PETER BLYTH, KES (1937-41)

Peter Blyth boarded at KES with F. T. "Toby" Saville after the latter had left Lynwood and moved into new premises further along Clarkehouse Road, opposite the Botanical Gardens on the corner of Southbourne Road.

There were never more than ten boarders at the school at any time and many of them were weekly boarders and went home at the weekend. These pupils lived outside Sheffield in, what is now, South Yorkshire and some came from Derbyshire and so they could return to their families relatively easily at the weekend.

Peter Blyth's family however was in India where his father was Manager of GKN's works in Calcutta. Occasionally Peter went to spend weekends with relatives at Coal Aston. Most of the boarders were in the Junior School, there were no Sixth Formers at that time although there had been earlier in the century. They were all members of Lynwood House.

Saville ran the boarding house (almost certainly his own house as Lynwood had been) with limited help from his wife who looked after their younger son. The elder son had been at KES but had now left and later was a wartime officer in the RNVR. He later became the registrar at QMC in the University of London.

The routine at the house was Spartan and Saville ran the place with firm discipline. Boys rose at 7.00 am and took a cold, even icy, bath, where they were individually supervised by Saville himself, who sat in the bathroom to ensure every boy took a bath. After breakfast it was off to school. For the Juniors that meant a relatively short journey across the road to Clarke House, the others went up to Glossop Road.

On their return they undertook homework after the evening meal and then up to bed (as early as 7.30 pm for Juniors) in one of two large bedrooms that each served as dormitories for four or five boys. There was little social activity at the house, although boys were encouraged to participate in school sports teams and societies.

The downstairs plan of the house included large rooms on either side of the front door which served as the sitting room, study and bedroom for Mr. and Mrs. Saville. He had the one on the left and she, and her son, had the room on the right. In the rear was a large room that served as the dining room and the common room, which did not have enough easy chairs for all the boys who crowded round the coal fire in winter to keep warm. All in all it was a fairly joyless place. Saville retired from KES in 1940, but then came back for a year and died in 1942. "Pop"' Baker now took over the Junior School and the boarders but appears to have moved to Broomgrove House, also on Clarkehouse Road, but immediately opposite the school.

Peter Blyth left in 1941 to go out to India, where he finished his schooling on the sub­continent in a small private school for the children of British nationals. He returned to England in 1944 when he was called up, but on being commissioned into the Intelligence Corps, he was returned to India because of his facility in Hindi and Urdu. He ended the war in Calcutta and was released from the services in 1947 with the rank of Captain, when India gained its independence.

At the age of 78 he is still the active chairman of two companies he founded, Blyth Marble and Blyth Metals. The latter company produces very high quality iron that is used in the manufacture of jet engine turbines and other precision products.

He lives in a delightful mill house in Stone, a small village near Roche Abbey.

John Cornwell
16th November 2005