bar.png
facebook small transe.png
twitter bird.png
Audio interviews A-H
Francis Bareham (staff 1947-79)
The late Francis Bareham spent the whole of his teaching career as history master at King James's Grammar School.
He was brought up on the Isle of Man where his father had a hairdressing business and later took his BA in History at the University of Liverpool. His mother was a teacher and this led naturally into his career in education.

Francis took a keen interest in the Old Almondburians' Society throughout his teaching career and during his retirement years. He died in his 89th year in June 2008.
Date of recording: 4th December 2006
Bill Braide (staff 1936-39)
The late Bill Braide was born in Warrington. He took a degree in English Language and Literature at Liverpool University before taking up an initial appointment at Ballymena Academy in Northern Ireland. Having family connections with Huddersfield, he was delighted when a vacancy at King James's occurred in 1936 and had a successful interview with Taylor Dyson in Huddersfield Town Hall. Bill Braide talks extensively about his three years at the School, which he describes as the happiest of his whole teaching career. In particular, he remembers his colleagues from that time, including Taylor Dyson himself, Walter Haigh, Leonard Ash, Edward Akroyd, Reg Addy, Fred Hudson and many others. Bill left King James's in 1939 to take up a position at Hanson Boys' High School, Bradford (where Fred Hudson and his brothers had been educated). He subsequently moved into Further Education and spent the major part of his career with the Inner London Education Authority where he held many senior positions.
Date of recording: 7th April 2010
David Bush (staff 1961-96)
Dave Bush was born in Billingborough, South Lincs. After studying at the University of Leeds, where he was awarded an honours degree in languages and met his future wife Margaret, he spent his entire teaching career at King James’s.
Beginning in 1961 as a junior Latin, French and English teacher under such ‘giants’ as Jim Toomey, Dick Addy and Frank Anderson, he progressively became housemaster of Jessop, Head of Latin and eventually Deputy Headmaster.
Between Harry Taylor’s retirement and Alan Conley’s arrival, he was Acting Headmaster; he describes the time spent sitting in Harry Taylor’s chair as his most daunting but inspiring time at King James’s. He retired in July 1996 and moved to South Wales.

Dave Bush’s diary compiled during his final year at the school, No beating about the Bush, was published by the OAS in November 2020. Copies can be purchased online on our Buy page.
Date of recording: 24th November 2007
Graham Cliffe (1959-66)
Graham Cliffe studied Law at the University of Manchester and initially trained as a solicitor. In 1988 he became County Court Registrar, a function which in due course became designated District Judge, and in 2000 he was appointed a Circuit Judge. Now retired, he was a designated Family Judge for York and North Yorkshire, specialising in family law issues but also undertaking some civil cases. He played a leading role in the legal action which led to the setting up of the King James's School Foundation which has assets generating many thousands of pounds each year to uphold and honour the status of the School. Graham is a former chairman of the Old Almondburians' Society who has the distinction of living within a stone's (or possibly a cricket ball's) throw of the School cricket field at the top of Arkenley Lane.
Date of recording: 4th December 2006
Allan Dobson (1947-63)
To the profound concern of his parents Allan Dobson left King James's to become an apprentice at Washpit Mill in Holmfirth. After 18 months he then joined the RAF to undertake his National Service as a radar mechanic based near Dover and later near Bridlington. Having decided that his parents were right and that 'life at t'mill' was not for him, he then joined the National Coal Board at Horbury to become an Opencast Executive (known in those days as a 'sunshine collier'). Then followed three years with Leeds City Engineers Department as a highways engineer, after which he joined JGL Poulson (Architects) where he spent six years in the 1960s. Having moved progressively into business development management, Allan worked in this capacity with a number of large construction companies including Wimpey and Balfour Beatty, before retiring in 2001.
Allan's father, Gerald Dobson, was a boarder at King James's from 1916 and later played a prominent role in the struggle to preserve the School's grammar school status in the late 1940s. Allan himself earned his place in the history of the School as a member of a small group of pupils who rediscovered the School Charter at a Yorkshire Archaeological Society exhibition in 1952.
Date of recording: 3rd October 2007
Roger Dowling (1952-58)
Roger Dowling started his education at Moldgreen County School in 1946 and joined Almondbury Grammar School in 1952. He subsequently studied electrical engineering and electronics for four years at the Royal Radar Establishment College of Electronics in Malvern before joining the BBC. During the following 25 years, he worked variously in London, Leeds, Bristol and Manchester, where in due course he became head of engineering and programme services. Roger left the BBC in the late 1980s and became a director of the business support organisation Nimtech. In 2000, he became a founding member of the specialist business conference company Washingtondowling Associates Ltd.

