The Old Almondburians' Society
OAS Written Archive
Written archive 1955-1968

The Written Archive summarises, in their own words, the careers and other activities of former pupils of King James ’s School. If you would like us to add YOUR details, please click here.
Anthony Horsfall (1955-1963)
After A Levels I took a PE course at St. Paul’s, Cheltenham 1963-1966. Teaching in Hertfordshire 1966-1992 at various schools 1992-present in Buckinghamshire, variety of posts, retiring last year from Assistant Head Teacher role and Head of Sixth Form. Married to Linda for 38 years, 3 children, Stephen, Amy and Lucy. Both girls have got married this year. In football, played, coached and managed at semi-professional level in S.E. of England until knees gave out. Have a season ticket at Aston Villa.

Edward Royle (1955-1962)
Student at University of Cambridge 1962-1968. Taught History at University of Cambridge 1968-1972. Taught History at University of York 1972-2004. Retired, now Professor of History, University of York.

Denis Taylor (1956-1959)
I left school in 1959 following my family’s move to Halifax. I completed my education at the Crosfley & Porter Boy’s Grammar School. Since then I have roamed around a good bit, including some years in the North of Scotland working in North Sea Oil. I returned to Halifax in 1980 and since then I have worked as a bus driver. I am now approaching retirement and have a host of memories to ‘keep me warm’. I do not think that my three years at King James’s Grammar School conferred any benefit on the school, although I remember the teachers and many school mates quite clearly. I don ’t suppose that anyone who remembers me will do so with much pleasure, none the less I regard my short time at the school as a privilege.

Peter Tracey (1956-1963)
After 30 years teaching in the North East of England, I then moved to the Czech Republic to teach there for four years. Now back in Whitley Bay, spending retirement organising Northumberland Schools Football, helping a furniture charity, running several Rotary Club campaigns and playing golf.

Kenneth Massey (1957-1964)
Having attempted, non too successfully, to burn down Jack Taylor’s new Biology laboratory, a career in the petroleum industry seemed appropriate. I spent 35 years with BP, primarily working for various downstream international marketing businesses. This took me all over the world including postings to Hong Kong, New York, Hamburg, Singapore and Houston. My long suffering wife, Elaine (of Greenhead) accompanied me and managed to bring up our two boys during this time. They are now 28 and 26, both gainfully employed. I retired 6 years ago and enjoy gardening and golf.

John Anthony (Tony) Hirst (1957-1964)
Went into Management Services and computing (early 70’s) after degree. Worked for Famous Systime in Leeds though didn’t have a company Ferrari. Went on trade mission to China before it was ‘opened up’. They had never seen Westeners before. Fell ill eating real Chinese food on a freighter in the South China Sea and was cured with mysterious Chinese medicines. Then went into consultancy, including artificial intelligence work. Ended up as special advisor to central government. Now retired except for been a warden for National Trust.

John Victor Collier (1957-1963)
On leaving school in July 1963 I immediately went to work for a firm of chartered accountants in Huddersfield. In the September I went to Huddersfield Tech to enrol for ‘A’ level English and found the tutor to be none other that the renowned Jock Anderson. In 1967 I joined the civil service. My ‘postings’ included a spell at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, where I came into contact with David Morphet, who had been head boy at KJGS during my first year. Apart from a 7 year spell of self employment I have been in the civil service ever since and now work for HM Revenue & Customs. I continue to support, remotely but passionately, Huddersfield Town. I enjoy most kinds of music, play the piano and am currently Chair of Charlton Male Voice Choir in Nottingham. I have three married daughters, three grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. I am married for the second time and my wife has a son and a daughter.

Rod George Hinchliffe (1957-1962)
Son of George Hinchliffe (Chairman of OAS 1966). I am currently a retired accountant living with wife of 38 years Elaine, in Robin Hoods Bay. 1 son of 26 years, a graduate working in brand management. Previously worked in finance related positions within the profession, industry and Local Authority in the UK, Africa and Caribbean.  I enjoy keeping fit, jogging and walking the North York Moors, travelling and reading. An invitation to any Old Almondburian, particularly 1957-1962, to fresh coffe etc whenever in Robin Hoods Bay area.

