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Humphry Davy School

treeve

Major Contributor
1952 until 1957 that was the time. I soon realised that no matter, T Craske Rising knew our names, every one of the 400 of us. He could recognise, 'Venables back foot hoofing it around the corner'. It was a time, as I was also very much into Jennings and Billy Bunter on the radio. Mr Rising and I got fairly well acquainted eventually. I continued the tradition of getting into scrapes; I have now remembered an accident of great consequence. Two fellow pupils were thrashing it out violently in the hut. Ernie Guard [Mathematics teacher, genius and good all round guy] was off sorting some equipment. Being the noble idiot that I was, I tried to stop these two from wrecking the place and damaging each other. In the process, my left hand was sliced in the window glass literally as if it had been in a meat wheel. To say it bled was like saying the Niagra flowed. Tom Petters was the man of the moment, tied my wound up, and did all the necessary. My father was called in and he was none to pleased with me ... what do you wanna do that for? Somewhat the way he spoke to my mother when she dropped a plate. I was taken to the Outpatients at the hospital; needless to say they knew me there, very well, no cards, my name date of birth and blood group, common knowledge. Sister McCarthey, what a star she was, sort of a surrogate auntie. C'mon Raymond, what have you done this time? It finally healed after a fashion, and I have the scar now. Isn't it nice to have something to write in that box ... any distinguishing marks? As Tom Petters [Physics Master - also a remarkable man with a good sense of humour] hmmm, stupid boy, with great accent on the 'b'. We had some brilliant teachers who were with two exceptions good people. I do remember Pop Whiteman [geography - he had a perpetual drip on his nose, hence his nickname Drippy, but he was a fine gentleman, knew his stuff, all round knowledge, none of this specialised rubbish], Mr Hogg was our history man, and absolute gentleman and so full of knowledge it dripped down the corridor. Mr Tregenza was a French teacher in my later years [after Jeff Munro, all round good egg and madman], I remember him for his sense of humour and his teaching, as well as his 'think its funny boy? get to the back of the room, eh, eh? we had a system of conduct marks and merit marks. Get ten of the conduct and it was off tosee Mr Rising and select your cane. The swish of that cane was not a welcome sound. As a final insult it was given on The Balcony. For all to see. A smile from the secretary sometimes helped. Bung Waller was not a man easily forgotten. The chemi-lab [Chemistry Laboratory] was fitted with a giant desk and a roll down chalk board, as well as the lengths of desks for us lads. He was always quite upset at the use of words like stopper or cork, insisting 'Bung, boy!!' That is what he became. He was an absolute corker of a bloke. Like a favourite mad uncle. He would set upan experiment in a smoke chamber. It would stop ... hm... not supposed to do that... opens the door and of course the oxygen starts the system going and the room is full of fumes, mass exit stage left followed by a bear .... As for Doffy [Donald Behenna] the poor man was a musical genius and he was lumbered with this band of incompetent recorder players to teach. How he survived us I will never know. Absolute Patience. He never gave up on us. Those men gave me all the tools I needed on top of those I had learned from my grandparents. I feel very lucky. Incidentally my acquaintance with T Craske was not all at the end of a length of bamboo, I got it when it was deserved, admittedly. But I was often accused of being HM's pet, plain fact was he appreciated my help and my search for knowledge.
 
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I remember Mr Rowe when he first arrived, he taught Latin and acquired the name "Hairpin" because he was so skinny.
I also remember someone asking him what Hairpin was in Latin - he replied "Crinale"- so that became an alternative nickname for him.

