Author Topic: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.  (Read 17871 times)

cudge

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #30 on: 10:53:14, 07/05/17 »
I stumbled across this site by pure accident. After 52 years I wondered if anyone else remembered Sibo.
Firstly I have to take offence with the comment - It is nothing short of an outrage that failed students should choose to tell blatant lies about him.
I can assure you sir that I was not a failed student, and that you were lucky not to have been one of the chosen boys.
My real name is Rob Curran and I attended NMGS between 1960 and 1965.
I came from an extremely poor family in Moston and it was a struggle for my parents to buy all the required clothing and equipment.
I was eleven and a half when I started at NMGS and on only the second day in assembly I was being spoken to by Jeffrey Gibbons (big lad - nice guy). I was terrified and just asked him to shut up. Sibson pointed directly at me and told me to go and wait outside his office - I was crying before I reached the end of the row. He didn't get me to drop my trousers the first time and I received Black Bess.
There were two questions - the first was "What do you have to say?" - I soon learned that the answer was "Thank you sir"
The second was "Will your parents have anything to say" - That was a no brainier as my parents would never be told of this incident or the many that followed in the next five years.
I don't ever remember being a bad kid - a bit mischievous maybe - but I did consider myself one of the unluckiest at the school because I was constantly being hauled into Sibsons office.
Sibson did have a cane and I remember being amazed at how he could put six perfectly parallel lines on your backside with it. If I got the cane it was leaning over his leather sofa with trousers down. Black Bess was with trousers intact. There was always an inspection of the wounds after each beating conducted with his hands.
John Elam and Crumpsall boy have both summed up the regime more eloquently than I could.
I remember thinking that I must have held the world record for beatings from Sibson.
Luckily at the time I was a mixture of happy daft and a bit wet behind the ears, and don't think this treatment affected me in any negative way. Who knows?
There were some great teachers at NMGS notably Jake Milburn - who instilled a love of maths.
There was also a very nice deputy head - I think his name was Grey - could be wrong. He taught French and would always say Bonjour Monsieur if we passed in the corridor.
There was a gym teacher who we called Jim Jones - and if you got two off him with a gym shoe you knew it was going to be worse than anything Sibo could inflict. There was also a form teacher called Mr Jolley - he was my form teacher in the fifth year and was so soft the class gave him a really bad time . The rumour was that he retired having had a nervous breakdown!
There were also some notable friends at school who protected me from the many bullies (I was pretty soft and a prime target). Names of some were Nigel Burke, Bob Lees, Baz Whitton, Ken Appleby, Dave Foster, Alan George (a huge kid) - and many more.


I have a grandson who is now eleven and a half - he starts secondary school in September - he is a mere child, and it makes my blood run cold to think that anything like my treatment could happen to him.


No regrets, but please take off the blinkers regarding Sibo, He was evil.

PhilPlatts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #31 on: 11:18:01, 07/06/17 »
Rob (Cudge), as you've used your real name I hope it's OK to reply and say that I have a very vague recollection I knew you, though only as an acquaintance. I'm really stretching the memory but did you/do you have a sister called Susan, or is the memory playing tricks? I too lived in Moston and it wasn't that big a place.


I'm so sorry to hear about your experience at NMGS. As I said in my own post I was lucky and didn't come onto the headmaster's radar, but there was and is so much circumstantial evidence that I am surprised there are some who are so dogmatic in denying the possibility. Proving a negative is always difficult I think...

cudge

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #32 on: 11:03:29, 08/06/17 »
Phil,
I do remember your name - like you say I think we were only acquaintances.
Yes I do have a sister called Susan  - how would you remember such a thing ?
Do you remember Stuart Doughty and Steven Greatorix  - which years did you attend ?
Fascinating stuff.

PhilPlatts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #33 on: 15:47:30, 08/06/17 »
Hi Rob - yes, frightening isn't it, these random things people remember? Not to be disrespectful to your sister of course, just that I didn't know her either! I think though that Susan - and maybe you - knew my former wife better, Lynn McLoughlin, used to live just behind Lily Lane school. Sadly we broke up a long time ago...


I attended the school from 1963 to 1969. For the latter part of that Mr Slater was the head master.