John Richard Hardcastle (1959-1962)
I left KJGS on my 16th birthday in October 1962 to go into banking with the National Provincial Bank. Subsequently left banking to join the Post Office, retired early from the Post Office in 2002. Spent about 3 years land surveying until I finally put out to grass a couple of years ago. I was not really academic at school and led as insignificant time there. I doubt many will remember me, however I enjoyed every minute of my time at KJGS, having never been to Almondbury prior to my first day at the school, I was immediately impresses by the scenic setting and this stayed with me to this day. I occasionally represented the school at football but regularly turned out for ‘Sid’ Chapman’s cross-country teams and kept in touch occasionally with Sid for a few years. Through Sid Chapman ’s encouragement I continued running and followed Pete Livesey down to Longwood Harriers. King James ’s was a source of Athletics for the Harriers. Derek Ibbotson and Granville Beckett being two of the many who proceeded me. In the last 25 years I have trained many athletes from KJGS and as president of Longwood Harriers I would hope this source would continue. Although I only attended for 3 years and enjoyed life at the expense of study, those three years were in the most part really enjoyable.

Alan Hinchliffe (1960-1964)
I left the school in November 1964 for Australia with just a Maths 'O' level to my name. Arriving ‘Down Under’ I worked in Sydney and Adelaide before signing as a regular soldier on my 17th birthday. My five years in the army included a tour of duty in South Vietnam with the Royal Australian Electrical and Mehanical Engineers 102 Field Workshop. I was back in Yorkshire by 1972 to kickstart my education and eventually gained my Certificate in Education at James Graham Teacher Training College in Leeds, where I met my wife Pauline Mullaney. Our three children Alexander, Thomasin and Eloise gained degrees in Microbiological Science, Law and Criminology respectively. Nowadays I live in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and continue my 30 plus year career in local government in Denbighshire, North Wales.

David Stead (1960-1968)
I have just moved from my post at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to become Medicines Procurement Specialist Pharmacist for the South West Strategic Health Authority. In these days of increasing NHS bureaucracy, I have discovered the pleasures of working in a team of 1 and working from home!! My son James is a professional musician, currently touring with the UK production of Godspell as well as running a 20 piece swing band and my daughter Caroline is at theatre school in Essex. My peers at KJGS will appreciate that they don ’t get their genes from me! My brother Richard (1972-1977) is now a Commander in the Royal Navy and is currently stationed at NATO somewhere in darkest Scandinavia.

Chris West (1960-1966)
I spent 2 years working in an architects office in Huddersfield, whilst doing A levels at ‘Tech’. 1968-1973 Leicester School of Art & Architecture. 1974 Registered Architect. Married Sandra July 1971 who taught languages at KGS late 70 ’s early 80’s. We have two sons, Jonathan and Gregory. Worked in Leeds since 1978, now director, looking after the Leeds office of a national architectural practice, JM Architects. Lived in Slaithwaite for the last 30 years.

Gary Douglas Boothroyd (1961-1968)
Since leaving KJS I trained to become a P.E. teacher at St. Paul’s College, Cheltenham, gaining Honours degree at Bristol University. Taught for 28 years in Birmingham, becoming Head of P.E. faculty at Holle School in Aston. Returned to North Yorkshire in 2000. Took up a writing career and published ‘Are You a Proper Teacher, Sir?’ – memoirs of a P.E. teacher in the inner city. I am working on a novel and a third book, hoping for publication in 2008. Huddersfield Town season ticket holder and member of Bedale Golf Club.

