Grangefield Grammar School, Class 4R, 1964 – 65

Class 4R, 1964 – 65 with Mr P A Sedgewicke in charge!

Apologies for any errors:-

Back Row: ??, Billy Hugill, Alan Penson, Alan Harley, ? Cowan.

3rd Row: Thirlwell Ward, Dixon Beaumont Lyall(!), David Gibson Callendar Richard Hewitson Andy Malkin, Jonathan McClemont.

2nd Row: ? Beeston, ? Spendley, Mervin Blades, Spence (?), Roberts (?), me (Rob Mills), Johnny Crowther, John Little, Cliff Plummer, David Haigh, David Mackin.

Front row: Alan Moody, ? Wardell, Chris Allan, George Hilder, PAS, Trevor Pollard, ‘Jakey’ Blakey, ‘Oliver’ Postgate, Ian Elenor

We were pretty cool cats in our sports jackets, flannels and V-necked jumpers! Chelsea boots and hush puppies making appearances as well. I always thought GGS’ liberal view on uniform really set us aside from the lesser breeds of SGS and Richard Hind.

This was my last year at Grangefield; My dad was transferred from ICI at Billingham, down to their new Severnside plant outside Bristol.
There I started at a mixed(!) school, and spoke to girls – other than my sisters – for the first time since leaving Billingham North Junior. At 15 1/2, that was brilliant.

Photograph and details courtesy of Rob Mills.

18 thoughts on “Grangefield Grammar School, Class 4R, 1964 – 65

  1. My friend Mervyn Blades passed in 2020. Had good days fishing at Saltburn and playing as wing forwards in the U14s. Knew Merv from 8 years old in Newtown primary. Never saw him after we moved to Canada


  2. I’d be interested to hear what happened to classmates after leaving Grangefield, in particular JD Crowther, who went to university in Dublin, I think ? Sadly our friend Jonathan Mark McClemont (1950-2006) from Hurworth is no longer with us.


    • I went to McClemont’s funeral in 2006 and met up with Blades who himself died recently. I went to Trinity Dublin and switched to philosophy. I worked in the Middle East 1977 to 1986 and have been living in Jersey since then. We have two sons both of whom went to Imperial London, one doing medicine and one biochemistry. If anyone would like to get in touch, the Picture Stockton team ( will forward on my email address


  3. Thanks for the photo and the almost faultless naming, Rob Mills. If you look at the 1949-1950 index of DurhamSE birth registrations in you’ll find most of the names with correct spellings: Colin Ward, Jeff Roberts, George Hilder, Ian Elener et al. ‘Bob’ Cowan must have been Thomas (Robert) Cowan.
    The only person in the photo I do not recognise is me – at the left of the back row. I’d only just joined the class at Easter 1965 from Stanley Grammar, whose black blazer I was still wearing. Geography teacher and WWII RAF hero Ken Whitfield used to call me a ‘northern hairy’, which seemed fair enough as I came from the north (of County Durham)


  4. It’s David Callender. Not related to Alan as far as I know, who was several years above me. My brother is Geoff, who is 6 years younger than me. Don’t remember owing John Little any money! We used to play squash together occasionally at one time. I don’t think I can add any new names. Good to see them again and still be able to match to the faces!


  5. Hi Rob, Your story is very similar to mine. I left Grangefield in 1964, after A levels, to join my parents in Bristol. My Dad had also transferred to the Severnside plant when it started up c.1962.
    Are you related to George Mills who lived at the other end of Lomond Ave. to us?


    • Hi Malcolm, Yes George Mills (still with us, bless him) is my dad. I’m sure we came round to your house, soon after we moved down to Thornbury. Did you live in Patchway?


      • Hi Rob,
        My parents (both sadly passed) stayed in the same house in Patchway throughout their life. My wife and I took it over in 2000 just before I retired so, yes, I’m back to the place you probably visited. It would be good to meet up some time.


  6. Hi Rob,
    I know a lot of the faces through my husband……who is in the photo, Nigel Wardell.
    David Haigh, also in the photo, is sadly now no longer with us. He married my friend Marion Smith.


    • Hi Janet, just come across this site. I new Nigel very well as he was a good friend of Paul Bennington’s and used to make sure I was safely escorted home. We used to go to the Scout Coffee bar quite a lot. I knew David Haigh, very sad to hear of his passing. I know the name Marion Smith, but unfortunately I can’t’ remember where from. I was involved with Guiding so maybe that is where I know her from. Is Nigel still in contact with Paul Bennington as I would love to get in touch with him again, it’s been a long time.


  7. Hi Rob – I remember you……In DEC Cawleys English class he quizzed us and you were the only person well informed about current affairs (like who was foreign secretary that kind of thing). He went back to ICI in the end.

    Top left is John Cameron?
    David Penson not Alan.
    David or Alan Calendar (one was the other’s brother. I think the one in the picture still owes me 19s for Grangefield old boys dinner…)
    Chris Beeston
    Chris Spence
    David Thirlwell?
    Martin Spendley?

    I think your others are all correct but I can’t remember first names for messrs Ward, Cowan, Wardell (Nigel?), Ward and Roberts

    Talking of girls – there was the incident when classicist head Bradshaw made an announcement in assembly about “intercourse through the wire netting”. (The tennis courts were on the boys/girls schools boundary….). There was quite a new initiative in the 6th form when we had joint discussion events/days with the girls – not many I don’t think.

    John Little


    • Hi John, well its been a long time. I don’t remember the Mr Cawley incident, but I’m sure I remember being round at your house. Did you have a piano?
      Intercourse through the wire netting…. Grangefield boys were always resourceful and determined!


      • Rob – Hi. Sorry, I haven’t been back to this website for a while so I didn’t spot your reply.

        Yes we had a piano in our house next door to the Coop in Bishopton Road. I seem to remember you and Mervyn Blades coming round and bashing out some tunes. I never could sing though.



    • John Little – we used to play Brubeck together, you piano, me drums and played in the school hall on our last day. I’d love to get in touch. I switched to philosophy at Dublin after a term and ended up with an MA and then became a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser. Been in Jersey since 1986 after ten years in the ME including 1977 to 1979 in Tehran. The site will give you my email. I’m in the Jersey directory.


    • As a Richard Hind lad who attended Grangefield Grammar in the Sixth Form I was not made to feel part of the school by some of the teachers and also by some of my fellow students. I did however develop some long standing friendships that have stood the test of time, 51 years to be exact.


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