Remarks upon the article “Corporis non Neglegens”

by Terry Cook (KES 47 - 54)

It is remarkable how subtle changes can occur relatively quickly. In 47/54, football and cricket were played on the school close, as well as “Whiteley Woods, Bents Green, Furness (I believe this is the correct spelling) Field and Ringinglow”. Castle Dyke emerged during the latter part of my time.

Dr. A.W. Barton was invariably referred to by pupils as “The Boss”. There may have been a certain amount of fear involved, but certainly a lot of respect. As I’m sure you agree, this nick-name would never have been applied to N.L. Clapton, but there was some discussion as to whether he should be called “The Body”. Nothing of course came of this, and the rest is history.

In my early years “Twy” did teach some French. He taught me for maths one year, and we didn’t quite gel. I was bottom of the set for term work, but top in the exam.

We did of course make the trek to Whiteley Woods, but it was always by the No. 60 service bus, to Old Fulwood Road. From there, there was a walk down Woofinden Road (past a foul smelling pig sty) and down a steep field (in those days no concrete path). In wet weather it was a sea of mud and cowpats. This descended to the woods, across the River Porter, and up the other side across Whiteley Wood Road, along a footpath (mud again) and across the playing field to the pavilion. I have a cricket team photograph with said building in the background.

Games were always on Wednesday afternoons (the whole school!) - and there were “voluntary” games on Saturday Mornings, a relic of the former régime. Yes, we all changed at W.W. and walked to the other venues, finally showering (hot water possibly available) at W.W., then slogging back up the Woofinden Field to get the bus. The cellar was known to us as “The Dungeon”. I well remember Wag’s cordials (referred to by “The Boss” as “Waghorn’s various potions”).

I share those impressions of the pitches - but that is Sheffield. Re cross-country David Cook has confused two lane names in the Mayfield Valley. I can’t see how they can have gone up Quiet Lane. I think it must have been up Wood Cliffe (appropriately named) and then swung right, into the dreaded Hangram Lane. [The Sheffield A-Z sides with Cook Major: Quiet Lane leads from Whiteley Lane to the junction with Mayfield Rd, then becomes Wood Cliffe down to the Porter and up to Hangram Lane, where it changes to Cottage Lane. A drive, or indeed run, in contrast, reveals none of these names other than a single sign for Quiet Lane at the Whiteley Lane junction.]

He has mentioned Furness Field, on the other side of W.W. Rd. from the main playing field. It was used regularly for football, often with a pedigree bull grazing not far from the touch-lines, but I vividly remember the top of it was used as the starting point for my first annual cross-country race.

At the bottom of the field the assembled horde, spread out in a long line, had to squeeze themselves through a gateway, with mud and water quite literally above knee height. I lost a gym shoe in the quagmire, as did a member of 2A (Bobby Lamb, now regrettably the late Bobby Lamb). 2A meant that he had come through the old junior school - the last intake to do so - and boys from other schools went into 2D (2B and 2C were mixtures of both). East enders like me quickly got the idea they were all very posh, and must perpetually have plum stones in their mouths, but Bobby said, in an unusually earthy accent, “Doon’t matter,” retrieved his footwear eventually, and we carried on - a long way behind the field. There would have been about 120 starters. I came in 57th, which I thought in the circumstances wasn’t bad. Maybe the Arundel élite thought otherwise!

As far as I know Furness Field has no connection with furnaces, Boulsover’s or otherwise, but it is more or less between W.W. Hall (ruins of) and the Wire Mill Dam, the birthplace of Old Sheffield Plate.