Michael Boryslawskyj (1963-1969)
Left school in 1969 and went to work at the then College of Technology on Queensgate (subsequently the University of Huddersfield). Employed as a technician in the Dept. of Chemistry. Studied for a degree in Biochemistry with Clinical Chemistry. Promoted through Senior Technician, Chief Technician through to Superintendent of Labratories. Studied for a PhD in Biochemistry, which I obtained in 1991. I then studied for the Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety and was appointed as the University Health & Safety Advisor. In 1996 I was appointed as the head of the office of Health & Safety and Occupational Health and a member of the senior staff of the University. I took early retirement for the University in 2005 at the age of 52. Now an independent consultant, married to Bernadette for 32 years with two daughter ’s in their 20’s. Hobbies include motorhomes and photography. Currently chairman of the local camping and caravanning club.

Peter Carter (1963-1970)
Graduated university College London, 1973-LLB, called to Ban 1974, Queen’s Counsel 1995. Practice from 18 Red Lion Court, London. Chairman of Ban Human Rights committee 2003-2005.

Martin Priestley (1963-1971)
Slipping rather gracelessly into later middle age, even though still married to Jane. Still also making music, especially with violinist daughter number two. Elder daughter reading Biology at university.  In 33rd year of teaching.

Richard Geldard (1964-1972)
After leaving King James’s, I read Mathematics at the Queen’s College, Oxford, graduating in 1975 with a second class honours degree. I joined Price Waterhouse in Leeds to train as a chartered accountant and qualified in 1978. Immediately I moved into their tax department and spent the next five years dealing with corporate tax affairs of several large local listed groups. In 1983 I joined Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) in Leeds as a senior tax manager and have remained there ever since, continuing to specialize in corporate tax. I qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in 1998, winning two prizes in the examinations including obtaining the highest total marks in the country. This success has led me to have substantial and continuing involvement with both the Institute and the Association of Taxation Technicians. I was a member of the Leeds branch committee from 1988 until about 2000 and filled all of the main roles including being chairman of two separate occasions. I was lead examiner for the Association ’s business tax paper for four years in the early 1990s. In 2001 I joined the national council of the Association and became Treasurer in 2002. I became Deputy President in 2005 and will become President from July 2007. I am also currently chairman of the Association ’s Technical committee. Outside of professional life my interests mainly revolve around trekking and music. I have trekked in the Himalayas on many occasions and the Andes twice. This has given me the opportunity to see some really spectacular scenery and explore some of the remoter parts of the world. Although not a technical climber, I have reached the summit of Mera Peak at 6476m – has any Old Almondburian been higher? I am a regular attendant at the classical music programmes in Leeds and Huddersfield. I also attend Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and try to find interesting programmes when on holiday. The most linguistically challenging was listening to Boris Godunov in Prague, sung in Russian with Czech subtitles!

BOB PARTRIDGE (1964-1967)
I left the school in '67 due to a family move to Gloucestershire and after GCE/A Levels at Chipping Sodbury Grammar went to the Gloucestershire College of Art & Design, Cheltenham to study Fine Art. I then followed my idealist inclination and joined the Art Teachers Diploma at Leicester Polytechnic and onto a career in Teaching. I have taught in schools in Oxfordshire and Kent (Judd School Tonbridge) and then to FE College in Sheffield for 10 years before joining Bishop Grosseteste University College as Head of Art in 1995. This coincided with my completing an MA Fine Art. I worked with some great colleagues here in both art and education - and with an excellent Principal! However in 2006 I moved again this time to Huddersfield - the University - where I teach on the Contemporary Arts degree - oh yes and have started a Phd at Sheffield Hallam.

My daughter Rachel is Head of Dance at a school in Leeds having studied at Bretton Hall, my son Jamie is at the Royal College of Art studying Fine Art, and my son Henry is at New College Worcester and in Year 10 - he has always wanted to be a paleontologist but has decided now it's zoology... I have now been teaching for 36 years and enjoy both teaching and studying and although at King James for a short time I have found that its resonances are inspirational!

William John Best (1965-1971)
After leaving school, I went to Sheffield Polytechnic and gained a BA in Public Administration. This led to a career in Housing Management in Sunderland and then NE Derbyshire District Council, where I was head of housing for 20 years. In 1999 I left to join the private sector and am now a Housing and Regeneration Consultant. I left Derbyshire after 28 years to move to Formby on Merseyside before Christmas with my wife Susan. We have two grown up children, Jennifer who has emigrated to New Zealand and Andrew who lives in Manchester. My brother Andrew, four years younger, who also went to KJGS is also married with two grown up children, lives in Bradford and is an Inspector in the West Yorkshire Police. I still keep in touch with Bernie Hoyle, Pete Vickerman and Stu Sykes from school.

