Wellingborough Grammar School:   September 1943 to July 1947. 

By Keith Gennis

Pupil view 1933-39

Pupil view 1939-45

An Evacuee at WGS

Nora Bavin's View

Speech Day 1948

Member of Dragons House     School Number 329          See subsequent question/answer session.

Member of the School Choir

Member of the Scout troop - 6th Wellingborough (Grammar School). 

Member of the Railway Club.  ‘Albert’ Richmond ran the Club.  He was a North Countryman who called us boys “Great Donkeys”  He resided in Croyland Road.


I was in the following forms:  2A11.(1943-45)  3A11.(1944-45) 4A11.(1945-46) 5 B or Science Fifth (1946-47)

The 11 after the A  was in Roman numerals.

5B was sub divided into Science Fifth or Arts Fifth.


Head Masters:   Mr Woolley  and afterwards Mr Wrenn.


Masters at the School

Mrs Allan


Mr Sharpe


Mrs Castle / Colsel


Mr Sterry


Miss Pat Gregory


Mr Holmes


Miss Bates


Mr ‘Albert’ Richmond




Mr Burrel

French           (First Form Master  Room 4)

Mr ‘Sam’ Harris


Mr Nicholas

Deputy Head (Both Headmasters)

Dr Jackson


Mr Pratt


Mr A Kent


Mr. ‘Beery’ Ward


Mr Wintersgill




Mrs Allan and Mrs Castle were sisters.

Lady members of staff were called ‘Sir’

Miss Bates eventually became Mrs Jackson.

Lady members of staff had the front of their desks ‘filled in’ with the exception of Miss Gregory, whose desk remained ‘open’ to the delight of the boys.


Temporary Masters

Mr Findlay - An ‘old boy of the school down from Oxford.

The Vicar of Bozeat - he taught Divinity during the Term when there was no Head Master.  Mr Nicholas being Temporary Head.


Masters returning from theWW2.

Mr ‘Chunky’ Pine 


Mr Payne


Mr Dunning





Boys at School with me:

From Irthlingboro

 From Wellingborough


Tom Cartwright


Hayden Hodson


Sid Wells


Jim Wyman

From Rushden

Alan Powis


Brian Rabbit


Pat Hunt


Michael Martin

‘Gigs’ Neville





S.T.K. Smith

From Higham Ferrers




From Finedon

Frank Martin

Peter Loveday




From Earls Barton






NOTE - Frank Martin escaped from France during the war



Peter Loveday,     Elderton


The school buildings when I started were unchanged until 1946 when two prefabicated classes were built with a cloak room between on the North side of the school.   Mr Harris and T.G. Cook were the first masters in the two new classrooms.


Other Information

 T.G. Cook ran the Scout Troop.  Mr Dunning took over this once he returned having being demobbed from the RAF.


Starting at the WGS in 1943 - difficulty was in obtaining sufficient clothing coupons for the clothing required and also the actual clothing was in short supply both for the school kit, PT, Rugby and Cricket etc.  The cap - required uniform was called the ‘ringworm cap’ - these were unobtainable and a black cap with the school badge was the alternative.


Initiation Ceremony

I have a memory of leaving Victoria School and arriving at the WGS - with my new bicycle - second hand due to WW2 and on arriving I was hit on the head as I entered the school, by other scholars with their kit bags - bending my new bicycle a bit.   Every new boy was acted upon in this manner but about two years later one lad was badly injured and that was the end of that initiation.


Form rooms had to be cleaned by the boys after school every day - two boys were required for this.


In 1945 the School commenced their ‘Day Out’.  Everyone wanted to go to a Coal Mine - everyone went somewhere, not always to their choice - I went to London Brick Co’s works at Bedford = Stewartby, an excellent visit.  In the afternoon we went around a company - the name of which I cannot remember but they made electric lights bulbs.   The following year we had a visit to Wellingborough Iron Works - which was very enjoyable.


In my final year - 1947 several visits were made for people telling us about the work we might like to do.  I was fascinated by a talk about Metallurgy and this set me on the path for finding a job within this industry.   I went as a Staff Indentured Apprentice with Morris Motors (this eventually became British LeyLand) and never ever thought of changing it.  There were only two people so Apprenticed at Wellingborough - the other was a lad from Wellingborough School, which was always referred to by Mr Woolley as “people from that school down the road”.


 Keith Gennis (1943)    See question/answer session.