The school of 62


Like the 1964 image, this  1962 whole-school panorama would be around four feet (1200mm) long, about six inches high and seems to be of around 400 pupils and staff at my estimate. Image kindly supplied by David Hughes. Click for a larger version – but please be prepared, it’s a huge photo.

What seems now like months ago over Christmas, I featured an image that has proven very popular – a whole school panoramic photo of all the staff and pupils of Shire Oak Grammar School in 1964 – well, thanks to David Hughes all the way from Texas in the US, I can share the equivalent photo from 1962.

David wrote:


The 1964 Shire Oak school photo is very interesting and as I was one of the first intake at Shire Oak I am able to recognise many faces, including my own, in the Photo.

I have only recently discovered Brownhills Bob, so I don’t know if you have already shown the first school photograph from 1962.

Attached is a copy (split into 4 sections) just in case it is of interest. Sorry about the poor quality, it’s travelled a lot and is now with me here in Texas.

Keep up the good work

David Hughes

Thank you David, the scans were just fine and have stitched beautifully back into one – which as before, I feature whole and sliced for reader perusal.

Thanks so much for the generosity – to know we’re reaching all the way over to the US is very satisfying, and David, if you have anything to say, or share, you’re most welcome – there’s over 4,000 posts of archive material here too, so feel welcome to fill your boots!

To make things easier, I’ve chopped it into chunks, twice with different numbers of parts so if someone falls on an image edge in one set, they won’t in the other. Both sets are the same quality.

Click on any slice to see the image full size:

The same image, cut into eight:

If you’ve got memories of the school, or indeed this photo, or you recognise yourself, or someone else – please do get in touch, either by commenting here or mailing me. BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

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19 Responses to The school of 62

  1. Jill Manchester says:

    Love the photo! I was hoping to find my Mom on it as she was School Secretary from the time the school opened until early 1964, but sadly she’s not there! She says she doesn’t remember being there – she must have been too busy!!! In case anyone remembers her she is Jean Beardsmore. She still lives in Aldridge and is now 87yrs young!

    • David Evans says:

      Hi Jill
      the lady sitting next to the kitchen staff to the right right of an academic gowned lady member of staff..The lady wearing the black dress, short sleeves, pearl necklace..head tilted at a slight angle….her face seems familiar… possibly school secretary from the secondary school at Streets Corner?
      kind regards


    This is the second slice of the 5 slice set.

    On the left, the guy in work clothes has to be the caretaker, looking ever-so-slightly out of place.

    Who was he? He seems like a chap with a story…


  3. David Wynn says:

    I had the original photo for ages. I was extreme left (not politically) 1st row from the back. Recognise many

  4. Deryn (Williams) Singleton says:

    I’m slowly finding time to put names to faces that I can still remember on the copies posted on the Norton Canes facebook page, maybe William will copy them to here? Long cold winters here in Connecticut!!! Yes we did call the caretaker Clarence – didn’t even know his real name. How awful!!!

  5. Mike Lillywhite says:

    Wow, just came across this website …. I joined Shire Oak GS in 1962.Been staring at the photos especially 1964 and have started to put names to faces. I cleared my roof last year and found the Shire Oak GS magazines first to fourth editions ( 1965. -1968 ) ( probably not worth a lot!!!!) but have photos,stories etc

  6. Deryn Williams Singleton says:

    Trying to recall teacher’s names – from left
    Miss Ellis (Domestic Science), Miss ? (PE Girls), Mr Gorman (PE Boys), ?, ?, Mr Birch (RE), Mr Langley, Mr Butler (Physics), Mr Holden, (Dep head), Mr Merriot (Head), Miss Graves (Headmistress), Miss Langley (Biology), Mr Hunt (Geography), Mr James (French), Mr Seccombe (Maths), Mr Wimberry (Art) Miss ? (English), Miss Bush? (music),

  7. Mike Lillywhite says:

    Hi Deryn you’ve done well remembering so many names from back in 62. I remember some of them….Mr James the french teacher I always thought looked like the comedian Jimmy Edwards .. I think he was my first form teacher and made up new first names to call each of us which rhymed with our surnames so Keith Pointon became ‘Percy’ Pointon,Michael Lillywhite ( me ) became ‘Lawrence’ Lillywhite,Lawrence Higgot became ‘Horatio’ Higgot……you get the idea …made me chuckle. Then there was Mr Wimberry the Art teacher ….the class would normally deteriorate into a riot of noise which often led him to pleading with us to quieten down in case a senior teacher heard us! Mr Gorman with his bubble car …. Just little things you remember.There are more teachers names on the SOGS 1964 page ….do you remember them ? Were you still at the school then??

    • Deryn Williams Singleton says:

      Yes I was there then – I’m on this 1962 photo, must have been a First Year then, first girl on the far left sitting down on a chair above the row of boys that are sitting on the floor at the front – those boys on the floor in the first section of the larger pic as I remember are Neil Small, Andrew Dawes, Duncan Phillips, David Price, Donald Wilford, ?, Roger Garbett (?)
      I think you were in the year above me – some I remember, Andrew Birch, Tony Seele, Roger? Hancox, David Williams, Alan Shaw
      I’m also on the 1964 one looking as if I’m about to stick a pencil through Mr Poulson’s head!! Chemistry teacher, I think that’s the right name.

  8. Mike Lillywhite says:

    Yes you are looking fierce! I remember some of the names you mention in particular Alan Shaw, Neil Small,Roger Hancox …..also Keith Pointon,Robert Henshaw,Annette Jones ,Lesley Barber,David Wynn……I think you must have been in the year below me but your name rings a bell…a stab in the dark but I remember a girl from the year below me emigrating to Australia! during the mid 60s which was a big deal back in those days.
    I seem to remember that the school had a half decent orchestra conducted by Mr Weymess Holden ( deputy Head) and put on school plays …I remember Anthony and Cleopata was the first….despite the small numbers of pupils given it had only been open three years.My year was the first full sixth form In the school and yes Mr Poulson taught Chemistry and Mr Butler and Mr Roberts were both excellent teachers ..physics and maths respectively

    • Deryn Williams Singleton says:

      I remember Anthony and Cleopatra really well, Wendy Aston was Cleopatra and Mr Holden played Anthony. My mum was super critical of school plays and orchestras and even she was impressed!!. I didn’t emigrate to Australia but my school friend Judith Tams did in the late 60’s/early 70’s so might have been her. A boy in my form emigrated there in the mid 60’s – Wheeler (can’t remember his first name) I live in the US now but not for that long

  9. David Hughes says:

    I think the girl who emigrated to Australia was Joy Wycherley around 1964. Richard Chatham emigrated there in 1966. Like Deryn I’m also in USA now, but slightly warmer Texas

  10. Mike Moseley says:

    Hi -I went to Sogs in 1968—a little later than the photo,but some faces I remember-EB Merriott-the Boss-Wemys Holden—Wimberbury-Art–was the teacher in the suit Mr Briggs— chemistry—they were happy days
    Mike Moseley

  11. Pingback: Former Shire Oak Pupils Celebrate with a 6 decade reunion! | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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