Again, just to say how sorry I am to hear of your experience at NMGS. I can well understand your annoyance when others who 'escaped' appear to be in denial. I hope that is something you were able to deal with after you left the school and that you're having a great life now. I don't/didn't know the two guys you mention but I'll bet if we listed our pals from those days sooner or later we'd find some mutual ones!


All the very best Rob.


Phil

cudge

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #34 on: 21:52:51, 08/06/17 »
Phil, brilliant stuff. I am not looking for sympathy from anyone. I honestly don't think that what Sibson did to me affected me in any way - like I stated I was happy daft and used to laugh about it. What distresses me is that it may have had a significant effect on other boys.
I never do social media and have never posted a comment on web sites.
I understand that 99.9 percent of the boys who attended the school thought it was good - I thought it was good. I can also understand that 99.9 percent of pupils could not believe that Sibson was bad. What did annoy me and made me respond was the fact that jtonroe chose to call us failures and blatant liars. I do not know jtonroe, and have no desire to know him. He does not know me and has no right to call me a failure and a liar. Simple as that.
I will quiz my sister as to whether she knew your wife. The name does not ring any bells with me.
Unfortunately I had to leave school after my O levels, as coming from a family of ten I was expected to start contributing as soon as possible.
I have, up to date, had a fantastic life - married the most beautiful girl in Moston when I was twenty (she is still with me - she must be daft). Had a son when I was 21 who is now my best friend. A gorgeous daughter 3 years later. Two grandsons who are the world to me.
Done ok for a failure.
Nice to hear from you Phil - you sound ok. You were 3 years behind me so maybe you remember Graham Beesley. He is one of my greatest friends.



PhilPlatts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #35 on: 08:40:07, 09/06/17 »
Oh my goodness, Rob. Graham Beesley is the same age as me and was not only my best friend as a kid but my next door neighbour!!!!!
I did swap something with Graham on the old Friends United but I haven't heard from him in years. As you use the present tense, he 'is' one of your greatest friends, I'm assuming you're still in touch, so please say a big hello to him from me.
I'm so very glad to hear how things have turned out for you Rob. I think you are overstating things though to suggest 99.99 % of NMGS pupils thought the headmaster was good, in the sense that's been discussed in this thread. I'm sure you'll find at least as many agree with your viewpoint as don't. And you are right, it is wholly wrong to label anyone as a failure because they 'spill the beans' on what happened to them. That kind of attitude is what let the likes of a certain radio DJ get away with what he did for so long.
It's been really good to make contact with you.
All the very best.
Phil

PhilPlatts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #36 on: 08:50:11, 09/06/17 »
Rob, just out of interest, am I right in assuming you're not related to Jimmy Curran who lived in Moston?
Phil

cudge

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #37 on: 20:47:41, 11/06/17 »
Well I do have an elder brother called Jim - but probably not the Jimmy Curran you are thinking of ! There was a Jimmy Curran about the same age as my brother who played in goal for Manchester United who came from Moston or thereabouts ! I used to be asked regularly if I was Jimmy Curran's brother and the answer was obviously yes - don't know how many people I conned with that one !
Graham Beesley sends his regards.

beesleg

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #38 on: 09:23:07, 12/06/17 »
Just spent a great weekend with Cudge and his missus. We usually end up chatting about old times and obviously, this weekend' this blog was discussed in detail.
Great to see an exchange of thoughts between my best mate from my old street in Moston and my great mate Rob, who I actually met at work rather than in Moston or NMGS. There are too many stories like Rob's for the Sibo thread to be anything other than true. When you start at 'big school' you think you are 'grown up' but in fact you are n'but a child.
The idea that someone in authority can play out their wicked fantasies with impunity is both upsetting and infuriating.
Although I found my way into Sibo's office a couple of times, as far as I recall, I did not suffer the humility of his devious fetishes.
Great to hear from you Phil, trust you are fit and well, perhaps a pint and a catch-up are in order?

PS to one and all on here, if you ever find yourself on Facebook we have a Group for former pupils at 'North Manchester Grammar School for Boys'  This topic has been raised on there too!

