifles. I played this afternoon for the 3rd XI v Dunt’s in the Losers’ Final, at Eastern Road. We batted first and scored 107 (R.H. Moore 40, I got 1 not out) and we soon had five wickets down very cheaply; but there was a big stand which we could not break and the game petered out as a draw. R.V.B. Smith got 33 n.o. with Dunt’s score at 79 for 6. I bowled four overs, two maidens, took 0 for five.
I cycled to school again this morning. After prayers, Mr. Moore was presented with a cheque by G.T. Lyall on behalf of the school. “Sarge” leaves today after thirty-three years service. After the presentation he made a speech and urged everyone to partake in games.
House Meetings were held until 10.10am when we went to form rooms except for the Choir which had to rehearse in the break. After break we went up to Edgbaston Old Church.
For first period this afternoon, I helped Mr. Cooke with a lot of books. There was a Julian Horner Concert at 2.30. Dobson and Young have an extremely interesting and amusing lecture.
It is 9.0pm now and I am just about to listen to a recording of “ITMA” in “Shows From the Past”.
Today was Speech Day. It was held at 11.15am. First came some prize recitations and the Head’s report. The Head criticised the Comprehensive School Scheme. He said that so far from breaking down class distinction, the scheme in large cities would merely congeal the existing characteristics of the immediate neighbourhood which could scarcely be described as equality of opportunity. The Bailiff (Prof. Oliver Thomson) then presented the prizes and spoke and the Head presented the Bache Memorial Cup to J. Hutchings and Dale Memorial Medals to J.M.S. Arnott and P. Westbrook. The Vice Captain [G.T. Lyall] proposed a vote of thanks and the ceremony ended with the School Song.
School played Old Eds. this afternoon. I took Clarice & Julia. The match was drawn. Old Eds. 196, School 177 for 8. There was a free tea.
I got up first this morning and made the tea. Nothing much happened all morning.
This afternoon the School Service was held at Edgbaston Old Church. I was in the Choir of course. The Head gave the sermon.
I came home in the Martins’ car. Phil was driving.
Tonight, after the Weekly Review at 8.0pm, we saw Bernard Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma which lasted until 10.45.
Korean Diary for July 11th–17th
12th. Talks temporarily suspended owing to Communist refusal to allow UN correspondents to enter Kaesong.
14th. Communists accept Gen. Ridgway’s terms for resumption of truce talks.
15th. Truce talks resumed.
We finished school this morning. Prayers was held after first period; then the Head presented medals and block subject prizes. We received the Chronicle as we left Big School.
[Philip Martin has left today, also his friend K.A.F. Brewin. They have been in Mod.Lang.VI together. Brewin lives at 23 Stretton Grove, Ward End, not far from where we used to live at Belchers Lane.]
It’s a pity that the whole school cannot be present when we break up. I doubt whether there were four hundred boys present this morning. Many were away at camp and others were on a visit to the Festival of Britain.
Mr. C.J. Power leaves this term after thirty-two years service and Mr. T.C. Burgess becomes the new Head of K.E.G.S. Five Ways. New masters next term will be Mr. T.G. Freeman and J.A. Bolton. Mr. L.K. McGawley joins the P.T. staff.
My cricket averages this season:—
Batting: 4 inns; 1 n.o.; 5 runs, 1.67 average.
Bowling: 16.4 overs; 4 maidens; 42 runs; 4 wkts; 10.5
We spent a long time getting the trunk packed last night and I didn’t go to bed until just after one o’clock this morning. I got up at 10.30am.
I spent the rest of the morning and the afternoon in cutting the front law, trimming the edges and weeding the garden.
There are lots of flowers in the back garden just now and it is a mass of colour.
Tonight I went to Cubs as usual and took Ginger out when I got back. We went for a walk through the park.
This morning, Mam and I went shopping in the village.
After dinner, I stayed in and watched the T.V. First, for twenty-five minutes I saw Dolores Gray in “Holiday in Paris” with Dany Dauberson, the Pabios, Rosyane & Laran and the Bluebell Girls. This was followed by About Face, a comedy film with William Tracey and Joe Sawyer.
Later I took Hound out.
After tonight’s Newsreel we saw a ship steered by radar in “Festival Close-up”. At 8.30pm we saw “What’s My Line?”
I took Ginger with me for a walk round the village at 9.15.
I bought a copy of the Sports Argus Football Annual this morning, and I also received by post, a free advance copy of the August edition of Readers Digest.
As usual, Mam has given me my school report:—
ENGLISH Writes clear and careful English and proved to be the best essay writer in the form. (Mr. L.K.J. Cooke)
GEOGRAPHY Fairly satisfactory progress during the term. (Mr. J.F. Benett)
FRENCH Always keen. He has maintained a very sound standard. (Mr. A.E. Leeds)
MATHEMATICS Has worked very well indeed and his examination result is well deserved. 1st. (Mr. J.C. Roberts)
PHYSICS He has worked very well and maintained a good standard. (Mr. J.B. Whinnerah).
CHEMISTRY Has worked well and maintained a good standard. (Mr. J.B. Guy)
BIOLOGY He has maintained an excellent standard of work. Examination result very good. (Mr. M.E. Monkcom)
FORM MASTER Keen and conscientious, he has continued to make good progress. (Mr. J.B. Whinnerah).
HOUSE MASTER He has continued to be useful and active.
HEADMASTER A very good year. T.E.B.H. (Mr. Howarth)
This is the first time I have come top of the form at K.E.S. I now have a 15/- Book Token to spend!