He is now retired but is Media Editor for the Old Almondburians' Society as well as playing the violin in two local orchestras.
Date of recording: 1st October 2006
Dr Ron Edwards (1936-43)
Ron Edwards started his education at Moldgreen Council School, where his father was Caretaker. After seven happy years at Almondbury Grammar School (then the traditional name for King James's Grammar School), he obtained his B Sc in Physics and Mathematics at the University of Leeds. He then joined the research department of Metropolitan-Vickers in Manchester during which time he took an external M Sc, followed by a Ph D at Durham University. After 11 years at Metropolitan-Vickers, he became Works Manager of Metro Cutanit Ltd and later Managing Director of Plansee Tooling Ltd at Grappenhall, near Warrington. He undertook further development work in Austria before retiring in 1990. Ron died in April 2014.
Ron is the author of Cutting Tools (The Institute of Materials).
Recorded in 2006
Richard Green (1957-63)
After leaving King James's Grammar School, Richard Green qualified as a Weights and Measures Inspector with West Riding County Council. During a long career, in the course of which the job broadened to cover the whole field of trading standards, he worked in Huddersfield, Barnsley, Oldham, Sowerby Bridge and Rochdale. He now lives in retirement at Netherthong with his wife Nicky, a former clerical officer at the School (see below) and still supports Old Almondburians' Society events whenever his interest in singing allows. Richard keeps in touch with King James's by undertaking invigilation duties as required.
Recorded on 8th May 2017
Nicky Green (staff 1991-2010)
Nicky Green was for many years a prominent member of the office team at King James's School.
Her father, Les Holroyd, also attended the School from 1930 to 1936; Les was a former Chairman of the Old Almondburians' Society. Her husband, Richard (see above) attended King James's Grammar School from 1957 to 1963.
Recorded on 8th May 2017
Frank Hall (1936-43)
Frank Hall was born in Almondbury, and his father became Verger of Almondbury Parish Church. A 'high-flier' at Almondbury Grammar School both academically and on the sports field, he went on to study at London and Cambridge Universities before joing ICI as a research chemist.

In due course, he became head of the research department at ICI Blakely and later, on retirement, a member of the Court of Governors and the Council of UMIST.
Frank recalls his school career and the teaching staff of his day.
Recorded on 15th March 2010
Michael Hardcastle (1944-51)
Michael Hardcastle was a prolific writer of children's books, mainly on a sporting theme, who received the MBE in 1988 for his services to children's literature.
On leaving school, he spent five years in the Royal Army Educational Corps serving in the UK, Kenya and Mauritius, before joining the Huddersfield Examiner as a reporter in 1956. He subsequently worked on the Bristol Evening Post as a diarist and literary editor, and moved to the Liverpool Daily Post as chief feature writer in 1965.