Does anyone remember Mr Hayter with the infamous "Latin Machines".
I filed a 6" nail into the shape of an allen key and used it to open the machine and to look up the answers!
 

oldpenwithian

Senior Member
1952 until 1957 that was the time. I soon realised that no matter, T Craske Rising knew our names, every one of the 400 of us. He could recognise, 'Venables back foot hoofing it around the corner'. It was a time, as I was also very much into Jennings and Billy Bunter on the radio. Mr Rising and I got fairly well acquainted eventually. I continued the tradition of getting into scrapes; I have now remembered an accident of great consequence. Two fellow pupils were thrashing it out violently in the hut. Ernie Guard [Mathematics teacher, genius and good all round guy] was off sorting some equipment. Being the noble idiot that I was, I tried to stop these two from wrecking the place and damaging each other. In the process, my left hand was sliced in the window glass literally as if it had been in a meat wheel. To say it bled was like saying the Niagra flowed. Tom Petters was the man of the moment, tied my wound up, and did all the necessary. My father was called in and he was none to pleased with me ... what do you wanna do that for? Somewhat the way he spoke to my mother when she dropped a plate. I was taken to the Outpatients at the hospital; needless to say they knew me there, very well, no cards, my name date of birth and blood group, common knowledge. Sister McCarthey, what a star she was, sort of a surrogate auntie. C'mon Raymond, what have you done this time? It finally healed after a fashion, and I have the scar now. Isn't it nice to have something to write in that box ... any distinguishing marks? As Tom Petters [Physics Master - also a remarkable man with a good sense of humour] hmmm, stupid boy, with great accent on the 'b'. We had some brilliant teachers who were with two exceptions good people. I do remember Pop Whiteman [geography - he had a perpetual drip on his nose, hence his nickname Drippy, but he was a fine gentleman, knew his stuff, all round knowledge, none of this specialised rubbish], Mr Hogg was our history man, and absolute gentleman and so full of knowledge it dripped down the corridor. Mr Tregenza was a French teacher in my later years [after Jeff Munro, all round good egg and madman], I remember him for his sense of humour and his teaching, as well as his 'think its funny boy? get to the back of the room, eh, eh? we had a system of conduct marks and merit marks. Get ten of the conduct and it was off tosee Mr Rising and select your cane. The swish of that cane was not a welcome sound. As a final insult it was given on The Balcony. For all to see. A smile from the secretary sometimes helped. Bung Waller was not a man easily forgotten. The chemi-lab [Chemistry Laboratory] was fitted with a giant desk and a roll down chalk board, as well as the lengths of desks for us lads. He was always quite upset at the use of words like stopper or cork, insisting 'Bung, boy!!' That is what he became. He was an absolute corker of a bloke. Like a favourite mad uncle. He would set upan experiment in a smoke chamber. It would stop ... hm... not supposed to do that... opens the door and of course the oxygen starts the system going and the room is full of fumes, mass exit stage left followed by a bear .... As for Doffy [Donald Behenna] the poor man was a musical genius and he was lumbered with this band of incompetent recorder players to teach. How he survived us I will never know. Absolute Patience. He never gave up on us. Those men gave me all the tools I needed on top of those I had learned from my grandparents. I feel very lucky. Incidentally my acquaintance with T Craske was not all at the end of a length of bamboo, I got it when it was deserved, admittedly. But I was often accused of being HM's pet, plain fact was he appreciated my help and my search for knowledge.

Hi Treeve

Good to be back on "Picture Penzance". Lots of very interesting reminiscences here. Are you aware of the "Old Penwithians Association" for old boys and former staff of the old grammar school in Penzance? Have you thought of joining up as a life member - only £10? Life members receive a copy of "New Penwithian" the annual newsletter of the association and these reminiscenses would make a really good article for them to read. Have a look at our website www.oldpenwithians.co.uk
 

oldpenwithian

Senior Member
I remember Mr Rowe when he first arrived, he taught Latin and acquired the name "Hairpin" because he was so skinny.
I also remember someone asking him what Hairpin was in Latin - he replied "Crinale"- so that became an alternative nickname for him.

Does anyone remember Mr Hayter with the infamous "Latin Machines".
I filed a 6" nail into the shape of an allen key and used it to open the machine and to look up the answers!

