The Portman Collection – part two: On form


Image 4: I think these are class photos, this one of an older group of pupils. Photo generously supplied by Tony Portman via David Evans. Click for a larger version.


Tony’s notes for image 4. Click for a larger version.

In the second serialised article of what will turn out to be quite a few, here’s the next three photos from Walsall Wood Secondary School in the 1950s with accompanying notes, as introduced in this blog post here – This time, I am including the handwritten notes by Tony himself below each image.

I shall post the photos in batches of three so we aren’t swamped with too much information at once – and these ones all seem to feature form or class groups. I shan’t comment on the notes directly, or attempt to transcribe: these are clearly a matter for readers as they obviously raise questions as well as answer them – and the last thing I want to do is lead the witnesses!

Thanks to Tony Portman who generously granted access to a remarkable collection, and to David Evans for scanning them so diligently. People like you gentlemen are keeping local history alive. Thank you.

Please, any comments, contributions or observations welcome. Either comment here, or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.


Image 5: I note the dapper, flamboyant looking teacher is in this one, 8th from left – that makes him ‘Barry Wadison’ from the notes (below), I think. Who was he? He looks like a real character. Photo generously supplied by Tony Portman via David Evans. Click for a larger version.


Tony’s notes for image 5. Click for a larger version.


Image 6: Some great skirts on this one, particularly second left, front row. Photo generously supplied by Tony Portman via David Evans. Click for a larger version.


Tony’s notes for image 6. Click for a larger version.

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9 Responses to The Portman Collection – part two: On form

  1. Jane Griffiths says:

    Hi My father in law was john Griffiths row 9. Unfortunately he passed away in 2010 aged 70. His grandson has recently left the current Walsall wood primary for secondary school. It was lovely seeing the photo of him, shame he’s the only one turning his head. Thank you

  2. david oakley says:

    Hi Bob,
    Image number four makes its appearance, thank to Tony and David, so who do I know? Must be careful this week. At the touch of a few keys, last week, I sent one young lady spinning off to Australia about forty years ago, while she was still berthed, comfortably in Oak road, Walsall Wood. Wrong sister, you see. However, this faux pas brought its own little dividend, inasmuch as I met a fellow blogger, son of yet another sister, who knew some of my family that I hadn’t seen for years, who brought me up to date, so thanks, Trevor.
    But back to image number four, Jumping Jehosaphat !! I know at least six people, let’s start with the Peace brothers, Tony and Jim. Are you sure, David ? POSITIVE !! Think I could fail to recognise the younger brothers of my sister’s husband ? This pair of young scamps came from Green Lane, with a father born in the vicinity in the late 1800’s, when the area was very much a hamlet, virtually one of the earliest settlement of Walsall Wood. What tales the elder Mr. Peace would have told, as a primary source, of the development, of the area, and beyond.
    The Allan girls, were they twins ? Tony had a problem, identifying them, apparently, but I remember them as two little girls, living on the left-hand side of Coppice Road, with large gardens which nearly went back to the canal. Mrs, Allan, a green-fingered lady, did a good trade in young plants. I went there every growing season, and was never disappointed with the quality .
    Little Hazel Teece. A sunny little thing. Parents devout Christians. I wonder, Hazel, if you’re still with us, if you still remember the hymns and chorus’s at the House of Prayer, Coppice Road. No longer a chapel, but thankfully preserved. Your Dad, Ted, I remember, worked at Four Oaks in the war, and travelled by motor-bike. Lovely, innocent days !
    Finally, John Griffiths. I had earmarked Jack for special mention, but was pleased that Jane had entered the blog. Sad new that John is no longer with us, but my question is, Was John the son of Jack Griffiths, from Brook Lane, universally known as ‘Jack, the baker’, for delivering bread for longer than I remember from the local bakery. There’s fame for you! Everyone knew him. I’ve had more than one pint with him, in the Red Lion. If I’ve got the right family, my kind regards to Jack’s great-grandson, with every success in the future. Old Jack would be very proud.
    Well, that’s it, for me. Been through the other images, seen many old Walsall Wood names, but nothing else registers. Must know some of these youngsters, or their parents, at any rate. All my chickens came home to roost, in image number four. Musn’t push your luck.


  3. Shirley Workman says:

    hi like your comment on last photo of Portman Collection part two i am that person you pointed out My maiden name was Millerchap i used to live down Hall Lane later move to Peake Crescent I now live in North Wales lovely to see the old school pals

    • Pat Hill nee Hutchinson. says:

      Hi Shirley do you remember me I am Pat Hutchinson I lived the other end of Hall lane to you . Its lovely to see the old faces

  4. Lisa says:

    My dad, Brian Downes, is on the last photo…. Typically, he is the one looking away from the camera, as he did on nearly every photo taken of him to date 🙂

  5. Melanie says:

    My dad ken lindon is on 1st photo, he sadly passed away 2yrs ago

  6. Pauline Dwyer says:

    Hi Bob, my daughter found this site, and I was flabbergasted when she bought the photo for me to see of when I was at school ,with all my classmates of long ago! My name was Pauline Clawley then, ( but you have called me Maureen) I lived in Stewart Road Walsall Wood, but now live in Cornwall, which I love! I recognized so many of the pupils on there, and it whizzed me down a “Time Tunnel” Mr Mathias was my favorite teacher Bless him! I always came top of the class in English with him in all the exams (Still have my reports) I have a photo that I think must have been taken the same day in the Needlework class with one of the Allen twins and Jean Benton, (who I am sitting next to on the group photo) I can send you this if you would like to add it to your collection! Thanks for the Memories.

    • BrownhillsBob says:

      Thank you! Tony’s notes are from memory so some might well be a bit fuzzy!

      it’d love to see that thank you!

      Glad you enjoyed the post


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