PhilPlatts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #39 on: 17:45:49, 12/06/17 »
Hi Graham, and Rob.
Odd, I was opening up the thread to reply to Rob and say that I fancied the idea of coming over to Manchester and catching up with a pint or two, when I picked up your own post Graham.
I wondered if to spare the good people on this site from our own little separate chat in the corner maybe we could continue this little bit on email? I'm happy to start that by giving my email address, [email protected].
Graham, I'm not on what I might call 'interactive Facebook' but have a Facebook page (long story...) How do I find the page you mention in your post?
Best wishes to all.
Phil

Chris Cullen

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #40 on: 21:58:53, 20/06/17 »
I have been reading the posts, mainly about Sibson, with great interest. I can't offer an opinion on the extent of his abusive behaviour, but it seems to be extensive. I went to the school from 1961 to 1968, when I left to go to Bangor University. Among the friends I remember were Ian Davidson (who has been a GP in Sheffield for many years), and Barry Tilby and Norman Johnson, who I would love to know about.
My one (I believe) caning was for copying my Latin homework on the bus when I was in the First Year. I was called out in front of the class, my trousers pulled down, and six strokes to the rhythm of "amo, amas, etc." My shame was that my underpants were torn and probably not very clean; I came from a poor single parent home in Crumpsall.
In my second year, I think, I was punched in the face by a Sixth Former who I challenged over his bullying a little black kid in the school yard. Something to do with taking turns on the ice slide that had been made. I had to be taken to hospital with a badly split lip. It was some days before I could eat properly. Sibson made the lad come to my house to apologise.
However, one of my overriding positive memories is going on a walk from Hayfield to Edale with Jake Milburn. I was really embarrassed that my mother made me wear a pair of stout black boots that my grandfather had given me. When we stopped at Edale Cross he gathered the group around and told everyone that if they were serious about hiking then they had to get boots "like Cullen is wearing". I could have burst with pride. It was the first time I had ever had something that the other boys didn't. That started an abiding passion for climbing and hill walking which persists to this day.


PhilPlatts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #41 on: 22:33:16, 20/06/17 »
A lovely story Chris. Given that I was one of those lucky enough not to have had any problems with Sibson, I would never wish to try to diminish the accounts of those who did, but at least there are some posts showing the better side of the man.
I love the story of the boots.  Thanks so much for recounting this. I was at NMGS 63 to 69 and remember Jake Milburn. Renowned I think for being very strict, but obviously very fair too.

cudge

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #42 on: 21:17:44, 23/06/17 »
I was taken on a walk in Derbyshire - Mam Tor - a fabulous day - probably the first time I ever saw a sheep ! I had to go in my school shoes and remember being very envious of you boys in boots !
Jake Milburn was my first form master and a great teacher - one of the few I remember - a good man !

Phil the Mill

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: North Manchester Grammar School For Boys.
« Reply #43 on: 11:53:07, 15/10/18 »
I too, have stumbled across this website. I had postings on Friends Reunited - now gone. I was at NMGS from 1958 to 1966 and became the last Head Prefect appointed by Mr. Sibson (I'd understood his name was ROBERT Martyn Sibson). I twice received 'four of the best' from, I believe 'Black Bess'. The second time, I knew it was coming so I took the precaution of wearing 'double underpants'. RMS said 'Bend over', followed by 'Stand u!p' and the demand to know what I had down my pants. 'Underpants, Sir!' I said (filled with dread). His hand went down my pants to check, but he failed to detect my subterfuge. I didn't really feel the four whacks - I was so relieved not to have been found out! I never thought RMS was in any way 'perverted', just a strict disciplinarian, as was permitted in those days. I think he did a great job of raising both sporting and academic standards in the school. People respected him -  including the staff. Thousands of boys got to good universities via NMGS, in large part due to his leadership. Most years he got boys into Oxbridge. RMS did marry (a Matron, I believe) and went to Zambia, but it didn't work out and he returned to the UK disappointed. There were many excellent teachers at NMGS (yes, Steve Elam, David 'Shoddy' Thompson transformed my life too - bless him!). I understood that if you'd taught at NMGS it gave your CV some real kudos and helped with career progression. I'm convinced that as a result of attending NMGS as a raw 11-year old and being exposed to about 40 good graduate teachers, my life was changed for ever. I know the subject of Grammar Schools is controversial, but I count myself very lucky to have attended NMGS. For me, those days were happy ones.