Mr. Burton called this morning to collect Ginger. She is going to stay at his farm for a week while we are on holiday. She seemed very pleased to see Mr. Burton but I’m not so sure whether she’s so pleased now. [Mr. Burton gave us Ginger when she was eleven months old and not expected to be up to racing standard.]
After breakfast we all went to town. I exchanged my 15/- Book Token at the Midland Educational for Birds of the Wayside and Woodland (10/-) and The Nature of the Universe by Fred Hoyle (5/-). The former book, edited by Enid Blyton is based upon T.A. Coward’s standard work. The latter is the book of Hoyle’s B.B.C. talks [which I read in The Listener. The book was published only in April last year but has become so popular that my copy is the 9th impression.
I saw that Ivor Novello’s Glamorous Night is coming to the Theatre Royal next week as an ice show. I can’t go because we are going to Margate the day after tomorrow, but I got an advert for it. It is quite expensive, the Stalls seats range from 5/6 to 8/6, and it is 2/6 in the balcony.]
We got home by half past one. This afternoon I mended a puncture and cut some of the lawn.
Nothing else happened.
This morning I got a haircut in the village and bought some new straw for Ginger’s bed.
After that I went down to the park to get some new pond weed. I planted this in the aquarium after dinner. I am putting the goldfish in the bath while we are away.
At 3.0pm I watched the composite edition Newsreel on T.V.
Later I twice went to the Library. Mam & Dad are now at the cinema.
Korean Diary for July 18th–24th
19th. Mr. Acheson rejects Communist proposal for withdrawl [sic] of foreign troops from Korea on conclusion of an armistice.
21st. Armistice talks adjourned for four days at the request of the Communist delegation.
Off to Margate! The weather looked promising apart from the rain and that was coming down in buckets. The 31A ’bus took thirty-eight minutes to get to Grey’s [in Bull Street]. Then we waited on Platform 12 of Snow Hill Station for the 10.10am train. There was a terrific rush and we couldn’t get on it. Instead we caught the 10.20 from Platform 7. I didn’t get a seat on that & had to sit on a suitcase in the corridor with a few hundred other people.
There is always a great thrill when the train at last draws out of the station. It was especially thrilling because we were soon racing through our own stations, Tyseley, Acocks Green and Olton. The first stop was made at Warwick and we made at least fifteen more stops. Outside Leamington the rain gave way to sunshine and the sun shone for the rest of the day. It was unbearably hot. We got our first glimpse of the sea between Minster and Ramsgate. We got into Margate at 5.25; the journey had taken seven hours.
The station was only a few hundred yards from the sea front and Grosvenor Place a few minutes walk away. The “Moranna” is only two or three minutes walk from the sea. After a wash, we had tea at 6.0pm.
Grandad has a tiny room to himself, the rest of us share a front bedroom. There are three meals a day but no supper. After tea we walked down to the beach. The tide was in so we paddled. The beach is sandy and there is a line of sea-weed where the tide reaches its highest point.
Margate has its own harbour alongside the pier and jetty to the east of the clock tower. At night the whole of the front is illuminated and the lights look really lovely.
One thing that I did notice is that there appears to be only small numbers of sea-gulls here. Most of them are Black-Headed Gulls; there are a few Herring Gulls too. None of them will allow anyone near. They are very timid yet at Aberystwyth they will take food from one’s hand.
Before going back to our lodgings, we walked through “Dreamland”, a 15 acre amusement park, very much like Blackpool’s “Pleasure Beach”. This too is quite enchanting when lit up at night.
Breakfast this morning was at 9am instead of the usual 8.30. Staying at the “Moranna” with us are a Mr. and Mrs. Merchant from West Bromwich, Mr. and Mrs. Gray from Harrow and Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd from Bordesley Green East.
We all spent the morning on the beach but it wasn’t very warm at all. The beach was quite crowded though.
In the afternoon we walked to the pier and harbour and I took a photo. I had a look round the British Home Stores. Quite a few stops seem to stay open on Sunday here.
After tea, we again walked down to the beach and then at about 8.45pm we walked round Dreamland. I took a photograph of the lights. We can see the Helter Skelter and Wheel from our bedroom window and also the railway.
I went for a walk down to the beach early this morning before breakfast. Grandad was already down on the sea-front to get a cup of tea.
The weather seemed to be quite a bit warmer and after sitting on the beach for a bit and going to the station for a luggage form, Dad and I bathed in the sea. We changed in the Sun Deck Bathing Pavilion. There is a large bathing pool here too. I practised the breast stroke. I really intend to swim this year.
After dinner, we walked past the Harbour to Cliftonville where I played on the beach with Dad.
Tonight we sat on the beach and then went to Dreamland. Clarice & Julia and Dad & Grandad went on the Scenic Railway.
We are staying on at the “Moranna” until Monday so we shall have a little extra time.
I woke up in the early hours of the morning. [It is my 16th birthday. The card illustrated is from Clarice.] There was quite a storm with thunder and lightning and heavy rain. It didn’t keep me awake for more than a few minutes and when I awoke the sun was shining. I was out before breakfast again.
Most of the morning, Dad and I bathed in the pool with Clarice & Julia too.
In the afternoon we went shopping and then sat on the beach and ate ice-cream.
After tea I thought it would be a good idea to try to photograph some of the gulls. I walked along across the hundreds of little rock pools which make up the breakwater down to the water’s edge. I didn’t get a photo but I did see several Little Terns diving vertically for tiny fishes. They had noticeably smaller tail streamers.