Michael Hardcastle's first book, Soccer is Also a Game, was published in 1966 to coincide with the World Cup. Since then he has written 147 more books, mainly about sport, on such topics as cricket, motocross, horse-racing and tennis. He made a generous donation to the School library in 1994 and was guest speaker at Speech Day that year.
Recorded on 3rd May 2007
David Heptonstall (1936-43)
After graduating from Bristol University, David Heptonstall briefly became a supply teacher at King James's before joining the BBC as a studio manager. But within a week he resigned (" . . . Perhaps a little precipitate, Mr Heptonstall?") and decided to follow a teaching career, leading to appointments on the Wirral, at Barnard Castle, Swindon and Lichfield. In due course, he became a deputy head teacher in Manchester and finally headmaster of Frank F Harrison Comprehensive Community School, Walsall. David had always enjoyed acting and often 'trod the boards' in School drama productions. He therefore decided, on retirement, to become a professional actor; initially, he toured with a Birmingham theatre company and he subsequently formed his own company, Millstone Grit Theatre, in Matlock. He has also appeared on television and is currently engaged in writing pantomimes.
Recorded on 9th January 2007
Gerald Hinchliffe (1933-40)
Gerald Hinchliffe is well known to all Old Almondburians as the author of the definitive history of King James's Grammar School, published in 1963. Gerald Hinchliffe graduated BA Hons at Leeds University in 1943. It being wartime, he then volunteered for service in the Intelligence Corps and served with the Duke of Wellington Regiment until the end of the war. After returning to Leeds to take his Diploma in Education, he became an English teacher at Scarborough Boys' High School in 1947. In due course he took an external M Ed degree at Leeds University. From 1955 to 1987, when he retired, Gerald was Lecturer (and then Senior Lecturer) in Education at the University of Nottingham.
Recorded on 5th June 2007
Stuart Hirst (1959-63)
Stuart Hirst's first job on leaving King James's Grammar School was with the Midland Bank. Having passed his banking examinations he decided that life at the bank was too predictable so, in 1966, he joined HM Customs & Excise. There was no shortage of variety in this job: during the following three years Stuart found himself undertaking a bizarre variety of tasks including counting the number of matches in boxes at Bryant and May, examining school stills to stop a Chemistry master (not at King James's Grammar School) from making illicit hooch, and having the role of customs man in a brewery. Unfortunately the introduction of VAT brought this type of work to an end and Stuart was given the chance to train as a Chartered Surveyor. He then joined the District Valuer’s Office (part of the Inland Revenue), qualified through a correspondence course and was involved in the huge Merseyside slum clearance programmes of the late 1960s and 1970s. He spent 26 years in this job, ending as a Principal working in Chester. In his spare time, Stuart appears in local amateur dramatic productions, on occasions with up to all four family members. He also sings in a choir and enjoys golf. Cricket is another lifelong interest: he has been secretary of Oxton Cricket and Sports Club for many years and is also involved in cricket coaching. Stuart married Jennifer, one of the Sampson triplets who hit the headlines in 1943, in 1967. They have a son Andrew, a daughter Sarah and six grandchildren.
Recorded on 10th November 2006
Austin Holroyd (1936-41)
Austin Holroyd left School after the Fifth Form to join the Public Assistance Department of Huddersfield Corporation. Then after a spell as a lorry driver (no licence being required in those days!) he joined the Navy and spent over three years travelling around the far east. At the end of the War, in 1946, he joined a small foundry in Huddersfield, Crowther & Gee Ltd and in due course became its owner. The company was sold in 1986, at which point Austin joined forces with his son and a friend to set up a rubber mouldings company, Huddersfield Polymeric, which was sold on Austin's retirement in 1992.
Recorded on 10th November 2006
Bryan Hopkinson (1967-74)
After KJGS and university Bryan wanted to travel but had no money, so he went into the Diplomatic Service and had a routine career abroad until in 1995 he was asked if he would be prepared to serve as Ambassador in Sarajevo. At the age of 38 he jumped at the chance and found it a fascinating experience seeing Bosnia through the transition from war to something quieter. He then became a freelance contractor to various international organisations including the International Crisis Group, an independent body offering political analysis and policy advice to governments. For them he established an office in Kosovo immediately after the NATO bombings of 1999 - it was a time of lawlessness, where revenge in the form of arson and murder went unpunished. Bryan then moved on to Montenegro in 2000 and more recently became a member of the UN administration in Kosovo.
Bryan is now back in the UK, living in Huddersfield.
Recorded on 10th November 2006