Hi Tom

David Rowe also taught Russian would you believe! In 1980 when Humphry Davy became a comprehensive school David went to St. Austell College as a lecturer. When he retired he became the manager of the Driving Theory Test Centre in Penzance. David died a few years ago in a nursing home in Falmouth.

Alex Hayter's "Latin Machine" was a brilliant programmed learning visual aid. His fame spread and he was 'head hunted' by County Hall to set up and manage their new AVA Service for all schools in the county.
 
Yeah, I remember Hayter moving on to better things.
I remember a TV film crew come to film us using his blue machines, in the classroom just around the corner from Miss Kemp's office.
By the Gestetner machine where Snake used to torture small boys.

Bugsy was my Form Master while I was there from 1962 - 1967.

I was a serial rebel during my time at Humphry Davy and hated the regime - especially Rising - although bizarrely I still remember the school song word for word.
We were in the 1960's, but Rising ran it as though we were in the middle of the Victorian era.

I got sent for the cane once because the metalwork homework was how to join two pieces of metal together.
I think Tin-ass wanted some archaic method used 100 years before, but I put down "I'd ask my father to weld them together with an electric arc welder set at 110 amps using 12 swg rods".
Tin-ass didn't know anything about electric welders, so I got caned!

There was only a few teachers I had any time for, Ernie Tarbet, Bob Horn, Charlie Mac and Bugsy - can't think of any others offhand.
 

oldpenwithian

Senior Member
Yeah, I remember Hayter moving on to better things.
I remember a TV film crew come to film us using his blue machines, in the classroom just around the corner from Miss Kemp's office.
By the Gestetner machine where Snake used to torture small boys.

Bugsy was my Form Master while I was there from 1962 - 1967.

I was a serial rebel during my time at Humphry Davy and hated the regime - especially Rising - although bizarrely I still remember the school song word for word.
We were in the 1960's, but Rising ran it as though we were in the middle of the Victorian era.

I got sent for the cane once because the metalwork homework was how to join two pieces of metal together.
I think Tin-ass wanted some archaic method used 100 years before, but I put down "I'd ask my father to weld them together with an electric arc welder set at 110 amps using 12 swg rods".
Tin-ass didn't know anything about electric welders, so I got caned!

There was only a few teachers I had any time for, Ernie Tarbet, Bob Horn, Charlie Mac and Bugsy - can't think of any others offhand.

Should have used Araldite Rapid Tom!!
 
Morning, everyone! Humphry Davy School has just set up a great new Alumni Association. If you'd like to register for this please call 363559 or search for 'future first' online. Would be great to get as many people involved as possible. Look forward to hearing from you soon.
 

oldpenwithian

Senior Member
It should be pointed out that this new Humphry Davy School Alumni Association is NOT an alternative to the Old Penwithians Association for former students and staff of the school when it was a grammar school - up to 1980. The two associations will work closely together and existing members of the OPA are invited to join the new HDS Alumni as well, but any former student of the grammar school, particularly those who attended during the 1970's, should join the OPA first and then consider whether they wish to join the new alumni association as well.
 

jeremylees

Senior Member
Still in the seventies..Tin Ass Astin (Metalwork)
Zak Lynch (Divinity)
Hairpin Rowe was mostly Latin by the way
Ernie Guard (although he was really Eric I believe)
Fitt was occasionally Gyppo or Gyp-Fitt too
Strange how some had nicknames and others didn't
Don't think I remember any for Bennetts (Latin+Classical Studies), Goninan (Chemistry), Johns (maths), Todd (French, German), Harvey (deputy Head and a bit of biology), Ainsworth (German), Berryman (Maths), James (History), Pooley (Geog), Coneybeare (Geog), Tarbet (English), Ridge (English),.... And I believe it was always just MISS Duncan (music).
Bugs Bennett (as in Bunny)
Hugh Harvey
Speedy Rudlin
Tom Petters
Jack Dawe
 
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