Ian Richard Hales (1966-1973)
Currently employed as a Personal Tax Manager by Auber Rhodes Ltd in Bradford. Still coaching cricket. Chairman of YCB Coaching sub-committee. Married to Helen, with two children born 1990 and 1991.

Graham Stuart Sellens (1966-1973)
After leaving KJGS went to Cambridge to study natural sciences, captained cross country and ‘Blue’ in cross country and athletics. Married Shirley, who I met in 1971 on a school holiday to France organised by Pete & Liz Heywood, joint trip including KJGS and Holme Valley G.S. After moving to Doncaster to work for Yorkshire Water, took up orienteering and mountain marathons. Then an unsuccessful move to East Anglia and a life-changing decision to study medicine at Sheffield. Was captain of orienteering club and started skiing. Now a general practitioner in Haslingden, Lancashire. After several successful mountain marathons, partnered by brother Martin, had to give up running due to knee problems (does Jack Taylor remember having to carry me off the football pitch in 1973 with a locked knee??) Not wanting to concede to age and infirm, I still mountain bike, ski with a brace and am secretary of our local sub-aqua club. My two sons are 21 and 19, both play rugby union (backs) and Paul the eldest is a 3rd year medical student at Sheffield. Thanks to Ken Ireland, Dave Bush, Jack Taylor and ‘Bill’ Chapman for getting me into sport and Pete Heywood – I’m still happily married to Shirley.

Robin Lindsey Beaumont (1968-1976)
With the big five – oh only 4 months away, life is taking on major shifts for me. After almost 15 years with Kodak, I was recently sold off with the rest of the health group to become Carestream Health in Hemel Hemstead, where I have strategic purchasing responsibility for warehousing and transport across Europe, Africa and Middle East. (That stalwart of the Photographic Society, NK Parsons is still at Kodak) After 10 years with our local youth football club, I have no team to coach next season, but it took only 2 weeks of looking forward to being ‘just a Dad’ to get myself roped into senior club Buntingford Town as vice chairman, where the assistant manager is a former 1st X1 opponent from St. Gregorys, one Tony Galvin, who was also a contemporary of mine at Hull University before his glory with Spurs and Ireland. One constant is home with Hilary, long suffering wife of 26 years and sons, Liam (17) and Jordan (13) in rural mid-Bedfordshire. We have just reached 19 years residence in Clifton (which is not as long as near neighbour, Barry Livesey, who was at KJGS some years before me). The school ’s 400th anniversary coincides with the 40th year since my year group took its first nervous strides down St. Helen ’s Gate. Anyone fancy organizing a reunion? It’s not my turn: D.G.C and I did it 20 years ago!

Kim Christopher Dyson (1968 - 1975)
After early years commuting from Berkhamstead, Herts, to agency jobs around London, broken by a four year spell in Kingsberg, Norway, I moved to the United States in 1994. Now a permanent US resident, living in suburban Houston and working as a Structural and Marine specialist engineer on deep water oil and gas developments, primarily subsea structures. Will be celebrating silver wedding to Susan in July 2007. Daughter Emma, 21, is studying sonography and son Benjamin, 19, is studying pharmacy. I enjoy sailing in Galvestan Bay most weekends and am trying to explore further down the Gulf Coast when time and hurricane seasons allow.

David Gary Croft (1968-1975)
Past Chairman of OAS on two separate occasions.
Head of survey department and director of Boultons Estate Agents.
Director and joint owner of Thorpe House Nursing Home, Almondbury.
Trustee of KJS Foundation (only recently!)
One daughter currently at the school (Year 7)
Two daughters are past pupils, Bethany is now doing a BSC in Psychiatric Nursing at Manchester University and Lucinda is reading Maths at York University.